Michelle Obama Opens Up About Her Miscarriage—and Donald Trump
The former first lady is jumping right into the press tour for her new memoir.
Michelle Obama‘s highly anticipated memoir, Becoming, is finally here, bringing her accompanying press tour along with it. The latter may have just started, but Obama has already jumped right into it: Even just a clip of her primetime ABC News special, which airs in full on Sunday, is making waves, thanks to an excerpt of her candidly discussing the miscarriage she went through two decades ago.
At the time, Obama told Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, she and Barack Obama had their minds on her so-called “biological clock” and were aiming to start a family. Around five years after they married, the pair discovered that that wouldn’t be as easy as they’d thought. After her miscarriage, Obama, who was unaware of any other women going through the same experience, felt herself fill with shame. “I felt lost and alone, and I felt like I failed,” she told Roberts. “I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them—we sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”
“I think it’s the worst thing we do to each other as women: not share the truth about our bodies and how they work and how they don’t work,” she continued. (To be fair, that’s certainly easier for a former first lady to say than a woman without as much experience or resources.)
The Obamas, of course, eventually welcomed their daughters Sasha and Malia, now 17 and 20, into their family—a result, Obama told Roberts, of IVF, or in vitro fertilization. “I realized that as I was 34 and 35, and we had to do IVF,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important to talk to young mothers about the fact that miscarriages happen, and the biological clock is real because egg production is limited.”
Obama also gave a preview of how she goes into more detail about her relationship with Barack, from their first kiss to their experience with marriage counseling, in the book. “I know too many young couples who struggle and think that somehow there’s something wrong with them,” she told Roberts. “And I want them to know that Michelle and Barack Obama, who have a phenomenal marriage and who love each other, we work on our marriage. And we get help with our marriage when we need it.”
Family turns out to also be the reason why, as she puts it in Becoming, she’ll “never forgive” Donald Trump, whom, now that she’s out of the White House, she’s clearly comfortable with directly criticizing. That’s especially true when it comes to Trump’s “crazy and mean-spirited” birther conspiracy, which she described as more than just thinly veiled xenophobia and bigotry.
“It was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks,” she writes in the book, continuing on to a resounding conclusion: “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.”
Related: Michelle Obama Thought Melania Trump’s Inauguration Gift Was Awkward, Too
Michelle Obama Might Be the Best Dressed First Lady Since Jackie O
Michelle Obama in Alexander McQueen at a state dinner in Washington, D.C., January 2011.
Michelle Obama in Azzedine Alaïa in Baden-Baden, Germany, April 2009.
Michelle Obama in Ralph Lauren in London, England, May 2011.
Michelle Obama in Michael Kors on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, January 2012.
Michelle Obama in Thom Browne at President Obama’s second inauguration in Washington, D.C., January 2013.
Michelle Obama in Carolina Herrera at a state dinner in Berlin, Germany, June 2013.
Michelle Obama in Marchesa at the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, D.C., May 2014.
Michelle Obama in Bibhu Mohabaptra at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner in Washington, D.C., September 2014.
Michelle Obama in Zac Posen at the BET Black Girls Rock! special in Newark, New Jersey, March 2015.
Michelle Obama in Mary Katrantzou in London, England, June 2015.
Michelle Obama in Christopher Kane in London, England, June 2015.
Michelle Obama in Carolina Herrera at the arrival of Pope Francis in Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, September 2015.
Michelle Obama in Vera Wang at a state dinner in Washington, D.C., September 2015.
Michelle Obama in Tanya Taylor in Washington, D.C., March 2016.
Michelle Obama in Jason Wu at a state dinner in Washington, D.C., March 2016.
Michelle Obama in Carolina Herrera arriving in Havana, Cuba, March 2016.
Michelle Obama in BCBG at the opening ceremony for the Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, May 2016.
Michelle Obama in Naeem Khan at the Nordic state dinner in Washington, D.C., May 2016.
Michelle Obama in Hugo Boss speaking with Oprah in Washington, D.C., June 2016.
Michelle Obama in Marni in Monrovia, Liberia, June 2016.
Michelle Obama in Proenza Schouler in Marrakech, Morroco, June 2016.
Michelle Obama in Peter Pilotto in Marrakech, Morocco, June 2016.
Michelle Obama in Proenza Schouler arriving in Madrid, Spain, June 2016.
Michelle Obama in Preen in Madrid, Spain, July 2016.
Michelle Obama in Christian Siriano arriving at a memorial for police officers killed in Dallas, Texas, July 2016.
Michelle Obama in Christian Siriano at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 2016.
Michelle Obama in Brandon Maxwell at a state dinner honoring the first family of Singapore in Washington, D.C., August 2016.
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 08: First lady Michelle Obama speaks during the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities poetry reading to honor student poets at the White House, September 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. The first lady honored five students with the nation’s highest honor for teen poets presenting original work. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Michelle Obama in Naeem Khan at the Phoenix Awards dinner in Washington, D.C., September 2016.
Michelle Obama in Self-Portrait at the Broadway Shine a Light event in New York, New York, September 2016.