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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Rocks on the California Coast (Miranda Hernandez)

049 – Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:26 PM

Hyacinth flowers, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

059 – Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 7:52 PM

029 – Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:50 PM

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

037 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:02 PM

Succulents in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)

086 – Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 3:52 PM

Wildflowers in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

090 – Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 5:12 AM

013 – Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

084 – Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 8:44 PM

Miranda holding a white onesie towards the camera

010 – 38w4d – Almost there…

Wild Sunflower in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

035 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 11:09 AM

Winter in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

097 – Wed, Apr 28, 2018, 11:08 PM

California coast in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

110 – Sun, Jun 3, 2018, 9:11 AM

020 – Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 2:29 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

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

118 – Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 7:43 PM

028 – Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 6:07 PM

Tree in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

057 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:28 PM

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

120 – Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 12:47 PM

Adrian's Elephant

065 – Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 8:06 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

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

038 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 9:36 AM

003 – 10w2d – A Little Bit of a Belly

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

126 – Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 9:39 AM

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

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

027 – Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 12:15 PM

Kaua'i coast (Miranda Hernandez)

105 – Mon, May 14, 2018, 9:33 PM

006 – 20w0d – Are you dancing?

032 – Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 9:24 PM

Adrian James 3 - Feaure

016 – Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 6:58 AM

Park in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

099 – Wed, May 2, 2018, 7:46 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Northstar California Resort

089 – Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 3:55 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Star Registry certificate

113 – Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 1:02 AM

Miranda's maternity photo (Modern Lux Photography)

067 – Tue, Dec 12, 2017, 9:42 PM

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

139 – A Letter to My Son on His Third Birthday

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

123 – Wed, Aug 29, 2018, 3:16 PM

Waves on Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

085 – Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 10:09 PM

018 – Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 1:32 PM

024 – Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 6:13 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

076 – Wed, Jan 10, 2018, 11:47 AM

Pacific Ocean - Feature

014 – Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 6:53 PM

026 – Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 6:17 AM

Sunset over Victoria - Feature

023 – Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 5:18 PM

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

115 – Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 1:03 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

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

088 – Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 6:40 PM

Snow in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

101 – Sun, May 6, 2018, 12:13 AM

002 – 7w3d – Pickles and ice cream?

Sunrise over the Pacific Ocean 2 - Feature

015 – Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 8:19 PM

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

055 – Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 6:48 PM

019 – Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 12:17 PM

Adrian's Elephant

072 – Sat, Dec 30, 2017, 10:51 AM

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

121 – Mon, Jul 23, 2018, 9:04 PM

Found art on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

127 – Thu, May 2, 2019, 12:03 PM

Adrian and Elephant

131 – A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday

Adrian's Elephant and Romeo

064 – Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 4:36 PM

025 – Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 12:26 AM

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

041 – Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 8:30 PM

001 – Hello

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

047 – Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 4:54 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

104 – Sun, May 13, 2018, 3:04 PM

Remnants of a building, California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

052 – Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 8:08 PM

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

122 – Tue, Jul 24, 2018, 9:28 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Miranda's birthday cake

061 – Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:01 PM

Bike path in California (Miranda Hernandez)

098 – Thu, Apr 29, 2018, 8:58 PM

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

093 – Wed, Mar 21, 2018, 4:18 PM

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

134 – Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 1:34 PM

Staircase in California (Miranda Hernandez)

111 – Sun, Jun 10, 2018, 9:31 PM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

087 – Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 4:16 PM

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

068 – Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 9:55 PM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

135 – Wed, Aug 28, 2019, 8:04 AM

009 – 33w2d

004 – 12w1d – Your Tiny Feet

Pier in San Diego, California (Miranda Hernandez)

066 – Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 8:16 PM

Bench on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

078 – Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 11:32 AM

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

129 – Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 9:11 PM

Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

073 – Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 5:10 PM

California Coast, Big Sur (Miranda Hernandez)

045 – Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 6:25 PM

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

040 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 5:43 PM

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

114 – Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 1:15 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

100 – Sat, May 5, 2018, 5:30 PM

Daisies (Miranda Hernandez)

091 – Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 1:10 PM

Pier, Paihia, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

042 – Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 6:14 PM

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

119 – Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 1:10 PM

Pinecrest Lake, Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

070 – Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 9:12 PM

Shadows on a hike, California (Miranda Hernandez)

044 – Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 6:52 PM

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

063 – Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 9:45 AM

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

109 – Sun, May 27, 2018, 8:35 PM

Periwinkle in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

103 – Sat, May 12, 2018, 5:32 PM

Hiking in Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

071 – Mon, Dec 25, 2017, 6:45 PM

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

036 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 1:59 PM

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

048 – Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 8:37 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

077 – Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 2:38 PM

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

079 – Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 4:24 PM

012 – 39w6d(2) – So close!

Empty bench, California (Miranda Hernandez)

058 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 7:10 PM

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

130 – Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 9:31 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

082 – Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 3:46 PM

031 – Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 12:16 AM

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

124 – Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 9:00 PM

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

108 – Sat, May 26, 2018, 11:02 AM

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

106 – Fri, May 18, 2018, 6:18 PM

Full moon in Texas (Miranda Hernandez)

083 – Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 5:09 AM

030 – Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 6:21 AM

Iceplant on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

080 – Sat, Jan 20, 2018, 4:09 PM

Miranda Maternity 2 - Feature

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

More Letters

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

081 – Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 8:29 PM

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

132 – Mon, Jul 1, 2019, 9:45 PM

Hollyhock in California (Miranda Hernandez)

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

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Pinecrest Lake

069 – Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 7:22 PM

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

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

053 – Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 1:07 PM

008 – 31w6d – One Last Road Trip

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

092 – Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 2:26 PM

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

125 – Fri, Oct 19, 2018, 1:08 PM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

094 – Fri, Apr 6, 2018, 11:46 PM

Sanddollars on Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

043 – Wed, Oct 4, 2017, 7:43 PM

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

138 – Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 11:39 AM

005 – 19w6d – Happy New Year

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

075 – Tue, Jan 9, 2018, 10:04 PM

007 – 29w6d – Cravings and a Nest

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

034 – Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 8:28 PM

Adrian's Elephant at Thanksgiving

062 – Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 1:51 PM

Shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago (Miranda Hernandez)

095 – Fri, Apr 13, 2018, 10:23 PM

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

074 – Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 7:59 PM

Bridge in California (Miranda Hernandez)

102 – Fri, May 11, 2018, 11:56 AM

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

137 – Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 10:01 PM

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

054 – Mon, Nov 7, 2017, 8:10 PM

033 – Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 6:35 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant with Bumblebee

051 – Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 5:32 PM

Winter in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

096 – Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 11:09 PM

Desert in California (Miranda Hernandez)

107 – Sat, May 19, 2018, 2:02 PM

Koloa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i - Feature

017 – Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 6:24 AM

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

050 – Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 1:00 PM

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

133 – Wed, Jul 3, 2019, 11:32 AM

Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

060 – Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 8:02 PM

Explore more of Adrian's Elephant

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