WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 18, 2011, 09:31 PM

Beautiful Women: Family tragedy leads to inspiration

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- As we rush around to do holiday shopping and buy gifts for people we love. A Beautiful Woman among us is showing us, it's not about the money spent and the gifts, but people and time that are important..

By: Kerstin Kealy, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- As we rush around to do holiday shopping and buy gifts for people we love. A Beautiful Woman among us is showing us, it's not about the money spent and the gifts, but people and time that are important..

Forum Communications is highlighting the Beautiful Women in our community in a special project; Its true, inner beauty.

Our next Beautiful Woman has a story of heartbreak and healing. Meet Alexia Stein, A woman who has experienced the unthinkable loss of three children, while saving others' children.

Beautiful Women creators Bill Marcil Junior and Chris Linnares talked with Alexia. She told us her story to inspire others, and show that you can move through grief, who demonstrates with grace the beauty of family.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “This is Lana - she's been in the nicU 72 days with us.”

It takes a special person to work as a neo-natal nurse. Daily, facing the fragility of life that starts to soon and the difficult reality that not every baby makes it.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “Those families have hopes and dreams for these children that will never come true and it's so sad.”

31 year old Alexia Stein is among 94 nurses in her unit at Sanford in Fargo. They are often called angels on this earth. Bringing hope and strength where sometimes there is none.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “It's a very intimate thing and I didn't realize it until I experienced it myself.”

It's Alexia's personal tragedy that connects her to these families and makes her better at her job, and also nearly pulled her away from it. After giving birth to a healthy baby boy named Hudson, she and her husband Tony were excited to welcome another baby into this world, but her 20 week ultrasound revealed serious problems. There was no amniotic fluid, and the baby's organs were undeveloped and damaged, problems caught too late to repair.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “The day I got Gabe's diagnosis I came home and Hudson came over and looked at me and said don't cry because your baby is broken. And I looked at him and said you're my baby too and I need to be here and I need to get through this for him.”

Doctors gave Alexia the option of terminating the pregnancy. But she found the strength to carry Gabe to term, a baby she knew she would never hear cry, or see smile. She was induced at 37 weeks. He died one minute before he was born.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “After losing Gabe and seeing those nurses, help me, do the molds of his feet and take those pictures of him that I would hold onto for the rest of my life and that would be all I get from him, I realized that there job is so important.”

After Gabe, this young family found the courage to move forward. But again, an ultrasound revealed the unthinkable.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “She had a chromosomal anomaly, that in the medical field is known as trisomy 13, those babies are incompatible with life. They don't survive. We delivered and lost her on New Years Eve a couple years ago.”

Sophia was born malformed. They weren't able to have the pictures and memories they cherished from Gabe. They framed a simple, dated card to remind them of the precious daughter they lost.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “We have an ornament on the Christmas tree that is our Sophia ornament and we know she is another angel for us in heaven.”

And there was even more heartbreak, after Sophia, a miscarriage. While her work was to heal other people's children, she struggled, not able to do anything to save the baby inside of her.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family:” I was so mad at him every time. And at that time I looked at is as, I do what I do every day, I help these children who cannot help themselves and I get pregnant and you take my child away from me. And I had great anger.”

During these losses Alexia took a step back and took a break from her job in the nicU, not able to bear the pain of seeing children like the ones she lost everyday. But through it all, she realized it was her calling and she had a gift to give to families who share her tragedy, using her perspective to help others parents in their darkest hour.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “When I get the opportunity to help those families now, it is not just my job. It is preserving what tiny bit of that baby that family will get.”

While she clings to the memories of the children she lost, sometimes minute by minute and hour by hour, Alexia has moved forward. After three years of pregnancy, finally a healthy baby girl, Nora.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “ And I sit in that rocker and rock her and I think oh, we are so lucky to have a healthy boy and healthy girl. we're so lucky.. and three angels.”

You can hardly blame this mother for being overprotective to her 5 year old son and 9 month old daughter, teaching them about their three siblings in heaven, holding on tightly to every moment and milestone.

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “ I thought I had my whole life planned - I realized then that he had a different plan but everyday I see it coming together more and more.”

All while never fully letting go of the three angels waiting in heaven..

Alexia Stein/The Beauty Of Family: “ I'll have my time here on earth - and I'll try to do the best that I can do - but when I do die I look forward to holding all three of my children who I've never been able to hold… alive… and that's something to look forward to.”

You can hear much more about Alexia in tomorrow's Forum.

She'll also be on the Christopher Gabriel Program tomorrow. Plus there's behind the scenes video on beautiful women of dot area, where you can find more information about our continuing project.