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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

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

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. → 

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

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)

Grief is not rational. Everybody does it their own way. You lost a baby who you loved. Now you're miserable and you can be miserable as long as you feel miserable. And everybody else can go to hell. Maybe when someone starts to say anything to you, just put your hand over their mouth and say, "Don't speak." I'm glad you're getting angry at people; that sounds satisfying.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna Rubiner
I have never commented here before, but I know what your going through. I had a second trimester miscarriage with twins 3 years ago. I was 5 months pregnant! I was completely heartbroken. I had taken us 3 years of fertility treatments to get pregnant just to end up having a broken heart. They couldn't find any reason why it happend, but bad luck they told me. (nice!) It took me close to 8 months to even want to try agin. Then 9 months lsater after more fertility treastments I found out I was pregnant again. I now how a BEAUTIFUL 8 months old baby girl! She is my joy. I still think about my twins every singel day and tell my daughter about her twin sisters. I had planted 2 rose bushes in my yard in memory of them and when I am feeling sad and miss them I go out there to talk to them. Your not alone! October 15th is the official pregnancy and infant loss rememberance day! will NEVER forget your baby and noone should expect you to!
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSharon
You mourn the way you need to. Go right ahead. Don't let anyone try to make your grief into something that's not yours. That was your baby, and you love(d) him or her, and one day, maybe, you'll get to have another one. But you will always miss that sweet little smooshy. And that's okay.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy
Oh heavens. My "favourite" grief support I got was via email from a friend when we lost our son in my second trimester. She wrote me to tell me it was my body's way of "cleaning out" to have a healthy pregnancy later.

Anger doesn't even begin to summarize it, does it?

I grieve your beloved baby with you and hope they are playing with mine somewhere.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterML
I'm so sorry, Alice. I can't imagine someone thinking it's OK to berate you in your time of grief (Or anytime for that matter). There is no excuse for anyone else to take your pain and turn it into their own issue. I hope whomever said these things to you has the balls to apologize.

Hugs to you.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela T.
Grief is grief and you're entitled to yours. And to experience it however is your way. You shouldn't be made to defend it. Anger is good. You can come out of the other side of anger when you're ready.

Not having met someone doesn't preclude you from loving them or mourning them.

If you decide to put up a P.O Box my offer of chocolate and homemade chicken soup still stands.

Good vibes and warm fuzzies to you and Scott.

Now, whose teeth can I kick in for you?
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
People can be thoroughly stupid sometimes.

I wish for you peace, Alice.

And entirely less fuckwits.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdaysgoby
Lordy! Can't people just lay off when someone has a tragedy like this occur in their life? I'll kick their teeth in for you, and then maybe key their car, just for good measure. Shame on any who judged someone that is just trying to adjust to what happened to them in her own way.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterC-Rah
I am sorry. People say really stupid, mean things sometimes (especially out here on the internet).

You have a rock solid right to feel however you feel.

My thoughts are with you...
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Oh no. There is nothing worse then not finding validation in your grief, having something that is so real and so devastating to you being brushed off as "for the best" by well-meaning idiots is salt in the wound in the worst way.

I would say the "comfort" I received at the time of my miscarriage was 95% in this vein until I (very young and too stupid to know better) begun to hide my pain because I was ashamed of it. Clearly I was making much ado about nothing according to the rest of the world. This of course, did not help my state of mind. One day, more then a year after miscarrying, I read something that made me feel so validated and allowed me to finally start healing. It more or less said that when people say "it is for the best" you should feel free to tell them that in your world, it is not for the best. The best would be giving birth to a healthy baby.

That simple sentence of validation made such a difference to me, and now you are making such a difference to another woman in your situation, or who will be one day, by being honest with your pain and validating hers.

I miscarried my first baby at a little past 12 weeks, and I know something of what you are feeling. I am just so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your family and you are in my prayers.

Just after my first son Benjamin was born I had an incredible experience which finally made me feel whole again. It is sacred to me but I would be happy to share it with you privately if you feel that it may help.

