I woke up this morning to your sister saying, “Mama”. It’s how she usually gets my attention these days. I love the sound of it, and the way she is so demanding. When she wakes up, it’s like a hurricane has descended on the world. And I wonder — would that have been you too?
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.
Almost three years ago, we both were pregnant. I didn’t realize at the time how closely we aligned. I think I thought about saying something then, but I didn’t. No excuses this time. And then your son was born, and my son died.
If they asked me to describe you, I would start with your eyes. I never got to see your eyes, just your long eyelashes. If they asked about your first word, I would have to shrug. Though statistically, (ironically,) it’s almost always “dada”. If they asked about my hopes for you, I would have to say my biggest hope was that you would have felt loved. It was always important to me that you feel loved.
A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday: If they asked me to describe you, I would start with your eyes. I never got to see your eyes, just your long eyelashes. These are just one of the many things I miss.
When I pictured this moment during our pregnancy, I had all the typical first birthday dreams. I thought about outfits, and cute party hats, and an elephant cake you would smash more than eat. I thought about family, and packed photo books, and maybe a few presents. But mostly just love.
12 months ago, I was in labor. 12 months ago, you were preparing to be born. And this moment will always live in my memories.
I think one of the strangest things I’ve learned about grief is that it’s expressed in the most unusual ways. Beyond the big moments, easily understood, I’m finding it lives in the details.
I miss those moments now, that time when I felt complete in my grief. Because now I yearn for community, and it’s missing.
This has been a long year, and every time I think I’m okay, I find new heartbreak; new fears. I also find new joy. Because the day before I said goodbye to Amy Anne, I took a chance on new life, and I am both terrified & ecstatic to announce that this spring, Adrian James will become a big brother.
My son, Adrian James Hernandez, was stillborn exactly one year ago today. And his loss was the first time in my life where there was nothing I could fight and nothing I could do or say. These are my reflections on the past year since his death.
A Letter to My Son on His First Birthday: When I pictured this moment during our pregnancy, I had all the typical first birthday dreams. I thought about outfits, and cute party hats, and an elephant cake you would smash more than eat. Life looks different today.
I don’t think too much about actual dates, and so I missed the anniversary of my 39th week. And this is important to me, because it’s the date my providers had pushed for induction. And I wonder — if I had chosen differently, would I have a living child?
My name is Miranda Hernandez. I am a single mother by choice. My son Adrian passed away on 29 June 2017, and was stillborn the following day. I will love and honor him for the rest of my life.
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.
I feel unusual in the way that I’ve been counting. I’ve never kept elaborate timelines. My cousin’s wife reminded me when 30 days had passed. I was visiting, and her words took the breath out of me. It always feels like yesterday.