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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  •© the unexpected trip,, 2012-2017.
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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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