Perinatal Hospice Support – Expected Losses
Baby Alexandra was born into her family and into this world on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in1994. Weighing but three pounds, with 12 fingers and 12 toes, and suffering with a lethal genetic disorder, her life spanned 45 arduous days; 30 in the hospital and the final 15 at home. At every moment of this journey and particularly in the last days, as Alexandra was dying, she was held close to her family’s aching heart. The days and nights caring for Alexandra were long and frightening. Over and above the emotional pain associated with her life and death, they felt isolated, as Alex came home with minimal medical and other types of support. Alexandra’s House was born through this experience. Alex’s aunt chose to help soften this blow by offering charitable perinatal hospice supportive services for others in similar situations.
Alexandra’s House helps bring a pregnancy and the life of an unborn baby with lethal and sub-lethal anomalies to its natural end, lovingly accepting anyone into its care who needs it. This care extends to the whole family.
If, because of overwhelming circumstances, a family is unable to care for a dying baby once they are sent home, Alexandra’s House will, as able, accept their baby into its care directly or through a network of families within the community who long to lend a helping hand. Professional care is managed by local licensed hospice organizations.
Perinatal and Infant Loss Support – Unexpected Losses
In 2008 an increasing number of mothers, fathers, extended families, and health care workers began consulting Alexandra’s House for assistance in grief resolution for families of babies who died in hospitals or family homes from a variety of causes including fetal demise, miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, accidents, trauma, infections, malignancies and other known and unknown reasons. Thus began our new journey with families in these special situations and an outgrowth of very special supportive programs to help meet their needs and ease their burdens.
Fountain of Mercy -
Healing for parents who chose to terminate a pregnancy because of a fatal anomaly and are now questioning or regretting their decision
Hope > Fear
Pregnancy planning and support during that fearful yet hopeful time of a subsequent pregnancy after past losses
Swaddling Clothes – Provides burial clothing, a blanket and toy for any baby in need
Saturdays at Alexandra’s House – Peer led gatherings for sharing and socializing –Includes support for grandparents and extended families as well as resources for siblings. Groups with expected and unexpected losses meet separately as their responses to their losses are different. “God draws bonds that are deeper and stronger than bonds of blood.” St Augustine
A Piece of My Heart – An invitation to anyone who lost a baby from any cause, at any time, especially decades ago, who never had the chance to acknowledge and fully grieve their loss to come to Alexandra’s House to visit, heal, and help others. This includes 1:1 peer mentoring acutely or any phase of a loss.
Bonding Sonograms – 3-D images provided by a wonderful company for families under our care with anticipated losses
Footsteps of the Arimathean – As funds allow, provides us the privilege to honor any baby who dies in the community from natural or suspicious causes with burial services.
Champ’s Wee Care Packages –Gift packages filled and delivered for free to birth centers and given to families with unexpected perinatal deaths. These boxes are filled with little things to give the families comfort and create memories in this very difficult time.
Caden’s Cubs – Led by the Carlson family, this program provides an opportunity to create fun memories for siblings with a trip to Build-a-Bear to build a snuggly toy in anticipation of their special baby’s birth. This is in honor their son Caden who had Potter’s Syndrome. Gifts are limited, at this time, to families referred by Alexandra’s House but the hope is that one day it will grow into a national project.
Bands of Brothers – Started by Dylan, 11 and Dawson, 8, this program provides a unique wristband for families to circulate among friends, which will be inscribed with their special unborn baby’s name and the family’s chosen words of encouragement.
Memorials – Annual events to celebrate the lives of your special babies
Visitation – Peer volunteers who will visit at the hospital or in the community to share 1:1
Vision for Future Includes: (Dates not yet determined)
Refuge/crisis nursery for abandoned infants and toddlers up to three years of age whether healthy or terminally ill
Alexandra’s Grandma and Grandpa’s House – Charitable supportive care for elderly dying who have no one to care for them