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Fame and celebrity

Michelle Obama reveals miscarriage, use of IVF to conceive daughters – and why she can ‘never forgive’ Donald Trump

  • In her memoir ‘Becoming’, Michelle Obama describes the miscarriage 20 years ago that left her and Barack Obama feeling ‘cratered’
  • She also explains how she tried to ‘block it all out’ when Trump won the 2016 election
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 November, 2018, 12:46am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 November, 2018, 8:19am

Michelle Obama says she felt “lost and alone” after suffering a miscarriage 20 years ago and underwent in vitro fertilisation to conceive her two daughters, events recounted in a memoir in which she also explains her undying fury at Donald Trump.

“I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” the former first lady said in an interview broadcast Friday on ABC’s Good Morning America to promote her upcoming memoir, Becoming. ‘’We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”

Mrs Obama, 54, said she and Barack Obama underwent fertilisation treatments to conceive daughters Sasha and Malia, now 17 and 20.

“I realised that as I was 34 and 35,” the famously fit Mrs Obama said in excerpts from an ABC special set to air Sunday. “We had to do IVF.”

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Mrs Obama writes in Becoming: “We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well. We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage, which left me physically uncomfortable and cratered any optimism we felt.”

Mrs Obama writes of being alone to administer herself shots to help hasten the IVF process. Her “sweet, attentive husband” was at the state legislature, “leaving me largely on my own to manipulate my reproductive system into peak efficiency”.

The revelations come ahead of Tuesday’s release of Becoming, in which she writes openly about everything from growing up in Chicago to confronting racism in public life and becoming the country’s first black first lady.

Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this, I’d never forgive him
Michelle Obama

Memoirs by former first ladies, including Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, are usually bestsellers, but an an early copy of Becoming offers few extensive comments on Mrs Obama’s White House years.

In the book, Mrs Obama lets loose a blast of anger at US President Trump, writing how she reacted in shock the night she learned he would replace her husband in the Oval Office and tried to “block it all out”.

She also denounces Trump’s years-long “birther” campaign questioning her husband’s citizenship, calling it bigoted and dangerous, “deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks.” Trump suggested Obama was not born in the US but on foreign soil – his father was Kenyan. The former president was born in Hawaii.

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“Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this, I’d never forgive him,” she writes.

She expresses disbelief over how so many women would choose a “misogynist” over Clinton in 2016. She remembers how her body “buzzed with fury” after seeing the infamous Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women.

Mrs Obama also accuses Trump of using body language to “stalk” Clinton during an election debate. She writes of Trump following Clinton around the stage, standing nearby and “trying to diminish her presence”.

Trump brushed off Mrs Obama’s opinions of him.

He told reporters at the White House on Friday: “She talked about safety. What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you.” Trump didn’t explain what he meant.

Mrs Obama launches her promotional tour Tuesday not at a bookstore, but at Chicago’s United Centre, where tens of thousands of people have purchased tickets – priced from just under US$30 to thousands of dollars – to attend the event, which is moderated by Oprah Winfrey.