'My husband's been dead for almost three years – now I'm having his baby'

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Sian Goodsell gave birth to her late husband
Sian Goodsell gave birth to her late husband's baby nearly three years after his death (Image: SWNS)

A widow gave birth to her husband's baby nearly three years after his death using frozen embryos - and says ''it's nice to have a piece of him here''.

Sian Goodsell, 34, and her 30-year-old husband Jason Goodsell were travelling around Australia in May 2019 when he was diagnosed with stage four bowel and liver cancer. Jason, who proposed just six days before the shock news, fought ''hard and well'' for two years before he died on May 3, 2019- the night before their wedding reception.

The pair, who met on Tinder, agreed they would freeze Jason's sperm before starting cancer treatment, to ensure they could have children one day. After his death, Sian went ahead as a single mum and after the first embryo transfer, fell pregnant immediately.

'My husband's been dead for almost three years – now I'm having his baby' rriddqixxiqezinvMatilda was born more than four-months premature despite a healthy pregnancy (SWNS)
'My husband's been dead for almost three years – now I'm having his baby'Sian is pictured during her first time out of hospital with Matilda and her nurses (SWNS)

Despite an initially smooth pregnancy, their daughter Matilda, now six-months-old, was born more than four-months premature. She weighed just 560g - around the size of a bag of pasta - and spent 17 weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Speaking exclusively to Mirror today, Sian, who is a nurse, from Sydney, Australia, said: "Jason was feeling unwell the day before the wedding and was walking from to the pub when he collapsed. An ambulance was called and police as it was in a public place. I arrived as they were still working on him.

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"Everyone I speak with can't believe how well she's doing after being so premature. I believe Jason was with her every step of the way, looking out for her. I just know he's the reason she's doing so well."

'My husband's been dead for almost three years – now I'm having his baby'Jason Goodsell proposed to Sian six days before his cancer diagnosis (SWNS)
'My husband's been dead for almost three years – now I'm having his baby'Sian has this year given birth to her late husband's baby years after his death (SWNS)

Sian and Jason met on Tinder in 2014 and were due to marry before Jason's diagnosis. "I was travelling around Australia when Jason proposed on Valentine's Day 2017 whilst we were walking down the beach at sunset in Bunbury, Western Australia,” Sian explained.

"Six days after he was diagnosed. He was so young. He had radiation, and chemotherapy, then had surgery and was fitted with an ileostomy bag. None of that was working and he decided to stop it."

The couple were legally married on May 3, 2019, and were due to celebrate with a wedding party at Pioneer Village, Wilberforce, Sydney the following day. But Jason died the day before the event on 3 May 2019, having stayed at the venue overnight with Sian. Almost three years on, Sian decided she was ready to go ahead and try IVF, using embryos made with Jason's sperm.

'My husband's been dead for almost three years – now I'm having his baby'Sian embraces the fact 'there will always be a piece of Jason here' (SWNS)

Falling pregnant on the first round, she was having a textbook pregnancy until she went into ''extremely early'' labour. After heading to Napean Hospital, Sydney, Sian was informed she was in labour.

"I thought they were wrong. I knew how early she was an I didn't want it to be true, as a nurse I know how dangerous it can be," Sian added. Despite having steroids and being put on a magnesium drip to slow her labour, Matilda was "too impatient", and was born naturally at 4.56pm on December 26 2022.

'My husband's been dead for almost three years – now I'm having his baby'Matilda is pictured in NICU as a tiny newborn (SWNS)
'My husband's been dead for almost three years – now I'm having his baby'Sian cuddles her daughter who weighed just 560g - around the size of a bag of pasta (SWNS)

"I didn't get to hold her. She was taken away but was breathing on her own for 15 minutes, and then was intubated to get taken to the NICU. I still couldn't believe she was here.''

After three weeks at Napean Hospital, Matilda was transferred to The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, after developing Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is a serious condition in which tissues in the intestine become inflamed and start to die. This can lead to a perforation developing, which allows the contents of the intestine to leak into the abdomen.

On January 18, 2023, doctors operated for four hours to fix Matilda's perforated bowel. She was fitted with an ileostomy bag - which was later reversed - and spent the next 17 weeks and two days in the special Grace Centre NICU.

'My husband's been dead for almost three years – now I'm having his baby'Sian, a nurse, holds Matilda for the first time - when her daughter was one-month-old - in hospital (SWNS)
'My husband's been dead for almost three years – now I'm having his baby'Sian went ahead as a single mum and has not looked back since (SWNS)

"I stayed at the hospital full-time," Sian said. "It was hard not having Jason there, to not have someone who was going through what I was.'' Finally, on 17 May 2023, Matilda was discharged from the NICU.

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"It was exciting and overwhelming to be coming home," Sian said. "She's now officially 6lbs 8oz. She's nice and happy, and I'm absolutely loving being a mum. I would love to say she looks like me, but she's the female version of her father. I tell her stories about Jason and I everyday, and talk about what he was like.

"She'll pull a face and look just like her dad. I always keep his memory alive and have photos throughout the house. Tilly will always know her dad. It's tiring being a single mum, but it's the best thing I ever did, and I would do it over and over to have her here."

Emily Phillips

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