When my oldest daughter, Erika, was eight months pregnant, her hormones were rocking and rolling. She called one day in tears. “Mom, what if I have an ugly baby and no one tells me she’s ugly?” she sobbed into the phone. “Who would have the heart to tell a mom that her baby is ugly? I’ll go through life thinking I have a beautiful baby and everyone else will know she’s ugly.” I suppressed a chuckle.
“You are going to have a beautiful baby. Don’t even let the universe hear you say those words. Yell ‘Cancel!’” I told her.
“Cancel,” she said quietly. “Mom, will you promise to tell me if the baby is ugly?” she sniffled.
“Of course! I’ll be totally honest,” I promised, thinking this would calm her.
She screeched, “No, you won’t! You already think she’s beautiful, and you haven’t even seen her.” I had to agree. Maybe someone else would tell us both.
When she mentioned this worry to her husband, Brett, his response was pure shock. “Hello! Have you looked at me lately?” He struck a model pose. “There is no way we could have an ugly baby.” This made her stop crying until another wave of hormones rolled in.
My husband offered to be the ugly baby judge. The problem is he thinks all newborns are ugly. He likes them at six months. “Scott, you can’t be the judge! You don’t like babies and their wrinkled little faces. If you tell her she has an ugly baby, it will crush her.”
I reminded him of the time we visited the nursery and all he could say was, “They shouldn’t show these babies yet. Look at them! One is uglier than the next.”
I had to shoo him down the hall fast. Proud parents were arriving to bask in the glow of their newborns. I could hear the oohing and ahhing as I pushed Scott down the corridor.
The day finally arrived on August 6th. Kaylee had ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes. She had no wrinkles on her little round face. Her eyes were open, and I swear she smiled at me when I first held her. The only thing I could compare that feeling to is holding a miracle; a priceless miracle. I passed her papoose-wrapped body to her new Pop, and we waited. She snuggled into his arms. I think I saw a tear in his eye.
“Now this is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen!” he proclaimed.
The judge had spoken! The Ugly Baby Case was closed!