Charlie’s Hemangioma | What’s Wrong With Her Face?

January 12, 2016
hemangioma

My infant daughter, Charlie Kate has a large “birthmark” on her face called a capillary hemangioma. To be specific, it’s about 5cm x 6cm. It is usually the first thing people notice about her. I know, because it’s usually the first thing that people comment on.

I try, daily, to remind myself that most humans are kind and well intentioned. I don’t get angry about brief stares. I understand that it’s human nature to do a double take when you see something about someone that makes them different. That said, I’d like to share some knowledge.

First, Hemangioma 101.

A capillary hemangioma is a vascular tumor that can range in size and shape. It’s a birthmark, essentially.

Sometimes they are referred to as “strawberries”. Hemangiomas are a defect that occurs extremely early in pregnancy when the vascular system is developing. There is no known cause or prevention. Depending on the location, they can be troublesome if left untreated, because some of their rapid growth. For example, a hemangioma that’s sitting near an airway could grow until it closed an airway or a hemangioma on an eyelid could block vision. They can also be a marker for some other more serious disorders. For that reason, most physicians will order diagnostic tests to rule out any other internal involvement as a precaution. For us, any other complication were eliminated and Charlie’s hemangioma was deemed cosmetic. She is observed by her specialists to make sure it doesn’t ever obstruct her vision and she takes a daily medication to keep it from growing any larger. Most hemangiomas involute or disappear eventually.

I’ve gotten a variety of remarks from family, friends, and strangers. I’ve done some thinking and I want to share our perspective as parents.

We don’t need to talk about it every time you look at her. We see past the color of her face. Charlie is Charlie and it’s part of who she is. It doesn’t need to be constantly commented on, critiqued, or questioned. While I don’t mind educating curious minds, I don’t need your opinion on how it its progress or the affect it may have on her. It’s a part of her unique beauty. It may never disappear, and guess what? It doesn’t have to. I would much rather chat about her latest milestone achievement, her amazing smile, or how gorgeous her eyes are.

She isn’t in pain or ill. She simply has an unusual quality about her appearance. The most common sentiments are “I’m praying that it goes away.” Or “Bless her poor little heart.” I’m constantly being asked “When will that go away?” I’ve even heard things as harsh as “turn her to her good side” or “Too bad, she’s so pretty otherwise”.

I encourage you to, instead of praying her hemangioma will disappear, pray that she grows into a confident girl who loves herself no matter what she looks like. Pray that constant comments and opinions from friends, family and strangers will end before she’s old enough to overhear them. Pray that she will be a strong person in the in an age where we are bullied for any number of reasons.

I encourage you to look past it. What if I came up to you and loudly asked “What’s wrong with your baby’s weird ____ ?” Or, “I will pray for your child that her (genetically unusual quality) goes away.”

Just consider that. Consider that you are offering to pray away one of my daughter’s beautiful features that makes her who she is.

Hold the pity. She’s a healthy baby girl and we are blessed. Her hemangioma is just as insignificant to who she is as a freckle on her arm. You don’t need to mention it, and you don’t need to wish it away.

She doesn’t have a “good side” that we choose for family pictures. I don’t retouch her hemangioma in photos. Her entire face is my sweet Charlie, and it doesn’t matter what it looks like.

hemangioma

Edited 3/7/16 to add FAQ and answers in response to the viral media attention:

What medication does she take and when did she begin it?

She takes Propranolol, a beta-blocker approved to treat hemangiomas by keeping them from growing and to initiate the shrinking and fading phase (involution). She started the meds when she was six weeks old.

What specialists does she see?

She sees a pediatric dermatologist who specializes in vascular anomalies and a pediatric ophthalmologist every 1-2 months.

Does she have any other issues such as eye problems or breathing problems?

As of now, her vision is still perfect, as is the shape of that eye. Her airways are totally clear and she has no problems there.

Does it hurt her?

It does not. She doesn’t know its there.

How do you know she doesn’t have any of the other associated syndromes such as Sturges-Weber or PHACES?

With a segmental hemangioma such as Charlie’s it is protocol to test for other markers for these syndromes and do extensive imaging to make sure there are no underlying problems. She had a head and neck MRI/MRA, an echocardiogram and extensive blood testing during a three day hospital stay at six weeks old which was necessary to observe her as she started the medication.

Aren’t you worried she will be picked on?

Just as much as I am worried my son will be picked on. As a mother, I obviously don’t want either of my kids to ever hurt. I want them to be happy and loved and have a large circle of friends. However, I am not naive enough to believe that these things will come from the color of one of their cheeks. I plan to try and raise my children to be strong, kind, open-minded, loving people and I believe that those things will determine their successes in life. I have literally received hundreds of messages from adults who had hemangiomas as children who have told me that if anything it made them more accepting of others. I haven’t gotten a single negative response from anyone who has first hand experience with it.

If surgery can be done, why wouldn’t you do it?

All hemangiomas are not created the same. What you can see is the “tip of the iceberg” so to speak. Imaging is required to see where it actually goes. Every hemangioma on every person is totally unique. At this time, Charlie’s doesn’t require surgery because her hemangioma is not threatening anything. There are amazing medications in modern medicine that are being used to treat hemangiomas, and that is the route we are on. Should something change and Charlie’s health be threatened; believe that I will be the first to make sure she is taken care of.

Why do you want this to get attention?

You know, it has been a strange ride. I started blogging in November. My blog is about my life in every aspect. I felt like I wanted to get some of my feelings about the reactions to Charlie off of my chest, so I wrote about it. I didn’t publish it yet, though. I pasted it into a discussion board with only other parents of kids with hemangiomas to see what they thought. The response was huge and impactful. They all wanted me to use my blog to advocate for them, for our kids. I was nervous, but I posted the most personal blog post I have ever written. Another friend, who had a child with special needs, encouraged me to submit it to The Mighty (a site that includes many positive stories of people overcoming different illnesses or disabilities). So, I did. I thought those parents could relate, too. From there, it’s been picked up by a ton of news outlets. I lost count. At first, I didn’t know why it was taking off and was stunned by how many people related to my story. Then, the messages starting pouring in. Mothers who were moved to tears because they knew how I felt. People who have hemangiomas who found a greater appreciation for their own parents through my post. The occasional troll can’t dull the light that has come from this story, and I am so thankful. All I did was love my daughter and write about it. This is bigger than me. I am just watching it unfold.

Update: Charlie’s Hemangioma One Year Later

 

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393 Comments

  • Reply Katy Widrick January 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Oh my goodness she is SO sweet with that bow!

    My 9-week-old has a hemangioma as well. I’d never heard of the word two months ago and now I feel like I’ve taken a crash course in all things related to vascular birthmarks. Hers is quite small but it’s right on her forehead and because it’s a mixed hemangioma, it looks sort of like a bruise with a blood blister. It doesn’t hurt her at all but people have started to ask us how she “bumped her head” or tell me “at least you can cover it with a headband.”

    Of all the things we can deal with as parents, this is pretty low on the scary scale. But it is tough, mama. Hang in there.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks, Katy! I know my feelings are unique to those of us who have to deal with it first hand, but I think its good for people to see another perspective!

      • Reply Christina Cimini March 7, 2016 at 1:03 am

        Thank you so much for this post! I am currently 28 years old and had a large hemangioma on my face when I was a baby. It was closing my eye and pushing it out of the socket at the same time. With steroid injections and time the swelling went down and now I just have red marks on my right temple and above my eye. It was difficult for my parents when they walked through the mall and got nasty stares from people. Sometimes I was made fun of in school for the marks on my eye. It is important for people to learn that comments can hurt even when unintentional. So, thanks again! This post meant a lot to me.

      • Reply Cristina March 7, 2016 at 3:37 am

        She is beautiful!!! I am 42 years old and I have a a pretty big birthmark on my forehead between my eyebrows and till this day people stare at me and make fun of me… however I always remember what my grandpa told me, God made you this way and you are unique and beautiful… I’m glad I never removed it.. I’m proud of it.. I became a teacher I teach Elementary school and always for the 1st day of school I sit down with my students and I let them observe me and ask questions.. The following days its all normal to them…In life we have to deal with ignorant people, that’s it… your baby is beautiful!!!!

      • Reply Bianca Benitez March 8, 2016 at 3:21 pm

        She’s absolutely beautiful!! Thank you for posting your family’s story. I understand if you continue on this path but should you want another one, please consider looking at a “cold laser”. I’ve seen hemangiomas larger than hers totally eradicated with no surgical intervention needed. Best wishes to you and your family. 🙂

      • Reply Brandi March 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm

        Thank you so much for your post. My 12 year daughter was born with a hemangioma inside her left cheek. By the time she was 6 months old it was the size of a golf ball. She was referred to a wonderful pediatric cosmetic surgeon in Atlanta with whom we saw every other month for two years for steroid treatments. We struggled so much with people’s comments, especially adults. It was painful because we never saw her as different, but beautiful. I am happy to say that our daughter is beautiful and confident and loves her face. Her cheek is much smaller now, but she is often asked “do you have candy in your mouth?”, or “what’s wrong with your cheek?” Her reply is always, “I was born with this way” with a big smile on her face. Keep up the good work mom! You daughter is precious, and will know she is beautiful inside and out.

      • Reply Mary March 9, 2016 at 8:35 pm

        My daughter also had a hemangioma as an infant that began to grow rapidly. At the time she was put on steroids to stop the growth and begin shrinking it. She’s 21 now and there are no signs of the birthmark except her eye is a bit malformed where it was the largest. I was continually asked what was wrong with her eye when she was a baby, but I just told them it was a birthmark and she was fine. I believed their intentions were out of concern and weren’t harmful. Just to note – her birthmark shrunk and faded almost completely by the time she was 2 years old (we started the steroids at 6 months). It wont’ be forever! Kudos to you for sharing!

      • Reply Betty Loughran March 12, 2016 at 1:51 am

        Hi
        My daughter was born with a large port wine stain on her cheek. It took awhile for someone to finally tell me what it was. Every time we went to the pediatrician I would ask the doctor why her face was red. Finally at 4 months old I was told what it was. I remember all the stares, questions and feeling what did I do wrong that this happened. My grandmother swore it was because I was craving wine when I was pregnant and never had it. I felt embarrassed at first because people always made me feel that I wasn’t a good mother because they always assumed she fell or I wasn’t watching her correctly. When she was 4 she was dancing in my room in front of the mirror and she stopped and stared at herself. She started screaming for me and said look I have something bad on my face. I will never forget that moment. I said that is were an angle kissed you when you where a baby, you are beautiful and special. She would share that story if she was asked what happened to your face? As she grew the kids never seem to be bothered by it but it was always an adult that would make a comment. We went for laser sugery for 5 yrs but the pain she went through was worse then the stares she endorsed. When she entered Middle School she decided she didn’t want to go anymore for lazer surgery anymore. We bought the make up that people recommend but she never used. At her sweet 16 we had her hair and make up done and we asked them not to cover her birthmark. Her Graduation pictures came and they were able to touch them up but she DID NOT want too. This birthmark was part of her. Who she was and who she grew to become. I realized after All these year My Job was Complete that I Raised A Confident, Beautiful Stong Woman!!! She’s as beautiful on the inside as the outside. She’s going to be 20 years old next week and I couldn’t be more proud of the person she it!!!! Thank you for your story your daughter is beautiful and the world will see it❤️

      • Reply Josh c March 14, 2016 at 1:20 am

        Hey my daughter had the same type of birthmark and we put pure vitamin e oil out of the capsules u get at pharmacy every note after her bath every note and it has taken about 6, years bit has about disapeared

      • Reply Mandy November 29, 2016 at 10:18 pm

        Thank you so much for this post! I know it was posted awhile ago but I just came across it through another website! My daughter also has a hemangioma in the middle of her forehead and the comments and rude questions I fielded as a first time mom were so hurtful. To me, my daughter is perfect and the “red mark” on her forehead doesn’t change that. But the number of times I was asked if she was dropped or fell… it broke my heart and made me feel like an awful parent that people would assume that of me just by looking at my daughter. My daughter has never taken medication for hers and likely will never need to but to hear stories and know there are other parents out there that have felt the things I have felt… it helps. My daughter is now two and older children often ask about “her spot” or touch it and poke it. I am not offended by the innocence of children as they are only curious and most generally as nice as can be expected given their age but what I love most is that even when others ask about it… my daughter still barely notices. At almost two and a half she has only just recently realized it was there. I explained to her that it was her angel kiss as she was sent to me from heaven. (Back story: The day my daughter was born was also the day my best friend lost her grandmother, a woman I also considered as a grandmother. Since that day, we have always said that Gran kissed my daughter on the forehead before she sent her from heaven.) She did try to scrub it off once while looking at herself in the mirror. 🙂 But now she recognizes it as part of her and likes to look at it when looking in the mirror.

        Thank you for your post! Hang in there mommas! (And dads). There are enough big things to worry about than others shaming us for our beautiful kiddos’ “angel kisses”!

        • Reply katiemcrenshaw December 5, 2016 at 7:17 am

          Thank you again for your continued support!

    • Reply Angela Stieg January 12, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      My daughter was born with PHACE syndrome. Hemangiomas on her face in several locations & internally on several. After much doctoring, chemo, & steroids, I found “raw ginger” shrinks them and with zero side affects. She is almost 9 now & doing wonderfully & most of her hemangiomas are completely gone. This worked for my daughter but I am not a doctor so do the research yourself. One specialist confirmed the ginger worked, the others at Cincinnati Children’s Hosp. said, “keep doing what you’re doing”.

