in Advocacy, Latest

Dear Sherri Shepherd,


Dear Sherri,

I just finished your book a couple weeks ago, and I immediately knew I’d have to pen you a note, like the one I sent to Angela Basset.  You see, while the story told all about your permission to be yourself, one of the greatest lessons for me was in your openness about the journey to motherhood.  I am grateful to you for the honest look at the feelings and insecurities behind infertility and the pain and fear of miscarriage.  For sharing these feelings with the world, you should be applauded.  For being a black woman, sharing these feelings with the world, I salute you.  Thank you for giving hope to those of us who need to write ourselves a few “it’s okay to cry”, slips, and a couple “You can be a mom, if you believe it will happen”, slips.  I know I’m not the only one who needs a few.

As the only woman of color with an infertility story to share on The View’s award-winning Infertility episode, I was proud to see you.  Thank you for letting the world know about the COST of infertility treatments, and for shattering the idea that it is somehow less demanding on celebrities and television personalities.  Thank you for calling out the fact that insurance companies do not always cover infertility.

Ms. Shepherd, your perspective brought that show around for women like me who were sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting to see a reflection on the screen.  You were that reflection.  For the woman somewhere who is terrified about whether her past abortions are punishing her now, you provide bold proof that this is not so.  There is a courage and honesty in the way your deliver your story that numbs me.  Not many would be as fearless while on a stage with Barbara Walters and with the world watching.

There are very real strains that infertility places on marriages.  There are sexual dysfunctions that come from trying to be the best wife, keep the best house, and conceive a healthy family.  You flawlessly explained and dissected those feelings.  As hard as it is to understand them for ourselves, how much harder still it must have been to put them on paper and send out for the rest of us to read.  I’m grateful to you for using your life as an example, and for telling some woman who’s marriage has not survived their infertility, infidelity, or depression, that things will get better and being a two-parent family, doesn’t always equal a two-parent home.

I thank you for not being perfect.  For fighting diabetes and hating what it has made food for you.  That honesty and humor helps me fight PCOS and others fight the very same diabetes diagnosis.  Your humor is such a calming gift.  So many feelings of despair and utter hopelessness are evaporated with that familiar warm smile,that says, “Hey, we all go through some stuff”.  While many may not agree with you about many things, it should not be denied how important a voice such as yours is.  One of my professors made a comment the other day that fits perfectly, “if a voice is important to just one person…then it is an important voice”.  Your voice is important.


Regina Townsend is the primary author and founder of TheBrokenBrownEgg. A librarian and writer, Regina’s mission is to make people aware and active about the unique concerns of reproductive health in the minority community.


  1. Sherri Shepherd

    Not much to say, but thank you. There’s a scripture that I cling to is Psalms 30:5 “weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning”. I share my story to hopefully help others know that there is a morning.

    I humbly thank you for your words. One never knows where they will find kindred spirits.

    Sherri Shepherd

    19 . Nov . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Took me all day to stop doing backflips in my head about you making your way to our corner of the web…and now, I’ve calmed. LOL
      Thanks for visiting! Meant every word. Your story and presence is helping SO many women, and your personality and concern are being shouted from hills and valleys. Thank you sooo much for who you are, and thank you sooo much for coming by!

      20 . Nov . 2010
  2. tisha

    Wow. I look up Sherri for many reasons but one in particular: she’s real. I’m also a single parent and my son was also born at 24 weeks. He’s four now and attends a special preschool. I look hearing Sherri talk about her son… it let’s me know that things WILL get better. Joy will come in the morning! Hopefully, tomorrow morning.. lol.

