Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 9:12 PM

Pinecrest Lake, Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)
Pinecrest Lake, Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

I’ve been obsessed with the snow since I was a child. I used to joke that my children would snowboard before they could walk.

It’s so easy to make plans; it’s so easy to conceive of a dream and just assume that life and work will find a way to make it real.

I had plans for you. I was going to love you. (I love you). I was going to support your dreams no matter what they turned out to be. I was going to give you a home; a safe place to land. I was going to be a mother you could trust, a place to share anything.

I don’t know who you would have been. I only know that I love you. That’s the only thing that’s ever been important to me.

I hike this snowy trail today. I push myself harder than I have in over a year. I push myself for what I’ve been afraid to tell you–I want you to be a brother.

I’ve never hated my body, that’s just never been a hang-up for me. But I also know I’m not ready; my body isn’t in any kind of shape to try again. I told your Aunt Alexis* towards the end of our pregnancy that there were things that wish I had done differently: I wish I had lost more weight, not because I was I was unhappy with how I looked, but because it would have been easier to carry you. I wish I had worked out more, strengthened my lower back and built back my endurance. I should never have been tired just walking around the block with you. I think about these things and part of me feels disloyal for not doing them for you. Why didn’t I do everything for you?

I saw the fertility doctor last week. He was brusque and a little cocky, but he claims results. He said you probably died because I let our pregnancy go on too long. He’s the first person to literally say that to me.

I think of all the signs the providers brushed off. I think of the other signs I just didn’t see. My heart hurts. I wish I could go back in time. I wish I had saved you.

Before I moved from our old city, I brought a letter to the hospital. I don’t want anyone else to ever feel like me.

There are days when my grief feels endless. Since moving here, there are days I don’t even get out of bed. My tears come and go I find myself missing the times when I cried so easily. I rage against anything like the loss of your memory.

For many months, I held onto our baby weight. It was one more thing I could carry instead of you. The doctor didn’t tell me I had to lose it; he didn’t say I had to do anything, but it’s become a mission now, something concrete I am able to do.

I miss you. I push myself and I miss you and I wonder if a year from now I might be pushing in a different way, and again I feel so very disloyal to you. There is never a time I don’t wish you were here. There is never a time I don’t wish that instead of this elephant, I could be holding you.

I push myself because nothing I do is ever enough. Nothing makes up for the loss of you.

I love you.

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)
Miranda and Adrian’s Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

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* Names have been changed to protect privacy.

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