    • Reply Michael Nataro March 4, 2016 at 2:54 am

      God bless you!

      So our little girl had (has) one too, covering most of the side of her head and in front of her ear. After much angst and after the discovery that it was not the terrible PHACE syndrome, we were able to significantly shrink the hemangioma with a regimen of Propranolol. When it began to involute, it scabbed pretty badly, which was tricky to keep our little one from picking. Anyway, bottom line: she’s just four and you can hardly see it any more. Charlie is beautiful! Keep the faith and God bless you all!

    • Reply Bre March 4, 2016 at 4:21 am

      This brought tears to my eyes. I deal with this every single day. My daughter was born with two tumors, just like hemangiomas, but they have grown on the inside of her eye, into her nerves, and then surface on her eyelid. The tumors block her nerves so she has been blind in one of her eyes since birth until just this week and she is finally responding some with both eyes! They are very noticeable, and the remarks we hear are unbelievable. But the Lord made her absolutely flawless. Her eye may never be anyone else’s definition of “normal” but she’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever laid eyes on! Your sweet baby is beautiful, and your words went straight to my heart. Thank you so much! What a blessing you and your sweet girl are!

    • Reply Allen Desbiens March 4, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      I think she is beautiful – anyone’s opinion that does agree with that fact should not matter to you and your family…

      • Reply Bepa March 7, 2016 at 2:02 pm

        I agree with you Allen. She is perfect!

    • Reply Wenonah Johnson March 5, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      My niece’s daughter was born with something similar and keep growing. She was treated with blood pressure meds for over a year. Not only was it on her face but had a feeder to the optic nerve and pushing her out and causing vision problems. She is now 18 months and off the meds and doing great!

      Your daughter is beautiful and do’t let anyone tell you anything else. I remember being with my niece and her daughter and people telling her to get plastic surgery as soon as possible.

    • Reply Jess Bedford March 6, 2016 at 11:29 am

      Charlie is very cute. My daughter has two on her face, born with one the size of half a large strawberry on her hairline/forehead and one between her nose and her lips which was the size of a large blueberry. I had family comment and strangers make remarks also but I didn’t see her birthmarks we saw past them as she is such a cheeky little monkey and such a cute little girl. As she has grown over the years they have both gradually shrunk and fades in colour also as they were originally as red as a strawberry and now then are now the pale pink of your tongue. Just don’t take people’s questions to heart if you can,majority of it is they are unaware and once explained 9/10 of them had the same birthmark but it faded by the time they were 6! Enjoy these beautiful years as Charlie will grown really quickly. xx

    • Reply Carrie March 6, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      My daughter had a hemangioma by her eye as an infant. She took daily medication and had 4 or 5 Vbeam procedures before she was one year old to limit its growth. I never minded comments from kiddos, but was amazed how awful adults could be with their comments. Thank you for posting your mind and getting awareness out there.

    • Reply betty stewart March 7, 2016 at 2:41 am

      I have a grand child who had the same thing we ended up having hers removed . they kept saying it would go away they die at two years well a certain doctor wanted her for a case study .and said we will watch had he done his job we would have known it was fed threw an artery . we were blessed to find doctor Levington and he did a great job removing hers. she is now six . we have heard all kinds of rude remarks for three years. i would love to show you before and after pics but i don’t do Instagram but do face book.your baby is beautiful in our house we refer to the hemanginoma as a kiss spot

    • Reply Caroline March 7, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      My daughter is almost five years old and she also has these birthmarks. She has a little one on her chin and a large one on her neck under her ear. I completely agree with everything you have said. Myself and my partner (my daughters father) have had countless people over the years comment on her strawberries. From complete stranges in a shop, to friends and family members. Myself and my partner can never understand why people think it is ok to point and stare and comment on it, especially in front of our daughter. She is a happy and healthy child, it will always be part of her, and we feel that she would not be who she is today without it. x

    • Reply Martin van der Heijden (The Netherlands europe) March 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      The only thing I see is a beautifull little girl, with beautifull eyes. I wish her all the love,happiness, fun and fortune in her life. God bless…

    • Reply Josje March 7, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      She’s beautiful! 🙂

      My little girl (15 months now) has a hemangioma too. In fact, she’s got 3 small ones in her face. So I know what it’s like to hear people talk about whatever they think.

      My girl got treated with Propranolol and, a year later, they hardly can be seen. If it was purely cosmetic I wouldn’t have done it, but her sight was at risk.
      I don’t know if you’ve heard about this treatment. And I don’t know if they use this treatment outside the Netherlands because it’s sometimes they just started doing.

    • Reply Jane Davis March 7, 2016 at 10:38 pm

      She is a lovely, pretty little baby. My son-in-law has a much larger mark, which has not disappeared, and of course has experienced all the usual negative comments, but his personality is so big and so positive that you forget all about it in moments. My daughter loves him as he is, and so do we all. In social terms he is extremely successful and nearly everyone wants to talk to him and be his friend. From the twinkle in her eyes, I bet your little girl has a terrific personality.

    • Reply Tracey guy March 7, 2016 at 11:35 pm

      I’ve just a heated discssion with a few folk on social media.
      No it’s not ever ok to ask questions. Yes it’s ok to try your best not to stare.
      Be a big enough person to see past the small part of an individual, be smart or creative enough to deal with it in a way that make you work your brain. Believe me her mum is sick of answering the same questions.
      Children of course, are excluded from the above rules. I’ve watched as thousands of parents cringe as the curiosity of their children bursts hence forth out of their mouths and into the formally noisy cafe/restaurant /train carriage and silence descends as my performance of explaining my port wine stain reaches scene 367 Act 430. This I never mind. I find often after my kind and funny explanation to the puzzled child is over I have then to listen to three choruses of ” I’m so sorry ” from the mortified parents.
      No need I assure you. I find often that a small child’s interpretation of what they see is so sweet and utterly beautiful it’s an absolute pleasure to talk to them.
      But for the very obvious reasons, the adults, oh the adults that ask.

    • Reply Erika March 8, 2016 at 2:48 am

      Love your post. I remember this situation all so well. My daughter had an hemangioma on her check. It grew to the size just bigger than a golf ball. When she would cry I could feel her heartbeat in her check. We got so many stairs, whispers and irritating comments.i finally made up business cards that explained what she had.
      We did laser treatments from 6 weeks old till she was about 18months. At about 23 months old I found a surgeon in L.A that worked at the LA children’s hospital.
      We had dr.s tell us that she didn’t have self awareness till 5. That was not true. She got to where she would play by herself or would hid her face around other kids because they would poke it. Our insurance didn’t want to pay for her surgery either cuz they said it was cosmetic. It wasn’t. If she was to fall because of it being blood vessels she could bleed out so quickly….. So we went on our local news and we put it out there how they felt it was cosmetic. They called back the next day approving it.
      I can’t tell you how grateful we are that she was able to reserve this surgery. She is now a senior in High School that loves the scar she has on her check from where her hemangioma once was.
      You are so amazingly strong and inspiring.

    • Reply Mona Chapa March 8, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      I don’t feel sorry for your daughter. In fact I wish I could be nearby to grab her chubby cheeks!!! She’s a perfect baby and beautiful by the way. She has no better side, she is better all together!!!! I myself have a son who was born with a large defect to many, to me, all my kids are perfect!!!!! He was born with severe club feet! He is now 14 years old and he is often called names at school and they make fun of how he walks. A coach in the first grade would make him run laps only to make fun of the way he ran, until I went to school and advised that coach that if one of his kids was made fun of as much as he made fun of mine he wouldn’t like it. I sure didn’t enjoy my son coming home with different nicknames given by his classmates and teachers. Very ignorant I think!!! As a newborn, he was casted. People would often ask me, if both legs were casted because they were broken…!!!! Imagine a new born falling from a bed or something and then ending up with broken legs…. What kind of parent would I be? They would always ask me what was wrong with him? I started answering anything that came to my mind. All from, he fell down the stairs ( as a newborn) .. To, “I laid too much on his legs when I was pregnant” I hated for people to just stare as if I was carrying something out of the ordinary. I started covering his little legs to avoid all the questions that I hated to hear. As my son grew I never treated him different than my other son. Even though he was casted all the way to his upper thighs I would leave him on my bed and at 10 months he learned how to get off the bed, without getting hurt of course. He couldn’t crawl because of his casts but he would drag himself to find me around the house! Always with a huge smile on his face!!! I didn’t want to make my son incapable of doing things just because of his defect! He is in highschool now and he walks different than the rest, but guess what? He walks and I am grateful for that! My older son was protective over him as he was going into highschool because people can be ignorant and make him feel uncomfortable. At first he was very nervous about being accepted around the rest. I always told him that no one is perfect and that his imperfection is what makes him special! He has gotten used to people asking why he walks weird. He has gotten used to people asking why one of his shoes looks so bent! He always makes fun of himself because he is very clumpsy! First day of walking in class he tripped on a backpack and he says he just fell across the classroom, he says, he got up and couldn’t stop laughing trying to apologize to the teacher telling her, “good morning….. this is common…. so please get used to it”. Everyone started laughing afterwards and ever since he says he could care less what people ask or what people call him. Bottom line is, people can be so judgmental and ignorant and many think that feeling sorry for our children is a way to make it better. I don’t wish for anyone to go through all the pain and suffering my son went through with all his corrective surgeries, but I will never question God as to why my son is different! I can’t imagine him being different!!!! He is perfect to me and he has grown to understand it’s ok to be different!

      • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 2:01 pm

        Beautiful!! Thank you!

    • Reply Todd Robson March 9, 2016 at 3:09 am

      My cousin had that birthmark on her upper lip and cheek as an infant. It faded away after the years and as a young adult, competed in the Miss California pageant. No sign of the birth mark anymore. Even if it was still there she would be just as beautiful!

    • Reply PB March 9, 2016 at 3:39 am

      She is beautiful.

    • Reply rachel coffey March 9, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Your babe is a little beauty and a complete little miracle liek they all are.
      You are blessed with such a happy babe, so dont mind what anyone says.. she is lucky to have a wonderful mum and you of her xx

    • Reply Bobbi March 9, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      Hi Katie,
      I am a mom of now 21 year old twin girls. One of my gorgeous daughters was born with a hemangioma too. Taking care of two infants plus all that goes with it was hard enough. Because my daughters was growing so that her vision could have been compromised, we went through rounds of steroid injections and surgeries. The worst day was when a stranger asked why me baby had a black and blue eye, insinuating that she was abused.
      What got me through those days was the love of family and friends and the fact that she was beautiful no matter what.
      Your daughter is blessed to have a mom that she will forever be grateful for. You are showing her the true meaning of a mother’s love and that our beauty is not defined by anyone but ourselves.
      21 years later, my daughter is one of the strongest, most inspirational woman I know. (I’m taking a little bit of credit for that)

    • Reply Sarah March 10, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Your daughter is beautiful. My nephew was born with one on his face as well. He is 14 years old now and hes an awesome kids. Hes got a wonderful personality and people love him. His daddy told him a long time ago his birthmark was kisses from heaven. 🙂

    • Reply Andrea Scarcipino March 11, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      This made me smile. As the mother of a son with a hemangioma under his right eye I can relate. If I had a dollar for every time someone said “what happened to his eye? Or who beat him up?” I’d be rich! My son will be one year this month and it has taken me every bit of this year to practice patience with strangers. It used to upset me very much and I often felt like I was defending my baby. I remember going through all of the emotions being scared for his vision, being scared for him with other kids, being angry (why my baby?!), being sad, and now I swear I cannot imagine him without it. It makes him him! He doesn’t mind it so neither do I! We are also doing a beta blocker but I can’t say it has helped enormously. Anyway, from one mom to another, your article touched me. Best of luck to you, your family and that beautiful babe!

    • Reply Adrian March 13, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      I have a birthmark under my left eye since I was a baby and I want to say you’re a great mother forget what any idiotic comments people make the only thing that matters is your child’s happiness. Thank you for just being a good parent

    • Reply Shannah March 14, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      My nephew had same thing we heard it all people are rude and they will always act stupid cause somebody looks or acts differnt than how they do.. It’s a fact but we say theyy nephew was gifted and kissed by a angel that’s why he had his … His was little larger than your daughter’s and people just need to get over them selfs she is beutiful girl and I hope she takes pride in her beauty mark she is lucky, not just any body has them that’s why we call them kisses from angel … Good luck and keep strong! God Bless

    • Reply Jessica March 14, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      My beautiful daughter was born with a complex hemangiona on her right shoulder at the base of her neck. Many strangers comment on it, much to my surprise. Hemangeol(propranolol) has basically made it go from a tangerine size to a marble size in 4 months. Your baby is darling and can rock her spot! we call our daughter’s an “awesome mark”-the spot where her cool just couldn’t be contained! 😉

  • Reply Patricia January 12, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    My baby has a large hemangioma, as well, so I understand these comments (usually unintentionally) hurt. My daughter’s is on the back of her neck and a 10 year old girl walked up to me and asked when it would go away. I told her not fit quite a few years. She responded with, “At least her hair will eventually cover it.” This child meant no harm, but my mommy heart was broken. I do t try to hide it in pictures. I never shy away from people seeing it. It is a part of her and she is just perfect.

