A Virginia woman documented her in vitro fertilization journey on social media in a painfully — literally — honest way.
From the needles to the shots and the bruises, Tiffany Rex of Herndon, Virginia, shared it all.
“We had been very open about our fertility struggles throughout the two-year process,” Rex told ABC News. “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.”
Rex and her husband, Mark Wojtowicz, are now expecting their first child, a girl named Avery, in just a few short weeks.
“I didn’t like the perceived stigma that something is wrong with couples struggling with fertility and that it should be kept quiet,” Rex said. “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.
“Therefore, in the beginning, we shared our struggle for ourselves and to seek love and comfort. However, once we announced our pregnancy on Facebook and disclosed to the world that IVF led to our little miracle, I was astounded by the amount of friends who privately contacted me to tell me their struggles with fertility.”
In vitro fertilization is the process in which eggs and sperm are combined outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo is formed, it is then transferred to a woman’s uterus.
The mom-to-be said the reaction to her photos has been completely positive. “In a world of criticism and negative social media attention, I am so touched that our story has brought out the best in people,” she said.
The couple is thrilled to be welcoming baby Avery and are deep in preparation for parenthood. “We are hanging her final pictures in her nursery tonight, and I have begun packing my hospital bag,” she said. “I’m nervous about the birth, but I think I’m actually going to be over the moon once it starts. I’m just so excited to see my little girl and hold her in my arms and tell her how much I love her.”
It’s a poignant moment because this is also the anniversary of the start of their IVF process.
And while Rex said the focus of IVF is almost exclusively on the mom, her husband played a pivotal role.
“He held my hand every step of the way, and dreamed of this baby just as much as I did. He was there, no questions asked, any time I needed him,” she said. “He is truly the most amazing man, and myself and Avery are just so lucky to have him.”
Rex is thrilled her photos have touched so many people. She hopes they’ll bring comfort to another couple on a similar path.
“I remembered what it was like being in those beginning phases,” she said, “and being so scared that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.”