Strawberries, Cafe Au Lait & Port Wine - Birthmarks or a Trip to the Wine Country?

Today I was lying in bed with Josiah and noticed his birthmarks, which I think are so interesting and special, like snowflakes. Each birthmark I've ever seen is always different in some shape or form. It's like the birthmark was especially made for that individual. The definition on wiki calls birthmarks a blemish, but I disagree. There is nothing imperfect about most birthmarks, they are beautiful.
Cory has a very interesting birthmark and I've never been able to find a name that matches the description of it. Maybe I can get him to let me take a picture and post it, but I'm not sure it would show the detail. It's a little raised mark about the size of a penny that feels rough to the touch like a patch of dry skin, but it's always there and never changes.
I supposedly had a strawberry birthmark on the back of my leg that slowly faded and disappeared as I grew older. I don't remember ever seeing it so, I must have been very young by the time it was gone. Strawberry birthmarks seem to be genetically prevelent in our family and I am surprised one of the boys didn't have one. A strawberry is a slightly raised bright red birthmark of various sizes appearing either at birth or soon thereafter. Most strawberries disappear by the ages of 5-10, though some must be removed or treated.
My cousin had one like this that faded when she was about 4 or 5 years old.
I also have a Café au lait Spot, a flat birthmark, usually oval and a light brown color slightly darker than your skin tone. Mine is very light and only appears darker when I've been out in the sun for some reason. This is a permanent birthmark. Liam also has 2 Cafe' au lait spots, which developed after birth. While I was researching birthmarks I found that this type of birthmark is a symptom of Neurofibromatosis so, if your little one develops several of these over time, please talk to your pediatrician. We actually made a doctor's appt. for this week just to get Liam's birthmarks checked out since I read about these. Darn internet! I warn people about reading about baby issues on there, and then I go and do it myself!

You can't really even notice, can you?
It's so light that I did not even notice it for quite a while! Maybe he did have this at birth, who knows?! He also has one on his belly now, but it's hardly noticable in the picture. It is now much darker, though, and almost in the same place as mine. :)
As for Josiah, his delivery was a rough one and there were some complications along the way. He really, really didn't want to come out and after 23 hours, his little heartrate was dropping, I had a fever, and when my water broke earlier, there was meconium in it, so the doctor performed an emergency c-section. Believe me, after 23 hours I was ready for the 9 pound baby to come into the world!! He came out with a port-wine stain on his right leg, foot, and toes. A port-wine stain is a birthmark usually appearing at birth and is either red or purple in color, varying in sizes and shapes, but mostly are large and appear on the head (i.e. Mikhail Gorbachev). It is caused by capillaries bursting under the skin and creating a pocket of blood, sort of like a tattoo. Josiah's is flat, but they can also be slightly raised and are permanent, grow proportionally, and can change colors. Josiah's birthmark, as I looked at it today, has faded drastically over the past 2.5 years and although it is growing with him, it seems small in comparison to how it looked on him as an infant.
In this picture you can see part of the stain at the top of the leg, but it also wraps around the back and there are dots along the side of his leg and on his toes.
His pediatrician told us many people with port-wine stains go through laser therapy to reduce the redness and size of the birthmark, but suggested we wait until Josiah was older, as it could fade and become smaller on its own... and it has.

This was his birthmark right before his 2nd birthday. It's bigger, but also lighter.

This is the birthmark at 2 years and 8 months! It has faded drastically. I am always afraid that people think I abuse him because the birthmarks resemble bruises more than anything. There is even one part that looks like the outline of a finger. It's a birthmark, people, I swear!
I wanted him to have the laser surgery when he was an infant, but now it just seems to fit him and is just part of his uniqueness and personality. I really hope he doesn't choose to get it removed one day.

Josiah and Liam were also born with a Salmon Patch, better known as a Stork Bite or Angel Kiss, in the middle of his forehead.
Okay, so the birthmarks are there. They are just barely visible unless they crying or upset... You can see it in Liam's picture a little better (He's the bottom picture, if you couldn't tell!) since he is crying. Stork bites are caused by the stretching of certain blood vessels and can change color, getting lighter or darker if your child cries or when touched. They remind me of those 80s hypercolor t-shirts. They usually disappear by 18 months of age, but Josiah's is still there. Only two little dots remain at this point, but they are there!

There are several other types of birthmarks out there and when you search on google, you can find all sorts of information, some of which is actually informative and others are just a bit terrifying.  

What types of birthmarks do you and/or your children have?


Angel said...

my son and i both have café-au-lait birth marks. his is right by his belly button and mine is on the back of my neck.

nay said...

Katie has the angel kiss on her forhead and Michael has a skin tumor on a finger.

earthlymama said...

nay- that's right! i totally forgot about michael's, though i even read about it the other night!

Buzzfloyd said...

I have a birthmark on my arm that I don't see listed on the Wikipedia page - maybe it's related to the cafe au lait kind. My mother refers to it as a tea-stain birthmark. It looks a lot like a patch of really dirty old skin that needs to be exfoliated, but it's a permanent mark. I guess it's a bit like the cafe au lait marks, but speckled instead of being a block of darker colour.

I haven't noticed any birthmarks on Michael, although he did have a round patch of hair on one side of his head that was blonder than the rest, which made me wonder if the skin underneath it was a different colour too.

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