A photo shared on the Sher Institutes Facebook page demonstrates the lengths that mothers often go through to bring their children into the world.
The picture shows a sleeping baby girl surrounded by a heart made of syringes and vials that the mother used during her in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process. The mother, who requested ABC News to refer to her only as Angela, had been through several cycles throughout a year and a half.
Numerous blood draws and injections were needed in order to ultimately conceiver her beautiful little girl. According to her doctor, Dr. Molina Dayal, not all of the vials and syringes were used to create the photo.
Women starting IVF inject one to three hormone injections daily to stimulate multiple egg production. Another drug is typically used to prevent early ovulation. Another injection is needed to intiate ovulation, once the eggs are ready to leave the ovaries. While waiting until egg retrieval, the prospective mothers need several blood draws until the eggs are finally removed. Once eggs are propoerly fertilized, the embryos are inserted using embryo transfer catheters.
"The needles were the easy part. It was the emotional struggle, the ups and downs, that really took a toll," she explained. "I'm single and waited a long time for a husband to come. And then by that time it was difficult to get pregnant."
The Facebook photo has inspired hundreds of women to share their journeys with infertility and IVF.
"Every blood draw, every shot, every moment so worth it," one mother wrote on Facebook, as reported by ABC News.
"Such a powerful photo," another Facebook user commented. "It brings tears to my eyes. We've gone through 2 cycles of IVF and still no take home baby."
"My IVF twins are now 13," said another mother. "They were worth every injection, every procedure, every mile driven to the fertility clinic!"
According to Lisa Stark, director of communications at Sher Fertility Institute, "We have never seen a photo create such a stir in the infertility world."