Gabrielle Union Reveals That She Faced Backlash After Daughter Kaavia's Birth
This is Union's first child—which she had via surrogate—after struggling through IVF for several years.
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are opening up about their journey to become parents. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, airing Dec. 8 on OWN, the couple share experiences and milestones in their unique path to parenthood after announcing the Nov. 7 arrival of their daughter Kaavia James via surrogate.
"You're finally a mother at 46," Oprah says in an all-new special Oprah at Home with Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & Their New Baby. Radiating with joy, Union smiles while simply answering, "Yeah."
The pair, who wed in August 2014, also went on to reveal that after sharing their happy news, they were met with backlash from people who questioned why the couple chose to make the announcement alongside photos of Union resting in a hospital bed with her husband. (Related: Emily Skye Responds to Critics Who Said She Bounced Back "Too Fast" After Pregnancy)
"Everyone started talking about why she acting like she just had a baby," Wade shares. "You want to explain that?" Oprah asked Union, whose face was filled with emotion. (Related: From Being a Stepmom to Revealing Her Fertility Struggles: Inside Gabrielle Union's Road to Motherhood)
Kaavia is the first child for Union, while Wade, 36, is dad to sons Xavier Zechariah, 5, Zion Malachi Airamis, 11, and Zaire Blessing Dwyane, 16. He also raises nephew Dahveon Morris, 17.
"I'm already getting choked up. It's still hard to let go," the actress added in the clip, in reference to the fact that she wasn't able to carry the child herself.
"For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant-I've either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle or coming out of an IVF cycle," wrote Union, who also revealed she was diagnosed with Adenomyosis, a type of endometriosis that only occurs in the uterus.
After realizing how much joy she felt raising three boys with Wade, Union first discovered that having a baby was something she wanted. "I never wanted kids. Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I'd rather be than with them," she told PEOPLE in September 2017.
"So then I thought, ‘Well maybe I might be good at this, and maybe this is something I want to explore,'" she continued. "And I'm madly in love with this dude, so [having a baby] is something we could look into."
Days after her birth, Kaavia's parents publicly revealed her name on Instagram. The Miami Heat shooting guard shared a throwback photo of himself from above that showed off his freshly tattooed shoulders bearing his daughter's unique moniker. "Goes back to that one night in China when I decided to get my daughter's name tattooed on me. Kaavia James Union Wade!" Wade wrote. (Related: Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade Celebrate First Thanksgiving with Daughter After Surrogacy)
Union also gave fans a lesson on how to pronounce her daughter's first name: "@kaaviajames pronounced Kah-Vee-Uh James," the L.A.'s Finest star explained on Instagram before revealing just a few of her daughter's nicknames: "She has 102 nicknames including but not limited to Kaav, Kaavi, Kaavi Baby, Kaavi J, Jamie, KJ, Nugget, Nug, Pooters."
The interview will air on Winfrey's SuperSoul Sunday and will stream on her Facebook page at 11 a.m. ET/PT. In addition, the interview will be available on Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations podcast beginning Dec. 10 with part two available on Dec. 12.
Oprah at Home with Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & Their New Baby will air on Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
This story was originally published on People.com by Karen Mizoguchi and Maria Pasquini.