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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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Sleep Is
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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.

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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've been through it too. There are no words of comfort. There is no dedicated day when you'll feel better. It's just a disgusting process that may or may not ease with time. Ease. Never go completely away.

I miscarried twice. At 7 and 10 weeks and I'm 25 weeks pregnant now. I'm STILL in panic mode, but not nearly as bad as I was for the first 12 weeks thinking that every pain, every cramp, every time I didn't feel like throwing up was a sign that this one wasn't going to stick either.

While it may ease with time and not consume your every thought, there will come a time - a time when you do get pregnant again, that it will be back. This kind of grief. It doesn't ever disappear.

I'm so sorry, Alice. I'm keeping you in my thoughts.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPocklock
I lost a baby at 5 weeks, and I still remember the due date. The pain and tears fade, but you'll never forget what could have been. And that's ok.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
I didn't comment before, but adding my sympathy. I think you captured it so well - it could have been worse, but it's still really, really hard. I don't know if it's IRL or on the blog people are saying that...perhaps it's because you reach so many people, you are bound to get innappropiate comments.I miscarried at 8 weeks as well, and we only got one hurtful comment, which was so bad we stopped speaking to the relative.Sorry for the long comment - my sympathies go out to you.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicole/wksocmom
Allow yourself to grieve all you need to now. I didn't, and boy, did I suffer at the time of the due date 7 months later. Where was my baby? I was supposed to have one, now. Right now. In my arms.

I lost a baby around 10 weeks and still want that baby -- even tho I got pregnant a few months after that miscarriage so if I had THAT baby I wouldn't have THIS baby. I want them both - and I had them both, just not the way I wanted.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMariella
It is interesting to read how everybody's grief is different, and yet also similar. With my own miscarriage, I took enormous comfort in the idea that the baby was probably genetically not right. I was able to tell myself, oh, it wasn't REALLY a baby after all. It never could have been a baby. It was just a bunch of cells that ALMOST had the right information to become a baby. That thought really helped me to move on, to start thinking about the next baby possibility.

But I know some people are horrified by that thought, and find it cold and absolutely un-comforting. Your grief is unique, just as unique as that little bundle of cells was, and you'll work through it in your own way and your own time.

And frankly, for all my brave words, I too still have the pee stick and early ultrasound pic from that pregnancy. I just can't quite bear to give them up, even if it wasn't really a baby. And from time to time, I do wonder what life would have been like with that not-a-baby.

I'm so sorry for what you've lost, Alice. I hope you find some comfort, some way.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlb
When my mother passed away very unexpectedly six years ago, people said the craziest shit to us - god needed her (I fuckin' needed her - not god), at least she went fast (ya, so I didn't get a chance to say goodbye), she didn't suffer (how the hell do you know? She was alone)

I swear I wanted to kick the shit out of all of them. But after I got passed my anger, I realized that even though there words were completely not what I wanted or needed to hear, they were coming from a good place. A place in thier hearts where they wanted to offer comfort but didn't know how.

Be angry. Get mad. Ever feeling you are feeling right now is right and legitimate. You lost your baby and mourning is what you need to do.

You're in my thoughts.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSharon
It's really at times like these that people need to learn to just say "I'm so sorry" and leave it at that.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTootsie Farklepants
You are making perfect sense...thank you for your honesty and for being real about your feelings...and I'm sorry you have been hurt by others' comments.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterConnie
I this doesn't print twice - I typed it out and it disappeared into cyberland.

When my mother died unexpectedly 6 years ago, people said the craziest things to me.

God needed her (I fuckin' needed her - nevermind god), at least she went quickly (ya, so I never had a chance to say goodbye), at least she didn't suffer (how the hell do you know? she was alone)

I wanted to kick the crap out of all of them. But once I started to get over my anger, I realized that even though the things they weren't what I needed to hear or offered me comfort, they were coming from a good place - a place that WANTED to offer me comfort but just didn't know how. After that, I stopped listening to the words and started listening to the caring behind the words.

Be mad. Yell. Scream. Cry. Whatever you are feeling is legitimate. You lost your baby and are mourning.

You are in my thoughts.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSharon
I am so sorry for you and your baby.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKrissa
I'm so sorry you're going through this. And I'm also sorry on behalf of faceless Internet strangers everywhere that you are being made to feel less than.

Please know that you have every right to do and think and feel exactly as you want. Your emotions are your own. No one else gets to comment. Tell 'em to sod off.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlyce
People can be dickheads spoutingYr rightthis is yr timetake itall that you needmore prayers from Ohioto you
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramy
Alice, your feelings are completely justified. You are grieving. Let it happen. Yes, there will probably be another baby, but it will not be the same baby. You are in my thoughts.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBether
((HUGS)) People don't know what they're talking about sometimes... I feel like if a person had a miscarriage they wouldn't make judgements about how you're feeling. Besides, they're YOUR feelings, and they're totally okay.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRachael
Okay, sorry if this is like the dorkiest comment ever. There is this song called Sandcastle on one of my son's CDs. The song, as I interpret it, is told from a kid's point of view about losing a sibling to a miscarriage. The ending stanza always stops me.

