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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
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'm so so so sorry this happened. I'm sad and angry for the loss and pain you and so many other ladies on this thread are feeling. It's so brutal and unfair, and I wish I could give you a hard squeeze and take away all this bullshit. I wish comfort and peace for you, Alice.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterA
I say again how sorry I am. But remember that you are not being irrational and this is not hormonal. You lost a baby. Regardless of where others are in the debate for when life begins, this was your baby. And I am sure as soon as you saw those two pink lines you were already making plans and dreams for this child. That is what mothers do. And you are a mother to your living child and the one you lost.

I know people make such insensitive comments. Try to let them roll off your back. Unless they have experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage they will never understand the pain and sorrow.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrian
People just don't know what to say in times likes these, so they say stuff like "it's for the best", "it could have been so much worse later", without realizing how hurtful it actually is. The best thing to do is just say "I'm so sorry." Then offer to do some babysitting and bring over a meal that you can just pop in the oven when you need to. People don't realize that to the parents it's a death in the family -- but there's no funeral service to help you deal with it and say goodbye. There's no real proper closure. That makes it even harder.So Alice I will simply say: "I'm so sorry."
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAEMom
People just don't know what to say in times likes these, so they say stuff like "it's for the best", "it could have been so much worse later", without realizing how hurtful it actually is. The best thing to do is just say "I'm so sorry." Then offer to do some babysitting and bring over a meal that you can just pop in the oven when you need to. People don't realize that to the parents it's a death in the family -- but there's no funeral service to help you deal with it and say goodbye. There's no real proper closure. That makes it even harder.So Alice I will simply say: "I'm so sorry."
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAEMom
Oh Alice.I am just so sorry.There's really nothing more I can say.

May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMartha Ryan Carlton
Oh Alice I'm so so so so desperately sorry for your awful loss. This happened to me too and it's just terrible. Take lots of time and care and love and ignore if you can the morons who're badmouthing your beautiful lost baby. Or alternatively just go ahead and rip their throats right out.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterQuine
So I'm usually the lurking type, but I read this entry and really felt the need to comment. My husband and I went through the grieving process when we were told by doctors at 19 weeks our first child would not live past birth cause of low fluid levels caused by her kidneys. Luckily for us, they were wrong and now at 26 weeks she's doing fine. But at that point the last thing I ever wanted to hear was how I 'could have another baby'.

My husband at the time made a comment that I think I should share, one night when I told him I was sad that I would never know this baby he told me that I would. That what we carry is just a shell and that this time the shell didn't work right and that the next shell will be a perfect home for this sprit who is my child. So take it to heart, this shell you grew may not have been perfect and that's why it didn't work, but you WILL know this baby and hopefully that will make things a little easier.

Sorry for the long comment.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle k
I lost my first baby at 14 weeks along. We knew there were problems, but it didn't make hearing "it was for the best" any easier. Wait until you are a few months away from it and someone casually throws a "what, you aren't over it yet?" your way. You will want to have the "for the best" person handy to pick up and beat the "aren't over it yet" person over the head with.

May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRory
You have EVERY RIGHT to be pissed off. And for those who criticize what you say to make yourself feel better during this time of sadness and grieving, FUCK THEM. This is your blog, you are entitled to write what you want on it, and everyone else be damned. Even if you did say "It might have been better off going rather than be disabled", that's NOT for anyone else to judge you. You would need to be the parent of the child, physically or mentally disabled as they might turn out to be, not them. So if that's your opinion, stand by it. You have many people who are backing you up. Those other naysayers can take a flying leap.

I am so very sorry for you and your loss. May that little spirit always live with you.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennB
Oh, Alice. You're not beholden to anyone's feelings right now but your own. Use them, hate them, work them out however you have to.I know it sounds insane, but I...I imagine my little one lost at 6 weeks to be up there, hanging out, waiting for me to come home.

Wishing you less and less pain each day.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlie
I am so sorry for your loss! It's hard, and it sucks. It really does. And there's just nothing that can be said - even if it were the 'perfect' thing - that could change things, or make you feel better.

But know that the people who say the 'wrong' thing aren't trying to. More that they just don't know what they possibly COULD say, and are desperate to say something, anything, because of how much they don't want you to hurt.

It's understandable to be mad at the things they say, but try not to be mad at them. I promise this isn't a guilt post - no one needs guilt. It's more of a "they're trying, and they don't understand how you're feeling - they couldn't - so they try."

