Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union reveal the struggles of their journey to baby in his new ESPN documentary, ‘Life Unexpected.’ The NBA star revealed that he and Gabrielle’s doctors feared for her life before they turned to surrogacy.
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union explored every option they could to have a child after the actress, 47, discovered that she couldn’t get pregnant naturally. But, as their journey to baby got longer and more experimental, Dwyane, 38, grew more concerned about his wife’s health. Once they reached a certain point in their attempts to bring a child into the world, doctors informed the couple that if they continued with certain approaches and treatments, Gabrielle would be at risk of death.
“I’m watching my wife go through a lot physically,” Dwyane said during the February 23 premiere of his new ESPN documentary, Life Unexpected. — A chronicle of his NBA career with a candid look at his personal life. ‘You’re sitting in with the doctors and they’re like, ‘You can do this and that, but the risk of you surviving.’ — It became a point where I was like, ‘Oh wait, now I might lose you in this process,’” he said of their pregnancy journey, which included many failed IVF cycles.
When the process took a risky turn, Dwyane realized, “There’s not only one way to have your family.” That’s when he and Gabrielle decided to take a different path to expand their family. “We started having conversations and we were like, ‘What are the other options — and the other became surrogacy,’” he said.
Despite committing to going through with a surrogate, Gabrielle was still trying to process thought of another woman giving birth to her child.
“My immediate thing was, even if I go through with a surrogate was, I don’t get to be a ‘real mom,’” she admitted in air quotes. “It just took a long time to just be like, ‘Let’s go for it, let’s try.’”
Dwyane and Gabrielle eventually welcomed a baby girl, via surrogate on November 7, 2018, named Kaavia James Wade. She is the first child for Gabrielle and Dwyane’s fourth. The Miami Heat legend, whose No. 3 jersey was retired by the team on February 22, has three other children from previous relationships.
“11/7 will forever be etched in our hearts as the most loveliest of all the lovely days,” Gabrielle wrote in the couple’s official birth announcement on Instagram at the time. “Welcome to the party sweet girl!”
Before Kaavia, Gabrielle had eight or nine miscarriages, she first revealed in her 2017 book, We’re Going to Need More Wine.
In Life Unexpected, the LA’s Finest actress went into further detail. “When Dwyane and I started trying, we were so excited,” she said, admitting, “So there were a ton of pregnancies and positive test results, and then poof. Usually around the 6-8 week mark — gone. Obviously, I knew it was not him and it literally just stayed like that for years. I just almost started expecting defeat,” Gabrielle said.
Now, the Wades are navigating life as one big family while living in their own truths and celebrating positivity. Dwyane recently introduced his 12-year-old daughter Zaya, who is transgender, to the world. Zaya, originally born Zion, approached Dwyane and Gabrielle and said she wants to be addressed using female pronouns. She later gave her father permission to speak out about her story as he and Gabrielle continue to educate themselves while fully supporting her.