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  • Dr. Stephanie Davis

My Story of Eczema, Infertility and Miscarriage

Updated: Apr 4



I'm sharing my story with you because I think it’s SUPER important to change attitudes on child loss AND, inform people about the link between inflammation, autoimmunity, and infertility.

Bear with me first though- some confessions.


First, you'll notice as you read this that I started writing it and stopped. I couldn't bring myself to finish it, let alone publish it. I was still too afraid and broken.


Second, because of the support and inspiration of many of my superwoman friends and colleagues in the health space, I’ve been able to process my traumas and gather the courage to share this with you all. I have so much profound gratitude for them.


Third, (trigger warning) there are some very raw and vulnerable moments, so you might cry reading it as I have both writing and editing it.


My Story

Miscarriages SUCK and are still taboo in our culture. This is really unfortunate because those of us who have suffered in the dark know what a lonely, hellish place they can be. NO ONE should have to suffer in silence when they’re dying inside. And sadly, no one can really relate unless they’ve ever suffered the loss of a child. It leaves you with a hole inside that never really goes away.


[Thoughts from when I started writing initially] I’m doing something I never do right now. I’m attempting to write this in the throes of many conflicting emotions. On one hand I’m extremely happy because my little sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy. It’s a pretty exciting time for our family since I had my little girl almost 5 months ago.


On the other hand, I’m feeling very, very sad. 

Alone. 

Gnawing, aching pain.

Because today is the anniversary of my first miscarriage. That was one of the hardest days of my entire life.

Worst day ever.

Looking back, it taught me many lessons about life, autoimmunity, and health. But that doesn't make it hurt less.


On Christmas day two years ago I was trying to act like it was a normal day. I should have been extremely happy to watch my almost three year old open his presents and have family over. I was in the kitchen prepping Christmas dinner, but deep down inside I knew something was very wrong.

I was wearing a shirt that said "joy” and I couldn’t have felt further from that. I knew deep down that I was probably having a miscarriage. I went through the day thinking, “things like this happen, women have spotting and cramping and they still have healthy babies.” I was in complete and utter denial in my conscious mind. My subconscious mind was sending me hints of the truth though. 


I made it through dinner and went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I had a sense of impending doom that would not leave. 


Like many women, I tend to labor in the middle of the night. The cramps I had earlier got worse and then my worst nightmare was realized. I was definitely having a miscarriage.


If you’re far enough along it proceeds much like labor. I’ll spare you the details because it was HORRENDOUS as I'm sure you can imagine. And if you've experienced it, you know all too well (and I'm so sorry).


The experience is seared into my brain. I wish it was a foggy memory but I can’t forget. I remember sitting on the bathroom floor just sobbing and feeling so alone. My husband was there but I don’t think he knew what to do. I just sat there for what seemed like an eternity.


I was numb. 

I didn't know what to do and I felt so horrible I felt nothing. 

Eventually, I laid back in my bed next to my husband, but I felt like I was the only person in the world.

I couldn’t go to sleep so I went downstairs to our couch, laid in the fetal position and cried for 4 hours. Literally to the point I was nauseous and had no tears left.

The next several days were a blur.

I was largely catatonic. My sister was one of the few people I told and she came over and brought me flowers which I really appreciated but it still felt unbearable. I’ve had a few low moments in my life but I don’t think I’ve ever truly felt depressed.

I was quite depressed after this. I was still so numb. Thankfully, I had my son because if I didn’t I really don’t know what would have happened.

After a bit I came out of my funk and we tried again.


I got pregnant again in March and was cautiously optimistic. Things seemed to be progressing fine. I made it past the 8 week mark and was breathing a minor sigh of relief since that is when I had my first miscarriage. But then at 12.5 weeks, I had another one (on my brother's birthday!). 


This one was different though. My body remembered the still very fresh trauma.  It was agonizing again, but I felt like I knew what to expect and went through the motions.

Almost like an out of body experience.

Again, I'll spare you the details. And again, I really only told my sister and super close friends.

I suffered in silence.

I don't want that for you.

It's the worst feeling in the world.

And, it's the opposite of what you should do. I wish I reached out for more support both times. And now there are resources out there for us.


For mamas that’ve experienced any loss, you know your world will never be the same. There will always be a hole in your heart for your little angel. As time goes on it hurts a little less but it will creep up on you when you least expect it and that empty, hollow feeling can return.


