Wow! It’s really been a little while since I’ve sat down and write out my thoughts. Happy New Year, btw. As you may know already (lol) I launched my holiday collection in November at the Love Letter Co and it was busier than I planned for. Enjoyable is how I should explain it first hand though, it really is FUN! It was a really exciting time of year and I cannot thank you enough for all of your support! Not to mention, the holidays were so special this year seeing my precious 22 month old enjoying the magic of everything about Christmas!
So something that I wanted to share with you all is about our sweet Eleanor. About 6 or so weeks after Ellie was born, she had a small blemish like spot that appeared on her forehead. At the pediatrician we asked them about it and they suggested that it was the "start of a hemangioma" and we should keep an eye on it. I should have trusted my motherly instincts in that moment and went straight to the pediatric dermatologist but in the midst of my new motherhood fog, we stayed put. It grew pretty quickly and we decided to go for it and speak to the dermatologist after seeing its rapid change despite the pediatrician's recommendation just to monitor it. When I spoke with the dermatologist, she mentioned that hemangiomas are definitely something to get ahead of and address quickly (I was so annoyed with our pediatrician!) Essentially all a hemangioma is is a cluster of blood cells that just didn’t know where to go and is common to appear just a few weeks after birth. It is nothing harmful or dangerous, it is truly vanity. But Ellie’s is RIGHT in the center of her forehead and I will honestly admit to you that I HATE IT! Don’t get me wrong, I tell Eleanor every single day how perfect and beautiful she is because she truly is (inside and out)! She is a STAR! But we couldn't imagine her going through her life with something right in the middle of her face in fear that she'd be questioned, or made fun of. Statistics show that hemangiomas will be 20% gone by the time she's 2 years Old and 90% gone by the time she’s 9. NINE YEARS Old! That feels like an eternity to Us. In the next seven years, Ellie will go through so many changes as a little girl in some really pivotal years. Not to mention other kids start to notice differences in each other at such a young age and then school age kids and can be so mean! We dreaded the idea of Eleanor's confidence dulled for even one second over a comment made or someone questioning it. We never want her to feel embarrassed or ashamed. We reasoned with ourselves reminding each other that if she needs braces down the road, that too is cosmetic and something we would take care of.
Fast forward to early December 2020.. we took Eleanor to Children’s Hospital to have an evaluation done at the vascular anomalies clinic. This is after 5 other consultations with children’s pediatric dermatology in Pittsburgh and also through Allegheny General Hospitals dermatology. We made made the decision to have her hemangioma treated with a pulsed dye laser procedure. A similar treatment you may have if you have blood cells or capillaries in your face. This is not something they would really consider prior to her turning two years old. So we knew timing was right for us on a lot of Levels. We even wrote Eleanor a special letter that's sealed and in her memories box letting her know how difficult of a decision this was for us but that her special mark wasn't meant to be part of her story forever.
The procedure required Ellie to go under a light anesthesia, similar to a twilight, because even though the procedure was minutes quick, it would have been too painful for her to be awake. We were so anxious leading up to everything, all the what if’s. With a 5:30a wake up call to be there and on time for 6:30am, we soon realized that she was in absolutely incredible care. Children’s hospital of Pittsburgh is world renowned and they treated her small procedure just like a big one with all of the precautions and team of people. Eleanor had her stuffed Dalmatian with her (Spot, in case you were wondering) and the nurses treated Spot like a patient too. It was actually precious. The anesthesiologist was beyond reassuring and said "let's have the most uneventful morning we possibly can have" and it truly was. J.R. went back with her for the few moments while she was going under the anesthesia and the second we sat down in the waiting room, the doctor came out and told us it was all finished! It took girlfriend 15 minutes to wake on her own and she was back to her normal little self on her feet and jumping up and down pretending to be a frog. It was amazing.
I've posted a few photos of her bruise (including the one at the top of this) and we knew this was as bad as it was going to get. The doctor told us within 7-10 days, Eleanor's hemangioma would look on completely faded and it totally has. We are 5 days post procedure and it's changed so much.
I’m just sharing part of my motherhood journey to say, it's okay to make a decision for your child and to advocate for your little one and to go against the first opinion you get! It’s something that everyone can see on Ellie's face and I'm sure has wondered "what kind of birth mark is that" so I wanted to shed some light on it, because it's pretty common in new babies and you may see one appear on yours. I just ask that you be kind the next time you see a little one with a “boo boo” on their face at target, don't be that rude stranger who makes a comment. Most often, mom is way more self conscious than the little one but it doesn’t make room for you to ask. I’ve had a couple mamas reach out to me asking questions about the stages of her hemangioma and I’m happy to help if you have any questions or think you see one developing somewhere on your babe. This is a long winded story to tell you, trust your instincts as a mom!! Sometimes pediatricians don’t take us as serious because we’re new in the game, but we have these gut instincts that tell us better sometimes. I would have taken her to the dermatologist much sooner than I did had I just done that from the beginning to have gotten ahead of it sooner.
This is your reminder that you're doing amazing mama!
Happy Weekend Everyone!