"I am trying my hardest to keep faith that my story isn’t over yet," she shared.
Losing someone you love is one of the hardest things to cope with. Sarah Shellenberger unexpectedly lost her husband, Scott, to a heart attack in 2020. Life as she knew it came shattering down.
Before his death, Scott and Sarah—who got married in 2018—wanted nothing more than to start a family, and when they approached the doctor, they were informed that an IVF was the only way they could conceive. So she went through the process and had her embryos frozen. She was able to get pregnant with her late husband using these frozen embryos and give birth to their son.
According to Sarah's first-hand blog on Love What Matters, the two of them "settled on a clinic in Barbados and went for our first round of IVF in December of 2019." In some time, they had their second retrieval done, too, she shared, adding that she was accompanied by her mom instead of her husband.
After finishing the procedure, when she was with her mom in Toronto, she began receiving texts on her phone incessantly, breaking the heartbreaking news to her.
"The first text that popped up on my phone was from a co-worker of Scott’s, letting me know he and the student body were gathered together and praying." Apparently, Scott, a college professor, had a heart attack while teaching.
"I never in my life would have imagined that call would be the last one I would ever make to Scott."
He was rushed to the ER on life support and was placed in a medically induced coma. A day later, Sarah returned home and rushed to the hospital to see her husband. That's when doctors told her that her husband was brain dead and she learned her perfectly healthy 41-year-old husband wasn't going to make it.
"The next few months were a horrible whirl of having to plan a funeral, sell our farm, get a new job, find a new house, and figure out how to survive on my teacher salary while trying to recover from the physical effects of IVF and grief—all during Covid," wrote Sarah, also a teacher, but for kindergarten.
But amid the grief, she began to think about the frozen embryo. "After months of prep, and six months after Scott’s death, I flew to Barbados in August of 2020. On August 31, with an army of friends, family, and strangers praying for me and our embryo, I had my transfer. I flew home a few days later and anxiously awaited the results."
On 7 September 2020, her pregnancy test came back positive! "After all Scott and I had gone through together, and after all I had gone through alone—I was finally pregnant."
"On May 3, 2021, I gave birth to a healthy 8 lb 5 oz baby boy. Hayes Philip-Scott Shellenberger has quickly become the love of my life and the medicine my heart needed," she wrote. "I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined infertility struggles and becoming a widow in my 30s would be a part of my story, but as I continue to heal and figure out how to move forward, I am trying my hardest to keep faith that my story isn’t over yet."
Recent updates on her social media handle and her blog revealed that she was trying to have another baby with the second embryo that was frozen, but unfortunately, that did not work out in her favor.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | The Good Brigade