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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

behold the entry that will probably convince my wife that it's time to leave me

first of all, thanks to all the commenters who left helpful, hopeful, kind encouraging thoughts on strawberry marks. cheers to you! and now, an update on the situation: so our gruff pediatrician tells us, as i imagined she would, that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. we had indeed diagnosed the splotch correctly; it is in fact a little strawberry hemangioma. "oh that's nothing," she says when she sees it. "that'll be gone by the time she's two. i have seen truly terrifying strawberry marks. i have seen babies with strawberry marks on their internal organs."

um. come again?

yeah, so she tried to reassure us in her special blunt way that we have nothing to worry about, how it will go away and "i can give you a number of a dermatologist but i'll bet you my career that they won't touch a four-week-old." (i love this pediatrician, by the way. mrs nice guy isn't so sure. there are two of them in the practice: this one, the jaded cynical new york jew, and another one with an unidentifiable patrician new england accent and serious granola mellow vibe. like oil and water these two. love them.)

so just as i thought: this purple blobule is ugly and may even get uglier, but it will go away. it doesn't hurt the baby, who is too little to even realize it's there. we wait it out and it'll be gone by the time baby is three. case closed.

or is it?

mr nice guy is not afraid to be totally honest with you. he's a little vain. like a 14 year old girl he will change his outfit 7 times before leaving the house. he's a good looking gentleman. dapper, svelte, with a little pep in his step and glide in his stride. just so. (although, truth be told, for all his prideful effort he rarely looks like anything other than an upwardly mobile homeless man.) mrs nice guy, on the other hand, has no care for the corporeal. she's always impeccably appointed and gorgeous, of course. but it's accidental. she'll toss on any old thing and never look back. she scoffs at mere mortals so self-involved as to stoop to look in a mirror.

so. why is it that she is totally losing her grip on the fact that her daughter has a little purple freckle on her nose? the kid has a mark, yes--it may even grow nastier, sure--but it's painless and temporary. still, the missus is obsessed. she measures it every hour; she compares older photos with the nose today; she has charted the growth potential of the capillary cluster. she has, I SHIT YOU NOT, begun nightly swabbing the thing with water from Lourdes cathedral that her mother brought from france TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO. my wife the agnostic has found religion in a stagnant bottle of quarter-century-old algae-infested holy water. i am totally not joking. it may not cure the strawberry mark, but at least maybe it will give her a water-borne bacterial disease. i questioned the wisdom of this and she replied "i don't care what you say, i am dabbing the outside of her nose every damn day and you can't stop me." (sorry baby, you know i love you. step away from the computer, take a deep breath and please put down that cleaver.)

she wants to rally dermatologists, plastic surgeons, sand-blasting crews, tony soprano, anyone who can take this thing off her baby. it's hard not to sympathize with mama, but i want to wait it out. let the blob run its course. it may eat her whole face, but as long as it doesn't obstruct her breathing and goes away naturally, i am happy to be father to the neighborhood freak in the interim. this is shaping up to be one of the greatest battles of all time, paling in comparison to any face-off in gettysburg, lexington, waterloo, normandy or fenway park. god help us, forget the splotch, i don't know if i will still be here when the dust settles.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You and the Mrs. are feeling a bit gloomy and concerned, because this baby is YOUR PERFECT CREATION! How dare there be a spot on her nose, you say! Everyone wants their own little child to be void of any blemish, and god forbid they have some sort of deformity which may be the source or some mockery by other youngsters...

You just want your baby to be perfect. I feel the same way about mine. I was just up with my lil' gal ALL DAMN NIGHT and in the ER this morning cause she broke out in some crazy rashy allergic reaction all over her body.

Scares us parents half to death.

6/15/2005 9:19 AM  
Blogger Krissy said...

Meh, go to a dermotologist.

Chances are it will be another doctor's appointment where they say the exact same thing, but if it will make MNG feel better, why not?

I don't like it when my little boy gets a zit, so I can imagine that a strawberry mark that might grow and grow would freak her out.

Go to the doctor. Your life will be easier if you give her the space to freak and to get over it in her own time and space.

6/15/2005 9:40 AM  
Blogger c said...

Go to the dermatologist. It'll make the Mrs. happy and he/she will most likely do nothing anyway.

And, in time, the Mrs. will realize that if this is the worst thing to ever happen to BabyGirl Nice Guy, you will indeed be lucky. This I know.

