If we have an ugly baby…

This is not the sort of conversation that many people have or admit to having.  But I need to air this out for the sake of my conscience.

(So nervous to post this right now.)

Up to this point in my life, so far I have never been the woman to coo over the babies that pass me by.  I don’t need to hold the baby.  I don’t need to talk to the baby.  No, I’m too busy doing the baby’s momma’s hair.  I’m talking to her.

Don’t pass me the baby if I haven’t asked… unless it’s an emergency.  Additionally, don’t pass me the baby if I haven’t asked unless you are playing a mean joke and want to see the color drain from my face.  I’m simply not prepared emotionally, mentally or physically for you to spring a baby on me.

(Keeping my fingers crossed that this will change once I’m a mother.)

And for heaven’s sake, please don’t wait for me to gush over how adorable your baby is.  I guess I’m just not mature enough to notice yet.  ‘Cause Brian and I agree: most – not all, but most – babies aren’t thaaaaaaat beautiful.  Funny looking?  Sure.  Squishy looking?  Sure.  Terrifying?  Yes.

(Please don’t hate me.)

In my opinion, all babies are precious, are miracles and are gifts.

None of those, however, necessarily guarantee handsomeness.

(I really feel ashamed for admitting this, but… well, I’m simply determined to be transparent.  If I pretended to be more doting just to get people to like me, I might as well not write at all.)

So here’s the silver lining in this painfully honest perspective: Brian and I both also agree that the less obvious it is that you have a cute baby, the more likely your child is to grow up and have model looks.

My husband swears that my siblings and I are “beautiful,” even the boys.  He also looks back on our baby and childhood pictures, wrinkling his face and muttering something about The Ugly Duckling.  The metamorphosis that occurred between infancy and puberty, then puberty and adulthood simply baffles him.  How could his beautiful wife have come from such snaggle teeth?  Such manly eyebrows?  Such bizarre hair?

Did you know that my own mother got my ears pierced when I was mere months old because she was tired of everyone asking, “What’s his name?”

More than once, Brian has compared me and my sister to fine wine, insisting that, in the looks department, we just get better with age.

So, no, Brian and I don’t hope to have a pretty baby.  We just hope to have a baby.  The uglier, the better!

Months from now I’m probably going to wonder what’s the matter with all the people who aren’t cooing over my baby, who aren’t asking to hold it and who aren’t telling me how adorable s/he is.  There’s a very good chance that I’m going to develop amnesia regarding my lifelong aversion to baby glee and judge the very people who think that my baby is better left in the stroller than in their arms.  Yep, I’m going to be the biggest hypocrite you’ve ever met.


  1. April 26, 2012

    In my experience, once I saw my own baby, I looked at all babies differently. The lines between ugly and beautiful became very blurred. Not sure of other’s experience.

  2. April 26, 2012
    Margaret Treadwell

    the same is true (but not always) about names…Charity turns out to be selfish, Grace trips over her own feet and Faith is hopeless….be warned!

  3. April 26, 2012
    Jenn H.

    Suzy you crack me up. I find babies both fascinating and beautiful creations of the Lord. I am drawn to their innocence and delight in their curiosity, but at the same time I do get a bit nervous when asked to hold a baby. My fear is probably born of unfamiliarity and my perception that they are vulnerable and fragile. However, I have to own it and admit that I am that person who talks to random babies in grocery stores, restaurants, anywhere really. Oh well, to each his own. 😉 Thank you for your candor and honesty, it is refreshing.

  4. April 26, 2012

    heh, this sounds extraordinarily similar to the way Brandon and I felt. Some babies are definitely cuter than others. I was militant in making sure I was not one of those people who posted pictures to facebook 3 seconds after she was born. I never want to see anyone’s squished, bloody, cone-headed, alien baby. I didn’t want to be THAT person. I am pro-waiting till they have assumed a more baby like appearance.

    I am still not sure Ella is cute, because everyone will lie and tell you your baby is gorgeous even if it isn’t.

  5. April 26, 2012

    Can guarantee you that the Grandmothers will not be leaving the baby in the stroller.

    Can also guarantee you that pierced ears no longer work …..

  6. April 26, 2012

    I agree with you that for the first couple of weeks, babies are really quite alien-ish, so i was prepared to think the same when my babies were born. And honestly, immediately after birth they still are slimy little aliens (that you love more than life itself) but once they are bathed and dry they quickly become so very precious and every yawn and uncontrolled arm flail warms your heart. I think its Gods way of keeping animals, including humans, from eating their young when they make life less than fun in the beginning.
    It took me a few days to really feel connected with my babies (being honest myself- I hurt so bad and with Darcy, I was worried about Ross that it took a bit to bond with them), but once you do, I guarentee you will sit and stare into his/her eyes and have to fight the urge to pick him/her up while s/he is sleeping. Maternal instinct is an awesomely powerful force.

  7. April 26, 2012
    Abbie Lycans

    oh suzy, this is why i couldn’t wait for you to get pregnant. 🙂 i knew you would be honest about it. i think i have said once in my life, “i hate babies.” yeah… i mean it was in high school. but i was old enough to know what i was talking about. now i’m 7 months pregnant with my very own baby. i still dont just loooooove babies and yeah, i think most of them are not-cute. especially boys, which i am having. i have no idea what kind of mother i will be to him. i know i love him a lot though, i’m not going to hold it against him that he’s a baby, he can’t help it. i think that actually is the one thing i like about babies, they can’t help it, they can’t help anything, they’re so helpless and dependant and needy about every tiny little thing. i hope your ugly duckling theory is true, i was a very fat baby, not cute…i hope that means i’m pretty now. i weighed almost 10 pounds, fatter than all 6 of my sisters.

