Jessel Taank from The Real Housewives of New York City may not appear to shy away from any topic of conversation, but she revealed to Us Weekly this isn’t always the case — especially when it came to her in vitro fertilization experience.
Jessel opened up about her IVF journey to her mom in the latest episode of season 14, but admitted, “I didn’t want to tell my parents.”
“I didn’t want to add a layer of stress on them,” Jessel, 43, exclusively told Us in August while speaking about her reluctance. “Being Indian, we don’t talk about things that are considered taboo, and there’s, like, a big stigma surrounding if you can’t have a baby as women.”
Jessel gave birth to twin boys, Kai and Rio, at age 39 in May 2021 but becoming a mom was far from easy. The RHONY star told Us, “Half of my thirties was spent trying to get pregnant.”
Jessel hadn’t expected such a struggle after being raised with the assumption that all women had children. “[Women] are seen like a goddess kind of figure where you’re just churning out kids,” she said while discussing what she was raised to believe while growing up in an Indian household in London. “And it wasn’t the case, and it’s not the case for a lot of women.”
Jessel, who made her Bravo debut this season, told Us that her decision to to discuss her IVF experience was to support women who faced similar issues.
“It was important for me to show that conversation because a lot of people go through reproductive issues and fertility issues in silence and isolation,” Jessel said.
Her boys are now 2 years old. “Their personalities are starting to come to the table. They’re very loud. They definitely take that from me,” Jessel joked.
Earlier this season on RHONY, Jessel caught viewer’s attention with her outspoken opinions and revelations about her personal life, including details about her postpartum sex life (or lack thereof) with her castmates.
“It was just the reality of the situation,” Jessel told Us about her candidness, while also pointing out that her husband, Pavit Randhawa, “has been so supportive” throughout the ups and downs of postpartum.
As for the rest of Jessel’s outspokenness to her castmates, she admitted, “I definitely know that I have to work on my tone.”
“I’m very self-aware now of how I’m delivering things,” Jessel said after watching the show. “It just is a little bit of a reflective moment, I would say.”
The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.