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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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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 am so sorry.

Having gone through this myself, I can only say that even having gone through it, I don't know what right things to say to someone else going through it.

I'm so sorry is about it.

People want to try to fix things, try to say something to fix things, because they love you. Trust in that.

You are loved in spite of the clumsy words.
May 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJozet at Halushki
Oh Alice. Your post made me bawl because it struck that nerve in me of how I felt when the same thing happened to me. Now, two years and another baby later, there are days I don't even think about the baby I lost, but when I do, I still miss him/her. I have a friend whose sister lost her 10 year old child and had a nervous breakdown last year...he has said to me not once, but THREE times "Don't ever lose a kid, it really messes you up." And each time it has made me irrationally infuriated, because he knows I DID lose a kid. And I remind him and promptly hang up on him each time.
May 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMainline Mom
The only people who had any idea what to say to us were the ones who had had a similar loss. We did an autopsy after our first baby died at almost 15 weeks. We wanted to know WHY?!? He was healthy, and died of an accident. He twisted on his own cord (like a dishrag) and cut off his oxygen supply. 5 years and 2 kids later, I think that he was fated to an accidental death. Hit by a car at 10? A bus accident at 20? Boating at 40? He just lived his whole life in the womb.

I couldn't even think of another baby until we passed his due date and scattered his ashes. I got pregnant the next cycle. And our kids are NOT replacements.

Don't let stupid and callous people ruin your grief and healing. Carry on in your own brave and beautiful way.

May 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKim
people suck. your reaction is normal. blech.
Be angry. It is ok. And truthfully, there are no words that are going to make this better. I best ones I got were simply, "I'm sorry." It helped to know people realized I was grieiving. Because this is a loss of a child, no matter how many children you have, this will always be one of them. I know that no matter what happens, my arms will always long for my Max that never made it out. Even as I feel better, I think about him every day. Anger is a perfectly rational emotion to feel right now. I think i am rambling, but i just want you to know, it is ok to feel what you are feeling.
May 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca
I already had 3 kids when I went for my 20 wk ultrasound and saw that the baby I was carrying did not make it past 18 wks. Believe me when I tell you that stupid and mean shit comes out of everyones mouth sometimes those closest hurt me the most while trying to make me feel better. You will feel better but you will never ever forget.
May 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercharing
I know there are probably too many of these to read, and that its a little rediculous that I have to preface this comment with the fact that I'm 23. Only 23. And so I feel like an impostor here... But I wanted you to know there are people out there that get it, no matter their age. I get it Alice, and I'm so damn sorry.

3 years ago I "miscarried" very early in the 5th month of a slightly troubled but relatively healthy pregnancy. ("Something just went wrong. She stopped growing, her heart stopped beating. Sometimes that's the body's way of terminating a pregnancy that isn't perfect." Jesus. What? Jesus... I never wanted perfect, did I...?)

"You'll have other babies," "It was for the best," ... I hear those things, still. (Who? For the best for WHO? Why do people say that!? Can they even hear themselves?)

I still want my child. She was mine. A little girl, and her name was Madison. I don't want another baby, either, because one can't replace another. I want them for their sake, and I think (?) I can have them, but I don't want them to fill the hole she left. I want her. I want MY baby, THAT baby. She was going to be beautiful and sweet and smart, she was going to have round cheeks and green eyes, and she was going to look like my mother. I was going to keep her safe, I thought, but I couldn't...

I get what you're saying so completely right now. And I'm so, so sorry. I'm so sorry for your loss, for the tears and the hurt and the terribly literal emptiness. I'm so sorry. I wish I could hug you. (And believe me, the Straka Dance of Joy Hug? You've never seen the like. It could bring peace to the Middle East, that hug.)

I don't know you, but I love you, all of us here love you, and we're so sorry. I know the words are hollow, but if our sincerity were a light, they'd glow like the sun.
May 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
OK - I realize this comment will probably be lost in this huge sea of comments. But I have to share this:

When I miscarried my first pregnancy - a very very early loss, BTW - my incredibly wise doctor said to me, "You have to mourn this loss as you would mourn any beloved person. From the moment you learned you were pregnant, this was a real person to you, a real baby, and you now must give yourself permission to grieve and recover. And then you'll go on, because that's what life does."

