Add Your Baby to the Celebrating Sweeties Page this Month

Add Your Baby to the Celebrating Sweeties Page this Month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It is an incredibly important time to celebrate and honor little lives gone too soon. Here on Wanted Chosen Planned, we have a very special way to remember babies and older children that have died. It is called Celebrating Sweeties and it is a place where children can be recognized by name, birth and death date and a picture if the parents have one and choose to share it.  If you would like your child to be a part of Celebrating Sweeties, please send this information to Alexis Marie at info@alexismariechute.com I am honored to post a new photo to the Celebrating Sweeties page today – and since Wanted Chosen Planned and Expecting Sunshine are experiencing a butterfly takeover for the month of October, I...

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October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is PREGNANCY AND INFANT LOSS AWARENESS MONTH. Please join with me in raising awareness for this life-changing experience. October is a time to… Remember the children that have died. Celebrate their lives and how they live on in our hearts. Break down the taboos around this type of loss. Give needed support to families. Honor bereaved mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, extended family and friends.   At this very special time of year, Wanted Chosen Planned (and my book and film: Expecting Sunshine) will have a butterfly takeover! This takeover is to help remember, celebrate and spark conversation.   If you are to Google “butterfly symbolism” this is what will come up: Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life....

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October Baby Loss Events

October Baby Loss Events

Baby loss events can be immensely comforting for those who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, and other kinds of pregnancy and infant losses. I remember attending my first event, the Walk to Remember, when I was still pregnant with Zachary, only two weeks before he died. I knew Zach would pass and attending the walk was hard, but it did give me a glimpse of what was to come. When I say that, what I mean is I got a preview of the supportive community of families who have also walked this journey. On what may feel like a lonely experience of grief, truly there are many others out there who can offer compassionate support.  No one should walk this journey alone. Now, almost seven years after Zachary’s death, I find baby loss events a wonderful...

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A Video Game to Cope with Grief

A Video Game to Cope with Grief

I listened to one of the most touching Ted Talks just a few days ago. It was about a family that designed a video game to cope with the grief of losing their son. It was so touching that I wanted to share it here. THE DRAGON, CANCER A little background: When Amy Green’s young son was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, she made up a bedtime story for his siblings to teach them about cancer. What resulted was a video game, “That Dragon, Cancer,” which takes players on a journey they can’t win. In this beautiful talk about coping with loss, Green brings joy and play to tragedy. “We made a game that’s hard to play,” she says, “because the hardest moments of our lives change us more than any goal we could ever...

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Last Two Days to Remember your Baby in Expecting Sunshine Documentary

Last Two Days to Remember your Baby in Expecting Sunshine Documentary

Expecting Sunshine documentary needs your help to finish the film. If you have been affected by and feel strongly for the topic of pregnancy and infant loss, grief and healing – please join us on the journey of making a cultural difference. SPECIAL FINAL OFFERING Thursday, July 13 & Friday, July 14 ONLY Donate to the Expecting Sunshine Documentary crowdfunding campaign and have the baby you lost, your rainbow baby, supporter name or business name listed in the credit roll of the film. We need your help. Please contribute and be a part of this meaningful project! THANK YOU!! ABOUT EXPECTING SUNSHINE FILM: The film documents an actual pregnancy of Alexis Marie Chute as she grapples with the unique challenges of the loss of a baby and the “new...

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Celebrating Sweeties Update

Celebrating Sweeties Update

What I love about Celebrating Sweeties is that it is a safe place to publicly remember children that have died. It is an unfortunate reality that our culture doesn’t know what to say to bereaved parents. What is typically said when an older person dies – “At least (s)he lived a long, full life” – does not apply. I am hoping that this will change. That we can develop a supportive and compassionate vocabulary to talk miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, and all other kids of pregnancy loss and early infant loss – not to mention the death of an older or adult child as well. That is the goal of “The Healthy Grief Movement.”  New Sweeties to Celebrate It is always bittersweet for me to add a new baby or older child to the...

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Father’s Day for the Bereaved Dad

Father’s Day for the Bereaved Dad

Father’s Day can be challenging for the bereaved dad, just like Mother’s Day is for the bereaved mom. It only adds to the problem when fathers who have lost a child do not receive the support they need (but may not ask for) after their loss. This is not a fact I recognized around the time of Zachary’s passing, which I am sorry for. I was very introspective and self-focused back then, which is okay when you are trying to hold it together yourself. I still attempted to be there for my husband, though I’m not sure if I did a good job of it. My husband Aaron resumed life quickly after our loss, which at the time hurt me deeply. I felt abandoned by my partner and couldn’t see that he was grieving. Boy, was I wrong! I did not appreciate...

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Mother’s Day for the Bereaved Mom

Mother’s Day for the Bereaved Mom

Mother’s Day is a mix of emotions for the bereaved mom. It can be full of highs and also lows. I do want to encourage all mom’s to take heart this Mother’s Day: However you hold your baby, in your arms or in your heart… … Remember these things: You are MOM You are strong Love never dies You are brave for all you’ve endured Sunshine comes after the storm The rawness of grief will not last forever Mother’s Day is a chance to remember Your baby will never be forgotten   If you are looking for a way to celebrate Mother’s Day as a bereaved Mom – or for a bereaved Mom you know – here are a few ideas: Plant a memory garden Meditate in nature Create a symbolic painting Start a new journal Write your...

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The Importance of International Bereaved Mother’s Day

The Importance of International Bereaved Mother’s Day

I just clicked “publish” on my first article as a Huffington Post regular contributor. It is called “The Importance of International Bereaved Mother’s Day.” First of all, I want to say that I really appreciate the opportunities – both online and off – to write about loss, grief, and healing, particularly the loss of a child. When all of our voices come together, sharing stories and honouring our babies, our birth experiences and ourselves as Moms, then I believe we will change the stigma around our types of losses. Then, I hope, we will help foster a healthy cultural response to miscarriage, stillbirth, other types of pregnancy loss, and also the death of infants. Secondly, you can help join in this conversation. One way...

