ALL babies are beautiful, even the ones who look a little different

So when Zoey came out of me, she was gorrrrrgeous. I mean yeah, she was covered in blood and a disgusting cheese-like substance and her face was all swollen like all babies are when they are born, but once she was cleaned off I thought she was the most gorgeous, wonderful, beautiful sight I had ever laid my eyes on. See?


I know what you’re thinking. Most beautiful baby ever!! Wait, what? That’s not what you’re thinking? Ohhhh, you want to know why is her foot is in this picture of her face? May I introduce to you, drum roll please, badadadadadadadada, Cirque du Soleil’s youngest acrobat everrrrr!!!!

But all joking aside, yup, Zoey was inside me in the jackknife position for soooo long that when she was born, her ankles were up by her ears. Please don’t try to picture what that looks like. My dad took one look at her and exclaimed, “Well, she’ll be popular with the boys.” That’s when my hubby took out his gun and shot him. Not really, but close.

Anyways, I never looked at Zoey and thought that something looked wrong with her. I thought she was adorable. I mean yeah she looked like a fortune cookie when she was swaddled and she had to breastfed sitting up with her legs wrapped around me like a frog, but I just thought it was cute.

And then came the harness. I cringe just thinking about this annoying contraption she had to wear for six weeks 23 hours a day. And it was expensive, and it was white, and we had to keep it on when we changed her diapers so if we got any poop on it, we had to keep using it poop stains and all. Awesome.


And then one day I was walking around the mall with Zoey and a woman looked in the stroller and said…

WOMAN: Awww-

And then she stopped mid awww when she noticed the harness.

WOMAN: What’s wrong with her?

I mean no she didn’t say it in a mean way, but OMG, how I wanted to smack her. Nothing is wrong with her. She is the most perfect thing in the whole wide world.

But here’s the thing. Babies don’t always look perfect. They look funny. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. Because there are like a million things that can make your baby a little funny-looking.


Nope, it’s not just for aliens anymore. Because you can’t spend twelve hours cruising through the vajayjay without getting your head all bent out of shape.

Goopy eye

I mean technically it’s called a clogged duct, but when Zoey had it, we called it goopy eye because basically it looks like someone blew their nose in her eye, and no matter how much you clean it, it comes back over and over again.

Folded ears

Well, isn’t that lucky, my baby’s ear is folded over like a wish chip. Yup, sometimes that’s what happens when your baby is all smushed up inside your uterus for nine months.

A helmet

Nope, that baby you see riding around in his stroller with the helmet on isn’t on his way to football practice. It’s just a small price to pay to make sure his head rounds out in all the right places.


Yes, I know it looks like a strawberry is growing from the top of that baby’s head, but alas, that is not fruit. It’s just a cluster of blood vessels that will eventually get better.

Cradle cap

Or as I like to call it cradle crap. And it looks like someone smeared hummus on top of their baby’s head and let it dry there. Then again, sometimes it really is hummus.

Baby acne

Pimples! They’re not just for surly teenagers anymore. All that baby needs is a set of braces and a scowl and she’ll fit right into junior high.

Hairy baby

Awww shit, someone get that baby a full body wax stat. Because the last time I saw someone that hairy, it was a dude at the beach and I thought he was wearing a sweater.

And probably like a million other things that I don’t know about that can ruin a baby’s modeling career.

Now I’m not trying to make light of these things. Take it from a mom whose baby had frog legs and goopy eye, it SUCKED. All I’m saying is that while you’re preggers and staring at those perfect cherubic babies on the Pampers and Johnson & Johnson packaging, just remember that’s not always how they look when they come out. And that’s okay. Because all babies are beautiful. ALL BABIES. And if someone comes up to you at the mall and says…

ASSHAT: She’ll be so beautiful once that strawberry goes away.

ASSHAT: Can you just take the helmet off for pictures?

ASSHAT: Maybe you can try a little proactiv on her face.

