Woman who fell pregnant after husband's death welcomes baby

Kristen Tripson with her children Alice, Lillian and Jack.
Kristen Tripson with her children Alice, Lillian and Jack.  Photo: Instagram

A woman who fell pregnant to her husband six months after his death has given birth to a beautiful baby girl.

Kristen Tripson, 34, who lost her husband Sam to lymphoma in September 2015, announced the birth of her daughter Lillian on Instagram.

"Hello world," the American mum posted. "Meet Lillie Belle."

Her husband Sam was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma when Kristen was heavily pregnant with their first child, Jack, in 2011. He underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a stem cell transplant, which put him in remission.

The pair later welcomed a little girl, Alice Ann.

Sadly, Sam's lymphoma returned last year. And just three weeks after relapsing, he died.

In May, six months after her husband's death, the Florida mum took to Instagram to announce her third pregnancy. "Well, I'm pregnant," she wrote. "And, yes. It's Sam's."

 

Well. I'm pregnant. And, yes. It's Sam's. To make a very long story sort of short... 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. It took months of prep work and evaluation. Both physically and mentally. My doctor didn't take this lightly, but he also knew us very well and wasn't surprised by my decision. So 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. So I'm beyond happy and excited to announce our new addition is due in October. Jack claims he wants a sister. We'll see. Like with my previous pregnancies, I'll find out what it is in the delivery room. Or as Sam used to call it, "The Original Gender Reveal". [❤] ️ #MovingForwardNotMovingOn #ivf #ivfflorida

A photo posted by Kristen Tripson (@ktripson) on

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"In order to have more biological children after cancer treatment, Sam and I had to go through IVF," she continued. Describing it as wildly emotional and physically taxing, she added, "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."

On February 9, with her mother and Sam's mother by her side, Kristen had the couple's final two embryos transferred.

"There was a lot of tears and so much love in that room," she wrote.

A few weeks later Kristen received the happy news that she was carrying one strong baby.

"And that's okay," she said. "The way I see it, I get one and Sam gets one."

 

The last 2 weeks have looked a lot like this. So slow and uneventful that I hardly know what to do with myself. This is my first postpartum experience where I have nowhere to be. No chemo. No doctors appointments. No surprise hospital stays. No milk to pump and stockpile. Just baby and me. And I suppose it's a good thing, as this has been my toughest recovery yet. Every time I think I'll push a little, whether picking up Jack from school or going to the library to cast my early vote, my body has a way of putting me right back in my place. So we sit and we rock and we enjoy this sacred, but brief window where we're granted full permission to rest. The kind of experience I know Sam always wanted for me. So I will honor that.

A photo posted by Kristen Tripson (@ktripson) on

In a recent post to Instagram, Kristen shared that unlike the birth of her eldest children when Sam was unwell, this time around, life with a newborn has been "slow and uneventful".

"This is my first postpartum experience where I have nowhere to be," she wrote. "No chemo. No doctors. No appointments. No hospital stays … Just baby and me."

Describing her post-birth recovery as the toughest yet, Kristen added, "So we sit and we rock and we enjoy this sacred, but brief window where we're granted full permission to rest. The kind of experience I know Sam always wanted for me."

"So I will honor that."