    I will say they my daughter’s IS causing her great pain and pushing her muscles out of alignment, therefore she has to have it surgically removed. Because of these issues, I welcome anyone who wants to pray it will go away. If I woke up tomorrow and it was gone, I could cancel the surgery and would be thrilled. I do understand, though why it can stil be hurtful to hear those words.

    Your daughter is absolutely gorgeous. She is lucky to have a mom who will stand up for her and instill confidence in her (as all parents should do for all of their children); just as I know you are very lucky to have her as a daughter. I am sure you are the same way, but I look at my daughter everyday and wonder, “How in the world did we get so lucky! She is perfect!” 🙂

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you so much. I do feel your situation is a little different, that’s why I pointed out that Charlie’s isn’t hurting her, it’s ONLY cosmetic. I always welcome prayers and I know people mean well. I just hope people will give it more thought next time they see someone who only looks different. Hugs mama!

      • Reply Patricia January 12, 2016 at 5:56 pm

        I completely agree and understand! Like you, I understand that second glance, because it may not be what their mind expected to see. However, our children don’t have good and bad sides, we aren’t ashamed of them, and we certainly don’t need people taking pity on their looks. They look perfect and beautiful, and we are lucky to have them! I am sure the rest of us will receive the benefit of your writing this, so thank you!

  • Reply Heather D January 12, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I was born with a small one on the center of my forehead I have to live with it every day its about the size or a dime & I understand completely where you are coming from. I was always self conscious growing up with the scar on my forehead. But, I also like to think I am unique. 😀 you have a beautiful daughter!

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you so much! It’s so nice to hear from someone who has “grown up” with one. My biggest hope for Charlie is that she knows the beauty of being unique.

  • Reply Alexia January 12, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I think she is beautiful!! Xoxo 🙂

  • Reply Rachel January 12, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    THANK YOU! our daughter has one on her lip and we had to be concerned about another one below her vocal cords. It always amazes me how people feel the need to tell you that it’s there, make comments and make you feel like you kid is ‘defective’. She’s our baby, we love her and honestly we don’t even see it when we look at her because we just see our sweet girl full of grins and giggles. Thank you for putting it all out there!!

  • Reply Kate Rust January 12, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I don’t know if you remember, but James had a large hemangioma on his left shoulder. It’s basically disappeared now. There’s a little discoloration, but it’s not as in your face like it used to be. I wouldn’t worry about her growing up self conscious. She’s your daughter, she’ll be fabulous with an impeccable sense of style and tremendous character.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      I forgot about it! Those sentiments mean the world to me. Thank you friend.

  • Reply Lindsey Billheimer January 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Hi,
    I just wanted to say you have a beautiful daughter 🙂
    I was actually born with a hemangioma as well (Rapidly Involuting Congenital Hemangioma “RICH”) and my first born son was as well. Mine was on the top back of my head, so my hair covered it, and it went away on its own leaving an area where my hair is a different color and texture. My son had his on the side of his neck under his ear. I got a lot of similar remarks from people, and it can be hard to want people to see the baby, not the tumor. Not as hard for us since his was on the side, so it didn’t get noticed first, usually second. Anyway, if you want any mamas for support, I’d love to be Facebook friends 🙂

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Thanks for the solidarity! There aren’t nearly enough resources I think! Sending you a FB request. 🙂

  • Reply Janet January 12, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    As the owner of a port wine hemangioma for 44 years, I thank you for your PSA. People can be good intentioned, yes, but some remarks and reactions border on ridiculous. My birthmark covers the entire left side of my neck and is also “cosmetic.” I have had people express everything from sympathy to utter disgust. I have learned to let it roll off, and my favorite response in uncomfortable situations regarding my birthmark is to say, ” God only made a few of us perfect!” Your baby is gorgeous, and her “imperfection” makes her unique, and even more beautiful!

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Thank you so much and good for you! I hope she has such confidence.

  • Reply ginatowson January 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Beautifully said!

  • Reply jessicasfunkitchen January 12, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you! Love your sweet Charlie. We have a lot in common. http://www.rosesangelkisses.blogspot.com. We should get our lovelies together ❤️

  • Reply Angela Stieg January 12, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    In addition, we tried the Propranalol txt and it gave my daughter severe seizures in conjunction with her vaccinations.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      Wow that’s so great you found something that works!!

  • Reply Ginger January 12, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    I think she is beautiful and what a sweet face. I do not know if you will welcome what I’m about to say, but know that in no way am I trying to be mean or hateful. You may already know this information, but just in case you don’t here it is. I’m a leser tech and have been for over 15 years. There are a couple of lasers that will remove most port wine/ hemangioma. Most insurances including medicade will pay for the removal although it’s cosmetic. Two of the lasers that can be used is an aura KTP or a candela v-beam. It can take up to 6 treatments about 6 weeks apart. The treatment take just a couple of minutes. It takes long to put a patiants to sleep then the actual procedure. Usually when we do small children or baby we like to put them to sleep because it does sting a bit. Then for a day or so it feels like a sunburn. I should know, I always test the lasers on myself before we use it on a patient. I know how hateful and mean kids can be so this might be an option for her. I love doing the cases because it’s the only time I get to see the results. I’m always amazed each and every time. Plastic surgeons are the ones that most often do these procedures. If you are wondering if the laser can be used around the eye, yes it can. We have eye shields to protect the eye. Again please know that I only wanted to tell you just in case you did not have this information.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks so much for the first hand info! I know that it will definitely be an option later on after it shrinks more. 🙂

  • Reply Laura January 12, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    There just isn’t enough out there about this topic so thank you so much for writing about this. My daughter has one in the shape of a heart on her forehead. SO many people ask about how she bumped her head. Most people close to us don’t talk about it much anymore, which is great. It’s just the strangers who make the comments. Always the strangers! Helping people learn about this is so important!

    Your Charlie is just beautiful and these sweet birthmarks on our girls are just a small part of who they are as a person! Stay strong mama!

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Thank you! I was nervous to share but I am glad I did.

  • Reply Lori Bradley January 12, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Oh how I wish I’d been able to share this well written PSA four years ago myself! My daughter has a hemangioma as well. Hers is on the top of her head. We were always asked by people what it was, how did it happen, would it go away, could she have it removed, etc. I was shocked at the number of random strangers that would just start firing away questions at us. It hurt my heart. She is 4 years old now and it has softened, is not nearly as raised as it once was, has lightened in color, and her hair growing around it covers it when parted just right. We were told that with time it would go away but that almost makes me a little sad as it is a part of her. Not sure if that makes sense. Much love to your family!

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      Makes total sense! My husband always says “I kind of don’t want it to go away. It’s her face!”

  • Reply Angie Vierra January 12, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    She is beautiful and precious and you’re doing all the right things!
    My daughter was diagnosed with a subglottic hemangioma (in her airway) at 5 weeks old and we almost lost her. I kept taking her to the pediatrician every 2 days and they just kept telling me it was croup…turns out they were VERY wrong…but it took a lot of perseverance and stubbornness on my side to get her the proper care. We started first with Propranolol to try and decrease the rapid growth but she continued to struggle for air. She had it removed by laser 3x and we spent A LOT of time in and out of the hospital, ICU stays, tubal sedation, the works. She is 3 1/2 now and she’ll still struggle with breathing every time she gets sick. I’ve heard SO many comments over the years and I think the worst is “I don’t even know how you do it”….as if we have a choice right?! It’s your child, why WOULDN’T you “do it”. I commend your strength and think everything you said is fabulous! Charlie is and will be amazing!

    • Reply twelveandsix January 12, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      I can relate in so many ways! Glad you’re coming out of such a tough journey. Other people’s opinions certainly don’t help matters!

  • Reply Nicole L @ www.blissfullysimplified.com January 18, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Good for you ! My daughter was born with a large hemangioma on her lower back. Even though we could cover it with clothing, you could see it through, and people would comment on her “lump” on her back. Luckily this never bothered her much.. and it was completely gone by the time she was 5. Your daughter is beautiful, and perfect just the way God made her to be. I love this post, and the awareness that it is going to bring!

  • Reply Trista January 18, 2016 at 10:55 am

    What a beauty! And this is so wonderfully written. She’s lucky to have such an amazing mama.

    My daughter has three (very small) capillary hemangioma. I can’t believe how many strangers go out of their way to try to scratch Blaire’s off of her cheek! They always give the strangest stares when I explain that it’s a birthmark and not some leftover food. She’s going to be two next month and hers have slowly started fading, shrinking and getting closer to her skin over the past month or so. I’m going to miss those little guys whenever they are fade away.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 18, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Trista!! And yes it blows my mind how strangers can be.

      • Reply diane grigg parton March 6, 2016 at 12:03 am

        I am 56 years old and the whole right side f my face is like that
        and I had good days and bad days growing up but I can`t complain I`ve had a great life.

  • Reply Wanda January 18, 2016 at 11:04 am

    My daughter was born with a strawberry hemangioma on the same cheek. It also went into her eye and ended up causing astigmatism because of the pressure of the birth mark on the eyeball. Since it started in utero, by the time she was 4-5 months old, it hit involution and slowly started to fade. The specialists told us to it would be gone by age 5 but it really was faded by age 3-4 and yes completely gone by kindergarten. I learned to ignore the looks and when I did, they went away. I recently learned I have a hemangioma on one of my lungs (no bigs) so at least we know where she got hers! Your daughter is beautiful. Kudos for writing this post…more awareness and education about birth marks is essential.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 18, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      There seems to be so little information out there on Hemangiomas. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply Pragati Gusmano January 18, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I did a rotation through a derm clinic in medical school and this was one of the most common things we saw. Kudos to you for bringing awareness and positivity to something that many people don’t know about! Your daughter is just beautiful.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 18, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      Thank you Pragati! We have had many students look at her for teaching purposes!

  • Reply Terra January 18, 2016 at 11:20 am

    My son has one on his forehead and at one point it was the size of a silver dollar and raised about an inch (and bright red!). My MIL has been pestering us since he was born about removing it ASAP so it won’t “hurt or embarrass him”. Every procedure and medication carries a risk so it just hasn’t been worth it to us to do anything about it. When people (strangers!) make comments, it usually takes a minute to remember what they are talking about since we don’t even notice it. Now at 23 months it has shrunk to about 1/3 the size it was at 6 months and it is much flatter and fading in color. I’m sure he will notice it one day and we will just explain to him that everyone has things that make us different–it’s s good thing! You’ll be surprised how quickly hers will fade!

    • Reply twelveandsix January 18, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      That’s amazing! Part of me wonders if I will miss it… Is that crazy? Haha!

  • Reply butterandbeats January 18, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Great article. I have one on my breast and one in the back of my neck. Over time both have gone down and lessened in color. Prayerfully the right doctors will be there to always guide you through all of your options. She’s truly 1 in a million. Lol.

  • Reply Tori January 18, 2016 at 11:41 am

    My son was born with a large hemangioma that covered most of his private areas. As he’s grown older it has lightened and almost went away. I was always so self conscious about it. Nobody really saw it, but I just thought about when he gets older. I’m glad there’s someone who has shown me the light in his little birthmark.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 18, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Oh gosh, I’ve heard that can be a painful spot with ulcerations and such. Thanks so much for commenting!

  • Reply ambertacklesambertackles January 18, 2016 at 11:49 am

    People make inappropriate comments about so many things! I recently wrote a post about when children don’t look like their parents and got a lot of comments from people who have dealt with unkind words because of looking “different.”

    My kids differentness is not the same as your daughter’s but I want to encourage you to kerp having the same positive outlook about her apperance and teach her to feel the same despite what people may say!

    You are doing a good job mama!

    – Amber

    (If you want to you can read my post at http://www.ambertackles.com/motherhood-misconceptions )

    • Reply twelveandsix January 18, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      I wish that being “different” wasn’t such a spectacle! I’m so motivated to teach my kids that! Thanks Amber! Checking your blog out now!

  • Reply Amanda MacDonald January 18, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    She’s beautiful (but you already know that). My son has PKU and when I explain to people that he can’t eat meat, have dairy (cheese, milk ect) or eggs and most regular breads or pasta or flour (he has special breads, pasta and flour) I have had people say “what do you feed it” and look at my son like he has 5 heads. I know a mom who has a baby with pku who was told that she should put her out of her misery if she can’t eat meat. What I’m getting at us people are cruel, they are mean and say mean things. Like your daughter, my son is FINE and there is no reason for the nasty comments people give. BUT for some reason people cannot handle imperfection, to me imperfection is what makes you stand out and shine.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Wow! How hurtful! I’m so grateful for her and her uniqueness. She adds so much to our lives.

  • Reply jenniferolinger January 18, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I was born with 2 small “port wine stains” on my upper right cheek over 49 years ago. They were shallow enough that a pediatrician told my mother that if they had been on my knee, I could have “skinned” them and they would have been gone, so surgery to removed them would be simple. They have never bothered me and are just part of who I am and I rarely think of them. When I was a kid, I had one color-blind uncle who would ask me many summers if I’d “gotten popped in the eye” because they become darker after sun exposure. Also, new children in the children’s department at Church and now elderly residents at a friend’s new Assisted Living Home, occasionally become concerned for my “injury” and I explain (1) I’ve had them since birth, (2) they doesn’t hurt a bit and (3) it’s kinda like a bunch of freckles got together for a party. A final point: I did not realize until a few years ago that they are raised! I just never looked at them closely enough to notice. Your little girl is beautiful and blessed with a family that will see that her self-image isn’t impacted by something superficial.