… just know this. Your baby is absolutely beautiful and there is nothing wrong with her. NO-THING. The only person who has something wrong with them is that person who doesn’t know how to keep their mouth shut. Period.

If you liked this, please don’t forget to like and share it!! And don’t forget to order my new book I Want My Epidural Back. It’s out in one week, and it is HILARIOUS!!! It’s a lot like my first book I Heart My Little A-Holes, so if you liked that one, you’re gonna love this new one!!


There are 57 comments for this article
  1. Kelly at 8:26 am

    LOVE THIS! One of my babies had a helmet for plagiocephaly (a crooked head) and now my other daughter is in AFO orthotics for toe walking. There is nothing WRONG with them. They are my beautiful perfect daughters helmets leg braces and all.

  2. Danielle at 9:28 am

    Thank you for writing this. My daughter was born with a very large red birthmark on her leg and foot. When she was 6 weeks old, another mom (of a newborn who was born with the help of forceps and had some scrapes from that) asked me what was wrong with her. I really wanted to hit her. Instead I politely said it was a birthmark and that it made her unique. However, when I got home I cried and cried because I couldn’t believe another new mom would say that to someone. Almost 5 years later, those birthmarks are all but gone, however, my daughter is still unique and beautiful!

  3. Nicole at 10:04 am

    Yep, my baby had the WORST dry skin all over, he was visibly PEELING which made this new mom rush to get baby lotion and thank goodness my mom’s pharmacist friend told me that you can’t use baby lotion until a certain age. So oh well, he was gross and peely looking for awhile.

  4. Rhonda Toll at 10:05 am

    I know that harness well. My daughter wore the same harness for 8 weeks 24 hours a day. Not allowed to remove it at all! You wouldn’t know it to look at her now though!

  5. Gidget at 10:10 am

    I spike a fever during childbirth so they started my little guy on antibiotics as soon as he came out.They taped up his arm like a little chicken wing with an IV in it. I was SO scared of posting a picture online for the Asshat comments of “what’s wrong/why is his arm like that/etc etc etc”.

    Now, 4 years later we just learned by little boy has refractive amblyopia and needs to wear a patch on his eye for 6 hours a day for the next 6 months. We are NOT going to turn into trolls and hide for the next 6 months. He’s excited to wear his patch and has no problem explaining “I’m exercising my eye.”

  6. Jenn at 10:16 am

    My son came out the same way, but not severe enough to require any harnesses and hips ended up correcting within days. But at first glance it was crazy to see! I taught Health/S*x Ed. so I loved showing the pictures off with one leg up by an ear and the other wielding upwards. He was perfect then and perfect now. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder and more people need to broaden their views. I love the comment from your father, hilarious…something my dad would say. A sense of humor always helps 🙂 Take care!

  7. Katy at 10:19 am

    I was born in 1977 with a hyperextended knee–(basically backwards from the knee down) and my little foot was up by my ear just like Zoey! My first baby picture looks just like Zoey’s newborn photo! I’ve never seen another baby photo like mine. I knew there was a reason I thought Zoey was so awesome! 🙂 Beautiful baby. Thanks for posting this.

  8. Amy Mayo at 10:42 am

    my daughter had to wear a pavlick harness for FOUR MONTHS because she had Congenital Hip Dysplasia of the Right Hip – her hip socket hadn’t formed completely; which caused her hip to pop in and out of place with the smallest of wiggles.

    Her harness was blue, and we weren’t allowed to remove it – at all – for four months. Not for baths, not for diaper changes, not for wardrobe changes. We were allowed to put a onesie on under it – but only after the first 4 weeks without it.

    Thankfully, because we used the harness, she’s 100% perfect and after that guilt-laden and painful four months (painful for me.) she didn’t require surgery.

    That lady (and those like her) need(s) to remember Manners and common courtesy aren’t painful or costly. They would do well to remember that, I think.

  9. kandy at 10:47 am

    we called our baby teen wolf. even his ears were hairy! so cute!

