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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Let's Panic

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

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« Nor breath nor motion | Main | What are you doing tomorrow night? »
Monday
May122008

Here's the thing.

I know I can have another baby—at least, I'm pretty sure—but right now I don't want another baby. I want the one I had. I saw that baby on the ultrasound, and I liked that baby. That baby was MINE. I spent hours staring at the print-out of what essentially was a gummy bear, and cooing over it. I decided it was some kind of genius baby. In the picture we have, it's kind of sticking its arms out, like it's waving hello at us. Genius! Clearly! Having people tell me that it's for the best, that I'll have another, that what I'm going through right now is all hormones, does not address the difficulty I'm having with the whole idea of THIS baby being gone. Indeed, it seems to imply that the baby wasn't real or meaningful to me. Having someone define the words I wrote in the throes of all this as "good thing it died, because it might have been disabled" makes me want to tear that person's throat out. No. I lost my baby, and it was a good baby, and it was the one I wanted. I realize I never met it, and that I'm not making any rational kind of sense. I realize said baby might have been a genetically nonviable scramble of material. But only I can say that. As for you, you badmouth my baby and I will kick you in the teeth.

I'm a little angry, these days.

Reader Comments (307)

I feel for you sister. May peace be yours.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine
I send to you love and acceptance.

Noone can ever know how it feels to lose a child at any stage of life until it happens to them. It sucks. And it is sucked to have to deal with arseholes while you are grieving.

There are many of us who have lost children (proto-children, beautiful potentials, dreams of future life) out here. We stand behind you silently in case you need us.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermamaloo
What LizPres said? I agree entirely. I'm sorry you're going through this.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNichole
You aren't being irrational at all. Your feelings are honest, raw and real. You can be angry. You have every right. You don't need to explain yourself or your feelings to anyone. My mother is still mad 37 years later that she lost my brother at 5months along. When she lost another baby at 9 weeks, she was the first to say Thank God it happened now and not later BUT she was just as hurt, devestated and at a loss as to why it happened. Just a long, convaluted way of saying you can be mad. You can yell at me if it'll make you feel a little better. I still cry for my loss last month and I cry for yours. Just know that people out here? they love and care about you and your family so much. That's a fact ma'am.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrish
I am so sorry for your loss. I lost 2 babies to miscarriage and I will forever think of them as 2 of my children. They were both loved and wanted and will be remembered in my own way. I chose not to talk about my losses with very many people because of the crazy things people say. I only found solice in the little girl I already have and throwing myself into her world and her needs. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
oh, gawd. my entire face melted when I read this. i would just like to wrap you in goodness until you can bear to feel again. i'm so sorry, and if you'd like I can send you a little plastic gator so you can practice the teeth kicking. gawd, i'm sorry. totally sucks.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbecky
I am so sorry you are hurting. And, I can relate.. boy... can I relate... I just posted a similar vent on my own blog two days ago.

The things people have said to me cut like knives. No one has the right to judge you. No one.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShelli
Screw 'em all. You didn't need to apologize for what you wrote, and people who say say stupid things in the name of comforting you, well, they need to be ritually slapped. Whatever happened to "I'm sorry for your loss?" It's stuff like that that makes me hate people. Another thing that does that is my job, but I digress.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
The things people say trying to "make it all better" just infuriated me after my losses! How dare they say the baby was better off? How dare they say that I was better off? How dare they say that I had plenty of kids and should just be happy about that. I did tell someone to choose one of their kids to die and then imagine someone telling them that they are better off dead. Argh I always tell people that the very best thing to say is that "this sucks" and "I'm so sorry" and "I'm here for you to vent away..anytime". {{{{{Alice}}}}
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlisa
Oh Alice, my jaw dropped when I saw that clarification post of yours. I was so angry at whoever said such a thing, interpreted what you said that way. I read that part of your post as searching for a cause, a reason, a thing to blame other than random fate.

I also want to thank you and all the other mommy-bloggers and commenters who are sharing their similar stories, because hopefully you will teach someone not to be an asshat to someone they know.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMel
Asshat is such a good word, no?
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlyson
Good for you, get a little angry. I was angry too, when I read that anyone had construed what you wrote in a totally emotions-laid-bare post in a negative way. As I've said before, those are the incendiary people, and they will get mad about SOMETHING, no matter what. They are wrought with some kind of horrible pain akin to what you're going through right now, all the time. It's sad, really.

But you, you are wonderful, and of COURSE you wanted that baby, and I can't imagine feeling any other way in the whole world. Let the incendiary folks incense each other and take all the comments and words from all of us who love you and make a LITTLE salve out of those.

You know, if you want to. But if you're in a throat-ripping mood instead, I could send you a list! Killing two birds with one stone, give it some thought ;)
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterelise
Good for you, get a little angry. I was angry too, when I read that anyone had construed what you wrote in a totally emotions-laid-bare post in a negative way. As I've said before, those are the incendiary people, and they will get mad about SOMETHING, no matter what. They are wrought with some kind of horrible pain akin to what you're going through right now, all the time. It's sad, really.

But you, you are wonderful, and of COURSE you wanted that baby, and I can't imagine feeling any other way in the whole world. Let the incendiary folks incense each other and take all the comments and words from all of us who love you and make a LITTLE salve out of those.

You know, if you want to. But if you're in a throat-ripping mood instead, I could send you a list! Killing two birds with one stone, give it some thought ;)
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterelise
The baby I miscarried was my "June baby." Even though we lost it before it even looked like a baby, I had already grown attached to the promise of the baby I would meet in June, the promise that positive on the pregnancy test gave me.

