Shelly Mettling is the host of the Life After Miscarriage Podcast, a beautiful space for people to talk about their experiences exactly as they are.
Today we are chatting about the power of sharing your story of loss and love. Whether you have never spoken about your loss to anyone, or you have been feeling the pull to share in front of a lot more people, this episode will help you understand the power in opening up, even when it’s scary.
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Music provided by ZingDog / Pond5
Photo provided by Shelly Mettling
Hi. Yes. Thank you for having me. I’m nervous. It’s funny, I was thinking because you have an amazing podcast, but. Usually it’s people sharing their stories, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, we’ll, it’s, it’s rare for me to take the mic.
Yeah. Well, that’s awesome. I’m glad you’re being brave. Usually when I start, I like to give moms an opportunity just to share a little bit about their babies’ lives and maybe like a special memory you have and maybe a lesson that they taught you and. You have four babies that. Lost? Yes. Okay. Yep. Yep. Four angel babies and two here on Earth.
Do you have any little memories or, or things that you remember from being pregnant with them that you’d wanna share? Um, so my one thing that honestly, like when I first shared my story publicly, I actually shared pretty quickly after my first loss because I didn’t really know anybody else who had been through loss.
So I didn’t really have anybody to talk to. Um, I. I shared that shared, although I was grieving and heartbroken and it was traumatizing, I was extremely grateful for my babies because I. When we first started trying, I wasn’t necessarily sure I was ready. And I know that that sounds really weird ’cause I feel like most people are like, I just always knew I wanted to be a mom.
Um, but I was more like, oh gosh, like I’m not really sure, you know, how I, how I feel about this, but like, I know I wanna be a mom, but I don’t know if I’m ready for being a mom. And I honestly never felt like I would feel ready to be a mom. Um, but the second that I. Got pregnant and got that positive pregnancy test, I became a mom and I loved it and I was so into it and I was like, yes, this is the time I am ready.
Um, so I always say that I’m very grateful for my babies helping me realize that it was my time and it was. Just, it was time to like step up and become a mom and move on to that portion of of my life. And yeah, that’s one thing that I’m very extremely grateful for my first four pregnancies is I was like, yes, this is it.
I do want this. You know, they helped me realize that. That’s awesome. And I think there’s probably more people out there listening that, that weren’t sure if they’re ready, um, than you might think. For sure. First, I wanted to talk today, and I invited Shelly on because she does have a beautiful platform for sharing stories and just talking about the power of sharing stories.
I wanna just say to begin with, you don’t have to share your story, and I think Shelly, we’ll talk a little bit about it, but it’s not better to share your story or whatever. But if a lot of times we feel scared or nervous about sharing our story of loss or. Kind of worried about what other people are gonna think.
So today I just wanna talk about the power of sharing our babies from a place of love. And I was wondering what did inspire you to start your podcast and maybe tell us a little bit about where to find it and all that. Yeah, so I started sharing my personal journey on Instagram and YouTube. That was kind of where.
Where I, I was vulnerable and you know, kind of gave a platform for myself as like therapy for me, um, to just kind of like connect with other people who are going through the same thing. Um, when I got pregnant with my fifth pregnancy, which is my son Ryan, he is earth side, um, here with us. So he was my very first like healthy, full-term pregnancy.
Um, and. I was pregnant with him and I kind of came to the realization that like I was. Feeling stuck in the middle. I’ve been a part of this infertility community for so long, this miscarriage community, it became such a big part of me. It was my family. It is my family, and here I am also kind of a walking trigger, you know, like I felt like a walking trigger.
I almost felt like, um, survival’s guilt. I don’t know if that’s the right term for it, but that’s kind of how I took it, is like, okay, like I’m here, I’m making, I’m going to the other side almost, and I still. Wanted to be a part of this community that I felt so included in still, and I just wasn’t necessarily sure how to do it.