  10. Kelly at 10:50 am

    Both of my girls were born like that, and when I had my first and my husband saw her for the first time he was freaking out for a little while because he thought she would never walk. Here it is five years later and you would neve know she was a frog for 5 months.

  11. Jen at 10:52 am

    First kid came out orange. Her baby photos look like she has a bad fake tan. Second kid had a spinal defect, he now has a scar all up his b**t, and another scar on the back of his head which looks like a v******y if we cut his hair too short ?

  12. bbb216 at 11:02 am

    @gidget my son has amblyopia as well, and did the patch for several hours a day as well as glasses (he’s far sighted.) I promise it’s not so bad. We were fortunate and didn’t get any rude comments. Lots of curious “what is the patch for?” Comments, but nothing rude. And I would just tell them “his eye turns in when he’s focusing up close and the patch forces him to use his weaker eye, and that was it. Most people left it at that, or wanted to know more about baby vision correction (my son was 2 when he was patched.) I found that just by answering their questions without being defensive or rude I was able to grow comfortable with it and realize that hey, there is really nothing wrong with him, it’s just a part of him. He had surgery last month to correct it, so no more patch (he’s 3 now,)

    Best of luck to you and your son 🙂

  13. Rochelle Hamel at 11:04 am

    All of mine were the color of a ripe peach. 2 had the millia (pimples) 3 had cradle crap (we call it that too!) And my eldest had a flat head from pushing her enormous melon against my too-small pelvis for 36 hours (then came the c-section!) BUT they were (and are, all grown up now) absolutely gorgeous.

  14. Dawn at 11:22 am

    I had cast at 6 weeks old. Mom said it did not bother her for people to ask what happened but hated for people to stare. One time she & her cousin was in a restaurant & woman was starring so mom’s cousin proceeded to say very loudly “next time you throw her up in the air make sure you catch her”. They had a good laugh at the look on the women’s face

  15. ladiebug2578 at 11:58 am

    My 1st born looked like a shrunken old man. For years the closest I came to describing it was the shrunken heads from BeetleJuice, until Benjamin Button.
    Yes, my son looked like that, but I loved him and he was the sweetest kid. He’s even grown into his features & is a good looking guy.

  16. Keri at 12:02 pm

    My daughter was born via c-section after finding she was breech, face up, completely folded in half, and the cord around her neck. She had just enough lack of oxygen to cause her to have very mild CP. She is now 13 and GORGEOUS!!! A few physical issues, but she is a normal, healthy, happy lady! Thanks for posting!!!

  17. KayC at 1:35 pm

    and please DON’T try ProActiv on your baby. ?

  18. Kathy at 2:47 pm

    My daughter wore a harness like that for 3 months or so. She and her brother were both born with hip problems. Her hips were corrected with the Pavlik harness but her bother had to wear a hip spica cast for 6 months! Both are healthy happy adults now. It doesn’t matter what people say or think it is the end outcome that matters!

  19. mamarabia at 2:49 pm

    Amen! My babies came out fine…very late, but fine. And they were gorgeous, but still funny looking in that way that babies can be. Still, I know better than to ask a hormonal, sleep-deprived mom any questions other than, “Name?” or “Can I change the next few dirty diapers for you?”

  20. Jessica at 3:08 pm

    I knew exactly what you were talking about when you said goopy eye. LOL. We called it that too. My !aughter also had cradle cap. Thank you for dgmharibg this story. Zoeys baby pictures are adorable.

  21. RachelG at 3:18 pm

    One of my boys had baby acne. And it’s not the common stuff you hear about. He had really bad white heads on his face and even in his ears. He is now 10 and has acne scars from before he could walk. Ppl would ask me “what’s wrong with your babies face?”. And he’s begun to get it again at age 10. Hopefully not as bad as then.

  22. Lauren J at 4:01 pm

    Ahhhhhh, the good old poppy harness. My son’s was soooo gross by the end of the 12 weeks.

