Jaspy’s Strawberry Kiss – Hemangioma

I’ve never written about Jaspy’s birthmark on my blog before. not for any particular reason; it’s not an awkward topic; I don’t feel embarrassed or worried; I’m not sad or anxious; I just don’t think about it.

It’s a part of him; a rather cute and beautiful one. Someone actually said in the supermarket today ‘and it’s even strawberry shaped – beautiful’. That’s all she said. no ‘hello, is that a birthmark?’. I was quite shocked by her forthcomingness but in a good way. I love that others think it’s cute too and don’t just stare or ask awkwardly what it is.

Jaspy wasn’t born with his birthmark. It appeared when he was around 8 weeks old, after a not so nice bout of baby acne. It began as some red blood vessels under the skin which over time slowly joined together and became darker and thicker.

When I think of it now, it’s quite strange that I was never concerned. To have a birthmark type mark appear, 8 weeks after birth is not your typical; and for it to get larger and more prominent should have probably caused me to be a bit more worried; but I wasn’t.

At first I thought he’d scratched himself while he had acne and burst some blood vessels. I never took him to the doctors about it in the beginning; but when we had HV or other doctors appointments they would ask me what it was. Admittedly this did make me question it and do a bit of research online; I mean for a doctor to ask me the cause of it didn’t fill me with much confidence in them!

The mark slowly grew thicker and looked like a sideways capital R or ‘JJ’. I’d heard about ‘strawberry birthmarks’ but when I searched for them I realised that Jaspy’s wasn’t your typical of that type. All of the pictures in Google images are of really raised marks. They usually looks quite painful and a lot deeper in colour.

Most people said that their childs grew until they were about 1 and then slowly faded to either nothing or a very faint mark after a couple of years. Almost everyone said that the mark had gone by school age except for a few who said that their now grown up child still had quite a promintent mark.

As Jaspy’s was getting thicker I started to become concerned that it would spread to his eye or nose and cause him difficulties with his sight or breathing. Another concern of mine was that when he cried the birthmark got hot from the blood pressure and I worried that this could cause them to burst or bleed more if he scratched himself.

I decided to take him to the doctor, who basically confirmed what my research had found; It’s called a Hemangioma which is a build up of abnormal blood vessels. The doctor told me to wait until he’s older but considering they’d also asked me what the mark was a few weeks prior, we decided to take him to a paediatric dermatologist just to get a specialists opinion.

He was absolutely fantastic and assured me that although the mark may get thicker it would not spread out towards his eye or nose. He said that there would be no medical complications and considering the size and rate of growth, it probably would clear by itself relatively quickly.

He also told us of a treatment that is quite new. It’s not usual to treat the marks unless they’re quite severe but as we’d spent the time and money to go private we thought we’d hear him out and give it a go. As much as I love his birthmark and will certainly miss it once it’s gone, it would be nice for it to clear in a matter of months more so that a matter of years. I’m not stupid and I know how cruel children can be. I plan intently on raising a strong, confident child but I honestly don’t know if I could handle seeing another child make him cry. Yes I know it will happen eventually but if I can put it off for as long as possible why not right?

So the doctor has given us topical Timoptol; drops used for treating glaucoma. I need to apply it once daily to the mark only and rub it in. It dries pretty quickly so Jaspy can’t touch it and get it in his eye; although if he did I’m sure it would be okay being that they’re made for eyes.

Timoptol is a beta blocker that works by blocking the beta adrenergic receptors. This basically means that it tightens the blood vessels, reducing the blood flow going through them. This in turn reduces the colour, makes them softer and decreases their size.

The treatment should work after 6 months to 1 year but we’ll go back for a review monthly or so to check that it’s working. I already think that it’s fading but then it could just have stopped growing while the rest of him is getting bigger, making it look smaller. Some people say that they think it’s going away but then the odd person will say ‘ooh it looks darker today’ and my thoughts are thrown.

I think the most important thing is that me and Pete don’t care either way. Jasper is perfect; a gorgeous, healthy and happy little boy. I will always think that he’s beautiful and I would never do this treatment for my own benefit. I simply want to reduce the risks of him bleeding more if he scratches his face; and also speed up the process of it fading before he starts pre school.

I’ll keep you guys updated on his progress with gorgeous photo heavy posts of course!

 

I’d love to hear your experiences with Hemangiomas too!