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A Healthy Grief Movement

A Healthy Grief Movement

I want to bring people together to create a “Healthy Grief Movement.” Will you join me? What I see as some of the “manifesto points” of this movement: People are encouraged and feel comfortable talking about their own losses and speaking with others who are grieving. Sharing stories of life and death that help both the storyteller and the listeners. Children are brought up understanding that death is a natural and beautiful part of life. There is a healthy vocabulary to discuss challenging topics. There are cultural rituals to support the bereaved and remember the deceased. These are just some ideas. Do you have others? Though I am not entirely sure what this “Healthy Grief Movement” will look like, I have made some graphics to...

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The Male Perspective on Grief

The Male Perspective on Grief

I have people ask me all the time: How did your husband cope with his grief? My first reaction for MANY YEARS was: I have no idea It seemed like he wasn’t really grieving And he never really talked about it I assumed he was doing okay   I have since had all four of those reactions turned on their head. I learned: I had no idea how my husband, Aaron, was grieving because he often tried to be strong for me, therefore didn’t always show his feelings. Aaron was grieving, deeply; his grief just looked different from mine and so I didn’t recognize it or understand it the same way as my own. Men are not encouraged to share their feelings as much as women, and sometimes when they do they are made to feel less manly or in control. We can never...

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Remembering Avery – Guest Blog by Nicole Addy

Remembering Avery – Guest Blog by Nicole Addy

I love sharing stories here on Wanted Chosen Planned. There is power in vulnerability to transform our lives and also to help others. This guest blog post is from Nicole Addy and I am honoured to join with her in celebrating the important life of her baby, Avery. Nicole reached out to me not long ago and shared how Wanted Chosen Planned helped her after her loss – words sent out from my computer in Edmonton, Canada received on her screen in Manchester, England! Now that is the power of meaningful connection! Our stories bring us together and I truly believe we are stronger as a group than when we grieve alone. On that note, welcome Nicole!   Remembering Avery It seems like so much has happened since we lost Avery back in October 2016. Only a few short...

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A Tattoo to Remember

A Tattoo to Remember

I heard something really interesting last night at the class I teach called Healing Art for Mourning Parents. The class is all about using different creative methods to help process grief and also to help remember the children lost too soon. We were making collages and one gentleman in the group included an image of a person being tattooed. I asked him about why he chose that image and he said because it was like being scarred with remembrance. I thought that was an interesting response.   Do you have a tattoo to remember your child? If you are comfortable, please share about your tattoo (or a picture) in the comments.   I have thought about getting a tattoo for many years, but I think my needle phobia would prevent more than a permanent little dot on...

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The Pregnancy Loss Journey – Guest Post by Christy

The Pregnancy Loss Journey – Guest Post by Christy

I want to introduce Christy to our community here at Wanted Chosen Planned. A month or so ago, Christy interviewed me for her podcast called Pregnancy Loss Journey, which will air around the time my memoir, Expecting Sunshine, hits the shelves in April, 2017. Christy and I talked on the phone long after the podcast interview was wrapped up. It amazes me how she has contributed so much to bereaved moms and dads while she is still under a year from her loss of Chloe Grace. Christy’s story is inspiring and I hope you also find comfort and new perspectives as you read. Welcome Christy! The Pregnancy Loss Journey On May 23, 2016, Chloe Grace was delivered into this world, stillborn. My heart soared the moment they laid her on my chest. She was absolutely...

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Innovative course helps bereaved parents through art

Innovative course helps bereaved parents through art

I would love to share with you a ground-breaking community-focused course that is beginning again soon in Edmonton. Here is more info about “Healing Art for Mourning Parents.”  HEALING ART FOR MOURNING PARENTS Losing a child is one of the most unimaginable scenarios for parents who dream of bringing home their baby and starting a life together. When tragedy strikes, which it does for 1/5 pregnancies ending in miscarriage and 1/160 pregnancies ending in stillbirth, the parents often feel the sting of isolation and stigma as they mourn without support.   This is where Healing Art for Mourning Parents comes in. The course takes place at South Pointe Community Centre in south Edmonton as a part of their Wellness Project. The Wellness Project offers education and...

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6 Holiday Memory Making Ideas for Bereaved Parents

6 Holiday Memory Making Ideas for Bereaved Parents

  If your heart has been broken by the loss of a child in miscarriage, stillbirth or any time after delivery, the holidays may be tough. It’s a season that emphasizes children, family and togetherness. All the things bereaved parents yearn for.     When a baby dies, no matter what the age of the fetus or the child may have been, parents are left shaken, shattered and searching for hope. When my son, Zachary, passed away in my arms just moments after entering the world, I felt like my heart was torn in two. Even though those moments I had with him were heartbreaking, I also treasured each and every one. Nothing, I discovered, could part a mom and dad from the love they have for their child.   What I didn’t learn until later, however, was that...

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Practical Thoughts on Remembering Your Baby

Practical Thoughts on Remembering Your Baby

October is Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Awareness month. It is both a special time to celebrate the small lives we hold in our hearts and also a time to let that same heart be sad. We who have lost have lost so very much. It is okay to be a million emotions this month – or anytime. I know I have felt the full spectrum: sorrow, anger, reflection, depression, joy, gratitude, regret, longing…   How does this month make you feel?     ZACHARY’S 6TH BIRTH/DEATH DAY It just so happens that my family celebrates our special little man this month. Zachary was born, lived only a few minutes and then died – on October 14. He would have been six years old this year.   HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS Our family has always celebrated Zach’s...

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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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