My son never got to come home. He never got to sleep in his crib, or wear his clothes, washed and folded and laid out lovingly.

My son, Adrian James, never got to come home. He never got to sleep in his crib, or wear his clothes, washed and folded and laid out lovingly. 

Miranda Hernandez
@adrianselephant

At 22 weeks it was the best day and worse day. We found out two things, 1. The gender of our baby was a BOY! 2. His brain and heart were under developed. 

I was literally at Walt Disney World the day I got the positive pregnancy test. I had gone on vacation with my sister just two weeks after my first try at insemination, and I although I had tested negative three days earlier, on the exact 14th day of the two week wait, the test was positive. I was ecstatic.

The early days of my pregnancy passed easily. Although I was 35 and slightly overweight, I was considered low risk otherwise. I experienced things like morning sickness and round ligament pain, but nothing overly terrible, and all of it worth it for my child. And because my pregnancy was going well, I looked forward to an unmedicated natural birth with midwives and minimal interventions.


On 28 June 2017, I was 40 weeks, 6 days pregnant. I was huge and tired and ready for my son to be born, but I wanted to wait for him to be ready too.

 It was summer in Texas, and that night, I lay down on the couch, enjoying the air conditioning, and talked to my child. I remember him kicking as I promised him life was better on the outside. By the time I woke up the following morning, he was gone.

I had a pre-scheduled non-stress test appointment that morning, and so when I woke feeling “funny,” I decided I would address then. I thought it probably just meant labor was happening soon. I still remember the nurse’s face as it shifted from cheerful to neutral, and the moments of confusion while I waited for the doctor, all alone.

And suddenly he was in front of me, and I could see his mouth moving, but the words had no meaning. And suddenly, I was screaming, and the word that I screamed was, “No.”

I went into labor with my son that evening, and delivered him the following afternoon. In the warm light close to evening, he looked like a sleeping child. And when I look back at photos of that day, it often feels like I am dreaming. Because the Miranda in that photo surely left the hospital with a living baby. And the Miranda, today, looking at that photo, still feels jealous of things that will never be. 

My son, Adrian James, never got to come home. He never got to sleep in his crib, or wear his clothes, washed and folded and laid out lovingly. 

I left the hospital the day after Adrian was born. I crawled into bed at home and wished that I could die. And despite love and support from every corner, the thing that finally pulled me back into the world was that my breasts still swelled with milk.

I had decided in the hospital I would donate my milk. It felt like something beautiful I needed to find in those terrible days. I didn’t realize, though, how very hard it would be. It was already so hard just to keep living. I pumped twice daily for five weeks. I’m still thankful to have had the opportunity.


It’s been three years now since my son was born sleeping. It’s been three years, and some days it still feels fresh. Some days I still cry. And some days--often now--I write about him. And I have realized, recently, this is all pretty normal. This is how I mother him, and also how I honor him. This is the energy I would have used in his life.


You can read more about Adrian, Miranda, and Adrian’s living sister, “Peanut” at https://adrianjameshernandez.com.

1 comment

  • So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your birth story of Adrian with us. I’m praying peace and healing for you tonight.
    xxx

    Kellie

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