Join me in Celebrating Children Gone Too Soon

Join me in Celebrating Children Gone Too Soon

It brings me joy when I have the opportunity to help bereaved parents share their stories. I believe sharing our experiences and the lessons we have learned is a critical part of being human. And being a part of a community. This is why I am honoured to help celebrate babies gone too soon. The commemoration page is called Celebrating Sweeties. This is a place where lives lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, early infant loss – and any kind of loss of children – can be openly shared and remembered. I welcome families to contribute their children that died at any age, for any reason. Every child needs to be celebrated.  Celebrating Sweeties is a safe place where any image of any baby or older child is welcomed. And if you don’t have a picture, a...

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Why you need support in your pregnancy after loss

Why you need support in your pregnancy after loss

In my first pregnancy after loss, I was so terrified of losing another child. I couldn’t picture giving birth to a baby that lived. It was a paralysing fear. Despite the fact that I was so eager to have and love that next baby with all my heart, that pregnancy was rough. It was a season full of anxiety. I write about this experience in my forthcoming memoir, Expecting Sunshine, which will be released April 2017 by She Writes Press. In Expecting Sunshine, I share about the conflicting emotions during pregnancy after loss, and all the things I did in the attempt to be calm and find peace. The one resounding message that I can share from that time: Support is crucial in pregnancies after loss. This may seem so obvious, but it’s not. I remember my...

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Healing Art for Mourning Moms – Register Today

Healing Art for Mourning Moms – Register Today

I am incredibly proud to announce a course I will be teaching called Healing Art for Mourning Moms. The course is only a few weeks away. Registration is now open. If you feel the pull, please sign up right away as the class maxes out at an intimate twenty participants. Healing Art for Mourning Moms Taught by Alexis Marie Chute, MFA, BFA A four week art-based course designed to help you grieve and heal from the pain of miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant loss.   In WEEK 1 participants will be welcomed into a judgement-free space to express and discuss their losses. The group will use creative writing to look at grief from different angles and uncover each individuals’ unique healing vocabulary. In WEEK 2 participants will use their writing from the...

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Celebrate Moms of All Kinds on International Bereaved Mother’s Day

Celebrate Moms of All Kinds on International Bereaved Mother’s Day

Thank you for reading and celebrating with me on International Bereaved Mother’s Day! No two Moms are exactly alike. We all have unique birth stories. We parent differently. Discipline our kids in distinct ways. We tell our own special stories at bed time. Some Moms choose to have three babies. Some don’t have a choice. Some Moms have no babies on this earth. There are many Moms that hold one or more children in their hearts. That’s life. Life is imperfect… – and it is these imperfections that makes it beautiful, sometimes tragically beautiful. Today, International Bereaved Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Moms of all kinds.   What is your story? What kind of a mom are you? How many children do you have?...

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Why it is Important to Celebrate International Bereaved Mother’s Day

Why it is Important to Celebrate International Bereaved Mother’s Day

This Sunday, May 1, 2016 is International Bereaved Mother’s Day.  I look forward to this date with mixed feelings. Maybe you do as well. Mother’s Day is a celebration, but for many it is a hard reminder of an incredibly painful time. The loss of a child is an experience I would not wish on my worst enemy, yet it is all too common. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. One in one-hundred-and-sixty end in stillbirth. More children are lost to SIDS and other causes during infancy.  These deaths are more than just statistics. They are little fingers that will never learn about the world through touch. They are tiny eyes that wont have the chance to smile every time they see their Mama or Dada. They are giggles and first words and cries for attention...

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Remember your Child in Expecting Sunshine Memoir

Remember your Child in Expecting Sunshine Memoir

About a year ago I asked if anyone wants their child’s name commemorated in my memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A heartwarming journey of grief, healing and pregnancy after loss. This is the final call for names! I am just finalizing the contract for publishing my book and soon the manuscript will be off with the publisher! It has been such a long process to get to this point, but I am so excited!   Just to show how long the publishing process really is on a book:   I wrote my memoir about my pregnancy after loss in 2011-2012. Editing it ever since, both on my own and with professional editors. Searched for an agent. Found an agent. Agent pitched my book to the big publishers. Big publishers replied: wonderfully written book BUT the subject matter is too...

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A Happy Place to Heal

A Happy Place to Heal

What is your happy place?   I always look forward to the summer. The heat and sunshine are healing for me. Nature is awakened around me, engaging every sense. Laying in the grass. Reading in the shade. The smell of flowers. The warmth of the afternoon sun. The taste of fruit, barbeque and cold drinks. The sound of bees buzzing. The vividness of greens and blues.   Some people have a location. For me, above all else the summer season is my happy place.     It is a season that reminds me of many good times and happiness as my first rainbow baby was born at the summer solstice in 2012. When times are rough, I need the summer heat. After Zach died, Aaron, Hannah and I traveled to Hawaii. Our savings suffered – and our grief traveled along with us...

