Bringing your little baby home is the most special journey you will ever take.
You have practiced many times in the weeks or even months leading up to their birth to fit the car seat, make sure everything is safe and secure. You just can’t quite believe that soon in that little car seat will be your baby! A little person made by you and your partner, of course.
However, to finally get your baby home and if like me that didn’t happen for a while due to quite a traumatic birth (which I have also written about on www.mylittlemummyblog.ie ) and to discover that something might not be 100% is terrifying. You feel like you are finally out of the woods, only to be thrown back into darkness, anxiety, and worry.
When we brought Bobby home, all was great for a couple of weeks until one day, I can’t remember who said it but either my husband or my Mum said, “Oh, what’s that growing on Bobby’s head?” Of course, straight away you think, oh my God, what is it? Your mind races to the worst possible outcome. Is it a brain tumor from his birth? That’s my fault, I obviously didn’t push hard enough, or I wasn’t fit enough or oh God, why didn’t I do pregnancy yoga like everyone else?! I know this sounds silly but honestly, these were the thoughts that went through my head; guilt and fear.
As it turned out, Bobby had what is known as a Strawberry Birthmark. This picture was taken a year ago and you can clearly see Bobby’s beautiful Strawberry Birth Mark. This is something that before he was born I had no idea they even existed! Basically, it was not there when he was born but appeared after a few weeks and it wasn’t something we just woke up to, it seemed to just gradually get bigger and after seeing a specialist we were told that in fact, these are very common and although we could try some sort of heart medication (Beta Blockers, I think) it would purely be for aesthetic reasons, so we decided no way to that option.
We said that we’ll just see how it goes as we were told that it will gradually get smaller and smaller and disappear, and it has. It has gotten flatter and more grey in color than red. Now he is 16 months old, and thankfully, you can barely see it anymore. His hair covers it almost completely, but it has also totally shrunk. I love it as it is part of him but the only thing I used to find hard in the early days was other children (as they all do and I’m sure I did as a child) used to come up and say, “Oh, what’s that thing on his head?” And that used to break my heart for him, although he, of course, was oblivious. I just wanted to share this, in case other Mums are at that early stage of wondering about their child’s special strawberry or if in fact like me you never even heard of them.
Also, around the same time as the birthmark, we noticed that one of Bobby’s eyelids were hanging a little lower than the other and of course straight away I felt guilt myself and worry for him. Since suction, forceps, episiotomy etc. all had to be used to deliver him, I figured this must be an injury from the forceps and therefore my fault for not doing a good job in labour. Which I know now is completely ridiculous. So again, we got an appointment with a specialist who informed us that this also is very common and nobody’s fault at all just one of those things that happen to babies sometimes, and he explained that it wasn’t very low at all, so it was not interfering in his eyesight. My heart calms. He explained to us that a baby’s face develops in 3 sections, with the eye area or the middle of the face being the last to bloom. He reassured us that he had no concerns and that once that last third grows into itself the eyelid will naturally correct itself, which it has done.
It's not easy though in the first few months of having your first baby waiting for these appointments with specialists and your mind racing with worry. Thank God, my husband is the opposite of me and he is a total optimist. He reassures me all the time that everything will be just fine and there is absolutely nothing to worry about and you know what…. most of the time he is right.