Michelle Obama’s new memoir, Becoming, gives the nation a more intimate look at what the Chicago native’s ascent to first lady was really like. Along with calling out President Donald Trump, the former FLOTUS also got real about her journey to becoming a mom.
When she and her husband were first trying to getting pregnant, Obama suffered a miscarriage, The Washington Post reported after receiving an advance copy of the book. Both Malia and Sasha were later conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF), and Obama explains how she was administering hormone shots while her husband was across the state in Springfield, Illinois serving in the state legislature.
“I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” Obama told Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts in a sit-down interview about her book. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.” She explained that those feelings are exactly why “it’s important to talk to young mothers about the fact that miscarriages happen.”
Because Obama was 34 when trying to get pregnant, she started to realize that “the biological clock is real” and that they needed to do IVF, she told Roberts.
“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,” Obama said.
Most people on social media seemed pleasantly surprised to hear the former first lady talk so candidly about the difficulties of trying to get pregnant, writing on Twitter that more leaders should speak openly about their experiences with infertility.
Obama’s memoir also revealed her feelings about the current president, whom she and her husband have been careful not to directly criticize since leaving the White House. She specifically called him out for his comments about women and for boosting the birther conspiracy theory.
“The whole [birther] 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 wingnuts and kooks,” she wrote, per The Post. “What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls? Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him.”
Becoming officially hits bookstores Nov. 13.
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