Former first lady gets personal in new memoir
‘Becoming’ touches on her struggle to have kids, anger at 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 sheds new light on the Ivy Leagueeducated 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 Becom
ing, 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.”
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 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.
“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. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”
She said they underwent fertility treatments to conceive daughters Sasha and Malia, now 17 and 20.
In the memoir, Obama also writes that Trump’s questioning of whether her husband was an American citizen was “crazy and meanspirited” — and “dangerous.” Trump suggested Barack 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.”
Obama launches her promotional tour Tuesday at Chicago’s United Center, where tens of thousands of people have purchased tickets to attend the event moderated by Oprah Winfrey.
Michelle Obama (left), along with her daughters and husband, walked their dog Bo at the White House in 2009.