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Peanut has been getting her first tooth, and she doesn't sleep, and y'all I'm tired! I'm a single parent, and this is hard, and I think it's okay to admit that. 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. And I think sometimes that there is this romanticization of what life might have been like if our children had lived, and I think that's unfair. Because every child is going to be teething, and if not lack of sleep, every parent is going to struggle with something. This is just how parenting goes. It doesn't mean we aren't thankful. It doesn't mean we've lost sight of what's important in having our children here. I don't really have a point in posting this. I was just up early this morning and I am especially cranky. Cranky AND thankful, and I think that's okay.
A post shared by Missing Adrian James (@adrianselephant) on
I remember the last time we hung out together, I had made the offhand comment that you seemed to be leading a pretty good life. You told me then your father was sick. It reminded me how it’s so easy to judge, and also that we almost never know. Some months later I saw on Facebook your father had passed. I meant to say something. I wanted to apologize. I wasn’t actually scared of the awkward situation then, but I did let life get in the way. It’s now been four years. Longer? It’s hard to know. Time passes differently on the outside.
Almost three years ago, we both were pregnant. I didn’t realize at the time how closely we aligned. I think I thought about saying something then, but I didn’t. No excuses this time. And then your son was born, and my son died.
I don’t know if I realized the proximity at the time. I had gone off Facebook for a while. I wasn’t aware of much. But I saw you posting photos sometime later. Sometimes it felt like looking into an alternate reality. And then his first birthday, and I realized it was shared–my Adrian; your little boy. And only one was alive.
I saw you posting again this year. I see your pride in his beauty and his growth. And I wonder if you saw anything of mine? This was the first year I published my writings on my personal page. And I see you also have a newborn daughter, and she is almost Peanut’s age. And again, things feel awkward and also surreal.
I think about reaching out to you. I’m not sure what I would say. “Congratulations on your living child” feels crass. And I don’t know what else has happened, if you feel any hidden pain. If Adrian’s loss affects you, too. If you also have a half-written message, just waiting.
I miss you.
Miranda’s Blog: A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday
Write Your Grief: Someone Else’s Birthday (needs to be posted)
If they asked me to describe you, I would start with your eyes. I never got to see your eyes, just your long eyelashes. If they asked about your first word, I would have to shrug. Though statistically, (ironically,) it’s almost always “dada”. If they asked about my hopes for you, I would have to say my biggest hope was that you would have felt loved. It was always important to me that you feel loved.
This past year has been different; your absence has been deeper. I’m realizing more and more what it means that you are physically gone. I can go whole days, sometimes, and find that I’ve “forgotten” you. But you live so deep inside my world, everything I am is part of you.
You have a younger sister now. She is beautiful and brings me joy. I wish so much that you could be alive to see her grow. I wish so much that you could be alive to take your own first steps, toddling in cute outfits I still look at in the stores.
I think about these things we’ve missed, these forks in other roads. I think about the life that lives on only in my mind. If they asked me to describe you, I would start with your eyes. At once both real and ambiguous, unknowable outside of mine.
I love you, little man. You will always live in every part of me.
Happy Second Birthday, and many more to come ❤️
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. I thought about family, and packed photo books, and maybe a few presents. But mostly just love.
I loved you before you ever existed. I loved you in the clarity of that definitive second line. I loved you every moment of our nine long months of pregnancy; bouts of nausea, hiccups, kicks, and beautifully permanent tiger stripes.
I loved you through anxiety in our overdue last week. I loved you in the moment when you kicked for the last time. I loved so much, that when they said you were gone, I didn’t believe them. I loved so much, I still waited to hear you cry.
The memories I’ve made this year are ever tinged with sadness. Your absence is palpable. My arms will always ache. And I’ll never give you trinkets, or white sugar frosting, but I can give you this — I can carry you with my love. I can carry you into the world.
These words are your legacy. These stories are my love. And as long as they are written, you will never truly die.
Happy Birthday to my dear, sweet baby boy. May you have many, many more.
I was sitting in a breastfeeding support group this morning, and one of the facilitators asked me if this was my first child. I swallowed. This question still hits me sometimes. I don’t think anyone realizes when they ask that the answer might be complicated.
My little peanut is three weeks old. I love her so much it’s almost painful. I look into her eyes, and I feel everything: she’s tiny and beautiful, a miniature human being. And she looks so much like her brother.
Peanut wasn’t my first pregnancy. She’s the first that a lot of people know about here. She’s the first one to receive a birth certificate, the first to draw breath and scream. I moved shortly before I started trying for her, and most people here didn’t know my history. I think many just assume.
