pregnancy

Woman discovers she's pregnant four months after her husband's death.

It’s the kind of story you only ever hear about in books or movies. But for Kristen Tripson, the bittersweet experience of being pregnant with her late husband’s baby is her reality.

Tripson, who lives in the US, lost her husband Sam in September 2015. He died of cancer, after being diagnosed with lymphoma in 2011 while she was heavily pregnant with their oldest son, Jack. The couple also have a two-year-old daughter, Alice.

A photo posted by Kristen Tripson (@ktripson) on

In a recent Instagram post, Tripson wrote, “Well. I’m pregnant. And, yes. It’s Sam’s.” She then explained the “long story” that led to her pregnancy.

In order to have more biological children after cancer treatment, Sam and I had to go through IVF. It was wildly emotional, physically taxing and truly a post for another day. But it left us with 4 frozen embryos. Alice Ann was our first. We tried again this past summer with another, but I lost it very early. Two weeks after that, Sam relapsed and three weeks after that, he was gone.

Though we never talked much about “the end”, we did talk about our embryos. I know it’s a very personal, private subject, but to us, they were our potential children. On ice. It was always our plan, regardless of what happened, that they would have a chance at life. Over the past 6 months, there has never been a doubt as to what I was going to do. Even in the ICU during his final hours, I knew what I was going to do. After he was gone, I laid next to him for a long time. I prayed for the strength I would need to get up and leave the hospital and eventually, when I was ready, to move forward with our plans.

…On February 9th, with both my mom and Sam’s mom next to me, I had our final two embryos transferred. There were a lot of tears and so much love in that room. I found out a few weeks later that I was carrying one strong baby. And that’s ok. The way I see it, I get one and Sam gets one. Of course, it’s bittersweet. And yes, a bit unconventional. But it was our decision and what I consider to be one of life’s most beautiful blessings.

A photo posted by Kristen Tripson (@ktripson) on

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Also on her Instagram, Tripson shared a photo of herself alongside her mother and mother-in-law, praising their unwavering support through her husband’s sickness and death. Both women were by Tripson’s side the day she had the final two embryos transferred. In a tribute to Sam’s Mum Hildie on Mother’s Day, Tripson wrote,

It took Hildie and me over a decade to find our stride. We’re two strong women who fiercely loved Sam. But it’s amazing how illness can bring things into perspective. We became an awesome team, working together using both of our strengths to care for him. And I’ll never forget her on his last day. Her pain was overwhelming and raw, and yet she was somehow worried about me. She fretted and cared for me, just as Sam would want her to, amidst her own unbearable pain. That is a mom.

A photo posted by Kristen Tripson (@ktripson) on

A look through Kristen Tripson’s Instagram account is at once heartbreaking and heartwarming. It chronicles an impossibly difficult journey, but also serves as a testament to the strength of one family, who have learnt to be immeasurably grateful.

Tripson’s Instagram bio reads, “Two sweet souls call me mama. Getting used to this whole widow thing. Thankful. It could always be worse.”

Sam and Kristen’s baby is due in late October, and while she’s incredibly excited, Tripson knows it won’t be easy. In an interview with US Weekly, she said, “I’m so excited to meet this little person. It’s hard to process, but just having a chance to meet another one of Sam’s children, it just blows my mind.

“He was so funny and so silly … and I love it when I see that in my children now, because I worry, oh my goodness, I don’t want these kids to be exactly like me. But it’s amazing how his qualities are in them.… I get little reminders of Sam every day.”

The soon-to-be new addition to Kristen’s family is nothing short of a miracle – and one they profoundly deserve.

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