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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California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

076 – Wed, Jan 10, 2018, 11:47 AM

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

129 – Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 9:11 PM

Miranda's maternity photo (Modern Lux Photography)

067 – Tue, Dec 12, 2017, 9:42 PM

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

093 – Wed, Mar 21, 2018, 4:18 PM

Bike path in California (Miranda Hernandez)

098 – Thu, Apr 29, 2018, 8:58 PM

Winter in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

097 – Wed, Apr 28, 2018, 11:08 PM

Wildflowers in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

090 – Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 5:12 AM

Wild Sunflower in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

035 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 11:09 AM

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

114 – Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 1:15 PM

006 – 20w0d – Are you dancing?

Pacific Ocean - Feature

014 – Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 6:53 PM

Succulents in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)

086 – Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 3:52 PM

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

050 – Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 1:00 PM

Park in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

099 – Wed, May 2, 2018, 7:46 PM

018 – Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 1:32 PM

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

109 – Sun, May 27, 2018, 8:35 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

009 – 33w2d

Found art on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

127 – Thu, May 2, 2019, 12:03 PM

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

068 – Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 9:55 PM

More Letters

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

054 – Mon, Nov 7, 2017, 8:10 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Star Registry certificate

113 – Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 1:02 AM

Hyacinth flowers, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

059 – Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 7:52 PM

Pinecrest Lake, Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

070 – Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 9:12 PM

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

133 – Wed, Jul 3, 2019, 11:32 AM

Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

073 – Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 5:10 PM

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

130 – Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 9:31 PM

California Coast, Big Sur (Miranda Hernandez)

045 – Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 6:25 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)

088 – Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 6:40 PM

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

137 – Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 10:01 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant with Bumblebee

051 – Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 5:32 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

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

063 – Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 9:45 AM

032 – Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 9:24 PM

Desert in California (Miranda Hernandez)

107 – Sat, May 19, 2018, 2:02 PM

Bridge in California (Miranda Hernandez)

102 – Fri, May 11, 2018, 11:56 AM

Sunset over Victoria - Feature

023 – Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 5:18 PM

Nasturtium flowers in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

112 – Sat, Jun 16, 2018, 3:59 PM

Hollyhock in California (Miranda Hernandez)

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

Adrian's Elephant

065 – Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 8:06 PM

Hiking in Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

071 – Mon, Dec 25, 2017, 6:45 PM

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

037 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:02 PM

Tree in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

057 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:28 PM

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

106 – Fri, May 18, 2018, 6:18 PM

029 – Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:50 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Miranda's birthday cake

061 – Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:01 PM

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

036 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 1:59 PM

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

081 – Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 8:29 PM

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

120 – Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 12:47 PM

024 – Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 6:13 PM

Miranda Maternity 2 - Feature

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

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

092 – Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 2:26 PM

028 – Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 6:07 PM

Full moon in Texas (Miranda Hernandez)

083 – Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 5:09 AM

Adrian's Elephant and Miranda's uniform top

056 – Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 8:29 PM

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

122 – Tue, Jul 24, 2018, 9:28 PM

Sunrise over the Pacific Ocean 2 - Feature

015 – Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 8:19 PM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

094 – Fri, Apr 6, 2018, 11:46 PM

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

034 – Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 8:28 PM

Pier, Paihia, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

042 – Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 6:14 PM

005 – 19w6d – Happy New Year

008 – 31w6d – One Last Road Trip

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

100 – Sat, May 5, 2018, 5:30 PM

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

125 – Fri, Oct 19, 2018, 1:08 PM

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

108 – Sat, May 26, 2018, 11:02 AM

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

139 – A Letter to My Son on His Third Birthday

Pier in San Diego, California (Miranda Hernandez)

066 – Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 8:16 PM

Adrian James 3 - Feaure

016 – Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 6:58 AM

Adrian's Elephant at Thanksgiving

062 – Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 1:51 PM

Empty bench, California (Miranda Hernandez)

058 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 7:10 PM

Rocks on the California Coast (Miranda Hernandez)

049 – Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:26 PM

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

048 – Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 8:37 PM

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

027 – Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 12:15 PM

004 – 12w1d – Your Tiny Feet

California coast in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

110 – Sun, Jun 3, 2018, 9:11 AM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

104 – Sun, May 13, 2018, 3:04 PM

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

138 – Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 11:39 AM

Snow in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

101 – Sun, May 6, 2018, 12:13 AM

030 – Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 6:21 AM

Bench on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

078 – Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 11:32 AM

Daisies (Miranda Hernandez)

091 – Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 1:10 PM

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

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

135 – Wed, Aug 28, 2019, 8:04 AM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Pinecrest Lake

069 – Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 7:22 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

077 – Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 2:38 PM

Miranda holding a white onesie towards the camera

010 – 38w4d – Almost there…

031 – Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 12:16 AM

001 – Hello

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

Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

060 – Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 8:02 PM

033 – Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 6:35 PM

002 – 7w3d – Pickles and ice cream?

Waves on Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

085 – Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 10:09 PM

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

134 – Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 1:34 PM

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

118 – Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 7:43 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

084 – Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 8:44 PM

003 – 10w2d – A Little Bit of a Belly

Stream, North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

046 – Sun, Oct 15, 2017, 8:09 PM

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

126 – Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 9:39 AM

020 – Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 2:29 PM

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

121 – Mon, Jul 23, 2018, 9:04 PM

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

047 – Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 4:54 PM

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

128 – Thu, May 23, 2019, 9:11 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

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

039 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 4:16 PM

Shadows on a hike, California (Miranda Hernandez)

044 – Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 6:52 PM

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

124 – Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 9:00 PM

Kaua'i coast (Miranda Hernandez)

105 – Mon, May 14, 2018, 9:33 PM

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

132 – Mon, Jul 1, 2019, 9:45 PM

Winter in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

096 – Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 11:09 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

025 – Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 12:26 AM

013 – Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

053 – Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 1:07 PM

Adrian and Elephant

131 – A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday

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

119 – Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 1:10 PM

Periwinkle in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

103 – Sat, May 12, 2018, 5:32 PM

Koloa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i - Feature

017 – Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 6:24 AM

Adrian's Elephant

072 – Sat, Dec 30, 2017, 10:51 AM

007 – 29w6d – Cravings and a Nest

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

079 – Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 4:24 PM

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

115 – Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 1:03 AM

Staircase in California (Miranda Hernandez)

111 – Sun, Jun 10, 2018, 9:31 PM

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 at Northstar California Resort

089 – Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 3:55 PM

012 – 39w6d(2) – So close!

026 – Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 6:17 AM

Sanddollars on Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

043 – Wed, Oct 4, 2017, 7:43 PM

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

040 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 5:43 PM

019 – Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 12:17 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Romeo

064 – Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 4:36 PM

Iceplant on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

080 – Sat, Jan 20, 2018, 4:09 PM

Explore more of Adrian's Elephant

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