Pacific Ocean - Feature
Pacific Ocean (Miranda Hernandez)

014 – Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 6:53 PM

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I remember everything about your life.

I remember the day I decided I was doing this. I had been thinking and planning for so long. I had done testing. I was talking to the doctors in my last city. They were so supportive. Then I found out I was moving here. Things were delayed, but you were always my plan.

This state was different. It was a bible belt hospital here, and I was an odd one. They didn’t want me to have you. They didn’t know how to deal with a single woman whose strongest desire was to have a child. But I fought for you, and I won.

But after months of fighting, I realized the hospital and I weren’t a good fit. I wanted to use a known donor, and they couldn’t accommodate. I wanted you to know your genetic history. That was more important to me than making that policy change.

I spent a long time searching for the right candidate to form the other half of you. It started before I moved here, and it took years. There were several false starts. I almost chose someone who I later found had withheld some significant medical information from me. I became more cautious, and in the end, I found the person I considered right.

I remember learning and tracking my cycle in the months while I waited for his donation to quarantine. I responded so well to a test round of Clomid that my doctor and I decided we wouldn’t use any medication for the first several rounds of insemination.

I remember my last period before we tried for the first time. I was on a work trip to Colorado, and had just enjoyed what would turn out to be my last drink before becoming pregnant. It was a large mimosa. My coworker and I walked to our gate and I felt the first stirrings of cramps. I sat on the ground waiting for our slightly late aircraft and I remember thinking, “This could be the last time for nine months.” It was.

I remember the morning I was inseminated, the first and only time. I was worried because I needed to be at work, but I couldn’t miss my shot. I was expecting to have to try for six months at least. I was already so excited to meet you!

It hurt a little. I remember being unprepared for the pain. They said my cervix was very far back, hard to reach. I remember breathing through the pain, thinking about holding you. You were worth anything.

I remember going to lunch with my boss that day. Thai food. I didn’t tell him what I’d done that morning. It was a secret just for me. But I felt different, giddy. And I knew that if I told him, he would be supportive. I was lucky to have a supervisor who understood, who believed in me.

I remember the stress of the two week wait. I had read about it, but I always assumed it wouldn’t be a big deal for me. I tried to distract myself. I painted the newly finished walls in the garage. I realized afterwards that might not have been a good idea, so I bought a respirator before I did a second coat.

The next week, your Aunt Alexis* and I had travel plans. We were going to Disneyworld. I woke up the morning before we left, and my breasts were sore. I remember thinking that was a good reason to take a test. I even had an EPT, the kind that are supposed to detect pregnancy up to five days sooner. It was negative.

I remember getting on the plane with my sister. I had credit for free drinks, but I didn’t use it, just in case. I remember the rainy first day at the hotel. We almost hadn’t come because there was a hurricane the week prior.

I remember swimming in the hotel pool the next day. The water was cold, so I moved to the hot tub. I remember reading the sign saying it was bad for pregnant women to sit in Jacuzzis. I got out, just in case.

I remember the following morning. We were packing for the Magic Kingdom, and I was about to pack my pads. I was supposed to start my period that day. I suddenly realized what that meant — I was never, ever, late. I had brought a test with me, just in case. It was positive.

I remember falling in love with you that day. Nothing could break my smile. You were exactly who I always wanted you to be. You were alive.

I remember every moment of your life. I remember getting confirmation from my regular doctor, and then from my fertility specialist. I remember watching your tiniest of heartbeats on the monitor at just six weeks old. I remember how much you had grown just two weeks later. You looked like a tiny perfect human being.

I remember the first day I had morning sickness, and I almost had to pull over on the way to work because I thought for sure I was going to be sick. I remember the seven weeks after that, and how I ate so little I’m surprised you had any energy to grow at all, but you did.

