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Dear Braxton Sisters…


Dear Toni, Towanda, Traci, Trina, and the “Diva That is She”, Tamar, LOL

I just watched the season finale of your reality show and was absolutely floored at the candor and gentleness with which your family responded after learning about the fertility issues Tamar and Vincent are facing.   I applaud each of you for not making your baby sister feel uncomfortable.  For taking her feelings and situation to heart and reacting with hope and love.  You have NO idea how important that is to someone who is facing such an unexpected blow to their life plan.  That meant the world.

Towanda, to offer your assistance as a gestational carrier for Tamar without hesitation, was such a selfless and loving act.   I was also moved by your words that every woman should have the opportunity to become a mother if they desire.  This very fundamental belief is one that many of us who deal with infertility have to fight to get across.  That you GOT it, even as someone who is already a mother, meant  more than I think you know.   Finally, to say “YOU WILL”, when Tamar was saying “What if I can’t,” was PRICELESS and powerful.  Thank you.

Tamar, first and foremost, as a reality star I’m sure you are no stranger to discussing personal issues in front of the world and are pretty used to being in a fishbowl, but I wanted to take this opportunity to say from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for taking the world into that fertility discussion with you.  I am consistently floored by women and men in the African American community who are so very sure that our race isn’t a part of the 7.3 million people who are dealing with fertility issues.  That being said, it was a powerful statement, even through your usual jokes and sarcasm, for people to see a young, African American couple dealing with fertility challenges.

Many people who watch or have seen parts of Braxton Family Values usually fall into the “Love Tamar” or “Hate Tamar” categories.  I’m biased, because in my house, I’m the “EXTRA” person, who has always said things to people like “Get your life together”, and is quick to cover up my feelings with my dry wit, so I can relate to you.  For that reason, I personally feel that if more people looked past your delivery into the feelings that are behind them, there would be far more in the love bracket.  I watched the discussions between you and your sisters concerning your fears and thoughts about fertility treatments, and while you were blunt and at times a bit brash, what I saw was a young woman who was trying to figure out how to grasp the situation for herself and also how to explain that situation to the people she loved.

This emotional hurdle is one that many of us have to face.  When that diagnosis comes down, and the road to parenthood seems much longer and rougher than we’d originally thought, we start to question if it is what we even want.  Do I really want to be pregnant at all if its going to be this expensive/difficult/invasive?  Do I want to gain that weight?  Am I sure that I’m not just compensating for something that could be really solved by a good shopping trip or change of scenery?

The answer is usually yes.  We want to be mothers.  Which leads to another point of discomfort when we start to think beyond what we want, and start thinking about what those who love us, want for us.  My mother would love a grandchild from me.  My husband would love a child of our own.  My sisters and brother would love a niece or nephew.  How will I tell them that I may not be able to give them that?

So we cover it up with vague explanations and joking responses, and we talk about it in a “no big deal” tone, when it is really beating us up inside.  I could be wrong, but that is what I saw as you talked to your family.  I felt as though I’ve done that “yeah so I’m gonna have to do this other thing” conversation myself before, and my heart wanted to hug you.  We do have to work on a little of your phrasing about certain fertility terms, LOL, but above all else I wish you and Vincent nothing but the very best, and pray that things work out in a way that best suits the two of you.

I was about to let this episode get past me without mentioning it here on The Egg, but I couldn’t.  The vision and voice was too important.  I sincerely thank each of you for being what you always are if nothing else, and that is honest.






P.S.   I TOTALLY bought The Braxton’s CD TWICE back in the day, and still think “Where’s the Good in Goodbye” is a sleeper cut.  Thanks for being a part of my  high school soundtrack. LOL

P.P.S.  Z-PHI Towanda and Traci!


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. carla

    I just stumbled across the website quite by accident. I suffered with infertility myself, but I did not want to go thru the invasive testing to find out what was wrong. I figured why get tested, either shoot myself up with hormones and/or take various pills in hopes of a child, when I could just adopt. There are so many children of color who need homes and there is no wait. My spouse and I started our home study in May and by July a birth mother had selected us. We welcomed our son two months later. I recommended my agency to a friend who was unable to conceive and literally 2 week after submitting her home study she was able to pick up her healthy newborn son. There is no wait, there is a tax credit, prices for aa babies are reduced and there are so many aa and bi racial babies and not enough aa families to take them. Adopt adopt adopt please.

    06 . Apr . 2012
  2. Kiki

    Although I still hope to have my own biological child, my husband and I are considering adoption as well. The adoption journey seems to be riddled with as many sad stories of betrayal, bad professionals, etc so would you please share the info on your agency and the costs associated with it? Thanks.

    07 . May . 2012
  3. Kiki

    Many thanks to Tamar and the Braxton family for sharing such an intimate moment with us. Since the world seems to view reality television as the world’s classroom these days, I’m so thankful to see positive images of African American infertility portrayed on it. I hope that what Bill and Guiliana Rancic have done for the majority, Vince and Tamar can do for minorities. Hopefully some of the friends and family who constantly ask us when we’re having kids watched that episode and will now think twice about asking me again.

    07 . May . 2012
  4. Elle @ Time To Be Mommy

    “You have NO idea how important that is to someone who is facing such an unexpected blow to their life plan.” – As soon as I read that sentence, I felt like I could have written it.

    I also stumbled upon your site and LOVE it!! Infertility is such a hush-hush thing (especially in the African-American society) that when I hear stories like this one, I’m literally get excited.

    Until we started going through infertility, I honestly never considered it… especially not male factor infertility. It’s one of the most challenging, disappointing and straining times of my life. Infertility affects every single part of your life (your relationship, finances, health, stress levels, faith and really tests who you are as a personal).

    I’ve had quite a few people say things like “why don’t you just adopt”. I don’t hold it against them, but the truth is that adoption isn’t an option for everyone and depending on where you live, adoption can be just as painful to get through… it may also not be a sure thing.

    Thank you so much for writing this and creating this site!
    Elle @ Time To Be Mommy recently posted..Very High Sperm DNA Fragmentation – Just Our Luck

    24 . Jul . 2012

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