Michelle Obama has opened up like never before.
In an exclusive interview with ABC News anchor Robin Roberts, the former First Lady revealed the challenges she and former President Barack Obama faced when they were trying to start their family—among them, the revelation that she had a miscarriage over two decades ago. Obama shared her painful struggle with a raw, refreshing sort of honesty;
“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,” the former FLOTUS told Roberts. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”
The couple eventually conceived their two daughters, 20-year-old Malia and 17-year-old Sasha through in vitro fertilization. She spoke about the necessity of discussing miscarriage frankly and openly:
“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,” said Obama. “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.”
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You can’t tell it from this photo, but Barack woke up on our wedding day in October, 1992 with a nasty head cold. Somehow, by the time I met him at the altar, it had miraculously disappeared and we ended up dancing almost all night. Twenty five years later, we’re still having fun, while also doing the hard work to build our partnership and support each other as individuals. I can’t imagine going on this wild ride with anybody else.
Obama expounds on these struggles and much more in her upcoming book, Becoming, available on Amazon and elsewhere on November 13. Becoming also covers the relationship struggles that accompany a presidential marriage. She shares the couple had sought counseling after their insane schedules began to take a toll on their relationship, “for those young people out there who think that marriage is supposed to be easy.”
“Marriage counseling for us was one of those ways where we learned how to talk out our differences.”
The former first lady also voiced her realization that she was in charge of her own well-being. “What I learned about myself was that my happiness was up to me and I started working out more, I started asking for help—not just from him, but from other people. I stopped feeling guilty. It’s important for me to take care of myself—that’s not on Barack,” she said to Roberts.
“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.”
Becoming Michelle: A First Lady’s Journey with Robin Roberts will air Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.