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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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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. → 

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The worst post I've ever written.

I wish I had good news for you.

I was 10 and a half weeks pregnant, yesterday. I woke up a pregnant woman. The worst of the first-trimester misery was over. I've been lucky that way: this time, as with the last pregnancy, I was pretty much done with the constant nausea by eight weeks. Last time I freaked out and demanded an ultrasound, convinced that the absence of nausea heralded bad news. Then of course we saw Henry in there, waving his limbs at us, and we laughed at all our silly worrying, and carried on. This time I knew better. I was so calm throughout this pregnancy, nothing like I was the last time. When I was pregnant with Henry I began freaking out approximately ten minutes after the stick showed me both its lines. A week later I developed hives across my abdomen, giant egg-shaped welts. My doctor diagnosed me with some kind of virus, but I knew what had caused it: apocalyptic Google searches. This time, I knew: Thou Shalt Not Google. I didn't unearth my pregnancy books from the basement. I took my prenatals, and I laughed at my rapidly expanding midsection. The eight-week appointment was great, and we saw the fetus in there, heard its enthusiastic heartbeat, took a picture home that showed its little limb buds sticking out from the body. I planned the announcement post on my blog. Scott and I were beyond excited.

So as I said. Yesterday, I was pregnant. Scott went to work, Henry went to school, and I… well, I went to the bathroom, where I noticed some spotting. It was spotting so tiny that I could have ignored it. I could have not seen it at all. It was an eensy brown smudge. Nonetheless, I promptly began hyperventilating. This is what I do. Because if I worry hard enough I can ward off any bad news. If I'm neurotic enough, the universe will laugh, pat me on the head, and rain disaster down on some unsuspecting sane person. I called my doctor, who was as unconcerned as any normal human being would be, but suggested that I come in, just for peace of mind. I made an appointment for the afternoon, and after that, there was absolutely no spotting. Nothing at all. I laughed at myself, at what a big deal I had made over this tiny one-time smudgy nothing.

Everything was casual and light at the OB/GYN, until the ultrasound. The first thing I noticed was the absence of movement. Maybe it's the angle? I thought. She was moving all around my abdomen, so it was hard to say. Then she began pointing things out to me. "Here, you see, here is where I should see a heartbeat." I'm so sorry, she kept saying, I'm so sorry. She began measuring. I'm so sorry, she repeated, it looks like growth ended at about eight and a half weeks.

Everything that follows is a blur. I believe the first thought I had was, "And now I shall have a margarita." It was the best thing I could think to stop myself from losing all control, but I couldn't stop it, of course, and soon I was weeping so loudly that I imagined the office staff ushering all the pregnant women out of the building. Nothing to see here, ladies! No bad news around here! Who's for ice cream? The doctor left me alone so I could call Scott, and arrange for someone to pick up Henry, there was no way I could pick him up from school in my current state. The call to Scott was the worst call I ever had to make. I kept repeating what the doctor had said. I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. Because if I could feel bad for him, if I could concentrate on him and all he had lost, I didn't have to think about what was inside me at that moment.

Nothing much has happened since then. We're going in for some sort of super high-tech ultrasound this afternoon, which seems like the worst form of torture, but apparently is necessary before they can schedule the D&C. Meanwhile I'm having absolutely no spotting, just an occasional breathtaking pain that rips through me and reminds me of what's going on, like I need reminding. We're hoping that we get some answers from the pathology report, that we find out that there was some chromosomal defect and that we were spared unspeakable pain down the road. Anything so we can feel like this isn't the worst that could possibly have happened.

Reader Comments (826)

I am so sorry for your loss.

I have been through this twice before. And struggled desperately to have a second child. I have been lucky and now have hope again.

There are multitudes of women who suffer through this, so I hope you will not feel alone. We are here and you will find many of us on the internets for support, when you are ready.