Continuing to share. My story and I knew like I wanted to continue to share my story, but I knew it wasn’t gonna be for everybody. I wasn’t gonna be able to support that community the same way that I was before. Um, and so I realized how healing it was for me to share my story. I. Throughout the process, I figured it would be extremely healing for other people to share their stories.
But I also knew how healing it was for people to hear my story. So I was like, okay, it’s probably gonna be very healing for them to hear other people’s story. Um, so I wanted to find a platform that was able to kind of give two. Ways of healing, healing through sharing and healing, through hearing. Um, and that’s how I came up with the Life After Miscarriage podcast.
So the Life After Miscarriage podcast is, it’s not about me, it’s not about my journey, it’s about everybody else in the community, what I call the Lamb family, the life after miscarriage family. So, uh, women sign up and they share their pregnancy loss stories. Um, it can kind of range from anywhere from, I mean, it can be first term miscarriage, second term miscarriage, third term.
Quote, unquote, chemical pregnancy. I don’t like that term. If you follow my story, you know why I had a lot of them. I don’t like that term. Um, but it can also be infant loss. Um, stillbirth, like pretty much any sort of like baby loss story. It’s a place to be vulnerable, a place for people to find healing and sharing their own stories and giving purpose to their story, um, by helping other people as well.
Yeah. Yeah. And I love that. I love that you really thought about both sides of it. ’cause I think it is so powerful to hear other people’s stories and know that you’re not alone or the things that you’re thinking like they’re not crazy. Yeah. You just going through something, um, that so many women go through, but it feels so isolating.
And like you said at the beginning, like it’s not for everybody to share their story. You know, like it really helps a lot of people, um, to share their story, but it’s not for everybody. A lot of people like to hear stories instead or both. Um, so just really gives a platform and an opportunity to take whichever side you’re most comfortable with.
So I was gonna ask you. What do you think holds people back? Like when you talk to people, when you listen to people, what is kind of some of those fears that people have about sharing their story? I think it’s the fear of what other people are gonna think, to be honest. And I know that’s what it was for me too, but I’ve always been very, um, good about pushing that fear to the side and being like, well, screw other people.
This is about me. My healing. Not that I’m like a selfish person or anything like that, but like I’ve just always been very good about like, Not really caring what other people think, but I think that that is a very common fear for us as humans is to just kind of fear what our family members are gonna think, what our friends are gonna think, even what strangers are gonna think.
But I also think that that’s what’s really cool about this podcast is I. If you do share your story, you don’t have to share your story, if that makes sense. Like you share your story with the community. You don’t have to tell your family members about it. You don’t have to tell your friends about it.
Like, you know what I mean? Like you’re sharing with a very comfortable space, people who have been through it. Um, now don’t get me wrong, some people wanna spread that awareness and they do share with their family members, and they do share with friends and social media and um, whatnot. But yeah, I think most people.
Feel a little bit held back in that sense because of what other people are gonna think. Like maybe they shouldn’t be grieving the way they’re grieving or, um, just a lot of people have opinions out there in this world, and I’ve gotten a lot of them myself just by sharing my story. Another thing I think that a lot of people struggle with, and maybe you could speak to a little bit, is I think we get worried that we’re gonna get emotional if we share our story, if we start talking about it.
So what would you say to someone who’s afraid of getting emotional when they’re talking either publicly or just like to family or whoever? Um, how do you deal with that? Yeah, I mean, that’s kind of where I struggled actually. I, I hate getting emotional in front of people. I. So I had a really hard time talking to my family members about it because I knew that if I did, I would start crying or whatever.
Like we’re a family that doesn’t really like hug and like doesn’t, it’s just kind of who we are. Um, so that’s why I actually led more with the social media side of things because I could. Cry and talk to a camera or you know, talk to my phone or whatever. And technically I was by myself. Granted I was about to hit post and share it with the world.
Um, but in the time being like I was able to get emotional and let it out, and that’s where like the therapeutic side of it came out for me. Um, because I didn’t necessarily do that all that much in person. So I, I mean, I completely understand that fear. One thing that I always tell the guests on the podcast, on the Life After Miscarriage podcast before we hit record, I’m always like, nothing’s off limits.
