The Obamas have opened up about what many would describe as their biggest secret – having to go through in vitro fertilization to conceive their two daughters.
The two resorted to IVF after the former First Lady, Michelle Obama was left feeling “lost and alone” following a miscarriage 20 years ago.
“We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well.”
“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 54-year-old Mrs Obama wrote in her upcoming memoir “Becoming,” cited by The Associated Press.
Touching on their IVF, Mrs Obama said her “sweet, attentive husband” was then at the state legislature, “leaving me largely on my own to manipulate my reproductive system into peak efficiency.”
In an interview with Robin Roberts, which aired in part on Good Morning America on Friday, the former first lady said she decided to come public with her painful experience to help others who have had to go through a similar situation.
“I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” she said. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”
“That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important to talk to young mothers about the fact that miscarriages happen,” she explained.
IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Despite its high cost, most women are now sorting for IVF as it has been generally successful, especially for women under age 35 and those using donor eggs.
For women of all ages, the odds of a live birth are between 34 and 42 per cent over three cycles, according to verywellfamily.com.
The daughters of the Obamas – Sasha and Malia, now 17 and 20 respectively were conceived through IVF when Mrs Obama was between 34 and 35 years, she told the ABC special.
Her revelations come on the back of the announcement by actress, Gabrielle Union that she and husband Dwyane Wade are parents to a baby girl.
The child, whose name is yet to be disclosed, was born on November 7 via surrogate, the actress said in an Instagram post on Thursday.
Since their marriage in 2014, this is the first child between Union and Wade. The “Being Mary Jane” star recently came public about her struggles with infertility in her book, “We’re Going to Need More Wine,” saying that she had multiple miscarriages.
Union and her husband have been raising three children together, two of Wade’s he had in an earlier relationship and his nephew. She is now a new mum to the excitement of many people.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama is expected to launch the sale of her memoir, “Becoming” this Tuesday.
The memoir, according to wmagazine.com, “chronicles the story of how she grew up in a brick bungalow on the South Side of Chicago with her parents Fraser and Marian Robinson, attended Princeton University as a first-generation college student, graduated from Harvard Law, met and married Barack Obama, and became the inspirational icon that many look up to today.”