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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. → 

« Nor breath nor motion | Main | What are you doing tomorrow night? »

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 have never been pregnant so I cannot say I have any experience with what you are going through right now. But I do have a friend who is in the second trimester. From what I can see, she has bonded with the baby from the moment the pregnancy test came back positive. As for pictures...forget it.

So I can see how this would be rather devastating. I am so sorry.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGila
Anyone who would in any way criticize or question you about this is just gross.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I went to a really reserved funeral for a close family member this weekend and was reminded how important it is to let yourself grieve. That you share your grief with us is a gift, and I hope it brings you more comfort than heartache.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
I greatly admire your courage, sensitivity, grace and articulate manner in the face of such compassionless behavior. I am very, very sorry for your loss.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLara
I like the, "Oh piss off!" answer. I find it hard to believe anyone could be so insensitive and stupid as to misinterpret your words that way.

I say you get to be very angry and quite irrational for a while. Those of us who've been through it know only too well how you feel. Ignore those who'd minimize and invalidate your reactions. You'll be ready to rationalize and put it all in perspective in due time. But first you need to mourn and those who don't understand can just piss off!

Testy? Moi?

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDawn
I know. My MOM (!) actually said to me "at least it happened early" -it was 13 weeks!! You know, after its "safe", after we had seen the heartbeat. It sucks and there is nothing I can do that will help you. I am really sorry.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Mead
Nobody can tell you what to feel. Shit happens. And you are entitled to feel like shit for the shit that happened.

I remember when it happened to me many years ago. My own mother said something to the effect of ..."if you even were pregnant" and I lost it! Ouch! I chalk it up to the fact that some people have thicker skin (some would call it impenetrable ) than others.

Be it magical, mystical or was not meant to be. We all grieve at our own pace.

Be well, and take your time to go through your own process.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSwirl Girl
Honestly, I was surprised when you apologized at all. (A) You made perfect sense. (B) Fuck anyone who calls you out on anything you say at this moment. (Sorry.)
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterL
I commented on your painful post. And in my comment I wrote; "I was told it was for the best, and probably it was, but it was still painful." I hope if you read this comment, you will know that in no way did I mean for it to sound like I would be a person like you quoted in this post. I agreed, at a much later date in my life, and only after many tears, much anger, some guilt, and doubt, that I had to come terms with my two early trimester miscarriages. I came to terms with them, but I'll never forget the two I didn't get to have. I blamed myself for a long time, what did I do wrong, why? I still wonder to this day. I am so grateful for the two children I carried to term. I became pregnant with each of my boys after a miscarriage.You're grieving and you have every right to be sad or angry or any of the numerous other feelings you may feel. I know.My heart goes out to you.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteranginak
You have every right to be sad, or angry, or frustrated, or whatever emotion you feel right now. You are entitled to grieve as much as you need to. You are also entitled to punch, kick, or smack - at least figuratively - anyone who tries to belittle your grief.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Dear Alice,I so wish this wonderful blog of yours could be a place of safety and love for you. I know the majority of comments have been supportive, but it only takes one harsh comment to negate all the good wishes. I used to counsel moms of miscarriage, and I always told them that if we all didn't use birth control, one half of all women would have miscarriages during their lifetime. I told them this not to minimize their pain, but so they would know they were not alone. And even more importantly, so they would know that this does happen, it happens alot and it is not their fault. I am mom to five, with one lost, and I know that when something happens to one of my kids, even my grown and out of state kids, I always feel it is my fault. If only I'd taught them more about finances, or relationships, or communication, maybe they wouldn't be having those problems. So even though you haven't said as much, and I might be entirely presumptuous, I just wanted to say that my love is going out to you, and that no matter what, this was not your fault.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKathi
people can be very stupid. I am using wild ninja skills to beat people up randomly on the street JUST in case they're as stupid as the people who wrote in to you.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersp
I know exactly how you feel. After my miscarriages when anyone said it was all for the best I really wanted to slap the crap out of them.

