Michelle opens lid on the Oba­mas’ mar­riage

For­mer first lady also talks of her IVF treat­ment and the cou­ple’s coun­selling in a re­veal­ing new me­moir

The Daily Telegraph - - World news - By Ben Ri­ley-smith US ED­I­TOR

MICHELLE OBAMA, the for­mer first lady of the United States, has re­vealed that she used IVF treat­ment to con­ceive her two daugh­ters, af­ter once suf­fer­ing a mis­car­riage.

In a deeply per­sonal in­ter­view, Mrs Obama, who is mar­ried to for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama, also made pub­lic that the pair had un­der­gone mar­riage coun­selling.

Mrs Obama also said she would “never for­give” Don­ald Trump for en­dan­ger­ing her fam­ily by es­ca­lat­ing claims that her hus­band was not born in Amer­ica, trig­ger­ing a new row with the pres­i­dent yes­ter­day.

The rev­e­la­tions were made both in her new me­moir, Be­com­ing, which will be pub­lished on Tues­day, and a pro­mo­tional in­ter­view for the book which she gave to ABC News. They pro­vide an in­ti­mate por­trayal of a re­la­tion­ship that sat at the heart of the White House for eight years dur­ing Mr Obama’s pres­i­dency, which ended in Jan 2017.

Dur­ing the ABC News in­ter­view Mrs Obama dis­cussed the strug­gles she had in con­ceiv­ing dur­ing her early mar­riage and how suf­fer­ing a mis­car­riage left her feel­ing “lost and alone”.

“I felt like I failed be­cause I didn’t know how com­mon mis­car­riages were be­cause we don’t talk about them. We sit in our own pain, think­ing that some­how we’re bro­ken,” Mrs Obama said.

The Oba­mas even­tu­ally turned to IVF treat­ment which led to the con­cep­tion of her two daugh­ters, Malia and Sasha, who are now aged 20 and 17.

“The bi­o­log­i­cal clock is real be­cause egg pro­duc­tion is lim­ited,” Mrs Obama said. “I re­alised as I was 34 and 35, we had to do IVF. I think it’s the worst thing that we do to each other as women, not share the truth about our bod­ies and how they work.”

Asked why she chose to re­veal that the pair had mar­riage coun­selling, Mrs Obama said: “For those young peo­ple out there who think that mar­riage is sup­posed to be easy. Mar­riage coun­selling for us was one of those ways where we learned how to talk out our dif­fer­ences. What I learned about my­self was that my hap­pi­ness was up to me.”

The me­moir ful­fils half of a deal that pub­lisher Pen­guin Ran­dom House struck with the Oba­mas for each of them to pub­lish a book, re­port­edly for a sum worth more than $60 mil­lion (£46m). She will do a 10-city pro­mo­tion tour for her book, which will in­clude Lon­don.

Mrs Obama also crit­i­cises Mr Trump for fu­elling the so-called “birther move­ment”, which de­manded Mr Obama pro­duce his birth cer­tifi­cate. Only US cit­i­zens are al­lowed to be pres­i­dent.

Mrs Obama wrote in the book that she would “never for­give” the cur­rent pres­i­dent for “putting my fam­ily’s safety at risk”. She added: “The whole [birther]

‘I felt like I failed be­cause I didn’t know how com­mon mis­car­riages were’

thing was crazy and mean-spir­ited, of course, its un­der­ly­ing big­otry and xeno­pho­bia hardly con­cealed. But it was also dan­ger­ous, de­lib­er­ately meant to stir up the wing nuts and kooks.”

Asked about that com­ment yes­ter­day, Mr Trump hit back by say­ing Mrs Obama “got paid a lot of money to write a book and they al­ways in­sist that you come up with con­tro­versy”. He added: “Well, I’ll give you a lit­tle con­tro­versy back. I’ll never for­give him for what he did to the United States mil­i­tary by not fund­ing it prop­erly.”

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama gives Michelle Obama a kiss as they wait for Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump and wife Me­la­nia at the White House be­fore the in­au­gu­ra­tion on Jan 20, 2017

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