By Billy Perrigo
Updated: November 9, 2018 9:15 AM ET

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has revealed she had a miscarriage 20 years ago, and that she used in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help conceive her daughters, Sasha, 17, and Malia, 20.

Suffering a miscarriage made her feel “lost and alone,” Obama said in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America Friday. “I felt like I failed … I didn’t know how common miscarriages were, because we don’t talk about them.”

“We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons I feel like it’s important to talk to young mothers about the fact that miscarriages happen.”

Obama has a new memoir, Becoming, coming out Nov. 13, which contains more information on her “journey to motherhood,” according to GMA.

“We had to do IVF,” she told GMA’s Robin 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.”

In her memoir, Obama also opens up about the effect Donald Trump had on her and her family – first as a leading proponent of the “birther” movement that claimed husband Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim born overseas, and then as a candidate in the 2016 election.

She called the birther fiasco “crazy and mean-spirited … its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks.”

Michelle Obama also reveals the conspiracy theory, promoted by Trump, made her fear for her life and her children’s lives. “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.”

And when Trump won the 2016 election, she writes of her shock of how the American public elected a “misogynist” instead of “an exceptionally qualified female candidate,” according to GMA.


Write to Billy Perrigo at billy.perrigo@time.com.

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