  • Reply Living Sunshine Life (@livingsunnylife) January 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    She reminds me of my own Charlie when she was a baby, big blue eyes and chubby cheeks! I love it! She’s adorable and I think I need to go back through our own baby pictures now. Thank you so much for the education on this condition. The comments people make about other people’s kids can be harsh. I know I had to distance myself from certain family and friends because of their insensitive and critical opinions about things that don’t matter were just too much for me to expose my kids too.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 18, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      I think family can be worse sometimes because they have less of a filter. And yay for little girls named Charlie! 😉

  • Reply jvkrakowski January 18, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    I was born with ADHD, and I’m pretty sure my mother would’ve been happy to switch it for a birthmark. That said, not everyone sees a defect when they look at your baby. I stare at people all the time because I find everyone beautiful in their own way. (I’m an artist.) She is a beautiful baby that I would love to poke her chubby little cheeks. Other people see a birth defect, but I see a pretty coral reef. Most people get tattoos nowadays; nature just gave her her’s.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 18, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      I LOVE this. My husband and I always say we will be sad when it’s gone. Women have so much to be shamed about, she doesn’t need something else insignificant to add to it.

  • Reply Jessica January 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Her eyes really ARE stunning and those lashes! <3 My daughter was born with an hemangioma as well though smaller (about the size of a dime) and on the side of her forehead (along the hairline). In some photos it looks like a lightning bolt ala harry potter!

    I admit that there have been times where I've thought about covering it up or having it photoshopped out in pics but honestly it's a part of who she is and while the doctor says it should go away by about age five, it wouldn't be fair for me to set that precedence for her at this young age. I quickly let those thoughts go away because I love my daughter, and I love her birth mark too. (She also had two others one on a little toe on each foot but those have since disappeared, but she does have one on her belly that looks like the black widow symbol which is perfect since her name is Marvel).

    I do wish people would quit asking "what happened to her head" as since it's small, it does look like she hurt it. I just tell them it's a birthmark and they say "cool" (it's usually little kids who ask).

    I think you're doing great though Mamma by already starting to teach your daughter to love herself. While she is young, I'm sure she notices it and knows she is a loved baby 🙂

    Besides, I believe birth marks are the marks of where angel's kissed them before coming to earth. Your baby must have been well loved in Heaven as well <3

    • Reply twelveandsix January 18, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Thank you! She did NOT get those from me.

  • Reply Peggy Williams (@MadCityWriter) January 18, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Your daughter is darling. Thank you for posting. You did a great job educating us on an important topic. I am very happy to share this post.

  • Reply megan January 18, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    your sweet girl is GORGEOUS. 🙂 thank you for writing this.

  • Reply Natalie January 18, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    What a great post and your daughter is beautiful! I had what my parents refered to as a strawberry birthmark on my back, I don’t remember ever really having what they described by the time I was old enough the colour had faded & now at nearly 30 there is no trace unless you feel the skin in the area which just has a slightly different texture.

  • Reply tara January 19, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for trying to educate the masses. 😉 She is truly beautiful! Look at those blue eyes and porcelain skin. Gorgeous.

  • Reply kerryflatley January 19, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Wow, so shocking that people feel that it’s appropriate to make comments! You are obviously the best mom this little girl could hope for – one who sees her for her true beautiful self. All the best to you and your family.

  • Reply Toni January 22, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    She is beautiful! I couldn’t have said it better. My 6 month old has a Port Wine Birthmark and my experience has been very similar to yours.

    • Reply twelveandsix January 22, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      Thank you Toni! So nice to know we aren’t alone!

  • Reply Saved for Later January 25, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    […] reactions they get from people — kids and adults — are shocking. This post, “What’s Wrong With Her Face?” is a must-read and I also recommend you fall in love with Sloan, the amazingly brave and […]

  • Reply JillSelk February 10, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    shes beautiful. And this is a great article. Very informative and well written.

  • Reply Danielle H (Smyrna, GA) February 10, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Your daughter is beautiful. You definitely are not alone in the comments you receive or the way you feel. My second daughter was born in Sept. 2011 with a hemangioma on her left arm…sort of right on top of where her bicep muscle is. Not too many people saw it until she was about 6 months old and the weather warmed up in the spring. It was visible any time she had on a short sleeved or sleeveless shirt. People used to say the rudest things to us about her birthmark. I had people…MOTHERS…ask me things like “What did you do to leave that big bruise on her arm?” Some people refused to believe that it was a birthmark. Very frustrating. The absolute worst was a comment from a woman when we were at Disney World. My daughter was about 8 months old at the time and she asked what “that” was on her arm. I went through the whole spiel about what it was, yada yada and her response was “Well, she’s cute anyways.” WHAT?! Of course she’s cute…with or without a hemangioma. She’s my daughter and she’s beautiful…and so is yours. My daughter is almost 4 1/2 now and her hemangioma is not nearly as noticeable. It has grown with her and faded over the years, much to my surprise. Even if it looked the same now as it did when she was a baby it certainly wouldn’t change how I feel about her.

    • Reply twelveandsix February 10, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      People are so strange with their opinions! It’s bad when they say things out loud and worse that they are thinking it. Solidarity, mama!

  • Reply Laurie February 11, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Your daughter is absolutely beautiful 🙂

    I wanted to send a quick book recommendation for her as she grows up- Buddy Booby’s Birthmark, about a a red-footed booby bird with a birthmark (https://birthmark.org/awareness/buddy.php). My cousins wrote it since there were no children’s books with characters with birthmarks. It’s a lovely story and I hope you check it out!

  • Reply Megan February 12, 2016 at 10:59 am

    And Amen to that!! Very well said.

  • Reply jenmomofthree February 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    My daughter Maya is 9 years old and we first noticed her birthmark a few days after she was born. it was in the same location as your daughter’s. Our daughters ballooned to maybe 1/4 to 1/2 the size of your daughters. It was very very red. Shockingly red. We were at Walmart once, and a lady had the nerve to ask me who punched my baby. ????? Who punches babies? I had a teachable moment, I guess. At 6 weeks and then again later, she had steroids injected into the hemangioma. It shrunk it immediately. I was told that they don’t do this anymore, but not sure. It has been faded since she was 3 or 4 and most people can’t even tell she had it to begin with. I can see where it was, because I’m mom. 🙂 I am very grateful that the doctors we saw were able to manage it and us, since we were so nervous about it. (She is our firstborn!) I think your daughter is just gorgeous.

  • Reply Tara Lloyd February 12, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I love that you are educating about these special birthmarks! I did something similar when my daughter was younger to better explain all we had learned about her strawberry to our family. It felt like we were thrust into an unknown world and so I soaked up all they could tell me or I could find online. They told us too that the cause is unknown but can be hereditary. That’s not our case as no one in our family has one. I now have 3 more children (4 boys and 1 girl in all) and don’t find the time to blog but it is still preserved in cyberspace! http://pipersstrawberryscoop.blogspot.com. The pediatrician found our daughters hemangioma on the back of her neck when we were still in the hospital after delivery. It grew rapidly and ulcerated which was so hard on our hearts. She could only sleep laying on her belly in our arms for a few months. The ulceration left a scar horizontally across her strawberry. We did the dye MRI tests to make sure it was not connected to anything and it was deemed cosmetic. The doctors advised is too that it would fade/shrink most likely by the time she was 5 but removal was recommended before she entered school so that she wasn’t self conscience. We were not interested in jumping into cosmetic surgery with a toddler and since most cases resolve on their own, we have chose to wait and see. Our daughter is now almost 7 and although it has improved from those blog pictures, it is still very present. It is less raised and the coloring has faded to a light pink but it has not “gone away” like they once advised. I’ve done more reading and hemangiomas can leave residual fibrofatty tissue which I gather will not dissolve. I struggle with having the tissue removed and thereby remove all traces of her beautiful strawberry. There is so much memory in that sweet mark and so we encourage her and build her up so that she perceives it as something special and beautiful. I applaud you and your family for doing the same for your precious daughter!

  • Reply Megan February 15, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I love your article. I felt like I was reading my own words. Both of my children have hemangiomas. My 4-year old’s hemangioma is almost completely faded, but I still remember all the comments about his “owie” when he was a baby. We don’t even see our kids’ hemangiomas anymore and therefore we don’t talk about them at home, so those comments sometimes feel like they come out of the blue. Their hemangiomas are just part of who they are! Thank you for this article!

    • Reply twelveandsix February 15, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Thank you for your solidarity! It’s so nice knowing we aren’t crazy for feeling this way.

  • Reply Evie R. February 15, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    What a cutie Charlie is! Her eyes are mesmerizing! I am all too familiar with the looks, the comments and the reactions a birthmark brings out in people. My oldest daughter B, she just turned 27, was born with a condition known as Sturge-Weber syndrome. She has a port wine stain birthmark on half her face and neck, one of her arms has patches of it down to her wrist. She has seizures too, she’s developmentally delayed (I tell people she’s 27 going on 12!) but the hardest part being her mom is trying to protect her from the ugly in life. It’s been hard, when she was a baby I went through the angry faze when I saw or heard rude things and I realized I didn’t want her to be angry about it; there’s nothing wrong with HER! She’s grown and I think I did okay because she can handle things better than I can at times. She tells me, “I just tell them it’s a birthmark and my name and hi” and goes about her business. Her dad was more concerned with it when she was young, and she had a few laser treatments but oh the recovery from those was just heart breaking! So when she was about 9 after a laser procedure on her cheek and neck she said, “Momma, do I have to have this I don’t want it.” You got it honey, and her dad stopped pestering to have it done. Whether Charlie’s birthmark stays or goes-it’s not who she is. I look at it this way: she has a leg up on the world because she stands out from everybody else! Those eyes though! 😉

  • Reply Mellisa February 20, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Your post was sooo well spoken and I have the same thoughts ( of course could never put them into words like you!) My daughter was born with a hemangioma on her back that started as a small dot when she was in the Nicu…..grew quickly for the first 3 years and then stopped. It never shrunk though and she is 6. My family says things about it every summer when pool time comes as it protrudes out the back of her suit. I am not going to remove it as it is only cosmetic, and it is my choice not to put her under anethesia for something that won’t hurt her.

    Charlie is oh so perfect with those big blue eyes! My husband said ” What a cute baby with those little round cheeks!” We don’t need to pray for her confidence, as it is clear that with a wonderful Mama like you she has everything she needs to be a confident young lady. What a little blessing!

    • Reply twelveandsix February 21, 2016 at 7:07 am

      Thank you so much for relating and the supportive words! I’m so happy to know I’m not alone!

  • Reply felicia24 February 24, 2016 at 12:47 am

    I first saw your post on scary mommy and the second I saw Charlie’s beautiful face I had to read the story. My little girl Leighton has a hemangioma on her forehead right about her left eye. It came out of nowhere 3 weeks after she was born. I can totally relate to the comments. I had an older couple say “do your parents beat you” or “she is very pretty otherwise” people are harsh and have no filters. I was sad at first about it but now it’s just apart of who she is. I dont even notice it anymore and I always say it’s a beauty Mark and a sweet kiss from an angel. Thank you again for sharing. It’s always comforting knowing other families are going through this too!

  • Reply Robyn Isabelle March 1, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    She is beautiful!!! I was born with a very large hemangioma that covered the entire left side of my face. As a very young child I didn’t realize I was different until the outside world started pointing it out. People can be terribly cruel and ignorant.

    Love seeing pictures of your little girl and hearing your story.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 4, 2016 at 2:28 am

      Thank you so much for sharing with me!

      • Reply Christina March 4, 2016 at 11:03 pm

        She is absolutely beautiful the way she is. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Reply Lovina March 3, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Hi Katie, those eyes! So beautiful, it was the first thing that caught my eye. I’m also a mommy of a daughter with an hemangioma. Watoy (that’s my daughters name) is born in April 2014. Her “strawberry” is on her head, and every week we hear people say stupid things or staring with an awfull look. It makes me feel so sad and mad at the same time! We live in the Netherlands and hemangioma is not well known among a lot of people. How about in the USA? This year my daughter get two or three medical surgeries for her hemangioma. Hope people will see the beauty of our little girls instead if their hemangioma. Love from the Netherlands xxx

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 4, 2016 at 2:28 am

      Thank you so much and what a beautiful name!

  • Reply JMP March 3, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Your story really hit home with me! First of all your daughter is beautiful. I was born with a hemangioma on my cheek as well. I lived with it for many years as I child and grew accustomed to people asking my mother or me what that “thing” on my face was. My mother told me that as a toddler I even got in the habit of annoyingly sighing and saying “It’s a birthmark I was born with it”. We did not laser it when I was young because at the time which was early 80s the technology wasn’t there and the benefits did not outweigh the risks. It did go down significantly through the years and I had laser surgery on it when I was about 10 years old.
    My childhood otherwise was very normal and I had lots of friends and great times- thank goodness children don’t see those physical differences like we do. There was some teasing or questions and There were some times I felt that my mother was selfish for making me go through the tough times, the stares, the feeling different but as I grew older I realized I would not be the person I am today had I not experienced this. I can say that I 100% am glad that I had the surgery done because people could see “me” first as opposed to judging my outer appearance and I didn’t have to feel self conscious but we did it when it was safe. I have two daughters of my own and I would do anything to for them just as I know you would with your daughter. I’m glad you’re there educating people and taking those gorgeous photos. Keep it up mama!