Mother’s Day will never be the same, even if you have children. The two Mother's Days after I had my miscarriages were filled with both happiness, love and profound sadness. 


The one when I was pregnant with my daughter was particularly hard. I was 5.5 months pregnant, sad and silently hoping that everything turned out fine because I didn’t know if I could handle another even more dramatic loss. I cried A LOT that Mother’s Day in a mix of hormones, fear, and grief.

Rainbow BabyThankfully, my story had a happy ending (and I'm so sorry if yours didn't). My amazing and beautiful rainbow baby was born in August of 2018. She’s such an amazing little girl. She’s been so sweet and so happy from day one.


I don’t take for granted how incredibly blessed and lucky I am because I know that there are women out there that won’t get that chance.


Women’s health, fertility, pregnancy, and birth are sacred. We need to support each other through the good and the bad. We need to make a long-term commitment to each other not just in the days and weeks after a birth or a loss, but in the months and years that follow. Because these moments become the fabric of Who We Are and intertwine us all together. They form the blanket of support that we need to give one another.


So, I want you to know, I am here for you.

And those ladies I thanked above are probably why I was able to get pregnant again and keep the baby to term.


Together, we ran a bunch of tests on me. My hormones were low across the board (thyroid, adrenals, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone). I had dysbiosis from a combo of stress, mold, and previous birth control pill use.


The likely culprit for my losses began as STRESS. Decades of emotional stress and more recent biochemical stress from mold exposure. That chronic stress depleted my hormones, damaged my gut and cells, and caused food sensitivities, nutrient depletions, autoimmune thyroid (Hashimoto's) and eczema.


You need progesterone to maintain your pregnancy and I couldn't make enough. I had enough to get pregnant, but not enough to stay pregnant. This is a big problem for women today. We're all depleted from the stress, trauma, and the abuse we put our bodies through.


I also realized I had lots of trauma to address. (I didn't realize at the time exactly how SIGNIFICANT this would be to my healing. It was the single most important thing I did.)


And so I got to work to address all of this.


The Fix


Since my hormones were a mess I got on compounded, bioidentical DHEA and progesterone. I also dialed in my dose of compounded T3/T4. I knew I needed to get my hormones going in the right direction quickly and this was the best way for me, especially since I’ve had reactions to other types of hormone support in the past.


I went on an anti-inflammatory diet to calm my system down and start to heal my gut. Then I did 8 weeks on a dysbiosis protocol for pseudomonas and staphylococcus (using herbal blends and probiotics) with liver support. I followed that up with 3 months of gut terrain rebuilding and immune support. I also did LOTS of work on resolving past traumas using several different therapies. 


When I was 8 months into my healing plan, I missed a period and found out I was pregnant even though I wasn’t actively trying. In my mind I had resigned myself to only having one kid. 

Again, mixed emotions.


I was so happy, but SO scared. I went through 75% of the pregnancy scared. 

Loss traumatizes you in ways you can’t imagine. I was super paranoid constantly. 

I took progesterone for the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy- 4 weeks longer than was recommended because I was that worried. I think it helped?  I know the physical, mental and emotional healing really did. 


You know the rest of the story.

I had my beautiful rainbow baby.

But that doesn't mean there aren’t scars and wounds that surface from time to time. 

So, I need my tribe, which now includes you. 

I’m here if you need me, because I want to help mamas be healthy, get rid of autoimmunity and chronic issues, resolve their trauma, and have healthy babies.

That is my mission.


And, we have to support each other. As women we need to use our voices and not stay in the dark.

It took me a couple of years to come out and share this, but I'm so happy I did. Because if I help even just one mama get through her dark time or resolve her root causes to have a healthy baby, I've accomplished my goal.


I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day 2018 no matter your circumstance. Earth babies and angel babies all count!! It's okay to feel both happy and sad too. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

If you know anyone that could use support, please share this with them. I really wish I had reached out for more help or someone gave me a gentle nudge to get more support. If they aren't ready, just be there for them through the process and step up when called upon. 


2024 Update: In 2023 I developed the Thriving Mama Program and Thrive Mama Tribe community so we can all have the village of support that we need. These ideas had been living in my brain since I wrote this original story in 2018! 


In March 2024, I launched The Thriving Mama podcast bringing you resources, support, and tips you can use today to reach all of your health goals: physical, mental, and emotional. 

Every mama at any stage of her motherhood journey has a huge place in my heart. 

I see you. I hear you. I get you. And, I love you. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything. 



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