Tuesday, June 30

Confronting the Unseen

"Is her hemangioma continuing to fade?" Alexis' pediatrician asked me at her annual exam back in February.

It felt like a trick question. If I said, "Yes," would the conversation go away? The conversation that required that I acknowledge that my kid isn't perfect? If I said, "No," would there be a magic bullet? Some sort of instant treatment that would make the spot on her forehead disappear?

I knew the true answer. I just didn't want to admit it.

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I don't see it. I never have. In fact, back when it was bad, notable, and maybe even a little frightening, I was frequently thrown off guard when looking at a photo of Alexis. I would stare at the photo, the bright red strawberry very obvious, and look at Alexis, wondering why it photographed so differently than reality.

The answer, of course, is that to know Alexis is to truly see Alexis. When you have lost yourself in her blue/green eyes and swam in the waves of her charisma, you just don't see the mark. Photos don't even come close to capturing the personality that is bigger than the hemangioma.



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Alexis and I stood patiently in line at the grocery store waiting to pay for our Lima beans and bread. Our turn finally arrived and the cashier glanced up at us. "Hi, honey! Ohhhh, how did you get that booboo on your head?" she asked.

Alexis looked at me dumbfounded. She doesn't know that she has something on her forehead that makes her "different."

I don't see it, but other people do.

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I've never talked to Alexis about her hemangioma. It seems so stupid, so shallow. It's just a couple of blood vessels that aren't quite right. They are no cause for concern, not any sort of danger, just purely a vanity issue. I don't care that the red mark is there, and she certainly doesn't care. However, kids can be cruel. Kids have the power to make her care. Kids have the power to make her hurt.

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I've ignored the pediatrician's recommendation to call the pediatric dermatologist to discuss follow-up for the hemangioma for five months now. Really, it just seems so dumb to even care about it when there are kids with much bigger battles to fight. A simple Google image search of the word "hemangioma" is like a drop in the ocean of potential awfulness. Alexis is nearly perfect.

We are so very lucky.

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I ran across this photo today. It was taken a little over a year ago.



It's a great photo of Alexis, certainly one of my favorites. Given that I have thousands of photos of the kid, that's saying something. But, the problem with having thousands of photos of your kid's smiling face is that you can't ignore the evidence. The mark stopped fading a long time ago.

It's time that I confront that which I don't see.

But I don't want to.



Alexis is beautiful exactly the way she is. Hearing a doctor tell me otherwise doesn't make me happy.

73 comments:

  1. She IS beautiful. If there isn't a medical concern, then pfft. Christopher was born with a dark nevus on his leg and we never noticed it until the docs decided it was too large and could turn into something bad. Then we had it removed. but we wouldn't have done anything for looks only unless he wanted to.

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  2. I'm on my way to your house (hopped up on Ambien I might add) to kick your butt. Cuz if you think for even one second that some doc telling you Alexis is less than perfect means jack shit, you NEED a kick in the ass. You know she is gorgeous in every way. Mark or no mark. Having it removed or made lighter will never change how gorgeous she is....never. She is perfect now. She will perfect still if it is made to look less obvious. Basically, she's perfect cuz she's all yours and she is truly loved...mark and all.

    Hallie

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  3. The thing is that we're at a crossroads. She either needs to learn to answer the "what happened" questions (they come up every couple of weeks), or we get the laser treatment to have it removed. Both options make me all squicky.

    I *hate* that the standard of care is to wait until age two to treat them. It looked like it was going to go away on its own then. Now, not so much. Before then, much less stressful to deal with because she wasn't old enough to know what was going on.

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  4. She is beautiful. For what it's worth, I have, in the past, spent time browsing the archives of your blog and seen many a picture of your lovely little girl. And not once, not ever did I notice there was anything on her forehead until I read this post and you told me about it. Then I looked at the picture on your sidebar and saw a picture of Alexis as a baby, and went, "oh yeah. I guess there is something there."

    She's lovely with it, and will still be lovely without it. But if it's easier to take care of now, when she's sixteen she may appreciate you having done so when she was small.

    But seriously... in those last photos you posted, you can barely see it at all.

    Any doctor that says she isn't perfect just sucks. :)

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  5. I have been wanting to write a post like this for a long time. Lola had a huge strawberry mark on top of her head and now at 5 it's completely gone. Thanks for the reminder....

    She is beautiful. Lovely post!

