This is a short but sweet post today, a very special day for Expecting Sunshine! Also, sharing a powerful article on bereaved mom, Nancy Kerrigan.
I still remember the day I signed the publishing contract with She Writes Press. From the day I signed it was roughly a year till my book was slated to be released. It felt like an eternity. And yet, here we are!
I cannot express what a journey it has been to get Expecting Sunshine out into the world. Here are some specifics for you:
- 6 months of writing the first draft
- 120,000 word, 400 page first draft
- 4+ years of editing
- 8 drafts of editing
- 3 editors
- 1 agent
- 1 (Amazing) publisher, Brooke Warner at She Writes Press
- 2+ book cover designers
- 3 (Fabulous) publicists at Smith Publicity
- April 18, 2017!
- 1 tired but happy author!
I have so many people to thank! And I do name them all in my book in the acknowledgements section. As I’ve just got word that Time Magazine’s site, Time Motto, wants me to write an essay for them on miscarriage (YAY! BIG NEWS!!), I will thank all the wonderful people who have made such a huge difference for me by including pics of my acknowledgements from Expecting Sunshine! This is a bit of a sneak peak inside the book as well.
More Exciting News:
Article in Womanista:
I got interviewed for a very special article about Nancy Kerrigan’s experience of multiple miscarriages, which she shared about on Dancing With The Stars.
You can read the article by clicking here. In it I share all the things I’ve learned over my years as a bereaved mom and since becoming a parent advocate, author and public speaker.
If you want to learn more about Nancy Kerrigan’s story, here is a powerful video:
Thank you so much for reading this pub day update!
If you’d like to purchase the book directly from me – for a signed copy – please click here. Expecting Sunshine is available wherever good books are sold.
Sending out warm wishes of love, hope and healing,
Alexis Marie Chute
Exciting News: You can now pre-order Expecting Sunshine Memoir online!
The book is available on Amazon for pre-orders. Check it out now by clicking here. I’ve also heard that pre-ordered books are often shipped before the actual release date, so that’s just one more reason to order early.
I will also have a select number of books that I am selling directly from my website. You can click here to pre-order that way. Any books ordered through me will be signed by yours truly.
Once the book is officially released on April 18, 2017, it will be available for purchase through all major book stores.
As an author AND visual artist, I love every opportunity to combine these two worlds. Therefore, making book trailers for Expecting Sunshine was a no brainer. My wonderful friend Helen Massini did the voice overs for two of the trailers. Helen is such a pro and truly an up-and-coming actress and singer.
Helen and I had a blast hanging out while our daughters where at Brownies. It was amazing to see Helen bring my words to life, and with such wonderful musicality.
Now, the footage and audio is in the talented hands of Expecting Sunshine crew member, Tom Lim. Tom never fails to surprise me with his creativity. He’s an engineer by day, and a creative force by night.
It will still be a few weeks before the trailers are ready to share, but if you want to see them first, subscribe to receive this blog feed by email. Click here to subscribe. Subscribers will also stay up to date on all happenings with Expecting Sunshine, both the film and the documentary. This includes book launches, special offers, film premiers, and much more. I look forward to connecting with you!
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well I also believe it takes a group of people to create a movement. That is the goal with Expecting Sunshine. I hope this movement will lead our culture into a better understanding of death, how to talk about it, and how to accept its reality in a healthy and positive way in our lives. I also hope that this movement will move the hearts of readers and viewers.
As always, thank you so much for reading – and sharing – this blog post!
Alexis Marie Chute
Expecting Sunshine documentary still needs contributions to bring the film to life. We are still $4,860 short of our fundraising goal. This is where we need your help.
As the film is nearing completion in the editing stage, there are a few very special opportunities to get involved and support the project.
We have four contribution levels that will be closing soon. By November 30, 2016. These contribution levels all include personal or business names in the film credits. These credits will always be a part of the documentary, which will be shown all over the world.
This is your opportunity as a parent to remember your baby that died. Or to celebrate your child born after your loss. Your son or daughter’s name, or nickname, will be publicly acknowledged and celebrated. At the end of the day, this is what brings me the most joy with this film.
This is also an opportunity for businesses and professionals to join with the film in supporting those who grieve. Expecting Sunshine Documentary strives to bring attention to taboo topics, to remove the stigma around these types of losses and celebrate children! Children with us, and those that live on in our hearts.
PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING BEFORE NOVEMBER 30, 2016
“In Memory / Supporter / Rainbow Baby” Credit in THE FILM $250
A unique commemoration! We join with you in honouring your deceased child, your rainbow baby, or you as a supporter, by listing a name in the “In Memory / Supporter / Rainbow Baby” in the film credit reel. We dedicate this project to these individuals.
Please email Alexis Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name you want commemorated.
Feature Film Credit $1,000
Not only a name, but with this film credit you also receive a photo of your deceased child or your rainbow baby, or business logo or honorary symbol of support, in the credit reel of the film.
Associate Producer Status $5,000
To celebrate your generosity for the project, we will name you an Associate Producer in the credits with a photo, logo or symbol to mark your support.
Executive Producer Status $10,000
To choose this perk means you’re our hero! You will be named an Executive Producer in the credits with a photo, logo or symbol to mark your support. You will also receive two VIP invitations to the premier of the film and unlimited good vibes sent your way.
Travel not included.
Thank you so much for reading and supporting this project. Even simply sharing this blog post will do a world of good.
Alexis Marie Chute
Thank you to everyone reading this update! There are a lot of awesome things happening with Expecting Sunshine documentary and memoir. I’m excited to share them with you, particularly this month, which is Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Awareness Month.
Expecting Sunshine Memoir
- The book cover has been finalized! I love the bright colors. The rainbow umbrella is also very important to me. It references the rainbow pregnancy and rainbow baby. If you don’t know these terms, they mean the pregnancy and the baby born after loss.
- The official release date for the book is April 18, 2017 and it will be available at all places where books are sold.
- While April is still a few months away, you can pre-order your copy now with two handy ways to do so:
- I am accepting pre-orders for the book on my online store. You can visit the store by clicking here. Books ordered from the store will be signed and mailed out by yours truly : )
- You can also pre-order on Amazon. Check out Expecting Sunshine on Amazon by clicking here.
- Expecting Sunshine continues to receive wonderful testimonials from early readers. You can see many of these online by clicking here.
Expecting Sunshine Documentary
- Along with the book cover, the film cover has also been finalized. I love how the silhouette of the woman fades into watercolor marks at the bottom. This could be any woman, which is the point, that loss happens to so many women and families.
- The film is being edited right now and will be released around the time of the book, in the spring of 2017.
- Like the book, the film is also available for pre-order. You can place your pre-order now on my online store by clicking here. When the film is released in the spring, it will be a file which you can digitally download.
- We also have the pre-order available for the educational version, which comes with an audio visual public performance license agreement so that the film can be shown to support groups or at other events. Click here to order the educational version of the film.
We are continuing to fundraise for Expecting Sunshine Documentary!
I want to acknowledge our recent donor to the film:
Jamie and I met at the International Perinatal Bereavement Conference in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this fall. I really appreciate her vision and passion for the bereavement work that she does. Along with donating to the film, she also pre-ordered a copy to show to her grief support programs, along with copies of the book. Thank you so much Jamie!
If you would like to donate to Expecting Sunshine documentary, that would be WONDERFUL! Thank you in advance. We are so close to our fundraising goal, but still need all the support we can get.
I think that is all for now! More updates will come as Expecting Sunshine finds its home out in the world. Thank you for reading and for supporting and cheering on this important project on this even more important topic!
With much gratitude,
Alexis Marie Chute
JUNE FILM UPDATE
This time last year, I was still in the mental planning stage Expecting Sunshine Documentary. Now, in June 2016, we have captured all the interviews, creative scenes and recreations. I have talked to so many people who have lost children and gone on to have others.
Experts and parent advocates have shared their stories. We cover topics from the desire to parent again after loss, struggles in marriage, to welcoming the new baby. Healing looks different from person to person. The stories are sobering, heart-wrenching, but also encouraging and inspiring!
My film crew and I are now in a season of post-production and editing. This is where everything is being cropped, finessed and ordered. It is a huge process!
While I wish we were through the editing, we are allowing this stage to be a focused and intense time. Our topic is too precious to rush it. We hope to wrap up in a month or so. Then we will move into another transition. Distribution! We have already received confirmation from Shaw TV in Edmonton that they will screen the film. We are also submitting to film festivals and hope to locate a big network to show Expecting Sunshine. I have my fingers crossed for somewhere like W Network, the Women’s Network. This film deserves a great network with a wide reach. Cross your fingers on that.
I will continue to post here on this blog, keeping everyone updated on our progress. For now, here are some Expecting Sunshine film stills captured over the last six months.
Here is more information about Expecting Sunshine Documentary:
The documentary film, Expecting Sunshine, brings together the poetic prose and visual incarnations of the memoir, 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.
