The loss of a loved one is a universal experience, but the grieving process and the debilitating effects of feeling alone and incomplete is unique to everyone. However, losing your partner, particularly when your biggest dream was to start a family and you didn’t get the chance to become parents, is devastating.
Luckily, stories like these can also have happy endings. The most tangible example is that of Sarah Shellenberger, a 41-year-old teacher from Oklahoma, United States, who lost her husband Ella Scott, also 41, to a heart attack in February 2020.
However, before his unfortunate and surprising death, the couple underwent two fertilization treatments in vitro because they had trouble conceiving. Fortunately, both procedures were effective and managed to create two viable embryos, which were later frozen.
Our biggest dream as a couple was to start a family. We had hoped to have a baby from the beginning of our marriage, but after a year of trying, we started seeing doctors. After months of cycles, procedures, and drug trials, we were told that IVF was our only option to grow our family.
Despite the death of her beloved husband, Sarah returned to her desire to become a mother and was able to conceive using one of the embryos. In May 2021, 14 months after Scott’s irreparable loss, she welcomed a beautiful boy named Hayes.
Happy to have a special little person by her side, the fruit of love and the loved one who is no longer there, Sarah plans to use the second and last embryo to give little Hayes a little brother, created on Valentine’s Day 2020, just seven days before Scott’s death.
Sarah, who shares her journey through motherhood on her official account on Instagramexplained to the Need to Know website that she and her husband “wanted a family above all else” and that their son is now a “living part of him”:
I have dreamed of being a mother all my life and I can’t imagine not continuing our journey. I hope and pray that this transfer is successful and brings our second miracle baby into our family.
Sarah explained that having a “special relationship” with her brother, she thinks it’s important to give little Hayes a little brother. The happy mom is scheduled for the embryo transfer on June 23, 2022. Two weeks later she will know if it was a success.
I have a brother and I know how special this relationship is. I am so grateful to have the hope of a living sequel to my husband on the horizon and to know that he is with me as Hayes and I continue. I know this is what Scott would want me to do and I firmly believe that he from heaven is doing everything he can to make it happen.