Michelle Obama had miscarriage, used IVF to conceive girls

This cover image released by Crown shows "Becoming," by Michelle Obama, available on Nov. 13. (Crown via AP)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama says she felt "lost and alone" after suffering a miscarriage 20 years ago and she and Barack Obama underwent in vitro fertilization to conceive their two daughters.

"We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn't going well," Mrs. Obama, 54, writes in her upcoming memoir. "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."

The Associated Press purchased an early copy of "Becoming," Mrs. Obama's memoir and one of the most avidly anticipated political books in recent memory. In it, she writes of being alone to administer herself shots to help hasten the process. Her "sweet, attentive husband" was at the state legislature, "leaving me largely on my own to manipulate my reproductive system into peak efficiency."

Obama's family revelations are some of many included in the book from a former first lady who has offered few extensive comments on her White House years. And memoirs by former first ladies, including Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, are usually best-sellers. "Becoming" is set to be released Tuesday.

IVF is one form of assisted reproduction and typically involves removing eggs from a woman, fertilizing them with sperm in a lab, and implanting a resulting embryo into the woman's uterus. It costs thousands of dollars for every "cycle," and many couples require 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," the former first lady said in an interview broadcast Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America." ''We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we're broken."

Mrs. Obama, said she and Barack Obama underwent fertilization treatments to conceive daughters Sasha and Malia, now 17 and 20.

In the memoir, Mrs. Obama also writes openly about everything from growing up in Chicago to confronting racism in public life and becoming the country's first black first lady.

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