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 4, 2016 at 2:29 am

      Thanks so much for the support!

      • Reply Caroline A March 5, 2016 at 7:32 am

        Hi Katie. I read your story and it hit me very close to home as well. First and foremost, I so appreciate your position. It is so bothersome to me that outer beauty is valued so much more in today’s society than inner.

        I was born with what was originally diagnosed as a capillary hemangioma on the left side of my face. My parents also decided not to have it lasered at first. Unfortunately, it started to swell and affect my left eye, so they eventually took me to treatment. Again, this was not for cosmetic reasons. Unfortunately, the extremely talented specialists I had been seeing had misdiagnosed my condition and I, in fact, had a glomovenous vascular malformation under the surface. This was only discovered after MRIs and further review.

        I was so struck by your daughter’s picture because it is strikingly similar from pictures of myself as an infant. While I am sure you have seen some wonderful physicians, I would be more than happy to share some of the contact info for some of the specialists I’ve visited throughout my life.

        At 25 now, I have had dozens of surgeries because my condition is not cosmetic. It has affected my eyesight, caused the loss of my hearing in the left ear and left other deficits.

        I would never dream of sharing this with a mom just to be negative. I share this because I’ve been told my entire life that had they treated it sooner, it would have been removable.

        I know there are many excellent specialists in the world. There are great vascular surgeons and those who specialize in hemangiomas, plastic surgeons, and so many others. However, if 20 years of experience with treatment has taught me anything, it’s that each one knows so much more than the next. I know some wonderful doctors who would look at pictures online and be able to tell you so much more information.

        Again, I commend you for sticking this out and am so sorry to hear that people can’t understand or at the very least, appreciate what a wonderful decision you have made for your daughter. I simply wanted to offer information in the event you find yourself needing it.

    • Reply Crystal March 8, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      I have the same hemangioma in my side check. Growing up I would say it was a birthmark and be proud but as I started growing up I got really jealous of my friends and there faces and how clean and perfect it was. When people would talk to me they would look me in the eyes but drift to my check and stare, even now they stare and ask “what is that” or ” who did that happen.” It didn’t help that I was Caribbean- American in a prominently white area . My mom saw my pain and brought me to every specialist in my state and different states but when they burned it off it would grow back!! I was really getting tried and my self esteem was taking the hit having doctors after doctors diagnose you and prescription after prescription. When I got into high school I made it my goal for people to see more then thing on my face and surprisingly it worked I made a lot of friends, I had my first real kiss and my life was normal, nobody mention my face and I thought it was out of being nice but one night at a sleep over we chatted over things we would want to change. My turn I pointed to my check and my friends looked at my like I grew 3 heads they said nothing was there and it dawned on me that I was the one making a big deal out of nothing and when you have real and honest people in your life they see the best in you inside and out and that changed my whole perspective on life. No I’m a sophomore in college and I have an amazing boyfriend who loves me for me. I could honestly say that Charlie is going to be ok 🙂

  • Reply 'It's part of her unique beauty': Mom of six-month-old girl with a large red birthmark across her face slams strangers who tell her they are 'praying it goes away' March 3, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    […] a post shared on her blog, Twelve and Six, Katie Crenshaw, from Atlanta, Georgia, explained that her daughter Charlie Kate was born with a […]

  • Reply Stephanie March 3, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Yes! Thank you for posting this. My now 11-year-old son has had a hemangioma next to his eye since just after he was born. We used to get so many comments from people who just couldn’t see past the birthmark to the beautiful blue-eyed smiling child that he is. I was constantly finding myself amazed at how crude and cruel people could be, especially after my son became old enough to understand the comments. Your daughter is beautiful, and we see the beautiful blue-eyed smiling baby that she is.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 4, 2016 at 2:29 am

      So happy that we can relate to each other! Thank you!

  • Reply Mom of girl with a red birthmark across her face slams strangers who comment | Flynews March 3, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    […] a post shared on her blog, Twelve and Six, Katie Crenshaw, from Atlanta, Georgia, explained that her daughter Charlie Kate was born with a […]

  • Reply Mom of girl with a red birthmark across her face slams strangers who comment | newusatoday March 3, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    […] a post shared on her blog, Twelve and Six, Katie Crenshaw, from Atlanta, Georgia, explained that her daughter Charlie Kate was born with a […]

  • Reply Mom of girl with a red birthmark across her face slams strangers who comment | FTW NEWS March 3, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    […] a post shared on her blog, Twelve and Six, Katie Crenshaw, from Atlanta, Georgia, explained that her daughter Charlie Kate was born with a […]

  • Reply Erin March 4, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Wonderful article! My son has a large hemangioma on his head as well, it got so big it ulcerated! 🙁

    I had to go to Johns Hopkins to get it examined and the doctor their (Dr. Conard) put him on propranolol. He was 3 months then and is 9 months now. The hemangioma ulceration healed and it is shrinking dramatically! I couldn’t even believe it!

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 4, 2016 at 2:30 am

      That’s wonderful!

  • Reply Cynthia March 4, 2016 at 1:44 am

    My oldest daughter was born with one just below her vocal cords in her trachea. We never saw it but she had a tracheostomy for 3 years and 18 surgeries to keep it off her cords so she would someday have a voice. It did eventually stop growing and shrunk and she was fine by age 6. The location of hers was life threatening and I always thought the kids who had them on the outside were the lucky ones.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 4, 2016 at 2:30 am

      We were blessed that we didn’t have to deal with that. An entirely different situation. I am so glad you are out of the woods! Thank you for reaching out!

  • Reply Monnie March 4, 2016 at 2:18 am

    She is absolutely beautiful! Our son was born with a hemangioma on his right forearm. His was very large (poor baby couldn’t even lift his arm because it was so heavy) and so vascular that it was putting too much stress on his heart,as if he had an extra limb. He spent 2 weeks in the nicu after 2 surgeries. The Drs said it would involute even more after surgery,and it did, a lot. His heart is strong as can be now and he is growing so fast (he’s almost 13) soon you won’t be able to see it at all but we never minded, it is part of him! And when asked, he simply says, ” Oh, it’s just a birthmark.” ❤

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 4, 2016 at 2:31 am

      Thank you so much for reaching out! I love this!

  • Reply chris March 4, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Hi – Saw your story on the Daily Mail – This is something you can get removed – plz get in touch with Dr Milton Waner at the vascular Institute in NYC. My son is 7 and has multiple complex internal and external HMs, he had a trach and still has feeding tube – Anywho – we have a team of specialists in NYC where my son is getting treatment right now, they are the best in the world – please look up my boy Winston Bertrand and his mum Jennifer and also Dr Waner – the sooner it is taken care of the less chance it will affect vision – sry if I over stepped my boundaries

  • Reply Mother wants to "Change the Conversation 'Around Daughter's Birthmark - NaijaKnow March 4, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    […] a mother of two decided to pen a blog post – which ended up going viral – why observations to […]

  • Reply Jenni K. March 4, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Coming here to join the chorus of both “what a beautiful sweety!” and “Propranolol”. My daughter had a hemangioma about the size of a half ping pong ball on the front of her throat. Due to the placement, it constantly rubbed against collars and the car seat strap and began threatening to ulcerate when she was about 6 months old. Our doctor referred us to a propranolol treatment program and the results were, really, nearly immediate. Visible shrinkage within the first week, flat by 9 weeks, gone entirely within 4 months (she now has a dime-sized slightly discolored spot which looks like a decades old hair curler burn by comparison). We had no side effects whatsoever. I had never previously heard of Propranolol and it wasn’t in any of the new baby books I read, if they had a section on hemangiomas they didn’t mention it. A lot of doctors still don’t know about this! So even if it’s not what you want to do with your beautiful daughter (because yes, hemangiomas fade), I think parents coming here because their own children have them should be aware of this option.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 4, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      We have been on it for 6 months!

  • Reply H.R March 4, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    I would like to say thank you to you and your daughter!
    I have a granddaughter that just turned two that also has strawberry birthmarks. Hers are a bit different, that will not get smaller, more are forming and could eventually become cancerous. We already had a major scare when she was about 6 months old. The largest one on her thigh ulcerated in the center. It eventually healed, but deformed the mark in another way, it now looks almost like a doughnut. Still red and raised around the outside but white and sunken in the middle.
    She has two others, one near her breast, one on her little butt cheek. At the moment they aren’t visible due to winter clothing. In the summer the one on her thigh is very visible. Yes, we understand the…”What’s wrong with your daughter?” People have no idea what they are saying when they ask questions in the manor that they do. I don’t mine questions, but please, before you ask, think about what is coming out in the way you ask!
    I worry for her in the future for her health and if more will form. It is a waiting game, nothing more can be done to or for her strawberrys.
    I worry for her as she grows, other people are so cruel and children are even more cruel. I worry about the comments the comments that will come as she becomes into her own style, shorts, swim suits, etc. I know things will be said and whispers passed that will hurt her feelings, her mothers, her brothers, aunts, cousins, and mine. My heart breaks for this coming time.
    I just wish others would understand, the questions, whispers, cruel comments hurt the person they are being passed about as well as those that love that person.
    Different does NOT mean wrong, weird, contagious, freak, or make the person any different inside or out than any other person on this planet!
    So again, I think you and yours for opening others eyes, and I beg others to STOP and Think before you judge, comment or ask questions that come out in the wrong way.
    Thank you,
    One proud strawberry babies Grandmother.

  • Reply Daniel March 4, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    She is beautiful! What a little angel!!!

  • Reply H.R March 4, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Please excuse my typos, old laptop that flips to others files while typing.
    I apologize.

  • Reply Laura March 4, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Charlie, you are beautiful!

    My daughter has a hemangioma on her left hand. One day while taking her for a walk in our neighborhood, I met a new neighbor. An elderly gentleman who kindly asked “what is that on her hand?” I explained that it’s a hemangioma and we hope that eventually it will go away.
    His response was the sweetest thing… He said, “I hope it doesn’t. It’s beautiful and makes her that much more gorgeous.” I could have hugged him!

    Thank you for posting this blog!

  • Reply Stephanie March 4, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    My daughter also has a hemangioma, it wasn’t present at birth, but started to grow just a few days later, very rapidly. I was told by doctors that it would go away and fade out on its own as she got older, but it grew very quickly. She was about 9 months old when we were referred to Children’s Hospital in Seattle to see if she could try medication for it. The doctor put her on propranolol, 3 doses a day for a year. I was told that there are 2 types of hemangiomas, above and below the skin, my daughter has a combination of the 2. The propranolol reduced the redness, there is no redness now and it reduced in size, it looks just like a fleshy bump on her forehead. The doctors say that to remove it completely she will need surgery. At this point we have no interest in surgery, but I recommend talking with a doctor about propranolol to help reduce the size and color.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 5, 2016 at 12:39 am

      We’ve been on propranolol for six months.
      🙂

      • Reply Pooja March 6, 2016 at 6:50 pm

        I’ve been nervous about starting propanol on our 5 month year old- we have been using the timolol topical treatment. Color slightly has faded— at what point do I start the oral treatment? Have you had any side effects? I just have nobody to talk to about this. The docs make it sound like the propanol could have major effects on our girl! I love
        Charlie!!!

        • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 7, 2016 at 11:19 am

          Are you on Facebook? There is a great group called Hemangioma Parents Group! Check it out, there are tons of people who have been there.

  • Reply Charlottes Mummy March 4, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Charlie is totally gorgeous!! Thank you so much for your brave story. Our Charlotte was also born with according to our paediatrician and midwife the worst hemangioma they had ever seen!!! Cue manic googling and opinions being sought worldwide from the relative comfort of my hospital bed.
    fast forward exactly 7 months and yes when Charlotte is cold you can see where she has her hemangioma, you too can also see where it has affected her complexion aka port wine stain on most of her face….. BUT it doesnt take away from her gorgeous smile and eyes. Also I found the best part of peoples smug comments…. is to stop them in their tracks and move on…. usually with a medical fact on hemangiomas!!! hope we can be Facebook friends and I wish your Charlie all the best!!! Xxx

  • Reply Amy March 4, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    My first daughters hermangioma surfaced on her head at about 6 weeks old. It got bigger – about the size of a dime – and she was baldy. As it got bigger so did the questions…She’s now 3 1/2 and while her hair has covered it, it has shrunk to the point it’s almost non existent!

    My second daughter has one on her thigh. It too, got bigger during her first year, but has since lightened that you can barely see it. I had someone approach me once telling me my daughter had ringworm! A stranger!

    Charlie is beautiful and my only question for you would be…where do you get her bows!!! 🙂 Such a beautiful girl….

  • Reply Scott Mim March 4, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    It happened to my God Daughter and her Mom was self conscious and reacted to “what other people said”. She learned real fast how proud we were of our little girl. She gained strength from knowing that pride in ones self and family. Only you and your Family’s opinion matters. My brother had professional pictures taken. She had operation at 2year old removing tumor. The ” scare” is just a feature of her beautiful face. She is 20 years now, and very pretty. She looks like her mom. Someone doesn’t like the way your kid looks, too dam bad. God Bless you and yours.

