When Tamron Hall announced in March that she was 32 weeks pregnant with her first child at age 48, fans and followers were shocked, to say the least. After all, most of us had no idea Hall had even married, let alone conceived a child with new husband, music executive Steven Greener.
But as Hall told People in an exclusive interview, there was good reason for her secrecy.
“I was high-risk, not just because of my age, but there were other medical factors too,” said the veteran journalist and host of the upcoming Tamron Hall Show.
“I was terrified I would lose this baby and I would have to go back and tell everyone that now it was bad news, and after this pregnancy had gone so far,” she continued. “I just wasn’t mentally prepared to deal with that. ... That’s why I waited. And trust me—if I could’ve gone the whole way to delivery, I would’ve.”
“My doctor said, ‘This is your body, your health. You share of your journey what you want to share,’ ” Hall added.
Hall also revealed that she’d been looking into fertility treatments since her 30s, understanding “that some of us will have to give up [on childbearing] along the way.”
Hall admits: “When I tried in my 30s, I still felt like I had some time, and the fertility clinic felt like a bright room. In my 40s I saw all the gray: The faces looked gray, the walls were gray, nothing seemed shiny and optimistic. ... I knew that the clock was not on my side.”
Hall’s frustrations echo those of many black women who have seemingly “done everything right,” only to have “having it all” elude them (i.e. motherhood and marriage, if those are things they desire).
“Just like with my job search during that time, there were so many frustrations: I’m putting in the work, I’m taking care of my mind and my body and I’m being rejected,” Hall said. “I’m thinking, ‘Wait a minute. What have I done wrong here?’ ”
As fellow new mom Kenya Moore recently shared with the women on TVOne’s Sister Circle, even “having it all” doesn’t guarantee constant happiness. While delighted to have achieved a long-held dream, Moore revealed that she experienced depression during her pregnancy with daughter Brooklyn Daly (h/t BCK).
“When I was pregnant, I didn’t realize that I would actually go through depression,” Moore, also 48, said. “I think in the beginning, I thought, ‘I finally got everything that I wanted.’ Here I am. The baby is kind of out of the zone where they say it’s not safe or may not survive. And I thought, ‘I should be happy. I should be like, celebrating every day and just having so much fun being a great pregnant woman.’ And I was so depressed at first. I never expected that. I never saw that coming.”
While Moore’s depression was hormonal, many of us in our 40s are all too familiar with the feelings that accompany butting your head against the expectations that come with age. Memorably, Hall left NBC when she was unceremoniously dropped from the Today Show’s third hour in favor of Megyn Kelly (and we all know how that turned out). Though Hall put on a brave face at the time, she shares that it became a major turning point in her life.
“When I left NBC, I said, ‘I look forward to the next chapter,’ ” she told People. “People assumed that I meant work, and I did, but by the third month I knew that my life had to be about something bigger than work.”
“My story is not one I could’ve ever expected,” the star tells People. “Two and a half years ago when I walked out of that NBC building, I was in a fog, not knowing that so many of us lose things we think are important, and we have no idea that something better is right there.”
“I’m from the South, and there’s a saying: ‘It’s not a setback; it’s a setup for something else,’ ” she adds. “That loss set me up for, yes, a dream job but also my baby, my husband, my family. I just couldn’t see it coming.”