Exquisitely detailed and achingly honest. A must-read.

– Ariel Brewster, Senior Editor, Today’s Parent Magazine

Part memorial, part celebration, this is a striking book.

– Jenna Butler, Author of Profession of Hope

Order Expecting Sunshine

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Check out the Expecting Sunshine book trailer!

Expecting Sunshine is a story about the unbreakable bond between mother and child, that even in the face of loss love never dies. It is one mother’s heart-wrenching, yet heartwarming journey of grief and healing week-by-week in her pregnancy after loss.

The Memoir

The Film

About The Book

Expecting Sunshine Memoir

Expecting Sunshine tells the story of a mother, Alexis Marie Chute, who set out to rediscover her identity – not only as a parent but as a woman and artist – after her son Zachary died in her arms at birth. The memoir’s clever structure mirrors the gestation of Alexis Marie’s subsequent pregnancy; the book beginning with conception followed by three sections, the three trimesters.

Through powerful flashbacks, readers learn of Alexis Marie’s pregnancy with Zachary and his few moments in the world, witnessing how grief touches every aspect of family life, though in different ways.

Expecting Sunshine chronicles the struggles and stresses of Alexis Marie’s next pregnancy. She is on a mission to find healing just in time to welcome her next child, yet even imagining giving birth to a baby that lives proves a major roadblock. Along the way, Alexis Marie grapples with her strained marriage, a silent faith, and medical decisions with huge ramifications.

Exploring this universal yet taboo type of loss, Chute’s memoir meets the need for personal narrative that addresses the most intimate vulnerabilities of grief and the agony and guilt any mother feels when she cannot fulfill her one most crucial role: to protect her child. Readers will cheer-on Alexis Marie in her clumsy yet noble search for healing, which will be a balm and encouragement for anyone struggling with loss.

Queries about the book can be sent to info@alexismariechute.com

About the Documentary

Expecting Sunshine Documentary

The documentary film, Expecting Sunshine, brings together the poetic prose and visual incarnations of the book, as experienced through the innovative, sometimes surreal, sensibilities of its creator.

The film documents an actual pregnancy of Alexis Marie Chute, as she grapples with the unique challenges of having a child after the death of child. With poignant narration from the memoir, along with new revelations and interesting interviews, the documentary casts fresh light on a private and isolating experience.

The documentary contains scenes across multiple seasons, and numerous locations – from Alberta, Canada, to Sedona, Arizona. It features real-life medical appointments, artistic manifestations, thought-provoking interviews with experts and bereaved families, and a comprehensive view from conception till the actual delivery. The film successfully avoids being a bland, sterile or sentimental expose. Instead, it is a collaborative and culturally relevant work of art.

As a filmmaker, Alexis Marie brings together her unique skillset as both a visual and literary communicator. She exposes unseen emotional and psychological challenges, curating them into an artistic presentation that will live on in the minds of viewers long after.

To be a part of this important film, please contribute to our CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN – NOW LIVE. Also, subscribe to our mailing list for updates on the film.
For broadcasting and screening inquiries, or if you are a network wishing to show the film, please contact Alexis Marie Chute directly: phone 780-499-4311, email info@alexismariechute.com

Order Expecting Sunshine from the author for a signed copy!

Watch the Expecting Sunshine documentary trailer on YouTube!

Alexis Marie Chute

Author, Artist, Filmmaker, Public Speaker

Alexis Marie Chute is a leading expert in creativity and healing. After her son Zachary died at birth in 2010, she used her extensive background in visual and literary art to help heal herself. Since then, she has become an advocate in supporting and educating others on how to process their grief in creative and authentic ways, promoting healing through the arts and sharing stories in community.

Alexis Marie has her Bachelor of Fine Art in visual art from the University of Alberta and her Masters of Fine Art in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, where she graduated as class valedictorian.

She has received over 30 noteworthy distinctions, such as The John Poole Award for promotion of the Arts (2015), and was named an “Emerging Canadian Photographer” by Photo Life Magazine and a “Top 40 Under 40” by Avenue Magazine.