So like, don’t filter yourself. I, I am even like, if you wanna curse, go for it. Um, cry. Go for it. We’ve all been there. There’s no such thing as t m I on this podcast because almost everybody listening is listening because they’ve been there and they understand. And so I think that that’s kind of like a comforting aspect too, is like, okay, if I get emotional, like it’s okay because most likely everyone listening gets emotional as well.
I love that answer. Yeah. And I always say too, like tears are not a problem. You know, when I’m coaching clients and stuff and talking to people, it’s just like, it doesn’t bother me. It’s okay to cry. Yeah. You wanna be emotional like your baby died. So, mm-hmm. It can be really emotional, so not to be afraid of those emotions and, and letting them out.
’cause I think that’s a great way that we do. Like connect with each other. Yeah. Vulnerability is a superpower and Breen Brown always says it. I dunno if you like read her books or listen to anything. Of course. Who doesn’t? Yeah, I know, right? She always talks about vulnerability and how powerful that it actually is.
And like personally, when I hear somebody cry while sharing their story, it makes me feel less alone, you know, because it’s like, oh, okay. Like I’m not. Crazy for being so emotional about this. Like, she’s emotional about this too. Like this is normal and there’s, there’s, there’s power in that. There really is.
So speaking of, you talked about that you have also a YouTube channel, and I had a question that for me, being online and having an online presence has been like the hardest part of growing my business, and so, mm-hmm. How do you. Deal with, um, you mentioned like you do get some feedback from people and you are in the public, like even though you’re recording at home alone, like you are putting it out there for the world.
So how do you deal with maybe the fears and the vulnerability of that, or maybe the feedback that people give you? When you do put yourself out there in like a bigger way, honestly, like it really does get to me at times, like, we’re only human and it’s gonna get to you when people, you know, have negative things to say about you.
But, um, for the most part, I, I just always remind myself that like, this is me, this is my story. I’m not talking about anybody else. And. If they wanna disagree with it or talk about it, like that’s on them. They’re dealing with their own struggles because I’m not pointing my finger at them, they’re pointing their finger at me, and that tells a lot more about their character than my character.
Um, so that’s just something that I always try to remind myself of. And a lot of times it might just be two because they don’t understand, you know? And I hope that they never do. Yeah, I think that too. That’s something that I think about a lot when people say things or do things. I’m just like, I’m glad you have no idea.
Yeah. What this like, it’s very hurtful, but I’m also very glad that you don’t understand it because if you did, you would have a very different. Opinion right now. And I notice sometimes you’re able to get your wonderful husband to share. And if you guys don’t follow Shelly, like you have to follow her on Instagram.
So how do you get your husband involved? Or what is that dynamic like? ’cause I know for a lot of people, at least for me, it was like my husband’s very supportive in a very quiet way. Like he’s never gonna. He wouldn’t have ever gone to a support group or been really open with stuff, but I love it when you can get your husband to participate in what you’re doing.
So how does that all work for you? Oh gosh. I’m totally shocked when he does like, because he’s a very quiet, we actually really struggled, uh, during our infertility journey because he’s, he’s very shut, shut off. And I’m like very vulnerable. Like I will just. Lay it all out there and he, um, he did not grieve the same way that I did.
He almost grieved the loss of time. And I grieved like the loss of our babies, if that makes sense. Like he was like, oh gosh, like now it’s gonna take even longer you like, you know what I mean? Like it was more of like a time thing for him. And don’t get me wrong, I did too, but I also felt the grief of like losing my child.
And so, uh, I. I talk about, I have a whole chapter of this on my life after miscarriage ebook. Not, I shouldn’t say a whole chapter. It’s a pretty short read. It’s like literally a one sitting type of a read. But I have a chapter on marriage and, um, I talk about the, the time that I realized that I. My husband couldn’t necessarily be my support system in this because of the way we were grieving so differently.
