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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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Chicago Review Press

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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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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)

Hugs. And lots of margaritas.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarcheline
I'm so sorry, too.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
I haven't stopped by in a long time, and just happened by today. There's not much to say that doesn't sound trite, but I am truly sorry.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermiriam
As I have laughed with you over our boys, I am so very sad for you now.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterheather
I am so very sorry.I have been through similar and it is not an easy thing to deal with. My thoughts are with you and your family.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry. I had something similar happen with my first pregnancy, and that phone call to my husband from the doctor's office, I remember it. Sending warm thoughts to you, Scott, and Henry.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
I hate to say the same thing that has been said and said and said... But I am so sorry. I will be thinking of you.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
sending my love to all of you.
May 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
I'm so, so sorry to hear about this, and that you are hurting. I, too, went through a miscarriage between my two children. What gives me comfort right now is knowing that if that pregnancy had not terminated, I wouldn't have my little Jason (who came along about 14 months later). And I just don't want to imagine life without this little guy.

"It's for the best" is utter shit. It spits right in the face of all the pain you're feeling right now. And at this moment there is not much, if anything, that will comfort you (particularly the above). Just please hold onto the knowledge that one day you will make peace with this.

May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
I'm so sorry for your heartbreaking loss.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMel
I'm so sorry for your loss.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNell
I wish I could say something more comforting, but just know you are in my thoughts. We love you.I am so so sorry.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkeric125
I am so sorry. I lost my baby the exact same way. It's horrible. And the waiting until the D&C is awful. I wish I could hug you both.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterimstell
I'm so very sorry.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
I'm so sorry.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercanknitian
Dear Alice,

I'm delurking to tell you how sorry I am for your bad news -- you're in my thoughts.

May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMegan M
I've been there, too. It feels like the bottom fell out of your heart.

I'm so very sorry.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Alice, well, that's some shitty news, to be sure. What a horrible, horrible thing to go through. I wish I could wave a magic want to undo it all. I wish you strength in the coming days, weeks and months.

May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGretchyn Bailey
I just did a bit of cursing for you. Then a tear for you. I am so sorry. I've been there, and there is nothing that can be said that could possibly make it any easier. Peace.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersally
Our hearts go out to you.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy
My heart is a little bit broken for you guys.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThai
I am so so sorry for your loss.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiriam
It doesn't matter how many of us it happens to, it doesn't ease the pain. Just know that you will get to the other side of it.So sorry you have to, though.
May 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlewlew
I am so so very sorry!

May 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSandra
I am so very sorry. So sorry.
May 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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