Peanut's feet with Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)
Peanut's feet with Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

First

Miranda's Blog

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on tumblr
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on print
Share on email

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 first 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.

Related Posts:

Miranda’s Blog: My Daughter is not a Rainbow; My Son was not a Storm
Miranda’s Blog: 13 June 2019
Special Topics: Parenting After Loss

Featured in:

Miranda’s Blog has been featured in Scary Mommy, Pregnancy After Loss Support Magazine, Love What Matters, Up Journey, and Pursue Today. You can also find her on Quora and Medium.

Share this post via:

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on tumblr
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on print
Share on email
Miranda's maternity photo. Miranda is wearing a pale pink form-fitting lace dress. She is sitting on an outdoor chair in a grassy backyard and is looking down at her belly while holding a flower (Modern Lux Photography)

When I was overdue, this is what I wish I knew

White letter paper on top on a brown envelope sitting on a dark wooden desk. The letter says, "A letter to the midwife who told me we were "fine"" in cursive lettering. There are light pink flowers and a piece of twine to the right of the letter. (Mybona, Getty Images)

A letter to the midwife who told me we were “fine”—

Mother holding a molly bear in a bedroom. The mother is wearing a loose white patterned kimono is snuggling into the bear with eyes closed. The bear is tan, with lighter cream markings. (Liz Morales Photography)

Here’s to the ‘Tog who Understands—

Graphic image of a green envelope holding a letter and a graphic photo of a mother holding a toddler and a stuffed elephant. The mother is wearing a long sleeved white shirt and has black hair. The toddler is wearing a light pink shirt and has medium brown hair. The background of the image is a blue gradient on top and a light blue box on the bottom. Graphic photo created by Megan Johnson; full image created in Canva

Our family doesn’t have a “Dad”, but we are so thankful for our Timothy

Graphic art of pregnant woman standing in front of an ultrasound machine. The woman has tan skin and is wearing a green dress. She is looking down at her belly. The ultrasound machine show an image of a pink elephant on the screen (djvstock2, smalllike, & clker-free-vector-images acquired from Canva)

There’s an Elephant in the Exam Room

Sharing about my deceased child doesn’t mean that I’m stuck or broken or even that I am actively hurting. It simply means I am a parent. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

STILL a Mama Bear, and STILL Pissed

Close up image of a stethoscope and a blood pressure machine (Rallef, Getty Images)

It’s so much more than high blood pressure; What I wish I’d known about Preeclampsia before it killed my child

Close up of mother holding toddler and stuffed elephant. Mother's eyes are closed and is facing down. Only the top left half of the toddler's face is visible.

Motherhood

Stylized image of a mother lying in bed, holding her stillborn child's hand (Megan Johnson)

International Bereaved Mothers’ Day 2021

A light gray stuffed elephant nestled between sage-green military boots

Identities

Miranda's black chiffon top and striped black and white skirt on the day of Adrian's funeral (Modern Lux Photographt)

Flashes of Memory; Dressing for the Funeral

How do you get past losing a baby? You don't.

How Do You Get Past Losing a Baby? (Quora)

I loved you from the moment I saw that second blue line.

Imperfect Memories; the Second Blue Line

Four-year-old girl sitting outside with her stuffed animal tiger. Image is close-up mainly of tiger in girl's arms (FamilyFotographer, Getty Images)

No, Daniel Tiger, Grown-Ups DON’T Always Come Back

Miranda wearing her bracelets with an elephant charm.

Life Thoughts from Subscription Boxes

"It doesn't always have to be a NEW beginning." overlaid on the Adrian's Elephant necklace photo (Miranda Hernandez)

It Doesn’t Always Have to be a NEW Beginning

Dried wild plants in North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Growing, Evolving…And Also Staying the Same

Close up of a white flower with skinny pointed petals, taken in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

The Words We Use Matter

Miranda holding Peanut and Adrian's elephant. Peanut's hand is wrapped around Adrian's elephant.

Illness, Worry, & Reflections

Collage of pictures of pregnant woman and woman with child with title of Preeclampsia & Stillbirth on the top.

The Ways we Discuss when we Disagree

Miranda holding Adrian's elephant on the coast in California.

