Trees along the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago
Trees along the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago

Pregnancy After Loss; A Parable

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

Think of something people do everyday. Crossing the street, for example. On the surface, fairly mundane. Some small danger (make sure you look both ways) but generally not any cause for concern.

Now imagine one day you were crossing the street, and you were hit by a bus. No warning, no notice; you were completely unprepared. This is obviously something that’s possible, but not the kind of thing that happens everyday. Not to most people. But now that it’s happened to you, you are wary. You are no longer able to cross the street without fear. Other people do it, and you can see that it’s safe, but for you, you are always going to hold on to that memory. And no matter how much time, and how much therapy, you’re always going to be a little bit afraid. You’re always going to be a bit more aware that something like that can happen to you; to your friend; to anyone in the world at any time, on any random Thursday morning.

Now imagine there’s something you want on the other side of that street, something priceless and beautiful that will bring you much Joy. This thing is unique, created just for you, and it exists only for a limited time.

The first time you tried to cross the street, you were on your way to that Joy. You had anticipated it, gotten your home and family all prepared. But then you got hit by the bus, and it disappeared. That particular piece of Joy is now gone; it will never be available again. And some people, who may not understand, will tell you that Joy is always there, and you just have to cross the street again. But you know better. The Joy you lost is irreplaceable.

And someday, you may try to cross that street again anyway. You aren’t looking for a replacement Joy, but you are ready for an additional Joy to accompany the Pain. And as you take the first steps into that street again, you realize you are terrified. And you are surrounded, again, by people who don’t understand. People who step so blindly around the crosswalk, as if buses never existed.

But you know better. You know the importance of the lines of the crosswalk and staying inside. You know about looking both ways, not just once, but throughout the journey. You know about paying attention when cars honk, or the lights change. You know that buses frequently come up out of nowhere and take us all by surprise.

And some people, even those who know, still don’t understand why you have so much trouble with this journey. “It was a one-time thing,” they say. “The traffic conductor will protect us.” But you see the traffic conductor; you watch him ignoring important signs, and you remember the first time you tried to cross the street, and he told you, “Don’t worry–everything is fine.” And you see him now as he tells other people that buses don’t exist, but you know better. And you know you can’t cross the street based on a lie.

So you take this journey, eyes wide open, and you accept that it is terrifying. And you look both ways, and you take all the precautions, and you maybe trust, but if so, you also verify. And you keep your eye on Joy, and it feels like both the longest and also the shortest journey of your life, and it feels like you alone know that none of it is guaranteed.

~

This is what it’s like to think of pregnancy after loss. This is what it’s like to hold your child inside, and wonder if this will be the day that he or she will die. It’s a nightmare. It’s terrifying. And if you want living children, it’s part of your life.

Related Posts:

Miranda’s Blog: 1 January 2019
Miranda’s Blog: Why Getting Pregnant Easily Isn’t a Gift
Miranda’s Blog: 13 June 2019

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
Footbridge on North Lake Tahoe (Miranda Hernandez)

Grief made me suicidal; These are some things I learned (Suicide Awareness & Prevention Month 2021)

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

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

First

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

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