I was only 35 and I was sucked in by wanting everything to be natural, and you made me feel like I could trust you. You failed me, though. You allowed my child to die.
When I was pregnant for the first time, I heard that babies come when they’re ready, and so I allowed my pregnancy to go overdue. I wish I had known this wasn’t always true.
Now imagine I took this example of reckless behavior and used it to justify drinking and driving? Imagine I said that because I did it and I was fine, then of course it must be okay for others to try. This is called survivor’s bias.
I think people are conditioned to tell bereaved parents it isn’t their fault because they are worried. If parents blame themselves, what might they then do?
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.
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.
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.
I don’t understand it, little one. I don’t understand how you could be here, and then not. I don’t understand how you’re still in my belly, but you’re already gone. I don’t understand how the world makes sense anymore. I never got to hold you, and I miss you so much. My heart is broken.
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.
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.