  • Reply Marianne March 4, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    My 4-year old daughter was born with several hemangiomas which started expanding and getting darker when she was about 10 days old. The most notable one was smack-dab in the middle of her forehead that was about an inch wide and was raised up about half an inch. There was also a very large on on her elbow and an internal one right near here eye that was not raised up at all. I know how scary it is for any new mom to watch the hemangiomas get bigger and bigger without anyway to stop it. You feel helpless. Helpless is a very SCARY way to feel as a new mother. But please know, they do shrink, dissolve, and most disappear after time. We started using Timolol on her forehead at about 6 weeks old and it went away by the time she was 1 yrs old. We did not treat the elbow one and it completely dissolved on its own by about 3 yrs old. The eye one was also not treated due to its location and is only noticeable at a certain angle now. It is hard when people accuse you of dropping your baby or otherwise causing the marks. But, all in all, people are well-intention-ed. Thanks for the article! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about my daughter’s treatments!

  • Reply Wendy March 4, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    My son was born with a hemangioma just below his Adam’s apple on his neck/chest. I remember fearing more for him at how others would judge, comment or ridicule him as he grew up than anything else. To me he was perfect. The doctors told us it wasn’t painful and that it would fade over time which seemed unbelievable based on the appearance at the time. When he became old enough to ask about it we told him that the Angels kissed him when he was born because he was so beautiful. He’s proud now to share that story with his friends that have questions. I used to rub geranium essential oil on it as someone recommended that to help it fade and he would quickly cover it with his hand and say “no, that’s where God kissed me”.
    He’s going on 8 years old now and it has shrunk down substantially and faded from a bright purplish red to barely noticeable. Even if he has the birthmark the rest of his life, it is a reminder of his perfection for just being himself! I hope your daughter grows up confident & proud that she too was made perfectly exactly as she is.

  • Reply Terri Hart March 4, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    She is beautiful! My daughter had one right in the center of her neck. (front) It was the first thing you noticed when you looked at her. I worked for a dermatologist and when she was 4 years old, they used liquid nitrogen on it. I took numerous times, but it actually made it fade away. If your not familiar with liquid nitrogen, the use it for worts also. God bless her she is a beautiful little girl.

  • Reply Gloria Inman March 5, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Hi Katie! I love your blog about Charlie’s Hemangioma. It brought me back to the day back in June of 1999 when I first discovered that my newborn baby boy had a bump under his right ear. Turned out to be a Capillary Hemangioma but underneath the skin, so there wasn’t the “strawberry” coloring on the surface, just what turned into a large bump on the right side of his face. Like you, we had a great Ear/Nose/Throat doctor who assured me it would affect his hearing or breathing and that the best course of action was to do nothing. For my son, it reached it’s maximum size by the time he was a year old. Soon after that we began to notice it shrinking and by the time he started Kindergarten, it was barely even visible.

    I use to get questions in the grocery store or where ever we were about his bump. For the most part people were kind about it, plus he’d flash them his big, beautiful smile and charm the pants off of them.

    Charlie is so precious and has so much to look forward to in her life. She is going to charm the pants off of everyone she meets.

    Thanks for sharing your story and reminding me of mine.

    • Reply Monica Myers March 5, 2016 at 5:44 am

      My daughter had one like your son, a deep tissue one. It was on her cheek.

  • Reply Kate March 5, 2016 at 12:24 am

    My daughter also has facial hemangiomas, she actually had quite a few different ones on her face. The concentration of them are on her chin and her entire bottom lip was taken over by it. We opted for treatment on the one on her lip as it was not involuting as the others had. Turns out it had its own blood supply and didn’t start fading until the blood supply was severed. As a baby and young child I had many comments from strangers telling me to clean my baby’s face. Or “ohhhh how cute, she has chocolate on her face”. Funny thing is that it was always children that would ask questions, “what is that on her face?” only to be hushed by their parents. I always interrupted and answered the child. I feel it’s nothing to be ashamed of and never wanted my daughter to feel that way. The children were simply being inquisitive. Much more appreciated than the ignorant comments of being told to clean her face. She is a beautiful 9 year old, and while she is self concious about it, she has plenty of reassurance from those in her life telling her she’s beautiful. And I’m sure you know this in your own personal experience, but you really don’t even notice it.

    You know what’s best for your daughter and it sounds like you are doing just that. She’s beautiful 🙂

  • Reply Staci March 5, 2016 at 12:41 am

    You and your daughter are gorgeous. Charlie’s spirit shines well beyond the light of my phone screen. You can feel it by looking into those beautiful eyes.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Reply Tim Shannon March 5, 2016 at 1:06 am

    After I was born I developed a large hemangioma on the left side of my face. Has several surgeries before age 7, again at 17 and again in my 30’s. Married, 4 kids, successful Realtor, blessed by God. Your daughter will be just fine. PS: she’s beautiful

  • Reply Erin March 5, 2016 at 1:34 am

    My daughter had one on her forehead that kept growing and growing. She was our first born, and at first we were devastated and looked for ways to have it removed. But, as she got older and we realized what having a baby and being a parent was all about, we grew to love it! At one point it was heart shaped! I actually liked when total strangers in public would stop us and share their hemangioma experiences. It normalized it for us, and now I do the same thing whenever I see a baby with one. My daughter is 9 now, it’s basically gone, but someone just tonight asked her if she bumped her head!

  • Reply Monica Myers March 5, 2016 at 2:00 am

    My daughter had 3 hemangiomas when she was little. One on her ear, a deep tissue one on her cheek that got about the size of a baseball, and a fingertip size one on her buttock.

    I opted not to do any of the treatment except for 1 round of steriods to slow the growth. By 1 year old hers stopped growing and started to shrink away. She is now 8, and the one on her cheek is now just a small vein under her cheek. The one on her ear is normal size, the ear curls again like it should and just has a slightly different skin texture. There is no sign of the one on her buttock.

    You are absolutely doing the right thing. I really feel for you about all the negative comments you get about it. Wishing the best for you all.

  • Reply Lisa de man March 5, 2016 at 6:38 am

    I saw your story on fb
    And I saw the pictures of your beautiful little girl she is sow sweet and have the most beautiful sparkling eyes and sweetest smile
    Let people talk they are just stupid
    Lots of love from the Netherlands ❤️

  • Reply Sue Smith March 5, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Hi! I have grown up with one too! I’ve only had my feelings hurt over it a few times in my life. You know back in 4 grade when the class bully was trying to be funny. Other then that the school years were normal. Mine is on my face under my lip. Most people don’t even ask or notice it anymore because it’s just the way I am. I believe growing up with one made me a more compassionate person.

  • Reply Kathy Dorn March 5, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Your daughter is beautiful! I have a birthmark on the left side of my face. Growing up there were some times that people would make comments to me and I still have those moments 45 years later. When I was in highschool a company asked me if I would be a model for their product. It was called Cover Mark. I reluctantly agreed because I wanted to help others. They gave me a makeover and did a full page in the paper. There was a great big picture of before and after with the caption stating I had an unsightly birthmark. How horrible! I wore the makeup to school and asked my friends if they noticed anything different. None of them noticed. They kept asking if I got a hair cut or new clothes. I never wore makeup again. Everyone that knows me and cares about me doesn’t even notice my birthmark. I just think most people are curious and just don’t know what to say. I mostly hear children asking their parents about me and the parent usually is embarrassed and try to keep them quiet. I usually say that it is alright to ask and tell the child that it is just different colored skin. It doesn’t hurt and it is not a burn. I also have freckles and I usually point that out too. The funny thing is that many of the children that ask me about my face have a birthmark too but on some other part of their body. After I talk to the children the parents usually say “Sorry and thank you.” I used to worry when I was a child that nobody would want to be my boyfriend. Siuch silly little thoughts. I have been married for 25 years and have four wonderful children.

  • Reply Brandi March 5, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    First off, I love her name! Second, she’s a beautiful baby regardless of whether or not she has a visible birthmark. Third, I’m with you 100%. None of my children have hemangiomas but my sister in law’s daughter does. I know how hurt she was by inconsiderate comments and the like. But if I were to have a child with this particular birthmark, there’d be no question of invasive procedures UNLESS it was deemed dangerous. My oldest daughter has vitiligo and since it’s cosmetic, I’d never consider the one treatment option that puts her at risk for cancer. Some things, vanity included, are not worth risking your health over.

  • Reply Cathey Montgomery March 5, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    my daughter had one, not as big as your daughter, and it was on her neck. A doctor showed us pictures of children after surgery and the scar was much worse than the red spot. at age 2 they froze the spot on my daughter’s neck to stop the molecules from spreading. The spot turned very very black and after a few weeks the black fell off and it looked exactly the same. I was so disappointed. But, what happened was stopping the molecules made the redness beginto disappear. it took like 4 yrs and the spot became a round shadowed spot. redness all gone. Please don’t do surgery on her beautiful face. take after surgery pics and hand a pic to every rude person.. hugs…

  • Reply James March 5, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Looking at the picture I see no “flaw”. All I see is your baby girl, beautiful and perfect in every way.

  • Reply Kelly Whitten March 5, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    I just saw this article about the “mark” on her face. All I want to say is that yes, I saw the mark and no its not anything that will draw attention away from her eyes. I could drown in her eyes. In fact after seeing ALL of her face I have to say I would hate to have her in my house because I would never have the nerves to say no to her…about anything. I would spoil her rotten. Not because of her “mark” but because of her, herself. She’s gorgeous and my downfall is her eyes, I can only imagine me saying no to her and seeing her eyes fill with tears and her bottom lip coming out and it would be all over for me. I would end up a blubbering fool because I don’t have the reserve to say no to her. LOL. I applaud that you have told every one it is what it is. She is a beauty and she will prove to everyone how beautiful she is, with or without that “mark”. I love the mark, it makes her unique. After all, in a world where everyone wants to be like everyone else, its nice to know that she will be the unique one…one of a kind….because of who she is and what she gives off through her actions. Not her looks. God Bless You.

  • Reply John March 5, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    My daughter had a hemangioma on her upper lip at birth, and we experienced similarly awkward or inappropriate responses from well-meaning people. If my daughter’s experience is any indication, the hemangioma will substantially reduce on its own over time. My daughter eventually had outpatient surgery after a few years, and I can refer you to her surgeon if that would be helpful. But I applaud your decision not to rush that process, especially if no pediatrician is recommending surgery at this time. Your daughter is really adorable, by the way!

  • Reply Mari March 5, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    My son had this same type across his scrotum and the inner part of his leg. At first, it was very obvious, now at 9, it’s almost completely faded. Your daughter is beautiful.

  • Reply WHAT’S WRONG WITH HER FACE? This Mom Wants You to Stop Praying for Her Daughter | UG Christian News March 6, 2016 at 12:24 am

    […] “I’ve gotten a variety of remarks from family, friends, and strangers. I’ve done some thinking and I want to share our perspective as parents,” Crenshaw states on her blog. […]

  • Reply Sam March 6, 2016 at 1:48 am

    I had never heard of this type of birthmark until my little man developed them after he was born last year. He has four but only a small one on his face but I had a “friend” tell me how it would ruin his baby photos.

    Your little girl is beautiful x

  • Reply Betsy Malone March 6, 2016 at 2:33 am

    Hi, I was also born with a hemangioma on my right cheek, ( smaller and more raised) but 60 years ago they didn’t know how to deal with it as it was growing. So when I was 3 months old the doctor used dry ice to burn it, let it scab and after the scab fell off this was repeated 28 more times. I was left with a large burn scar, then had plastic surgery to cover the burn when I was 8 years old. I’m not sure what I want to say to you, to give advise because I just want to cry for her. She is so lucky to have you for a mommy and I know she will handle it better than most because of your love and understanding. If you decide to seek more medical advise, I would recommend Dr. Barry Zide in NYC.

  • Reply Mom of girl with a red birthmark across her face slams strangers who comment - To Day Updates March 6, 2016 at 3:19 am

    […] a post shared on her blog, Twelve and Six, Katie Crenshaw, from Atlanta, Georgia, explained that her daughter Charlie Kate was born with a […]

  • Reply Kachina March 6, 2016 at 4:41 am

    Like many of you, I had never heard of or seen a hemangioma until my son was born with one on the side of his head. It started as a small speck at two weeks old and grew to the size of a small lime. It was scary in the beginning and I also endured endless comments from people saying “ew, what is that?” Over time I came to realize how common these are and that they “usually” go away over time. He is now 2 and it has softened and is no longer bright right. It has never bothered him and I’m thankful for that. Thank you for saying what all of us are thinking. Your daughter is beautiful.

  • Reply bastcilk doptb March 6, 2016 at 10:55 am

    There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain nice points in features also.

