My birthmark posts have inspired a guest post from High Heeled Mom, a long-time blogging friend of mine who has her own birthmark surprise story to tell. High Heeled Mom has three kids under five and is due with a fourth, her first boy, soon. She has some funny stories to tell over there, so you should visit her blog.
C was born perfect. Not a mark on her body, with the exception of a number of large facial scratches that were self-inflicted before I learned to cut baby fingernails. So imagine my surprise when, at about two weeks old, I took her towel off after a bath and discovered this:
HOLY HELL WHAT IS THAT*? It was the size of half a golf ball poking out of her back. I called my sister, the pediatrician, in a panic, only to hear, “Yeah, well, babies have funny bumps sometimes.”
No. This is no infant acne. I don’t think you GET IT. I thought I’d hurt her or possibly that she had sudden-onset baby cancer of some sort. Had her at the doctor pronto.
It’s called a hemangioma. Common in infants, runs in families, and usually appears on the face or neck. C’s is subdermal. When it’s on top of the skin, it’s often referred to as a strawberry birthmark. It often shows up a few weeks after birth and lasts a couple years.
Naturally, I forgot to warn her daycare about it, and got a call on her first day there saying, “We think C hurt herself!” (At least they didn’t assume it was me. I did this again three years later when her sister, who has a similar though less prominent one, started daycare, and got the exact same call. You’d think I’d learn.)
It was MONTHS later when I ran across her paperwork from the hospital at birth and found out that the doctors had noted it from the beginning.
“Color: healthy Caucasian. Subdermal hemangioma on back.”
Thanks for the warning, folks.
*Yes, in this picture she’s doing the work I brought home one night. She’s about 3 months old here… but that thing was always that big.