But two years ago, I was pregnant with my first child. Two years ago, he was kicking and growing inside. Two years ago, he was almost full-term, and I was dreaming and putting the final touches on the nursery. Four weeks from now, it will have been two years since I delivered him without a heartbeat.
I look at my peanut now, and I think of this pregnancy. I think of all the times I had to explain my history. I think of the emails and piles of documentation, and the fact that there are stickers you can use when you just don’t have the energy. Because some days words are unbearably hard.
I think of the first time one of my coworkers here asked me if this was my first child, and how I said, “No.” And she followed up, wanting to know my older child’s name and age. And I told her: his name is Adrian, and he passed away. And I think of how many times this conversation was repeated, and how every single time, there was either an apology and a quick change of subject, or there was just the subject change. Because it was always awkward. And often there was the question, present but unspoken: “Why would you tell me this? Why would you give me this information nobody wants to know?”
And I think this is the crux of things. Because my son existed. We had a pregnancy and a nursery and I live with a lifetime of broken dreams. And despite the pain, these things are important to me. He is a real person. And if you ask if Peanut is my first child, I am always going to say, “No.” But I wish that “No” didn’t have to be confusing.
To the fellow mother in the waiting room: “No. No, I’ve never had to change a diaper or warm up a bottle late at night. No, I don’t know anything about potty training or planning a birthday party for 10 rambunctious children. My other child is not in daycare or waiting home alone. I don’t have those experiences. No.”
To the nurse at the hospital: “No. No, I’ve never had to deal with cluster feeding or count diapers with meconium. No, I don’t know how to tell if this latch is right or strong. I am asking you questions because I’ve never been responsible for the life of a living newborn. These things are all new to me. No.”
And I can understand why there is this constant confusion. Because when you tell someone you have a child, certain assumptions are going to be made. Very few will understand there is a space between number-of-children and number-living, or that sometimes the enormity of that space can be overwhelming.
And I understand that when people ask if she’s my first, so often they are asking a different question entirely. They’re asking about my experience, or if I have children at home. They’re asking to find commonality, or to know if something needs explaining. And because of this, when they ask, I now have something else to say.
So when the lactation consultant asked me this morning if Peanut was my first child, I told her: “No, but she’s the first one to come home with me.”
And I could see the understanding crawl across her face, and there were no more words, and none were needed.
I am a mother to two beautiful children. One of them is living, and one is my firstborn.
Miranda’s Blog: My Daughter is not a Rainbow; My Son was not a Storm
Miranda’s Blog: 13 June 2019 (needs to be posted)
A little over 13 months ago, and just by chance on Mother’s Day weekend, I made my first attempt at having a second child. That attempt was unsuccessful, and the following months were complicated and painful. It wasn’t until September that I felt ready to try again. So it feels like such a different world to know that this year, on Mother’s Day weekend, my second pregnancy was coming to an end.
We were monitored much more closely this time. I saw my doctor twice monthly at the beginning and twice weekly at the end. We spent time with specialists and ran all the tests, and even on days I was terrified, I knew my providers were doing everything possible to keep us both safe. During our last month, I even found a sense of peace. This little girl was going to be okay.
So when my doctor called me this year on Mother’s Day weekend and asked me to repeat some tests, I wasn’t especially concerned. I was feeling well; she was moving; we were both going to be fine. And when he called again a second time, I still felt okay. And looking back now I can only feel grateful, because he caught the beginnings of both Preeclampsia and HELLP before they had the chance to fully develop. And because of this, for most of the past month, I’ve been enjoying life with the sweetest little girl.
She’s here, she’s real, and she’s absolutely perfect. She fills my heart in ways I can’t believe. She is not a rainbow, because my son was not a storm. They both exist, side by side, both a permanent part of me.
While I do share photos and details about Adrian on Facebook and other social media, I have chosen not to do so for my daughter. We live in such a different world today than I grew up in, and I’d like to keep some things private while she’s young. So for now, please welcome my brand new little “Peanut,” the sweetest part of my new world ❤️🥜❤️
Two juvenile ducks follow their mother down the sidewalk as I drive to my insemination appointment. My life feels right and also unpredictable.
I smile with genuine feeling. I finally feel excitement. I love her and I miss you. I realize I have given up control.
I love you. Always love you. You live inside my heart.
I have days when I think I’m okay. I have days when I think, “I’m healed now. I can be a normal person again.” This started out as one of those days. And I never know when to expect any difference. I never know when your loss is going to sneak up and break me all over again.