  23. Kristina at 4:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing. My 3rd child had “gooey eye” for almost a year off and on, still has (as a 2 year old) a large red birthmark, and wore both a harness and then a brace 24/7 leading up to her 1st birthday because she was born with hip dysplasia. People didn’t get any of it…and yet we saw and still see her as gorgeous and wonderful (and od course perfrctly normal) every moment of every day!

  24. MJay at 6:06 pm

    Our first born was also folded in half in utero and had severe hip dysplasia … He wore that same white pelvic harness for nearly 5 months! But guess what, he is beautiful and strong now and he was beautiful and strong then too… Loved this post so much. xo

  25. Brenda at 6:10 pm

    My daughter had to wear the harness too!!! I HATED THAT THING WITH A PASSION!!!

  26. EmC at 9:05 pm

    My first son had a horrendous case of cradle cap and baby acne at the same time. Then his hair started to fall out. The poor guy couldn’t catch a break. But this week he will be two! He is and always has been adorable no matter what! ❤

  27. Jen at 9:07 pm

    My 9-month old son has cystic fibrosis, so we have to have to give him a variety of pills every single time he eats, and we also load up all his food with lots of salt. We get so many stares when we are out in public and at restaurants! Sometimes I wish people would just ask why we are giving him pills – then I could educate them on cystic fibrosis!

  28. Liz at 9:39 pm

    I was in braces for the first 3+ yrs of my life bc of sever hip dysplasia… My moms notes in my baby book are seriously hysterical!! Anyways, I’m now a mother of two and I’ve run 2 marathons and at least 30 half marathons without any issues ? I think Zoey is amazing and will have a very cool story to tell down the road!!!
    But that goopy eye thing… That really sucked… I was so happy when my son no longer had nasty eye ??

  29. Dana at 9:44 pm

    My last daughter of my 3 was born with bilateral hip dysplasia as well. I felt like it was my fault and that I didn’t carry her properly while in utero. All of these thoughts were crazy, but they went through my head nonetheless. I was sad that I couldn’t swaddle by last baby. That I couldn’t bathe her like I had my other 2. I was scared that I would incorrectly adjust her harness when taking her out of it and putting her back in. She grew so quickly from all my good mama milk that our ortho doc allowed us to adjust her harness ourselves in between appointments. While I never really concerned myself with what people thought of her mini contraption, I was most worried about her forming properly and being healthy. I’m happy to say, she’s a happy, healthy almost 10 year old girl who plays rough and tough and loves soccer.

  30. Kristin at 10:07 pm

    My niece wore that contraption, worst part was not being able to dress her in all the cute clothes!!! When my son was born he was in the NICU for a while and they brought a baby in who was missing her knee cap so here’s just kept flinging all around, I found that more bizarre than the whole leg bending?

  31. kristen at 10:53 pm

    Yep! My daughter wore the harness for congenital bilateral hip dysplasia for 4-5 months. Now, she’s at a D1 university on a sports scholarship.

  32. Heather at 11:14 pm

    Omg love this post and what a beautiful babe !

  33. Pran at 6:36 am

    My baby was born with a really off the chart large head (C-section obviously).
    people always tell me she’s such a huge baby, but in reality she’s quite small. she took forever to crawl because of the weight of her head and other mums would tell me to take her to an OT to check that everything was normal.
    I used to stress, but my Dr told me (a lie or not I don’t know) that the size of her head is directionally correlated to the size of her brain.
    we started swimming to build her upper body strength and she’s a normal crazy 2 year old now and is growing into her head quite nicely. she’s the best person I know and I think quite smart.
    yay for big heads!

  34. Vdudek at 7:22 am

    I have a picture of me exactly like that! I was even born b**t first! In the late 1960 early 70s, the put you in braces to correct the problem, and I was out of them when I started walking at 10 months – Dr said it gave me too much stability. Never had a problem with my legs.

