Former First Lady Michelle Obama is known for being classy, poised, feminine yet strong, beautiful and really an all-around picture of womanhood without giving up details of herself.
Mrs. Obama has revealed a very intimate and painful struggle: She had a miscarriage and went on to use in vitro fertilization, or IVF, to conceive their two daughters 20 years ago.
In an in-depth interview for Michelle Obama’s new memoir, Becoming, the Associated Press reported that the Obamas turned to IVF after a miscarriage left them feeling alone, “failed,” and “broken.”
“We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well,” the former first lady writes. “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.”
By the time she hit her mid-30s, the former lawyer told ABC’s Good Morning America, she had a growing awareness that “the biological clock is real” and “egg production is limited.”
“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, 54, said. “We sit in our pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”
So she sought out IVF treatments from a fertility doctor and began giving herself hormone shots, the AP reported. While her “sweet, attentive husband” worked at the state legislature, she was left “largely on my own to manipulate my reproductive system into peak efficiency.”
Eventually, Obama became pregnant, first with Malia, who is now 20, and then Sasha, now 17.
But Mrs. Obama is the first Black woman to battle infertility issues. Infertility affects at least 12 percent of all women up to the age of 44, and studies suggest Black women are more than twice as likely to experience infertility as white women.
Yet only about 8 percent of Black women between the ages of 25 and 44 seek medical help to get pregnant, compared to 15 percent of white women.
The numbers don’t lie. Black mothers giving birth in the U.S., in this day and age, die at three to four times the rate of white mothers.
According to the most recent CDC data, white women in America experience just under 13 deaths per every 100,000 live births; for black women, it’s more like 44 deaths per 100,000. And the United States is an outlier among other wealthy countries in that our maternal mortality rates continue to trend upward at the same time that every other developed nation in the world has managed to lower theirs.
Maternal death has become a full-blown public health crisis in the Black community.
But surviving childbirth is not a sufficient measure of whether a woman’s labor and delivery experience is successful, and there is evidence to suggest black moms are…
Source: Black Doctor – Healthy Living