Couple Posts Candid Photos Of Their Entire IVF Journey To Provide Hope For Others On Similar Paths

"It is already a lonely process, and the thought of feeling like I needed to keep it a secret would make that feeling so much worse."

Over the last few years, the number of women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatments (IVF) has increased. The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology's 2014 annual report showed that 165,172 procedures were performed by doctors at fertility clinics, with 61,740 babies born as a result of those efforts in 2012.

While that seems like a lot of people, it doesn't even account for everyone as couples sometimes go through fertility treatments privately because of stigmas, fear, or worry their process won't be successful. Such stigma can lead to a lack of information about people's IVF stories, and can leave those going through it to feel alone. 

Being open can help increase general awareness, which is why it was brilliant to see that a woman named Tiffany Rex documented her and her partner's entire IVF journey on Facebook.

Rex explained to A Plus that she and her partner, Mark Wojtowicz, have been open about their fertility troubles over the last two years. 

"It was never really a conscious decision we made, but our friends and family are just so amazing that we wanted to talk about what we were going through, because their love and support helped us cope with the ups and downs," she explained. "I also did not like the perceived stigma that something is wrong with couples struggling with fertility, and that it should be kept quiet."

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"It is already a lonely process, and the thought of feeling like I needed to keep it a secret would make that feeling so much worse."

They began trying to conceive naturally and track ovulation in June 2015. It lasted for seven months before moving onto fertility testing and oral hormone supplements and injections. In September 2016 they started IVF until February 2017. 

Rex said when she and Wojtowicz announced on Facebook that IVF led to their "little miracle," Avery, she was astounded by the number of friends who contacted her privately about their fertility struggles.

 "This really touched me, and I remembered what it was like being in those beginning phases and being so scared that there is no light at the end of the tunnel," she explained. "I also remember reading about Chrissy Teigen and John Legend and their [IVF] journey, and the hope it gave me ..."  

" ... This made me want to continue being open and honest about our journey, and ultimately posting the album of photos on Facebook. [The photos] were originally taken to make a photo album for Avery of her 'Once Upon a Time.' "

On August 28, 2017, Rex uploaded over 30 images showing her and Wojtowicz's journey. Their IVF diary began with her husband baking her a pink cake with "I'm sorry I have to poke you" written across the top in icing before they started injections.

The album takes us through the couple trying to figure out all of the injections needles required, to dealing with the cost of treatment, to their last injection, to discovering they had 17 follicules (which ended up being 13 eggs).

The series also documents Wojtowicz at the embryo incubator and seeing Avery for the first time.

It continues with the numerous medical appointments, countless needles, the embryo transfer surgery, and the big moment the couple find out they're expecting.

Rex told A Plus that she is currently 35 weeks pregnant and due on October 22.

She revealed that the thing that surprised her about posting the photos is the number of "fertility warriors" she had in her circle of friends she wasn't aware of. 

She has also been thrilled by the positive comments. Even after the story went viral, she hasn't received any negative comments or hurtful names. She explained, "I was a bit afraid going public that we would get some negative attention. For example, 'test tube baby.' However, we have received nothing but love and positive feedback."

She added, "In a world of criticism and negative social media attention, I am so touched that our story has brought out the best in people."

Rex is currently preparing for the birth of Avery by packing her hospital bag, but she is also taking time to reflect on her journey. September marks the anniversary of when she and Wojtowicz began their IVF treatment. 

As for plans on whether she'll share experiences about being a new mom online, Rex reveals that she most likely will. She said, "We are blessed to have friends all over the country, and I love using social media to connect with them all." She will also be looking to other mamas online for advice and tips.

(H/T: Scary Mommy)

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