Baby pictures

little edwinI’ve been looking at this photo a lot. This is DH in his zip-up ’70s Mickey Mouse jean jumper. Yah.

I love looking at this picture of DH. If our kiddo looks anything like this my heart is going to be in a perpetual state of near-bursting.

My mom had an idea for putting up photos of me and DH for the video-call baby shower at the end of this month (we’re calling it a “baby celebration”), but I said I wasn’t too crazy about the idea because, well, because of the donor. Because people who don’t know about the donor yet might make comments that would unintentionally make me feel awkward. Comments about the baby looking like DH and me, and so on.

But also, looking at photos of myself when I was a baby or a young kid sometimes gives me this faraway, wistful feeling, a feeling I don’t want to have while celebrating the incredible mister babykins.

I don’t think about it much, the fact that he’s not genetically related to me, but when I do, the feelings that come up are somewhat hazy, not fully formed, and generally just not significant compared to the love and excitement I feel.

But the baby picture idea did bring some sadness. I would have liked to have seen DH’s and my baby pictures up on a wall together, to celebrate our littleness, imagining the combination of looks.

I know it doesn’t always turn out that way. Just this past weekend we went over to a friend’s, and their incredible little four-year-old looks exactly like his dad and zero percent like his mom.

Hanging out with that little boy was such a trip. He was such a thoughtful little guy. At one point during dinner, I was laughing really hard and he leaned over to his mama and whispered with concern, “Is she crying?” He noticed that my wedding and engagement ring were on a chain around my neck, and so he went and found a bunch of his mom’s old rings and put them on a chain, too, and came out to show me. “Just like yours, only I have more of them,” he said matter-of-factly. He liked playing villain, but then he would do or say something really thoughtful and introspective.

“You play the bad guy,” I said to him at one point, “but I think on the inside you’re a softie.”

He smiled up at me bashfully. Oh! Jeez. I almost did cry then.

“You nailed it,” said his mama, ruffling his hair. And then she whispered to me: “Boys are amazing.”


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  1. I wish I could see how my genetics would combine with my husband’s too. But, it can’t happen. And my little boy, at 7 months so far, doesn’t look like his daddy to me at all. In fact, people are always commenting how much he looks like *me* (people who don’t know he’s from donor egg). I guess I picked a donor who was a good physical match. Or people see what they wanna see. I’m curious to see how this stays the same or changes as he gets older. The donor was a beauty queen (yes, really, though I picked her for many other reasons) and I do think my son is amazingly good looking, but every mom probably thinks that :)
    I am overdue for a blog update of my own. One of these days….
    Glad to hear pregnancy is treating you well. It only gets better once your little boy is here. It will be hard, but it’s amazing too. Worth the wait.

  2. Elizabeth

     /  October 2, 2014

    The genetic connection is indeed a complicated one. I’d love to see a mini version of M, yet she could not care less about genetics. She genuinely seems to think it’s the lest relevant aspect of parenting. For her sperm and egg are simply two things that must go together to become a parent. I admire how simple this is for her. I’m more in your camp re: hazy feelings about it. Hazy is the perfect way to put it. My guess, though, is that the feelings and wondering disappears once you’re in the swing of loving and raising your baby.

  3. Rosie

     /  October 2, 2014

    I was counselled once by a doctor about donor eggs and he made a point that really struck home to me. He told me that if you put the same fertilised egg in two different women the babies would not be the same. The environment the eggs were in had a huge impact on how those babies would turn out- even how they would look I am pretty sure he told me. There is a lot of research being done about this area and how the womb effects the genes.

    I don’t post much on blogs but I enjoy reading yours and I wanted to share this with you and wish you a continued healthy pregnancy and wonderful times ahead!

  4. This was a beautiful post. I am in the midst of waiting for news on whether our FET worked and am feeling introspective and emotional and in love with the world and trepidatious and your post was the perfect, beautiful thing to read today. Thank you!

  5. We used a sperm donor to conceive our daughter. She was born 10 days ago and ever since her birth everybody is trying to find a resemblance between her and my husband (even though most people are not aware we used a donor). Our girl is in NICU now because she was born prematurely and every time we go in to see her, a nurse will always say “I can’t believe how much she looks like daddy!”. At first, I was uncomfortable for my husband and then one day, after someone else said how much she looks like him, I looked at him and saw pure pride in his eyes. Turns out, he was not as uncomfortable as I was with everyone saying how much she looks like him (funny enough she sort of does). Yesterday while we were driving to the hospital, we were talking about our daughter’s dark straight hair and my husband said “well my grandmother had dark straight hair too”. I smiled but didn’t say anything. I think once your beautiful son is born, the genetic connection will not be a constant issue in your mind.

  6. He is adorable! It’s good to start “feeling your feelings” on this whole genetic thing now. People will comment that he looks like you, so start practicing what that will feel like and what you will say. When people who know about DE say it, I say “they better look like me because I spent weeks and $$$ to find a donor who looks like me!” When people who don’t know say I, I either say “I can see what you mean” or “actually I don’t see that at all and I think it looks like ____” depending on the situation. It does not bother me and I don’t feel awkward about it. (Honestly I feel a lot more awkward when strangers ask me if twins run in my family and I don’t want to discuss doing IVF). But I know my mom, for example, hates it when people comment that the babies look like me because she just dosent know what to say. So that’s my advice – practice the feeling and the response because people will comment!

  7. This is beautifully written as usual. He is yours and so lucky to have you as his mom <3

  8. Having children using a sperm donor was originally really difficult for me. I was so upset that my kids wouldn’t look like me. And then i stopped to think. You know how they say that couples living together for a long time start to resemble each other? I look more like my stepdad than the rest of my siblings. Most people who dont know us usually comment about how much we look alike. And being a parent isnt about genetics anyway, although it did take me a while to be OK with the fact that there is no genetic link between myself and my children. I feel what you’re feeling…

  9. Most of the time I think it won’t matter that much to me that there’s no genetic link between me and my baby, but then every once in a while I’m sure something will happen (i.e. someone commenting on who the baby looks like) that will hit me. With an anonymous donor, I have pretty much no idea what to expect looks-wise. I do still feel sad time to time that I’ll never have that “little me”, though. I don’t know if that will ever totally go away.


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