One day, someday, I will die. I don’t know what will happen then, and that’s okay with me. I don’t need confirmation or thoughts of reunification. I don’t want to be told my son waits for me in the afterlife.
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.
I don’t know why I’m surprised when I cry out of nowhere. Maybe I feel disloyal for having good days?
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.
I say your name. That part is easy. I will forever love the sound of your name, the feel of it in my voice. What I can’t say is what happened to you.
I was afraid to kiss you, when they first brought you to me. I was afraid they would think I was strange.
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.
Adrian James Hernandez was stillborn on 30 June 2017 due to complications from undiagnosed preeclampsia. He was 9lb, 0oz; 22 in long and perfectly formed. He is forever loved, and forever missed.
The city wasn’t originally my choice, but it’s where he was born, and now I’m forever tied to it. The birthplace of my firstborn child; the only place he lived before he died.
I feel your absence in my breathing. I wait for footsteps just around the bend. I hug your ashes and I think, “None of this is real. When I have paid my penance, I will hold you.” I will never get to hold you. Today is someone else’s birthday. Yours will never come.