Go, Go, Pause

Adrian's photo and candle in the Wave of Light, 2019

Wave of Light 2020

View from the top of Waimea Canyon, mountains covered in fog, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Luna Kai Photography)

What Would You Rather Not Know? (Quora)

Introducing the Sea Glass Parenting community; a community for parents after the loss of a child.

Introducing the Sea Glass Parenting Community

Rear view of Miranda facing the ocean. Miranda is wearing a loose pink shirt and her dark hair is down on her back. (Synch Media)

3 Years, 3 Months

White flowers on a tree (Miranda Hernandez)

The Phone Call you Never Expect to Receive; Supporting a Loved One After the Loss of a Child

Screenshot of Scary Mommy Article "Sharing Pictures Of My Stillborn Son Is Not 'Gross'" with a photo of Adrian and Miranda in the background.

The First Real Byline—Published in Scary Mommy

Sharing about my deceased child doesn't mean that I'm stuck or broken or even that I am hurting. It simply means I am a parent.

These are MY Words—Plagiarism in the Child Loss Community

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan established 15 October as Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day | In honor of all children lost too soon, please consider lighting a candle from 7-8pm in your local time zone. This will create a "wave of light" that travels around the world. |  Learn more about pregnancy & infant loss and how to support a bereaved family in your life: https://AdrianJamesHernandez.com

Getting ready for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

The Worst Part of Child Loss | Miranda holding Adrian's photo in the mountains of Kaua'i (Luna Kai Photography)

The Worst Part

Miranda's maternity photo with Peanut. Adrian's footprints are visible in the tattoo on Miranda's ribs (Two Little Starfish)

10 Things I Learned About Pregnancy After Loss (Pursue Today)

Palm tree over the ocean in late afternoon in Kaua'i, Hawai'i (MIranda Hernandez)

The grief of not getting what you didn’t want anyway

Woman using a fetal doppler at home (Trendsetter images)

Why I Support Banning Home Fetal Dopplers (Quora)

Orange wildflowers at Lake Tahoe (Miranda Hernandez)

It’s Always 29 June; Integration in Grief

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

1 June 2020

Blue dawnflowers at St Katharines’s Parmoor, Buckinghamshire, England (Miranda Hernandez)

Why I Didn’t “Just Adopt”

Miranda with Adrian's elephant and Peanut's mermaid in the hospital (Sarah Perry Photography)

The Whirlwind of Pregnancy and Delivery After Loss

Mother's Day message from AdrianJamesHernandez.com

Mother’s Day 2020

Peanut with Adrian's Elephant

Cranky

Dark red flowers in shadow in front of a bright window (Miranda Hernandez)

The Problem With Positivity

Wildflowers in South Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

There But for Grace

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

Perspective

Heart in the sand, Esquimalt Lagoon, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

Daydreams

Close-up image of spiky pink flower. Flower ihas both dark pink and light pink petals, and a peach center. The background is blurred. Taken in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

Why I Choose to Share Photos of My Dead Child on Social Media

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

What is the Worst Sound in the World? (Quora)

Bench on the shore of South Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Re-Evaluation & New Priorities after the Death of a Child

Cliff overlooking the ocean on a clear day (Miranda Hernandez)

Survivor’s Bias

Sunset over the Bay of Islands, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

Tone

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

Adrian’s Elephant Official Comment Policy, aka Things Not to Say To or About a Bereaved Parent

Waves on Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

I Fail at Grief Olympics

Safe pregnancy booth providing resources on safe and informed pregnancy and stillbirth prevention

Preventing Stillbirth Starts With Outreach

Wildflowers over Te Ti Bay (Miranda Hernandez)

“It’s Not Your Fault”

Pylons under a pier in California (Miranda Hernandez)

Why you shouldn’t ask a bereaved parent if they plan to “try again”

Found art of the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

From one mother to another: A letter to the pregnant mother from one who is bereaved

Famous rock formation in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. The feature is called Piercy Island, and is known for the "Hole in the Rock," but it looks like an elephant to me (Miranda Hernandez)

Elephants and Well-Meaning Words – “It’s not your fault”

Sunset over Lake Tahoe (Miranda Hernandez)

Stillbirth and Statistics: What Does it Mean to be “Rare”?

