A widow gave birth to her late husband’s baby three years after he died, thanks to frozen embryos.
She says ‘it’s nice to have a piece of him here’, as part of him lives on through their child.
Sian Goodsell, 34, and partner, Jason Goodsell, 30, were travelling around Australia in February 2017 when he was diagnosed with stage four bowel and liver cancer.
Jason had proposed just six days before this, making it a whirlwind time for the couple who should have been enjoying their holiday and celebrating their engagement.
Before he began treatment, they froze some of his sperm, and after two years he passed away.
He died in May 2019 – on the same day they got married.
Eventually Sian went ahead with the first embryo transfer and fell pregnant immediately, to her delight.
Daughter Matilda, now six months old, was born four months prematurely, weighing 1lbs 2oz, which meant she had to spent 17 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Today, she is at home and thriving.
Sian, a nurse, from Sydney, Australia, said: ‘I would love to say she looks like me, but she’s the female version of her father.
‘I tell her stories about Jason and I everyday, and talk about what he was like.
‘She’ll pull a face and look just like her dad. I always keep his memory alive and have photos throughout the house.
‘Tilly will always know her dad.’
Sian said that although it’s ‘tiring’ being a single mum, she has no regrets – adding it’s the ‘best thing’ she’s ever done.
‘I would do it over and over to have her here,’ she said.
Sian and Jason met on Tinder in 2014, and before his tragic passing he tried a number of treatments.
She said: ‘He had radiation, chemotherapy, then had surgery and was fitted with an ileostomy bag.
‘None of that was working and he decided to stop it.’
More trauma was to come for Sian, when she went into an early labour – not believing it to be true at first.
‘I knew how early she was an I didn’t want it to be true, as a nurse I know how dangerous it can be,’ she said.
Sian was given steroids and put on a magnesium drip to slow her labour, but Matilda was keen to arrive and was still extremely early.
‘I didn’t get to hold her,’ Sian said. ‘She was taken away but was breathing on her own for 15 minutes, and then was intubated to get taken to the NICU.
‘I still couldn’t believe she was here.’
After three weeks in the hospital, Matilda developed necrotising enterocolitis (NEC).
NEC is a serious condition in which tissues in the intestine become inflamed and start to die.
This can lead to a perforation developing, which allows the contents of the intestine to leak into the abdomen.
In January, doctors operated on Matilda for four hours and she was fitted with an ileostomy bag – which was later reversed.
‘It was hard not having Jason there, to not have someone who was going through what I was,’ she said.
‘I believe Jason was with her every step of the way, looking out for her.
‘I just know he’s the reason she’s doing so well.’
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