Michelle Obama got candid with Good Morning America about her past fertility struggles.
The former First Lady revealed that she suffered a miscarriage nearly 20 years ago and that she conceived both daughters using IVF.
“I felt lost and alone and I felt like I failed,” she says in a clip from Becoming Michelle: A First Lady’s Journey with Robin Roberts, which finds Obama expanding on topics explored in her upcoming new memoir, Becoming, out Tuesday.
At the time, Obama, 54, and former President Barack Obama, 57, were trying to start a family and she was feeling the pressure of her ticking “biological clock,” she tells Roberts. Eventually, the Chicago native turned to in vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to conceive the couple’s daughters Malia, 20, and Sasha, 17.
Reflecting on it now, Mrs. Obama says she wished she knew other women had experienced miscarriages as well — a lesson that would have helped lift the shame she associated with it.
“I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” Mrs. Obama explains in the ABC interview. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”
She’s hoping that by sharing her story, other women don’t feel that same isolation.
“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 — I realized that as I was 34 and 35, and we had to do IVF,” she tells Roberts. “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.”
Her miscarriage and IVF journey are just some of the many revelations in Becoming. The memoir has Mrs. Obama tracing her life from a child on Chicago’s South Side through the eight years she spent in the White House as first lady.
Check out the video below. Becoming Michelle: A First Lady’s Journey with Robin Roberts airs on Sunday (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.