Alexis Marie was featured in print and video as a mother-expert in the Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss awareness campaign by Today’s Parent Magazine. The campaign won first place at the 38th Annual National Magazine Awards for Best Editorial Package on the Web.

For all publicity inquiries and interviews, contact:

Alexis Marie Chute, info@alexismariechute.com

(780) 499-4311

As an artist, Alexis Marie Chute is represented by the AR&S Gallery at the Art Gallery of Alberta

To contact Alexis Marie Chute directly: P: 780-499-4311. E: info@alexismariechute.com

Alexis Marie Chute is a highly regarded speaker and has presented on art, writing, bereavement and the healing capacities of creativity around the world.

Her conference appearances include The Biennial International Perinatal Bereavement Conference (2014, 2016), International Conference on Stillbrith, SIDS and Baby Survival (2014), The Compassionate Friends National Conference (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), and Words in 3 Dimensions (2015).

She has been the keynote speaker at many major bereavement events including The Walk to Remember, Baby Steps Memorial Walk, and Alberta Health Services Annual May Memorial.

Alexis Marie has been published in TIME Magazine Motto, Today’s Parent Magazine, Three Minus One Anthology, The Times Colonist, S.H.E. Anthology by the Women’s Art Society of Canada, Flurt Magazine, Edmonton Woman Magazine and The Bellingham Review. She is an ongoing columnist for The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Still Standing Magazine, and PALS (Pregnancy After Loss Support magazine).

A relatable, witty and thoughtful leader, Alexis Marie is a highly sought after expert by the media, with features on Shaw TV, CTV News, Global Television, Breakfast Television, Sirius Ratio, and Radio One, for example. She is also a prominent social influencer with over 22 thousand followers across her five primary platforms.

Testimonials for the memoir Expecting Sunshine: A journey of grief, healing and pregnancy after loss

Reader Responses

Exquisitely detailed and achingly honest. A must-read.

- Ariel Brewster

Senior Editor, Today’s Parent Magazine

This book will be a helpful and inspiring addition to the literature of grief and especially meaningful to those who have lost a child and need encouragement to try again. The world feels larger and more spacious, pain more bearable, life more precious after reading this book.

Expecting Sunshine challenges the reader to accompany author Alexis Marie Chute on the most heartbreaking of journeys. Fate has dealt her the task of carrying to term and delivering a baby, Zachary, who will not survive. How cruel, terrifying and capricious life feels as we travel along with Alexis Marie as she summons the courage to get pregnant again. Told week by week as she re-enters the process of carrying new life, we suffer and worry along with her and also revel in her down to earth embrace of her path and her family who accompany her. The contours of grief are too often hidden. Alexis Marie has been generous and fearless in showing herself to us, warts and all, not just her bravery but also her hopelessness at times, her fear, and most important, her coping. This book will be a helpful and inspiring addition to the literature of grief and especially meaningful to those who have lost a child and need encouragement to try again. The world feels larger and more spacious, pain more bearable, life more precious after reading this book.”

- Pat Allen

Art Therapist, author of Art as a Way of Knowing: A Guide to Self-Knowledge and Spiritual Fulfillment through Creativity

Alexis Marie Chute shows us how full engagement and acceptance, rather than failed distractions, can medicine the soul.

“When mired in unthinkable and immovable pain, artistic expression presents itself as a friend and companion, enabling life and creative energy to flow again and transform random tragedy into an affirmation of life and family. Alexis Marie Chute shows us how full engagement and acceptance, rather than failed distractions, can medicine the soul.”

- Shaun McNiff

author of Art Heals, Art as Medicine, and many other books on healing the soul through creative expression

The beauty of the text brings the reader to the edge of tears

“In Expecting Sunshine, the Edmonton-based writer and artist Alexis Marie Chute writes about loss—the most primal loss we can experience, the loss of a child—in such luminous prose and with such clear-eyed insight that the beauty of the text brings the reader to the edge of tears. Tears of sadness for her family’s loss, yes, but more profoundly, tears of release and healing as we witness the cathartic powers of art and the scope of a young family’s love. This is a beautiful, honest, important book that makes death a starting point for the continuation of life—literally, as the book chronicles Chute’s first pregnancy after the death of her son Zachary–and grief the catalyst from which joy is born.”

