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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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Tuesday
Apr292008

The worst post I've ever written.

I wish I had good news for you.

I was 10 and a half weeks pregnant, yesterday. I woke up a pregnant woman. The worst of the first-trimester misery was over. I've been lucky that way: this time, as with the last pregnancy, I was pretty much done with the constant nausea by eight weeks. Last time I freaked out and demanded an ultrasound, convinced that the absence of nausea heralded bad news. Then of course we saw Henry in there, waving his limbs at us, and we laughed at all our silly worrying, and carried on. This time I knew better. I was so calm throughout this pregnancy, nothing like I was the last time. When I was pregnant with Henry I began freaking out approximately ten minutes after the stick showed me both its lines. A week later I developed hives across my abdomen, giant egg-shaped welts. My doctor diagnosed me with some kind of virus, but I knew what had caused it: apocalyptic Google searches. This time, I knew: Thou Shalt Not Google. I didn't unearth my pregnancy books from the basement. I took my prenatals, and I laughed at my rapidly expanding midsection. The eight-week appointment was great, and we saw the fetus in there, heard its enthusiastic heartbeat, took a picture home that showed its little limb buds sticking out from the body. I planned the announcement post on my blog. Scott and I were beyond excited.

So as I said. Yesterday, I was pregnant. Scott went to work, Henry went to school, and I… well, I went to the bathroom, where I noticed some spotting. It was spotting so tiny that I could have ignored it. I could have not seen it at all. It was an eensy brown smudge. Nonetheless, I promptly began hyperventilating. This is what I do. Because if I worry hard enough I can ward off any bad news. If I'm neurotic enough, the universe will laugh, pat me on the head, and rain disaster down on some unsuspecting sane person. I called my doctor, who was as unconcerned as any normal human being would be, but suggested that I come in, just for peace of mind. I made an appointment for the afternoon, and after that, there was absolutely no spotting. Nothing at all. I laughed at myself, at what a big deal I had made over this tiny one-time smudgy nothing.

Everything was casual and light at the OB/GYN, until the ultrasound. The first thing I noticed was the absence of movement. Maybe it's the angle? I thought. She was moving all around my abdomen, so it was hard to say. Then she began pointing things out to me. "Here, you see, here is where I should see a heartbeat." I'm so sorry, she kept saying, I'm so sorry. She began measuring. I'm so sorry, she repeated, it looks like growth ended at about eight and a half weeks.

Everything that follows is a blur. I believe the first thought I had was, "And now I shall have a margarita." It was the best thing I could think to stop myself from losing all control, but I couldn't stop it, of course, and soon I was weeping so loudly that I imagined the office staff ushering all the pregnant women out of the building. Nothing to see here, ladies! No bad news around here! Who's for ice cream? The doctor left me alone so I could call Scott, and arrange for someone to pick up Henry, there was no way I could pick him up from school in my current state. The call to Scott was the worst call I ever had to make. I kept repeating what the doctor had said. I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. Because if I could feel bad for him, if I could concentrate on him and all he had lost, I didn't have to think about what was inside me at that moment.

Nothing much has happened since then. We're going in for some sort of super high-tech ultrasound this afternoon, which seems like the worst form of torture, but apparently is necessary before they can schedule the D&C. Meanwhile I'm having absolutely no spotting, just an occasional breathtaking pain that rips through me and reminds me of what's going on, like I need reminding. We're hoping that we get some answers from the pathology report, that we find out that there was some chromosomal defect and that we were spared unspeakable pain down the road. Anything so we can feel like this isn't the worst that could possibly have happened.

Reader Comments (826)

So so sorry, dear. Truly.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBOSSY
Your bravery and honesty in sharing is awe-inspiring. I'm so very sorry for you and your family.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
I read your blog every now and then, and was definitely not expecting this. I'm so sorry. Having struggled with infertility for a long time, I only have sympathy. I hope you're able to get that margarita down the hatch soon.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristina Shaver
I'm so sorry :(
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramy
So sorry! The same thing happened to me 3 weeks ago. I went in for the 12 week ultrasound and no heartbeat, baby measured 8 weeks 6 days. Thank you for sharing.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen
I am so sorry to hear about this. While trying to have a baby myself this is one of my greatest fears and you are so strong to share this with us. You're amazing & we send warm wishes to your family.Peace.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDesiree Fawn
oh, how awful. awful. awful. i am so sorry. fudge. this sucks.
Having a miscarriage was one of the saddest things that ever happened to me, and I only knew I was pregnant for a week. I'm so sorry. It helped me a smidge to know that there are so many other women out there who knew my pain. I hope it helps you, too, and if not, that you find comfort in some other way. Whatever that means to you and Scott.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGen
I am so sorry. Your family is in my thoughts.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKC
I am so sorry for your loss.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
My breath caught in my throat when I saw the title of the post; then, the tears started to well up in my eyes as I read through it word by blurry word. "No!" I half-yelled, half-whispered. "Not you. Not Alice. Please, God. Don't let this be true."

I am just de-lurking to tell you I am a regular reader and admire your writing so much. I am so, so sorry to hear of your loss. I wish there was something I could do to take away the pain. Alas, I know all too well that nothing takes it away. It is the worst thing that could possibly happen...you're right about that.

I just so wish it wasn't happening to you.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEmber
I'm so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your family.



May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKelsi
My heart is breaking for you and your family, I'm so very sorry for your loss. I wish you peace in this awful awful time.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNic
I am so very sorry for you.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTara-Lynn
I'm so sorry to hear about this. I in this situation myself about 8 years ago. Please know that I'm one of many that are thinking of you...
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGrace
How awful for you and your family. I don't know what to say except 'sorry', again ... I think we all just want you to know that we feel for you and we appreciate you sharing your story.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbree
Oh my. The experience is so different for everyone. You're such a passionate person, I can see why this would hit you especially hard. I had a miscarriage in between my two pumpkins. It was also around 10 weeks. It all felt surreal for a while. We didn't do the D&C, and my body took care of everything without the procedure. I remember finding some comfort in talking to other women who had experienced the same thing - even if our experiences and responses were different. I do remember the doctor telling me that the rapid fluctuation of hormones would make me pretty crazy for a while. If you're crazy, you can blame it on the hormones.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa C
I won't say 'it'.

I'll only say, there is another little soul floating around in your heart that will light up your days. You must KNOW it. This one has it's place in your heart, granted; but there is another.

And you are loved.
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
{{{Alice}}}
May 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterelaine
I am so very sorry for your loss. You all are in my thoughts and in my prayers during this difficult and sad time.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
I'm so sorry. I'm thinking of you and your family.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterliz
Oh honey. Just...oh honey. Oh honey.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn
I am so scared for you right now that I am fighting nausea. Maybe if I get sick enough, the fates will take a shot at ME and leave YOU alone.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdana wyzard
I just keep not knowing what to say.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterschmutzie
That just made me well up with tears. Like everyone else, I am so so so sorry. I hope for the best for all of you.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Claire

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