4 weeks ago today I had Olivia. And in that time I have seen more miracles, and learned more than I have the rest of my life, or at least in such a short time. I am sure that there will be things that I will continue to learn and things I have not recognized, but for now this is my list (not in any particular order)
1. I am so grateful to married to such a wonderful man. I could never have gotten through this without him!
2. As crazy as some may think this is, I am so grateful that I had Olivia at home, and that we were able to spend time with her, and the she was not whisked away.
3. I am grateful for my testimony of the Plan of Salvation, and the knowledge that we will be with Olivia again after this life, and that she is in heaven fulfilling her calling.
4. I am grateful that when EMS came, when we asked them not to do anything to Olivia (like resuscitate her) they were respectful and left the room.
5. I am grateful for wonderful family!
6. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost. It was a comforter. The minute Olivia was born I had peace and knew that she was not going to live. The spirit told me clearly that "she just needed a body," and that her name was Olivia. I am grateful for that same spirit that told several other people to call, having no idea what was going on and they were able to be there when we needed them.
7. I am grateful for a mother-in-law that is a highly experienced and trained midwife that did everything she could for Olivia.
8. I am so grateful for the Sheriff's that responded and their sensitivity to the situation.
9. I did not know it was possible to feel peace in a situation that seemed so horrible. And yes we are sad, but there is a Plan and it is ok!
10. As members of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we believe that we were in heaven before this life, that we come here to be tested and that after this life we will return to live with our Heavenly Father. And because Sam and I have been sealed in the Temple, our daughter will be a part of our family forever! This understanding brings great peace.
11. I have learned about myself that in the past I was the person that if I knew someone was going through something hard, I would say Hi, but not bring up the subject. I have learned that it is better to acknowledge what is happening than pretend like nothing is going on. I would rather people ask me about what happened or just say, "I am sorry" than pretend like I didn't have a baby. I will never ignore the hard things again.
12. We have been so blessed by so many people giving us money, it is unbelievable. We will make sure to reciprocate when others are in need.
13. As you can imagine, we were not planning on having to plan or pay for a funeral. Southern Utah Mortuary here in Cedar was so wonderful. They went out of their way to make Olivia's funeral as affordable as possible. Also, a member of our ward is a mortician there, and he worked on his days off to be able to help us and be there for us, and we so appreciate him.
14. We have a wonderful friend who got in contact with a foundation called Share that came and made molds of Olivia's hands and feet for us. What a precious memory we now have of her.
15. Words cannot express our gratitude for our friends and neighbors.
16. One of our neighbors lost a baby several years ago, and she came and brought us some poems and stories about losing a child. The first one I read was about a white Rose. It was so profound and really helped me that day. I will share the story later, but basically it was a reminder that I chose to have this sweet spirit even if for just a few moments, and that she has a great work to do in heaven.
17. One of our dear friends Rae came from St. George to take pictures of Olivia, and I am so grateful for those pictures. And then the day of the funeral Tiff took pictures and they are so perfect and beautiful.
This list will continue, and I will keep adding to it. More than anything else I am grateful for this experience. It is not easy, but I have learned that God is so aware of me. This scripture has been repeated in my head many times since Olivia's death. In the Book of Mormon, Alma chapter 7 verse 12 it says: "And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.