Having a Baby after Loss

Having a Baby after Loss

I have not yet shared here, on Wanted Chosen Planned, that I am pregnant. Nor have I shared this news with all of my baby-loss friends and colleagues. My intent was to be sensitive to the grief of others. I remember when I was recently bereaved. Pregnancy announcements bothered me and the sight of round bellies had me in tears. Having a baby after loss is HARD. This blog is about life after the loss of a child and that often includes family planning and subsequent pregnancies. It is an important topic, although one I am having a hard time addressing these days… I am having a hard time because my coping mechanism this go around happens to be avoidance. It is very likely I would have avoided writing about this pregnancy at all if I didn’t feel the need to be...

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The Ripple Effects of Loss

The Ripple Effects of Loss

On the outside I look like a normal functioning person, but the ripple effects of my son’s death still startle me. Just this week, the day home woman who cares for my two living kids asked me if I was okay if she ran an errand taking her daughter and my two-year-old son Eden with her (the older kids were still in school). Her request shouldn’t have bothered me since she takes the two toddlers to music class every week – but for some reason I was petrified. Maybe it was my mood that day, but all I could picture was a car crash and my son being badly injured… Or worse. Since Zachary, I tend to imagine the unthinkable in terms of my living children’s safety. I fixated on that car trip all morning and texted the woman asking her to let me know once they were...

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Bereaved Parents are Survivors & Have a Story to Share

Bereaved Parents are Survivors & Have a Story to Share

This past weekend I shared my story and offered encouragement to bereaved parents on their journey of loss. I was the keynote speaker at the first ever Baby Steps Memorial Walk. It was a beautiful event, uplifting and thoughtful. I always appreciate the opportunity to reflect on my son Zachary whom I miss so much. You can watch the video of my speech or read it below, along with some photographs of the Baby Steps event. BABY STEPS MEMORIAL WALK SPEECH COPYRIGHT ALEXIS MARIE CHUTE Hello, my name is Alexis Marie Chute and I am honored to be here for the very first Baby Steps Memorial Walk. I have three children; Hannah and Eden are here with me today. My second child, Zachary, was born at 30 weeks gestation with a rare genetic condition and a tumor around his...

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We Can Learn from Children’s Response to Death

We Can Learn from Children’s Response to Death

Since the fall, I have participated in a program called Roots of Empathy. In “Roots” I bring my son Eden to a grade two class every month of the school year and the children observe Eden grow and learn. I often talk about Eden’s older sister and our family. Since the beginning of Roots I wondered if I should tell the kids about Zachary. I hummed and hawed over this decision every month and I eventually asked the program teacher if it was appropriate, or possibly too upsetting for the young children. She said, “If you are comfortable, go for it!” When an opportunity arose, I did talk about Zachary to my Root’s kids and their reaction was touching and profoundly instructive for adults on how to address death. Unlike many adults I’ve interacted with, the kids did...

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Mothering After the Death of a Baby

Mothering After the Death of a Baby

It has been almost a month since I posted “An Unnamed Stage of Fear after the Loss of a Baby” and I still do not have concrete answers about how to mother without fear. I would love it if I could post a pretty list of ten things to do to parent normally after having lost a child but thinking about it only made my brain hurt. There are no easy answers. I did, however, have a breakthrough this morning that I think can help. My newborn slept through the night last night and while many mothers would be cheering, I woke frequently and watched the clock. I resisted the urge to run into my baby’s room every few minutes to make sure he was still breathing. Instead I continuously told myself, “Eden is okay. He’s fine. It’s okay…” Then I eventually heard him! While...

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