Quantcast

Tai Beauchamp On Her Decision To Freeze Her Eggs At Age 35

Exclusive Interviews

When Tai Beauchamp injected the 1-1/2" hormone-filled needle into her side, the last thing that she felt was empowered.

Crazy? Maybe a little. For one, she's a woman of faith. And faith taught her to never doubt in the power of God and His ability to make miracles happen even in the midst of a ticking biological clock.

And to be frank, shelling out nearly $15,000 for a procedure that may work when she could use those funds for something more tangible had her questioning why, for the last few months, she had put herself through the beginning stages of freezing her eggs.


Credit: Instagram

But she quieted her doubts and stood firm in her decision, one made not out of fear, but out of power gained by having options. And when she left the fertility clinic two weeks later, she tossed back her hypothetical cape and strutted with her head held high.

“I kid you not I felt like super woman," shares Beauchamp. “It wasn't just about my physical body, I just felt like I did that. It supported all that I believe I want to become as a person because how often are we told to take charge of a situation or you can do it?"

Like many women, Beauchamp wants to have it all—marriage, children, and a bomb career to match. The latter she's already excelled at. By age 25 she was the Beauty Director at Seventeen magazine with a coveted corner office and six-figure salary, and by 28 she ran her own company helping corporations infuse strategy with social responsibility.

As an on-air personality and style expert she's been a host on The View's “Must Have Monday" and TLC's Dare to Wear, and in the midst of television appearances and beauty ambassador gigs she's managed to find time to share gems as a motivational speaker and launch a lifestyle site, The Tai Life. But love and marriage? That's something she put on the back burner, even after a five-year relationship-turned-engagement went sour. “I was doing well, but I was just going through the motions of a relationship and not really thinking about the importance of not wasting time," Beauchamp says.

Growing up in New Jersey as an only child to a single mom, Beauchamp remembers always wanting to be a mother, but says she was taught the importance of getting her education and getting money over dating with intention. “They're not telling you that if you want partnership you have to invest in it. So I had partnership, but I was also really focused on my career. It paid off professionally, but nobody was telling me when I needed to flip the script or that I also needed to invest in my personal."

"They're not telling you that if you want partnership you have to invest in it."

It wasn't until she was twenty-eight that two of her female mentors approached her about freezing her eggs while she continued dominating in her career. Beauchamp dismissed the notion that her ovaries were depreciating by the year, insisting that time was on her side. “I think young people, you're just thinking oh time is on my side, but time ain't really on your side. It really isn't."

By 35, after being diagnosed with fibroids, which can lead to fertility issues, and having them surgically removed, she was singing a different tune and began researching how she could pro-long her childbearing years.

Despite the more recent accounts of egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, the practice itself has been around for over three decades, with the first successful birth from a frozen egg occurring in 1986. Baby girls are born with about two million eggs, but by the time they hit pubescent years, they're down to three-to-four hundred thousand, and lose another thousand each month. According to fertility specialist Dr. Sherman J. Silber, 16 percent of women in their late twenties will be infertile, and by mid to late thirties, 25 percent will battle with infertility. Fear of running out of supply before it's too late sends many women into overdrive as they seek to beat the biological clock that looms before them.

Source: Extended Fertility

Beauchamp, now 38, believes that freezing her eggs allowed her to breathe a sigh of relief and took the pressure off finding a mate. “If I met a partner and I wanted to have a child next week and we decided to get pregnant, I don't think we'd have a problem getting pregnant. But I just did it because I want the insurance. It was just about options for me," she says.

The Process

Beauchamp admits that the process of egg freezing was no easy feat. Her first consultation with Dr. Jamie L. Morris of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey happened in February, just a month after her thirty-fifth birthday. “You should go and talk to them, find out and ask questions about their specifics and how much success they've had, not only with how many women have come back to have those unfrozen eggs implanted and the success rates of those births, and whether or not those reinsertation take," advises Beauchamp.

Soon after her consultation she kicked out $3,000 to get her blood work done just to ensure that her eggs were healthy enough to undergo the process. Once she received the green light, it would be another few months before she could book her appointment since the procedure required that she be stationary for at least two weeks.

Beauchamp's insurance only covered the initial consultation, so it was up to her to fund the remaining $15,000 worth of medical visits, procedure costs and prescriptions. Since the average person doesn't have that amount just sitting around in the bank, Beauchamp suggests looking to organizations, such as Baby Quest Foundation, which offers financial assistance to those in need, or using “layaway" plans such as EggBanxx to break up the costs. She also predicts that in the future this will be more of the norm, and thus, more insurance companies will jump on the baby bandwagon. “Truth be told, I think in about five years time insurance companies are going to start paying for this more, or at least a piece of the service."

