Obama had a miscarriage, requiring fertility drugs
Memoir recounts pregnancy trials, criticizes Trump
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.”
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.
“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.
The former first lady is returning to the public sphere in dramatic fashion with an unprecedented book tour staged in arena-sized venues.