Getting pregnant and having a baby does not always come easily. For couples struggling with infertility it can be a very long and difficult path to tread before they finally reach that amazing day when they finally get to hold the baby they’ve been waiting for. This viral IVF baby photo captures the enormity of that struggle beautifully.

Bundled up in a rainbow-colored swaddle, two-week-old London O’Neill lays peacefully at the center of a giant heart made entirely of hundreds of syringes—1,616 to be exact—and the same number of injections it took to make baby London a reality for parents Patricia and Kimberly O’Neill.

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After struggling with IVF treatments and multiple miscarriages, the couple finally found a doctor that could help. He prescribed Heparin blood thinning shots twice a day to improve blood flow to the baby. When Patricia finally became pregnant with London, Kimberly decided to document the long road with an IVF photo shoot. She saw several photos using syringes and was inspired to do the same with theirs.

“My wife saved every single needle that I injected, all capped and plastic seals around them and everything,” Patricia said. “We didn’t know how many shots we were going to have at the end of it and we thought it was going to work pretty quick.”

When the day finally arrived, the couple hired photographer Samantha Packer, who had photographed rainbow babies before. They all agreed to swaddle her in the fabric symbolizing her status as a rainbow baby and Packer came up with the idea to create the heart with the needles.

“The heart symbolized…that this whole painful journey was all to love a child,” Packer told CNN. She had no idea how many needles they had saved and it took her over an hour to set them all up. When the couple arrived for the photo shoot they were overwhelmed by the sight.

“They instantly started tearing up,” Packer said. “I think that’s why the photo resonated with so many people. The journey, the goal and the baby, it was a lot. As soon as I looked at the back of my camera, I thought it encompassed the beauty, the hardship and the love of it,” she said. “It was all worth it.”

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: skalekar via Pixabay

 

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