- Pamela Petro

Author of the books The Slow Breath of Stone, Travels in an Old Tongue, and Sitting Up with the Dead

A brave, memorable book

“Alexis Marie Chute, tasked with living as she mourns the death of her child, writes vividly and honestly about loss and grief. Expecting Sunshine records a journey that proves to be revelatory for reader and writer alike. This is a brave, memorable book.”

- Jane Brox

Author of Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light

(The) memoir reads more like a novel in its elegant use of prose and narrative structure

“Alexis Marie’s honest, unflinching memoir reads more like a novel in its elegant use of prose and narrative structure. But there’s no mistaking its truth – that losing a child at any age can cause a shift in a parent’s universe. Alexis Marie’s struggle to move forward and heal, and still honour baby Zachary, is an inspiration.”

- Janice Biehn

Editor, ParentsCanada magazine

A moving journey

“This memoir is a moving journey of infant loss and the pregnancy that follows in the midst of a society that does not understand the dynamics of perinatal loss. The book explores the different ways men and women process grief, suppressing grief while wanting others to remember a baby no longer physically present, and how to find a new normal. The pregnancy that follows brings multifaceted feelings of continued grief, memories of the previous pregnancy along with anxiety and fear for the safety of the much wanted new sibling. It is a book for parents, professionals and families and friends wishing to support someone who has suffered a loss.”

- Joann O’Leary

PhD, Parent-Infant Specialist, author of Meeting the needs of Families Pregnant and Parenting after the loss of a baby

Honest, raw and vulnerable

“Honest, raw and vulnerable – Alexis-Marie Chute opens her heart to share her journey of love, loss, transformation and rebirth. Her message that love binds us together even beyond death, resonates deeply with me as a bereaved mother; it is also a consistent message I heard in my research with bereaved families who experience perinatal death. This is an important, engaging book for bereaved parents, especially those who are considering a subsequent pregnancy.”

- Christine Jonas-Simpson

RN; PhD Professor of Nursing, York University, Toronto, ON Canada

An uplifting lesson in­ redemption

“Expecting Sunshine is an exquisite book for all those who have lost a child and those who need to understand and cope with untimely grief. It is one woman’s heart-rending story of a mother’ loss which confounds ideology, faith and any of the prescribed cures for mourning. It’s pain and wisdom are as old as time, the simple truths of nature, nurture and the bonds of mother and child.   It is also an uplifting lesson in­ redemption.”

- Rachel Manley

Governor General Award Winner for the memoir Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood

Almost impossible for me to put down

“Wow!  The story of Alexis Marie Chute and her precious pregnancies was almost impossible for me to put down.  I know that this book will be so helpful for families living through subsequent pregnancies- a chance to validate their varied emotions and know that whatever they are feeling is “normal”.  Thank you for sharing your story so that others can learn from your journeys. Thank you Zachary for helping your mother tell yours and Eden’s stories.”

- Lori Ives-Baine

RN, MN (CPB), Perinatal and Pediatric Grief Support Coordinator, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Part memorial, part celebration, this is a striking book

Expecting Sunshine is a brave book, walking the reader through the deep grief that accompanies the loss of a child and moving beyond immediate pain to recovery. Alexis Marie Chute speaks honestly of all the areas of life that are threatened by the death of a child: the relationship of the parents, and their faith, creativity, and belief in themselves and one another. At the same time, Expecting Sunshine acknowledges the myriad support systems that exist to help bereaved parents heal from this kind of trauma and emerge together, altered but vital. Part memorial, part celebration, this is a striking book.”

- Jenna Butler

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Award winner and author of Profession of Hope

Amazingly moving and emotional

“An amazingly moving and emotional story that any woman – or any parent – can easily relate to.”