Much love and empathy to you.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKirsty
WHAT? people are SAYING those things to you?!!

morons. insufferable, inconsiderate morons.

be angry. you have every right to be.

am thinking of you and your family.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbabelbabe
I know exactly how you feel. I miscarried my first child at 17 weeks, and we conceived our second before the original due date. Even though I *know* I would not have my wonderful, funny, sweet little girl now, I still find myself mourning - 5 years later - the little boy who was never born. I think of him more often than I expected to do so, particularly in the Spring (due date) and just before Thanksgiving (when we lost him). If I am one of those who gave you pain under the previous comments by talking about future children, then I am sorry, because I understand your hurt, anger and sadness very well. People mean well, but they still say stupid things. Heck, I mean well, I've been there, and I *still* say stupid things. Grief and healing are so personal, and you are brave and lovely to open yourself and your life to inspection by others at this juncture. I hope the thoughtful, loving comments outweigh the thoughtless, and that you receive some comfort from us, your readers. Even the most clay-footed of us wish you well.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlizneust
We're having problems getting pregnant this second time around, and even more baffling and sad to me than infertility is the absolute inability some people have to just say I'm sorry things are so hard, and not try to cheer me up. If one more person tells me that it happened for me once and how so many people don't get even that (yes, I know) and I should be grateful for what I have (I am, and that's why I want to do it again) and how I should just relax and let it happen on its own (it won't) I will ritually destroy myself before their very eyes. I really will.

All that just to say, I'm sorry things are so hard. I can't imagine what you're going through. I just feel terrible for you.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMolly
I'm sorry, sweet Alice, if someone else has already said something like this. We lost a baby before my first son was born. That baby was mine, for a very short period of time. That baby has a name, and I talk to her(him), especially when I'm hitting a rough patch with my boys. After she left, the only thing that help was to talk to her. She cannot be replaced, and I know that with out her my boys wouldn't be who they are. I'm thinking of you...
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHanna
I'm with ya, from the first word to the last.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjanny226
Ack-an addendum to the epic I just posted...I hope the word "healthy" in my paraphrasing does not hurt or offend anyone. As you say, you your baby, and you would have continued to love your baby despite any disability or health problem he or she might have been born with, had you been given the opportunity of raising him or her. Clearly your love and hope for the baby was not contingent upon him or her being physically perfect, and I could see why this would be a devastating interpretation of your pain.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKirsty
I'm so sorry.

Sometimes all people can see are their own hurts and they say stupid things.

Take care.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSue
As is your right. Kick 'em hard.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMamaCarter
Oh, I hear you loud and clear. WHY do people still say anything? Anything except I'm so sorry about your baby. I felt the same way about the baby I lost in between my first and my second, I had a baby and I knew I could have another baby, but I was still sad - and angry - about the baby I lost. I'm so sorry for your loss, Alice. Hang in there.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne
This is *exactly* why this blog (and so many others) are such a gift. Of course you're angry, and sad and a whole host of other emotions. Of course. Thank you for putting it out there for the whole world to see. You are helping others. You are. You are helping women who are going thru this exact same thing. You are helping women (and men) who love someone go thru this very thing. Be angry. Be gentle. Be however you need to be. And then hug the ones you love even tighter and know that all is right. It just is. Thank you for sharing your pain with us. It matters and makes a difference. Peace be.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpeef
I just had two back-to-back miscarriages, and I'm with you. It hurts. It hurts a lot. I'm devastated, just like you, and I want my babies back.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
When I was first pregnant, about 2.5 minutes along, and completely stressing and freaking out (as one does), my husband said something similar, about "having another one". Behind clenched teeth: "I don't WANT another one; I want THIS one."

People just want you to feel better, but there is nothing but time that will make it any better at all, as you know. Although kicking teeth out could help. Purely therapeutic, of course.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTraci
I have not been where you are, but what you are saying makes complete sense to me. What you're feeling is real & true, and it's YOURS. No one should be judging you, or putting words into your mouth, or trying to twist what you're feeling into something ugly. I'm sorry that that's apparently what has happened, just when you need it least.

((((Alice)))). I keep you & your family in my thoughts.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTara
Sending love your way even though we don't know each other one teensy bit. Also, wanted you to know that I took your statement about viability in the spirit in which it was intended, with no reservations -- even with a beloved person with genetic disabilities in my veryown family.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTasty
I have never commented here before, but I read your blog fairly regularly. Please try to ignore the insensitive asshole who made you feel bad. It was perfectly obvious what you meant when you said what you said, and I'm stunned that anyone would interpret it so very poorly.

Take a deep breath, and be strong. You're right, and if I were you, I'd be fucking angry, too.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkimba

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