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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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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 once was an asshole who said "you can have another baby". i'll regret it for the rest of my life.

i'm so sorry you lost your beautiful baby.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkommishoner
I sort of disagree. Ofcourse you know this baby.It was as close as it was ever going to get for weeks on end.You have known this baby, that is why you are so sad. You know him, and then you lost him and the two of you had become close friends.I haven't written anything about this yet, because I realize that all of the comments are so trivial compared to what you must be going through.I am thinking warm thoughts however.Not that they are helping.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDee
I completely understood the post that people made you feel you had to clarify. SO many people just do not get it. any of it. it is hard not to get angry at so many "well meaning" comments. after 4 losses in 2 years, i've been asked if i drink caffeine and i've been told to take prenatal vitamins! what the fuck!?! are you kidding me?!?! i want to tell them, yeah, i gave up caffeine since crack does just as well getting me going in the morning.

don't feel bad about being angry. anybody who has had any experience in this area completely understands.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentervbd93
Rrrrrr, people make me so angry. Everyone who has experienced a deep loss could talk for hours about all the stupid things people said and did. Instead of doing that (since you're obviously hearing your share of them), I just want to share with you the one thing out of a gazillion condolence notes that meant anything at all to me: Everything you're feeling is okay. And because there's always something that comes to mind that seems very not okay, I will clarify: That includes everything.

I am so sorry for your deep, very significant, very real loss. It breaks my heart.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
I'm sorry for your loss. It sucks, and lame platitudes are not going to be a magic balm for your wounded heart.

It's shitty right now, and it's okay to be sad or angry or WHATEVER and no one should tell you any different.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterall things BD
I'm sorry for your loss.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ Juggling Life

I totally get this. I have two boys. And had two miscarriages also. And seeing how different my two are reminds me many days of how I might have had two other children who would have been completely special and unique human beings. They cannot be replaced. Nor should they be.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJocelyne
A mama's love is fierce. Thank you for having the courage to demonstrate yours so are helping more people than you'll ever realize.

My heart just aches for you. I'm so sorry.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShannon
Dear Alice:

I am sorry for your loss. I hope you begin to heal from head to toe, inside and out, very soon.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPam
I've been lurking here for a while after coming via dooce/mightygirl, but when I read this, I had to de-lurk.

Three things:1) People suck, and I'll totally hold them while you kick them in the teeth if you want.2) On that subject, you are totally allowed to be angry. Or depressed. And you're even allowed to smile if something good happens. And if anyone tells you differently, let's review #1 real quick.3) You don't know me, so I hope this isn't creepy, but I'm totally sending you giant hugs through cyber space right now and I'm keeping you in my thoughts.

I'm sorry I didn't respond to the original entry about what happened, but I've been MIA from my blogroll for a while and haven't had a chance to read. I'm so sorry for your loss, Alice, because even though you didn't actually get to "meet" this baby, it's still a loss. It was still your child. And anyone who tells you that you're not allowed to be upset about losing it is an asshole.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay
I am so sorry for your loss.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdave
And you are absolutely right. This is an incredibly horrible difficult time and you should be able to deal with it anyway that feels right to you. That was your baby, you love that baby and no one can say any different.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Strangers shouldn't have anything to say other than, "I'm so sorry."

I'm so sorry.

Also, I'm trying and trying to buy Dooce's book, but Borders has decided it's coming sometime in May. They cannot predict when. Just May. And since I have a 30% off coupon for Borders, I am incapable of buying it elsewhere. So don't go publishing any other books until I get this one. Please. I'd hate to have a backlog. Thank you.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterI, Rodius
I can't relate to what you are going through but having lost both parents I found that,confronted with even the hint of someone who is facing grief, people try to say something profound or meaningful.

Often silence really is golden and the best things are said simply.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMark
Rational smashional. Who needs rational thought? Of course hormones play a part, but you are still mourning, for Pete's sake. You have the right to mourn for as long as it takes. So really, all you need is time.

I am so sorry for your loss. I have been there, and would never wish those emotions on anyone. And while I can't help but think that I would have missed out on my now-2-mos-old Amelia had things been different, I still miss that baby I never had.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy
Thank you for articulating precisely what I felt when well intentioned folk would feed me that line about how the baby probably wasn't viable and that this was "for the best in the long run." Perhaps if I had been able to put words to my thoughts, rather than just nodding and smiling along, I would not have needed all of the damn therapy that ensued over the next year or so.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkathrynaz
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAriel
Alice, I am de-lurking to say, I am so very sorry, and as you must know, you are totally allowed to be angry.

My mother had my sister and me, and after she divorced my dad and remarried years later, had several miscarriages and one stillbirth with my stepfather. After the stillbirth, my stepfather's sister told her she was so sorry, and in the next breath said that my stepfather was the one she felt most sorry for, because he didn't have any children of his own. I think my mom has still never forgiven her for that. Just because you already have an amazing, incredible, wonderful child doesn't mean you wanted this one any less.

Loss is loss. People have no right to tell you how to feel, or to tell you this had some larger meaning. What a bunch of crap! I think my blood pressure just went up again.

Take good care of yourself, Alice. And Happy (belated) Mother's Day.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa (Blah Blah)
The fact that people think it's okay to send you messages like that after what you are going through makes me want to vomit. Then slowly pull out all of their teeth with a pair of plyers. And if after that I'm not satisfied we can move to their finger nails and start removing those with plyers...geeeeeeez. It just amazes me what people think is okay to say to someone when they are in pain
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
Stupid mean people suck. Hugs Alice.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMollie
If I could, I would like nothing more than to shove Shirley MacLaine at you and say, "HERE! HIT OUISER!"

I'm so sorry. You will never forget your baby, nor should you feel like that's the rational thing to do.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmalah
God, I felt the same. People barely skip a beat between, "I'm so sorry" and "You can have another baby." Asshats.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThatGirl
Amen to what's been said in support so far. You have every right to be angry, in fact I'd be a little concerned about you if you weren't. Grief is personal and individual. Go ahead and grieve the way you need to and don't worry about the crazies. You're wonderful. And loved. I'll say a prayer for you and hope peace finds its way back to your heart.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmyL
I just wanted to say I am very sorry for your loss. I am very sorry that people lose babies, no matter how born, unborn, young or old they are. I am sorry.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstacy
How you feel doesn't have to be reasonable (although I think it *is* reasonable, to feel the way you do); how you feel is just... how you feel. And I hope to god nobody else tries to make you feel badly over such an already devastating situation.Idiocy comes in many forms, but it is at its rarest and most foul on the Internet, it seems.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

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