Support after stillbirth (Archives)

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Support after stillbirth

Toy bunny sitting in baby safety seat (Pixelshot)

Take Home Baby

I cradled her head delicately, supporting her, and felt pride in her heft, her fully developed form, this tiny human we had created together. “Is this what being a father feels like?” Then I placed her tenderly in the hospital cart, and watched as the nurse dutifully rolled her away.

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

Wave of Light 2020

Celebrating the #internationalwaveoflight; 24 hours of burning flame honoring children lost too soon. Light a candle from 7-8pm every year on 15 October.

Image of Vivian's mascara left on a tissue

Edward Alexander’s Story

Babies die. My baby died. It’s a fact. It’s a shallow, it’s a hole, it’s a void, I live with every single breath of my existence. Let me tell you about the cute onesie I had picked out for him. Let me tell you how precious and cute he was. How he looked like a little old man…

Woman using a fetal doppler at home (Trendsetter images)

Why I Support Banning Home Fetal Dopplers (Quora)

In recent years, home dopplers have become a popular way both of connecting with your baby and of providing “reassurance” that everything is okay. Unfortunately, any reassurance provided by home dopplers is false—a fetus may have a perfectly normal heart beat, and still be in danger of dying.

Orange wildflowers at Lake Tahoe (Miranda Hernandez)

It’s Always 29 June; Integration in Grief

Integration is waking up in the morning because Peanut is hungry and needs to be changed. Integration is wondering what life would be like with a living second child. Integration is making plans for the future with acknowledgment that things may change. Integration is love AND sadness; grief AND joy. And it’s okay to have ALL of these things, and all at the same time.

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: I know how you feel… Rewritten: I don't know how you feel, but I'm here to listen. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I know how you feel

Humans are hardwired to find points of comparison. It’s how we build community. It makes us feel less alone. In some cases, though, comparison feels minimizing. This is especially the case in loss. This is something to say instead.

Statement: You're so strong. Response: Inside I am dying.

You’re so Strong!

How do you respond to the phrase, “You’re so strong” when you feel like you’re anything but? People tell me I’m strong, but I feel like I’m dying inside.

Gentle wishes for bereaved Dads on Father's Day. May the day be kind. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Father’s Day

Fathers Day 2020: Gentle wishes for bereaved dads on Father’s Day. May the Day be Kind.

Mother's Day message from AdrianJamesHernandez.com

Mother’s Day 2020

To those with children in their arms, and those with children in their hearts: Happy Mothers Day. You are so loved.

Peanut with Adrian's Elephant

Cranky

Parenting, even parenting after loss, isn’t just sunshine and roses. It’s reality too. And I love this little girl with every piece of my soul, AND I feel overwhelmed sometimes. It’s okay to acknowledge the reality of life after loss. It’s okay to be cranky.

Adrian's Elephant and a flower arrangement from his birthday (Miranda Hernandez)

Adrian’s First Birthday

Although I had a funeral for Adrian, I also wanted to do something special to celebrate his life on what would have been his first birthday. I wanted something not so much focused on grief, but more on his impact; a type of celebration. I had already decided to build this website, and so it seemed natural to have a party and document both its launch and my son’s short but beautiful life.

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

The Problem With Positivity

We are often told to focus on positive thinking when going into major life changes like having a baby. But I was literally the most positive person possible when I was pregnant with my son, and he still died. Positivity doesn’t prevent tragedy; it only keeps you from preparing for it.

Wildflowers in South Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

There But for Grace

Home birth can be dangerous. I think it’s important to acknowledge that. But the gist of this doctor’s post today was to criticize a celebrity who recently lost her child during a home birth; to call her an idiot.

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

Perspective

We are all living in uncertainty. We are all scared. We are all doing the very best we can. And you have every right to your feelings, even if they seem silly.

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

Daydreams

I put Penny to bed tonight, and I had another image of a rambunctious toddler jumping up to join us. I can’t see his face at all, it is mostly just a feeling. A feeling like he’s just right there.

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

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

You think, “Okay, this is normal; necessary. This is the process of millennia.” And you stop thinking, and then you moan; deep and low and primal. And your moaning is an outlet, and you surrender to it, deciding to become physical.

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

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

I look back on that time now, and it’s like I’m looking at a different person. That old Miranda lived in a different world, where everything felt like it was possible. And even though it has been almost 3 years since then, I think a lot of people don’t understand I’m not that person anymore.

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

Survivor’s Bias

Now imagine I took this example of reckless behavior and used it to justify drinking and driving? Imagine I said that because I did it and I was fine, then of course it must be okay for others to try. This is called survivor’s bias.

Waves on Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

I Fail at Grief Olympics

What I found most interesting in my interactions with all of them, was the amount of commonality in our experiences. In how much I could identify with experiences I had previously thought were just mine.

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

Preventing Stillbirth Starts With Outreach

Since I first starting researching safe pregnancy practices following Adrian’s death, I have wanted to put together a road show to share this information with the world. Today I ran my first booth at the Monterey Birth and Baby Fair.

Wildflowers over Te Ti Bay (Miranda Hernandez)

“It’s Not Your Fault”

I think people are conditioned to tell bereaved parents it isn’t their fault because they are worried. If parents blame themselves, what might they then do?

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”

Let’s try thought experiment: Don’t think of an elephant. What are you thinking of right now? Of course, an elephant. Why? Because thoughts don’t work that way. Now think about this analogy as it applies to telling bereaved parents that their child’s death was not their fault.

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