Miranda and Elephant on the California coast
Miranda and Elephant on the California coast

117 – A Letter to My Son on His First Birthday

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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.

Love,
-Mama

Related Posts:

Adrian’s Chronological Story: Adrian’s First Birthday
Letters to Adrian: Sat, Jun 30, 2018, some time in the morning
Write Your Grief: Time
Miranda’s Blog: Second Eulogy

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

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Daisies (Miranda Hernandez)

091 – Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 1:10 PM

Winter in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

096 – Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 11:09 PM

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

063 – Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 9:45 AM

Hollyhock in California (Miranda Hernandez)

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

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

081 – Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 8:29 PM

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

048 – Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 8:37 PM

Full moon in Texas (Miranda Hernandez)

083 – Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 5:09 AM

Tree in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

057 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:28 PM

Snow in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

101 – Sun, May 6, 2018, 12:13 AM

030 – Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 6:21 AM

001 – Hello

Sunset over Victoria - Feature

023 – Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 5:18 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

053 – Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 1:07 PM

020 – Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 2:29 PM

032 – Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 9:24 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Pinecrest Lake

069 – Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 7:22 PM

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

047 – Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 4:54 PM

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

074 – Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 7:59 PM

009 – 33w2d

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

138 – Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 11:39 AM

Adrian's Elephant

065 – Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 8:06 PM

024 – Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 6:13 PM

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

129 – Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 9:11 PM

Wildflowers in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

090 – Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 5:12 AM

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

039 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 4:16 PM

Stream, North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

046 – Sun, Oct 15, 2017, 8:09 PM

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 (photo used with permission)

075 – Tue, Jan 9, 2018, 10:04 PM

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

139 – A Letter to My Son on His Third Birthday

Desert in California (Miranda Hernandez)

107 – Sat, May 19, 2018, 2:02 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Northstar California Resort

089 – Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 3:55 PM

018 – Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 1:32 PM

Hyacinth flowers, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

059 – Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 7:52 PM

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

027 – Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 12:15 PM

026 – Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 6:17 AM

Adrian's Elephant and Star Registry certificate

113 – Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 1:02 AM

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

055 – Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 6:48 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

100 – Sat, May 5, 2018, 5:30 PM

Bench on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

078 – Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 11:32 AM

Adrian's Elephant and Miranda's uniform top

056 – Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 8:29 PM

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

128 – Thu, May 23, 2019, 9:11 PM

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

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

109 – Sun, May 27, 2018, 8:35 PM

025 – Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 12:26 AM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

082 – Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 3:46 PM

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

038 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 9:36 AM

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

133 – Wed, Jul 3, 2019, 11:32 AM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant with Bumblebee

051 – Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 5:32 PM

California coast in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

110 – Sun, Jun 3, 2018, 9:11 AM

Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

073 – Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 5:10 PM

Kaua'i coast (Miranda Hernandez)

105 – Mon, May 14, 2018, 9:33 PM

Park in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

099 – Wed, May 2, 2018, 7:46 PM

Shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago (Miranda Hernandez)

095 – Fri, Apr 13, 2018, 10:23 PM

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

108 – Sat, May 26, 2018, 11:02 AM

Found art on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

127 – Thu, May 2, 2019, 12:03 PM

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

120 – Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 12:47 PM

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

134 – Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 1:34 PM

028 – Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 6:07 PM

Nasturtium flowers in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

112 – Sat, Jun 16, 2018, 3:59 PM

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

136 – Thu, Sep 12, 2019, 6:40 PM

002 – 7w3d – Pickles and ice cream?

