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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. → 

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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)

This exactly. This is exactly how it feels.

I'm so sorry you, and anyone else (including me), is going/has gone through this. There is nothing to say that can make it better. You can only mourn and be angry. And that's okay too.
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercaramama
I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish people would think before they opened their mouths (or hit send). And I hope you are being as kind to yourself as you can be during this difficult time. If you could somehow feel all the good thoughts the Internets are sending you it would sure feel like one hell of a hug.
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Just in case you actually read this far, I wanted to say that the very best thing someone said to me after one of my miscarriages was when my sister just said 'That sucks! I'm sorry.' No platitudes, no trying to make me feel better. Just honesty. Most "words of wisdom" do nothing to make it better. So, from a new-ish reader and lurker, I'm sorry. The whole thing sucks.
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
Of course you're angry. You have every right to be angry. What happened to you is by any reasonable measure unjust. I went through a similar personal loss recently and I have thought long and hard about why I was so particularly devastated by it, when, as you say, it's not like you can't pick up and try at it again. The only answer I have is that mental and emotional attachment had occurred (perhaps foolishly or naively for me but that's another story). You begin to think that you have something - something you can hold on to that you love so much - and an entire set of hopes and dreams and visions of your future develop. There are no replacements for that. There are no next times. They're unique. It has also been suggested to me that "accept the things you cannot control" is a good way to ease the frustration. Whatever. This isn't about control. The expectations were reasonable at the time and it's just as reasonable to be pissed off when they're taken away. And who wants to live life always afraid that the things you're looking forward to will get taken away? I don't really know where I'm going with this but I did want to tell you that like the other commenters, I hear you and I feel what you're saying. I'll be thinking of you and your family.
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersmallstatic
I'm so so sorry.

have you found this yet?
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSara
Hi. I have nothing appropriate or useful to say, just wanted you to know you were heard. :)
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdorothy
Oh Alice, I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost two babies in 2007, and got a lot of wonderful support from family and friends. I have a 7 year old, disabled son, and I found no insult in anything you've said here. It made me ache with pain that isn't very far below the surface, for all you're going through. I know what it feels like to lose a baby, and I'm so very sorry that you do too.
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSonia
I'm really truly sorry for your loss. People are stupid and that's putting it kindly. I also miscarried--last week. I think the next person that says "Oh you can try again" I might just kick in the teeth. Sounds like a splendid idea.
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterG
Finslip (AKA Alice),

I'm really sorry for the loss of your baby. Also, I wanted to let you know (along with the 258 previous posters) to please feel free to give this baby all of the mourning that he/she deserves.

I'm a single girl who inadvertently became pregnant by a jerk a few years ago (since then, I've become a little smarter: don't sleep with jerks). I only learned of the pregnancy when I had severe pain and a doctor told me: (a) you are pregnant; and (b) it is an ectopic pregnancy and is already over and done. Notwithstanding the ickiness regarding the baby's father, I was profoundly moved to learn of the existence of little Banks and was mystified and overwhelmed by the loss of him, even though I never met him or even saw him on an ultrasound. I never knew anyone, let alone I, could experience such a profound sense of loss with respect to a baby I never even met.

