Angela Nicole was saving all the syringes and vials from her in vitro fertilization (IVF) shots with the hope that one day she’d be able to use them for a different purpose. And now that she finally has her healthy baby girl, she got to use them.
A photo shared on Facebook by the Sher Institutes, a network of fertility centers across the U.S., shows an infant peacefully sleeping on the floor, surrounded by the syringes and vials in the shape of a heart.
“My brother Shawn is a photographer, and has always inspired me to look at ways to tell a story with one picture,” she told the Daily Dot in an email. “I thought this would be a good way to both remind myself what I went through to have Sophia, and show her some of what her mommy endured to bring her into this world.”
The 42-year-old went through several failed intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) before she started the IVF process and “knew it would probably be a rough road.” She went through five rounds of IVF over about a year and a half, but she says she remained hopeful that one day she’d have a beautiful baby out of all the struggle. And now she has 4-month-old Sophia to show for it.
The embryo that lead to Sophia was the only viable one of those she tested. She still has two others frozen that are of unknown quality. But for now, this is the first and only child for Angela, who attended the St. Louis branch of the Sher Institutes. They shared her photo to show “the true definition of love that went into making this gorgeous new baby girl.”
Exposing yourself to the wrath of the Internet can be a frightening process, but she said the response has been overwhelmingly supportive. “I really am in awe of all the positive response the photo has garnered,” she said. “So many families of all different makeups sharing their stories. It’s really beautiful and shows just how much we will go through because we want these tiny little humans.”
There were times when she was discouraged by the process, but she kept going to get the thing—or person, rather—she’s always dreamed of.
“I would tell others to persevere and keep at it,” she said. “It may be a cliche, but it really does just take one embryo to give them the baby they hope for.”
Photo via Angela Nicole