I remember finally getting an appointment into OB. They didn’t like to see new moms until 10 weeks. I was nervous. I remember hearing your heartbeat for the first time. It was so fast, I hardly recognized it. I remember starting in our Centering group, a group of pregnant women all due around the same time. It was nice to have others around who understood.

I remember your 12 week ultrasound. You were so tiny, and you danced all over the screen. At one point, I even saw your feet. You were perfect.

I remember the first time you kicked. I was sitting in Centering, and I felt the weirdest sensation, like you had actually pulled on my lower belly. I don’t even know if that’s possible, but that’s how it felt. You were 20 weeks then.

I remember your anatomy ultrasound. I had delayed it by a week because sometimes they had to be repeated. You were not happy that day. After 20 weeks of virtual silence, you kicked your butt off that afternoon. I think you didn’t like the wand. I lay there, twisting and turning, the tech trying to get the best images. After an hour, we called it good. We didn’t have everything, but I think you proved you were the healthiest of tiny humans. To me, you were perfect.

I remember hungry days and busy days, and the day I finally put on the maternity uniform. Most people knew, but I still tried to delay it. Those things are darn uncomfortable!

Every day, I felt for your kicks. I never did official kick counts. I don’t know how to process this now. You were very active some days, and less active on others. You often pushed something round and hard against my right ribs. It may have been your butt, but lately I know it’s been your feet. I viewed this as a good thing. I tickled you and sometimes I pushed back. I thought this meant you were healthy, active. But I feel the knot in my right side today and you aren’t moving any more. Now I don’t know if it ever counted at all.

I remember so much about you. I remember your heart rate averaged in the 130s, and you always kicked at the heartbeat wand, and you didn’t like the NST straps the first time they were applied. I remember you were wiggly in the mornings, and often at night, and you always reacted to cold water. I remember the night you moved from my right to my left side, and how your movements always tickled. I loved every piece I could feel of you. I love you so very much.

I remember every piece and moment of your life, up until you kicked so hard I saw my stomach move last night. It reassured me. We were so close to the end, and I needed that movement to tell me you were okay.

I don’t understand it, little one. I don’t understand how you could be here, and then not. I don’t understand how you’re still in my belly, but you’re already gone. I don’t understand how the world makes sense anymore. I never got to hold you, and I miss you so much. My heart is broken.

~
* Names have been changed to protect privacy.

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Letters to Adrian are real letters from a mother to her stillborn child. Letters are shared here in periodic batches.

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Desert in California (Miranda Hernandez)

107 – Sat, May 19, 2018, 2:02 PM

Dark and moody sunset over the ocean in Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

027 – Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 12:15 PM

Periwinkle in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

103 – Sat, May 12, 2018, 5:32 PM

Adrian's Elephant and his photo at St Katharines's Parmoor, Buckinghamshire, England (Miranda Hernandez)

126 – Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 9:39 AM

Koloa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i - Feature

017 – Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 6:24 AM

Bench on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

078 – Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 11:32 AM

Miranda Maternity 2 - Feature

011 – 39w6d(1) – What does Mama look like?

008 – 31w6d – One Last Road Trip

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

104 – Sun, May 13, 2018, 3:04 PM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

135 – Wed, Aug 28, 2019, 8:04 AM

009 – 33w2d

Close up of yellow rose in full bloom on a sunny day in California (Miranda Hernandez)

021 – Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 6:24 AM

002 – 7w3d – Pickles and ice cream?

Snow in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

101 – Sun, May 6, 2018, 12:13 AM

Sunrise over the Pacific Ocean 2 - Feature

015 – Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 8:19 PM

Pier, Paihia, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

042 – Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 6:14 PM

Staircase in California (Miranda Hernandez)

111 – Sun, Jun 10, 2018, 9:31 PM

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

079 – Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 4:24 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

082 – Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 3:46 PM

Empty bench, California (Miranda Hernandez)

058 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 7:10 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant with Bumblebee

051 – Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 5:32 PM

032 – Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 9:24 PM

Garden art in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)

109 – Sun, May 27, 2018, 8:35 PM

Tree and roots on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

122 – Tue, Jul 24, 2018, 9:28 PM

Clouds, San Antonio (Skydive Lone Star) https://skydivelonestar.com/

048 – Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 8:37 PM

Keālia Beach, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

040 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 5:43 PM

Daisies (Miranda Hernandez)

091 – Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 1:10 PM

Shadows on a hike, California (Miranda Hernandez)

044 – Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 6:52 PM

Painted rock found on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

123 – Wed, Aug 29, 2018, 3:16 PM

Wooden structure in South Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

136 – Thu, Sep 12, 2019, 6:40 PM

Lakeside in Incline Village, North Lake Tahoe, Nevada (Miranda Hernandez)

041 – Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 8:30 PM

Park in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

099 – Wed, May 2, 2018, 7:46 PM

003 – 10w2d – A Little Bit of a Belly

Stream, North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

046 – Sun, Oct 15, 2017, 8:09 PM

Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

060 – Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 8:02 PM

Miranda holding a white onesie towards the camera

010 – 38w4d – Almost there…

Peruvian lilies in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)

115 – Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 1:03 AM

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

068 – Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 9:55 PM

Adrian James 3 - Feaure

016 – Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 6:58 AM

Pier in San Diego, California (Miranda Hernandez)

066 – Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 8:16 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Miranda's uniform top

056 – Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 8:29 PM

Remnants of a building, California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

052 – Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 8:08 PM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

087 – Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 4:16 PM

Close up of metallic artwork in rustic red blending into blues and greens, found in California (Miranda Hernandez)

022 – Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 12:18 AM

Adrian and his Elephant in a field of bluebonnets (Anna Borden)

139 – A Letter to My Son on His Third Birthday

California coast in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

110 – Sun, Jun 3, 2018, 9:11 AM

Kaua'i coast (Miranda Hernandez)

105 – Mon, May 14, 2018, 9:33 PM

Succulents in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)

086 – Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 3:52 PM

Shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago (Miranda Hernandez)

095 – Fri, Apr 13, 2018, 10:23 PM

Flowers at St Katharines's Parmoor, Buckinghamshire, England (Miranda Hernandez)

125 – Fri, Oct 19, 2018, 1:08 PM

018 – Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 1:32 PM

Esquimalt Lagoon, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (Miranda Hernandez)

037 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:02 PM

View through the plants on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

118 – Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 7:43 PM

Nasturtium flowers in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

112 – Sat, Jun 16, 2018, 3:59 PM

Keālia Beach, Kaua’i, Hawai’i (Miranda Hernandez)

106 – Fri, May 18, 2018, 6:18 PM

View through the plants on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

119 – Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 1:10 PM

013 – Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM

Walkway on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

120 – Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 12:47 PM

Bike path in California (Miranda Hernandez)

098 – Thu, Apr 29, 2018, 8:58 PM

Sage flowers in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

134 – Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 1:34 PM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

094 – Fri, Apr 6, 2018, 11:46 PM

California Coast, Big Sur (Miranda Hernandez)

045 – Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 6:25 PM

004 – 12w1d – Your Tiny Feet

Adrian's Elephant and Romeo

064 – Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 4:36 PM

Waves on Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

085 – Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 10:09 PM

Iceplant on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

080 – Sat, Jan 20, 2018, 4:09 PM

006 – 20w0d – Are you dancing?

Adrian's Elephant at Thanksgiving

062 – Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 1:51 PM

More Letters

Boulder on the shore of North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

129 – Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 9:11 PM

Miranda and Elephant on the California coast

117 – A Letter to My Son on His First Birthday

012 – 39w6d(2) – So close!

