What's A-Parent

Pregnancy Announcement With 452 IVF Needles Exposes The Reality Some Face When Trying To Conceive

"Now all I see are these tiny onesies that so perfectly sum up our journey: Worth the wait. And wait, and wait, and wait."

What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.

For 953 days, husband and wife Garyt and Lauren Walker waited to conceive a child. They used 452 needles, went through two rounds of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and were disappointed by three failed transfers. After years of pain and frustration, the news that they would be finally be parents to twins — a boy and a girl — was overwhelming. They were completely elated, but Lauren also wanted to share the very real struggles they faced getting there.

On Facebook, she made her pregnancy announcement by posting a photo of two custom baby onesies. One had the words "Worth the wait" written across it while the other said "and wait and wait and wait." But it wasn't just a picture of onesies on the floor. Instead, they were surrounded by the 452 needles Lauren had injected into her body to conceive. In the caption, she shared that taking out the needles was a surreal experience. 

"Half way through my hands started to quiver, my breath got short, and I had to stop. I sat down, looked at it and started to cry. Not because I was sad about what it took to get here, but because it was a representation of my world, our world, for the past over two and a half years staring back at me," Walker wrote. "There was a lot of pain, hope, and fear behind each of these needles. Each one represents a different day, a different path, a different emotion. It's a lot to take in. After a good cry, the more I looked at it, the more the needles started to blur together."

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"Now all I see are these tiny onesies that so perfectly sum up our journey: Worth the wait. And wait, and wait, and wait."

Walker shared some of the most difficult moments of her and her husbands 953 day wait. "The hardest part of this journey wasn't having to do IVF," she wrote. "Getting to that fork in the road is heartbreaking and difficult for anyone, but it was not my darkest hour. My darkest hour was going through an entire cycle and losing embryo after embryo; 5. Coming so far only to miscarry. Getting to where all the hope, the money, all of what could have been your children were gone." 

As Walker reflected on her experience, she realized that it made her stronger. "It didn't break me. The prize is not these twins. The prize is discovering newfound faith. The GIFT is these twins. I didn't know I was capable of such strength and fight." 

She credits her Christian faith and her husband's support for helping her make it through all of those seemingly hopeless days. 

She finished her post with a message to her unborn twins. "Mommy and Daddy cannot wait to hold you in our arms, for we have carried you in our hearts for a lifetime." 

The pregnancy announcement, which was posted to Facebook earlier this month, has since gone viral. It's been shared over 680 times and has amassed over 3.3 thousand likes. Many people have used the comments section to share their own struggles with conception. 

In 2015, a fertility clinic in St. Louis shared a similar photo with a patient's baby girl surrounded by a heart made of IVF needles. "[This photo] shows the true definition of love that went into making this gorgeous new baby girl," the caption on Facebook read. 

Hopefully, seeing these photos and reading the Walkers' story, and others like it, will help those who may currently be enduring the same difficult journey — and give them hope. 

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