  35. Kim at 9:55 am

    My first had the IV, chicken wing thing since I had a fever during labor. She held her arm above her head for 3 months when she slept which was really weird. Number two was so big that we heard a “pop” when he came out. Later on we found he had a broken collar bone and dislocated hip. He is a tank and a healthy “blender with no lid” 2 year old.

  36. Emily at 2:15 pm

    Coconut oil would’ve been your best friend in this situation

  37. bealtaine at 3:16 pm

    My son came out with a folded ear (as a panicking new mother with CRAP for family I thought, well, at least I’ll know it if they try to send me home with the wrong kid). Then they discharged my 8 8 white son with a 10 15 African American baby’s papers. Then someone I worked with saw my infant at 6 weeks and said “He has a rather large probiscus, doesn’t he”. I let the co-worker live, but put a pox on him every time I saw him after that. I have to admit that I saw my neighbor’s adorable blond ringlet child with an eye bandage and thought he had hurt himself, but it’s a therapeutic patch. So, I blew it too. Thanks and I will be looking for these books. Until you’ve been there, you don’t get the pregnancy, birth, child raising birth or adopted thing at all….

  38. dcb2324 at 6:26 pm

    My second son was born with his feet next to his ears too! He was an undiagnosed breech baby. They put little sand bags on his ankles to bring his legs down when he was in the special care nursery. Three months in a pavlik and he got the all clear when he was 4. Take that DDH!

  39. Michelle at 7:28 pm

    My daughter was born with dislocated hips too, due to her jack knife position inutero. I can’t help but laugh when watching the video taken shortly after her birth and the nurses stretched her legs down and they immediately popped back up towards her face. She wore the same harness once she grew big enough to do so. Before that she wore two cloth diapers over her disposable diaper to help hold her hips in place. One of the worst experiences I had with rude people was when a woman looked at her (my daughter was wearing a baggy romper over her brace) and said “that baby has the shortest legs I have ever seen”. It was said so rudely too. Basically my daughterlooked like her feet came out of her hips, but that was beside the point. I was livid. I was so angry that someone would be so mean.

  40. Erica at 7:29 pm

    My daughter just graduated out of her Pavlik harness. This post hits the nail right on the head for how I felt as a mom going places with her…everyone would see the harness and immediately ask what was “wrong with her”. As a first time mom, I was already having a hard time dealing with the harness (and it constantly being covered in p**p), and that question just made me want to scream at people.

  41. Patti at 7:30 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!! My son was born with bilateral clubbed feet…basically his toes pointed in towards each other with the tops of his feet facing the floor…get that picture in your head. He had casts, braces with a bar, moffas, 2 surgeries and lots of stares and comments. Sometimes people looked at us like we hurt him…throw in cradle cap, baby acne and night terrors. He is absolutely perfect and I appreciate everything we went through with him. Thank you for this article maybe it will remind some to keep their comments to themselves

    • Lisa Tite at 5:22 pm

      My son was born with bilateral club feet, curling in and upside down. Same care plus a bone lengthening surgery in 5th grade. He is now 28 and utterly amazing. Do I still worry about his “frankenfeet”? Sure, but he doesn’t!

  42. Catherine at 8:39 am

    @bbb216 and Gidget. I’ll be 61 next month. I have amblyobia–incredibly severe. And when I was 5 years old, I had an eye operation to correct it. My parents faithfully did the patch exercises with me and to this day, I’m STILL cross-eyed as a bat. Go check out the photos of me on my blog. And for almost 61 glorious years, I’ve been luckier than anyone else because when I see a great sight before me–I get to see it TWICE! I’m not a freak. Granted, some people have pointed out to me that I’m cross-eyed and I congratulated them for being such astute observers. But it is who I am and I embrace it and I’m pretty-darn good looking regardless! It isn’t the worst thing in the world! And today, the progress is much greater! Enjoy your babies–those years are the best because they grow up within moments! XOXOXO!!!

