Sometimes pregnancy doesn’t end in a living baby. And sometimes there is simply no way to know that there is any danger until after your baby has already died.
I wanted a natural birth
I’ve learned more about stillbirth and prenatal care in the years since then. I’ve learned enough to be angry, both at the things they said and the things they missed. They presented themselves as trustworthy and they weren’t. They presented themselves as comprehensive, and they missed things.
We hear a lot about the power of nature and avoiding things that are heavily processed to keep ourselves safe. I think it is important to remember: What is safe is not always natural & What is natural is not always safe/
June is an intense month for me, because each June, I remember what it’s like to go in for a routine examination and be told my child has no heartbeat. My greatest wish for the world today is to understand the power of GENUINELY informed consent.
Dear Natural Childbirth Educator, I always considered myself part of the natural community, and this is why I followed you. I read the traditional books, but your words were more comforting. I only wish you would have talked about stillbirth, because until it happened to me, I had no idea.
My worst regret is drinking half a can of Red Bull on those mornings I struggled to get out of bed. In that reality, I know it’s not my fault. I loved you more than life itself.
I had a fantasy of how it would go. I would wake up early in the morning, and it would start. I would walk to Alexis’s room and tell her, calmly, that it was time.
Adrian was due on 22 June 2017, but my midwives told me due dates were only guidelines. I wish they had been more concerned, especially considering the warning signs demonstrated during that last visit.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can look back on my pregnancy and identify the signs both I am my providers should have seen before Adrian died. There were multiple problems that led to his preventable stillbirth.
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.
My water broke in a gushing flood. I understood then what women meant when they said it felt like peeing. I looked down, expecting to see water pooling on the tile floor. What I saw instead was blood.
Almost eight months ago, I stood in your shoes. I was nine months pregnant; overdue. I was committed to doing everything naturally. It seemed like the most important thing to me. I wish I had known then what I’m sharing with you now.
I hate talking about these memories, because everyone is quick to tell me that it wasn’t my fault. Screw that! I don’t care about fault. I want to share my story. I want to remember the last week of my son’s life. I want to share these things that complicate how I feel about his death. I want to remember that this experience wasn’t entirely sunshine and roses. I want to remember what was real.
Sometimes I need comfort, and I lash out instead. I am not your typical victim. I am so very angry.
One hundred years ago, many pregnancy interventions didn’t exist, and I let myself believe that was the best way. I didn’t consider the other side of this story—one hundred years ago, without interventions, mothers and children often died. Nature isn’t perfect. Nature is pretty deadly.