When you think of baby announcements, a pile of needles and prescription drug bottles might not be the first thing that comes to mind.
Yet that's the scene displayed in the viral baby announcement of Macy Rodeffer, a photographer from Illinois whose road to conception involved a long infertility struggle and a number of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) drug cycles.
"My goal when putting it together was just to encourage any friends that were going through the same thing and convey to friends and family what it took to finally get our baby when there didn't seem to be words," Rodeffer said in an email.
"We're some of the lucky ones. It only took 4 years, 3 miscarriages, depression, 107 hormone injections, one surgery, two procedures, over 100 suppositories, and several thousand dollars to get our baby," Rodeffer wrote in an accompanying post on her blog last month.
"You might ask how I say that we're lucky. We're lucky because we get to have a baby. So many women don't. Even more go through multiple rounds of fertility treatments to get their baby."
Indeed, both infertility and IVF are familiar experiences for many modern moms-to-be. Reports estimate that more than 5 million (or 1 in every 10) U.S. couples struggle with infertility, and IVF rates have risen steadily as a treatment option in recent years.
Rodeffer added that some people who've come across her viral announcement have questioned why she and her husband chose to go the IVF route instead of adopting a child. She said the adoption process can often be even more expensive and arduous than IVF, which itself can cost $12,000 per cycle not counting the cost of additional medications.
"We are lucky enough to live in a state that offers insurance assistance with fertility treatment, making IVF a realistic option for us at this time when adoption was not," she said. "I hope to adopt someday, and always have, as my mother and cousin are adopted."
"I really never thought this photo would go viral the way it has," she said. "While my hope was to reach people with my story, I never imagined that it would reach as far as it has."
h/t Huffington Post