Brody’s Haemangioma Story

Brody’s Haemangioma Story

Brody’s Haemangioma Story

My name is Kelly Johnson, I am 25 years old and I live in Stoke On Trent. I have been with my partner for nearly 7 years and we have a 4 month old boy named Brody.

Brody was born on my 24th birthday, on 25th November 2016 – what a lovely birthday present! A bond we will have forever. When Brody was born it was the best day of our lives. Raising a baby is so challenging but so rewarding.

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Baby Brody at almost 2 weeks old.

Noticing the Mark

When Brody was 2 weeks old we noticed a small blemish on Brody’s left side of his head. The midwife then was the one who told me it was a strawberry birthmark and explained and answered any questions that we had. As days and weeks went by it started to grow bigger and thicker. Originally it started off in a flat love heart shape, which we all thought it was cute. His older cousin refers to it as “PINK” which really puts my mind at ease as she is only 2 years of age herself, so if she can get used to it then surely others can.

hamangioma awareness

This was on the 1st January 2017. It was still heart-shaped at this time.

Mama’s Feelings

A part of me has always felt guilty because I thought was it my fault he’s got his birthmark, which now looking back on I regret. I have always been a self-conscious person of my own looks, my weight etc, so I think that’s why I am always protective over my son as he is just a little baby who can’t defend himself over any comments made towards him. Looking back throughout my photos I have taken on my phone of Brody, hardly any of them have got his birthmark showing. I purposely didn’t take any of it for my Facebook or Instagram for a very long time. I was nervous about how people would react to it, or what they would think. I’m quite embarrassed and ashamed of myself now for thinking that. I should be proud of my little boy, I love him with all my heart and not everyone is perfect anyway, are they?

haemangioma awareness

This was at the end of January. It grew rapidly and the thickness of the mark was increasing.

Accepting His Strawberry

Now he’s a little older and his birthmark is more noticeable I can’t really hide it, so now I really don’t bother worrying about it. After writing a little message on my Facebook (which I included below) I decided to take ANY photo of my baby and publish it wherever I wanted.

haemangioma awareness

On the 24th February this is what I wrote on my Facebook. 117 people liked my post and had 65 comments of support from other people. I didn’t do it for attention, I did it so people could understand what the blemish was on Brody’s head.

 

I’m the one who gets paranoid of his birthmark and you will always see the odd people have a quick look at him when I’m feeding him in public or even when he is in his push chair, which I don’t mind the odd look. In all honesty we all look don’t we at anyone – not meaning anything nasty, it’s just that everyone is curious. The one time that I felt upset by someone’s comment was when I was with my partner getting keyrings made for Mother’s Day and the lady on the computer hovered the mouse over the birthmark and she asked “what’s that?!” in a rude manner. I replied with “it’s his birthmark” She then replied with: “Well I can edit it out for you if you want?” This is the only time I felt hurt by someone’s comment. My baby is beautiful, no matter if he has a birthmark or not. Of course my reply to her was no I didn’t want it edited out, it’s a part of him.

haemangioma awareness

This is the photo I wanted on a keyring.

He is the most bubbly little boy, full of smiles and cheekiness. I know that eventually his birthmark will go flat and disappear, but I’m in two minds whether I actually want it to go. Will I miss it on him? I don’t know just yet. Ever since having Brody I have been shocked by how many people explain they know someone with a strawberry birthmark too. I had never seen one before having Brody even though how surprisingly common they actually are.

haemangioma awareness

This is one of my favourite photos of Brody.

haemangioma awareness

This is my Mother’s Day present that I had on a canvas.

Thank you Kelly for sharing Brody’s haemangioma story with us. Kelly can be found on ​​​Instagram: @keepingupwithkellyx3 

If you would like to get in touch about sharing your experiences of haemangiomas, or want to make sure you know when the next post is live, please visit our Contact page.

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