Adrian's Elephant

065 – Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 8:06 PM

Winter in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

096 – Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 11:09 PM

033 – Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 6:35 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast (photo used with permission)

055 – Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 6:48 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

088 – Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 6:40 PM

Tree in snow, North Lake Tahoe, Nevada (Miranda Hernandez)

063 – Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 9:45 AM

Adrian and Elephant

131 – A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday

020 – Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 2:29 PM

025 – Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 12:26 AM

Winter in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

097 – Wed, Apr 28, 2018, 11:08 PM

Tree in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

057 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:28 PM

Miranda's feet in the sand, New Smyrna Beach, Florida (Miranda Hernandez)

124 – Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 9:00 PM

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

074 – Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 7:59 PM

Reflection in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

132 – Mon, Jul 1, 2019, 9:45 PM

Rocks on the California Coast (Miranda Hernandez)

049 – Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:26 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Star Registry certificate

113 – Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 1:02 AM

Flowers in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

133 – Wed, Jul 3, 2019, 11:32 AM

Bridge in California (Miranda Hernandez)

102 – Fri, May 11, 2018, 11:56 AM

001 – Hello

Wildflowers in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (Miranda Hernandez)

036 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 1:59 PM

Pinecrest Lake, Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

070 – Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 9:12 PM

Sunset over Victoria - Feature

023 – Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 5:18 PM

Wild Sunflower in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

035 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 11:09 AM

Koloa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

092 – Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 2:26 PM

Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

073 – Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 5:10 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

077 – Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 2:38 PM

Flowers on a fallen tree limb, California (Miranda Hernandez)

054 – Mon, Nov 7, 2017, 8:10 PM

024 – Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 6:13 PM

031 – Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 12:16 AM

019 – Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 12:17 PM

007 – 29w6d – Cravings and a Nest

026 – Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 6:17 AM

028 – Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 6:07 PM

Hiking in Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

071 – Mon, Dec 25, 2017, 6:45 PM

Wildflowers in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

090 – Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 5:12 AM

Adrian's Elephant

072 – Sat, Dec 30, 2017, 10:51 AM

Full moon in Texas (Miranda Hernandez)

083 – Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 5:09 AM

Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Luna Kai Photography)

038 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 9:36 AM

Miranda's maternity photo (Modern Lux Photography)

067 – Tue, Dec 12, 2017, 9:42 PM

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

130 – Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 9:31 PM

029 – Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:50 PM

Riverwalk from the shadows, San Antonio, Texas (Miranda Hernandez)

108 – Sat, May 26, 2018, 11:02 AM

View from the venue for Adrian's memorial (Miranda Hernandez)

114 – Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 1:15 PM

Hollyhock in California (Miranda Hernandez)

116 – Sat, Jun 30, 2018, some time in the morning

030 – Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 6:21 AM

Climbing vines on Hatley Castle, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

137 – Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 10:01 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast (photo used with permission)

075 – Tue, Jan 9, 2018, 10:04 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

076 – Wed, Jan 10, 2018, 11:47 AM

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

121 – Mon, Jul 23, 2018, 9:04 PM

Adrian's necklace on bluebonnets, California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

138 – Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 11:39 AM

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

128 – Thu, May 23, 2019, 9:11 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Northstar California Resort

089 – Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 3:55 PM

005 – 19w6d – Happy New Year

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

081 – Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 8:29 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Pinecrest Lake

069 – Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 7:22 PM

Anini Beach, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

093 – Wed, Mar 21, 2018, 4:18 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Miranda's birthday cake

061 – Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:01 PM

Sanddollars on Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

043 – Wed, Oct 4, 2017, 7:43 PM

Keālia Beach, Kaua'i, Hawai'I (Miranda Hernandez)

039 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 4:16 PM

Esquimalt Lagoon, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (Miranda Hernandez)

034 – Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 8:28 PM

Adrian's Elephant at Adrian and Miranda's old house

050 – Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 1:00 PM

Hyacinth flowers, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

059 – Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 7:52 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

053 – Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 1:07 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

100 – Sat, May 5, 2018, 5:30 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

084 – Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 8:44 PM

Vines, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

047 – Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 4:54 PM

Found art on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

127 – Thu, May 2, 2019, 12:03 PM

Explore more of Adrian's Elephant

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