Also, she is just so precious to me, all I ever want to do is talk about her. She has left an indelible mark upon our family. She has changed our family forever for the better.
Then, miraculously, Elodie started trying to breathe. The NICU nurse was able to get her on some oxygen to help her. Elodie was a fighter, her heart was strong, and she was such a calm baby. It was a mad rush on everyone’s part to get us back into the labor and delivery room so we could bring Emily up to meet her sister. Although Emily was only allowed to be in the room for 20 precious minutes, we were so grateful that she was able to spend time with her sister. Before Elodie was born, Emily had told us all of the things she wanted to do with her sister. “Take her a bath,” “Feed her a cheese stick,” “Feed her a fig bar,” “Have a sleepover with Elodie,” and “Hold Elodie’s Hand”. Elodie and Emily were able to achieve most of those goals.
Another miracle we experienced was Lindsey’s healing after the C-section. By the next day she was up and moving around, and we were hopeful that we’d be able to take Elodie home where she would get to meet more family and just spend time with us in our home environment. Thanks to Lindsey’s quick healing and Dr. Branaman’s understanding of why we wanted to leave, we brought Elodie home on August 7, which also happened to be her grandmother’s birthday.
Back at home Elodie was surrounded by her grandmas Hannan and Reynolds, her grandpa Reynolds, her cousins Spencer and Amelia, her aunts Jessica and Madalynn, her uncle Tyler, and of course, her big sister Emily and us, her parents. We were so grateful for the countless miracles that allowed us to bring her home and spend time with family during this weird time where most people aren’t allowed in the hospital.
We spent the next few days taking countless pictures and videos and watching Elodie and Emily form a special bond as sisters. There were lots of hugs and kisses given, and everyone who was around her could feel her special, powerful spirit.
Shortly after Jacob left, Elodie began to show signs of distress. We had hospice on call and did our best to keep her comfortable. We spent that last precious night together, and Emily came into our room to have one more sister sleepover with Elodie.
Elodie passed away Monday, August 10 at about 8 AM, four days after her birth. Although we are heartbroken by her passing, we know that she was met in the Spirit World by many loving family members, including her grandpa Jim Hannan who passed away last year.
Despite our grief, we felt the power of Elodie’s spirit. Her life was brief but powerful and has made a great impact on us. Our family has grown to include two beautiful girls. We know that Elodie’s work was meant to continue in the Spirit world as she proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who died without a knowledge of it.
During all our fasting and prayers for Elodie the one overwhelming feeling we had was, “everything is going to be okay.” We know that this is true. Even as we grieve for our little girl and all our hopes and dreams of having her here with us, we know that everything is okay as she is safe and happy in the Spirit world. We know that thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ we will be with Elodie again, and when we are reunited, she will be whole, and we will never need to be separated from her again. We can say as Paul did, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”'
When it became clear to me that Elodie wasn't going to be staying long on this earth I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why this had to happen, and why it had to happen NOW. After a year of trying and miscarriages, why wasn't my miracle rainbow baby going to live? Why did it have to be at the same time as COVID? I became so concerned that this virus was going to erase my daughter and I couldn't let that happen.
In the four short days that she was here I learned a lifetime of lessons on faith and miracles. Elodie was meant to be born now. She is still, and forever will be, my miracle rainbow baby.
In the weeks since she passed away I have learned a lifetime of lessons on faith, love, grief, and miracles. I have felt the deepest, most hollow ache in my heart, my arms have felt heavy with longing for my baby to be back in them. I have clutched the last outfit she wore while she was here with us and just cried because I miss her so very much.
I have also felt lifted and loved by the countless prayers being offered on our behalf. I have been surrounded by good, kind people who have done all kinds of service for my family. I have heard from so many other mothers who know exactly what I am going through. They have immediately reached out to me in love and let me know that they are here for me whenever I may need them.
It may be hard to believe that losing your child can be a spiritual experience, but I am here to tell you that it is, if you let it. Yes, you will feel the deepest darkest grief you have ever known. I will miss Elodie for the rest of my life. But I have also felt the closeness of my Savior Jesus Christ, and have felt deeply the truth of His Atonement and Resurrection, and the promise that it brings that death is not the end. I will see my baby girl again. It will be a happy, beautiful reunion, and I will never have to say goodbye to her again. Mourning and grief can be beautiful and spiritual because they draw us closer to our Heavenly Father, where we can better remember His promises, which are sure. He has never lied to me, and He never will. Elodie is mine forever, but she was His first. He knew exactly what she needed, and He knows what I need now.
I sang a song at Elodie's memorial. It is a French hymn called Souviens-toi, which translates to "Remember." It was a song I'd sing to her while I was pregnant. The overall song is basically a parent singing to their child. Likely a newborn child from the way the first verse is written. In the third verse it talks about how the parent and the child knew each other before coming to earth. They happily accepted their Father's plan to come to earth and gain a body. They promise each other that, through their love and their faith, they would be reunited.
I know Elodie and I made promises of that nature to each other and to our Heavenly Parents.
That is what I can share with you about my sweet baby girl. She is so precious to me.