  8. April 26, 2012
    Mom to a Super Model

    Well, Deborah, my sister and I, used to agree that we would have the ugliest babies because we made so many comments, under our breath of course, about other people’s ugly babies! Babies are typically funny looking. Very few are actually pretty. My children got much prettier as they got older. And they all take some really scary pictures from time to time. :-/ You will love your baby no matter how ugly he/she is and they will always be beautiful to you. Don’t worry. You’ll want to hold your baby and never let him/her go. It happens the very moment you lay your eyes on them. There’s no going back from there.

  9. April 26, 2012
    charles armstrong

    There is no such thing as an ugly baby.

  10. April 26, 2012
    Dawn Spears

    Suzy, The first thing I said after Jared was born “Ewe , he looks like Alfred Hitchcock !” And for Tyler ” Poor thing looks like a baby bird, before it gets its feathers.” I think they both grew out of it 🙂 Don’t worry, once you look at what God did to honor your and Brian’s Love… The “mother” instinct kicks in.

  11. LOL!! I never was very into babies either. I didn’t babysit, I never paid the slightest attention to babies, and I just wasn’t interested. But hey–look at me now, 8 kids later. I’ve found that while I still don’t just adore ALL children, I sure do love MY children and think they are so fun! And I think that while most babies are not absolutely beautiful, they are just so precious–so soft and fuzzy and in need of protection–and that makes me enjoy holding them and snuggling with them, and makes me think of them as cute! Once you get to know your baby, you won’t even think in terms of cute/not cute–s/he will just be “your precious baby”. And if others don’t want to hold the baby (can’t imagine that though, LOL), then you’ll be fine with that because you’ll love holding him/her!

  12. April 26, 2012

    I was not a cute baby. I was bald until three.. And just alien looking. Gabriel wasnt really cut til three months…. I can say that cause he’s mine 🙂 but most babies look like they need a little more time in the oven until they are about three or four months!!!! But I do think when you become a mom babies take on a whole new aura!

  13. April 26, 2012
    Nicole K.

    I remember the doctors showing me my son right after he came out, and my thoughts were “oh my gosh he looks so slimy, gross and disgusting!! PUH-LEASE clean him off before you hand him to me!!” Even now looking at his newborn picture…not handsome at all. I loved him of course, but it did take a few days to really get the hang of it. The more time I spent with him, the more his little personality showed, the more I loved him. It has only grown with time. He is MUCH cuter now than he was as a baby. And the pictures…lol I about died the first time I took his picture and his eyes were crossed!! (Come to find out that is actually normal) Yes, now I am the crazy momma who will talk to, smile at and coo at any random baby that might be looking my way 🙂 But there IS such a thing as an ugly baby!

  14. April 26, 2012

    Haha…. I still remember you being like “are you sure you want me to hold Caden?” I have always been a baby person. But until I had Caden I felt for sure I was going to drop the baby if it squirmed, it would start crying franticly or I would hurt it’s neck because I heald it’s head wrong…

    I agree some babies are not cute…. But give it a few months and so much change occurs! Emily I would not lie your baby is so cute! If I thought she was ugly I would just say nothing.

    Your going to be a great mom. Justin and I would joke that we had an uncle Fred and if the baby was ugly we would say he got his looks from him. Caden actually came out really cute. But not as cute as he is now. I think the majority of peope worry if I have an ugly baby will I know it? I would.

  15. April 26, 2012
    Donna Hodson

    There is no such thing as a ugly grandbaby:)
    The baby will be perfect just the way he or she is:)

  16. April 26, 2012

    I would agree most newborns are not pretty or good-looking; looks are developed over time. I’ll throw this one at you; since Brian talked about you growing into your looks, I think either the reverse is true or it never happens for some. For example, I never have been pretty or good-looking or anything in the vanity realm of our society; I think I might still be on the cute side being short and fat, but pretty NO and at my age, I don’t think it will happen either. Boy, I hope that was not a depressing thought; just my personal experience. Also on my personal experience side of it, last night I went out with some friends to celebrate the end of testing, and yes there was a woman in a bar with a BABY (relatively young too), and immediately I thought about the line in the Sweet Home Alabama movie. Anyhow, my co-workers after their initial disgust of someone having a baby in a bar then wanted to coo over the little one. There I sat thinking man, God skipped over me, for a whole realm of stuff because I didn’t want to coo over him or hold him, etc. I still wanted wanted to ask the momma what the **** she was doing with a baby in a bar?!

  17. April 26, 2012

    Babies are ugly. Some have potential and there’s no hope for others. Peanut was the scariest thing I had ever seen (pics r on my fb page) but I couldn’t put her down!!! I think we all are worried about the unknown and your making a little person so its ok to have these thoughts 🙂

  18. April 29, 2012

    Yeah…. babies are….. babies are….. babies….. weird me out. Yeah, you know how I feel about it. Pfft.

  19. May 5, 2012

    I remember a day, before I had kids, when I was going to the house of a friend who had just had a baby. I was so nervous! I asked my mother-in-law all sorts of questions, like, “So, what are you supposed to DO with a baby, move it’s arms up and down or something?” and “If she puts the baby in my lap, would it be rude to pass it back?” Now when I see a baby, I have to discipline myself not to scare the mother with my octopus-like arms. So glad God changed my attitude about this; it’s a lot less awkward this way.

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