Take this from the guy who often says the 'wrong' thing, but risks it, because he'd rather say the 'wrong' thing than nothing at all.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJ
I'm so sorry you're having to deal with insensitive people right now. It certainly doesn't make the grieving process any easier. I lost my first baby at 5wks and had a lot of "Well, at least it was early on in the pregnancy" and "You're young, you can have another" and many more comments, I'm sure along the same lines as you've gotten. It made me angry, too, and still does, almost 5 years later.I'm just so sorry. Thank you for writing about it, anger and all.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commentererin
You are still raw. It will get better. I had a few miscarriages-the first on a plane on the way to my wedding on the east coast. Fast forward to now-I have two lovely boys. You have to move on-and just know that that little guy or girl knows who their mommy is and a part of them will always be with you. My sister had 5 miscarriages before she was able to carry to term-and I never knew how the hell she managed. It was like enough already! Now she has 4 kiddos!!! Life can be so crazy.

May 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramy snaya
I've been enjoying your blog for months now, but hadn't visited in a while when I checked in today. I am so sorry about your loss. I struggled with infertility for years but I think that having an actual baby to look forward to and then losing him or her would be even worse than the monthly disappointment. You are so right to grieve this particular child. Your many appreciative readers are grieving with you. May God give you comfort and strength.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret Deaton
Normally I read all the comments and then if someone else has already written what I have on my mind I don't comment. Today, I'm just going to add my voice to the masses. I lost my baby, Robin, at 7 weeks, 3 days, but didn't miscarry until in my 11th week. That was in November. I still want my baby. That baby. Not another baby, but that baby. I don't care what might have been wrong or how it might have been for the best, I wanted my baby then and I want my baby now. My due date was May 31, so I am finding my emotions pretty raw again now. I am so sorry for your loss, Alice. I know it hurts. It hurts in a raw, ugly all-consuming fashion. I'm sorry you lost your beloved baby.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Ann
WHO the hell said it's for the best?!? Seriously, that is terrible.

I think you are making rational sense. It would be irrational for anyone to expect a different reaction from you.

Feel better. And take your time with it.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRubiaLala
I miscarried in November and I am now pregnant with identical twin girls. I am thrilled to be pregnant but still feel the pain of miscarriage. I planted a tree in my front yard for the baby I lost. I see it everyday and I feel peace. Just a thought, but for me acknowledging the loss of the baby by doing something helped me put those negative comments to rest. I am thinking about you.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterclaire
I am so very sorry for your loss. And for the snarky offensive comment you received. When I miscarried,(my 3rd miscarriage) I had 2 children. I called my mother in Australia. I was devasted and was craving some comfort. Her words? "Oh thank God Lisa. You don't need anymore kids. You have enough on your plate.That's marvellous news." I. Am. Not. Lying. She actually said that, and I actually hated her for a long, long time. People just don't effing think do they, when they make their hideous remarks?
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Those people are stupid and insensitive.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeann Carter
I've never had a baby or even been pregnant, so I have no right to comment. But my mother suffered several painful miscarriages when I was small, so I have a very powerful sense of what you mean when you say you wanted, "THIS baby." Mother wasn't ever really able to get out from under that, and it wasn't clear to those of us who lived that WE were also "that baby" to her until we were adult. The main thing is that even if you, and your family and friends, are the only ones who acknowledge it, you really must honor that baby, and accept it as a part of your family. A member who didn't get to stay long enough to know, only long enough to love. Mourn your baby and everything it might have been; privately, collectively, however your mother's heart cries for, whatever your loving soul sees that your family, and you, need. Thank it for coming, even if it couldn't stay. Don't let anyone tell you there is a right way to feel about this. You feel it, you think it will kill you, it doesn't, and somehow your life moves forward tiny moment by tiny moment.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter-kel
I won't even try to say something profound or helpful since I would undoubtedly inadvertently say something annoying or offensive, but I just wanted to let you know that one more person is listening. I am so very sorry for the loss of your child.

I've recently started to do the whole praying thing, and you will be in my prayers. (My prayers are pretty lame and usually start with "is this thing on?" jokes, but hopefully it will count nonetheless.) :)
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer (Et Tu?)
We will all stand behind you and help to kick anyone in the teeth as necessary.

In the mean time, if (per your message a few days back) you would still wish to pack up and start farming, I just finished the Kingsolver book a few weeks ago and would happily abandon city life and go with you.

Hang in there... from another of the complete strangers who is thinking of you a lot these days.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertracy
Good! Be Angry! Losing a baby fucking sucks. And nothing anyone says makes it better. Although interestingly, many things people say make it worse. How shitty is that?

I think it sounds like you are doing tremendously well. Be Angry. This fucking sucks.
May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeegan

grieve & be angry for as long as you are. that's all you can do really. all you can be.

great. now the 'be all that you can be' commercial is playing in my head.

as for the people who assumed & accused? well i doubt they'll post again anytime soon.

May 13, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkat
While I can surely understand a person's need to tell you "It was probably for the best," I have never understood the sentiment itself, as losing a loved one is never "for the best." Not ever. Thinking of you.

May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKerri Anne

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