  • Reply Mom Is Fed Up With Rude Comments About Her Daughter’s Birthmark – How to kill your time? March 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    […] a recent blog post on Twelve and Six, Katie finally decided to address the rude comments she receives about her baby […]

  • Reply A Mom Is Breaking Down The Stigma About Her Daughter’s Birthmark After Rude Comments | PintVerse March 6, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    […] harm, and she takes medication to ensure it doesn’t get bigger, Crenshaw wrote on her blog Twelve and Six […]

  • Reply A Mom Is Breaking Down The Stigma About Her Daughter's Birthmark After Rude Comments - Likes March 6, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    […] The birthmark is a benign vascular tumor, Crenshaw said. The mark is cosmetic, so it doesn't do Charlie any harm, and she takes medication to ensure it doesn't get bigger, Crenshaw wrote on her blog Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply A Mom Is Breaking Down The Stigma About Her Daughter's Birthmark After Rude Comments - Buzz And Gossip March 6, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    […] The birthmark is a benign vascular tumor, Crenshaw said. The mark is cosmetic, so it doesn’t do Charlie any harm, and she takes medication to ensure it doesn’t get bigger, Crenshaw wrote on her blog Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply A Mom Is Breaking Down The Stigma About Her Daughter's Birthmark After Rude Comments | Roumor March 6, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    […] The birthmark is a benign vascular tumor, Crenshaw said. The mark is cosmetic, so it doesn't do Charlie any harm, and she takes medication to ensure it doesn't get bigger, Crenshaw wrote on her blog Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply A Mom Is Breaking Down The Stigma About Her Daughter’s Birthmark After Rude Comments – Slugline.io March 6, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    […] The birthmark is a benign vascular tumor, Crenshaw said. The mark is cosmetic, so it doesn’t do Charlie any harm, and she takes medication to ensure it doesn’t get bigger, Crenshaw wrote on her blog Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply A Mom Is Breaking Down The Stigma About Her Daughter's Birthmark After Rude Comments – AMNY March 6, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    […] The birthmark is a benign vascular tumor, Crenshaw said. The mark is cosmetic, so it doesn't do Charlie any harm, and she takes medication to ensure it doesn't get bigger, Crenshaw wrote on her blog Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply Danielle March 6, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Hi there, I found your post from a buzzfeed article, and it spoke to me, so I wanted to drop by your blog. I too have a large birthmark on my face! I’m 28 now, but I know what it’s like growing up with the weird looks and ridiculous comments and questions from people. Here’s what I’ve learned over the years: If you don’t draw attention to it, she’ll forget it’s even there. There have been SO many times over the years that people ask about my face and I have to pause and think “what the hell are they even talking about? Did I forget to wipe my face after I ate?LOL.” Also, years from now when she starts wearing makeup, be sure to tell her she’s not the only one that gets a little annoyed when people say “I think your makeup is smeared.” It’s just my birthmark! There will of course be times when kids will say mean things, and there will probably be tears. The most important thing I learned, that my mom really taught me, was that I’m just special—a little different and unique, but that’s how God made me, and that’s what makes me, me!

    I wish my mother had an audience to say the same things you have said in this post. It’s so important for people to realize that we birthmark-wearing girls (and boys!) aren’t sick, we don’t need pity, and we are just as beautiful and special as all those “normal” people out there!

  • Reply A Mom Is Fighting Back After She Kept Getting Rude Comments About Her Baby's Birthmark - Likes March 6, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    […] The birthmark is a benign vascular tumor, Crenshaw said. The mark is cosmetic, so it doesn't do Charlie any harm, and she takes medication to ensure it doesn't get bigger, Crenshaw wrote on her blog Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply A Mom Is Fighting Back After She Kept Getting Rude Comments About Her Baby's Birthmark – AMNY March 6, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    […] The birthmark is a benign vascular tumor, Crenshaw said. The mark is cosmetic, so it doesn't do Charlie any harm, and she takes medication to ensure it doesn't get bigger, Crenshaw wrote on her blog Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply Kelsey Cuddihy March 6, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    What a beautiful note from a loving mother. I had one for the first year of my life in my eye. My Mom always told me stories of facing the same issues you are facing. Her biggest fear was people thinking that she had punched me in the eye. Mine disappeared on its own after about a year and there was absolutely no damage to my eye. I consider it now a fun story that made me and my baby photos more unique! Your daughter will grow up confident and will have great memories with these beautiful photos. The one warning I would pass on is that your daughter SHOULD worry about remembering how to spell “Hemangioma” when she meets new doctors.

  • Reply A Mom Is Fighting Back After She Kept Getting Rude Comments About Her Baby's Birthmark | Deep Notion March 6, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    […] The birthmark is a benign vascular tumor, Crenshaw said. The mark is cosmetic, so it doesn't do Charlie any harm, and she takes medication to ensure it doesn't get bigger, Crenshaw wrote on her blog Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply This woman just expertly shut down rude trolls who comment on her daughter's birthmark March 6, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    […] shared some knowledge in her blog Twelve & Six: “She isn’t in pain or ill,” she wrote. “She simply has an unusual quality […]

  • Reply Heather March 6, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks for this post. My 5th child, a son, has one on his forehead. It started growing when he was only 2 weeks old and grew in color and size and thckness until he turned 1 and then it started to fade away. It was a very dark red color, almost like blood and he was a little baldy so it was what I noticed first every time I looked at him. I was upset about it at first and quickly realized how foolish that was. He was an adorable little guy with something extra on his face. It wasn’t hurting him. He had no idea it was there. He was an answer to my prayers and I was thankful for him no matter what he was like. And it hasn’t bothered me ever since then. He is now 19 months old and it’s almost gone. It’s not puffy anymore and the color is more like a pink instead of red. I used to get hurt from the comments and I was really amazed at how dumb people could be. Like you said, innocent questions or suggestions or helpful comments from people saying they knew someone that had one never bothered me. What bothered me were rude, mean people. Once I had a guy come up to me and say, “You know your baby has something on his head? I’m sure you can get that removed. It looks horrible.” I was sad because my 4 older children heard that one and it really bothered them. Once at an Italian restaurant, my son was sitting in his infant car seat and the restaurant had dim lighting. The server said, “I think you dropped some spaghetti sauce on your baby’s head.” so I stopped and looked at him and didn’t see any and I looked even closer and didn’t see any and I realized she thought his mark was spaghetti sauce and I told her it was actually a birthmark and she felt so bad and apologized and gave us free dessert! That was one of those times I wasn’t upset about that. We actually thought it was super funny and reassured her we weren’t upset or offended by that. Anyway, your daughter is beautiful with or without her birthmark.

  • Reply Candace H. March 6, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    65 years ago I was born with one the size of a half dollar on my nose. By the age of 2 it had shrunk and lightened significantly and by school there was only a darker spot about a 1/4 inch diameter on my nose that blended in nicely with the slightly pink color of a natural red head. No one has noticed it or ever made a remark about it in my memory. I was never bothered by it and was even shocked to see how big it was when I looked at baby pictures years later. I know my mother was hurt by other people’s reactions when I was a baby. I think it was hard for my parents but not me.

  • Reply Liv March 6, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Hi! I really appreciated your story. I have a facial port-wine birthmark. I’m 22 and happy with who I am, but I’ve experienced how painful strangers’ comments can be. I’m so glad Charlie has such a supportive family. She’s adorable 🙂

  • Reply KimMad March 7, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Your Charlie is beautiful! My youngest son also had a very small hemangioma on the top of his head. Now at age 9, it is long gone. I never even noticed when it left! However, that was his second birthmark. He has a rare one on his left thumb and wrist called a Linear Epidermal Nevus. Sort of looks like a a skin colored large mole. Some nurses have mistaken it for a burn. Like you, we have always said it is a part of my son, Emmett, that makes him unique and just, him. He is questioned on it often, but he has a confidence in him where nothing phases him. That is what I wish for your daughter. Great confidence! Rock on, mama, and keep on educating!

  • Reply Karen March 7, 2016 at 1:21 am

    Hang in there, Katie. You have a truly happy and beautiful daughter. Keep on showering her with love. My sweet second daughter had a rather large bur perfectly round raspberry red hemangioma on top of her right shoulder. I was so worried when she was little, mostly about how others would think or treat her. I would told her and her older sister that that red spot was an “angel kiss”. It was the last spot touched and kissed in heaven before she was given to mamma and daddy. Over the years, kids and adults would ask her or me what is that. We would say.. oh.. it is just her angel kiss. Adult would ask or roll their eyes. Other little ones would look around and ask where was their spot. If we couldn’t find a spot, I would say that the kisses were there; however, they would fade over time as would my daughter’s. Her angel kiss did fade in time around her 6th birthday, as did my worries. I can barely pick out the area. She only remembers it if she looks at old pictures. Just remember you don’t have to answer everyone’s question. Sometimes have a little fun with people’s silliness. All I see is a happy, cheerful lovely little girl that got one hellva an angel’s kiss before coming to town.

  • Reply Lauren March 7, 2016 at 2:44 am

    Charlie is adorable, and has great style! Thank you for being a great mama. Best wishes for you and your family.

  • Reply Caroline March 7, 2016 at 3:25 am

    Growing up I had a hemangioma that required me to be put into clinical trials for developing drugs at the time because of the problems it posed. I am 23 now and recently graduated college; I still have some scars from it but overall no one ever notices. I know my parents went though similar experiences as the ones written here because my hemangioma was on my head. My parents had to face a lot of hard decisions, but I know the daily comments and looks were particularly frustrating, especially those from my 6 year old sister because her school friends were asking questions that she (and my parents) couldn’t answer. I know there are a lot of comments from parents of children with hemangiomas but I thought I could offer a different perspective and tell you that your daughter will just respect you even more for what you’ve done for her and it will eventually give her confidence to know that she could do something so incredible so young.

  • Reply Ashley March 7, 2016 at 4:00 am

    Your little girl is beautiful. My best friend had a similar birth mark growing up. Her mom always told her that people were staring at her because she was so beautiful. She grew up thinking she was a celebrity. Now she is the most amazing and confident woman.

  • Reply Laura March 7, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Reading this post honestly made me cry. I was born with congenital cranial disinervation disorder, which basically means that some of the nerves in my brain didn’t connect to the right places before I was born. This could’ve caused me so many mental or physical issues in life, but “luckily” the only effect it had was to cause one eyelid to droop down a little bit below the other (maybe a couple of mm). However, over the years I’ve had so many adults, teens, and children come up to me and ask what’s wrong with my eyes or why my face is uneven or why I have a lazy eye (I don’t). I’m 18 now and the result of having a facial “flaw” pointed out to me every day has been enormous. I struggle with self-confidence issues, anxiety, and anorexia, all deeply rooted in my experiences with and hatred for my eye.

    I wish my parents had written something like this for me. You are the kind of mother that every child needs, and I only dream of receiving this kind of support and love. Charlie is absolutely gorgeous in every way and I hope that she knows that every day in the future. Sending you the best wishes.

    • Reply Sue March 9, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Oh, Laura, please know that Katie’s kind words WERE written for YOU to read! Just because your parents didn’t write it, doesn’t mean it wasn’t written for YOU. I do not think it was an accident that you read Charlie’s story. So please take to heart what Charlie’s sweet Mama is saying: that YOU are beautiful, and when mean people say mean things (because mean people will find something to pick on, no matter what you look like!), you don’t have to internalize their mean words. I know that is a LOT easier to say than do, especially at your tender age, and with your added struggles with anxiety and anorexia. (I do hope that you will seek professional help with the anorexia!)

      Please just keep telling yourself that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and LOVED! Remember that it IS a blessing that with your very serious medical condition, you only have a small eye droop. Perhaps after you spend some time trying to improve your self-confidence, if the appearance of your eye still really bothers you, you could ask your doctor if corrective surgery would be covered by insurance. (I have a friend with a similar situation, and hers was covered because her eyelid interfered with her vision.)

      May God bless you, Laura, as you mature into the full understanding of that affirmation: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and LOVED!!
      With love and prayers,
      from the mom of a beautiful 15yo who had a cavernous parotid hemangioma on her cheek
      (“Normal” face at birth, small spot showed up on cheek when she was 6 weeks old, grew rapidly for a year, ended up being about twice the size of Charlie’s at the largest phase. Then began involuting when she was 3yo, about 50% gone by age 5, 90% by age 9, and now just a small patch of skin with slightly different texture – most people don’t even notice it. We conferred with Dr. Milton Waner, who suggested “wait and see” after local ENT specialist confirmed with MRI that the hemangioma did not extend into brain cavity or airway, but did wrap around her facial nerve. So no meds, no lasers, nothing – and it is gone.)

  • Reply Rhapsody Davis March 7, 2016 at 4:15 am

    Beautiful article, gorgeous baby (and pretty mom). I learned a lot from this. Thank you so much.

  • Reply kathy March 7, 2016 at 7:46 am

    My sister had one on her nose when she was born. I was quite young myself at the time but I remember the looks & comments. I sometimes think my mum was loathe to go out because of the constant comments & people practically accusing her of child abuse. The other thing was the blame being attached to my ma about her being the cause – especially the “you drank to much wine or ate to much tomato while pregnant”. My sister was such a beautiful baby but nobody could see past the nose. She eventually had to have an operation because of various complications. There were still some pink areas but within a couple of years they faded away. Then everyone said she would need another op, more for plastic surgery beautification purposes. Well, she only had the one op & has grown into the most gorgeous young woman & guess what – her slightly quirky nose is her very best feature. I don’t think my sister was too affected by this as she was so young (but who knows?) My mum though was & is a different story. People’s bluntness & cruel & thoughtless comments caused such guilt in her that even 34 years later she can’t overcome it. That is what makes me so sad. This is what I am so glad that you are sharing your daughters story. People will see & learn, ignorance will lessen & the beauty of a child will fill hearts with joy.

  • Reply Heartfelt Monday: Inspirational Blog Posts from My Favorite Bloggers - Cuteheads March 7, 2016 at 11:00 am

    […] What’s Wrong with Her Face?, Twelve and Six […]

  • Reply kim March 7, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    I’m 41 & was born with the same birthmark on my right forearm and hand. Eventually my hand cleared up but many people mistakenly think my right arm was burned. At the time doctors told my mother when i was older they could do skin grafts to cover it. But by the fime i was old enough my thought was “you either like me for me or not”. There was no reason to change. The people who matter in your daughter’s life will not see the outside, they will see her soul and love her for who she is, a beautiful girl.

