My daughter has a birthmark on her hand/forearm. It’s medical name is a hemangioma, many people refer to it as a strawberry patch. Around 6 months we noticed it stop growing and it is most definitely fading. This birthmark is a part of my daughter but isn’t who she IS. We call it her “princess power spot” because that sounds more fun.
I know it is harder for parents whose babies have these marks on their faces or have ones that grow so big it causes medical complications. Luckily we’ve only had one scare with it bleeding. But like those parents, we know that there is much more to our baby than blood vessels near the skin. I actually took a picture of it the day before it bled.
Now, the surface of it is mostly smooth and the angry red colour is going away.
Yet people seem to feel like they have to comment on it all the time. My family often has to tell me “oh, her birthmark isn’t as big” or “as dark”. Don’t I know that though? Do you really need to comment on it? I don’t want my daughter to grow up feeling ashamed because she has some skin that is a little bit red on her hand or arm. I don’t want her to think it is the first or only thing people notice about her.
People ask us if we are going to send her for surgery to get it fixed. As if to show us we have options, I suppose. For us, the only option is letting it go away naturally. Why would we put our daughter through unnecessary physical pain in order to fix something that isn’t wrong to begin with? Something that will most likely clear up on it’s own? Do these people look at my daughter and just see this one tiny imperfection? Don’t they see the wonderful baby she is?
Strangers are almost as bad. I get the curious “what is that” very often, sometimes from kids. Some people have never seen one before and genuinely want to know. I don’t think I noticed anyone having one before her. Some people ask me about it knowing what it is just so they can tell me all about everyone they ever knew who had one and what it looks like now. I guess they think that know their friend’s cousin’s uncle’s step child had one that went away is really going to reassure me. Because, of course knowing someone who has or had one means they know more than the doctors about it.
Then there are the people who think I am walking around with my daughter who I’ve burned. Walking down the street I sometimes hear people comment on her “burn”. I just continue walking. Once a mom at playgroup asked me if I burned her hand. I was so horrified by that I didn’t know what to say beyond “no, it’s a birthmark”. Some think it’s a rash.
My husband hopes that there are faint markings left from it. He imagines her getting some sort of awesome tattoo in that area.
I really don’t care what happens as long as she is happy. To me she is this wonderful and funny little being who completely changed my life for the better. She fake coughs when she is hungry and tired, she loves to squeal in her Jolly Jumper, waves when we enter a room in case someone is there, her favourite food is blueberries, she has the most infectious laugh I’ve ever heard, her main goal is life is to play as hard as possible. And she just happens to have a birthmark on her hand.