Truer words, my friend. Grieve well.
May 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSandra
I still have photos of the four embryos placed so gently into my womb during IVF cycles. To me, they were babies...they were hope...they were a combination of my husband and my love...they all died and nobody understood why I felt like I lost actual babies...why I lost hope. People tried to tell me they weren't really babies. Those people were idiots.
May 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTricia
You don't know me, but I've been thinking about you since your last posts. I'm so sorry for your loss and I hope you feel a lot better very soon.
May 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJosie
Just sending some more love to you, that's all.
May 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermostcurious
Alice,

Steve and I are so very sorry for your loss. You're in our thoughts.
May 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterflea
Just coming by from a recommendation. I lost my son at 19 weeks of pregnancy, at the end of March. I have no other children; his was my first pregnancy. I've been blogging my grief in the last seven weeks - nice to see i'm not alone.
May 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertanya
The Baskin-Robbins "bump day" ad next to this post is cruel. Unintentional of course, but still made me wince.

As trite as it sounds, my prayers are with you.
May 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
Gimme their ISPs. I will send them SOOO much Nigerian spam that their inboxes will explode.
May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBipolarlawyercook
I'm sorry for your loss. I don't for one minute think your grief is simply due to hormones. You suffered a loss and you're grieving and you deserve this time to grieve however you need to. Why can't a woman have an emotion without it being blamed on hormones? I'm so sick of that! You're not upset because you are a female, you're upset because you lost your baby and that is a terrible, tragic experience. Again, I'm sorry.
May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeg
Delurking to add a note to all the others - I lost a son, he was stillborn a few days after his due date. My very wise husband said at the funeral that he needed to always be a part of our family, and he absolutely is. Every year my two daughters release balloons on his birthday, and they both know they have a brother. My son will be nine this year, and I STILL miss him. You heart tells you the next baby will never be this baby, and that is absolutely true. In the Victorian era when parents were asked how many children they had, a standard response would have been, I have two living and one that has passed away. It is a shame that today there is no socially recognized way to acknowledge these children in our day to day lives. I still pause every time one of the girls has a form with a line for siblings.... don't be afraid to keep this baby you've lost with you for as long as you like. Your family will be the richer for it.
May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi
Hello friend. Please be so gentle with yourself and if someone/something is vexing your spirit, do your best to leave it behind you and not give it the time of day. You have some healing to do and some family to love.

I lost a pregnancy at 19+ weeks and heard all the garbage you are hearing. It was my third pregnancy and I can still cry about it in a milli-second. And I love that baby. We're looking for dining room furniture and I'm secretly delighted that we'll buy a table that seats six even though we're a family of five, because to me, that will mean I always have a (symbolic)place at our table (in our hearts) for the wee one that didn't join us here on earth. That was 6+ years ago. And I'm not looking to forget, or minimize or explain how I feel to others...I'm just loving and aching for that little soul because I have to.

Be well. With lots of love, cg
May 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterfriend
You are in a list of blogs that I visit daily. I'm just now realizing that not everyone blogs over the weekends. Waaaaa. But I am having a fun and continuing blogger participation post at my site and I hope you will participate. Eventually I will figure out a type of gift to be sent to some my buds in appreciation for their contributions.
May 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdana wyzard
For what it's worth, I didn't read your post that way at all... and I think it's pretty presumptuous of anyone to think it's their place to make snarky comments about such an awful thing you've experienced. And for the record... I'm sorry for what you've gone through.
May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKimmers
How dare someone suggest that just because your baby's life was brief it didn't matter, that children are interchangeable. Would they say that if you lost a child at the age of 5? "That's okay dear, you're young you can have another one?"

You lost a child. A very very tiny precious child and I am so sorry for your loss.

Does your hospital arrange for a memorial service for babies that are miscarried? Sometimes it helps the grieving, validates it somehow. Maybe it will help you.



May 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarrien
You have every right to be pissed off. People need to think before they speak. So sorry to hear what you're going through.



May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngie
I am so very sorry for your loss. I promise you that the horrible pain and sadness you are feeling will lessen with time...

May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Boy, that advertisement about free icecream for Moms-to-be on the sidebar is mean. What rotten timing.

Hope you are doing a little better.

Hugs and warm thoughts.

Rebecca F.
May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca F.
I'm sorry doesn't even cut it, I know that, but my heart just breaks to read about your loss and to know your words were misinterpreted in that way.

I'm so, so sorry. For your loss, for having to explain yourself after, all of it.
May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMandy

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