And I did turn to people who did understand it, women who have been through it, women whose bodies have been through it. Um, and I turned to them more for my support system, which happened to be social media. For me, it really helped our marriage because I think I just was expecting him to like, Constantly gimme the right answer.
But because we were so different in the way we were grieving, he always gave me what I would call the wrong answer. For him. It was right for me, it was wrong. Um, but when I can get him to share. On social media, I have to, I actually have to very much like block myself off of getting like mad at him.
Like I have to be like, okay, nope. This is his story, not mine. Almost the same way as I think about the haters, right? Like I can’t be a hater. This is his way, not mine. Um, but it, it’s pulling some teeth sometimes to get him to come onto my social media. That’s actually why he, he makes very rare appearances, but he does make them from time to time.
Yes. Well, and it’s always amazing when he does, so I know everyone’s always like, oh, he is great. And I’m like, see Matt, come on, get on here more.
I feel like honestly, if you looked at my social media, you would think I was single. Well,
it’s funny, but I love what you said. I mean, that’s what I, I really want people to know too. And just echo what you said is like sometimes your husband, your significant other, whoever it is for you, like they can’t be everything and mm-hmm. Looking at them for that support all the time is really hard on the relationship.
And just finding other ways to support yourself. It’s just like take so much pressure off. Um, so I love how you explain that. Yeah. Well, and I think, you know, some people’s husbands are their support system and that’s awesome. I. Like, so cool. Like if you, if you have that, but it’s not, every marriage is not like that, you know?
So I think that it’s okay to say that too, because I think it’s kind of an embarrassing thing to say, like a shameful, like, almost like, oh my gosh, my husband’s not support, you know, like, it, it’s, it’s okay. He, like you said, he can’t be there for everything. Let’s just talk a little bit more about the power of sharing your story and.
I mean, how would you just explain the power that you see, like as you listen to stories, as you’ve shared your own story? What is that power of talking about our babies? Yeah. I think that it, it’s, again, kind of comes back to like the power of vulnerability. Like the only way vulnerability is like the bridge to connection.
Um, it’s just like how us humans can relate to one another and we can build like true, genuine connections. Uh, but for me, sharing my story and the, the strength that it had in like my healing process was that it gave me purpose, uh, it gave me purpose behind everything that I was going through. Like, I wasn’t going through it for no reason type of a thing.
Now, I don’t suggest ever saying that to like anybody else who is grieving. Like everything happens for a reason type of a thing. Like it’s just not the most, yes. I don’t know. When you like lose your baby and somebody says that to you, you’re like, F you. Um, but like for me, like internally, I truly did think like, okay, what can I do with this?
Why is this happening to me? And instead of kind of saying like, why me change that into, because I’m me, because I am vulnerable and able to share my story and connect with people on that level. Like I, I truly feel like that’s why this happened to me so that I could help other people. And that’s kind of the purpose that I’ve felt behind everything.
It just really helped me in my healing process, and I think that’s what it is for. A lot of people as well, and just helping people not feel so alone in the process. Because once you go through it, you do truly realize like how lonely it actually is. I love that. Like your platform. And there’s other, you know, places that we can talk about our babies.
We want to because we’re their parents. Mm-hmm. Right? And so there’s, yeah. And that’s how we can continue to parent them. Yeah. Just talk about them. Mm-hmm. And it’s okay to, you know, it might be awkward, you might be emotional or you might just love it. Like, I feel like I have talked about, um, Lauren and River so much that it just, like, I love talking about them.
So any chance I can get, um, to talk about them and I think what, first after your loss, it can feel a lot more vulnerable. But also a lot more urgent. You know, you just like want to tell the world about your babies. For me, it was just really important to be able to share them and tell my story and tell about their life and not just their death.