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Sharing Family Stories

Sharing Family Stories

Sharing Family Stories of Loss and Love… on Wanted, Chosen, Planned Sharing stories is so important. We live in a culture that gobbles up well-told stories – from novels to comics to movies and theatre. Stories are not only at the heart of our culture but also of our families. We share generational recipes, the history of our ancestry and time honoured traditions. So why is it hard for us as a society to talk about our losses? Being open and vulnerable with our feelings around love and loss can be incredibly healing. Bottling up emotions can lead to stress and the breakdown of communication. Authentic communication, from the heart, can be a comfort to the isolation of grief. Plus, our children matter, both those with us and those that live on in spirit....

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Perinatal and Infant Loss Conferences 2016

Perinatal and Infant Loss Conferences 2016

Conferences are a wonderful way to learn about perinatal and infant losses – both for families and those that care for them. Have you ever been to this type of conference? When I went to my first one, I found it unnerving how open everyone was with their losses. It was a safe place to share and the community feeling was uplifting. I came away with so much. There are some amazing conferences coming up for bereaved families, volunteers and professionals. Here are three taking place this summer and fall:   Hope Rises on the Wings of Love The Compassionate Friends 39th National Conference   July 8-10, 2016 Scottsdale, Arizona   Conference registration: Adult Registration (ages 18 +) $90.00 each Child Registration (ages 9-17) $40.00 each Full-Time...

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Never Alone

Never Alone

Kids say the most profound things. Yesterday, Christmas Day 2015, my daughter Hannah startled me with a comment. Our family was driving to visit my parents and en route we were discussing the fact that not everyone has someone to spend the holidays with. Christmas is not an easy time of year for everyone. From the backseat Hannah said, “Mommy, you are never alone – you have baby with you all the time.” She was talking about my second Rainbow Baby, the child I am 37 weeks anxiously expecting. Then Hannah continued: “And Zachary is always with you too!” This realization made me smile. My first son, my baby that I miss dearly; he is always with me. Zachary is never far from my thoughts. My love for him never wanes. I am never...

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Please Support Expecting Sunshine

Please Support Expecting Sunshine

I haven’t posted in what feels like ages. There is a very good reason for this. Two words: EXPECTING SUNSHINE This is my documentary film about having a baby after losing a baby. It is my passion project right now, connecting my art, writing, and love for supporting others – all into one. Expecting Sunshine is an important film. It will raise awareness and hopefully help to break the taboo around the loss of a child. It will also bring to light how challenging it is to have a baby after these types of deaths. This topic is not addressed enough.   Have you had a child after you lost a child? What was your experience like?  Maybe you are pregnant after the death of your baby. How are you coping?   In a project with such a huge scope as...

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New Sweeties to Celebrate

New Sweeties to Celebrate

  On Wanted Chosen Planned, I share my story of losing a baby and having children afterwards – BUT I also dream of this being a community place. I welcome guest blog posts from individuals and families. If people need someone to talk to, I’m available (easily reached by email: info@alexismariechute.com). Plus, I have dedicated this whole online community to not only my son Zachary, but all the children of those who find themselves here. Celebrating Sweeties is a dedication page where families can email me with the name and birth/death date of their child, along with a picture if they choose. I make-up the designed image and post it, publically honouring that child and his or her family’s experience. It is a powerful act. It is bold. It fosters openness and...

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Speech from the Baby Steps Walk to Remember

Speech from the Baby Steps Walk to Remember

Last weekend was the Baby Steps Memorial Walk to Remember. It was a really great way to kick off Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I gave a speech that is very close to my heart. I spoke about the death of a child like being lost in the wilderness. For me, my son Zachary has become like Polaris, the North Star, who helps guide me out of the confusing and scary place. It is always tremendously special to be able to talk about my first son and to hear his name. Within my household, we talk about Zachary all the time, but to be in the company of others who don’t find that weird or uncomfortable is truly a blessing. It was so nice to have my Mom and Step-father and my husband’s parents join us. I don’t typically ask family and friends to attend these sorts...

