Category: Miranda’s Blog 2018

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Miranda with Adrian's Elephant during Adrian's Memorial on the California coast (@saltwaterandclay)

22 July 2018

Things have been hard. Life in general is hard, and I’m just floating through it. But there is still beauty in this world. And for that one thing, I can feel grateful.

Close up of healed footprint tattoo on Miranda's right ribs. Footprints are centered in the frame, and Miranda is laying on green grass with a white shirt pushed up above the tattoo (photo taken by a friend)

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th was the point of equidistance—as equally spaced between Adrian’s death as from the beginning of my pregnancy with him. I thought it fitting, then, this was the day my tattoo artist had available. This was the day I received a footprint tattoo honoring my stillborn child.

Daisies and Bluebonnets on Adrian's casket (Modern Lux Photography)

11 July 2018

One year ago today, I put on a black blouse and oversized skirt, tried to put make-up on my face. I should have known better. I never made it far into the day without tears.

Trail in Pinnacles National Park, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Not Okay

The Miranda from a year ago is dead. She died with Adrian. And that needs to be okay. It needs to be okay that I am a different person, that the things that used to make me happy are now different. Permanently.

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast (Synch Media)

Second Eulogy

My son, Adrian James Hernandez, was stillborn exactly one year ago today. And his loss was the first time in my life where there was nothing I could fight and nothing I could do or say. These are my reflections on the past year since his death.

Miranda and Elephant on the California coast

A Letter to My Son on His First Birthday

A Letter to My Son on His First Birthday: When I pictured this moment during our pregnancy, I had all the typical first birthday dreams. I thought about outfits, and cute party hats, and an elephant cake you would smash more than eat. Life looks different today.

Adrian's Elephant on Keālia Beach in Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

18 June 2018, 8:47 pm

I don’t think too much about actual dates, and so I missed the anniversary of my 39th week. And this is important to me, because it’s the date my providers had pushed for induction. And I wonder — if I had chosen differently, would I have a living child?

Driftwood log on the shore of Nukoli'i Beach park, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

Not Fucking Fair

I feel more attuned now, to tragedy. It’s easier to recognize. I know there are things I should say. I should be present and strong. I would never ask someone in tragedy to be strong.

Adrian's Elephant in the Airport (Miranda Hernandez)

Home

The city wasn’t originally my choice, but it’s where he was born, and now I’m forever tied to it. The birthplace of my firstborn child; the only place he lived before he died.

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

Sunrise

I know the fear, to even have hope. But I do it anyway. I’m hoping to become pregnant this week, my first try since Adrian’s death. I’m terrified, and I’m trying anyway.

Miranda in Waimea Canyon State Park, Kaua'i, Hawai'i

My Seventh Trimester Body

I have never struggled with the shape of my body; it’s just not something that has ever bothered me. But when my son died in my 41st week of pregnancy, I learned there were so many more components to the body image equation. I had a postpartum body and no living child.

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast

Birth

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant. I was packing a bag to go to the Magic Kingdom when I realized I was late. I was ecstatic; immediately excited; already looking forward to life with my child. His existence was the most beautiful gift. His absence is an ever-present pain.

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Esquimalt Lagoon, Victoria, British Columbia

Equidistance

I think sometimes about dates and counting. I carried Adrian’s living body for 39 weeks. I carried his dead body for one additional day. I was pregnant for 41 weeks and one day.

Adrian Street sign in San Diego, California

San Diego

A last minute trip and a wrong turn. I love you too, my beautiful boy.

Dandelions over Te Ti Bay, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

I am a Mother

When I called the funeral home to ask for a certificate of cremation, they asked for my relation to the deceased. It was the first time I said the words, “I’m his mother.” It still hits me, sometimes, even today. I am a mother. I have a son. I AM a mother.

Adrian's things in Miranda's new home

Humor

I still feel disloyal sometimes, when I let myself laugh. I still feel, sometimes, like I’ve gone off script. As if there could *be* a script, an idealized way of dealing with loss…

Roses on rocks in Hatley Park, Victoria, British Columbia

Everything Happens.

Everything happens, but not for a reason—It is wrong to spread the idea that everything in this life is normal; that everything we experience is necessary; that everything is okay. Violence is not okay. Rape is not okay. A child’s death is never okay. Sometimes, (often!) there genuinely is no reason

Bluebonnets on the California coast

Nature Isn’t Perfect

One hundred years ago, many pregnancy interventions didn’t exist, and I let myself believe that was the best way. I didn’t consider the other side of this story—one hundred years ago, without interventions, mothers and children often died. Nature isn’t perfect. Nature is pretty deadly.

Car tire on the road

Second Hand

She moves herself across the country and into a brand new job, convinced that a complete change must be a cure. She breaks down in the middle of unpacking boxes, realizes that the most perfect life is empty without context.

Burning candle at St Katharines’s Parmoor, Buckinghamshire, England (Miranda Hernandez)

Desire

If you were to ask what I want most in the world, besides my son, my answer would be time. Time to grieve, time to process, time to be very still.

Sanddollars on Adrian's Elephant

Sea Shells

I hold on to mementos like these dried sea shells. My cousin’s wife placed them in my hand the month after Adrian died, a symbol of myself and my son.

Sign found on sidewalk

Signs

I fight against happiness. I think that if I let myself smile, I will lose sight of my grief. I will lose him. Again.

Trail in Pinecrest, California

Life

No one is purposely tormenting me; life is just inherently unfair. And not just to me–I’ve also realized over this past year that there’s so much more that we all hide under the surface.

Explore more of Adrian's Elephant

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