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  6. I doubt the doctors are saying she isn't perfect. Humans are trained to look for symmetry. If it's not a health concern and you're not comfortable changing her appearance then ignore it. If she doesn't notice it then there's your answer. When someone asks her she can say, "What mark? Oh, that. I don't even see it."

    She seems a strong willed kid :-) I doubt she'll let some teasing get to her.

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  7. she's beautiful....and I think unless it is causing her difficulty there is no reason to do away with it. My Juleigha has one on the side of her forehead...its faded, but like Alexis's hasn't gone away completely (J just turned 6). But like you, I don't notice it about her.

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  8. She's absolutely beautiful & if it's just cosmetic, I say ignore it. I haven't ever noticed it beyond the first few, young pictures I've seen of her. There's too much else to look at - the eyes that speak volumes even through a computer screen, the smile that never [ever, I mean it] fails to make me smile, and the laughter, oh my gosh, the laughter. Alexis makes me laugh just slightly less hard than my own child & she certainly does it in different ways.

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  9. @Beth--She DOES let teasing get to her. She was in tears the other day because someone said she had stocky legs. She didn't even know what "stocky" meant, she just knew it seemed mean.

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  10. What weird synchronicity this post is for me. I *very* recently started following your blog. I also very recently was diagnosed with 'chorioangioma of the placenta' - which the doctor compared to 'those strawberry birthmarks' kids sometimes have. Even though I knew what he meant, I don't think I ever knew anyone who actually had one. (Not that I know YOU, either.) Nevertheless, the coincidence is just striking me as so weird - in a good way.

    Anyway - I DID notice your wee girl's birthmark, but I noticed it like I might notice if she had a mole or some other distinguishing feature like that. She's lovely and although it's clearly still there, it's pretty subtle. Hardly and *imperfection*. My unsolicited suggestion: teach her to tell people that she got a big, loud kiss from God smack in the middle of her forehead for all the world to see!

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  11. ChickLitLisa10:46 PM

    I never notice it in your pictures. Your photos are so good that her smile and personality dominate over anything else! This will probably continue as she gets older. She seems to have a strong personality from your writings and having a small insignificant mark won't even phase her.

    I have had a large freckle on my nose since i was her age...it was more prominent in the past and so many people have told me my nose is dirty over the years I could BE a bank of I had a dollar for each time...when I was a senior they photoshopped it out of my pic--I was so upset.

    My only thought/question would be..."How will she feel about it as a teen?" I don't know her but she doesn't seem like the type of girl who will not leave the house if a hair is out of place...but.... If she is and the mark is an issue-can it be removed easily then? Or would now be the better time?

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  12. @ChickLitLisa--It's better to remove it now.

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  13. Anonymous10:49 PM

    Alexis' mark is already barely visible, and there is a good chance that it may fade further as she grows. I had one on my arm that still looked striking when I was 3, but totally disappeared by the time I was 10. So don't worry about Alexis' mark until she is older. If Alexis decides to mind the mark, you can discuss it with her and let her have a say in the decision.

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  14. ChickLitLisa10:54 PM

    Why not go to the Dermatologist and see what he/she has to say...make a decision after that conversation...

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  15. @ChickLitLisa--The derm is laser happy. We already know that from previous visits there when Alexis was much littler.

    Mostly I hate that Alexis is reaching that age where she gets that appearance sometimes matters, and that she already cares what people think about her. I wish we could bottle up that toddler ignorance about people being judgmental and keep dousing our kids in that ignorance forever.

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  16. Lots of good advice here in the comment section. She's gorgeous. Think of what being a teen was like for you and decide based on her personality if it needs to be handled now or not. I love Melissas explaination. Good luck making the decision I know it's tough.

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  17. Anonymous11:10 PM

    I had a mole removed from my upper lip when I was sixteen. I remember all the previous years of having it, years of wishing I didn't have it, and it's easy to remember getting it removed when you wait until you're 16 and you take your driving lessons with a bandage on your face. I'm glad it's gone. It would have been nice if it had been gone sooner. Especially if I had been spared its presence throughout my middle childhood and teenage years. Why do you want to burden her with the same conversation over and over: "It's a kiss from an angel", "It's a birthmark" or "Mom, this make-up just isn't working and I'm sick of bangs". She's a beautiful child. Stunningly so. But she won't be a child forever. When her baby-ness fades, and the woman-to-be begins to emerge around age 10 or 11 or 12, will she thank you for not taking action when she was two?

