When Macy Rodeffer became pregnant earlier this year, she knew exactly how she wanted to share the news.
She had been hoping and planning for the moment from the second she knew she and her husband would be relying on in vitro fertilization.
Rodeffer gathered all of her fertility prescription bottles and the dozens of syringes she used to give herself daily injections and shaped them into a heart. Inside she placed an ultrasound picture and a baby onesie that said, “Worth the wait and wait and wait.”
“My main motivation behind doing it was really to bring awareness to this emotional process,” she told TODAY.
Rodeffer, a birth photographer based in Illinois, said she and her husband first tried to get pregnant shortly after they got married four years ago.
Their first attempt ended in miscarriage. The same thing happened with several more attempts. Endometriosis, a painful disorder of the uterus, and various medical issues also hampered their efforts to start a family.
“This past January, we decided we were ready to do IVF, which was recommended as really our only path to conceiving a biological child,” Rodeffer said. “We were so lucky that it worked the first time. It doesn’t usually. So I wanted to let people know, ‘Hey, I did one cycle, and look at all of this. Can you imagine what so many women go through cycle after cycle after cycle of this?’”
Rodeffer is now in her second trimester and expecting her child in October.
She said the inspiration for her announcement was a very similar photo taken by a mom who also underwent fertility treatments.
That photo was taken by a woman who underwent three years of IVF treatment before she finally conceived her infant daughter, who lay sleeping inside a heart shaped by hundreds of syringes and dozens of drug vials.
Rodeffer said she was “definitely inspired” by the photo.
“I knew at the time that I saw that that we would have to do IVF, and I knew that if we did, that was definitely something I wanted to do,” she said.
Over the past several years, Rodeffer has chronicled her journey to parenthood through a blog and on Instagram.
She posted her “pregnancy announcement” more than a month ago as part of a post expressing both her excitement but her heartache for the "sisters" who continue to battle infertility.
"The ones left behind. The ones who have walked with me for years and still they wait. My sisters who are happier for me than anyone else could ever be, because they know the pain first hand," she wrote.
She also noted that her pregnancy “doesn't erase years of loss, depression, hopelessness, pain, tears, and crying out to God. Our baby doesn't replace the babies that were lost years before.”
She said the response to her photo has been overwhelmingly positive.
The biggest question she receives is why she didn’t consider adoption, which she did. Rodeffer said both her mother and a cousin are adopted. As a child, she always assumed she would adopt children as an adult. But adoption often takes years and can cost for more than fertility treatments, she said.
“My husband and I are lucky enough that we live in a state that offers insurance assistance with our fertility treatments, which made IVF a much more viable option than adoption,” she said.
Rodeffer said she hopes her story will not only raise awareness about infertility but also about adoption.
"If my story can help encourage or help someone understand, even just one person, it will all be totally worth it to me," she said.
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