Woman Turns IVF Needles into Art During Infertility Journey, Now Empowers Others Through Her Paintings (Exclusive)

During her fertility journey, Jamie Kushner Blicher underwent two IVF retrievals, four IVF transfers and experienced two miscarriages

<p>Courtesy of Jamie Blicher</p> Jamie Blicher painting

Courtesy of Jamie Blicher

Jamie Blicher painting

Jamie Kushner Blicher has always been creative.

The Bethesda, Md. local began painting as a child, a passion that persisted through high school, where she delved into various mixed media projects.

In 2015, art took on a newfound significance in her life. During that time, she and her husband, Brian, embarked on their fertility journey. But after trying naturally for a year without success, she underwent two IVF retrievals, four IVF transfers — two of which were unsuccessful — and experienced two miscarriages.

"I really started to paint a lot because that was getting me through all of the pain, stress, frustration, anger, all of these emotions," Kushner Blicher shares exclusively with PEOPLE in an interview. "I was kind of venting through the work."

<p>Ashley Fisher</p> Jamie Blicher with her artwork.

Ashley Fisher

Jamie Blicher with her artwork.

After her second miscarriage in 2015, Kushner Blicher found herself in her art studio, feeling helpless. It was there, amidst a pile of her IVF needles, that inspiration struck. She wondered, "What would happen if I paint with the needle? What would come out?"

So, she picked up a sterile needle and began to experiment.

"All of a sudden, I was like, 'Oh my God, this is a living metaphor that I'm trying to control the uncontrollable, creating beauty out of the chaos,'" she adds. "What was coming out was just so beautiful."

From that moment on, Kushner Blicher dedicated herself to painting every day with her needles. She eventually created an Instagram and TikTok account, Glitter Enthusiast, to share her work and tell her infertility story.

"When I first posted, I got 40 messages of people going through the same thing," she says. "It was so fulfilling to me that other people would find what I find beautiful and would find shared experience and what I was doing."

In March 2016, Kushner Blicher turned her social media account into an official business. Last year, she quit her job in marketing to pursue painting full-time.

Each year, she says she completes around 60 commissions using other people's sterile, unused IVF needles. Additionally, she produces prints of her artwork for fertility clinics and transforms them into fabric for headbands and towels.

She adds how a portion of the profits to various fertility organizations, including ones that provide grants to people who can't afford IVF.

"I've had people will walk into a house and see a Glitter Enthusiast piece on their wall, and ask the owner how the art was made," she says. "The owner will share and [the] person that's coming into their house will tell them that I went through IVF also."

"Then they talk and share their stories and comfort each other. And that conversation that would not have happened if they hadn't looked at the art," she continues.

One particularly meaningful piece Kushner Blicher created was for a couple in Arizona who struggled with infertility for five years. When she first connected with the couple they sat on the phone together crying for 45 minutes.

"She told me she saw my art online and it made her feel like she was a part of something," she recalls. "I painted for her, and I gave her the painting for free because she needed a lifeline."

"They got the painting, and then two months later they got pregnant and now they have two kids," she adds.

In 2018, Kushner Blicher and Brian welcomed their own miracle when they became parents to two boys, Ethan and Bennett, using the remaining embryos from their IVF treatments.

She says how she's passed her love for art on to her twins, incorporating them into her work and teaching them about her creative process.

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"If you ask the boys 'What's IVF?' they say, it's just a different way to make a baby," Kushner Blicher says. "They don't understand the scientific concept of it because they're only five."

She continues, "But they would tell you that mommy has always wanted to be a mommy. She had a doctor's help, and now she helps other people become mommies through her art."

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