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  18. tehamy11:10 PM

    I have honestly never noticed it. You said it perfectly, to know Alexis is to truly see Alexis. She is such a wonderful little girl and full of spirit, how could anyone notice the mark?

    It definitely isn't a straight forward decision. If you have it removed, what do you tell her? If you don't have it removed, what do you tell her? I definitely feel for you. It will be a difficult decision.

    I agree with ChickLitLisa - there is no harm in seeing the dermatologist just to see what they say. Then make a decision.

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  19. I never see it. I actually TOTALLY forgot she has it, to be honest. You threw up that baby picture, and I immediately remembered right then.

    And I've seen practically every picture you've posted, and never noticed it. Sure, I'm on the internet, not in person, can't fight her battles for her when the inevitable bully takes notice and says something.

    My input? Ask her. She's old enough to either a) be told what it is on her forehead to deal with it or b) be told what it is to go have it removed, so why not explain to her the options. Call the laser a light saber, so it doesn't seem so scary, but explain that it will probably have to be worked on.

    How does she feel about doctors, is she scared or generally okay? How did she get on with the dermatologist?

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  20. 1. Unless you specifically mention it in a post, I almost never, ever notice the mark!

    2. Having a physician suggest to me that my child was something other than perfect would probably be enough for me to change offices (though from a medical standpoint, I do get why he brings it up.)

    3. I vote for teaching her to respond with something snarky . . . ie., "My Mom went to throw the bottle at my Dad and hit me instead." Scratch that. DCFS would be at your door by day's end.

    4. She is gorgeous! And she is also old enough to understand that we all have something about us that makes us different from everyone else - that is a good thing, a special thing, and something that might not be so bad.

    (Briar has a discoloration that runs down her forehead, as well as a little patch at the end of her nose . . . I was beyond moritified when the pediatrician who saw her immediately after birth noted it - how dare he suggest she was anything other than perfect! Most of the time it is barely visible, and I hope it stays that way - not because I don't like it, but because I don't want her to ever face a second of grief from it. *Sigh* The things they leave out of the parenting books!)

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  21. And to close (hit post comment too soon) - I think she's gorgeous just the way she is, always have thought so. There are times I look at my daughter and think of yours, her spunk. It's like their twins, just a year apart in age LOL

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  22. @Lisa--She LURVES doctors. She has been known to feign illness so she can go to the doctor's office. It has a LOT to do with the fact that they hand out pretzels.

    @Anonymous--Really good points. Thank you!

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  23. You know it's really strange, and maybe it's just because her hair is always covering it, but I seriously thought that it was gone now. I remember you posting photos of her as a baby a while back and I thought 'oh wow, must have faded now, that didn't take long, she's barely three!' You are right that her personality (even in pictures!) distracts from that.

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  24. Oliver was born with pre-auricular skin tags. I freaked when I was told it was the most common type of "birth defect". My son was not "defective", thankyouverymuch. Then my sister called it his "ear penis" and I had visions of what would happen on the playground someday. (There were two tags...one perfect orb and the other longer and vaguely penis-shaped. Kinda like a twig and berry.) We scheduled removal almost immediately and it was done when he was about 10 weeks old. I was noticing last weekend that the scar is barely visible.

    I'd probably visit the derm and get a recommendation, and maybe get a second opinion from another derm too. You and Alexis will figure out what course of action (or not) is right.

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  25. Like Jennifer, I hadn't noticed it at all, even when we were together. That said, I was a bit busy watching my son steal your daughter's fish. So, maybe I'm not the best judge of what is and is not visible.

    Sending my best for whatver your decision(s) is/are/will be/etc.

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  26. My daughter was born with a hemangioma on her leg. Everyone else seems to make a bigger deal out of it than I ever have. I don't even see it. It's relatively small, though, compared to what it could have been. The Dr. kept saying it's supposed to get worse and then gradually fade, but so far it's not budging.

    I think your daughter is beautiful.

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  27. Like so many others commenting on this post, I never notice her mark in your pictures, except these and only because you mentioned it. I wish I knew what advice to give, but I don't as that is such difficult decision to make. I am like you and so often look past any blemishes my kids have because I am so absorbed in their shiny eyes and bright smiles.

