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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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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'm terribly sorry, Alice.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterslouching mom
Oh crap. What a hard, hard thing. I'm sorry you're having to go through this.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSara
Have never been through anything so devastating myself, so cannot imagine how you are feeling right now. Sending much love and good thoughts from my little corner of the internet.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
women all around you are supporting you in their minds and hearts. There is nothing to say- just to know that many many understand and care and a prayer from Ohio is on route. Much love to you sweet girl. Take care.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramy
I am so sorry. You will all be very much in my thoughts.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen
I don't think that saying sorry can really help, but I hope someone close to you is giving you lots of hugs and fixing you a nice cup of tea.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Grace
I am so, so sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLori
Oh Alice. I'm so, so sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan
This explains the twitters. I'm sorry Alice. I'm really sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkirida
I'm so sorry too.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternotjustbarbra
I'm so so so sorry for you. Sending you hugs and prayers....
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterashley
Alice, I just wanted to add my voice and say that I am truly sorry for your loss. Hopefully, the collective love and virtual hugs from all over the internet will help you grieve.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBethanyWD
So sorry. I wish there was something more profound I could say to you. You and your family will be in my thoughts.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFairly Odd Mother
I am so, so sorry Alice.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBertha
I am so sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
Alice. Oh Alice. Nothing some stranger on the internet can say will help. But maybe if you see the ten thousand comments to come, you will feel the overwhelming force of love and goodness coming from the people you've touched. You are not beautiful. You are beauty itself.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStefanie
Oh, Alice, I'm so sorry. There are no words. Just know that I'm thinking of you and Scott and Henry, and so are The Internets.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
I'm so sorry. You are all in my thoughts.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterjustAcliche
I'm so sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterM
I am a perfect stranger, but I am also very sorry for your loss. Wishing strength and patience to you and yours.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZeynep
I am so sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts today.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDevon
My thoughts are with you.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChrista
Another long-time lurker/first-time commenter wanting to let you know how sorry I am and that you and your family will be in my prayers. I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks and the thing that helped me get through that time the most was hearing about how other people had similar experiences as it helped me not to feel alone. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Oh, Alice, I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been where you are--a loss at ten weeks followed by a D&C. It's a hard, hard thing. Be sure to hug Henry a lot--holding my son helped me enormously at the time. I'll be sending healing thoughts your way.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn Rime
I'm so sorry. I wish there were better, helpful things to say or do, but I am sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

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