I didn't follow the race that closely, and had no strong opinion on the matter -- other than thinking (a) that it was pretty cool that, one way or another, we were likely to wind up with a female premier (at last!) & (b) isn't it too often the way, the only time a political party ever hands over the reins of power to a woman, it's when things can't get much worse for them anyway?
But I was reminded when reading this profile of leadership candidate & runner up Sandra Pupatello that perhaps it might have been nice to have a political leader who has an intimate understanding of the heartache of infertility, pregnancy loss and involuntary childlessness.:
She’s also known heartache.
In October 2003, there was a stunning story in the Toronto Star that Pupatello was four months pregnant after seven miscarriages over 13 years. The story resonated because it seemed so painfully private. This was her fourth attempt using in vitro fertilization. While she was over the moon, she hadn’t wanted it publicized, but Star reporter Richard Brennan guessed. He’d known her forever and urged her to let people know about her “miracle.”
She later miscarried.
“It changes you,” she says. “It knocks anything other than modesty right out of your system. You have to go through tough things in order to understand other people’s pain. There are things you can’t control and you have to let go.”
She’s thrown herself into being a good Italian zia to her brother Walter’s three children, taking them to Queen’s Park and acting like a second mother.
I remember reading that 2003 story about Pupatello's pregnancy and previous miscarriages. I already knew she was "one of us" in that respect -- someone I knew through our pg loss support group knew her, knew her story and had tried, unsuccessfully, to enlist her support for our organization.
But I didn't know she had also lost that baby too. And I didn't realize the story behind the story, either. I feel badly for her -- not just for all her losses, but also because (a bit like Kate Middleton), she was pressured to bare her soul and tell her story and talk about her pregnancy before she was really ready to do so.
The cynical journalist in me realizes that reporter knew a good human interest story when he saw it. (I wonder how he felt later.) The cynical deadbabymama in me also thinks that only someone who has never been through infertility, &/or never lost a pregnancy, could think it was OK for someone who was just four months pregnant, after seven previous losses and four IVFs over 13 years, to talk publicly about "miracles." Ahh, the innocence of the uninitiated...