6/15/2005 9:50 AM  
Blogger Shal said...

yeah I agree with the others... I just think she is worried that it is a forever type of thing. She may just want some more reassuarance from a dermatologist that it's not, and that by the time the lil one is 3 that it'll be gone. I hope when we have our kiddo that we get blessed with the health your lil one has :)

6/15/2005 10:41 AM  
Blogger Jill Vatican said...

Hang in there Dad!!! New moms have to have something to obsess about! Be glad it's not something about YOU that has her riled up!

6/15/2005 11:32 AM  
Blogger Hostile in Ohio said...

Out damn spot...out I say!


Anyway, I'm sorry if I added to the fear any...I just know that sometimes you are told it will all be fine and it won't.....So if it were me, I'd like to have the dermatologists appointment to help me face down my irrational fears.

The doctors told me, it was okay that my son didn't babble or talk, and I didn't push for a specialist since "clearly" I was being irrational. Ryan didn't get any help for a serious speech disorder until he was nearly 2. I could have gotten him help earlier, but instead I sat at home feeling like an idiot because the doctors said "he's fine, it's nothing" and it wasn't fine and it wasn't nothing (though to be fair in the majority of cases, it is generally nothing to worry about).

So my opinion is get the appointment, it may be nothing at all, and at her current age it is hard to tell with hemangiomas, but it will help ease the fears for a little while.

6/15/2005 12:29 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

Angela and Mrs. Nice Guy- I feel your pain. Remember: nobody knows your baby better than you do and nobody cares as much for her (or his) wellbeing. I screamed and freaked out about a nasty infection in my newborn daughter's eye that showed up when she was about 48 hours old. Oh- it's a blocked duct, totally normal, blah blah blah. I wanted a referral to a specialist, they didn't think it was necessary. For 9 months, all I got was prescriptions for increasingly potent antibiotocs and a write up in her chart for being "difficult." Our pediatrician even pulled my husband aside and told him I needed to "chill out." Fuck that. We fired her and paid for a trip to a specialist who immediately scheduled the babe for surgery. He also did some tests on her eye to MAKE SURE SHE COULD SEE OUT OF IT because it had a resistant infection in it for nine whole months. yeah.
Thankfully, we hooked up w/ a new pediatrician who was emapthetic and appropriately concerned about her oozing eye. He authorized the surgery.
Okay, here's the happy ending: baby girl is a happy 5 year old with 20/20 visiona and penchant for jumping off of high things (so depth perception seems okay, too). BNG will probably be a radiant supermodel with an acne- free adolescence. BUT- don't tell that little voice inside to shut up just because somebody with a licence to practice tells you to.
Unrelated side question about the Mongolian spot: If you're from the UAE, isn't that technically considered Asia? Asia Minor? just wondering.

6/15/2005 12:56 PM  
Blogger Chickie said...

May I suggest boiling the holy water? Maybe you could do it while Mrs. Nice Guy is asleep so she won't ever know.

6/15/2005 4:03 PM  
Blogger Mater Nice Guy said...

I think you are fortunate to have so many nice, and concerned bloggers, and sympathize with many of them as well. There is nothing that I can say that hasn't been said, or feel that hasn't been felt. It is not irrational to be scared. It is healthy to be optimistic. So, take deep breaths and don't say things you can't take back. Hopefully, this too will pass and more quickly than indicated.

6/15/2005 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all strawberries go away. My daughter has one under her arm on her chest wall. She's 2.5 years old and it's still there. Probably the size of a nickel, maybe more, although it used to be much larger. It doesn't protrude like it used to, it's fading from it's horrible red color. Our pedi says that at this point, if it hasn't gone away on it's own, it's not going to go away 100%.

Since this is in a spot where it's not easily seen we'll wait and see what it's like at 5-years old. If it's still there we may consider having it lasered off. Personal appearance is a BIG DEAL. It's nice to be PC and joke about "vanity", but be real. The way you look is how people perceive you and treat you. If my daughter's strawberry had been on her face we would have moved mountains to have it removed as soon as it was medically safe (4-weeks is probably a bit early). Strawberries on the face, ESPECIALLY those by the nose or eyes, can and often do interfere with breathing or vision. And there's no doubt whatsoever that they will cause people to treat a child differently. It is simply not possible to look at anyone, child or not, with a bright red, raised mark on their face, and not have some kind of reaction.