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

137 – Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 10:01 PM

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

124 – Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 9:00 PM

Hiking in Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

071 – Mon, Dec 25, 2017, 6:45 PM

Miranda Maternity 2 - Feature

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

029 – Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:50 PM

Empty bench, California (Miranda Hernandez)

058 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 7:10 PM

Succulents in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)

086 – Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 3:52 PM

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

123 – Wed, Aug 29, 2018, 3:16 PM

Rocks on the California Coast (Miranda Hernandez)

049 – Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:26 PM

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

037 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:02 PM

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

054 – Mon, Nov 7, 2017, 8:10 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

084 – Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 8:44 PM

Periwinkle in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

103 – Sat, May 12, 2018, 5:32 PM

Sanddollars on Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

043 – Wed, Oct 4, 2017, 7:43 PM

004 – 12w1d – Your Tiny Feet

Miranda's maternity photo (Modern Lux Photography)

067 – Tue, Dec 12, 2017, 9:42 PM

California Coast, Big Sur (Miranda Hernandez)

045 – Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 6:25 PM

Pinecrest Lake, Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

070 – Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 9:12 PM

Bridge in California (Miranda Hernandez)

102 – Fri, May 11, 2018, 11:56 AM

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

126 – Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 9:39 AM

Miranda holding a white onesie towards the camera

010 – 38w4d – Almost there…

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

093 – Wed, Mar 21, 2018, 4:18 PM

Pier in San Diego, California (Miranda Hernandez)

066 – Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 8:16 PM

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

114 – Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 1:15 PM

Adrian James 3 - Feaure

016 – Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 6:58 AM

Iceplant on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

080 – Sat, Jan 20, 2018, 4:09 PM

Waves on Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

085 – Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 10:09 PM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

094 – Fri, Apr 6, 2018, 11:46 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

088 – Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 6:40 PM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

087 – Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 4:16 PM

008 – 31w6d – One Last Road Trip

Adrian's Elephant and Romeo

064 – Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 4:36 PM

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

040 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 5:43 PM

Pier, Paihia, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

042 – Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 6:14 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

003 – 10w2d – A Little Bit of a Belly

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

076 – Wed, Jan 10, 2018, 11:47 AM

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

079 – Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 4:24 PM

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

119 – Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 1:10 PM

012 – 39w6d(2) – So close!

Shadows on a hike, California (Miranda Hernandez)

044 – Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 6:52 PM

007 – 29w6d – Cravings and a Nest

Sunrise over the Pacific Ocean 2 - Feature

015 – Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 8:19 PM

Adrian's Elephant

072 – Sat, Dec 30, 2017, 10:51 AM

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

118 – Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 7:43 PM

Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

060 – Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 8:02 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

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

036 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 1:59 PM

019 – Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 12:17 PM

Pacific Ocean - Feature

014 – Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 6:53 PM

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

132 – Mon, Jul 1, 2019, 9:45 PM

033 – Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 6:35 PM

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

125 – Fri, Oct 19, 2018, 1:08 PM

Koloa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i - Feature

017 – Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 6:24 AM

Remnants of a building, California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

052 – Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 8:08 PM

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

130 – Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 9:31 PM

Adrian's Elephant at Thanksgiving

062 – Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 1:51 PM

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

121 – Mon, Jul 23, 2018, 9:04 PM

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

041 – Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 8:30 PM

031 – Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 12:16 AM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

077 – Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 2:38 PM

Staircase in California (Miranda Hernandez)

111 – Sun, Jun 10, 2018, 9:31 PM

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

106 – Fri, May 18, 2018, 6:18 PM

Bike path in California (Miranda Hernandez)

098 – Thu, Apr 29, 2018, 8:58 PM

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

050 – Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 1:00 PM

Adrian and Elephant

131 – A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday

006 – 20w0d – Are you dancing?

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

135 – Wed, Aug 28, 2019, 8:04 AM

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

068 – Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 9:55 PM

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

034 – Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 8:28 PM

005 – 19w6d – Happy New Year

013 – Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM

More Letters

Adrian's Elephant and Miranda's birthday cake

061 – Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:01 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

104 – Sun, May 13, 2018, 3:04 PM

Winter in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

097 – Wed, Apr 28, 2018, 11:08 PM

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

122 – Tue, Jul 24, 2018, 9:28 PM

Explore more of Adrian's Elephant