Unlocking the Taboo around Infertility

I’ve always had a passion for writing and, in my early years, I was a high-performing English student often entering short story contests. When I finished school, I had started a lot of projects with the intention of creating my first ‘bestseller’, but they tended to go nowhere. Often the story lost its interest, or I felt that it wasn’t strong enough to take forward to the end.

Unfortunately, growing up, getting a professional career and life in general swayed my focus on writing. Nonetheless, the ambition was always there, nagging me, reminding me that one day my time would come.

With writing, I needed to feel focused on the subject or the story. It needed to be something that would be constantly front-of-mind, building out the paragraphs and chapters in my head, and then translating them into something that others would read. The challenge with it not being my full-time profession is that when work or something else took precedence, the story would disappear from my imagination, and it was difficult to bring it back with the same intensity that it started. Until now.

‘Finding the Rainbow’ started as my personal journal. It was initially an escape, something to help me through a very difficult time in my life. In essence, it was a form of therapy, as I dealt with the emotions throughout my early pregnancies, miscarriage and potential infertility. Personally, it was more helpful to document my feelings rather than talk to a counsellor, a stranger.

As my situation progressed, and my miscarriages became multiple occurrences, my story grew. Throughout my experiences, I had searched for books or memoirs about miscarriage. Unfortunately, besides the standard informational books, there were very few published stories out there with actual experiences. I found a lot of women’s and baby forums, but these were question and answer boards, and I realised there was not a lot available to women in my situation to share their experiences openly.

It was then I felt inspired to send my work to a few publishers. The first publisher I contacted, responded to my work. It was only part finished at the time but they wanted to see the full manuscript — and this was my incentive to make this work into something that would connect with readers.

The book was easy for me to finish, it was a subject that took up my consciousness every hour of every day. It still does. I became passionate about how I wanted to represent my story; I didn’t want it to be filled with graphic details, but more about how I coped with each circumstance, my own journey, and what I learned about myself along the way.

The editing and publishing process took around six months, partly because I was so focused on having my work released I responded very quickly to each request given by my editors. I won’t lie, it was incredibly difficult to re-read my story each time, reliving each moment, and scrutinising my emotions over again. At times I relied on my husband, my parents and even my friends to vet my writing, reassuring me that I was about to do the right thing by going public with something so personal.

Now it’s on sale, there is no turning back. I’m still daunted by the concept that the general public can now read my story; share such a personally challenging experience. But, I’m also encouraged by such a positive initial response to my memoir, and congratulations of courage for being so open.

So is there another story in me, another book? I honestly don’t know. I hope the answer is ‘yes’, but it would need to be a story that again sparks my passion to write it through to the end, something I feel will be different, stimulating and worthy of its audience.

Finding The Rainbow is out now. For more information visit www.findingtherainbow.net