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?




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.



Our family has always celebrated Zach’s birthday. It is a time where we focus on family, look at pictures and remember. This year felt a little different. My living children are older; four-years-old and almost seven. My second rainbow baby is nine-months-old.

Maybe I thought that how we remembered Zachary would always stay the same. I realize that this is an unrealistic expectation. Nothing stays the same. Nor should it. Change and growth and personal evolution are good, not always wanted, but good.

This year my kids were so full of energy. The times where in past we would have all been still and reflective, instead were full of activity and noise. A part of me felt a little sad that I could not be more solemn as I have been in years past. I wanted to permit myself the sadness that I don’t always allow myself to feel every day, when I have to be the got-it-together-mom and on-top-of-things-artist-and-author.

A part of me felt like I was letting Zach down. That I was not honouring his memory as much as I should. When these thoughts popped into my head, I chose to:

  • Acknowledge them
  • Realize that I am imperfect
  • Show myself grace
  • Choose to see the good

I chose to be happy – for so many things:

  • Happy that I had the chance to meet Zachary.
  • Happy that his short life made such huge waves in mine.
  • Happy that Zach’s siblings love to talk about him.
  • Happy that our family can be together on such an important day.
  • Happy that we can all laugh and celebrate and simply BE together.
  • Happy that I have the ability to choose joy, and that this joy in no way diminishes my sorrow.



This year we decided to paint pottery together. Hannah chose a fairy because she loves fairies. Eden chose a dinosaur piggy bank because he was excited to collect his own money. Hannah chose a rocket ship for me to paint for Zachary because we all agreed Zach would love rocket ships if he was alive. My husband Aaron chose to be our paint-runner, getting more colours for us to use.

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We also put our hand prints on a pure white plate. Luca, my nine-month-old rainbow baby added his footprint. We wrote Zachary’s name on the plate. And the date.

A few days later my husband Aaron picked up the pottery after it had been fired and glazed. I choked up just looking at it all once we had it at home. I know these are just objects, but they are symbolic to me.


For those looking for a special activity to remember their child, I would highly recommend painting on ceramics. It is enjoyable and also creates keepsakes to cherish.


Every year, for the last five years, our family has baked a cake for Zachary. This year, we decided to buy cupcakes. It was fun letting the kids choose the flavors. At home we cut each one into four pieces and all shared.

We pulled out our photographs of Zach’s birth that night. We told stories about how he was born and remembered little details that we forgot. Things like what pattern covered the sleeper we dressed him in after we gave him a bath. That I took artistic pictures of myself while pregnant with Zachary after we received his fatal diagnosis. That Hannah brought so much life into that hospital room – which I am still so grateful for six years later.


At the end of the day, I chose to be happy-sad-mad-remorseful-wishful and all the other emotions that came up on October 14, and October 15, International Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Remembrance Day. And the whole month.

Life is not perfect. There is no perfect way to grieve. No perfect way to celebrate. Perfection is not the goal.

As you remember your baby or babies, I send you love. I send you joy. I send you grace and peace and gratitude.




Alexis Marie Chute



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