    19 . Nov . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Alright now Tisha!! Your baby boy is a superstar! And YES, that realness is so vital. We all love to hear great stories, but stories that are backed by HUMAN emotions and GENUINE feelings, help us keep pressing when we want to sit down. I can promise you this…your joy is already in the mail, just keep checking for it every day. ((hugs))

      20 . Nov . 2010
  3. connie

    Nice letter but the writer of this failed to mention that you had aborted six babies before you had infertility problems. Coincidence? Maybe it’s just me but I think if you abort that many innocent babies (one I can kind of see) you should not have any children and maybe this is why you had trouble. Also, Sherri is constantly spending her time on nonsense like twitter, facebook and myspace and then complaining when her child wants attention. I think some people just have babies to have babies. Please, I beg anyone reading this. If you do not really understand what parenthood is all about use protection and don’t have children. Too many parents these days have children and then refuse to give them the love, attention, and discipline that they require to have a good chance in life.

    21 . Nov . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Hi Connie, thanks for stopping by.

      Actually I did note Sherri’s terminations in the note(3rd paragraph). However, I did not list it as a way to crucify her as a person, but rather as a way to address the hundreds of other women in this country and abroad who have also faced similar situations. Many of which who found themselves in a better position sometime later to care for a child, only to find it elusive. While this is a choice of which I personally do not agree, I do agree with the right to make it, and as a site that focuses on reaching the many different manifestations of infertility, I will not refuse to reach every possible audience affected. Instead of focusing directly on the ways to tear down this person, I chose to instead focus on the parts of her journey which are beneficial to someone else, even if it is not myself.

      As for the nonsenses of social media, I do agree that some people take it far out of proportion,…however I myself spend a great deal of my time on these sites as well,…to support and reach out to those who may need to find me there. As a television personality whom many do in fact respond to favorably, I can see why someone like Ms. Shepherd would be on one. If social media sites such as these, (including the very blog which you took the time to read), are what keep parents from being great parents we would have no issues of verbal and physical abuses and neglect, no?

      I’m sure that your statement was not meant to be as drastic as it came across, but one would have to wonder what that means for the other parents around the country who chose to have life outside of only caring and catering for the attention of their children. The single parents for which online interaction can be their only interaction with other adults that day. Definitely not Sherri’s particular case, but we must be careful of generalizing activities that affect more than just one person. My point being, there are a LOT of other people besides Sherri Shepherd who use social media, AND are great moms. My own mom is one of them. The time it takes to send an 140 character “Tweet”, or to link a Facebook to a Twitter account, is minuscule in comparison to the time it takes to truly love and engage with a child, so I doubt Jeffery is as neglected as you fear.

      I do agree with you that people should think and plan carefully for their children before during and after conceiving them, and I can assure you, with this being a site focused and geared towards those for whom parenthood does not come easily, these choices are not made as lightly as one would assume.

      All things being said, I’m thankful for your visit, as it is a way to highlight the opposing viewpoints I mentioned in the letter, and I also appreciate your concern for children and your passion for parenthood!

      22 . Nov . 2010
  4. Sia

    Sorry but to ABORT 6 BABIES & still have the nerve to call your self a Christian…. uh… I if you say so.

    13 . Mar . 2011
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Well…I’m a Christian.
      And I find that when things like that oppose my beliefs, its best for me to cling to this:
      Matthew 7

      1Judge not, that ye be not judged.

      Seeing as how ALL have sinned and fallen short, I’m pretty sure we should all be busy enough worrying about our own shortcomings rather than concerning ourselves with the sins of others. But hey, perhaps you’re perfect and have the extra time.

      13 . Mar . 2011
    • Neshie

      Um.. really? But it’s okay for you to judge her when CHRIST himself stood up for a prostitute and said Let he who is WITHOUT SIN cast the first stone. Yes, she made mistakes, we all do. We all fall short of the glory. Some of us are not born and raised in the church so we have to find our own way. Some of us are born and raised in the church, but we still fall short and have to find the way back. That which you are judging her for occurred BEFORE SHE GOT SAVED and when she was going through an extremely difficult period in her life. Have a little compassion. People like you are the reason why people like me are turning away from the church in droves. Instead of treating people how you would want to be treated, you point fingers and you judge. Sorry, but to sit there and judge someone for something that they have already repented to GOD for and you still have the nerve to call yourself a Christian? Um.. If you say so honey..

      22 . Jan . 2012

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