  43. Toulouse and Tonic at 10:45 am

    My oldest was born in perfect shape and I thought he was the most gorgeous baby I’d ever laid eyes on. I mean, my husband and I talked about how inferior other babies must feel around him. And then when he was about 2 (and truly adorable), I took a look back at some of his infant pictures. Ooof. He looked like a wrinkled old man with a square head. But he was beautiful to me.

  44. Meg at 11:22 am

    Some people just have no manners. When I was little, a swim teammate had a hemangioma and of course, being all of 5, I asked my mother about it because I’d never seen one before. My mother told me it was a spot where the angels had kissed my friend. I still mentally refer to them as “angel kisses.” I was always a little jealous that he was so lucky.

  45. melody jackson at 6:49 pm

    my son was a hairy baby. had dark black hair everywhere. it was about an inch long on his ears. he was breastfed and growled when he ate lol, so in public all they could hear was his growling and then when i took out of the blanket he looked like a baby wolf too

  46. Candace at 11:07 am

    I have loved reading all of the stories of other moms here! My sons are beautiful, absolutely gorgeous, because they were born covered in p**p which stuck to the inch long body hair they came with. My oldest had a folded ear for almost his entire first year out, then his eyes started to cross so he now sports the cutest pair of glasses. People compliment him all the time until they notice he has bifocals. My youngest’s ear hair finally fell out just before he turned a year old. Kids are made of human and humans are full of the most lovely flaws!

  47. Katie Carlsruh at 3:31 pm

    My baby had that exact harness for about 3 months. The only thing I hated was that I couldn’t quite snuggle her close enough when I nursed her. Most people thought her harness was adorable. I found that odd. But thankfully she was so smiley that it distracted people before they could ask about it.

  48. Kati at 4:48 am

    Just found out about this page today, cause there was an article in my magzine about your book!
    And I love what you wrote in “all babies are beautiful”. It’s true!
    My son (3 month old) was born with clubfeet, first we were shocked, but now we think – he is absolut perfect the way he is. He is the happiest baby in the world and he laughs so munch and is smiling most of the time.
    We have a picture from him with a onsie on and his cast! On the onsie is written ” born amazing” and it’s true.
    He looks so strong and absolut perfect in this picture!
    Kati, from Germany!

  49. Kathy Kottemann Wire at 11:14 am

    As a kid (not a baby) I had casts on my legs, leg braces and a back brace. My parents always had the attitude that I was lucky to be able to solve the problems that required those things, and I lived as a normal kid full of gratitude. I just had double hip replacements due to undiagnosed (until five years ago) hip dysplasia. And so I add that Zoey’s 55 year-old self would thank you and whoever else made her wear that thing so her hip joints could be normal. You might also want to check out the Facebook page and blog, “Born Just Right.”

  50. Beth at 11:18 am

    Love this. My preemie girl had 14 hemangiomas. They were huge. We did laser therapy for a while. She is 7 now and only has some scarring.

  51. Tara Aiello at 2:56 pm

    My son was born with a Giant Congenital Nevus covering his entire back and half his stomach. He went through several surgeries to remove it and was left with a large crescent shaped scar from his waistline to his armpit. People always stare at it when he has his shirt off. One guy even asked if he was bitten by a shark. It actually could pass for something like that. So we told him to own it, Love it. This is who God made him to be – perfect in His eyes.

  52. GrainneG at 2:40 pm

    I was an ugly newborn, I looked like an angry purple potato

  53. Sarah at 8:49 pm

    I hVe the same mat for my girls!! My youngest had horrible baby acne! Your kids are the cutest and I love ready your posts everyday!

  54. Sabrina at 6:13 am

    Love that!!!! My boys were born with a cleft and oh my!!!! The older one had acne,too.

  55. Ashley at 12:16 pm

    My son was breech with both feet by his ears! He was absolutely perfect! Not once has he had an issue with his hips since! He is 9 now & plays sports. No one would ever know! I’m currently 30 weeks pregnant with my second child & he has a club foot. Yet another perfect child to add to the family! We will soon face the trials of the club foot but I am not afraid in the least! My God is an Awesome God!