On April 2, just six months after Kristen Tripson lost her husband, Sam, to stage IV lymphoma, she took to Instagram with a big announcement. “Well. I’m pregnant. And, yes. It’s Sam’s,” wrote the mom of Jack, 5, and Alice Ann, 2. In her moving post, the 34-year-old went on to explain that she and Sam went through IVF and froze the embryos in 2012, after his first bone marrow transplant.

“Though we never talked much about ‘the end,’ we did talk about our embryos,” she wrote. “I know it’s a very personal, private subject, but to us, they were our potential children. On ice. It was always our plan, regardless of what happened, that they would have a chance at life. Over the past 6 months, there has never been a doubt as to what I was going to do. Even in ICU during his final hours, I knew what I was going to do. After he was gone, I laid next to him for a long time. I prayed for the strength I would need to get up and leave the hospital and eventually, when I was ready, to move forward with our plans.”

Today, Tripson is 17 weeks pregnant. “I know this isn’t going to be easy,” the Vero Beach, Florida, resident tells Us Weekly. But after losing the love of her life on September 15, Tripson believes she can survive anything. “I’m not scared,” she says. “I’m so excited to meet this little person. It’s hard to process, but just having a chance to meet another one of Sam’s children, it just blows my mind.”

Tripson — who is due on October 28 — longs for Sam every single day. “I’m a little uptight. I like a schedule,” she tells Us. “He was so funny and so silly … and I love it when I see that in my children now, because I worry, oh my goodness, I don’t want these kids to be exactly like me. But it’s amazing how his qualities are in them.… I get little reminders of Sam every day.” 

The baby’s sex will be a surprise. “We never found out with any of our kids,” she says. “Will it be a little Sam? Who knows? But they’ll be perfect.”

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