Finding the Rainbow: Rachel McGrath on Miscarriages, Writing, and Staying Positive

One of the best parts of reading Finding the Rainbow by Rachel McGrath is feeling like you’re talking to an old friend. In her memoir about recurrent pregnancy loss, she shares her story with candor, humor, and truth, fully acknowledging the pain and hope that live in tension in the hearts of women who go through this kind of struggle.

In my review, I gave Rachel’s book five stars and recommend it highly (purchase links are at the bottom). Rachel kindly agreed to let me ask her some questions to find out more about her personal journey and her decision to write about it.

Tegan: What made you decide to write a book about your experiences?
Rachel: I actually didn’t start out with the intention to write a book What I do remember is writing down my experiences in the form of a journal as a way to help me through the hardest times (particularly the miscarriages). I remember sitting in bed for hours, trying not to feel sorry for myself. By writing about what had happened, it helped me find ways to look at the future differently, perhaps more optimistically and to always find a hopeful angle. I had kept it all on a Word document, and when I realised how much I had written, I started to play with the formatting and layout, thinking that perhaps if someone else read this story, it might help them feel less isolated throughout the experience.

Tegan: How did you decide what to share and what to keep private? I was touched by the level of detail you reveal in the book. It helped me connect to you and your story.
Rachel: Unfortunately (for me) I didn’t keep anything private – except names! It is all there, the warts and all, including the ‘almost break up’ with my now husband. I wanted my story to be honest and intimate, so it was important to take my readers through everything, regardless of the consequences. Some of the chapters also exposed some of the feelings, situations and experiences and whilst I did not name anyone, many have come to me after asking who I was referring to. Of course anonymity has been my primary focus for friends and family, but anyone who knows me well have made well calculated guesses. Nevertheless, I did have a few friends and family read it before it was published just to sense check my own sanity, and luckily there have been no friendship fall outs as a result!

Tegan: Society in general still struggles to feel comfortable with topics such as infertility and pregnancy loss. What impact do you hope your book will have on how the public views these topics?
Rachel: There are more and more blogs out there on this topic, and I am seeing more books developing/being published with personal stories. It is uncomfortable and even when I tell people about my book, some feel they need to apologise to me. It is not their fault of course, but it has been an interesting way of saying ‘congratulations’! I work in the corporate world and there has definitely been a mixed response to the fact that I wrote about my experiences, as most people would not even share that they are ‘trying’ until they have good news to share. I’m glad however that I have written about it, and I’m pleased with how it is being received. I hope that it helps other women feel comfortable to talk about it, if they want to.

Tegan: How have your friends and family reacted to reading your story?
Rachel: My friends, family and especially my husband have been incredibly supportive, from the first submission right through to my continuous blogging and sharing of my experiences. Many who have read it found it insightful to really understand my emotions, and have said that at times they had not realised how emotional the ride was. Many friends who have dealt with infertility have applauded my honesty and can empathise with much of the book; my husband finds reading the book difficult at times, as it really does bring you back through the pain and heartache in parts.

Tegan: Where are you on your journey to parenthood? (And I want to applaud you for writing the book even though your ultimate “happy ending” is yet to be decided.)
Rachel: I am still dealing with the ‘storm’ and hoping for a rainbow! Since my last miscarriage, I had some medical problems that have actually halted my ability to conceive. Currently I am seeking specialist help to overcome this, to give us that one last try. IVF is a potential possibility within the next twelve months, and we truly hope we will get there. Nonetheless, we are also open to alternative options for parenting in our future, so essentially our rainbow may show up in a slightly unexpected way!

Finding the Rainbow is available for purchase on Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K.

Rachel McGrathRachel McGrath grew up by the seaside in Queensland, Australia, where she studied before moving to the United Kingdom in her early thirties. She currently lives near London in the United Kingdom. Rachel has always had a passion for writing both fiction and non-fiction and she has only recently published her first novel. Finding the Rainbow is an intimate memoir through her challenges with trying to conceive and recurrent miscarriage. Rachel has also started blogging, specifically on her own fertility journey, a subject she feels is not openly talked about and she is passionate to share with a wider audience.

Top image via Flickr by Cessna206

Pumpkins, Peace, and Preparation: Why I Heart Autumn

That quote from my debut novel, INCONCEIVABLE!, captures so much of what I love about the fall. (Yes, I know this whole post has a whiff of “basic white girl” but I don’t care. I’ve decided to embrace it.) Autumn is a time of peace, preparation for winter weather and the holidays, and a beautiful season of transition. Now that September is here, I’ve put together an Ode to Autumn . Hope you enjoy, and let me know what you love about this season.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

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Aside from the distinctive feel and smell of autumn’s air, pumpkins are the most obvious sign of the season’s arrival. I kind of love that these festive gourds pull double duty as both decor and a delicious ingredient. Because I’m all about easy when it comes to making food, I love whipping up a batch of pumpkin whip. It has very few calories, but is so delicious.

Peaceful evenings

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One of the reasons I love autumn is because there’s a sense of finding and embracing a routine. The hectic summer months are over, the kids are in school, and there’s a kind of turning: turning from busyness to a slower pace, turning from ridiculously hot weather to the calm cool of autumn’s afternoons, and turning from a palette of green to a palette of gold. Taking a stroll down the sidewalk, soaking up the colors of the last leaves lingering on the branches…it doesn’t get better than that.

Preparation for what’s to come

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Autumn is a time of transition, a few weeks to prepare for the next busy season and its demands on our time and wallets. Take a few moments to sit on the front porch with a pumpkin spice latte and meditate. Or listen to music. Or read a fabulous book. Just give yourself some quiet time. Admittedly, this is challenging for me with three wee ones running around. But it’s worth setting the goal to have this outside quiet time once a week…as long as the weather allows. Use these peaceful moments to rest and enter the coming season refreshed and ready to go.

What do you love most about this time of year?

Top image via Flickr by Nanagyei

Pumpkin on porch image via Flickr by John Loo

Fall lane via Flickr by joiseyshowaa