Friday, February 13, 2009

The Birthmark & The Bump

When Moira was born, like any good parent we laughed when she let out that first cry and then when they gave her to Bry we happily counted her fingers and toes. As the days went by and we got more familiar with her we kept track of her feedings, diaper changes, and sleeping schedule. We feel in love with her beautiful face. I mean, how could you not? It was early on, about the second week of her life that we noticed the red mark on her forehead. As we went to those early pediatrician appointments he told us that he assumed it was a stork bite and that it was nothing for us to worry about. So we didn't worry.
I lied. I worried. I wondered if it was something else and sure enough it is.
As the red patch got bigger and deeper in color, we realized it wasn't a stork bite. Instead, our pediatirican informed us it was a hemangioma. Again, he reassured us that of all the birthmarks, strawberry hemangiomas are the best to have. They typically stop growing at about a year and within 5-7 years completely disappear. We've noticed a change. 3 Months

9 months

At first, I was kind of embarrassed by the "hemang". I would try to put hats on her to cover it up. I didn't want to answer "what's on your baby's head?" or "Oh, did she hurt herself?". It got annoying. I learned quickly how blunt people can be, as strangers had no problem just coming right up to me and asking what was wrong with her.
Nothing is wrong with her, it's just a F---ing birthmark!!!
Bryan intially googled and searched the web for doctors and specialist and more information on hemangiaomas.I recommend not googling it. We realized early on how lucky Mo was to have it on her forehead. Bry saw pictures of babies with entire nostrils or eyelids covered by the hemangiaoma. He read of children having them in their inner ears or covering their mouth. I gradually got over hiding it, and now we don't even see it. It's just part of Mo.
Around 2 months we also realized that the bump on the other side of her head that wasn't going away. Initially our pediatirican told us that he thought it was just a bruise from delivery. I mean, that made sense. Delivery is quite the traumatic event. As time went by, we realized that the "bump" wasn't going away. It looked like a small marble under her skin.

Like the hemagiaoma, our pediatrician recommended that we just monitor it. As we went to our 3 month and then the 6 month appointment the "bump" was still there. It was at the 3 month appointment that he used the term dermoid cyst for the first time. Again, Bry searched the web and I talked to my sis, the famous Dr. Jeanna 2nd year pediatric resident and Lynsay, our Physican Assistant friend. We both pretty much found the same thing: not too dangerous, most likely needs to be surgically removed, can cause infection, miniscule cancer risk.

What would we do next? Have it removed? But that would be surgery...on her FACE! Let it stay? What if got infected? What if it was cancerous?

We decided to see a specialist. It makes be so thankful to be in the greater Philadelphia region as The Children's Hosptial of Philadelphia is only a short car ride away. After Bry's research we met with a pediatric plastic surgeon affliated with CHoP. Of course when we walked in we assumed everyone would think we were there for the hemagioma.
We were right. Even the doctor asked if that was our reason for the visit. He then examined the cyst and gave us the news we expected. It most likely was a Periorbital dermoid cysts (a cyst occurring near the eyebrow often found in children) and he suggested that it should be removed. He also explained that while he doesn't believe the cyst to be a dumbell configuration (a cyst extends through a suture line in the skull like a dumbell) we would have to do a C.T. Scan to rule it out.

I am a little nervous as Moira will have to be sedated for the procedure. I don't like that one bit. We have decided to wait until she is at least one year old, as Dr. Jeanna pointed out, at a year old, she is abetter age for the anesthesia. I realize my baby would not sit completely still for the scan and so sedation is our only option, but I still worry. I assume like any parent in this situation.
So now we wait. That is where we are right now. Waiting for the doc to call us back with our C.T. Scan appointment. Wiating to rule out the barbell cyst. Waiting for the time to have the cyst cut out. Waiting for the bump to go bye-bye.


  1. While this is totally different, but Colin also has a hemangioma. It did not start until he was about 5-6 years old, i just looked like a small red dot under his eye. Over the course of a year, it got bigger and bigger and very raised. It was still pretty small, like the size of a pencil point, but bigger over time. We went to a few docs and no one wanted to do anything because it was basically on his eyelid. We did nothing, and about a year or so later, I noticed, it was just gone. I guess it was fading a bit, and then one day just gone.

    {{Vibes}} for you, I hated putting Colin under sedation (for other things) as well

  2. Wow, I didn't realize Mo was going through all of this! I'm so sorry Jackie. I was scared when Sal had to go under general anesthesia too. I totally understand your feelings. I hope it's all taken care of and your back to chasing her around before you know it.

  3. I've never commented on a blog before, but your line "its just a f-ing birthmark! made me respond!! My adorable baby girl (born Feb 13, 2009) also has one, on her cheek. Its a bit different from your little ones in that its flat and about an inch wide. I had hoped initially that it was just a bruise, but now that it clearly is not we've basically gotten used to it. I've had a few comments here and there from people who I wanted to shout "well you are ugly and I'm sorry but that is permanent unlike this birthmark!!! (I know, not very grown up of me). We are letting it run its course, though just to get all sides we are visitng UCSF here in San Francisco to see what they say. It developed a little scab in the center and I want to make sure (especially since its on her face) that nothing is wrong. Best wishes to you and your pretty girl! Danielle

  4. Our oldest daughter had a Hemangioma on the back of one shoulder. I remember my MIL always looking at it and frowning as if her first born grandchild was less than perfect. Old school Italians sometimes believe that if a pregnant woman has a craving and doesn't indulge, the baby she carries will be marked in some way.

    Since I gave into eating everything in sight during that pregnancy, the old wives tale didn't fly.

    With each month and visit to the Pediatrician, the Hemangioma was measured and the doctor noted that it was slowly decreasing in size. By the time Jen was almost 3, it had totally disappeared.

    Will keep prayers and good thoughts for Moira!

  5. Don't you hate how blunt and RUDE people can be?!? I have a mole on my leg that growing up people were SO cruel about. OHMYGOSH! What's that thing on your leg!?!?! I mean, really? It's a friggin' mole, people. Get over it!!!

    Since this is an older post, have you guys had the CT Scan, yet? I hope everything turned out well!!

    Thanks so much for linking up!!! I've missed you. I need to do a better job of keeping up with blogs!!! Sorry!


Let me know what you think.