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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

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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 remember thinking, if I get pregnant within 9 months (before the baby would have been born) then I won't ever be sad about the baby that was gone because I will KNOW the second baby and to ever say I wish that first one wasn't gone was to say that I wish the second hadn't been born (does that make any weird sense to you? It made weird sense to me at the time). It didn't work. I still miss the first one. I want them both (or all if you count the subsequent babies). I decided it was a he and he would have made an awesome big brother to my daughter.

My heart goes out to you. You'll always be mom to one more than you "count" when people as how many kids you have.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEm
I'm so sorry. I hope that some day you feel better (not good, but better). I remember once when I was a young child I said something about miscarried babies to my mother, who yelled at me in a way that I didn't understand. I learned later that she had miscarried. I was the baby after the miscarriage. I am so very sorry and no one should feel as badly as you do now. The way I look at it, even if it is 'just hormones' that's all we are as humans - that's what makes love hate and everything else that makes life worth living. I do hope that things look up, and that things become easier.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
Every time I see 'finslippy' over in my bloglines I think, 'Oh good, at least she's conscious.' This is my biggest fear, that one day I'll miscarry and that I won't even get to mourn properly because it WASN'T A REAL BABY! Dude, if it is a sperm and an egg, and it is in my womb, it is my baby.

You just go ahead and grieve for your tiny lost person, k? We're all behind you.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterraych
Never posted here before. But I prayed for you when I read of your miscarriage.

I know what it is to want *that* baby. And nothing will ever make you stop wanting that baby. Nothing. But I give you the encouragement that the ache within the wanting will truly ease over time. As years have passed for me, I have never stopped wanting the child we lost (an expression I hate by the way -- like if I tried a little harder I could find him/her??). But the joy of the child I had before that baby and the two children I had after that baby -- still really, really good stuff.

So sorry for your suffering. There are simply no good words.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
I had pretty much the same internal reaction to peoples' condolences when I went through this. As many have probably commented, your loss is your loss, no amount of back patting and hand holding is going to help until you're ready for it to help. I was angry for a few months after I miscarried, blaming myself, God, looking for ways to blame the people walking toward me with the pitying smiles on their faces...It took a while for me to realize they only meant for me to know they were sorry. I just had to look throught the assvice to see it.Take your time, Alice. Do what you need to do to feel better. We'll be right here.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen
My baby's first birthday would have been on Saturday. I lost him at 10 weeks, and I'm still grieving all the things he would have been, and which I'll never marvel over and enjoy. And while I have a lovely, living child, on Mother's Day yesterday, I thought of all the ways I wasn't being allowed to mother the one I lost. This happened to me twice, and both lost babies have their own name, own cross on a hill, and own permanent place in their mother's heart.

Grieve this any way you need to grieve it, Alice. Another baby down the line will never replace this dear one you lost.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
You don't have to make sense right now,you just have to be sad. People do say the stupidest things and you have to ignore them and hope they'll go away. Until then, hugs.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Marie
Yup. What you said.

Yes, its a tiny tiny bit easier if the lab finds a non-viable trisomy. And yet, its harder. Nothing they can do to help that.

Time. Let time pass. Its not a time for decisions. Its a time, and one has to live thru it. And it will pass, but one doesnt have to believe that. It doesnt help to believe it, and it doesnt change things to believe it. The sorrow will not go all the way away (ever, as far as I can tell from personal experience), but it changes. When it does, and not before. Just keep on being.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMich
You are right on, girl. Just wanted to let you know that I think you are totally right and I'm glad that you are taking the time to tell the world how you feel. It may save another sorrowing mother a painful experience from a thoughtless person.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBarb @ getupandplay
I am so sorry for you....people are nuts to say things like that.

This blog may help you....it is a bunch of women who have walked in your shoes, and they put it together to provide some support.

http://www.glowinthewoods.com/

Take care.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTara-Lynn
Sounds like a perfectly appropriate teeth-kicking occasion to me.

Take care.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Milton
How you are feeling couldn't make more sense as far as I am concerned. You lost a baby and are mourning it. It is heartbreaking and sad. That much makes sense.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterjenB
Hi - I'm delurking to say that it really STINKS that someone would interpret your words so callously, especially during this time of grief for you and your family. If you can't say anything nice, just shut the EFF up, right? Geez!
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSherE1
You have a full right to be angry. Even well-meaning people can say very insensitive things when it comes to pregnancy loss, but to say something like that to you--something so obviously meant to be hurtful--is plain evil and unforgivable.

Even though I was fortunate to get pregnant and have a baby after my miscarriage, I still miss the baby I lost. If it wasn't for that loss, I would not have had my amazing six-month-old today, but I know that baby would have been just as amazing and I would have loved him/her just as much as I love the one I am holding today.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKate
First, listen to Lisa V. She has years of wisdom on this (and many other things). It is SO valuable to talk to someone who has gone through/is going through this. It's like The Dead Dads Club on Grey's Anatomy: you can't be in it til you're in it.

