I remember noticing the tiny little mark for the first time as we dressed her to finally go home at five days old. Husband and I looked closely, thinking at first it was just a scratch from her fingernail, but then noticing it was a birthmark. No big deal. It was a tiny little birthmark.
But then, it got larger... and darker... and raised. So, at her two week appointment, I asked our pediatrician what it was. He told me, then wrote it down so I could remember it (and google it a million times). It was a hemangioma. At first, we were terrified. (Just google it and you'll see why). There was very little positive information available online, if any. I found site after site with horrifying photos and before and after surgery stories. Our little girl had already fought to be here and we weren't signing her up for surgery. We felt hopeless. Then, finally, we were given hope in the form of Dr. Theos at Children's.
She was patient and kind and conservative with her treatment. Surgery was always the very last option after trying everything else, and we appreciated that. So we started a thrice daily regimen of a blood pressure medication, increasing the dose as she gained weight and adding in a strong steroid cream for a couple months. Suddenly, it started to go away. Like magic.
So now, nearly eleven months after we began treatment, her hemangioma is a small mark beneath her hair and we are on the brink of eliminating the 11:30 feeding. Wow. What a difference modern medicine has made in our little love's life.
|Day 1 of treatment (5-11-11)|
|After 10 1/2 months treatment (3-23-12)|