News of Our Stillborn Baby was Devastating

Stillborn Baby isn’t Discovered until delivery

After years of personal research, I have concluded there are two types of people. Those who don’t like surprises and those who…


You’re welcome.

There have been several events recently which made me delve further into the topic: First, the cancellation of “return to school day” after a very long winter break. I realize it was frigid, but has anyone heard of facemasks and ski pants?

If the Green Bay Packer fans can sit out in 5 degree weather for four hours to watch an outdoor football game, I think kids can handle standing at the bus stop for a few minutes.

My next “surprise” assessment was when watching how my children react to wrapped presents under the Christmas tree.

I have one daughter who is pretty good at waiting because she already appreciates the element of surprise, while the other girl has all her gifts secretly opened and price compared on the first day I’ve put them under O Tannenbaum.

Yin enjoys surprises and Yang just doesn’t understand the necessity of them. And I’m not saying that one way is better than the other. That’s just the only way I allow myself to stereotype people. Forget political affiliation or religious denomination disagreements…this is the meat and potatoes of life right here.

When I was in grade school, I thought surprises were fabulous. I could wait and wait until the anticipation would build to a frenzy in my stomach. That way when it was time to open presents, the surprise seemed much grander.

While across the room, my brother already knew the contents of his packages, so he was feigning excitement and comparing my goods to his. I’m fairly sure he has given that up now in adulthood, but I can’t be certain.

Things started to change for me around the time I got engaged to be married. I desperately wanted to be surprised, yet I wanted to have a ring that I would like.

When I felt our relationship was heading that direction, I started throwing out subtle hints about what I preferred in metals and shapes. Sometimes you have to hit men over the head to make sure they catch on. I didn’t want my new love to miss these cues.

So when we went on a beach vacation with my family on Valentine’s Day and my fiancé-to-be asked me to wake up early to go watch the sunrise on the most romantic day of the year; surprise, the surprise was ruined.

So I feigned surprise, but forgave him when he pulled out the most beautiful ring I had ever designed in my mind! I could handle this kind of surprise.

But my viewpoint shifted the night we went to the hospital to deliver my first child. I was 40 weeks pregnant, and like every first-time mother, scared out of mind.

“Everything will be just fine,” said my best friend over the phone before I left the house.

My husband rubbed my hand in the car and said, “We’ve been waiting so long for this day!”

And I knew that in just a few hours I would have the opportunity to meet my darling little girl, so with everyone’s comforting advice I began to calm down a bit.

The nursing staff was friendly and hooked me up to the heart monitors. First mine, then the baby’s. I was so nervous I didn’t even notice the difficulty the nurse was having locating my baby’s heartbeat.

And the staff never did.


Well, I can honestly say I haven’t tolerated surprises in the last ten years since the loss of my first girl. My entire world was redefined forever. I am no longer that former person, and actually I don’t want to be.

Through much family support and love, counseling and medication to help with anxiety and depression; I have learned to find the joy and laughter again in my life. Plus, my dear children here on earth help me find light and direction more than they will ever know.

Perhaps, I might like surprises someday. Maybe a surprise 50th birthday party in several years? That might be fun.

But I guess that wouldn’t be a surprise now, would it?

This was previously printed in The Kansas City Star on Saturday, January 11, 2014 in my monthly column.

Do you like to plan every detail or prefer surprises?


My Baby Died 10 Years Ago Today

Hello Friends,

This is not going to be one of my snarky, smart-assed posts.

I won’t be cracking jokes and trying to make you laugh out loud.

Today I’m finally going to let you all in on a secret that I’ve been hauling around for 10 years. The weight of this pain has been horrific at times, but has lessened with time. Yet a mother’s love never wavers, changes with time and is forever strong.

Kathy Glow, at Kissing the Frog, has invited me to guest post on her site this morning on her Grief Series. She is an amazing writer and also has experienced the great loss of a child. Her series is a beautiful tribute to her son and a powerful place for people to learn about those writers who have lost someone dear to them.

This is truly the first time I have ever written of my experience; but I hope you all will take the time to read it. This is a piece of my heart, written through tears and love.

Please head over to Kathy’s site and show her some love and leave her or me some comments. I will respond to comments over there today.

“You Quickened My Heartbeat” – by Stacey Hatton

Love to you all and thanks for supporting me all these years!