Second, I lost my baby at twelve weeks, or at least that's when I found out. I had a D&C performed, with low hopes for the pathology. The doctors found out that my baby was triploidy, which means that the pregnancy probably would never have made it past twenty weeks. If the baby had been born, he/she would have had a deformed body and been severely mentally handicapped before dying soon after birth. But there is a part of me that would have loved to have held him/her for even a moment, to see that sweet face - no matter what it looked like (the other part feels guilty for wanting a baby to be born into a life of pain just so I could hold him/her). Because that was my baby, she/he came from love and that love wasn't about the fact that he/she was A baby - it's that he/she was OUR baby. Babies are not parking spots or iPhones - it's not a matter of just getting your sweaty mitts on one.

Again, I'm just so sorry that you're going through this, Alice. Know that there is a sad sisterhood of women feeling what you have felt (including the anger).
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermerseydotes
Long time reader, first time commenter. As yet another woman who's lost a baby to a miscarriage - you're not being irrational. I still think about the one we lost four years ago (on Mother's Day no less). Even though we now have two beautiful girls, I still think about my first baby - what it would have looked like, what it would be doing now. It's a loss that deserves to be mourned, though I know not everyone copes with it in the same way. Just know that you're not alone, you aren't crazy, and it's perfectly OK to mourn the loss of THIS baby.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteranon
You know what? I say you are allowed to be angry! And you are allowed to feel exactly what you are feeling. No one can tell you how you should or shouldn't feel when it comes to something like this.

I am so sorry for what you and your family are going through. But you are a very strong person, so we know you will get through it. In your own time. And you are allowed at least that.

Hang in there!
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristabella
Oh, Alice, I grieve for you.I am furious that you have to defend yourself and your words. Your words were clear to me. Many of us understand what you are feeling and going through. It never fails to amaze me when bloggers whose work I read because it is well written and interesting and WORTH READING feel that they need to defend themselves against comment of the readers. You should not have to do that.You may want to isolate yourself, to grieve your own way, but you may also find it useful to reach out to a support group of those whodo understand.You remain in my prayers. I'm so sorry for all you are going through.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarriesegall
On "30 Rock" the other night, Liz thought she was pregnant (her dip-shit ex wanted to name it "Morpheus" from the Matrix if it was a boy or "Judy" some girl he boffed in college if it was a girl). She was SO excited to be pregnant and left many messages for her boss Jack on his cell phone. When he finally listened to them all at once, the last one was heartbreaking, because she really wasn't pregnant, but realized she wanted to be.

Ok, so this isn't in any way related to your situation, but I wanted you to know that at that moment, I did think of you.

I'm so sorry for your loss.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterb
I so remember that feeling after my miscarriage-- "So what if I can try again? I wanted THAT particular baby! Don't you get it?" I wanted the whole story of how and when it was conceived and when I figured out I was pregnant to be our family story. I wanted my Feb. 7 due date, I wanted to be in my last trimester at Christmas, I wanted to be taking my time off from work and grad school accordingly, I wanted to be having the anatomy scan in October, I wanted to be buying maternity clothes and baby gear, I wanted to be sharing happy news in August, and instead I was having a D&C.

And now I am crying for us both. And this happened to me seven years ago, and I never even got a cute ultrasound photo, because my doomed embryo never made it that far. I had two subsequent happy pregnancies, but it doesn't change the suck factor of the miscarriage.

I'm so sorry you're in this awful place. Wishing you peace.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea H
To borrow from a book I recently read... What you're going through? It just sucks. And don't let anyone tell you any different.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy
Oh, Alice. I'm so sorry people are so stupid sometimes and feel they must kick others when they are already crumpled on the ground grieving. Like others have said, asshat IS a great word to use.

I lost two babies within the same year, last year, early on to miscarriage, and lord I miss them. I still grieve for them. I'm still upset that those two losses were the results of my first two pregnancies, and I felt like I was left with nothing to show for them. I still get angry at times that I had to lose them, and angry at the dumbshit things people said to me. And one of the hardest parts was feeling like I couldn't grieve out loud for them - the only emotion that didn't make other people visibly squirm was the sight of me "coping well" and "letting go" - aka the happy, plastered-on smile. I was trying to be sensitive to everyone else. In retrospect, I should have just told them all to go to hell and bawled my eyes out like I wanted to.

Wishing you lots of comfort, as well as permission to grieve in any way you choose, as you mourn the loss of your precious little one.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteranne
You are NOT being irrational. Loss of any kind is painful and length of pregnancy does not determine your level of grief. The best advice I received after my miscarriage was from a psychologist I saw for a little while. He said that grief was important and I should allow myself to feel what I feel and not feel guilty that I'm not reacting the way others think I should. It was like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders. It was OK that I was not OK. Just keep breathing, Alice, and hug your boy. We'll be here when you need to talk.

Bri
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBri
People can be so disgusting. Alice, I hope you find your own ways to heal - and do it in your own time. You are hurt and I think you have the right to think, feel, or say whatever you need to without being judged.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterollka
This is the most rational thing you'll ever post. Really.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramy

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