Actress Tia Mowry is speaking out about her journey to motherhood and the difficulties she experienced due to undiagnosed endometriosis. Mowry opened up to TODAY Parents and said that she went undiagnosed for years with symptoms including migraines, debilitating pain and eczema while in her 20s.
Mowry, who has two children, is encouraging other women to share their journeys to parenthood in order to bring more awareness to alternate paths. The actress shared her own struggles with endometriosis and infertility and wants to make the path easier for others.
“The more awareness and stories we share, the more people won’t feel alone or discouraged or depressed,” Mowry said. “And the more we talk about our own stories, the more we get rid of the stigma that comes along with IVF, surrogacy, sperm and egg donation … there are amazing ways that families become families.”
The 43-year-old actress married husband Cory Hardrict in 2008, and while struggling to conceive, she was finally diagnosed with a textbook case of endometriosis after seeing a Black female specialist.
Endometriosis is a painful, chronic condition in which the lining of the uterus is found outside the uterus. Mowry was disappointed that she was not previously diagnosed with endometriosis, despite being a textbook case and suffering for years.
“I was not being taken very seriously when it came to my symptoms,” she said. “You know your body more than anyone. You are the one living with what you’re going through day in and day out. Don’t let anyone tell you that something is not wrong with you.”
The “Sister, Sister” actress also shared that she hadn’t heard much about infertility before.
“I never heard the word ‘infertility’ growing up. It just wasn’t part of conversations with my family and friends,” Mowry said. “We as women growing up, we are just like, ‘OK, I’m going to get married, I’m going to have kids.’ You have your life planned out and it doesn’t always work that way.”
Finding out she was pregnant with her 10-year-old daughter, Cree, was a blessing. The actress was thrilled she wasn’t having an ectopic pregnancy, which is common for women with the condition.
“When you have endometriosis you’re prone to having an ectopic pregnancy, because of the scar tissue,” she said. She also worried how her condition would affect her pregnancy, which was plagued with severe and debilitating pain. She and her husband also have a 3-year-old daughter, Cairo.
Mowry wants to save others from the same struggles she went through and has partnered with Coterie for its campaign Becoming Parents. The campaign defies the traditional path to parenthood and normalizes alternate journeys to parenthood. With the campaign there’s a parenting book “Not Another Parenthood Guide.”
“I’ve been open about the fact that my journey to motherhood was anything but easy. But too often, the cultural conversations make it seem like if your path to parenthood isn’t simple, there’s something wrong with you,” said the actress.
“I hope it inspires others to share their stories, never feel judged, and change the way we all think about what it means to have a baby,” she continued. “It’s a really incredible project. Even more incredible: 100% of sales benefit @babyquestgrants to help support families struggling to afford fertility procedures.”
Mowry also has a new cook book called “Quick Fix Kitchen” and posted a video on Twitter Sept. 9, after she received her copy with a caption.
“One of the best feelings in the world is holding a copy of your own book for the first time. My book baby is out in just two and a half weeks but you can preorder now from prh.com/quickfixkitchen#quickfixkitchen.”
All profits from “Not Another Parenthood Guide” will go to the Baby Quest Foundation, a nonprofit that helps families pay for fertility treatments.