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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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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 very sorry. Sending you prayers of grace, healing and hope.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdhd
I'm so sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
I am so sorry, I hope you get the answers and the peace that you are looking for.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal D
My heart is just breaking into a million little pieces for you. I've never had a miscarriage but my mom and grandmothers all have . . . it's a worst fear come true. I'm so sorry. I'll pray for you and your family.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMoxieMamaKC
Alice, I am a long-time reader, but first time poster. I am de-lurking to say that I am so sorry for your loss. I will be thinking of you and your wonderful family.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterarkmama
I know it's been said so many times, but I'm so, so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterw.
Oh my. I'm so sorry. I'll hold you in my thoughts and prayers.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna
What a terrible, sad thing to have to go through. Take care of yourself and let your family and friends take care of you, too.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAverage Jane
Oh, Alice. I just found your site yesterday, and I spent half the night tearing through your archives, laughing and admiring you and kind of wanting to be you. I wish I had found your site years ago, I wish I wasn't a complete stranger, because I am so sorry. You and Henry and Scott are such wonderful, funny people -- this shouldn't have happened to you.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSara
I wish I could have given you a congratulations before the I'm sorry. I do congratulate you though, for being able to get pregnant, and for the hope that always brings. And I am sorry, for you and your family, and I do believe that even if pathology can't "find" anything, you WERE spared something.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterelise
I am so very sorry. It is so brave of you to share and my thoughts are with you and your family.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterG
Oh sweetie, I'm so very sorry for your loss.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
I have been there too, and I've not forgotten. I'm so very sorry; hugs to you.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermidlife mommy
another reader friend de-lurking to tell you that I am so very sorry to hear your sad news. I had a miscarriage before my first child and the memory of it is still something that can make me weep. Sending you internet hugs and wishing you strength as you deal with the pain.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterchelsea
Oh, Alice. How unimaginably fucking awful.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdaysgoby
Oh God Alice what awful news for you all. And you were being so happy and calm about it: that's not fair. I sincerely admire your strength in writing about this.

You will be a mother again, and when this baby gets its act together and happens for you, it's going to be the most loved baby there is. I wish it had happened for you this time. Take care. Lots and lots of love, and more.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAntonia
So sorry for you and your family. Hugs to you all.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGigi
I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you are able to get through the next few days OK. There is lots of Internet love out here for you guys.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTiff in OKC
My thoughts are with you and your family.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersarah
I wish there was something better than words to do. But know, I and many others are so sad about your loss.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRivetergirl
I have had the "I'm so sorry" sono twice now and it is awful.

It is so hard to move on after, just remember to take all the time you need to grieve what you lost.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrian
I'm so sorry, Alice. I can only hope that whatever strength compels you to write so gracefully will get you through this unfair time. Like Didion said: "I had to write my way out of it."
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterzan
I'm so sorry for your loss. I understand the pain and frustration of this experience and I'm thinking of you and your family during this time.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
I know how you feel. And I wish I could be there to give you a hug.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkristi
I am so sorry. I wish I could touch you. I've been through this same thing. I'm just so sorry.
April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramy

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