Parenting News

Why this woman is "grateful" for her miscarriage

Two weeks after finding out she was pregnant, Shelly Mettling had a miscarriage.

By Bettina Tyrrell
Shelly Mettling

Sadly, miscarriage is still a taboo topic, despite the fact that in Australia, one in five confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage before 20 weeks.

But one young woman has courageously shared the story of her miscarriage and it has opened up an important dialogue among women.

Two weeks after discovering she was pregnant, Shelly Mettling, 28, miscarried. Unbelievably heartbroken, Mettling took to her Instagram account to talk about her experience. Sharing a snap of her partner Matt and herself, red-eyed and exhausted in bed, Mettling summed up her last 72 hours with an "UGH."

"The only word that truly describes the emotions," she wrote.

Mettling goes on to explain that two weeks ago she received the news that their family of two, was growing to three.

"We were excited, nervous, and extremely grateful!" she recounted.

Sadly those emotions disappeared, and while they lay in bed after losing their baby, Mettling describes her feelings as "angry, emotional, sad, confused, and frustrated."

Yet with incredible strength, Mettling explains that she was still holding on to one of the feelings she felt two weeks prior, when she was pregnant. Grateful.

"I'm grateful that I got to feel (even for a short time) the power of motherhood!" she wrote.

"I'm grateful that I got to experience the bond that a woman feels the instant she finds out she is growing a little human in her belly."

"I'm grateful I got to feel the love I was capable of feeling/giving to someone that I had never even met."

The amazing young woman also said that she was grateful for her family and friend who were checking on her and lifting her up after she’d been "so knocked down, it's hard to visualise standing again!"

"I'm sad, I'm heartbroken, I'm torn to pieces. But I'm grateful!" she concluded.

Mettling’s brave story touched many women, who then jumped on her Instagram account to show their support and share their stories.

"I'm so sorry Shelly!" said one woman. "We've been trying for 2 years, if you ever need to chat."

Another wrote: "Very sorry to hear...Having been a parent who has lost a child, I understand and feel your pain."

"My first baby would have been 17 years of age November 10th," wrote one Instagram user. "You never ever forget, but I am truly blessed with my family I have now."

Why we need to talk about miscarriage

Recent studies have suggested that women suffer silently with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after losing a baby.

A study on nearly 90 women who attended the pregnancy clinic at Imperial College London for a suspected miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, showed that almost four in 10 women met the criteria for probable PTSD three months after suffering the loss of a pregnancy.

Findings like these highlight the importance for us to have a more open discourse around miscarriage.

Thankfully there are honest and selfless women like Mettling who are opening up the conversation.

Stories of miscarriage

In recent times, Australian celebrities have also publicly shared their own experiences of miscarriages in an effort to let women know they are not alone. Celebrities who have miscarried and spoken openly about it include, Aussie model Megan Gale, I Quit Sugar author Sarah Wilson, radio host Em Rusciano, Tina Arena who suffered three miscarriages, and Beyonce who had a miscarriage before giving birth to her daughter Blue Ivy.

We love that Mettling shared her story and that she was able to find optimism and hope in a dark time. We just wish that the responsibility to speak out didn't just fall on women. Losing a baby isn't just a women's issue, it affects us all.

If you, or someone you know has suffered from a miscarriage, loss of a child, or PTSD and would like to talk to someone, visit PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia) or phone 1300 726 306.

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