A recently shared photo is painting a more accurate picture of one woman's journey to motherhood using IVF.

baby surrounded by IVF needles
Credit: Sher Institute via Facebook

Ask a group of women how they got pregnant, and chances are at least some of them have found success using some form of assisted reproductive technology. Though fertility treatments are becoming more mainstream, that doesn't mean the uninitiated have any better idea of what's really involved. The alphabet soup of acronyms—IUI, IVF, BBT, CD—gloss over the harsh reality of these expensive, time-consuming, exhausting, oftentimes painful treatments.

But a recently published photo is painting a more accurate picture of one woman's journey to motherhood using IVF. The image, posted on Sher Institute's Facebook page, shows a sleeping baby surrounded by the hundreds of needles and vials her mom used to help her conceive. (P.S. These weren't even all the supplies the woman used during the multiple rounds of IVF she endured to get pregnant.) The caption reads, in part, that this image "shows the true definition of love that went into making this gorgeous new baby girl."

If the sight of all those sharp metal points gives you the willies, rest assured that the mother, Angela, found those to be "the easy part. It was the emotional struggle, the ups and downs, that really took a toll," she told ABC News. "I'm single and waited a long time for a husband to come. And then by that time it was difficult to get pregnant."

Not surprisingly, the stunning photo has spread faster than a crazy cat video. As of this writing, it's racked up more than 10,000 likes, 4,000 shares, and lots of comments. Angela's journey has clearly resonated with many parents.

"Didn't even tell my husband what this was," wrote one mom. "I just handed him my phone. I saw tears form in his eyes as he probably also went through the memories of countless nights, over our four year journey, that he gave me shots. We finally were successful with twin boys and I've never been happier!"

Another wrote, "My IVF twins are now 13. They were worth every injection, every procedure, every mile driven to the fertility clinic!"

Don't forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on TwitterPinterest, and Google+.