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  28. ChickLitLisa11:45 PM

    I have probably said enough...but here is my final thought: I agree Alexis should be part of the decision.
    I might sit down with her and show her her older baby pics...talk about the mark in whatever terms you want (I like kiss from God...but u have to use what works for you). Then show her a current pic...and then look in the mirror. Explain why people say that she has a boo-boo...she might even have another boo-boo right now so she can compare and see how similar. Then leave it at that (don't talk about removing it)...Alexis will let you know either by her reaction over the next few weeks...or your Mommy instinct...whether it bothers her...and go from there...if it bothers her then that might be the time to ask her if she wants to see a doc about light-sabering it away

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  29. OK, a few things here.
    1. No one has a perfect child. As my mother used to say, "With all the genius kids out there, you have to wonder where in the hell all the dumb ass adults came from."
    I have a special needs child. He is far from perfect. But that's ok. My job as a parent was to make functioning without me easier once I am no longer available to him. I could have ignored alot of his disabilities, but why set him up to fail. I tried to give him what he needed to succeed.(although our idea of him succeeding was far different from most parents.)

    I think I would have it removed. Life is hard enough, why make it harder esp. when something can be fixed so easily. If she's getting asked about it once every two weeks, then I think she will start getting self conscious about it.
    But I don't think it should be her decision. That is you and your husbands. A two or three year old should NEVER be given that responsibility.

    2. I can guarantee the surgery will be alot tougher on you and your husband than it will be on her. She will never remember.
    My son had a cleft palate. I remember feeling so sorry for myself when they told me that, on top of everything else that was wrong with him. Until I took him for his first visit to the plastic surgeon. We were in the waiting room and a woman walked in with a baby who was dressed in the cutest little outfit. I looked closer at the baby and she had half a face. Cured my self pity real fast.

    In a perfect word that mark wouldn't matter, But this is a cruel world. Make it a little easier on her if you can.

    But that is just my opinion. I have been reading this blog for a while now and think you are a wonderful parent and that child of yours will come out on top no matter what your decide.

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  30. Anonymous12:00 AM

    Hmmm... Although there is a small chance that a hemangioma may stay forever, children's skin will stretch as they grow bigger. Alexis' mark will definitely become even less visible than it is now if it doesn't fade away. It doesn't seem cool to subject her to laser if a laser eventually turns out to be unnecessary. Maybe you can observe her development for a couple of years more before deciding that she really needs a laser? It shouldn't be too late then for the mark to cause unhappiness for her age 16. :)
    Cheers,
    Cyn aka the anonymous at 10.49pm

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  31. Anonymous12:05 AM

    Oh, and I like ChickLitLisa's suggestion at 11.45pm. :D
    Cheers,
    Cyn

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  32. OK, this is beyond weird... I was giving Little Man his bath tonight, and when I was washing his back, I ran my finger over his hemangioma and reminisced about how much more prominent it was when he was a baby. And then I thought of you and Alexis, and I wondered 'does BB notice Alexis'? Does she wonder when it'll fade?'

    I probably come from a different place where since I had one when I was born, I love that he has one too, as selfish as that sounds. It reminds me that he's truly mine, just like the coffee spot birth mark he has on his right thigh is a perfect match to mine on my right arm. And seeing it fade reminds me that he's no longer a baby.

    My best friend's daughter had one, but it was behind her eye and could cause issues with her vision. I know they gave her steroids and it shrunk it. She had a full beard by the time she was six-months old, but her vision is perfect.

    It will continue to fade, but since it's on her face, you decide what is best for you. Here's how I look at it. Kids will ALWAYS find something to tease other kids with, right? So you can always prepare her with good comebacks once kids start asking.

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  33. Personally, I have some type of birthmark on my hip. It's been there forever and in the summer pool season often caused teasing to come my way when I was younger... But honestly, it's so faded now I can't even remember how dark it *may* have been when I was young....

    I can honestly tell you that since I've been visiting here - about a year or so- I've never ever noticed that mark on A. Not even in older pics. I see her for the A I met a while ago!!

    However, knowing what my mom went through when we were told that my sister, post-chicken pox, had keloids and could never have pierced ears & we had to watch every cut/scrape for excess scar tissue, I'd say this: what about seeing another dermatologist? Since you say the current dermotologist is laser happy, a 2nd opinion might be warranted. (Final result on the sister issue - the keloids were not real. Just one bad scar that has since faded. Lili now has pierced ears with no issues)

    No matter what, I'll always be the biggest fan of my favorite ice skating/snow playing friend!!!