Please let yourself feel what you're feeling. No judgment.
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Be mad. Be sad. Be both at once. People who make these comments don't know what else to say, but that doesn't mean they aren't also idiots who have never had to walk in our shoes. Be mad. It is better than the despair that comes and goes in waves. Time is all you can rely on. Time will heal, but it may take alot of it. For now, find finger holds where you can. Still sending you cyber-stranger-love and thoughts for better days.
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersass
Alice,I am so, so sorry for your loss.
May 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisalisa
and you should feel like that. you have the godgiven right to be as pissed off as you want to be, as sad as you want to be, as fucking WHATEVER as you want to be. and i wish you would kick those pendejos in the teeth for saying that. i feel for you. good wishes your way.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertif RN
When I saw your last post, my heart sank again for you. I want to share a big, long story to show that you aren't alone in the feelings you're feeling, but instead I'll just say that all the love that all these folks, known and unknown, are sending you will more than make up for the immaturity of those who aren't. Love to you.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy
Alice - I'm so very sorry for you loss. I completely understand the way you're feeling - not wanting another baby and being a little (or very) angry - I felt the same way after my m/c. I have no plans on telling you what to feel, or what you'll feel like in the coming days/weeks/months. I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone and you should be able to feel however you want to feel. Please take care, I'm thinking about you.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermelissa
There is no manual for grief, and no rule that states how you mourn the loss of that which you love. Anyone who implies otherwise can just... buzz off. I was there for a friend who miscarried and the only thing I could say to her was that I was sorry, that I would listen, and that I was sad with her because I knew that even those few weeks that she knew about that child, she loved that child. Loss of love, in any form, gives you the right to grieve in whatever way you need to. I am sorry you have had to bear this kind of hurt.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDawn
And you have every right to be. I have been right where you are, and found most people’s attempts at making me “feel better” quite infuriating. Because really, there is nothing that can make you feel better. Of course you wanted that baby, no matter how long it stayed with you or what may have been “wrong” with it. One of the best comments I heard was that I was allowed to feel my feelings for however long it took. So, feel your feelings. Mourn this loss. Take your time. And kick as many people in the throat as you have to.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCallie
sucks. I m/c'd at 6wks and it all just sucks. It's hard for people who haven't gone through it to understand... I'm glad, though, that more people are talking about m/c -- the more we talk about it the more we can educate people. So, thank-you for talking about it.

May 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatia
I'm so sorry you're going through all of this right now, Alice. Just know that there are many of us (so many of us) who don't know you that are thinking of you and supporting you through all of this.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlex
So, something has been bugging me... I think I have said some of these offensive things before. I had several friends who had miscarriages and I think I have said *some* of these things that inadvertently attempt to make it better by de-personalizing the child that is gone. I'm a nice person. I meant well. I didn't understand it fully, the depths.On behalf of those of us who have never gone through this, meant well, but said really stupid things... I am sorry.

Stand up wherever you are, right now... I "cyber" (much less painful) stand before you, clinched teeth, sincerely inviting you to take your best shot. Karate style, punting style, whatever!

I learned something here.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMonica in Cali
When I was pregnant with my second child, we decided it was best if my husband got a vasectomy. There's a lot that went into that decision and since you don't know me from Adam, I'll spare you.

So I'm pregnant, my husband is having (a simple outpatient) surgery, and my mother says, "What if something happens to this baby? Won't you want to have another one TO REPLACE IT?"

How, Alice? HOW DID I COME FROM A WOMAN WHO WOULD SAY SUCH A THING? Doesn't seem genetically possible.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
There are plenty of us who have been where you are and understand. I hope we can help cancel out the numskulls.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
I had a similar morning bathroom moment, sad motionless baby heart on the ultrasound, and crossed the line from pregnant to not. I remember saying to my husband, "I will be unhappy until I'm pregnant again." I guess I was willing to trade A baby for THAT baby.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterangela michelle
That person was an idiot for making a comment like that. (And I too was a little taken aback by your apology for what I felt was a completely normal and rational feeling...)

I lost my baby this past March at 12 weeks and boy, has the sheer extent of my anger shocked me. My rage still seems limitless...

I think you should let yourself feel the anger--especially when provoked by morons. Don't apologize, don't soften it, for anyone.Because something truly terrible happened to you, Alice. It wasn't fair and it wasn't right. The only logical response is anger and sadness.

May 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJessie
And we'll help you kick them. There is no excuse for that level of insensivity.

My heart hopes much peace for you soon.
May 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermelody
I've been out of the loop online for a while, so I just read your sad news, and I'm so sorry. So so sorry. Your emotions may suck at math, but they are clearly perfect at big loving, even for very small things - and people.
May 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSus

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