Catherine learned 10 weeks into her pregnancy that one of her twin babies, Celeste, was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness; the other twin, Hayley, was fine.
"There was a chance that Celeste would be able to come into this world, but it would be for a very short time," says Catherine. "I wanted to do everything possible to make that happen. The BJC Hospice Perinatal Program provided me with support during the final stage of my pregnancy and to this day they still keep in touch with me."
Catherine heard about the perinatal program through her case worker. After researching different programs, Catherine knew BJC Hospice was the right choice. "The nurses and staff were committed 100 percent to this program, and that is what appealed to me the most."
Celeste lived no longer than 10 minutes. Debra, Catherine's hospice nurse, came to the hospital the day that Celeste and Hayley were born and took black and white photos of Catherine's three children holding Celeste. "They are the best pictures I have of Celeste and I am very grateful to Debra for those pictures. They are a special keepsake that I will always treasure."
Susan Palmquist, BJC Hospice chaplain, visited Catherine prior to and after Celeste's death and J.J. Tellatin, art therapist, visited with Catherine's older children. Art therapy -- such as painting, drawing, collage, clay and crafts -- can be a powerful tool in helping children express their feelings, thoughts and experiences.
"I informed all my physicians about this program, so they are knowledgeable about how great it really is," says Catherine. "Everyone I worked with was wonderful. I recommend the program to anyone who is in the same situation."