Ellidy Vlug first met Alex Pullin a decade ago at a mutual friend’s party. He wasn’t her usual type, but something about him caught her eye.
That something led her to fall head over heels for the professional snowboarder. She was by his side during some of his highest highs. Privately, they battled low lows as they struggled to start a family. They’d been trying to get pregnant and considering IVF when Alex suddenly died on July 8, 2020, in a spearfishing accident.
Ellidy didn’t want their dream of a family to die with Alex. She had his semen extracted from his body hours after his death and initiated the IVF process. Alex passed in 2020, but 16 months after he died, Ellidy welcomed their first child.
Alex Pullin’s family knew that the love between him and Ellidy Vlug was something truly special.
“That was a relationship like no other,” his father, Chris, told the Daily Mail.
“They had such a connection, such a shared love. Not many people experience it, they had a deeper level to it,” Alex’s mother added.
Many of Alex and Ellidy’s loved ones were unaware that the two had been trying for months to conceive. Ellidy had a low egg count, and they were considering IVF. The couple had recently gotten a dog to signify their work on building their family.
A friend of the couple’s told Ellidy of a woman she knew of who had lost her husband suddenly. She regretted not retrieving his sperm so that they could have a family. With that idea, Ellidy began to make moves to determine if it was possible.
Alex’s sperm was retrieved from his body when less than half of the 40-hour window for retrieval had passed. There were still viable sperm to collect, and so doctors were able to collect enough for Ellidy to try IVF.
Ellidy wrote about the experience when she announced her pregnancy on Instagram.
“Your Dad and I have been dreaming of you for years little one. With a heart wrenching plot twist in the middle, I am honoured to finally welcome a piece of the phenomenon that is Chumpy back into this world,” she wrote.
“When my love had his accident, we all held onto hope that I’d be pregnant that month. We’d been trying for a baby.”
“IVF was on our cards but it wasn’t something I ever imagined I’d be tackling on my own,” she shared.
“Bittersweet like none other, I’ve never been more certain or excited about anything in my entire life🤍.”
Ellidy gave birth to daughter Minnie Alex Pullin on October 25, 2021. “I’ll be talking to my baby saying ‘you’ve got the best dad in the whole world. I will show you everything he is and was, but he’s not here,’” Ellidy told the Daily Mail.
“And he [won’t] be here, but you’re so lucky he’s your dad. I can’t put in to words. You can’t describe him in words. You meet him and you feel this energy. He can’t be summed up with words.”
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