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.
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.