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  34. oh and by the way, I was ALSO one of those children who "pretended" to be sick to see the pediatrician. However, Dr. Mahsoob was quite honestly one of the kindest doctors ever. I have many memories of my childhood, and no bad ones of doctor visits... He passed away recently and my mom, sister and I were all very upset by it!!

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  35. Anonymous8:39 AM

    There are so many comments here reinforcing how beautiful Alexis is, and they are completely right. Her eyes and smile absolutely warm the heart of everyone who looks at her pictures. However, if you remember back to being a teen, how every little blemish, every crooked tooth, every day that we felt our hair was too curly or too straight, why give your daughter one more thing to obsess over. If the surgery is fairly successful and not too invasive, it is probably worth at least discussing with the dermatologist (and probably a second opinion would be in order if you weren’t comfortable with the first). My son has one testicle and, while he is absolutely perfect and healthy like that, he has already asked if he can get a prosthetic so he can look like everyone else once they start taking showers in school. I am going to let him get the surgery. As a mom, there is nothing scarier than the idea of my child going under the knife - except maybe the idea of other cruel kids hurting his beautiful spirit.

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  36. Oh my where to begin. I agree with lots of the comments that arrived before I could read this. Kids will be hateful kids and tease whether there is something to tease about or not.
    Plus there is no such thing as a perfect kid. As much as we'd like to believe our children are perfect, we are human and thus not perfect and as such they couldn't be.
    I was so nerve-wracked by Peanut's torticollis that when some random stranger blurted out that he was perfect, I told her that his head was crooked. After months in his brace he has all but outgrown it, and his hair covers it any remaining evidence now.
    I'd say find another dermatologist. There are enough doctors in this town, look long enough and you'll find a good one!

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  37. Alexis is beautiful. You know that, and everyone sees that, and her big, bright shining personality would outshine any mark. Listen, you're beautiful, but you wear makeup and get your hair done, right? Vanity is not the enemy. We all care how we look. It is only if it becomes too big of a focus that it is a problem, and I know that won't be the case with you or Alexis. Having it removed now would be better than in the future, right? Being a parent sure is tough, huh?

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  38. My friend's oldest daughter has one on her mouth. It's beautiful, actually - she looks like she's wearing lipstick all the time. I don't see it on Alexis at all. I guess part of it is her hair, but part of it is that there's obviously far more to Alexis than some birth mark. She's hawt, hemangioma or not.

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  39. My daughter was born with a hemangioma, about the same size,on her scalp, and I looked to your archives for guidance. If Alexis was okay with it than so was I!!


    That being said, I have been okay with it on the basis that "it will go away soon". Given the idea that it may not go away? I would have at least a visit with derm. To have a mark like that forever- adults aren't cruel, and we know she is perfect, but kids are not. I have moles on my face and was teased mercilessly. I should have listened to my mom and had them removed.

    And to agree w/a PP..see a difft derm! I can ask around if you'd like (I have contacts at CHP)...

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  40. I think I agree with whoever said that the decision shouldn't be hers (at least not entirely), but you can certainly let her know that it IS a choice and why you made the one you made (once you make one, of course). She's beautiful and you hit it on the head when you said why you don't see "it" - because you look at HER not her features.

    Our newborn has a strawberry birthmark on the back of her head which will EVENTUALLY be covered by hair (although we have bald babies for quite awhile). I'm not sure what decision I would make either, but I lean towards having it removed. Kids are cruel and even if it doesn't bother her it's still something she has to or will have to deal with. Good luck and I would still get a second opinion just to cover all bases.

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  41. @MsTeb--Yes, please, on the ped derms. I only know of two in town, and they are both in the same office.

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  42. I know that you have a handle on these things, and that I shouldn't be hurting for you, but I do. Why can't the world just accept others the way they are and not stare and point and comment when someone is a little different? You'll do what's best, because you're Wonder Mom.

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  43. Nobody can tell you what to do with your own chid. Your instincts will give you all the answers you need. I know this all too well. I've ignored my instincts before to great pain to no one but myself. I know my kids and I do what I think is right for us...

    Listen to your heart and do what you think is right. If it's not time, then it's not time.

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  44. She's perfect just the way she is. She has been kissed by her guardian angel. I wouldn't do anything. If it is still there when she is older, then she can make a decision to have it removed.

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  45. @Karen--PSHAW! Ye who can handle four (and a half--I think Micah earns you some extra credit) can run circles around me.

