Shannan leigh

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Our Fertility Journey : Our Next Steps After Miscarriage

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First of all, I want to thank every single one of you that read our story and/or reached out after sharing our experience with recurrent pregnancy loss. It was something I sat with for months, wether or not to share this bit of life with the internet. You all made it much easier than I anticipated and I am grateful for that. If you have not read our story, I recommend starting there…you can read it here!

I’ve gotten a lot of great suggestions from you guys about things I should look into or be tested for, which was so kind and helpful. Luckily, I’m a relentless problem solver when it comes to something I want, so I had already done a ton of research on possible causes that might apply to us.

In my search, I came across Jenna Kutcher’s blog post about the naturopathic fertility doctor she was going to see after her two miscarriages (which were oddly similar to mine). I’d followed Jenna for years on Instagram as a photographer, so I was familiar with her story and knowing she finally had her baby after two of her own losses made me feel hopeful. It also made me feel confident that seeing this doctor was my next step.

The Doctor

On recommendation from Jenna Kutcher, I called Shine Natural Medicine in San Diego, CA right away to book an appointment with Dr. Noel. The staff was kind and SO patient. They must have spent 20 minutes on the phone with me going over options and what to expect. I can’t say enough nice things about them honestly, which means a lot coming from me, terrified of all doctors and nurses.

The Appointment

I got to my appointment with Dr Noel early because I hate being late. I spent a good 20 minutes pacing their small waiting room because I was SO nervous. My hands were completely trembling and I was walking a hole in the floor when Dr. Noel came out to greet me. We sat in her office and talked about everything under the sun. My childhood, my habits, my history, what I want out of this appointment. After 10 minutes I was totally calm and happy to be there. Dr. Noel has the most warm and casual energy that just makes you feel totally safe and calm. It’s the perfect fit for such a sensitive patient.

The Tests

After talking for a full hour about my history and my day to day we decided on the following tests – which were mostly done via blood draw in their in house lab. It was quick and painless!

  • Comprehensive Bloodwork – This test covers A LOT. Thyroid, cholesterol, heart disease risk, blood sugar, etc.
  • Micronutrient Deficiency Test – Tells us if I have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies to correct
  • MTHFR – A gene mutation that causes blood clotting and has been linked to miscarriage
  • Wheat Zoomer – Tests for gluten intolerance and bacteria in the gut
  • Cycle Mapping – A month long at home urine test that tracks my hormone levels throughout my cycle

In The Meantime

Once we get these test results back we will have a better idea of what steps we can take to get my body operating at it’s prime. Until then I have continued to take my prenatal, we added a fish oil, and a protein shake once a day. I’m also walking 30 minutes a day to help with stress levels.

Dr. Noel also stressed the importance of dental health during our appointment. Growing up I had never been to the dentist – none of my family goes. I actually went for my first cleaning about two weeks before my appointment with Dr Noel. I was lucky enough not to have any cavities, but I do have a bacteria under my gums that has been linked to miscarriage before. Since my appointment, I have had the first half of my deep cleaning done and my second half is in just a few days. Dr Noel also put me on this mouthwash twice a day which helps rid that bacteria you shouldn’t be swallowing! Hopefully this will play a key role in getting my body to where it needs to be to host a healthy baby!

These tests can overwhelm me for sure. I’m nervous to see the results honestly. But I know that these are the steps I need to take to have a healthy pregnancy so we are taking it one day at a time!

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September 25, 2020


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A photographer of all things life & love. Dog mama to two tiny pups that have my whole heart, and married to my best friend of 13 years. Together, we share a little house on Lemon St.

I’m Shannan Leigh.

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