Beyond the exorbitant costs, there's also the discomfort that comes along with increasing hormone levels. Similar to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Beauchamp had to give inject herself with a needle three times a day for thirteen days for ovarian stimulation, which Beauchamp describes as PMS times 100.

“I'm one of those random New Yorkers who loves the subway, and I literally couldn't walk up and down the stairs, so there is a lot of pain associated with it."

She also had to go into the fertility clinic at six in the morning for daily monitoring of the oocyte (egg) growth and growth of the follicles. On average there were sixty people in the waiting room, and she was one of two black women. “That was depressing and sad in many different ways. That really made the socioeconomic piece real to me, because I was in that waiting room and you saw maybe four minorities, maybe one other black person and two Latina, which would also speak to how it all connected socioeconomically."

By the thirteenth day she was ready to inject her trigger shot, which catapulted the eggs into maturation. But due to the critical timing of the shot, was forced to escape to the bathroom while on a date to administer the shot. The easiest part of the process was the actual extraction procedure, which took only 20 minutes. On average they hope to extract anywhere between 8 to 15 oocytes, and Beauchamp produced ten.

Because the hormones can stay in your body for some time after the procedure, Beauchamp says it took three months for her feel back to normal, but she doesn't regret the decision to extend her fertility. If anything, it's given her the platform to discuss a topic that's often swept under the rug in the African-American community. “There have been comments made about how fertile black women are, but simultaneously we're not having open conversations about fibroids, we're not having open conversations about endometriosis, we're just beginning to speak more now with more than 50% of the people being in college or graduating college being African-American women, that our partner and dating pool is changing. But if we start to think about investing in relationships in a different way earlier and sooner, the dynamics would shift too."

"If we start to think about investing in relationships in a different way earlier and sooner, the dynamics would shift."

To the many women who feel that they're losing the battle against time or feel a pressure to produce in fear that they won't be able to perform later in life, technology puts the reins of destiny—or at the very least lineage—back in their hands.

“If I can share my story so that someone else can be enlightened and know the power of their decision and their options, why wouldn't I do it? It's really about shifting the way that we look at what we value and what is important."

If you are interested in freezing your eggs but concerned about the costs, click here for a list of resources and fertility financing plans.


This article was originally published in 2016

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

Lawd, lawd. I'm assuming that I'm not being too presumptuous when I start this all out by saying, I'm pretty sure that more than just a few of us can relate to this title and topic. I know that personally, there are several men from my sexual past who would've been out of my space a lot sooner had the sex not been…shoot, so damn good. And it's because of that very thing that you'll never ever convince me that sex can't mess with your head. The oxytocin highs (that happen when we kiss, cuddle and orgasm) alone can easily explain why a lot of us will make a sexual connection with someone and stay involved with them for weeks, months, years even, even if the mental and emotional dynamic is subpar, at best.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

"Black men, we're in constant warfare. Every day is a fight outside of my house, so why would I want to come home to more fighting when that is the very place where I should be resting? There are loved ones who I don't speak to as much anymore because they aren't peaceful people. A huge part of the reason why I am happier without my ex is she was rarely a source of peace. The older I get, the more I realize that peace really is the foundation of everything; especially relationships, because how can I nurture anything if I'm in a constant state of influx and chaos? Guys don't care how fine a woman is or how great the sex may be if she's not peaceful because there is nothing more valuable than peace. If the closest person to me is not a source of it, that can ultimately play a role in all kinds of disruption and destruction. No man wants that."

Keep reading... Show less

This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

Keep reading... Show less

When Ngozi Opara Sea started Heatfree Hair almost a decade ago, curly and kinky extensions weren't the norm on the market as they seem to be today, especially if you wanted those textures in quality human hair. Beauty supply stores mainly sold synthetic curly hair, and there was a surge of renewal for women who were just beginning to embrace natural styles, taking to YouTube to experiment with new techniques and styles.

Keep reading... Show less

No one is excited about paying taxes, but for the most part, they're unavoidable for the working woman. Yet, not everyone has to pay quarterly taxes. You may have to get acquainted with quarterly taxes depending on how you earn money and who signs your paychecks. Not only is it essential to know if you should pay quarterly tax payments, but you need to know what your tax liability is and the deadline to submit your taxes — unless you want the IRS visiting.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Find Confidence With This Summer Workout Created By A Black Woman For Black Women

Tone & Sculpt trainer Danyele Wilson makes fitness goals attainable.

Latest Posts