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  46. She's perfect. You'll raise her thinking no other way. I, too, wouldn't be running to the doctor either. Maybe let her decide what to do about it when she's older and let her revel in her innocent perfection for as long as possible.

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  47. I was actually amazed at how much it went down. I don't think it's noticable at all, but it's amazing how much other kids pick up on things. My son has two- one on his head which is now covered by hair and one on his arm which looks like an awesome heart shaped tattoo. Everytime he has his shirt off, other kids go up and touch it. They call it a boo boo, and then he just touches them back.

    But a year ago, before hair covered the one on his head, I got a lot of questions and stares. Is he hurt, etc. Then he spent the summer wearing a helmet to reshape his head, so that covered the strawberry mark, but got A LOT more stares and questions (most asked question- did he have brain surgery? Yes, and they ran out of bandages, so we had to use this helemt to hold his brain in.)

    Anyway, I think Alexis is perfect as she is. It gives me hope because my son's marks have a long way to go to get to that point.

    If she is tormented by what other kids say, then involve her in the decision.

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  48. She is a beautiful girl. When I look at her I don't even see the mark. I see an amazing smile. I see a child full of wonder, delight, and energy. I see the future: an amazing young woman, smart as a whip, and who will make her parents proud.

    I know you see the same. I also know that as a mother I would have the same worries as you, but that I would work hard to delete them from my mind because you know what? What others think doesn't matter in the least. How you feel about your baby girl, is all that matters. And I can tell by each post you write, that what you feel is immense LOVE.

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  49. Anonymous11:16 AM

    I think you should tell Alexis when someone asks "Oh what happened" her respose can be ..."I kicked the crap out of the person that asked me last time and this is the only mark i got...you should see the other person"...My daughter has a mark very similar on her shoulder and when ever summer comes around I know whats comin..shes 5 now...she calls it her beauty mark...which I whole heartedly agree. Alexis is beautiful in every way..EVERY way and I am a full believer in people needing to shut the F up and worry about their own faces.

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  50. That? THAT is why I don't block Anonymous comments. Y'all rock!

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  51. She *is* beautiful just as she is. Because it hasn't faded in a year, is the concern that it will never go away now? What is the "treatment" for it?

    I don't see it when I look at her, either. I notice it in her younger pictures, but it's just that: I notice it, but that's not *all.* I think that lots of people can't look past one tiny thing that may be not "perfect" and then miss out on everything that IS perfect.

    Alex has a birth mark of sorts. It's a little tiny busted capillary bed on the side of his left eye. People ask me why he has a bruise, or how he got the bruise, etc. Honestly? I don't see it anymore. I asked the pediatrician about it after he was born, and once I knew it was nothing to worry about I stopped noticing it.

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  52. I think Alexis is beautiful the way she is. She has a sparkle to her that just kind of draws you in.

    Sophia has a huge hemangioma on her back. I kind of dig it, although a lot of people gasp when they see it.

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  53. That anonymous poster rocks! And now I remember my mom calling them "beauty marks" too.

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  54. I say leave well enough alone...she's beautiful, with our without it. (Of course, it is YOUR decision and not the Internetz.)

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  55. Wow, a lot has been said already and there are certainly good points to each side. So I just wanted to say: either way, no matter what you and Mr. Husband decide, it will be the right thing to do. You know your daughter and you love her more than is even possible, and THAT is what will make either decision the right one. No matter what you choose, she will be fine because she has the two of you, and YOU will be fine (eventually!) because you have us. Oh, fine, and because you have her, too. :)

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  56. Whatever you do, it's not going to change Alexis into someone else. And it's going to be the right thing.

    For the record, I didn't notice it until I saw one of those baby pics of her...and I still don't see it, unless you insist on marking it with a great big arrow. And, I don't even "know" Alexis--just through this blog.

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  57. Of course she's gorgeous no matter what!

    One of my nieces had one on her cheek that was quite prominent and now faded much the same. We always just called it her "special mark from God!" : )

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  58. to be honest, I haven't noticed it in her photos recently. I wouldn't do anything about it, unless there was a real medical reason to do it

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  59. First and foremost, she is awesome as is. But I will understand whatever you decide. Declan has spider veins all over his face that used to be way more prominent as a baby - older kids would ask what they were - and Aldo a non cancerous red spot onhis nose that I sometime Photoshop out of photos. Sigh.

