Obama had a mis­car­riage, re­quir­ing fer­til­ity drugs

Mem­oir re­counts preg­nancy tri­als, crit­i­cizes Trump

Houston Chronicle - - NEWSMAKERS - By Lau­rie Kell­man

WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama says she felt alone af­ter a mis­car­riage 20 years ago and she and Barack Obama un­der­went fer­til­ity treat­ments to con­ceive their two daugh­ters, ac­cord­ing to her up­com­ing mem­oir.

In some of her most ex­ten­sive pub­lic com­ments on her White House years, the for­mer first lady also lets her fury fly over Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s “big­otry and xeno­pho­bia” — dan­ger­ous, de­lib­er­ate rhetoric, she wrote, that risked her fam­ily’s safety.

“For this,” she writes, “I’d never for­give him.”

Ex­pen­sive treat­ments

But it’s her deeply per­sonal ac­count of her mar­riage to the fu­ture pres­i­dent that shed new light on the Ivy League-ed­u­cated cou­ple’s early strug­gle with is­sues of fam­ily, am­bi­tion and pub­lic life.

“We were try­ing to get preg­nant and it wasn’t go­ing well,” Obama, 54, writes in “Be­com­ing,” set for re­lease Tues­day. The As­so­ci­ated Press pur­chased an early copy. “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.”

The Oba­mas opted for IVF, one form of as­sisted re­pro­duc­tion that typ­i­cally in­volves re­mov­ing eggs from a woman, fer­til­iz­ing them with sperm in a lab, and im­plant­ing the re­sult­ing em­bryo. It costs thou­sands of dol­lars for ev­ery “cy­cle,” and many cou­ples re­quire more than one at­tempt.

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

Highly an­tic­i­pated

“Be­com­ing” is one of the most an­tic­i­pated po­lit­i­cal books in mem­ory, rank­ing at the top of Ama­zon’s best-sell­ers Fri­day. That’s of­ten the case with the mem­oirs of for­mer first ladies, in­clud­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton and Laura Bush.

In the mem­oir, Obama lets loose a blast of anger at Trump.

She writes that Trump’s ques­tion­ing of whether her hus­band was an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen was “crazy and mean-spir­ited” — and “dan­ger­ous.” Trump sug­gested Obama was not born in the U.S. but on for­eign soil — his fa­ther was Kenyan. The for­mer pres­i­dent was born in Hawaii.

“What if some­one with an un­sta­ble mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that per­son went look­ing for our girls?” she writes in the mem­oir. “Don­ald Trump, with his loud and reck­less in­nu­en­dos, was put­ting my fam­ily’s safety at risk. And for this, I’d never for­give him.”

As he left for Paris on Fri­day, Trump chose not to re­spond to the for­mer first lady, telling re­porters, “Oh, I guess she wrote a book. She got paid a lot of money to write a book and they al­ways in­sisted you come up with con­tro­ver­sial.” Trump in­stead changed the sub­ject to his pre­de­ces­sor, Barack Obama, say­ing, “I’ll never for­give him” for mak­ing the coun­try “very un­safe.”

Michelle Obama also 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.

Crown / New York Times

The for­mer first lady is re­turn­ing to the pub­lic sphere in dra­matic fash­ion with an un­prece­dented book tour staged in arena-sized venues.

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