A woman fulfilled one of her greatest wishes and was able to give birth to the baby of her late husband, who ᴘᴀssᴇᴅ ᴀᴡᴀʏ more than 14 months ago due to an unexpected ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ, through I.V.F using ꜰʀᴏᴢᴇɴ ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏs.
Sarah Shellenberger says that her young son Hayes is the medicine she needed after ʟᴏsɪɴɢ the love of her life, Scott, in February 2020. Sarah hopes to have another child with the last viable ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏs she has left.
Scott, a science teacher, and Sarah, a primary school teacher, had just completed the ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴀᴛɪᴏɴ process at a specialist clinic in Barbados when Scott ᴘᴀssᴇᴅ ᴀᴡᴀʏ suddenly of a ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ during one of his university classes.
But Sarah was convinced that Scott would have wanted them to go ahead with their plans, so in August she decided to go ahead with the process and get pregnant with one of the ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏs through I.V.F.
“For us, it was like that. We had these two ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏs that had already been created and were our children. For me, there was no other option. They are our children, so I tried to get pregnant and bring them into the world,” Sarah said.
Sarah and Scott met when they were still students at Nazarene University, but it wasn’t until 2017 that they started dating, when Scott finally worked up the courage to ask her out via Facebook. Their romance was natural, and the following year they were married.
They were both sure that they wanted to have at least three children, but after months of trying, they realized that their only option was ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. Unfortunately, Sarah and her mother, Sherry, were returning from a trip when they learned of Scott’s ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ.
“When I got to Toronto and was able to connect to the network, my cell phone was crazy. I had thousands of messages. The first was from one of Scott’s colleagues, telling me that they were in a meeting and that they were praying for his health. I called his mother. She told me that Scott had had a ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ and was in the hospital. On Friday, February 21, 2020, I had to say goodbye,” she recalls.
A week after the funeral, the clinic where Scott and Sarah had undergone the ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴀᴛɪᴏɴ procedure called her with the news that they had two viable ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏs. So it was that in August, Sarah traveled back to Barbados for ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, and days later she became pregnant.
“Having Hayes has been great medicine for me. It has healed my heart in so many ways. It’s bittersweet because I know Scott would have loved Hayes. It is difficult to experience this new stage without him. Hayes looks a lot like him. He feels good to see that things are looking up and to know that life is not over, that I have a purpose,” Sarah said.