‘Greenleaf’ star Deborah Joy Winans announces pregnancy, battle with fibroids

The actress shared her story in an exclusive interview with 'Essence' magazine

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Congratulations are in order for Deborah Joy Winans. In a revealing interview, the actress announced her pregnancy and detailed her battle with fibroids.

Since the final season of Greenleaf, Winans has been busy with projects and major life moves. The actress recently starred in the Lifetime movie Color of Love, and in TV One’s Don’t Waste Your Pretty. Now, she’s is gearing up for a new chapter in her life, revealing that she and her husband Terrence Williams are expecting a baby boy.

In the interview with Essence, the actress opened up about the high-risk nature of the pregnancy, explaining that she wants to help other women by sharing her story.

Deborah Joy Winans thegrio.com
Deborah Joy Winans attends Black Girls Rock 2019 Hosted By Niecy Nash at NJPAC on August 25, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for BET)

Winans revealed she’s just hoping to make it to 28 weeks, a little over half the time as a full-term pregnancy.

“As long as I can get to 28, we should be okay,” she shared with Essence. “Once we get to 28 weeks, [my doctor] knows that he’ll be good and healthy if he came that early. So, 28 is the goal.”

Her pregnancy journey has been a challenging one, with the actress finding out she had eight fibroids, including one the size of a watermelon, last December.

Surgery was recommended to remove them but she started to “feel terrible” after getting a second opinion. Eventually, she found out that she was pregnant, but the fibroid issue still needed to be resolved, all while she was getting ready to shoot Sisterly Christmas for OWN.

“When [the doctor] started to tell me the things that will happen in my body because of the fibroids and the things that the baby might face, I just was like, ‘Okay, this is really, really serious,’” she shared.

While filming in Canada with her husband back home, her symptoms got worse.

“I was in so much pain. I didn’t even understand what was happening. I could barely get out of bed,” she said. “The pain would hit so hard and I would have to crawl to the bathroom, literally crawl. I was in tears.”

After heading to an emergency room, and not being allowed to call her husband for several hours, she found out that her baby was fine, but her fibroids were degenerating.

“I had all of the basic things like throwing up, feeling nauseous that you would have in your first trimester on top of my fibroids degenerating and just causing the absolute worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life and still trying to do this movie and get home,” she said.

Upon returning home, the actress underwent emergency surgery to have her cervix closed, as it was opening.

Deborah Joy Winans thegrio.com
Deborah Joy Winans attends Rolling Stone Live: Atlanta at The Goat Farm on February 02, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

After that, Winans was placed on mandatory bed rest, waiting patiently for 28 weeks. Now, she wants to make sure other women are informed and have access to the information she wishes she had.

With no known family history of fibroids, she says that women should know what can happen and be mindful of the complications they cause. Women of all races experience fibroids but Black women are particularly susceptible, as more than 80% have them by the age of 50.

“The more that we are aware of our bodies and what’s going on and what to look for, the more we can hold them accountable for what it is they should be doing and what they need to be doing to make sure we’re okay. I mean, I’m 37 years old and I should’ve known…I don’t want them to experience that physical pain or just the stress that comes over your mind, your body, your spirit, when you’re constantly wondering every day, is your child going to make it?”

Check out the inspiring interview with Essence here.

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