I would do anything to prevent my child from being stared at, whispered about, or even worse, to have people look at him/her and then quickly look away (perhaps with a look of disgust or revulsion on their face). I would do anything to prevent my child from being teased (kids are very, very cruel). I would do anything to prevent my child from standing out in a negative manner, if at all possible. I would want my child to have cute baby pictures to show friends & family.

Some strawberries on the face can leave the face permanently changed after they fade. The old thinking used to be to just let them run their course. The new thinking is more compassionate. The new thinking says to remove strawberries. I agree wholeheartedly. Save character-building lessons for when the child is old enough to learn them. Just because a strawberry is on the outside doesn't mean it isn't hurting the baby on the inside via impaired social development.


6/16/2005 2:38 AM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

"Save character-building lessons for when the child is old enough to learn them."

save the lecturing for someone else, tulip. i'm not stupid, i'm not unaware. i don't live in a vacuum. of COURSE i have the child's best interests at heart. of COURSE i know kids can be cruel. did i say i am washing my hands of this issue? no. did i say i am taking a wait-and-see approach instead of a preemptive war approach? yes. do you think i want a disfigured child who doesn't have to be disfigured? give me a freakin' break, this baby is five weeks old. let's wait a few months and see what this mark does before we go shooting lasers up her snoot.

6/16/2005 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, you assumed I was lecturing you, when in fact I was not. I know you're not stupid, I know you love your daughter and have her best interests at heart, I know how you feel because you expressed yourself clearly in your blog. I thought my words would be taken as words of sympathy and fellowship. My words were in response to those doctors and citizens who see no harm in letting a baby go around with large marks on their face when we now have technology to remove them safely (and clearly you're not one of those, MNG).

My daughter had other marks (stork bites) on her face, but those did fade within a year. However, I had lots of people make very hurtful remarks to me about her, including how having marks on her face would build her character. I thought that perhaps a fellow parent who obviously dotes on his daughter would identify with my pathos. I thought I was showing solidarity with you because I've faced what you're now facing. Clearly my words & intention was completely lost, and for that I apologize.


6/16/2005 11:54 AM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

no worries, tulip. i lost my cool. as you may imagine i am overcaffeinated and underslept.

one love.

6/16/2005 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know this is redundant but... I had a strawberry mark as a child, right on my side. As I got older, it faded more and more, now i really have to look for the very, very minute red veins. I believe it'll be gone before she will even care about it, mine was.

6/21/2005 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I enjoy reading your blog and your very humorous look at parenthood. I just thought I would mention that the term "strawberry" when referred to a hemangioma is actually outdated and not accurate. My 10 month old dughter has quite a large hemangioma on the back of her arm. She was born with it. At this point we are doing the wait and see approach but are going to see a specialist for a consult in a few weeks. My husband is very much wanting to let it involute on it's own and I prefer to have it removed as soon as possible. There is a great website that I found after many hours of searching the net for hemangioma inforamtion. The site is:

Another good one is:

If you go to these sites you will see there is an excellent doctor who has worked extensively with hemangiomas in New York. People come from all over to see him. I wish we could see him but I am in Canada. Anyway, maybe some of that info will help you and your wife. Feel free to email me if I can help you at all or if yo would like to seee a pic of my daughter's hemangioma. email at

6/24/2005 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr nice guy I have some pictures to share with you and your wife of my beautiful baby girl naomi who is 5 1/2 months old with a huge hemangioma on her left eyelid that grew from a mear shadow at birth to a bulbous mass that closed her eye and has endangered her vision in 6 short weeks. we are seeing a very reputable plastic sergion and she is being treated with steroids to reduce the swelling and open the eye so she can see. and we love her to death weather the mark stays or goes as all the doctors and passers by at the market tell us it will. (weve heard it all ) and to be perfectly honest besides wanting to sue the pediatricians that told us to leave it alone completely we have accepted that this is who nAOMI IS NOW AND WILL BE A BETTER PERSON FOR IT AND IS MAKING US BOTH BETTER PEOPLE TO SHE IS HAPPY HEALTHY ENERGETIC AND BEAUTIFUL DEVELOPING NORMALLY IN EVERY WAY ONE COULD IMAGINE AND WE ALL FEEL BLESSED THAT SHE IS WHO SHE IS AND i WOULD VERY MUCH like to share photos with you so you can see how well we are all doing or any other responder who would like to speak and share

6/28/2006 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please excuse my poor spelling typing im reading and wriing in betwen diper changes and feeding of naomi

6/28/2006 9:11 AM  

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