Michelle Obama had miscarriage, used IVF to con­ceive two daugh­ters

Medicine Hat News - - LIFESTYLE -

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” — rhetoric, she wrote, that was “de­lib­er­ately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks.”

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,” Mrs. Obama, 54, writes in “Be­com­ing,” set for re­lease Tues­day. “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.

Mrs. Obama writes of be­ing alone to ad­min­is­ter her­self shots to help has­ten the process. Her “sweet, at­ten­tive hus­band” was at the state 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 best­sellers on Fri­day. That’s of­ten the case with the mem­oirs of for­mer first ladies, in­clud­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton and Laura Bush. But Mrs. Obama de­fied her ex­alted sta­tus in the an­nals of his­tory by cul­ti­vat­ing an image of a mod­ern woman with whom many Amer­i­cans would like to sip wine and chat.

But un­til now, she’s not ex­ten­sively shared so many de­tails. Some fam­ily strug­gles, such as los­ing a baby, are known by mil­lions of women.

Mrs. Obama, said they un­der­went fer­til­iza­tion treat­ments to con­ceive daugh­ters Sasha and Malia, now 17 and 20.

Con­fronting racism in pub­lic life — be­ing the first black first lady, wife of the na­tion’s first black pres­i­dent — has been a brac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, in Mrs. Obama’s telling. She ag­o­nized over what she feared was a car­toon­ish, racist image. She re­mem­bered be­ing la­beled “an­gry” and, by the Fox net­work, “Obama’s Baby Mama.”

In the mem­oir, Mrs. 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.

As he left for Paris 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.”

AP FILE PHOTO

Michelle Obama blasts Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in her new book, re­call­ing 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.” Her book, “Be­com­ing” is set to come out on Tues­day.

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