Making the decision to freeze your eggs is a very personal decision, often made after much research and soul searching
When we make that decision to go ahead, we’d hope that even though we know it’s going to be an emotional process, there wouldn’t be any extra barriers.
The 42 year old actress was due to begin the process with her husband Brad James in March 2020 – a date that sticks in many of our minds as the time that the world stood still.
The lockdown that began then signalled the end of all elective medical procedures, including assisted fertility procedures
Keisha and Brad were planning for a child, she was 41 at the time and knew they wanted to expand their family, it just wasn’t the right time. So egg freezing felt like the ideal option for the couple.
Keisha, who has four year old daughter Ella Grace from her first marriage to former NFL player Edgerton Hartwell, has told People, “I began the process of freezing my eggs and then literally the day that I was supposed to start my meds is when, as a result of the pandemic, they shut down all elective medical procedures. So, I was unable to continue”.
She, like many others, feels that the decision to label fertility procedures ‘elective’ is a poor one, saying, “It’s crazy that preserving your right and your ability to have a baby is considered elective. It shouldn’t. It should be an option that’s given to all women”.
The actress had been working on her documentary on OWN, Eggs Over Easy: Black Women & Fertility, which “explores the taboo subject of fertility in the Black community”, Not only does she host the show, but her own story unexpectedly also features.
“I never thought I would be one of the stories shared within the documentary. I was 41 at the time and knew that I wanted another kid, but I knew that it wasn’t right now.”
The documentary covers many aspects of fertility, particularly in the Black community, including egg freezing, IVF and adoption. Keisha believes it’s important to open up these discussions and normalise them, to try to break down the stigmas surrounding them.
“We cannot feel shame around these issues. The more we talk about it, the more we share our stories, the more that we empower other women. And that’s what we have to do, specifically Black women.”
She also believes that topics such as egg freezing should be discussed when a woman is younger, so that she has time to make important decisions regarding her own fertility and body.
“For the average person, by the time you can actually afford it, it may be too late, because it is very, very expensive” she says, adding that the procedure itself was “gruelling”. Keisha is adamant that egg freezing should be made more accessible and covered by health insurance policies.
Keisha and Brad married in October 2021 and although disappointed they were unable to go through an egg freezing procedure, are now trying for a baby “the old fashioned way”, and we wish them all the luck in the world!
Was your fertility treatment halted by COVID? Do let us know. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.