Category: Parenting After Loss

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Parenting After Loss

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: You should be thankful for the children you have. Rewritten: Parenting after loss is an eternal balance. I am always available for babysitting or help around the house if you need a break. It's okay to tend to your grief for your missing child too. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

You should be thankful for the children you have

If you know a parent with both a living and deceased child, it’s something to be aware of. Because the most supportive thing you can say in that situation is to acknowledge the work that goes into raising and grieving, simultaneously.

Close up of mother holding toddler and stuffed elephant. Mother's eyes are closed and is facing down. Only the top left half of the toddler's face is visible.

Motherhood

I am the mother whose body swelled with pregnancy.
I am the mother who dreamed and wanted and planned.
I am the mother who left my heart in a small and curtained alcove room.
I am the mother who screamed and cried and begged.

Miranda holding Peanut and Adrian's elephant. Peanut's hand is wrapped around Adrian's elephant.

Illness, Worry, & Reflections

I wonder, sometimes, where to draw the line between a “normal” amount of worry and the amount you feel for a child born after the death of your first. I don’t ever want to stifle her. My pain should never be her burden. And sometimes it just hits me—how much I’ve lost and also hold at the same time.

Peanut with Adrian's Elephant

Cranky

Parenting, even parenting after loss, isn’t just sunshine and roses. It’s reality too. And I love this little girl with every piece of my soul, AND I feel overwhelmed sometimes. It’s okay to acknowledge the reality of life after loss. It’s okay to be cranky.

Heart in the sand, Esquimalt Lagoon, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

Daydreams

I put Penny to bed tonight, and I had another image of a rambunctious toddler jumping up to join us. I can’t see his face at all, it is mostly just a feeling. A feeling like he’s just right there.

Bench on the shore of South Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Re-Evaluation & New Priorities after the Death of a Child

I look back on that time now, and it’s like I’m looking at a different person. That old Miranda lived in a different world, where everything felt like it was possible. And even though it has been almost 3 years since then, I think a lot of people don’t understand I’m not that person anymore.

View from a butterfly cut-out, Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

130 – Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 9:31 PM

This past year has been different. You’d think the biggest part would be your sister, and of course she’s part of it. There’s also me. I’ve been developing. I’ve been learning and hiding in equal measures.

Adrian's Elephant and Peanut's feet (Sarah Perry Photography)

128 – Thu, May 23, 2019, 9:11 PM

They I gave her to me and she was screaming and all I could think was yes, mama loves you so much. You are a new piece of my everything. And suddenly I’m just bigger and you are still gone and I’m straddling the world in two.

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast

17 August 2019

A heavy, beautiful day today, and Peanut is officially laughing. Forever finding that balance in all of the feelings in life after loss.

Peanut's feet with Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

First

People sometimes ask me if my daughter is my first child. I needed a simple way to tell them I had a child before her, but he died. When people ask me now, I have a simple response.

Peanut and Adrian's Elephant (Sarah Perry Photography)

Pregnancy after Loss & Peanut’s Birth Story

A little over 13 months ago, just by chance on Mother’s Day weekend, I made my first attempt at having a second child. It feels like such a different world that this year, on Mother’s Day weekend, my second pregnancy was coming to an end. This is my story of pregnancy after loss and Peanut’s birth.

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