Throughout her years as First Lady and beyond, Michelle Obama projected an image of warmth, perseverance, and magnanimity, but she’s never been what one might call an open book.
Now her new physical book Becoming is giving us some insight into the personal struggles she left out of our public imagination. The memoir comes out Nov. 13, but early readers are already reporting some of the more intimate facets of the book, including Obama’s battle with infertility. While trying to start a family, Obama miscarried—a common, but heartbreaking reality for many women trying to get pregnant. Other celebrities, including singers Beyoncé and Pink, have famously opened up about their own miscarriages.
"I felt lost and alone and I felt like I failed because I didn't know how common miscarriages were, because we don't talk about them," Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts. "We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we're broken."
She would later use in vitro fertilization to conceive Malia and Sasha. "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 and I realized that as I was 34 and 35. We had 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 and how they don't work."
Despite the Obamas frequently photographed affection, Michelle is also transparent about their marriage troubles in her book. “Marriage counseling for us was one of those ways where we learned how to talk out our differences,” Obama said. "I know too many young couples who struggle and think that somehow there's something wrong with them 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."
Elsewhere in Becoming, as CNN points out, Obama discusses the politics of her times in the White House, and writes that she will never forgive Donald Trump for fueling the birther conspiracy against her husband. "The whole thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed," the former First Lady writes. "But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."
“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," she continues.
Obama will tour Becoming across 10 cities, kicking things off in her hometown of Chicago on Tuesday.