We didn't want you to goWe just thought you should knowYou slipped through our handsJust like a balloon returns to the skySo Dad and IKnew you'd be somewhere out in the seaIn a million sandcastles to be...

I remember hearing it the first time thinking, can a song like this really be on a kids CD? Can you do that? But it's a beautiful, sad, and true sentiment.

Alice, I am so sorry for your loss. I have no advice for you getting through this. I know that you can find your own way through this difficult situation as best you can. I would bake you a casserole if I could, though.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjust a reader
Alice, I'm so sorry. Of course you need to mourn this baby. Of course you are sad, and hurt, and angry, and disappointed. (A word that doesn't expand enough to fit the situation.)

We knew what you meant. Well, most of us did. And perhaps those who didn't were just looking to be offended. Most people know exactly what you meant. If this baby - this wonderful, lovely, baby you loved already - was not going to get to be, the only tiny glimmer of something positive to find to say, is that perhaps the pain is less to find that out now than to find it out later when you have loved the baby even longer. That's all.







May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristin (Krisco)
You are being completely rational. You lost your baby, a person whom you loved, a member of your family, and a unique individual. Grieving for your little one is only natural; it is the idea that you should shrug your shoulders, say "Oh well," and move on that is not.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJamie
Alice, I'm so sorry. Of course you need to mourn this baby. Of course you are sad, and hurt, and angry, and disappointed. (A word that doesn't expand enough to fit the situation.)

We knew what you meant. Well, most of us did. And perhaps those who didn't were just looking to be offended. Most people know exactly what you meant. If this baby - this wonderful, lovely, baby you loved already - was not going to get to be, the only tiny glimmer of something positive to find to say, is that perhaps the pain is less to find that out now than to find it out later when you have loved the baby even longer. That's all.







May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristin (Krisco)
You know, I was really angry at you for making that post about how 'sorry' you were because somebody decided to be a douche and take your words and twist them. What that person did was not right on any level of loss.

I'm glad you're angry about it. You don't deserve to have on your mind on top of everything else.

What you're going through is, I think, the toughest thing a parent can go through; You lost a child. You need to do whatever helps you grieve and if kicking teeth is what does it, I say get that douche and kick them first.

Im so sorry for your loss, Im so sorry that somebody made you feel even worse about it, that they made you feel guilty. Good luck and take the time you need to grieve not anybody else's.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
I know you've heard this all before but I'll say it again: That baby was your baby and I'm so very, very sorry your baby is gone.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralecto
People are stupid. Or maybe just (and how lucky for them to be so) ignorant about what it means to go through a miscarriage. I was amongst the crowd of people that got a big jolt of anger when I saw your follow-up post, having to apologize to somebody who got offended by what you wrote from the depths of pain. When I was pregnant with Garrett, after two miscarriages, we were told that we need to do amniocentesis because preliminary tests showed he might have spina bifida. The kicker was, amniocentesis could cause me to miscarry again. My husband and I VERY quickly came to the conclusion that a physically or mentally disabled baby was way better than a third miscarriage.

I would just like to recommend to people that read blogs, please view what the writer says as their perspective. Please don't try to force them to see the world from your point of view or become offended that they have not explored every possible view point in their post. That's not what blogs are about. Not only is it not possible, but if you don't ever want a different perspective than your own, quit reading blogs. And while you are at it, you should probably stay in bed with the covers over your head, the blinds pulled, the TV off, and with no magazines or newspapers around. People have different opinions from you. Get over it.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
I don't know what you're going through but I've seen too many friends deal with the same emotions of a miscarriage. I think one summed it up best--you begin to have hopes and dreams and now those are gone too.

I hope you're able to find peace soon.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarrie
I just discovered your site a couple of weeks ago after getting the "Things I Learned About My Father" book and falling in love with your essay. I just wanted to send good thoughts your way - what happened was terrible and you have every right to express yourself however you need to, without judgmental idiots making comments that upset you even more. I was so sorry to hear, and hope you feel better (in your own time, of course).
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKim
Alice, I'm so sorry, and just know you are cared for and loved. I absolutely think this loss is as real as any—I remember when my mom miscarried when I was 4 or 5, quite late, and how difficult it was for her (and I was only five, so it made a very lasting impression). It is strange how people don't know what to say so they end up saying stupid things to make sense of loss. I will be thinking of you, and hope you have good people around who support you in all your fantastic Alice-ness.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlis

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