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 email@example.com
I have loved every second of filming Expecting Sunshine. It has been a wonderful learning experience, an excellent team collaboration, and a great opportunity to connect with bereaved families. Thank you to everyone who made it such a success!
We had our last filming date on April 30th. We captured recreations, creative b-roll, and family life after pregnancy loss.
Now, my crew and I enter the next exciting stage of the film: post production! This is where we combine all the video and still footage we have captured over the last eight months. We will combine all the visuals with the moving scores we have recorded with live musicians. Here is where we bring the vision to life.
- We plan to have the film ready for a number of the major film festival deadlines. These are coming up before summer.
- We have confirmation from Shaw TV in Edmonton that they will be airing the film. This will take place AFTER we, fingers crossed, premier the film at one or more film festivals.
- We are still searching for a major network to show the documentary. This search will continue in earnest once editing is complete.
Thank you so much for reading! And for supporting this film. Expecting Sunshine will make a huge difference for many, many people.
Alexis Marie Chute
To learn more about Expecting Sunshine book and film, please click here.
Get to know the film’s director and producer, Alexis Marie Chute.
Check-out the awesome film crew for the documentary.
Read more posts on the Expecting Sunshine blog.
Visit Expecting Sunshine’s sister blog, Wanted Chosen Planned.
Learn how you can donate to support the film by clicking here.
Making a documentary film about pregnancy after loss, which I lovingly call Expecting Sunshine, is a labour of love and a creative process of joy. I am honoured by all the amazing people that have participated in the filming. Hearing their stories is encouraging and uplifting as we who have lost can realize that we are not alone. Others have been there. They have survived, one way or another – and we can too.
I am incredibly grateful for all the generous people who have made this stage of the filming such a huge success.
Here are some early film reviews for Expecting Sunshine: The Truth about Pregnancy After Loss
“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
“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 loss.”
- Leanne Brooks, bereaved mom
“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
“Beautiful and moving and important.”
- Gene Luetkemeyer, MFA, author of Penitentiary Tales, a novel
“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, Blogger
“….touching and moving…well captured!”
- ChanPeew Wan
“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
“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
“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
Thank you for reading and for subscribing to this blog feed. This is an exciting project and my crew and I are thrilled you are coming along for the ride. I believe we are stronger together. More updates coming soon, for example, from our amazing evening filming the musicians performing their pieces for the film. Stay tuned. And – Thank you!
Find out how you can contribute to the film.
Learn about the companion to the film, the memoir entitled Expecting Sunshine: A heartwarming journey of grief, healing and pregnancy after loss.
Check-out more news and updates on the blog.
Support the film with an “In Memory/Supporter/Rainbow Baby” credit in the film.
Check out Expecting Sunshine’s sister site: Wanted Chosen Planned, Life After the Loss of a Child
Expecting Sunshine memoir has been receiving wonderful responses from all our early readers! I am so grateful for these individuals and their words. This book is my passion and I hope Expecting Sunshine will speak to many.
There is so much coming up on the publication landscape – from choosing a subtitle, approving a cover, and planning the launch – but for now, I am proud to share the latest testimonials for the book.
All current and future testimonials will be posted on the Expecting Sunshine website.
New testimonials for Expecting Sunshine:
“An amazingly moving and emotional story that any woman – or any parent – can easily relate to.”
– Jennifer Hamilton, Editor, CanadianFamily.ca
“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
“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
“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
“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
Thank you for reading!
We have another progress video for Expecting Sunshine. It seems timely, today being Valentines Day.
The video is called:
A Mother’s Reflections on Love and Loss
In this video I talk about what it was like coming come after my second rainbow baby was born. Unfortunately everything was not sunshine and rainbows.
I had really bad baby blues. Postpartum depression maybe. Those conditions are challenging enough on their own, but add GUILT to the mix and you have the formula for extra heartache.
In my head I said to myself:
“I should be happy. I have a healthy baby. That’s all I wanted. So why am I so sad?”
I felt so guilty for my sadness in those first two weeks. After losing a child, I had been given a gift of a baby that lived. Fortunately I could recognize that my feelings were caused by hormones, not my child – and thankfully my body got back to normal. Despite all the tears, I appreciated the opportunity to reflect on Zachary, to feel the ache of longing for him, while also celebrating the new life, the new person in our family.
Has anyone else ever felt this swirl of emotions after having a rainbow baby?
Thank you for watching the video. Please share it with those in your networks that may need a little encouragement.
A big thank-you to crew member Tom for compiling the clip!