Thursday, 20 September 2012

She Looks Just Like Her Daddy

That's what everyone tells me.

And they're right, she does look exactly like him. Like him in a way I didn't think was possible. I say this because I've always been one of those people who think too much is put into who the baby looks like. I've always said that babies look like babies. They look like each other. Or that they look like whoever is holding them.

Then my daughter arrived looking exactly like her father. So there goes my theory out the window.

I don't mind the comments, really I don't. People who tell me she looks just like him. Because she does.

There's just this one small thing..... she doesn't look at all like me.... and she won't... because we used an egg donor.

I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it during my normal day. After all, I carried her for 37 weeks and gave birth to her just like every other mother. She is my daughter. I know this in my heart and in my soul.

But when someone says to me, "I hate to say this but I don't see any of you in her, I only see her Daddy," or, "That's not your face I see, it's got to be her Father's," it feels like a tiny stab in my heart. These people with their innocent comments. Well meaning, and quite accurate in their assessment that she looks nothing like me.

They are right, and for some reason that bothers me.

I guess I was hoping that by some twist of fate she would look more like me. A physical manifestation of the love and intense connection I feel for her. Not because it changes how I feel about her,,,, it doesn't. But I was just hoping that she would and when people would tell me she looked like me I could smile and thank them with a knowing twinkle in my eye.

It bothers me that this bothers me. After all, she's my miracle rainbow baby and I'm so blessed to have her. I guess this is just something I'm going to have to get over.

linking up with Shell


  1. Gah, people and their stupid comments. It doesn't matter which stage of this journey we're in...there's no escape.

    Your babe may not physically look like you now, but I'll bet as she grows and becomes more social, she'll totally pick up and display some of your mannerisms.

    Hugs, Mama...

  2. I'm sure that is tough! I hate those well meaning, but incredibly hurtful comments.

    I agree with Amy, I'm sure you'll see parts of your personality in her!

    Hugs to you!

  3. Oh people are cruel! That is simply cruel! Of course it hurts you to have someone say that to you. I would be very, very hurt by such comments. It is as if they are undermining your motherhood. Of course it would sting, it is a "normalcy" of motherhood that you have been robbed of. And that is just wrong. Just as wrong as losing your boy and the fight you went through to have your beautiful Frostina.

    You are right, she will not resemble you physically ...for now. I am with Amy, mannerisms and social cues will come in time. In the meantime I am very sorry for the cruel things people say.

  4. I agree with Amy. It does hurt when people make the innocent comment but you will have a huge impact on how she grows socially and emotionally, etc etc and you will indeed find yourself reflected in her. I believe my DE girls are gaining the same from me. Until then just remember that she is very much a part of you and always will be :)

  5. As I'm sure you are aware, having a child who more closely resembles one parent or the other is something that is always a possibility, whether DE are used or not. I say this only to highlight the fact that people's comments on this *are* innocent and not meant to be hurtful.

    I have 8-month-old twin sons conceived via DE who both strongly resemble my husband and his family. (He jokes often that his genes "kicked [our donor]'s in the a$$," and it's true.) And I actually find that easier to deal with than I would if one or both of them strongly resembled the donor because then it would elicit more questions, questions I might not want to answer, depending on the asker.

    I am sorry that this bothers you, and I am sure that she will resemble you a great deal in her mannerisms and in her speech patterns as she grows.

  6. I worry about this with our donor too and I think it's only natural to be a little upset by inconsiderate (however innocent) comments. I try to take comfort in the knowledge that Prof and I look A LOT alike. Commenter above has a point as well, once children start to develop into more complex little people... they mimic their parents' mannerisms and facial expressions. You will probably find she actually does look more like you as she gets older.

    Big hugs to you in the meanwhile.

  7. Also, there are many ways that she may look like you in the future that have nothing to do with biology. We have friends whose only son is adopted. But the kid looks like a clone of his adoptive father. Everybody can see it. There is zero possibility that the two of them are biologically related. And it hit me one day looking at them together: they have the exact same smile. The son learned to smile like his Dad, and it makes them look alike. Your daughter may dress like you or develop mannerisms that everyone associates with you. I don't want to say "don't give up hope" because that's silly. Obviously, you love her completely no matter whom she physically resembles. But I guess don't shut the door all the way yet?

  8. My step father raised me with my bio Mom. My whole life people have been saying how much I look like him and we would just laugh since we have no biologic connection. Just wait, she will look like you, she will have your mannerisms and speech patterns and you will come shining through. I know it. I've lived it. Hang in there mama she is yours in ways that are so much more important that biology.