- Jennifer Hamilton

Editor, CanadianFamily.ca

An honest and tender memoir

“An honest and tender memoir about the complex and difficult emotions of grief and joy a mother goes through during a pregnancy that follows a death of a child. Alexis Marie conveys the delicacy of emotions that go into motherhood after loss and shares with us her courageous journey through the pregnancy that follows. Moms pregnant again after loss will find a fellow companion in her words that are much needed to be shared.”

- Lindsey Henke

LICSW, founder of Pregnancy After Loss Support

Alexis Marie helps us to honour our own lives

“When a baby dies, too many parents suffer alone in silence. While grieving the unexpected death of her son, Zachary, Alexis Marie courageously gives powerful voice to a mother’s primal heartbreak as she searches for renewal and rebirth in her own healing while carrying her next son, Eden. In her enthralling memoir, for those of us bereaved mothers who share similar memories, Alexis Marie helps us to honour our own lives.”

- Shari Morash

Founder of Josiah’s Journey and Author of Loving Your Baby… A Gentle and Practical Guide to Parenting Through Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death

A beautiful story filled with love

“In Expecting Sunshine, Alexis Marie allows you to accompany her on the tumultuous journey of pregnancy after loss. While navigating the complex emotions during this time, she is vulnerable and allows the reader to witness her most private moments. This is a beautiful story filled with love, both for the baby who has passed on as well as the one she is expecting.”

- Kiley Krekorian Hanish

Bereaved mother to Norbert, occupational therapist, and founder of the Return to Zero Center for Healing

Alexis Marie also shows us that creativity and art are a path to finding oneself over and over again.

Expecting Sunshine by Alexis Marie Chute is a guide through the darkness and heartbreak of giving birth to a stillborn child, the grief that follows, and the anxiety of trying again. She shows how to have hope for a positive outcome even as fear tries to win. Alexis Marie also shows us that creativity and art are a path to finding oneself over and over again. I highly recommend it!”

- Linda Joy Myers

President of the National Association of Memoir Writers, author of Song of the Plains—A Memoir of Family, Secrets, and Silence

Testimonials for the documentary film Expecting Sunshine: The truth about pregnancy after loss

Viewer Responses

It will make a lot of mamas feel permission to grieve and to talk about their losses

“I’m watching your trailers and bawling my head off, I’m so overcome with emotion. I appreciate your candidness and the words you say resonate so much. Even though our babies aren’t with us, we still have that strong love. When you talked about feeling intense blues after Luca, I could get that. Even though I’m soon to have our rainbow baby, I’ve been shedding a lot more tears about losing our Eli and talking about him a lot more. It’s so true that they are a part of us and that part of us will never die. I’m really looking forward to your documentary and want to thank you for your honesty. I know it will make a lot of mamas feel permission to grieve and to talk about their losses.”

- Leanne Brooks

Bereaved mother to Eli

There is nothing else like this

“So powerfully capturing my emotions so far on this rainbow journey. There is nothing else like this….great to see more opportunity to share our stories with the world!”

- Amanda Mayberry

A beautiful inspiration

“These clips were a beautiful inspiration to remind me to care and pray for those who grieve the loss of a child.”

- Colleen Lloyd Hildebrand

(An) eye-opening and creative journey

“It is 2016. It should no longer be taboo to talk about how babies can die and how subsequent rainbow babies can never replace the other baby. Artist, writer, and photographer Alexis Marie Chute tackles this taboo head on in the documentary Expecting Sunshine. Join her on her eye-opening and creative journey of recovery.”

- Man-Sum Yau

Writer and Veterinarian

Straight from the heart, introspective and challenging

“Everything Alexis Marie does is straight from the heart, introspective and challenging. Traveling with her through loss, grief, growth and renewed perspective on life promises to be an insightful journey. Expect sunshine and to walk away changed.”

- Donloree Hoffman

Executive Coach and author of If I Die, Please Bring Cheesecake to My Funeral

Beautiful and moving and important.