Wishing your family peace and healing.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWaiting Amy
I'm so sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermiguelina
Hugs. Just hugs. But not in a creepy 'why is this strange person hugging me'. I'm a highly qualified hugger. And were you any closer to me, I'd make you some food.xo, Vesna.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVMR
Oh no. I am so, so sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJessie Mae
I'm so sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermiguelina
You don't have to be strong right now. That's what everyone else is for. You don't have to feel like everything is for the best, because even if it is it came in a painful and heart-wrenching way. There is no reason to apologize for feeling pulled apart. You don't need anyone's permission to mourn.

But even as you feel that way, I hope you'll be able to know deep down and in a very real way that equilibrium is on its way. Peace and comfort is coming. You *will* find a way to deal, to fit this awful experience into the context of your life.

And as you move towards that point, you are surrounded by people who love you, both in your family and in the online world. Let them and us hold and support you while you do and feel whatever it is you need to come to terms with it all.

I'll be thinking of and praying for you.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterloonytick
Oh honey, I am so sorry. There's nothing that will make this all right or the pain go away but time.Special hugs for your precious little Henry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrlj
I'm so so sorry, Dearest Alice.Hugs to your whole family.I'm sending healing loving thoughts your way.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAriel

I am so very, very sorry for your loss.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMick
I feel like you were writing about me. I miscarried a month ago at 10 weeks and the baby stopped developing at 6 weeks. It's so hard, it sucks and damn, does it make you realize how much you want another child. From one grieving mother to another grieving mom, I cry for you and feel your loss. But, as many wise people have already stated, there really isn't anything we can say that will make it all better. Just know that you, Scott and Henry are in our thoughts and prayers.

Lots of love from Minnesota!
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrish
Oh Alice. I am so very sorry for your loss. I miscarried at 8 weeks. Saddest thing I've ever felt. You never forget. I always remember that everything happens for a reason. I am sending my prayers and thoughts your way.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSnappy
Oh, Alice. I am so, so sorry for your loss. My heart is breaking for you and your family.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLora
Oh, Alice. I am beyond sorry. I truly wish I could help. You are in my prayers.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I know you not at all and have only just started reading your blog. Please accept my sincere condolences to you and your family.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLynn in Tucson
I'm sorry this had to happen to you Alice. You are brave and wonderful for sharing with us. I would give you a hug if I could :).
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbirdgal
This is the worst kind of loss....The thing that helped me through the most was trying to remember that there is an angel who knows my name, and even though I wished that I could be the one doing the "looking after" now it was the angel who would be looking after us...all three of us. I also hugged my oldest. A lot. And I tried very hard to be grateful for her. Please accept my sympathy. I am so very sorry for your loss.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeg Hatton
De-lurking to say how sorry I am for you and your family.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
I know you not at all and have only started reading your blog but I hope you will accept my sincere condolences. Blessed be, you and yours.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLynn in Tucson
My condolences to you, Scott and Henry. My sister had a miscarriage a couple years ago and I know that the next several months will be very hard for you. But I pray you find rest in the knowledge that those of us in the blog world that "know" you will be right there with you, at the ready with compassion should you need it. Give yourself a hug and allow yourself to grieve as long as you need to. And know that you are loved.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJaynee
Oh, Alice, I'm so sorry for you all. We love celebrating life's funny stories with you, but we're not here for just the good times, you know? We come because we care about you guys, even having never met. Thanks so much for having the courage to share this with us.

The three of you are in our prayers today.j
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJim
I am so sorry. I know you are going to try to make it okay for Scott and Henry but remember to take care of yourself too.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWickedStepMom
I'm so sorry for your loss. truly.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjessica
Oh, Alice. I am so very sorry. The whole internet holds you in their thoughts, hearts, and prayers today and as long as you need it.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEllen
Wish the words could take away your hurt. I'm so sorry for you, Scott & Henry. I'll be thinking of you.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitzi
Nothing new to add - just adding my voice to the collective "I'm so sorry for your loss."
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

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