A woman from Ohio welcomed a baby girl a year after her husband’s death, through the use of an embryo the couple created.
Julie Wilson decided she wanted to become a mum following the loss of her husband, Travis, to cancer in February 2019.
The 36-year-old explains her baby girl, Logan, has been an incredible comfort.
Julie said: ‘After the pain and devastation that came with losing Travis, it is indescribable that 15 months later I have a little piece of him back in my arms again.
‘He was my best friend and we had always wanted children. I’m so sad he missed out on all of this, but I see him in Logan every single day.’
The pair always wanted to have children but struggled with fertility issues. In 2016, Julie fell pregnant but sadly had a miscarriage at 12 weeks.
Later that year, Travis was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer after medics discovered a large tumour. The couple were told by doctors that only 5% of patients survive beyond five years and a majority of patients with the same condition die within two years.
After the diagnosis, the couple decided to pursue IVF in an attempt to have a baby before Travis passed away. His sperm was banked before cancer treatments began, to ensure that it would not be affected.
Julie said: ‘We had two embryo transfers while Travis was alive, but sadly they were unsuccessful.
‘He was so excited about the prospect of becoming a father, it would have meant so much to be able to conceive while he was here so that he could be a part of it all.
‘I had shown him pictures of our embryos before he passed away and he joked by saying they looked just like him.
‘He had also picked out names, but assured me it was OK if I needed to change them if they didn’t suit the baby.’
When Travis passed away in early 2019, Julie was left with the five embryos they had created – so there was still a chance for her to become a mother to their child.
Julie said: ‘I got myself together and thought about what I wanted next for myself. I realised that I still wanted children, even if it meant being a single mum.
‘I went in for a double embryo transfer and in October 2019 I had a positive pregnancy test.
‘I was overjoyed, but after previously losing a baby through miscarriage I didn’t want to get too excited.’
At Julie’s six-week scan, she found out she was pregnant with twins, but a later check-up revealed that one of the twins had not survived.
She added: ‘It was such a painful reality, knowing there was another baby there, but I continued to hope for the best with the remaining baby.
‘I was cautiously optimistic throughout my pregnancy. I was very excited and extremely hopeful.’
On May 2 2020, Julie gave birth to baby Logan and the widower says it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her.
She added: ‘Being a single mum has its challenges, especially during a pandemic, and ideally there would have been two of us here to do this together.
‘But it has been so worth it. I know this is what I was meant to do next in life.
‘Travis would absolutely adore Logan. I see him in her little smiles and expressions. It melts my heart that she looks so much like her dad.
‘I pray that as she gets older, her personality develops to include all of the best parts of him, too.’
Julie has set up an organisation in Travis’ name to support other families who are impacted by a brain cancer diagnosis.
For more information visit trailsfortravis.org.
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