- Gene Luetkemeyer

MFA, author of Penitentiary Tales, A Novel

This movie is a work of art

“Documentaries often have this need, this urge to tell something to the viewer, whether it was a critique of some situation in a faraway land, during a distant period in time or merely an explanation of economical phenomenons that had a global footprint, recently.  On the other hand, some documentaries are stories that captivate audiences.  “Expecting sunshine”, a documentary made by Alexis Marie Chute, is exactly that.  Based upon the idea of giving birth to a child after having lost a child.  On first glance, this documentary might seem like one of the abundant movies that emerge from the Hollywood abyss but it is not.  This movie is a work of art (and this is not a cliché, given the fact that Chute is an artist) that shows the fragility of life, the delicate aspects of a mother’s love and that reiterates the idea of “gone but never forgotten”.  Despite having to talk about a topic that seems dark and despairing, the documentarist and protagonist uses a palette of positivity, warmth, when talking about her “still born” son.”

- Alex Micati


….touching and moving…well captured!

- ChanPeew Wan

Moving, emotional and uplifting

“What a moving, emotional and uplifting video. Tears are prickling my eyes watching.”

- Wendy Reynolds

Expecting Sunshine touched my heart

“Expecting Sunshine touched my heart. I never met the child my Husband and I lost 15 years ago. My husband and I never gave that child a name. I feel as though we never properly grieved the loss of our first child. Though in some ways I feel as though I never stopped grieving the child who I never had the chance to meet. Expecting Sunshine taught me that losing a child at any point during pregnancy, birth or even years later, that I am a mother to ALL my children. I care and dedicate my life and soul to nurturing, loving and protecting my children, earth bound holding my hand or smiling upwards and never forgetting the child I remember as my angel. Thank you Alexis Marie Chute for bringing Expecting Sunshine to life. Your film has brought me peace, comfort, permission to grieve, but most importantly knowledge in knowing how to celebrate the life of my child that I never met. Thank-you!”

- Erika Breen

Artist and Educator

My tears fall together with the mum

“Beautiful video. So well done, my tears fall together with the mum.”

- Lianlian Loh Gliptis

Where there is love, life never dies

“Where there is Love, Life never dies. Very good trailer. Second video is touching, connection will forever be with Zachary.”

- Winnie Lefort Bess

An emotional and honest film

“The documentary Expecting Sunshine is an emotional and honest film that captures families working on overcoming the pain of loss and expressing the never ending love that they have for their child.”

- Jessica Pagee

The first film of its kind

“The first film of its kind that tackles the honest emotions of grief, fear and hope the mom expecting again after a loss experiences during her next pregnancy. We need more films like this that raise awareness about the struggles of pregnancy and parenting after loss.”


- Lindsey Henke

Pregnancy After Loss Support

So touching and moving. Well done!

- Khimsim Tan

Please support Expecting Sunshine Documentary

Help bring attention to this important topic.

Every contribution to Expecting Sunshine documentary film is not only a financial gift to bring the vision into being, but is also a public statement that this topic matters, that it needs to be talked about, and that there is strength in community.

Meet the Film Crew

Alexis Marie Chute

Alexis Marie Chute

Writer, Producer, Director, Art Director

Alexis Marie is a visionary artist, writer, advocate and filmmaker. She has won many awards including the John Poole Promotion of the Arts Award, Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40, and was named an “Emerging Canadian Photographer” by Photo Life Magazine. Alexis Marie has her BFA in visual art and her MFA in creative writing, often combining these passions. Proud mother to four, she’s also a fan of running, chocolate and reality TV.

Aaron Chute

Aaron Chute

Camera Operator, Location Sound, Grip

Aaron is a people-person with a brain for technology and creative problem solving. By day he is the Vice Principal of a K-9 school in rural Alberta, but he has also been a photographer for over a decade and builds computers in his spare time. Aaron has his Masters of Education and is Google Certified. He is a dynamic public speaker, a family man, and a golf enthusiast.

Tom Lim

Tom Lim

Camera Operator, Production Assistant, Editor

Tom is a lifelong resident of Edmonton and is one of the most humble people you’ll meet. His talents range from his profession as a structural engineer to his technical skills and passion for photography and videography. It all started as way to take better photos of his kids, which exploded into an ongoing technical challenge. Tom proudly admits that, even in his mid-30s, he has never had a cup of coffee.