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Baby Steps Memorial Walk this Sunday

Baby Steps Memorial Walk this Sunday

This Sunday, October 4, 2015, is the Baby Steps Memorial Walk in Edmonton, Alberta. I am honoured to share my reflections on this life after loss in the keynote speech. I was not able to speak at the Walk in August, as planned, because of a scary finding in my current pregnancy. If you want to read about my experience, you can click here. Feeling much more optimistic, I am looking forward to connecting with the special community of those in and around Edmonton this Sunday. There are so many who have been through the death of a child and yet are so open, welcoming and compassionate. It is an incredible group of individuals. I would encourage you, if you have lost a child, please consider attending the Baby Steps Walk or another event in your area. It truly makes a...

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What does Fatherhood Really Mean?

What does Fatherhood Really Mean?

Today is International Bereaved Father’s Day – and I find myself asking: What does fatherhood really mean? The British dictionary defines “Fatherhood” as: the state or responsibility of being a father. Or do we relate more to this definition of what a “Father” is: a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider. Everyone’s experience of fatherhood is largely based on personal, lived experience. Therefore, fatherhood will likely look different to everyone. Still, it is easy to imagine a man: Rocking his child to sleep. Teaching the little boy or girl how to kick a soccer ball. Wrestling in the living room. Helping with math homework. Staying awake till the daughter comes home from a date. Instructing his son how to drive....

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International Bereaved Father’s Day 2015

International Bereaved Father’s Day 2015

This Sunday, September 27 is International Bereaved Father’s Day. I encourage you to reach out to a Dad you know who is living without one (or more) of his precious children. Here are some simple ways to do so: Send a text or call on the phone. Just say, “Hi, thinking of you, if you ever need to talk…” Get together with the man. Quality time means the world – even if it is just playing Mario Cart. If the man and his family are planning a time of remembrance, ask how you can support them. If you are a bereaved father, please remember: You are still a dad. It is a part of who you are, whether your child is with you or not. Embrace how you are feeling. Don’t judge yourself – and if other’s judge you, ignore them. Surround yourself with supportive people and do...

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Encouraging Test Results

Encouraging Test Results

ENCOURAGING RESULTS: Since I shared my “Struggling & How to Help” post a few weeks ago, I have received a few encouraging test results. I have had a lot of people ask if I have had any news, so I am sharing it here. It can be easier to write it out for all to read, opposed to answering the same questions over and over. The test results came back to me staggered. The first result was a little ray of hope in the darkness which felt like déjà vu. The second test result was a little more sunshine for my soul – but not total relief. Still, I feel encouraged moving forward.   WHERE I’M AT: I have told a few people about these results and have had some of those individuals sigh and say things like, “I’m so glad everything is okay,” and “thank goodness it...

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Struggling & How to Help

Struggling & How to Help

Having a baby after losing a baby is hard. Then you add a complication to the pregnancy and everything spirals. To be honest, I am struggling right now.   What has happened in the last five days: I had my 20 week ultrasound last Tuesday. That night, our doctor called and said there may be something wrong with my baby’s heart and that it could be an indicator of a larger problem. I was making dinner at the time. The torrent of emotions nearly knocked me off my feet. I wept so hard both nostrils started bleeding. There was blood on my clothing and on my three-year-old son who ran to comfort me. Though I was making a new recipe that night, both Aaron and I lost our appetites after the call. At the same time, our instinctual coping mechanisms kicked-in. All I...

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Bereaved Dads Needed for Documentary

Bereaved Dads Needed for Documentary

My team and I are still diligently working away at our first documentary, Brave New Normal: Five Mothers Break the Silence on Baby Loss. I am always planning for the future and am setting the groundwork down to make the sequel: Five Fathers Break the Silence on Baby Loss. Bereaved Dads Needed for Documentary If you or someone you know is a bereaved father, please consider being a part of this project. You can email me to get in touch: info@alexismariechute.com Here is the trailer for Brave New Normal: Five Mothers Break the Silence on Baby Loss. BRAVE NEW NORMAL: Five Mothers Break the Silence on Baby Loss Click here to view the trailer on YouTube. Hugs Alexis Marie Chute Here are other posts on the topic of documentaries: Brave New Normal, View the Trailer...

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Zuckerberg & Chan Pregnancy Announcement

Zuckerberg & Chan Pregnancy Announcement

I am always so impressed when people are brave in sharing about their losses. It is not an easy thing to do in our culture. On July 31, the Facebook founder updated his public profile with the news of their growing family. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s pregnancy announcement confirmed the couple is pregnant – and with a baby girl, but also that they have been trying for years. Three miscarriages later, they posted a smiling maternity photo, Priscilla with a radiant smile and the glow of motherhood. For those of you not on Facebook, or may have missed the announcement, here it is. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan pregnancy announcement:     The announcement shares with the world some of the challenges and confusion around miscarriage. “You feel...

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