A grieving woman found out she was pregnant with her husband’s baby – six months after he tragically died.
Sarah Shellenberger was mourning the loss of her partner Scott, a 41-year-old science teacher, who passed away due to a heart attack last February.
So when she found out she was expecting baby Hayes, who is now around eight-weeks-old, it was the "medicine" she needed to cope.
The 40-year-old teacher, from Oklahoma, conceived via IVF as Scott had donated his sperm via a fertility clinic in Barbados.
The mum revealed: "In our eyes, we have these two embryos that are already created and they are our children.
"To me, there was no other option. They are our kids. I had to try to get pregnant and bring our children into this world."
The couple met at Southern Nazarene University then developed a romantic relationship when Scott messaged Sarah on Facebook in 2017.
They got engaged four months later and tied the knot in September 2018.
The pair knew they wanted to have their own family so immediately started trying for babies.
Sarah recalled: "Both of us really wanted at least three kids and we were really excited to start our family."
But after struggling to conceive, they decided to go down the IVF route.
To cut back on costs, the pair decided to seek IVF treatment in Barbados instead of the US.
Sarah said: "For the first round, we ended up getting one genetically normal embryo and that turned out to be Hayes.
"We found out just before Christmas that he was a boy. Scott and I were able to pick out names before he died and that was really meaningful.
"We decided to go back in February for another retrieval while I still had as many eggs as possible."
Sarah returned to Barbados with her mum Sherry, 64, as Scott had to stay at work.
Then when landing at her layover, Sarah was delivered the devastating news that Scott suffered a heart attack while teaching.
She said: "When I landed in Toronto and I finally connected to the WiFi my phone was going crazy.
"I had all these text messages coming through – the first one I saw was from one of Scott's co-workers telling me that they were all gathered here praying for Scott.
"I called his mom and she told me that he had had a heart attack and been moved to the ICU and he had not regained consciousness.
"I was upset and concerned but I really didn't think he would die. He was so healthy, fit and young."
When Sarah arrived at the hospital Scott was brain dead and hooked up to a life support machine.
The mum said: "I couldn't believe it. There are no words to describe that feeling. I decided I wanted to donate his organs so I filled out all the paperwork.
"On February 21, I had to go and say goodbye to him. That was the hardest thing I've ever done."
Scott was an organ donor, who passed on his liver and kidneys, and saved three people's lives in the process.
He's also lived on through his children with Sarah, who was able to conceive as she had one more viable embryo left.
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Sarah said: "I was so hopeful that we had at least one more from the second round because I knew that was the last chance to have a child with my husband.
"It was our biggest dream – Scott wanted to be a dad."
Following a successful embryo transfer in Barbados last August, Sarah fell pregnant.
She gave birth to baby Hayes on May 3.
Sarah added: "Holding Hayes has been such good medicine for me and he has healed my heart in a lot of ways.
"It is bittersweet because I know that Scott would have been over the moon in love with him and it is hard to experience these things without him.
"I absolutely see Scott in him. It feels like things are starting to look brighter and that maybe my life isn't over and I have a purpose."
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