  9. Sending hugs to you. I know the comments hurt but just know in your heart she is yours beyond measure because you love her so much.

  10. Thanks for sharing this. When we were looking for an egg donor I wondered how this would be.

  11. People have no idea that the comments they make in passing as well meaning sometime have a completely opposite effect.

    For me it's the question 'do you have any children?'

    When somebody doesn't know me well, they won't know that I was pregnant for nine months, that I went through a long labour that ended in c section, that I listened intently after he was born to hear his cry and that it never came, that he lived for three days but I only ever got to see him while he was alive for 5 minutes because I had a severe post-partum hemmorhage that nearly cost me my life.

    People don't think of such scenarios unless it has happened to them.

    I can imagine that it would be hard to not see any of your physical self in your daughter, as I was so proud when I saw that Finley looked just like his daddy but my fair colouring and my nose.

    But like somebody above posted, she will become like you as her personality develops. The important things in life will come from you.

    Sending hugs,

  12. I can't imagine just how tough this is. I know for me it hurt when my daughter who was 50% my blood and genes, only shared my hands and feet in looks...I always got hung up on the stupid things like- she is a girl so she should look like me. My husband got to claim most of her looks and now as I look back it doesn't matter. But to be in your shoes seems much harder to except. I think we all want our children to resemble us, I'm sure as your daughter grows older and shows her personality ect, she will in many ways reflect you. I hope that helps in this. Hugs-

  13. Thanks for sharing your honesty about this. I didn't do DE but I have often wondered about that as people always comment on who one's baby looks like. Your feelings are valid- so try not to let it bother you that you are bothered. :) I think anyone would feel the same way.

    When it comes to IF and loss we become so aware that people over-comment on all things pregnancy and baby, even if they mean well. Hope the resemblance comments get easier over time. I have a feeling as your daughter she will start resembling you more and more over time! :)

  14. My dear, dear friend. I know this does not diminish your pain, but people said that to me DAY IN AND DAY OUT about Leah from my own eggs. She was her daddy. I was nowhere to be found. Still the same.

    Hurt me every single solitary time someone said it to me. Every single time.

    I hear it again now with Jay, but it doesnt bother me. I know it is the luck of the draw - and the donor egg this time.

    I give your heart a squeeze. I know it hurts.

  15. Like everyone else has said, of course it hurts. Of course the comments are "innocent", but it doesn't make them any easier to hear. And I think it's great to feel and admit this pain for you, because even though our rainbows babies are our miracle (however they got here!), it doesn't mean being their mamas and parenting them is free from heartache and suffering at times.

    And when I read your comment about getting over this someday, my thought about that was that perhaps it's not something you ever "get over" but integrate into your being and your relationship with your daughter.

    Love to you.

  16. Honestly, I'm so glad to hear you say this, so deeply grateful you trust this place enough to say it out loud. I feel the same way, except I knew it would probably hurt the whole time. There are mornings that all I can see is our donor in our daughter's face - she looks just like our donor's firstborn (we used a known donor). It DOES hurt...more that I want it to, like you said. I wonder if I'll feel this way forever, like she's not really mine after all, I'm just playing a role because the donor 'released' hers in this case, to give her to us. It's also weird to have her and my husband together as a human, rather than ME and my husband. This especially sears my soul. But the other option is to not have her at all...which is impossible, given that we are so very very grateful for her, and she is so incredible. I just hope she is as grateful for her life, and that I am her mother, as I am for her life and this chance to be her mother.

  17. I only now read everyone else's comments, as I didn't want mine colored by theirs. And will do a better job addressing YOUR pain, rather than mine this time.
    There is a book called "Biology of Belief" by Bruce Lipton that helped me alot, basically saying how our biology is largely influenced by our environment, which helped me accept that she will be "of me" more than one might think given that there are none of my genes in her at all.
    I also hear by those who know we used a donor and how I struggled with it while pregnant say that she will learn and use my mannerisms, etc. I know this is true simply from that fact that I've picked up habits and sayings from friends, my ex-husband and my current/last husband! Right now though all that feels a bit like a hollow victory. I just keep thinking that I'd rather have what I can get, I knew this was what I was getting into, and there will be more joy than pain with regards to this piece - I just have to accept there will probably always be some sadness as it relates to my 'relatedness' to her.
    I know one other woman who had donor twins years ago, and she never told her sons. I don't know if it makes a difference, whether the child knows of the DE or not?? We have planned on telling her from the get-go, so it will always be a conscious part of our lives.
    I think the most we can hope for is to come to a place of True Acceptance...somehow, some unexpected way, some unexpected moment where we realize it doesn't matter.
    I hope you're still posting when that happens. :)

  18. I think it's legit that this bothers you. Of COURSE you love your Rainbow Baby, but I would think that anyone using donor gametes or adoption as part of their TTC journey will have to "mourn" (for lack of a better word) the fact that their child will not share their biological genes. Of course your kid might not look a thing like you either way, but when you don't have the chance of that resemblance, I'm sure it's hard!