 

Thanks for reading,

~J~

 

15 Comments

  • emilyandindiana
    10th February 2015 at 10:44 am Reply

    I love his little strawberry kiss, whenever I see a picture of him I think it just adds to his beauty! My sister had something really similar on the back of her neck and it was gone by the time she was 2 xx

    • Jessica
      10th February 2015 at 9:21 pm Reply

      The more I think about it I don’t want it to go; it’s such a part of him! Thank you lovely 🙂

  • Gemma
    10th February 2015 at 4:01 pm Reply

    My baby boy Maxwell has a strawberry birth mark on his bum. We only noticed it when he was 2 weeks old, so not sure if he was born with it. It was shaped like a little kiss mark and wasn’t raised. I haven’t taken him to the doctors about it yet but have noticed the last 4 weeks it is more raised and I think it’s getting smaller. After reading your post I will go and get it checked just to put my mind at rest. Thank you for sharing your experience of it it’s helped me ( although like you I wasn’t worried either) x

    • Jessica
      10th February 2015 at 9:20 pm Reply

      Ooh on his bum, that’s so adorable! It’s always worth being checked for peace of mind, especially if people ask you about it (I’m sure they probably don’t being on him bum haha)

  • Hayley
    10th February 2015 at 8:15 pm Reply

    I had a strawberry birth mark apparently, it was long gone before I was old enough to be conscious of it – I only know about it from photos!

    Jasper is such a little beauty – I totally understand your thoughts on other childrens cruelness, but I agree it will be a bit sad when its gone too! xx

    • Jessica
      10th February 2015 at 9:12 pm Reply

      It will be really sad, it’s such a part of him now! They’re so strange how they appear and disappear aren’t they?

  • Hannah Budding Smiles
    10th February 2015 at 8:23 pm Reply

    Jaspy is such a gorgeous little dude! I know what you mean about kids being mean though, Toby has a slightly red and raised birthmark on his cheek that the doctors etc don’t know what it is so along with his red hair and that he’ll definitely be short (we’re both 5’3) I’ve always half joked that he’d better have a cracking personality! I’ll keep an eye out for your updates xx

    • Jessica
      10th February 2015 at 9:11 pm Reply

      Aww Hannah I love red heads, Toby is so gorgeous, I’ve never noticed his birthmark! Jaspy definitely has strawberry blonde hair and I know in certain lights he’ll be ginger – I love it! It’s awful how kids can’t see beauty in everything and I really put it down to parents. I want Jaspy to love himself and love his friends for all of their amazing quirks – heres to a generation of kind children 🙂

  • The Mummy Diary
    10th February 2015 at 8:44 pm Reply

    What a beautiful little boy, my parents had a similar experience with me. When I was born nothing, but as I grew so did three very large red strawberry coloured lumps! People used to ask what my parents had been doing to me, I can’t begin to imagine how they felt. Back then there wasn’t really anything they could do or give you so it was a case of leaving it and if I felt conscious about it later on in life I could have it removed. I didn’t though and now you don’t even notice it, even people who have known me for years have never noticed them. I had two on my head, one of my forehead and one where my fontanelle was, I also had a big one on my wrist, more obvious but now it’s the same colour as my skin, there is an outline and thats it.

    A few years ago I saw a lady at my daughters nursery Christmas party with a little baby girl who had a big one on her eyelid, I felt compelled to talk to her about her daughter and she told me about the drops etc, it was shrinking and I was amazed at how far the medicine for it had come. I saw her again last year and it had shrunk to almost nothing, so fingers crossed it will work for your beauty too.

    Sorry to waffle on, your post has inspired me to write one about my experience and birthmarks, hopefully seeing how different mine are could help others.

    • Jessica
      10th February 2015 at 9:06 pm Reply

      Oh my goodness please do write about your experiences I would love to read more! I bumped into a lady in the shop who said that her son had one and people used to always ask if she’d hurt him; it must be so hurtful to hear that. I’m so grateful that no one has ever accused me of hurting Jaspy – I think I’d have to hurt them haha

      Medicine has come such a long way, it’s amazing to know I have the choice to fade it now; so I’m taking the opportunity to take as many pictures as possible and kiss it as much as I can while I still can!

      • The Mummy Diary
        10th February 2015 at 9:18 pm Reply

        I remember once telling my school friends I had been bitten by a shark, for me it was part of my life and it never bothered me, I don’t remember ever being picked on for it (although I had a big fringe to cover the ones on my head up!) I have some pictures from way back when and in my hospital notes it always pops up at the beginning, so very interesting to see. My brother had one on his lip, it had gone without any treatment by the time he was about 18 months 🙂

        • Jessica
          12th February 2015 at 1:32 pm Reply

          haha that’s brilliant! My dad has a scar on his back I don’t know what from but he’s always told us he wrestled a shark … and of course won!

  • El and Baby A
    10th February 2015 at 9:00 pm Reply

    Jaspy is beyond gorgeous! Loved learning more about hemangioma and can’t wait to see how the treatment goes 🙂 x

    • Jessica
      10th February 2015 at 9:02 pm Reply

      Thanks lovely, I’m excited to see him without it but will miss it so much!

  • Jenna
    10th February 2015 at 11:25 pm Reply

    I adore Jaspy’s birthmark. I can’t really imagine him without it but I understand what you mean about other children and bullying. 🙁

    Really interesting read too, Jess. I have a big birthmark (it’s on my head so is covered by my hair) but I’ve always been wary to keep an eye on any changes in it’s appearance.

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

Leave a Reply

Hi I’m Jess, Single Mum, Accredited Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Beauty Business owner.

I chat about all thing female empowerment, spirituality and positivity

Categories