I don’t know. That’s what’s been really helpful for me is just to, yeah, I love that. Yeah. Just like include them, you know? Yeah. I’ve heard from so many women that it, it’s like their way of parenting. I. They’re like continuing to parent their children, you know, even though they’re not here on earth side, you know, if you can continue to share their stories and talk about them and enjoy them, you know, like enjoy the time that you had with them and, um, share the good times, share the bad times, just like parenting or side children, you know?
Yes. Share the good. Yeah. And I think it’s okay to evolve too, right? Mm-hmm. Like you said, you know, you’re in the infertility community, you’re going through a lot of losses, no living children, and then when you did have a baby, it’s like, okay, now what? I think people sometimes do have that fear that you talked about.
It’s like, where do I fit? Or I don’t wanna, you know, make anybody upset or, yeah. Um, all of that. So it’s okay to evolve in your story too. Like I don’t always talk about. I talk about them a lot, obviously here, but like It’s okay to evolve in your story too. Yeah, 100%. And um, it is, it’s an awkward transition for sure.
Is there just any last message you’d wanna tell somebody who’s thinking about sharing their story or who’s a little bit afraid or maybe wants to share in a bigger way? What would you tell them? Yeah, I think I would. If you’re feeling the pull, like listen to it. Definitely do it because I think when you do, it’s, it’s a totally different healing process than you, you’ll ever.
Feel like it, it’s almost like a weight lifted off of your shoulders. Like, okay, it’s almost like you’ve been carrying this like secret and you just need to like let it out and really sit into the world. And even if you aren’t ready to share it with, you know, your immediate like close friends and family.
You can share it with the community, and this is one hell of a community, like this Community is the most supportive community that I have ever been a part of. And I am, I, I always say, welcome to the club. Not welcome to the club. Like, I wish you weren’t here, but welcome, like, we’ll welcome you with open arms.
And it’s just such a supportive group of women. And so if you do wanna share, like this is the, to do it within this community. And I think that will give you strength then to move forward and maybe share more publicly. Yeah. You just reminded me that, you know, a lot of times the fear leading up to it, right?
Like that heaviness, that burden of the secret. Mm-hmm. Like the being afraid to share is so much worse than when you actually do share it. I mean, obviously some people have really tough experiences when they share their story, but I think more often than not, You’re gonna get so much love and support back that you didn’t even.
If you knew before, you wouldn’t have been as scared to share. So yes, it’s, it’s that thing. We just build it up in our head as like this big, scary, vulnerable thing. But once you just talk about it, a lot of times you’ll be pleasantly surprised, I think. Yeah. People come out of the woodworks and they’re like, Hey, I’ve been there.
You know, people that you would’ve never known have been there because they too have that fear of sharing their story. Yeah. Thank you so much, Shelley, for being here. Like she said, she’s got her Lamb Fam Life After Miscarriage podcast and I was lucky enough to be a guest. I had to go look it up. I was episode 1 64 and kind of shared my whole long tail, and Shelley was just patient.
Let me spill it all out. So definitely check it out and I’ll put all her links in the show notes. But thanks so much for being here. Thank you. I appreciate it. It’s fun to kind of be on the other side of the podcasting. Totally. Taking jig. Yeah. Alright, thanks girl. You can find Shelly at Shelly meting.
That’s Shelly with one E. Or at Lamb Fam Podcast, and both of those are just amazing accounts to follow. If you’re not following me on Instagram, I am at Amy Smooth Stones Coaching, and if you are filling the pull to tell your story, but you’re scared, whatever your situation is, wherever you want to share, you’re just really nervous about it, why don’t you reach out to me?
I would love to talk to you and figure out what you’re afraid of and how to move forward so that you can share your story. Whether it’s just telling your family, telling your rainbow baby about the baby that came before them, or something bigger, like starting your own podcast or YouTube channel. I would love to help you figure out what that’s gonna look like for you and just help you get rid of some of those jitters.
I’ll put a link in the show notes. You can sign up for a free call with me. I look forward to talking with you. Until then, thank you so much for being here. I love you guys. You’re doing amazing. You’re doing a great job. We’ll talk to you soon.