Sian Goodsell and her partner Jason were on a dream holiday around Australia in February 2017 when Jason got down on one knee and proposed on a Bunbury beach.
What should have been a joyous time in the couple’s lives was short-lived when Jason was diagnosed with stage four cancer just six days later.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Mum gives birth to husband’s baby three years after his death.
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“We (were) calling everyone on a high, letting family and friends know we’re engaged, we’re gonna get married and then six days later we were calling people telling them we’re coming home, Jason has cancer,” Sian told Sunrise.
Their plans to travel for another year were scrapped and they headed home to Sydney.
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Jason began treatment and the pair eventually married two years later — but should have been another exciting moment in the couple’s lives was again tainted by tragedy.
The day Jason and Sian were legally married, and the day before they were due to celebrate with a wedding party, Jason passed away.
Turning tragedy into a miracle
While Jason had died, the dream the couple had of starting a family lived on.
Jason Goodsell proposed to Sian on a beach in Bunbury in 2017. Credit: 7NEWS
The pair had spoken about having children, Sian said. It was a topic that came up frequently during their long drives while travelling the country.
“When were were driving, you run out of things to talk about travelling Australia and driving for eight hours a day sometimes,” she said.
“We discussed baby names, what we’d call them, how we would want to raise them.”
Thanks to a decision made to freeze some of Jason’s sperm before he started treatment, Sian has been able to carry on his legacy through their now 10-month-old daughter, Matilda.
Three years after Jason’s death, Sian had an embryo transfer and fell pregnant immediately.
“It took me couple of years to sort of set myself up and buy a place and get on my feet with work and things like that, and sort of focus on me for a little bit,” she said.
“I was very, very lucky IVF worked first go.”
Jason and Sian Goodsell. Credit: 7NEWS
She briefly contemplated about what to call their baby, however settled on the name she and Jason had chosen while travelling.
“When I fell pregnant and found out I was having a girl I sort of toyed with the idea of ‘Should I look at other names?’,” she said,
“(But) straight away I just went nup, it’s Matilda. That’s it.”
Dealing with the challenges of pregnancy alone
While Sian had plenty of support around her from family, friends and medical staff, Matilda’s birth was challenging, particularly without Jason.
Matilda was born 17 weeks early, and spent 142 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Credit: 7NEWS
The little girl was born 17 weeks early, and spent 142 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
She weighed just 565g.
“It was really hard, especially in the NICU when you’d see other parents there, and you had the mother and the father at the bedside and you knew that they had each other to lean on with my support,” Sian said.
“I was very lucky with my friends and family and the NICU staff … they became family.”
Keeping Jason’s memory alive
Sian says she talks to Matilda about Jason every day, telling her stories about his “cheeky” attitude and love for camping and fishing.
“I’m going to tell her all the good memories, he was a typical Aussie guy,” she said.
“I just want to tell her all the fun things that we used to do and about all the good memories … and show her all the fun things that we can do.
“(I just want to) make sure his memory is alive.”
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