Tree branches over the Kawai'i coast (Miranda Hernandez)

Imagination

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

Sea Lions

Adrian's Elephant and Peanut's Mermaid

More Than One Spectrum

Tree limbs over a pond (Miranda Hernandez)

Awareness Isn’t Enough – Preventing Suicide Starts with Understanding

Adrian's Elephant in his and Peanut's car seat

Baggage

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast

17 August 2019

Flowers on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

The Things We Don’t Want to be True; Separating Victims of Tragedy from Ourselves

Empty storage container (Miranda Hernandez)

Sleepless

Quarters on tile (Miranda Hernandez)

Charlie’s Accident

Draft email (Miranda Hernandez)

Two Birthdays

Bench on the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago (Miranda Hernandez)

The bluntness I wish I could share where it’s needed

Adrian and Elephant

A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday

Literature about tracking fetal movements (Miranda Hernandez)

#MovementsMatter, Today and Always

Fenced walkway at Hatley Castle, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

Paperwork and Taxes

Peanut and Adrian's Elephant (Sarah Perry Photography)

Pregnancy after Loss & Peanut’s Birth Story

Miranda with Adrian's Elephant and Peanut's Mermaid (4th Trimester Bodies Project)

Third Mother’s Day

Daisies in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)

From one mother to another; a letter to the recently bereaved

Ariel view of the Bay of Islands, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

When you’re going through tough times, remember that life is about so much more than feel-good messages you read online

Mountains of Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

Warning Signs Prior to Adrian’s Stillbirth

Fog on the ocean in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Sometimes I DO want to give up, and you can’t “fix” that

A duck and its reflection, Assiniboine Park, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

My experience with the 4th Trimester Bodies Project

Full moon on a dark night, with clouds in front of the moon (Miranda Hernandez)

Midnight; Memories of Loss & Grief

Trees along the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago

Pregnancy After Loss; A Parable

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

My experience as a pseudo-rainbow baby

Sunset on the California Coast

“Strong”

Close up image of out-of-focus lamp. The aperture has been opened wide to over-expose the image (Miranda Hernandez)

Understanding

Valerian flowers in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Why I track fetal movement religiously with my second pregnancy

Orchid cactus flowers in the gardens at San Juan Bautista

Dear Nature-Based Childbirth Educator

Fence on the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago

Perspective of a Non-Believer Following the Death of a Child (Quora)

View of the beach in Monterey Bay, California

Pleasant Surprise

Close up image of a sundial in Hatley Park, Victoria, British Columbia. The sundial is weathered and made of gray stone. There are trees with pink blossoms in the background (Miranda Hernandez)

Why Getting Pregnant Easily Isn’t a Gift

Pier at Mission Bay Park, San Diego

Boomerang

Pier in Paihia, New Zealand

A Letter to My Mental Health Coordinator

Waves in Monterey Bay, California

The Slowest Kind of Panic

Sunrise in Kaua'i. Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

Is Stillbirth really “Rare”? What does “Rare” even Mean?

Close up of a daisy (Miranda Hernandez)

“If She Dies, I Die”; Grey’s Anatomy, Life, & Echoes of Grief in Pregnancy After Loss

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

The Fork in the Road

Bench on the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail

Grieving My Child Without God

Mount Douglas Park Trail, Victoria, British Columbia

This Timeline

Close-up black and white image of Miranda's pregnant belly in a field of wildflowers. The view is focused on the right side of Miranda's belly, and Adrian's footprint tattoo is visible at the top left of the photo. (Two Little Starfish)

Echoes; Reminders & Memories in Pregnancy After Loss

Virginsbower flowers in Hatley Park, Victoria, British Columbia. The flowers take up the bottom left of the image, and there are out-of-focus trees in the background (Miranda Hernandez)

It’s Not About the Sunscreen

Ruins of Cannery Row 1, Monterey, California

Necessary Fear

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

Death and Taxes – Why the Federal Government Doesn’t Consider My Stillborn Son to be a Human Being

Miranda's maternity photo (Two Little Starfish)

Why I am celebrating every moment of this current pregnancy

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

Please stop telling me everything is going to be “fine”

Amy Anne sitting on Miranda's bed, next to Adrian's ultrasound photos, Miranda's pregnant belly in the background (Modern Lux Photography)

The Story of Amy Anne

Easter Lily flower (Miranda Hernandez)