I thought I was a person. I’m once again a husk. I thought I had started living. I can’t live without you. I am so constantly torn. I’m always missing you.
And people talk online about being positive and moving forward. I don’t hold that energy. There is no positive attitude that can hold your death. You’re always going to be gone from me. This is always going to be the life I’m living in your absence. The life that wasn’t meant to be. There is no “meant to be.”
And I feel these things, and I also love your sister. And I’m feeling the pain of this heart split in two. And I’m feeling new things, and I am starting to live again. And I hate it, and I love it. And I’m broken, and I’m new.
For three hours this evening, I was a normal person. For three hours this evening, I lived without pain. And I lay in my bed now, and it all comes rushing back to me. And I’m so thankful to remember I will never really lose you. I’m so thankful to remember, and to feel, and to love you.
I love you, little man. I always, always will.
Miranda’s Blog: Everything Happens
I started writing to your sister. I don’t know if “she” is a girl, but she feels that way. She feels so real.
I see her when I close my eyes. I see her as a child and all grown up, and I think about the ways that I didn’t see you. When I dreamt of you, you were always an adult looking out of a child’s body. You always looked at me with eyes that just knew.
I don’t know what any of this means. I don’t know that it needs to have meaning. I just wanted to say that I’m thinking about you. And I love you. I wish there were a stronger word than love.
Letters to Adrian
- Before Letters
- 10w2d – A little bit of a belly
- 7w3d – Pickles and Ice Cream?
- 12w1d – Your tiny feet
- 19w6d – Happy New Year
- 20w0d – Are you dancing?
- 29w6d – Cravings and a nest
- 31w6d – One Last Road Trip
- 38w4d – Almost There…
- 39w6d(1) – What does Mama look like?
- 39w6d(2) – So Close!
- Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM
- Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 6:53 PM
- After Letters 2017
- Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 8:19 PM
- Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 6:58 AM
- Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 6:24 AM
- Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 1:32 PM
- Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 12:17 PM
- Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 2:29 PM
- Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 6:24 AM
- Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 12:18 AM
- Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 5:18 PM
- Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 6:13 PM
- Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 12:26 AM
- Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 6:17 AM
- Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 12:15 PM
- Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 6:07 PM
- Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:50 PM
- Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 6:21 AM
- Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 12:16 AM
- Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 9:24 PM
- Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 6:35 PM
- Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 8:28 PM
- Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 11:09 AM
- Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 1:59 PM
- Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:02 PM
- Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 9:36 AM
- Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 4:16 PM
- Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 5:43 PM
- Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 8:30 PM
- Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 6:14 PM
- Wed, Oct 4, 2017, 7:43 PM
- Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 6:52 PM
- Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 6:25 PM
- Sun, Oct 15, 2017, 8:09 PM
- Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 4:54 PM
- Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 8:37 PM
- Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:26 PM
- Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 1:00 PM
- Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 5:32 PM
- Nov 1, 2017, 8:08 PM
- Nov 5, 2017, 1:07 PM
- Nov 7, 2017, 8:10 PM
- Nov 10, 2017, 6:48 PM
- Nov 10, 2017, 8:29 PM
- Nov 14, 2017, 6:28 PM
- Nov 14, 2017, 7:10 PM
- Nov 15, 2017, 7:52 PM
- Nov 17, 2017, 8:02 PM
- Nov 22, 2017, 7:01 PM
- Nov 23, 2017, 1:51 PM
- Nov 26, 2017, 9:45 AM
- Nov 29, 2017, 4:36 PM
- Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 8:06 PM
- Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 8:16 PM