I'm so sorry for your loss.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBethany
I hesitated to comment cause I never know what to say...still don't. (Aside from, this fucking sucks and I'm so sorry.)

I, too, just miscarried pretty early, and one of the only friends I told said, "Well, now you can have one that you want." I'm sure she meant well, but people say dumb shit and it hurts, no matter what the intentions.

Grief is different for each person, and it seems that most of your readers get that. Just stick voodoo pins in the ones who don't.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWonderSpot
I have a daughter that by definition is "disabled". However...I didn't take any offense to what you said. I also had a miscarriage and I can completely understand your anger and frustration. It doesn't matter how far along you are when you miscarry a baby. It is still YOUR baby and the only baby you want at that moment.

Try not to listen to those that are reading into what you are saying. You have every right to be hurt and be able to vent.

I know that nothing anyone says at this point will make it "all better", but know that many people including myself are thinking about you...and crying with you. It is painful to know anyone miscarries...even complete strangers.

May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPaula
I am so sorry.

Regarding your Clarification, I didn't take what you originally wrote that way. Trolls suck.

My thoughts are with you.
So, several things:

1) I don't think anyone else has the right to tell you how you should feel about this kind of thing. My feelings about my miscarriage are different from someone else's feelings about theirs and yours are yours, and so on. There is no right way to grieve, and it always bothers me when people suggest otherwise. It's like saying there's a right way to parent. If there were, everyone would do it and we'd all be happy and perfect and there would be no grieving at all, because there would be a magic pill.

2) I thought your last post was one of the classiest things you've ever done. I didn't see the likely insane comments that led to it, but regardless, you handled it so beautifully I was ... well, I'd say proud, but that's condescending. How about 'very impressed'? You acknowledged what was probably absurd misunderstanding (mixed with Internet anger) with respect and class and without a drop of defensiveness. I'm not sure I could have done the same, though your response was absolutely the right one. You have my utmost respect for that. Truly.

I wish you the best in your journey. May we all move through it so gracefully.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjonniker
Your grief is YOUR grief. And you are allowed to experience it YOUR WAY. No apologies or explanations needed.

"Asshat Fucktard" is a way better descriptor for stupid people.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWicked Stepmom
Geez-er-eez. People are nitwits. I am so sorry, Alice, mainly for your sad loss, but also because you had to deal with some STUPID comment from some THOUGHTLESS person. I'm keeping you in my prayers.I also need to tell you that I think you look fabulous with cinnamon buns on your head. I loved your Star Wars article so much.Hang in there.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
I just started reading your blog and I was so sorry to hear about your baby. My sister-in-law with whom I'm very close went through this a few months ago at 15 weeks and it was so devastating. One thing I was so surprised by and she found sooo hard was people acting as though her grief was more than it should be and maybe she needed help (this after only a month or so)! OF COURSE she was grieving. Feel whatever you feel and need to feel.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTabitha
Wow... someone told you it was all hormones? That's... impressive.

Of course you miss your baby. I still miss the baby I lost in 1995. That's how it works, this being human thing, I think.

I'm trying to imagine just how grossly offensive a thing someone would have to say in the course of revealing a recent loss in order for me to think it was appropriate to bitch him/her out about it. Pretty goddamn offensive, I think.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermercybuttercup
I just want to say I am sorry for your loss and sorry some insensitive twit has given you more pain to deal with.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStacey
Girl, I feel you. SO feel.

Big hugs.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarcastic Mom
DW Winnicott wrote that there is 'no baby without the mother', meaning that the first place the baby exists is in teh mother's mind. This baby is real,and you've had a real loss. Do what you've got to do to mourn it.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I'm sorry. Thinking of you.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersusiej
Alice, I'm crying for you. I'm so sorry for your loss and for someone making you feel worse in the middle of it.
May 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjenalda

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