Obama strug­gled with in­fer­til­ity

For­mer first lady also says in mem­oir she’ll never for­give Trump

The Detroit News - - News - BY LAURA KELL­MAN As­so­ci­ated Press

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,” Mrs. 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.

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.

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

M. Obama

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