Title: Postpartum Body After Loss | overlaid on image of Miranda's belly in Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i (Luna Kai Photography)

Postpartum Body After Loss

Adrian's Elephant

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There is a lot of discussion in the world about postpartum bodies, but unfortunately very little about postpartum bodies after loss. This is a particular interest of mine, and so I have written about it pretty extensively. I hope the following pieces are of use to you.

Thank you for being here.

 

Miranda sitting on the edge of red dirt on the ledge of a cliff in Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i, Hawai'i. Miranda is wearing a white shirt and lavender yoga pants, and is practicing yogic breathing while looking into the distance of the canyon (Luna Kai Photography)

Physical Body After Stillbirth

One of the least-talked-about aspects of stillbirth and pregnancy loss is that postpartum bodies still carry weight & produce milk, whether you have a living child or not. This is my journey with my postpartum body after stillbirth.

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Miranda and her Comfort Cub lying in bed in the dark. Miranda's arm is wrapped around the cub, and her clauddagh ring is visible on her right ring finger (Synch Media)

The First Days

After Adrian’s death, I came home from the hospital to a fully furnished nursery and without a living child. I wanted nothing more than to sleep for weeks, but I had to deal with milk, and funeral planning, and all the minutiae of being postpartum without a living child.

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Hiking the Sleeping Giant Trail, Kapaa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i

3 Feb 2018 – The Kindest Thing

I am probably one of those ghosting stories that people complain about on social media. I am probably that person who just disappeared, and people are wondering, “What happened? What did I do wrong?”

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North Star Resort - Feature

20 Feb 2018 – Flight

I found the snow again today. I found flight, and I’m spinning, and it all came back so easily. And I watch as the children go flying down the mountain, and everything feels empty.

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A Letter to My Belly (Write Your Grief) | overlaid on image of Miranda making a heart on her belly (Synch Media)

24 Feb 2018 – A Letter to My Belly

You sheltered him for nine months. You expanded with him, kept him safe. I watched you grow stretch marks, tiger stripes. I talked to him through you. I never thought to say thank you. Thank you. Thank you for holding my son, for cradling him even in death. He only ever knew love in you.

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

Yoga on a Saturday

I remember those early days after loss, when I used to go to yoga just to cry. It was a safe, quiet space, and most people didn’t judge me. It was a release.

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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

My son had a favorite place to kick me when I was pregnant. After he died, I documented this place with a tattoo of his footprints. Pregnant with my daughter now, she kicks in the same place, and it stimulates so many memories.

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29 October 2017

I’ve done a lot of things lately that the old me would have thought strange.

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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

Today, I put on a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. They are tight, and my body fills them differently, but they do fit. And this, surprisingly, is also hard for me—as hard as I worked to get here, as much as I thought wearing “normal” clothing would be a cure for at least part of what ails me, I also miss it. I miss being pregnant.

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

My Seventh Trimester Body

I have never struggled with the shape of my body; it’s just not something that has ever bothered me. But when my son died in my 41st week of pregnancy, I learned there were so many more components to the body image equation. I had a postpartum body and no living child.

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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

Friday the 13th was the point of equidistance—as equally spaced between Adrian’s death as from the beginning of my pregnancy with him. I thought it fitting, then, this was the day my tattoo artist had available. This was the day I received a footprint tattoo honoring my stillborn child.

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

137 – Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 10:01 PM

I caught a glimpse of my tattoo in the mirror the other day. The days move so quickly lately, sometimes I forget it’s there. Sometimes I miss the burning underneath my skin, how it felt when everything was new.

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My Experience with the 4th Trimester Bodies Project (Miranda's Blog) | overlaid on image of Miranda holding Adrian's elephant (4th Tri Bodies)

My experience with the 4th Trimester Bodies Project

I’ve been enamored with the 4th Trimester Bodies Project for years. I planned to participate myself after my first child was born. I did participate, even though my child had died. It was still a amazing experience.

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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

I remember what I wore to his funeral, primarily because I was only 11 days postpartum. Instead of wearing maternity clothing like I had planned in those early days, I had to go shopping and find something that didn’t make me look pregnant; that didn’t emphasize the curves of my body; the swelling that remained. A genuinely surreal experience.⁠

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