Julie Wilson, 36, from Cleveland, Ohio, lost her husband Travis, 45, in February 2019, and decided shortly afterwards that she still wanted to have his child.
Now, Julie says that her daughter, Logan, eight months, is an incredible comfort, offering her a physical link to the man who meant so much to her.
"After the pain and devastation that came with losing Travis, it is indescribable that 15 months later I have a little piece of him back in my arms again," she said.
"It is incredible. He was my best friend and we had always wanted children. I'm so sad he missed out on all of this, but I see him in Logan every single day."
The pair met through work in 2007, and she says it was love at first sight. Julie and Travis got married in 2012, and had spoken about starting a family ever since.
After struggling with fertility issues, Julie fell pregnant in 2016, but unfortunately suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks.
And later that same year, Travis was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, meaning their fertility journey was stopped in its tracks.
Tragically, only five per cent of patients survive the tumour Travis had beyond five years, and a majority of patients with the same diagnosis die within two years.
"We knew from the start that he probably wasn't going to be around for all of the things we had planned to do. Receiving Travis' diagnosis was crushing and overwhelming," she recalled.
"We had our whole lives planned together and in an instant, I was told my husband isn't going to be here and I will be a widow by the age of 35.
"He always remained insanely positive and we prayed that he would be in that small group that beat this. He underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy."
Following his diagnosis, the couple made the decision to go down the route of IVF so that they could have a child before Travis passed away.
They banked his sperm before he began any of his cancer treatments to ensure that it wouldn't be affected.
"We had two embryo transfers while Travis was alive, but sadly they were unsuccessful," Julie said.
"He was so excited about the prospect of becoming a father, it would have meant so much to be able to conceive while he was here so that he could be a part of it all.
"I had shown him pictures of our embryos before he passed away and he joked by saying they looked just like him.
"He had also picked out names, but assured me it was okay if I needed to change them if they didn't suit the baby when I met them."
Travis sadly died in February 2019, before the pair could proceed with having a child.
However, Julie still had five embryos left that she had created with her husband, meaning there was still a chance for her to become a mum.
She said: "I got myself together and thought about what I wanted next for myself.
"I realised that I still wanted children, even if it meant being a single mum. I went in for a double embryo transfer, and in October 2019 I had a positive pregnancy test.
"I was overjoyed, but after previously losing a baby through miscarriage I didn't want to get too excited. "
At my six-week scan, I found out I was pregnant with twins as we heard two heartbeats.
"But sadly my 12-week scan revealed that one of the twins hadn't made it and had died.
"It was such a painful reality, knowing there was another baby there, but I continued to hope for the best with the remaining baby.
"I was cautiously optimistic throughout my pregnancy. I was very excited and extremely hopeful. I didn't tell many people until I made it to the second trimester."
Julie gave birth to her daughter, Logan, in May 2020, and says the little one has changed her life.
"Being a single mum has its challenges, especially during a pandemic, and ideally there would have been two of us here to do this together," she said.
"But it has been so worth it. I know this is what I was meant to do next in life. Travis would absolutely adore Logan.
"I see him in her every single day. I see him in her little smiles and expressions. It melts my heart that she looks so much like her dad.
"I pray that as she gets older, her personality develops to include all of the best parts of him, too."
Following Travis' death, Julie has set up an organisation in her husband's name to support other families who are impacted by a brain cancer diagnosis. You can visit it here.
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