After we miscarried, our doctor told us to switch donors. In her opinion, I was genetically incompatible with the donor my partner and I had picked, a good friend of ours. We'd been trying with that friend for many months and grieved when we had to go to an anonymous donor. I got pregnant the first try and now take joy every day with my little boy. But still, when I see our friend play with our son, I wonder about June baby. I wonder what he/she would have looked like, what he/she would have been like. I will never forget that bundle of cells that wasn't to be.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
Trish (above) had it right: sometimes the only way out is through. I had the same, EXACT SAME, experience seven years ago. No one knows what to say - so they invariably come up with something ridiculously, horribly inappropriate. I got so upset with the people who told me that this happens to LOTS of women - because THAT was supposed to make me feel better about losing my baby?! I also struggled with getting my husband to understand that this was a baby to me - not the idea of a baby. I still think about that baby every year on his/her due date. (And I've had four kids since, so we've got plenty of birthdays. But that's still a birthday to me.)
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKate
People who say those things have never lived it. They just need to say sorry and shut up.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Give it some time. I'm not sure why people think the answer to losing a baby is having another baby- the equation just doesn't work like that. Rage on. Trust it will feel better and when it does, then you can decide what you want or don't want.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbinkytown
I was sorry that I wasn't able to respond to your "clarification" post... I know people get their feathers ruffled about all kinds of things, but it beyond trollish to put that on you during such a painful time. Of COURSE you didn't mean to say that a disabled child is more trouble than they're worth. Anyone with a clear lens to look through knows that.

As for all the feelings you're experiencing these days, they can all be summed up in the word grief. You are grieving for your baby, the genius baby that you know will never be replaced by another baby, no matter how much you'll love him or her, too. Although the hormones of a recently pregnant woman are certainly not going to make the process any easier, don't think for a minute that the feelings aren't 100% real and legitimate. I think a lot of people want to believe that the pain is just hormones because that holds the promise that it is temporary, but though the acute pain of loss of a loved one - even a loved one we've never met - eases over time, it is as much a permanent part of us as our blood.

Take it day by day. You're a very strong person, even when you don't feel like you are.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnemie
You probably WILL have another baby... but it will no more replace the one that you lost than THAT one would have replaced Henry. Every little person you decide to grow in your womb is unique and precious to you. Nothing changes that.

Like the previous commenter I, too, still have the gross pee test from the pregnancy that I lost. I can't bring myself to throw it away, because that would be the end of the last evidence that there ever really was a baby. And there WAS a baby, and it was my baby, and it hurt like hell to have it taken away.

I'm due in September with another baby brother for the 2 little savages running around my house now, and I can't help but wonder if that was my girl that I lost. These thoughts don't go away; they just get easier to compartmentalize with time.

Hug your little man as much as he will tolerate it, and then some. Hang in there. Tell people with their venom where to stick it. Actually, I believe you just did. And quite eloquently, too.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeL
Hey, I am loathe to recommend a message board but there is a space on the internet devoted to losing a pregnancy, and since everyone there is going through something similar and they are there specifically for support, it might feel a little safer than the blog. I don't know - I don't actually post there but I have found it helpful just to read other people's posts.

Anyway - SHARE - it's here, if you haven't already found it through googling: http://www.nationalshareoffice.com/
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterfay
Of course you miss that baby. He/She was perfectly yours and it's just not right that you won't get to meet that particular little person. How heartless to suggest that you are somehow better off. The one good thing about writing out here for the rest of us that read you is now all of us will remember "That is Alice who has Henry and who didn't get to meet her second baby on the outside." (Because of course you did get to know him/her while you carried them) It does help to have someone else in the world that remembers. Love from Virginia.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
I think we sometimes forget that while people are sharing their lives in this impersonal medium, there is a very real person on the other side of that screen.

You are far braver to share this than I could ever be. I am truly sorry that your bravery is being met, however infrequently, with unkindness on any scale.

I can not know what you are going through, I can only say my heart goes out to you.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTheMama
I'd be angry too. I have some nice pointy boots if you need any west coast teeth kicked on your behalf.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnika
I lost a baby at 10 weeks, people say the most incredibly stupid and hurtful things, my 'best' was being told that obviosuly God didn't want us to have another baby and so I should get the hint already and stop trying ( already had 5 children, stupid, greedy me) well after I said " Oh piss off" I went right ahead and had another baby. I know just how you feel, I can tell myself that had that dear little lost baby been born we wouldn't have had the glorious Elijah but my heart aches a bit for that baby, who would have been as splendid as ever a baby could have been.Should anyone else say something stupid and very very wrong, just look at them and say " Oh Piss off" marvellous, worked for me anyway.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterhelen
I would have 20 year old twins right now if my first pregnancy had worked out. I mentioned that last night to my family. My 14 year-old said "Maybe one of them would have been me." I said no, but they would have been someone I loved just as much. You can't replace one child with another.

I went to one SHARE meeting during my 3 years of miscarrying, but I found that meeting very helpful. You may or may not. Sometimes it really does help to be with someone going through the same thing you are at the same time. If you're interested I will be the women's center at your hospital could put you in touch.

You have a right to be angry, sad, and disappointed. I really think you have to grieve miscarriage just like any other death. Even if you only held that baby in your dreams, you still held it. I'm sorry Alice.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa V

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