One of the things that isn’t often talked about is that stillborn babies are (usually) born with their eyes closed. And although I explored every inch of Adrian’s body, I couldn’t bring myself to force open his eyes. They will always be a mystery for me.
My time in the hospital before and after Adrian’s birth
Hearing the news was definitely the worst part. “There is no heartbeat.” It broke me. I fell. And the “worst” pieces just kept building.
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.
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.
The doctor had to leave. She said she would be back, but after she left, I decided I couldn’t wait. I asked if the midwife was available. I don’t think she was supposed to be on until noon, but they called her, and she came.
I felt the water rushing out of me. I noticed with such a detached feeling that it was almost like peeing, except I had no control. Then I looked down, and saw that it was all blood. My first thought was this was proof something was wrong with me. My second was that maybe I was dying.
29 June 2017: The day my son died – When she couldn’t find a heartbeat with the doppler, I think the idea started to form in my head, but I wasn’t quite ready…I remember the doctor’s face as he said the words, “I’m sorry.” My next memory is of someone screaming. It was me.
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.
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.