- Tue, Dec 12, 2017, 9:42 PM
- Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 9:55 PM
- Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 7:22 PM
- Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 9:12 PM
- Mon, Dec 25, 2017, 6:45 PM
- Sat, Dec 30, 2017, 10:51 AM
- Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 5:10 PM
- Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 7:59 PM
- After Letters 2018
- Tue, Jan 9, 2018, 10:04 PM
- Wed, Jan 10, 2018, 11:47 AM
- Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 2:38 PM
- Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 11:32 AM
- Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 4:24 PM
- Sat, Jan 20, 2018, 4:09 PM
- Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 8:29 PM
- Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 3:46 PM
- Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 5:09 AM
- Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 8:44 PM
- Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 10:09 PM
- Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 3:52 PM
- Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 4:16 PM
- Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 6:40 PM
- Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 3:55 PM
- Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 5:12 AM
- Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 1:10 PM
- Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 2:26 PM
- Wed, Mar 21, 2018, 4:18 PM
- Fri, Apr 6, 2018, 11:46 PM
- Fri, Apr 13, 2018, 10:23 PM
- Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 11:09 PM
- Wed, Apr 28, 2018, 11:08 PM
- Thu, Apr 29, 2018, 8:58 PM
- Wed, May 2, 2018, 7:46 PM
- Sat, May 5, 2018, 5:30 PM
- Sun, May 6, 2018, 12:13 AM
- Fri, May 11, 2018, 11:56 AM
- Sat, May 12, 2018, 5:32 PM
- Sun, May 13, 2018, 3:04 PM
- Mon, May 14, 2018, 9:33 PM
- Fri, May 18, 2018, 6:18 PM
- Sat, May 19, 2018, 2:02 PM
- Sat, May 26, 2018, 11:02 AM
- Sun, May 27, 2018, 8:35 PM
- Sun, Jun 3, 2018, 9:11 AM
- Sun, Jun 10, 2018, 9:31 PM
- A Letter to My Son on His First Birthday
- More Letters
Write Your Grief
- Write Your Grief
- Introduction to WYG
- WYG Round 1
- 29 Jan 2018 – Grief
- 30 Jan 2018 – The Second Death
- 31 Jan 2018 – Choice
- 1 Feb 2018 – Photos
- 2 Feb 2018 – Elephant Onesies
- 2 Feb 2018 – Grief is a Mother, Too
- 3 Feb 2018 – The Kindest Thing
- 5 Feb 2018 – Akhilandeshvari
- 6 Feb 2018 – Regret
- 7 Feb 2018 – Beauty
- 7 Feb 2018 – Tests
- 8 Feb 2018 – Prickly
- 9 Feb 2018 – No
- 10 Feb 2018 – This is How I Feel About Life
- 12 Feb 2018 – Hard Things
- 13 Feb 2018 – The Condition of my Heart
- 14 Feb 2018 – I love you. Please.
- 18 Feb 2018 – I Love You
- 18 Feb 2018 – Memories
- 20 Feb 2018 – Time
- 20 Feb 2018 – Flight
- 20 Feb 2018 – Unspoken
- 22 Feb 2018 – Fuck
- 24 Feb 2018 – A Letter to My Belly
- 25 Feb 2018 – That Day
- 26 Feb 2018 – The Nuclear Bomb
- 26 Feb 2018 – Nuclear Bomb Part 2
- Miranda's Blog
- Miranda's Blog 2020
- Miranda's Blog 2019
- 1 January 2019
- 8 January, 2019
- Waiting Rooms
- Hard Day
- Yoga on a Saturday
- My daughter is not a rainbow; My son was not a storm
- The Story of Amy Anne
- Please stop telling me everything is going to be “fine”
- Necessary Fear
- It’s Not About the Sunscreen
- This Timeline
- Grieving Without God
- “If She Dies, I Die”
- Stillbirth & Statistics (Old Version)
- The Slowest Kind of Panic
- A Letter to My Mental Health Coordinator
- Why Getting Pregnant Easily Isn’t a Gift
- Pleasant Surprise
- Quora: Perspective of a Non-Believer Following the Death of a Child
- Dear Nature-based Childbirth Educator
- Why I Track Fetal Movement Religiously with my Second Pregnancy
- My experience as a pseudo-rainbow baby
- Pregnancy After Loss; A Parable
- Sometimes I DO want to give up, and you can’t fix that
- More Than 8 Things
- From one mother to another; a letter to the recently bereaved
- Third Mother’s Day
- 13 June 2019
- A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday
- Two Birthdays
- Things We Don’t Want to Be True
- Stillbirth & Statistics: What Does it Mean to be “Rare”?
- From one mother to another: A letter to the pregnant mother from one who is bereaved
- Requests of a bereaved mother for all prenatal providers
- I Fail at Grief Olympics
- AdrianJamesHernandez.com Official Comment Policy; aka Things not to say to or about a Bereaved Parent
- Miranda's Blog 2018
- Sea Shells
- Second Hand
- Nature Isn’t Perfect
- Everything Happens
- A Letter to the Woman who Wants the “Perfect Birth”
- San Diego
- My Seventh Trimester Body
- 18 June 2018, 8:47 pm
- 21 June 2018, 4:58pm
- 22 June 2018, 9:01am
- 28 June 2018, 8:55pm
- A letter to my son on his first birthday
- Second Eulogy
- Not Okay
- 11 July 2018
- Friday the 13th
- 22 July 2018
- Miranda's Blog 2017