Lori-Ann Huot

Lori-Ann Huot

Fundraising, Marketing & Promotion

Lori-Ann Huot is the co-founder and Program Coordinator for the Angel Whispers Baby Loss Support Program. She and her husband Rene have 4 daughters that they hold in their arms – Sabrina (19), Alexis (16), Jaedyn (13) & Sydney (12), and 2 daughters that they will forever hold in their hearts; Loren & Brooklynn. Their personal experiences have helped Lori-Ann to discover her passion; providing hope and healing to families devastated by the loss of a baby.

Shereen Pennoyer

Shereen Pennoyer

Production Assistant, Costume Designer

Shereen began designing clothing when she was ten. Her love of sewing soon followed. Shereen studied fashion design and apparel production at Marvel College, completing her practicum with Leona Edmiston in Sydney, Australia. She has developed her passion for clothing and dance into a company called 3 Pears Inc. which she co-owns with her mom Debbie. Focusing mostly on costuming and practice wear, Shereen’s work also includes alterations, custom bridal, graduation, and other unique pieces.

Michael J. Soloway

Michael J. Soloway

Assistant Writer

Michael has been a journalist for 23 years. His work has appeared in literary magazines, including Brevity, Hippocampus, and Split Lip. Michael has an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, studied Stage and Screen at Lesley, and playwriting at Nebraska. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA, where his play, “I Love You, Lynn Swann,” was produced by the Pittsburgh New Works Festival in 2013. Michael recently won the Sundress Press “Best of the Net” prize.

Ellie Elizabeth Yawney

Ellie Elizabeth Yawney

Marketing & Promotion, Fundraising

Ellie was born and raised in Vernon, BC, and has been a loyal resident since 1987. She’s a firm believer in hard work and being kind to others. Ellie started working in the restaurant business at the age of 12, doing dishes and busing tables. She learned a lot about people; that they just want to be heard. She now manages that fine dining restaurant. Ellie believes in making a difference and helping others.

Rene Huot

Rene Huot

Camera Operator, Trailer Editor

Rene has been in the video production industry for over 20 years. He has worked on every kind of project imaginable, from shows on NBC to Muay Thai International events. Traveling the world for destination shoots as well as a hundreds of local shoots in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada has given Rene the ability to create amazing productions with his eye for detail and editing skills.

Wanted, Chosen, Planned

A is a blog about life after the loss of a child. Visit WCP for support, resources and community.

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Thank you to our Sponsors


Special Credits:


Zachary Chute

Loren Huot

Brooklynn Huot

Ernie Walker

Perry Walker

Emree Jane Forget

Jax and Baby Selinger

Eli Jackson Brooks

“In memory of all the precious babies and families I have supported in loss and through their rainbows.” – Lori Ives-Baine

Captain Kick Ass

Xavier Grey Thompson

Mackenzie May

Lucas Alexander Smith

Aveline Charlotte Owens

Baby Rysavy

Marlowe June Hepton ‘Loey’


Charlotte Robb

Doug Robb

Robert Duke

Vivid Ribbon Inc.

Marija Pavkovic Tovissi

William & Marie Thompson

Breanne Summer Gordulic

Sheila Mcnaughtan

Doug & Karen Smith

Daryl Meyer

Patti Walker

Jessica Fillmore

Rick & Maizie Thompson

HGA Chartered Accountants

Randy & Gloria Chute

Kyla Hadzariga

Audree Lepage Fortin

Gail Young

Bill & Charlotte Thompson

Brenda Mann

Jeremy & Aimee Reimer

John Henderson

Grant & Heidi Fedoruk

Helen Massini

Nancy Reid

Bobbi Junior

Scott & Rebecca Thompson

Naomi Maharaj

Rhonda & Bevan May

& many more anonymous contributors


Eden Chute

Luca Chute

Alexis Huot

Jaedyn Huot

Sydney Huot

Rory Hope Thompson

Please visit our fundraising page to add a child to the “In Memory” or “Rainbow Baby” credits – and to be a “Supporter” of Expecting Sunshine. Questions please email info@alexismariechute.com