This is a guest post by Alexis Chute over at Wanted, Chosen, Planned. She shares her incredible story of finding hope after the tragic loss of a child. Miscarriage is a subject not often talked about, but one so often shared by countless women. Derrick and I know the pain of this type of loss, and have learned that many of our friends and family members have experienced it too. I’m thankful that Alexis is sharing her experience, and I hope you will be inspired, as I was, by this story of strength and survival.
My name is Alexis Marie Chute. I feel very grateful to be a guest blogger on Spit and Sparkles!
I was normal. My childhood was nothing out of the ordinary; I played soccer, saved my pearly whites for the tooth fairy and dressed up in my mom’s heels. My path followed the normal trajectory: I went to school, fell in love, got married and started a family.
Then, in the fall of 2010, my normal life was given three new letters: N. E. W. My normal became “new normal” which describes a person’s life after the loss of a child.
My first baby was born healthy and life was perfect. When I was pregnant with my second, I imagined everything unfolding the same way. My second pregnancy was normal – until it wasn’t.
An ultrasound detected a large tumor wrapped around my son’s heart, squeezing it out of its recognizable shape. The doctor took a deep breath and told me my child had a rare, randomly occurring genetic condition. He would not live.
My husband and I named our unborn child Zachary and spent the month and a half before his birth at the hospital. ‘There must be something we can do,’ we thought, yet we found ourselves powerless. It was the worst feeling in the world; the helplessness was like a chock hold and I struggled to believe this was happening to us. We were normal. It didn’t make sense.
We were told Zach would be stillborn, that his heart would fail any day – yet he hung on. He was born at 30 weeks gestation and lived for a few precious moments before passing away in my arms. Instead of taking our child home to live a normal life, to learn to play soccer, lose his baby teeth and play dress up, we collected his ashes from the funeral home a week later in a tiny silver heart-shaped urn.
I spent the next year medicating my “new normal” with distraction, avoidance and anger. It wasn’t until I discovered I was pregnant again that I realized I needed to surrender to my grief. I had to find healing before my next child was born.
Professionally, I work as a visual artist, photographer and writer, but after Zach’s death I lost myself and my work. It was in the return to my passions that I found a way to express the inexpressible. My writing during that time has evolved into my memoir, “Expecting Sunshine” and a blog called “Wanted, Chosen, Planned” about life after the loss of a child. My artwork creates a visual picture of the resilience needed to rebuild one’s life after hardship.
Despite my continued ache for Zach, I do believe that my “new normal” is richer, more abounding in love and meaning than ever before. With the healthy birth of my third child, my heart found new peace. My goal now is to inspire and encourage others who also walk the sorrowful path after loss.
Much thanks to Steffany and Derrick for the opportunity to share my story. If you would like to connect, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit my blog www.WantedChosenPlanned.com
– Alexis Marie Chute