I’ve debated sharing this the answer to this question months because medical information is very personal, especially when it comes to your baby. However after a long internal debate I was still on the fence until I saw my best friend and maid of honor earlier this month for the first time in more than a year. And then I decided yes, I will share.
Kitty got to meet Lily and seeing them together made my momma hear happy – we’ve come along way to college kids doing skittle shots on a Thursday night #ifyouknowyouknow I bring this up because after Lily had gone to bed Kitty asked me about Lily’s forehead saying it was something she had been wondering about but let me know it was not something she wanted to just ask over text.
“What’s wrong with her head?”
“Did she fall down?”
“Is that a boo-boo?”
“What’s that bruise?”
“Did Lily bang her head?”
These are just five versions of the question I’ve now received countless times in the last seven months.
If you are one of the few people who don’t know what I am talking about here are a few pictures of my happy, smiley girl with the mark above her left eye:
To be quite frank, honestly I had originally thought it was a bruise. Around 10 weeks old Lily was working on her head control and one morning when I was burping her at the end of a feed she head butt my collarbone. She cried for a minute and then was fine. I thought nothing of it until over the next few days I saw a mark start to appear. It did not seem senstivie to the touch, first just a little red spot and then a deeper bruise-like blue/purple hue circling it.
I asked a few medical professions as an aside in various checkups and none seemed concerned until it came to her 16-week vaccines. At this point the nurse practitioner asked and then suggested Lily had a blood clotting disorder if it had not healed in more than a month. And then I got very scared. You better believe I did everything I could to get to the bottom of this.
Long story short I went outside the NHS (the public healthcare system here in England) and through my private insurance saw a few doctors before we ended up with an appointment with the head of Pediatric Dermatology at one of London’s top hospitals. Once I summarized the journey that had brought us to our office she examined lily and after a few seconds laughed – she LAUGED!
She absolutely discounted a blood clotting disorder and other guess diagnosis we had been told, instead letting Mark and I know it was an absolutely harmless infantile hemangioma. That’s a big medical term and you can read the John Hopkin’s formal defintion here but essentially this mark on her forehead is a collection of blood vessels that didn’t finish forming fully before she was born. They are often referred to as strawberry birthmarks which often appear in the first few days or weeks of a babies life but can appear up to three months post birth.
The biggest relief for me was that it is harmless and purely cosmetic. As a mum that is far and away the most important thing to me though I was also very happy to hear that it would likely stop growing by the time she turned five months and then would begin to slowly disappear over time. The doctor could not be precise but estimated that the hemangioma will be gone by the time Lily is two.
I have told various people an abridged version of this when they have asked and some have queried back that Lily’s does not look like your standard strawberry birthmark (here are examples from Google images in case you are not familiar). This is true and something we asked the head of pediatric dermatology who explained that the blue/purple bruise type element is the deep part of the hemangioma that had not come to the surface. Her analogy was blood under your skin appears blue such as when you look at the veins on the inside of your wrist and that is the exact same for Lily’s forehead strawberry birthmark.
If you have read the 700+ words above, well done you, and hopefully this provides an answer to the question. And yes, I do realize it is none of anyone’s business and that I had no obligation to share but I have actually found writing this out quite therapeutic. This has also made me realize that Lily will be 10 months old next weekend which means another monthly update will be coming your way – gosh, time is flying! And because I can not help myself, a few more photos of my baby girl and her beautiful strawberry birthmark: