When Ellidy Pullin's husband, three-time Olympian snowboarder Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin, 32, tragically drowned while spearfishing off Queensland's Palm Beach in July 2020, she held onto hope that she was pregnant.
The couple had been trying to conceive and had been considering IVF, so amid insurmountable grief, she collected Chumpy's sperm in hopes of conceiving the child they so yearned for.
"I didn't want Chump to just die and be gone. I felt this was bringing a part of him back," Ellidy told The Australian Women's Weekly of her decision.
"We'd wanted a baby, and I couldn't think of anything I wanted more right then than a person I could love and cherish.
"I knew I had the best support around me. So I went with my gut, and I wasn't afraid. I just trusted the process."
Sperm retrieval is legal in Queensland on the grounds the deceased wouldn't object, but the process is complicated.
On her podcast Darling, Shine!, Ellidy discussed her frantic rush to collect her late husband's sperm, revealing that she and Chumpy's parents and Ellidy had deal with lawyers, coroners, and doctors.
She also had to sign countless documents and attend counselling before her IVF treatments, describing the process on her podcast.
"They were asking questions like 'Are you going to tell the kid about its dad or are you not?' 'What are you going to do when it's asking [about] its dad?' 'How are you going to do pregnancy, birth and motherhood alone?'
"It was such a triggering process," she recounted.
Ellidy may not have "imagined" she would do IVF on her own, but 15 months later she fell pregnant on her second round of IVF.
"It's the most bittersweet thing in the world, and it's a complete emotional rollercoaster, but this is my greatest gift. It didn't unravel the way we planned, life is literally crazy, but we're having our baby," she announced on her podcast.
"I've got to be a dad and a mum in one, and not just any dad, I've got to be a Chumpy dad."
Her miracle baby came into the world on October 25, 2021, and she honoured Chumpy by giving their daughter his name: Minnie Alex Pullin.
Ellidy told The Weekly: "Now that she's here, I just know that was so meant to be. I see and feel so much of Chump in her. I know I've done the right thing so wholeheartedly.
"Late at night, when I'm feeding, I have this gut knowing that he's [Chumpy] around us. I feel so supported. I feel like he must be around guiding me or helping me."
Since Ellidy met her baby girl, she has shared precious insights into their life, and you can enjoy their cutest pictures in the gallery below.
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