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  60. You totally have to listen to your gut and nothing else. I can't tell you how many times I have ignored my gut because someone who I thought was wiser disagreed with me. Everytime I was right in the end. I would get another opinion if you feel more comfortable. Children's hospital probably has someone who can help.

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  61. She's gorgeous! I'd leave it. If it's something that she wants removed down the road, have at it. She's a beautiful girl with a larger than life smile (and, from the way you describe her, a personality to match!).

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  62. So, my little sister has/had one. On her wrist. it was probably a good two inches long. When she was born the doctor said "now we need to let you know, she has this mark on her wrist" my mother said "will it kill her? Does it hurt her?" he said "no" she said "then I don't care"

    At 14 hers is pretty much long gone. I can see the traces of it, but only because I know it's there. We named her "strawberry mark" Fred. We kind of miss Fred.

    I noticed she had it, knew what it was, and didn't give a crap. Alexis is awesome yo.

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  63. @Molly C--Does your sister's turn brighter when she's mad? Alexis' turns real bright red when she's pissed, which is fantastic because I can look at her and know to run the other way. It totally cracks me up!

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  64. I AM THE BLESSED INDIVIDUAL WHO IS PROUD TO BE ALEXI'S NANA. SHE IS MY ONLY GRANDAUGHTER AND SHE IS MY ANGEL. SHE IS LOVELY, AND MORE PRECIOUS THAN ANY LITTLE GIRL I HAVE EVER KNOWN. MY LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR MY PRECIOUS ANGEL RUNS VERY DEEP. I HAVE WATCHED HER FROM A BABY GROW AND BECOME MORE BEAUTIFUL WITH EACH PASSING DAY. HER BEAUTY MARK HAS FADED SO MUCH TO PRACTICALLY ALMOST NOTHING. I WAS TRULY SHOCKED TO READ THAT ANYONE WOULD THINK DIFFERENTLY. I DON'T GET THE PRIVILEGE TO BE WITH MY ANGEL AS MUCH AS I WOULD LIKE TO SINCE WE LIVE ABOUT 6 HOURS AWAY. THEREFORE I SEE THINGS MOM AND DAD PROBABLY WOULDN'T SEE SINCE THEY ARE WITH HER EVERYDAY. I DON'T THINK HER BEAUTY MARK SHOWS ENOUGH FOR ANYONE'S CONCERN. SHE IS PERFECT TO ME AND HAS BEEN SINCE THE DAY SHE WAS BORN. I LOVE YOU ALEXIS! I KNOW HOW CRUEL OTHER CHILDREN CAN BE AND EVEN SOME ADULTS. HER MARK HAS FADED SO MUCH THAT I TRULY NEVER SEE IT! I AM TO LOST IN HER BEAUTIFUL SMILE AND CAPTIVATING EYES. THIS LITTLE MARK HAS FADED SO MUCH IN HER SHORT THREE YEARS THAT I REALLY BELIEVE IT WILL FADE MORE AS SHE GETS OLDER.
    AS FOR THE DOCTOR, I WORK FOR 4 THEY WORK FOR MONEY NO MATTER HOW NICE OR CARING THEY ARE. THEY ARE GOING TO WANT YOU TO DO THE MEDICAL SIDE OF THINGS. THATS HOW THEIR PRACTICE GROWS AND HOW THEY STAY IN BUSINESS.
    DON'T CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT HER. I TRULY BELIEVE WITH ALL MY HEART AS TIME GOES ON SO WILL THE FADING OF HER BEAUTY MARK.
    ALEXIS IS A GIFT FROM GOD GIVEN TO YOU AND MY SON. WHEN HE GAVE YOU ALEXIS HE GAVE YOU AND MY SON RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT AND GUIDE HER THROUGH THE YEARS. TO MAKE THE DECISIONS FOR HER TILL SHE IS OF AGE TO MAKE THEM ON HER OWN. HE KNEW YOU WOULD BE GOOD PARENTS AND HE KNEW YOU WOULD GIVE HER ALL THE BEST IN LIFE.
    DON'T LET ANYONE MAKE CHOICES FOR YOU. YOU AND WAYNE NEED TO MAKE DECISIONS ON ALEXIS TOGETHER NO ONE ELSE SHOULD MAKE THEM FOR YOU.
    TALK ABOUT IT WITH ONE ANOTHER LOOK OVER HER PHOTO'S FROM BIRTH TILL NOW. SEE IF YOU DON'T SEE A DRASTIC DIFFERENCE IN HER LITTLE BEAUTY MARK. IF IT HAS FADED AS MUCH AS IT HAS IN THREE YEARS, WHAT DO YOU THINK COULD HAPPEN IN THREE MORE YEARS? WILL IT REALLY STILL BE NOTICEABLE? SEARCH YOUR OWN HEARTS. DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE THAT NOTICEABLE GIVEN MORE TIME?
    I LOVE YOU BOTH I KNOW AS HER PARENTS YOU KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR HER.
    KEEP ON BEING THE AWSUME PARENTS THAT YOU ARE
    LOVE NANA