Claddagh Ring

Adrian's Elephant and Peanut's Mermaid

My Daughter is Not a Rainbow; My Son was Not a Storm

View of a small rocky island in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

Yoga on a Saturday

Rustic staircase carved into a trail in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

Hard Day

Rear view of a wooden bench looking out over Victoria, British Columbia at Sunset (Miranda Hernandez)

Waiting Rooms

Adrian's Elephant and Peanut's Mermaid

8 January 2019; Two Years of Memories and Looking to the Future

Pier in South Lake Tahoe, California

Grief Isn’t a Disease; That Quote from “The Interpreter”

Miranda on the beach in California. Miranda is wearing a dark blue and white striped dress and is facing away from the camera. Adrian's Elephant's foot is just visible in Miranda's hands. (Synch Media)

1 January 2019

Miranda with Adrian's Elephant during Adrian's Memorial on the California coast (@saltwaterandclay)

22 July 2018; Life is Hard but I’m Trying

Close up of healed footprint tattoo on Miranda's right ribs. Footprints are centered in the frame, and Miranda is laying on green grass with a white shirt pushed up above the tattoo (photo taken by a friend)

Friday the 13th

Daisies and Bluebonnets on Adrian's casket (Modern Lux Photography)

11 July 2018; Memories of Adrian’s Funeral

Trail in Pinnacles National Park, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Not Okay

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

Second Eulogy

Miranda and Elephant on the California coast

A Letter to My Son on His First Birthday

Adrian's Elephant

28 June; Memories from the day before my son was stillborn

Miranda and Elephant on the California coast

22 June 2018, 9:01am; Memories about Adrian’s Due Date & Warning Signs That Were Missed

Miranda and Elephant on the beach in California

21 June 2018, 4:58pm; Memories of my Last Prenatal Appointment before Adrian Died

Adrian's Elephant on Keālia Beach in Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

18 June 2018, 8:47 pm; Living in the Calendar after Loss

Driftwood log on the shore of Nukoli'i Beach park, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

Not Fucking Fair

Adrian's Elephant in the Airport (Miranda Hernandez)

Home

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

Sunrise

Miranda in Waimea Canyon State Park, Kaua'i, Hawai'i

My Seventh Trimester Body

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast

Birth

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Esquimalt Lagoon, Victoria, British Columbia

Equidistance

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

A letter to my roommate, who puts up with far more than she deserves

Adrian Street sign in San Diego, California

San Diego

View from cliffs on the California coast

A Letter to the Woman Who Wants the “Perfect Natural Birth”

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

I am a Mother

Adrian's things in Miranda's new home

Humor

Roses on rocks in Hatley Park, Victoria, British Columbia

Everything Happens.

Bluebonnets on the California coast

Nature Isn’t Perfect

Car tire on the road

Second Hand

Burning candle at St Katharines’s Parmoor, Buckinghamshire, England (Miranda Hernandez)

Desire

Sanddollars on Adrian's Elephant

Sea Shells

Sign found on sidewalk

Signs

Trail in Pinecrest, California

Life

Close up of Adrian's Elephant on Miranda's lap. Miranda is wearing blue jeans and white shirt, and Elephant is sitting in her lap facing the camera (Miranda Hernandez)

Pre-Pregnancy Jeans & the Struggle with Postpartum Weight Loss after Stillbirth

I Drink a Lot of Tea

Sunset in Arizona

I Miss My Phone

Rose on the ground at Hatley Park, Victoria, British Columbia

I woke up out of a sound sleep with these words on my lips

Toy car hidden in the grass

Favorite Holiday

Wildflowers and Adrian's Elephant

On Sunlight and Strength

Bench in California (Miranda Hernandez)

Things I Didn’t Get to Say in Response to Comments after the Death of my Child

Dahlia flowers at St Katharines’s Parmoor, Buckinghamshire, England (Miranda Hernandez)

What Happens When a Type A Personality Grieves

Cherry blossoms in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

Dear Pregnant Woman in My Office

Adrian's Elephant and expired milk, Government Canyon State Natural Area, Texas (Miranda Hernandez)

29 October 2017

Miranda with Adrian's name sign from Landon's Legacy Retreat, Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba

30 September 2017; I Will Always Love His Name

Explore more of Adrian's Elephant

Scroll to Top