Meet Olive and her sweet mama Stefani. What I love most about these pictures is the way that Olive is looking at her mom with such adoration. As a mother, it is the best feeling knowing that your little one is happy. And if you're the source of that happiness, well the feeling is all the sweeter.
Behind that beautiful little face of Olive's, there is a very special, inspiring and important story. A story of a miracle, of faith and prayers and of overcoming odds. When Olive was just one month old she was hospitalized for Vitamin K bleeding deficiency and nearly died. Here's part of her story, in Stefani's words:
"Dr. Mellema explained that a clot had developed which was placing immense pressure on Olive's brain. Not only that, but there was bleeding on the back of the right side of her brain as well. The water pockets that are within the brain were completely destroyed, and the tissue on the left side of the brain looked mostly damaged. He said that the lack of Vitamin K in Olive's system resulted in her body's inability to clot. Anything as small as putting her down in her bed could have caused this bleed. Since she couldn't clot, the bleeding didn't stop. There had been one other case of this that the doctor had seen - I asked what had happened then, and was told that the baby hadn't lived. We were told that in the small chance that she did survive, Olive would most likely suffer from severe brain damage.
I cried and screamed and threw things. Eric held me while I sobbed. I know I couldn't have survived this experience without him. He told me that he and Bishop were going to give Olive a priesthood blessing. I assumed that it would be one of comfort, of peace, one to help her pass from this life.
I stared at the floor while Eric spoke the words of the blessing. He told Olive that the faith and prayers of many would help her through this trial. And then he said that she would survive this and would go onto live a long life.
Faith is often described as a little seed that starts small and grows over time. My faith began as a seed, embedded within that healing blessing. I believed that if God had inspired my husband to speak those words, our daughter would live. I didn't know how, and even then it was more a hope than a knowledge, but it was there and I held onto that throughout this whole experience.
At this point, I decided that I had to leave the hospital. I wasn't sure if I could sit there and watch my daughter suffer, so I went home with our Bishop and Eric stayed with Olive. I will be forever grateful that he endured that first night alone with her, because I know that had to have been the worst.
The only way to get Olive into the surgery that she needed to remove the clot was to get her to start clotting everywhere else, and the only way to do that was to pump her full of plasma and Vitamin K. The doctor wasn't sure how long she would take to start clotting, or if it would happen soon enough to make the surgery worthwhile. Even then, the surgery was incredibly dangerous, and there were very few studies of it being done on such a young person (she had turned one month just the day before). There was a chance that if the pressure on her left side was removed too quickly, the entire right side would be damaged as well.
I got home to find that our Bishop's wife had been kind enough to stay with Josie, even though they were both leaving on a flight the next morning. It was close to midnight when we said goodbye and I sat down on my bed in shock. I talked to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law and didn't even cry - it had started to feel like a bad dream and I was completely detaching myself.
As I was sitting alone, trying to sleep, a scripture came to my mind.
"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
I needed the strength of God, and of others, to help my own unbelief. I got on Facebook and shared what had happened, ending with a plea for any prayers or thoughts on Olive's behalf.
At 1 AM, Eric called to tell me that Olive had began clotting a little over an hour after they begun her Vitamin K treatment, which was a miracle in itself. Our decision now was whether we should have her undergo the risky surgery, or see if the clot would resolve on its own.
After praying, we felt the surgery was the best option, and it began just after 2 AM.
The next morning, I awoke to find messages from friends and family all over the country, each sending prayers and well wishes our way. Soon, Olive's name was on multiple temple prayer rolls, candles were being lit for her at mass, and some were even meditating in favor of her recovery. The response from all kinds of people, of different backgrounds and religions, was totally overwhelming. I suddenly felt stronger than I have ever felt before and it was only made better by the phone call that said our little girl had survived the surgery and that it had been a success."
(Read the whole story HERE.)
I wish that I had been friends with Stefani when all of this was happening so that I had known to pray for her little girl when they were going through this difficult time. I am SO glad that little Olive is miraculously ok. She is the sweetest little baby with the most beautiful big eyes I have ever seen on a little infant. Stefani wants to help raise awareness of just how important it is that babies are given their Vitamin K shot when they are born which you can read about HERE. Please head to her blog and read and share her story so that what happened to Olive does not have to happen to any other baby.
Every day that goes by, every smile and coo that Olive's makes at her mama, every last bit of it is proof that miracles really do happen. ♥