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  65. I am a recent reader/follower of your blog and have really been enjoying it, especially the great pictures of your daughter, who is so cute! After reading this post, I just wanted to say that I have NEVER noticed the hemangioma until just now! How funny is that? Not once did I notice it!

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  66. @Emily--I don't think it's noticeable at all, so it always catches me off guard when people comment on it. Kids are notorious for saying something--even kids that have known her for a while!

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  67. I never noticed it until some time ago when you posted a baby picture and it was brighter. I assumed it had faded entirely.

    I love the anon comment re: what she should say to anyone who asks! Hilarious. She could also say it's her beauty mark. (The comments from Mom and Nana are sweet too.)

    I would see a derm to get an opinion about the rate of fade you can expect and go from there. It does seem like waiting a few more years might be the way to go. It certainly isn't noticible in photos.

    I love that first pic of her - the ferociousness of the bite!! Too funny.

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  68. On a different scale, I can understand completely. Bug was born with a partial cleft lip and palate. While we had the lip repaired when he was 4 months old, we've yet to do the palate. It's just along the jawline, and doesn't affect anything other than cosmetic issues. I don't see it. I never have. And it always amazed me when someone would praise me for taking him "out in public" when he was an infant.

    We've discussed the medical issues of his cleft with Bug. At 11, he's old enough to understand most of it. And he's old enough to start making the requests himself to get things fixed, and to understand his reasons for asking.

    But we've also talked about how being born that way was a gift from God. Not necessarily a gift to him, although it could be viewed that way sometimes. But a gift to others. Bug is a walking, talking, laughing, smiling gift of tolerance and acceptance.

    And we're good with that.

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  69. Burgh,

    I don't know if you ever noticed the bumps on Monkey's face -- she had them for about 2 years. I seldom noticed them at all, except when they got inflamed (usually right before they disappeared). We saw a couple of dermatologists for it -- mulloscum contagiousum [sic] -- and the recommended treatment in children Monkey's age was to wait until they went away. And they did.

    I agree with the reader who said to consult with the derm (and if you don't like his/her opinion, get another one -- I know a good one!), and go from there. If Alexis is so very sensitive, I wonder what it can hurt to have it taken care of now. Are you worried about the procedure? Can they offer some sedation or local numbing?

    Monkey was getting comments on her "bumps" when she started school, but they were also disappearing at that time. She asked what they were, and why she had them. We told her what she could understand, assured her they were going to disappear, and that she was beautiful regardless of her "bumps".

    I haven't read all the comments, so if I'm just repeating them, I hope you don't mind.

    Bun now has the bumps, too -- on her bum. There is one I would like to have removed only because it looks as if the diaper irritates it.

    good luck! ciao,
    rpm

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  70. oh, and also: I have never noticed it IRL, only in some of the pics here. And she's adorable any way you look at it. I hope other [stupid] people haven't caused you too much pain!

    I can give you Dr. Bro's contact info. He treats kids, although he's not a ped specialist. Just say the word, I'll email you.

    ciao, bella,

    rpm

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  71. What? I never even noticed that. I looked at all the photos you posted and didn't once think "huh/ what's that on her forehead?" How can you notice it, with those incredible eyes and that beautiful face?

    Honestly, if it's not a health concern, who cares? She is still one of the most gorgeous children I have EVER seen. And she's got personality to boot. You'd have to be a bit shallow to give a crap about a mark IMO.

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  72. You know, I've never really noticed it either. I guess her inner and outer beauty and personality just blind me to it!

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  73. what a tough decision. I honestly don't notice it in person. Those pictures you can see, but I have never focused on it. I agree that you shouldn't care if it's not a health concern, but I also know how cruel kids are.
    Tough choice, I think if what people say bother her, perhaps there is your answer.

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