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'I had miscarriage and used IVF to conceive our girls', says Michelle

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Michelle Obama writes about everything from growing up in Chicago to confronting racism. Photo: Getty

Michelle Obama writes about everything from growing up in Chicago to confronting racism. Photo: Getty

Michelle and Barack Obama with daughters Malia and Sasha

Michelle and Barack Obama with daughters Malia and Sasha

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Michelle Obama writes about everything from growing up in Chicago to confronting racism. Photo: Getty

Michelle Obama has said she felt "lost and alone" after suffering a miscarriage 20 years ago, and revealed how she and her husband Barack underwent IVF treatment to conceive their two daughters.

"We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn't going well," the former US first lady (54) writes in her new memoir, which is due to be released on Tuesday.

"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," she writes.

Anticipated

Mrs Obama's memoir, Becoming, is one of the most avidly anticipated political books in recent memory.

In it, she writes of being left alone to administer herself injections to help hasten the IVF process.

Her "sweet, attentive husband" - who became US president in 2008 and served two terms - was a member of the state legislature at the time, "leaving me largely on my own to manipulate my reproductive system into peak efficiency".

Memoirs by former first ladies, including Hillary Clinton, are usually best-sellers.

Until now, Mrs Obama has offered few extensive comments on her White House years.

IVF, a form of assisted reproduction, typically involves removing eggs from a woman, fertilising them with sperm in a lab and implanting a resulting embryo into the woman's uterus.

It costs thousands of euro for every "cycle", and many couples need more than one attempt.

"I felt like I failed because I didn't know how common miscarriages were, because we don't talk about them," Mrs Obama said in an interview broadcast yesterday on US TV.

"We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we're broken."

She said she and Mr Obama underwent fertilisation treatments to conceive daughters Sasha and Malia, now aged 17 and 20. In the memoir, she also writes openly about everything from growing up in Chicago to confronting racism in public life and becoming her country's first black first lady.

She also lets loose a blast of anger at president Donald Trump. She writes in the memoir that Mr Trump's questioning of whether her husband was an American citizen was "crazy and mean-spirited, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed".

"But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks," she writes.

"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."

Mr Trump suggested Mr Obama was not born in the US but on foreign soil - his father was Kenyan. In fact, the former president was born in the US state of Hawaii.

Misogynist

Mrs Obama also expresses disbelief over how so many women would choose a "misogynist" over Mrs Clinton in the US election of 2016.

She remembers how her body "buzzed with fury" after seeing the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Mr Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women.

She also accuses him of using body language to "stalk" Mrs Clinton during an election debate. She writes of Mr Trump following her around the stage, standing nearby and "trying to diminish her presence".

She launches her promotional tour on Tuesday in Chicago, where tens of thousands of people have bought tickets - from $30 (€26) to thousands of dollars - to attend.


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