Hello! My name is Denise Stephenson. I am 35 years old. I was born and raised in the Philippines. I came to the United States when I was 21 years old.
I met my husband Scott in Los Angeles, California 12 years ago and we now live with our three dogs in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We’ve been married for 10 years.I grew up in a country where you are taught that you need to keep your thoughts and grievances to yourself or else shame will rain down upon you.Meeting Scott was a breath of fresh air. I never felt so free and so loved in my entire life. I fell in love with him during the time when he was in the thick of battling an Auto Immune disease called Rheumatoid Arthritis. It was crushing to see the man I love go through so much pain and suffering.
I didn’t bring up my hopes and dreams of becoming a mother for a really long time because for me, his health and well-being comes first. Although we did not use any contraceptive because we thought maybe it would “just happen” that way.
Our quest for a cure went on for many years. At some point we decided that whatever the Western Medicine has to offer is the best offer we can get for something that doesn’t have a cure. Miraculously he is healthy today.
So it was not until 3 years ago that we decided that we were ready to open up our lives to raising a child. We started trying with timed intercourse. I regularly peed on a stick. I tracked my cycle. I checked off every list of old wives tales for getting pregnant. It was not happening and my heart started experiencing pain like never before.
Everyone else around me seem to be falling pregnant while they all tell me, “You’re still young! Just keep trying naturally! It will happen.” It was so hard for me to hear this from someone who is 9 months pregnant at that time.
When I finally took matters into my own hands and told my OB-GYN that we are having a hard time, she also said the same thing, “You are still young, try for 1 year and come back.” So I did come back, they ran some tests on me and my husband. Everything checked out fine on all the diagnostic tests.
That’s when I first heard of Unexplained Infertility. I asked how is this even a thing? No one can tell me. When I did my research, it was mind-blowing to see how many couples are suffering from the same diagnosis. I started opening up about my journey to my Instagram little by little. I am forever grateful for the support I found from small group of amazing women on Instagram in the infertility community. I keep my DM’s and comments open as a safe space where I can support other women going Infertility.
When 5 Cycles of Letrozole and timed intercourse did not do it for us, I decided to seek a Fertility Clinic and found a doctor I was comfortable working with. The first approach we did was IUI — 3 cycles and nothing but a mounting bill. I told my doctor in August of 2020 that we want to try IVF because Scott and I both felt like it was our best shot.I finished my first round of IVF in November of 2020 and we have one PGT-A tested embryo that’s waiting for us. This is not a guarantee but this will give us a shot to having our miracle in our arms.
I am currently in my second round of IVF hoping and praying to be blessed with at least one more healthy embryo.
This infertility journey is the most unexpected turn in our lives. It has become bigger than trying for a baby. This has now turned into a soul-searching journey for me. No one knows what the future holds but Scott, the dogs, and I welcome it with open heart and open minds.