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Former journalist Tarah Schwartz recounts journey to motherhood in new memoir

Veteran CTV News anchor shares her struggles with infertility and adoption to help others
December 6, 2022
By Julie Barlow, MA 94

A woman in a grey sweatshirt with light brown hair in a bun looks ahead while her young son, who has short black hair and is wearing a red sweatshirt, hugs her from behind. The pair are standing outside in front of a lake. Tarah Schwartz, BA 94, is pictured with her son Sam.

Former CTV News anchor Tarah Schwartz, BA 94, has many tales to tell from her 20-year career of reporting and delivering the news. But her new book tackles a very different story. In Can’t Help Falling: A Long Road to Motherhood, Schwartz recounts how “years of sadness and heartbreak and pain” turned into “joy and love and hope” as she struggled to become a mother.

The result is a book as heart-wrenching as it is inspiring.

Schwartz and her husband Enrico lost a baby in vitro at five months. She endured failed attempts at IVF and another miscarriage. Then, after she and her husband decided to adopt a child in South Korea, their hopes were dashed at the last minute when the child’s birth mother changed her mind.

There were more setbacks to come. After being matched with another child — Sam, who is now her son — in South Korea, Schwartz travelled to Seoul to pick him up, only to discover that his visa had not been issued, thus beginning a weeks-long mystery to find out why. But there was a silver lining: “While waiting for the visa, we got to spend six weeks together, just the two of us.”

Tara Schwartz has red, shoulder-length hair Tarah Schwartz

‘I decided to put it all down on paper’

Schwartz did not intend to write a book when she began jotting down notes about the emotional roller coaster of trying to become a mother. “Every time I hit a roadblock I wondered if it was a sign from the universe that I wasn’t supposed to be a mother in this way,” she says.

“I had so many things going on inside of me. I’ve always been a lover of words, and I decided just to put it all down on paper so it would be somewhere safe. I didn’t want to let any of it go.”

At one point, Schwartz realized that sharing her experience might help others. “When I got to the end of it — and I felt like it had an ending — it was really big for me, because for so many years I didn’t know what our life was going to be. I thought, wow, could this be something that helps others?” 

Schwartz submitted her manuscript to Montreal publisher Linda Leith, of Linda Leith Publishing, who decided to move forward with the book. “I know why, in their acknowledgments, authors always thank their editors,” she says. “Editors do so much work with you to help you turn a manuscript into a book.”

Image of book cover by author Tarah Shwartz features two hands below the book's title Can't Help Falling: A Long Road to Motherhood Tarah Schwartz hopes to "offer compassion and hope" in her memoir about the various — and often difficult — paths to motherhood.

‘I dove in and did it’

Schwartz says she loved every minute of her time in communications studies at Concordia. “I was actually a shy student and my goal was to work in sound. I got my very first job in radio with help from my sound teacher Daniel Feist, a DJ at Mix96 at the time.” 

After graduating, Schwartz quickly discovered she had a talent for being in front of the camera. “My first TV job was as weather presenter at the Weather Network. They showed me a blue screen and said ‘Show us the weather.’ I just dove in and did it. It was like I already knew how to do it.” She was then hired for a news anchor position with Global Television Network in Halifax, before being hired by CTV News in Montreal, where she spent nearly two decades as news anchor and reporter between 2000 and 2018.

She decided to leave CTV several years after becoming a mother. “Local news was changing a lot. We’d lost our sports department. They eliminated our research department. I felt that the time I was spending away from my family didn’t feel like a good trade anymore. I truly loved my time at CTV, but news-anchor hours are not the easiest and I felt like it was time to go.”

Schwartz, now director of communications and marketing for the MUHC Foundation, believes her book will be helpful for couples struggling with infertility. “Infertility is a really lonely journey. I have had so many messages from women, saying thank you.  My goal was to offer compassion and hope, and to make us feel less alone.”


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