    That being said, one of my best friends adopted her little girl, and though they don't share a single gene, that child is starting to look SOOO much like her b/c she copies her Mom's mannerisms and habits, and that's pretty awesome to see. They really do "look like each other" now! I'm guessing this will happen with you and Frostina, and how fun will that be? Your daughter imitating Momma. :)

  19. This brought tears to my eyes. I can only imagine how hard it must be to hear people say that, but I am positive as she grows and spends her life with you as her ultimate role model, she will look like you... she will look so much like you. It might be hard to see at first but she will sit like you, walk like you, hold her fork like you, brush her hair like you. She is YOUR daughter and you are her mother who she will look up to through every step of her life. I know that there will always be a tinge of sadness when people say she looks just like her dad, but someday someone will will notice just how much she is just like you.

  20. I can totally understand where people's comments hurt with their lack of sensitivity. I wrote a post about this recently as well.

    We went into our adoption knowing that our baby would never look like us and thus, I never mourned that process bc it was just the way it was going to be. So imagine my surprise when we adopted a baby girl who looks IDENTICAL to my husband - down to the widows peek and hairline. I get those comments daily.

    It wasn't until we actually had our birth family over in the summer that our birth mother commented that our daughter was copying my facial expressions and every face she made reminded her of me. It was a weird experience. Trust me. One day your daughter is going to copy you and everyone will be like "just like mother and daughter" :)

  21. Innocent comments from the unknowing world can be so hurtful....this is perfect example. I too hear those comments all the time, but they are usually accompanied by "She's so beautiful, she doesn't look anything like you." Innocent yet hurtful. And my daughter was one of my eggs. Go figure.

    2 of my cousins were conceived using DE. As we have always known they were DE, none of us expected them to look like their mom, but they both do. And now they are 15 and 12 and they both have characteristics so resembling their mother it's almost impossible to remember they were DE. I hope someday you have the same thing happen with your daughter.

    Sending you hugs!

  22. Hi there. I'm here from PAIL. I've actually stumbled upon your blog here and there, but was directed to you today!

    I just wanted to say that I can't imagine how hard this is, but that I do have a bit of an inkling. My son looks nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like me. He is a spitting image of his dad. He acts like him too. The only thing he has of me is my impatience. Everywhere we go, people say the same thing, "he must look like his daddy because he looks nothing like you." I look for similarities in our appearance, but there really are none. When I say his eyes are shaped like mine, people correct me and tell me they're not.

    I have never admitted this out loud, but I sometimes laugh on the inside and hope that they used my eggs at the clinic and didn't confuse them with someone else's. I truly have thought that. It's funny, but sometimes not funny.

    Those comments hurt me, even knowing that my egg was used. I don't understand why people have to insist such things. Why do they have to tell us just how much our children are not like us?

    So I get it - not on the same level - but at a higher one. It bothers me too :(

  23. I think insensitive comments are, unfortunately, always going to happen. People just don't think before they speak.
    But one day, I bet, someone will say something like "she has your laugh" or some other mannerism that she's picked up by being YOURS.

  24. Stopping by from PAIL. I've got a bio kid who looks zero like me when her face is still, but she makes all sorts of faces like me. From day 1 we've heard nothing but "huh. must look like Dad" and it's accurate. She has my toes at least! Now that she's 4, she looks like me pretty often, so it will come with time.

    Hopefully your daughter will pick up some nice expressions from you like your smile. Mine makes all my grumpy faces... which is a good reminder to me to quit being so grumpy!

  25. As she grows, she'll pick up more of your mannerisms and even though it's not a physical resemblance, it will be a different kind of one.

    All three of my boys look like clones of their Daddy.

  26. I'm sorry. It does hurt to hear those things, but I'm so glad our daughter looks like her dad, not her other mom. Because it also hurts a lot to hear that she does look like me, which I've heard from strangers as well as friends and family, who should know better than to say that.

    I understand that it bothers you that it bothers you, and I hope you can reconcile that in a way that leaves you happy.

  27. It does hurt to hear these things. We used a donor embryo and people ALWAYS say he looks like my husband, even people who know our story and we know that is IMPOSSIBLE!
    Just take it with a grain of salt and cuddle that LO and know she is YOURS!

  28. I'm sorry that the comments are hurtful to you.