Michelle Obama spoke with TV broadcaster Robin Roberts about her struggles to get pregnant almost two decades ago. She revealed that she later conceived using in vitro fertilization (IVF), a process in which an egg and sperm are combined outside of the body.
The former first lady, 54, told the Good Morning America host that she felt “lost and alone” after she suffered a miscarriage before having daughters Malia and Sasha.
“I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” Obama said. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”
She continued, “That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important to talk to young mothers about the fact that miscarriages happen.”
Obama revealed that after her miscarriage, she and her husband, Barack, used IVF to conceive their daughters, who are now 20 and 17.
She mentioned the reality of the biological clock and how egg production becomes limited after a certain age. “I realized that as I was 34 and 35,” she told Roberts. “We had to do IVF.”
The former first lady wanted to share her hardships to help other women. “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,” she said.
Obama is not alone in that sentiment; other prominent figures, including Kim Kardashian West and Gabrielle Union, who both welcomed babies via surrogacy, have spoken publicly about their pregnancy struggles.
The former first lady shared the revelation just ahead of the Nov. 13 release of her memoir Becoming, in which she gets candid about growing up in Chicago, being the first African-American first lady and why she will never forgive President Donald Trump.
Obama will go on a 10-city stadium tour to promote the book. It kicks off on release day with a discussion moderated by Oprah Winfrey at Chicago’s United Center.
The ABC special, A First Lady’s Journey: Becoming Michelle Obama with Robin Roberts, airs Sunday at 9 p.m.
.@MichelleObama to @RobinRoberts: "I think it's the worst thing that we do to each other as women, not share the truth about our bodies." Watch the @ABC special covering her journey to motherhood and more from her memoir, "Becoming," Sunday night 9/8c. https://t.co/ONXwpuZ3WF pic.twitter.com/IoWLQSLuGd
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 9, 2018
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.