Three miscarriages, four years, and 1,616 shots are what it took for Kimberly and Patricia O’Neill to welcome their baby girl into the world. The Arizona couple saved every IVF syringe they used and found a unique way to show how much they went through.
Photographers created a large heart from the needles provided by baby London’s family. In the center sat London herself. This photo has appeared over Facebook more than 60,000 times.
The story behind the photo is one of hope, heartache, and happiness. After one year of meeting in2013, Kimberly and Patricia knew they wanted to grow their family.
Each woman had a child from previous relationships. So at first, they weren’t too stressed about the process.
They explained they thought the process would be simple. Pick a donor, go to their doctor and have their child in nine months! Unfortunately, they were mistaken.
The Years-Long Process Begins
They began with Intrauterine Insemination, a cheaper less invasive process than the IVF option where sperm is placed inside a uterus to facilitate fertilization.
Unfortunately, the first two rounds of IUI did not succeed. The couple knew they needed to act more aggressively.
It was a slow start, the first egg retrieval round failed, forcing them to wait another month.
The second round retrieved 20 eggs, filling the Arizona couple with hope once more.
After testing revealed there were five good embryos, the women were ecstatic. They made the first transfer, and Patricia soon found she was pregnant. However, six weeks later, she miscarried. Crushed but not broken, they tried again.
Again, Patricia was soon pregnant, but miscarried once more, this time at eight weeks.
With two miscarriages, doctors did some testing to find Patricia had a disorder called Factor V Leiden. This disorder causes blood clots to develop in the placenta and could cause someone to miscarry.
With the issue identified, they tried a third time. Unfortunately, Patricia didn’t become pregnant.
When a pregnancy test confirmed the fourth one, they said they knew the child was for them.
At eight weeks they went in to watch their yet-to-be-born son’s heartbeat and arms wiggling around. They were overjoyed, but at week 11, his heart stopped, and they were once again at where they began.
The couple, crushed, heartbroken, and confused, had to take a break. The couple almost gave up, but they knew there was one embryo remaining. If they didn’t try, it would have to be discarded, and they knew they had to try.
The Arizona Couple Finally Welcomes their Miracle Child
Digging into their courage and faith, they attempted one last time. While the couple tried to keep hope, they were terrified. This chance was their last.
One week later, they found the pregnancy had begun again.
With prayer, they went off to Disney for a family vacation. The day after they returned home, they heard the heartbeat of their little girl.
Kimberly and Patricia joke, saying she’s a real Disney baby since that was where her heart began to beat.
The nine months were terrifying for the couple. Patricia was sick the entire time, and because of their history, both were a nervous wreck every day.
At last, on August 3, 2018, London made her grand entrance into the world. Kimberly states that hearing her cry and seeing her face was the best feeling in the world.
The Arizona couple knew from the beginning they wanted a unique picture with all of the syringes they used before London arrived.
Kimberly brought in the shots they saved and told the photographer to do what she thought was best.
The couple swaddled London in a rainbow wrap that symbolized her status as a rainbow baby. That is one that comes after the loss of a previous child.
The photo shoot was emotional for the couple. They fell in love with the picture when they saw it. They, however, had no idea how many others would love it too.
The photo went viral, receiving thousands of comments, many from other mothers who went through IVF.
Kimberly is pleased that the image can bring hope to those in similar situations. Even though the journey was rough, she says, hope and faith are the only things that can bring you through it.