"The storm is destructive, it leaves pain and damage, and sometimes that can never be repaired." Finding the Rainbow is the the title of Rachel McGrath's latest book, which symbolises the journey many women face after a miscarriage.

The book is a memoir of the struggles Rachel herself experienced when trying to conceive and carry a pregnancy.

"As a woman with no health issues, I was completely unaware of the challenges that far too many women face today with fertility, especially over the age of 35, which I was at the time," says the 39-year-old from Kings Langley.

"We had not expected our journey to be so difficult, and as I faced each obstacle, my way of coping was to write a journal. It was my husband who encouraged me to send my writing to a publisher, and I was fortunate enough for the story to be of interest."

Finding the Rainbow, for which Rachel recently won the People’s Book Prize Non-Fiction Award, details the Brisbane-born author's journey from conception, through multiple miscarriages and the limited answers to why fertility was such an issue for her.

"More than that, it is also the heartbreak, the loneliness, the highs and lows, as well as the uncertainty through trying to conceive, early pregnancy and loss," explains Rachel.

"The book ends after my fourth miscarriage, and with a small hope that we may have found the reason why I was experiencing such loss. That was more than two years ago.

"Since then, I’ve hit further obstacles, different challenges, and have even been faced with potentially accepting that I may never carry a baby to full-term. What was diagnosed as unexplained recurrent miscarriage, then turned to be a number of further medical challenges and treatments."

At her own expense, Rachel had to seek alternative medical advice and that is how she found out what was at the core of her struggles with conceiving.

The Australian HR consultant explains how she had a very mixed experience with the NHS.

"As a woman over 35, much of my earlier challenges were put down to age and I wasn't offered any testing. I had to seek my own specialist advice at my own expense, and that is how I found out about my blood clotting disorder. I asked for counselling after my third loss, which was devastating both emotionally and physically, but nothing was provided.

"Finding the Rainbow tells part of this throughout its story, and I’m of course careful, as I know that the NHS is understaffed and has budgetary constraints.

"The core issue I was experiencing was a simple as a blood clotting disorder. My blood was thick and sticky, and when a foetus is just millimetres in size, it was clotting and stopping the flow to the heart. All of my miscarriages were at around six to seven weeks, and would reach a slow heartbeat or no heartbeat at all."

After her fourth miscarriage Rachel underwent a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) procedure, which is often done to remove tissues from inside the uterus, to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage.

"The procedure did a lot of damage to my uterus and its lining, preventing me from actually being able to have a normal cycle or fall pregnant," Rachel tell me.

"This condition is called Asherman’s Syndrome and many women go undiagnosed for years after a D&C. That itself was heart-breaking, as I had the solution, but then could not even fall pregnant.

"I underwent several medical procedures to correct the damage that was caused, but I had a wonderful specialist and we had caught the condition early."

Rachel is currently 35 weeks pregnant - something, which after being diagnosed with Asherman's Sydrome, she thought would never happen.

"We found out three days before Christmas that I was pregnant, naturally. We had actually booked into an IVF consultation for early January to start that process.

"I’m turning forty this year, and my husband and I decided that time was running out and perhaps we did need assistance. However, two weeks before the appointment we found out we were having a baby. It was a wonderful surprise as we had started to lose hope.

"While it took more than 18 months to correct the damage from the D&C, it took only three cycles to fall pregnant. I am taking blood thinning injections daily, and we are looking forward to meeting our little man in just four weeks’ time.

"The injections have made all the difference to helping this pregnancy thrive. I am booked in for a planned C-section at week 39 given my history and the fact that this pregnancy has been classed as high risk."

Although delighted to be finally able to carry her baby full-term, Rachel admits that her pregnancy has been nothing but eventful.

"In the first two weeks over Christmas, I was experiencing similar symptoms to my prior miscarriages, so I didn’t expect the pregnancy to progress. However, we were more than elated to finally hear a strong beating heart at seven weeks.

"We had another bout of hiccups at around 14 to 16 weeks, where I spent time in emergency. I was referred to a consultant, and I’ve been placed on regular scans since, and given strict instructions around rest, travel and exercise.

"Finally, we found out that our little man has bilateral talipes (club feet) at 20 weeks, which is completely manageable, but again just another bump in the road.

"As you can imagine, each time it's been a setback but it has made us even more determined to reach the end of this storm to meet our Rainbow baby.

"While we have done lots of tests and had a myriad of scans, there is always a concern that there may be something else we’ll discover at birth. However, we will deal with whatever is thrown at us, we’ve come this far and fought hard enough, and I still have fight left in me."

Rachel is also planning on releasing a sequel to Finding the Rainbow, called Embracing the Storm, which will tell the second part of her story.

Details: rachelmcgrath.net