  • Reply Vanderpool's March 7, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    First off your daughter is beautiful! My daughter has a hemangioma also close to her eye and we decided to not do any treatment for it. We instead placed her in a case study to try to help others. The comments we heard from people (adult) was amazing. Every thing from “Did you see that kids face” to “Awww what did daddy do to your face”. Talk about a hostile mother! We decided to change her diet and give her as much antioxidant as possible and the results we’re amazing! My daughter is five now and her hemangioma looks like a shadow in pictures. She is so confident in her self if anyone asks her what’s on her face she tells them “It’s my cutie mark and it’s makes me beautiful”. Don’t let anyone make you feel like your not doing the right thing!

  • Reply Anne March 7, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I just had to comment after I saw your post mentioned on Buzzfeed. I have two younger brothers who are identical twins. One had a hemangioma that was on his eye lid and covered half his eye. We used to always joke that it was the only way we could tell them apart! The hemangioma was gone by the time my brother was in elementary school.

  • Reply Lissie March 7, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Katie,
    I heard about your blog via the buzzfeed article. I also have a hemangioma, but it is located on the center of my chest. When i was younger it appeared to be the same size as your daughters but as I have grown older it has flattened out, though there is still discoloration and skin where it was. Having had it my whole life I don’t notice it anymore, though it is something I have grown to fidget with in uncomfortable situations, but it is also the first thing people tend to notice about me. I was given the option when younger to have it surgically removed but that would have left a scar so I opted out. After reading the article I want to commend you on how you are dealing with it. I have learned alot of people are curious and don’t know what or how to ask. Growing up my parents biggest fear was that I would be self conscious about it but they never tried to hide it. I, in turn never hid it as well, eventually becoming a swimmer where it is always highly visible. As a child I was always asked about it, but as I grew older, people began feeling uncomfortable asking me and approached my sister instead. Unfortunately alot arent aware of what strawberry marks are but I dont think I would change mine even if I could, it has become my normal!

  • Reply Pagina 7 | Madre defiende a su bebé tras crueles comentarios por marca de nacimiento en su rostro March 7, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    […] través de su blog, Katie escribió un mensaje a todos aquellos que creen necesario comentar el aspecto de su […]

  • Reply Melissa March 7, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    First, BEAUTIFUL sweet angel!!! Second, props to you mom for your encouragement to other moms facing this. I’m curious (as a pediatric nurse) if they have tried propranolol (Inderal)? You stated she is on a medication and I had followed a research study on that one a while back and was wondering if that was it.

    • Reply Carrie March 7, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      Propanolol worked amazingly for my infant who had a hemangioma. She was on it from 6 weeks to 10 months old. Sadly, it regressed a little when they stopped the medication, but not to what it once was. Overall, I was impressed with its effect.

      When people heard she was on a beta-blocker, the ‘well intended’ comments got even worse because of its tie to cardiac health.

  • Reply This Mom Wants People To Stop Pitying Her Baby Because Of Her Birthmark - Get Informed March 7, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    […] see past the color of her face,” she writes. “Charlie is Charlie and it’s part of who she is. It doesn’t need to be constantly commented […]

  • Reply claudia mckeown March 7, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I am a soon to be 50 yr old woman. I have covering half of my face what was called a hemangioma. It is red and splotchy but not at all raised. I was born 7 1/2 weeks premature and the doctors said I was in the womb on my left side and that attributed to this. I also have very bad vision in my left eye. As a child I was overweight, wore very thick glasses that magnified my eyes and had this. I was asked about it alot and picked on alot. Today would be called bullied. My mother was very strong and told me it was all part of the unique, special person that I was. My mother lost a child between my brother and I. They only wanted 2 so I was her gift. when I was old enough I was able to get contacts. Weight has always been a struggle, not fat just pudgy. We looked into all kinds of makeup, back in the late 70s and early 80s it was pretty nasty, thick and caky. Even to this day when I have been on the beach or I go without makeup I still have unthinking adults comment about my half face sunburn. It still gets to me but I have grown up alot over the years. I am a very strong person and have seen people with much worse. My attitude is if you do not like the way I look, don’t look and if it bothers you that much I don’t need your friendship. I have been to many doctors over the years. Get really bad migraines and thought it was related. Separate issue. I went to a doctor at the Medical University of SC in Charleston about 10 years ago. As I was sitting in his chair he asked me what my problem was. I had always thought it stuck out like a sore thumb so I pointed it out to him. He described the laser surgery I could have. Would have to be done in very small areas and take several years. No Sun, I love the sun. He told me that my case was very minor compared to many of his patients and showed me some pictures. Also pointed out that the laser could cause more severe damage. He called me pretty, that day changed my life. It no longer matters to me that I look different than others, we are all different. There are no side effects to my face and after 40 years it was correctly diagnosed as a Port Wine Stain. I am actually proud of it, it supports how strong I am and all that I went thru as a child. IT was very much bullying, different than today but still left the same scars. I am proud of ME and proud of all those that survive these types of things. Proud of your daughter and hope that things turn out as well for her and others.

  • Reply Jo March 7, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Oh my! What absolutely beautiful blue eyes your little angel has!!! As the mummy of another of Gods stunning little creations (my daughter is now 15 months old), whose individuality made itself evident at 4 weeks with a hemangioma under her left eye, I absolutely applaud your post. I live in Dubai where there is a melting pot of nationalities, many of whom feel that It is their right to ask me ‘oh what happened to her eye?’ And when I reply to then respond with ‘oh poor baby’.. It makes me so angry!! My daughter doesn’t have a disease or a life threatening illness and her individuality is what I admire most about her. The hemangioma she has is now starting to disappear and I feel quite sad because she’s had it now for 14 months and it is part of who she is, I don’t even notice it anymore, if anything I think it makes her look even more beautiful in the same way Cindy Crawford is revered for her beauty spot above her lip. I wish you and your beautiful daughter every happiness, and I’m sure that her uniqueness will not be in any way a hindrance to her success as I’m sure she will grow up to have her Mummy’s positive outlook to show those around her that a little bit of something different is a blessing.

  • Reply This Mom Wants People To Stop Pitying Her Baby Because Of Her Birthmark – AllMagNews March 7, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    […] see past the color of her face,” she writes. “Charlie is Charlie and it’s part of who she is. It doesn’t need to be constantly commented […]

  • Reply It doesn't matter March 7, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    This comes of as amazingly sanctimonious to me. Your child is disfigured, and people are going to ask questions. The world cannot view your child through the same filter that you do… your special snowflake is, indeed, one of millions of other special snowflakes. It bothers me that you would complain about people making comments about your child, yet you post pictures of her all over the internet to drive traffic and make money off of it. How twisted is that?

    I hope you do the right thing and seek medical intervention for her so that her life may be a little easier. No matter how “comfortable” she may be when she grows up, such a disfigurement WILL challenge her career and her social life in ways that she will not be able to simply laugh off.

    You are very selfish.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      I didn’t complain about people making comments, you clearly did not read the article. (Or perhaps it was too complicated for you to understand?) I also am not “making money off of her”. I have no control over what goes viral on the internet. You, my friend, are the problem in our society and I pity you. I can only hope that the Charlies of the world will win against the trolls such as yourself. The hundreds of supportive and positive comments from people who are thriving with physical differences prove that my maternal instincts regarding this are correct. Good luck to you in your life. You seem like a sad person.

    • Reply Charlotte March 7, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      I can totally empathise with the feeling you get when someone looks at your child and just see’s what they perceive to be wrong with them. My lb has constant o2 pipes and NG tube taped to his face. It’s the tone – the pitying tone – that annoys me the most. Oh poor baby! Poor baby nothing! He spent months in hospital, acted as a pin cushion for incessant bloods, had numerous blood transfusions and an op at 2 1/2 weeks. He used to be an oh poor baby when he was in hospital and couldn’t take food cos his intestines were in his lung cavity or when he was on every type of ventilation cos he couldn’t breathe at all independently. Now he just has air gushing up his nose, milk poured into his tummy and some mean nasty tapes stuff to his beautiful face.
      Your daughter is beautiful and your article is bang on, thank you

    • Reply Charlotte March 7, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      Oh my God, her child is not disfigured, she just looks different to your normal! She’s beautiful and healthy. Yes the girl will probably be self conscious about it as she gets older, but because of people like YOU not her mom posting her beautiful picture out there and saying this is my beautiful child!

  • Reply MaryBeth March 7, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Thank you for your post. I aslo had a hemangioma when I was a baby. It was on the side of my face and started developing by my ear when I was 1 month old. By the time I was 1, it looked as though I had 2 heads, one being big & red. Mine was also cosmetic. The docotors told my parents that it could go away completely when I was older. This was back in the mid 60’s. By age 4, my parents finally decided on trying surgery to remove it. When they showed up for the pre-op appointment, they said they would not do surgery that it was beginning to shrink. Even though my parents were in disbelief that is was shrinking, they took me home and it became a waiting game. I remember talking to my mom about it. I was so young that I only remember pictures. I am greatful that they took pictures and didn’t try to hide it. When I was in my late elementary, early teens, I was embarrassed by my baby pictures. I was young and immature. Now as an adult, I appreciate the pictures and I am glad they took them. You, like my mother, told me that I was a beautiful baby as I am sure you will tell you daughter. My mother said it was the adults who would make rude comments or I’ll pray for you comments as opposed to kids. She said the kids always accepted the explanation and moved on. Thankyou for sharing your post. It made say to myself what a great mom I had who always made me feel beautiful! I am going to call my mom after typing this and tell her I love her:)

  • Reply Charlotte March 7, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    I can totally empathise with the feeling you get when someone looks at your child and just see’s what they perceive to be wrong with them. My lb has constant o2 pipes and NG tube taped to his face. It’s the tone – the pitying tone – that annoys me the most. Oh poor baby! Poor baby nothing! He spent months in hospital, acted as a pin cushion for incessant bloods, had numerous blood transfusions and an op at 2 1/2 weeks. He used to be an oh poor baby when he was in hospital and couldn’t take food cos his intestines were in his lung cavity or when he was on every type of ventilation cos he couldn’t breathe at all independently. Now he just has air gushing up his nose, milk poured into his tummy and some mean nasty tapes stuff to his beautiful face.
    Your daughter is beautiful and your article is bang on, thank you

  • Reply jo March 7, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    my sister had a huge mark like that but raised with blood underneath on her hand for many years as a baby..It went away. they called hers a strawberry mark. She is beautiful. I try to teach everyone I know to love your body no matter what you are going through. I have a rare disease called arthrochalasia which gives me kyphoscoliosis or curved spine. I went through so much as a kid. My only hurdle has been pain. The pain with this disease is horrendous. I wish your little baby a life filled with self confidence ,love ,joy and acceptance and of course pain free.

  • Reply Hayley March 7, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Your daughter is beautiful but I am surprised that the professionals are only monitoring the haemangioma. My daughter had a capillary haemangioma on her eye lid as a baby and we always got comments etc however as it was on her eyelid she was prescribed a very low dose of propranolol and it completely disappeared. Our consultant though was very keen to get her on it & to prevent any possible damage to her eyesight as it was closing her eye. It was like magic! No apparent damage to her eyesight at the moment, she is now 4 years old & you wouldn’t even have known it had been there xx

  • Reply Anna March 8, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Be realistic even if it hurts. The child will blame you when she becomes a teenager and other kids look at her in a different way. This conditions are better treated surgically when the child is young and some institutions do community service by granting free medical care to people that could not pay for it otherwise. Search medical schools and community agencies that may help you find that doctor that is willing, some TV stations offer programs to help people find solutions and you should contact all available, searching for help. In Miami, FL channel 7 has a program called Help Me Howard, you could contact them and they could advice you. The younger the better for successful surgery.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Thank you, but our specialists don’t advise surgery.

    • Reply Footnotegirl March 8, 2016 at 5:02 am

      @Anna, you are a real piece of work, you know that? You clearly know little to nothing about Hemangiomas. The surgery for them is not generally very successful and can very well leave worse scars than just leaving them by themselves, which is why up until recently treatment was generally refused unless the hemangioma was covering an eye (can lead to blindness), nose, mouth, anus, or got too big (causing blood loss) or started to ulcerate which are all very rare occurances. Given time, the vast majority of them will devolute on their own, leaving little to no mark that they were ever there. Any good doctor would avoid surgery (whether scalpel or laser) for an hemangioma where at all possible. There is a recent treatment that is still in the experimental stage (an off-label use of the commonly used drug, propranolol) but it is ENTIRELY reasonable for a doctor and parent to decide not to use an experimental treatment on an infant for what are merely cosmetic purposes, especially when it is a well known fact that most hemangiomas will fade before a child goes to school. Maybe before commenting you could bother to learn, you know, ANYTHING about the subject being discussed.

      • Reply Sue March 9, 2016 at 4:30 am

        Amen!!! (See my above reply to Laura for the summary of my daughter’s very large facial hemangioma – no meds, no surgery, and – yes, after a lot of waiting! – it is gone.)

  • Reply Madre defiende a su bebé tras crueles comentarios por marca de nacimiento en su rostro – Voz Ciudadana Chile March 8, 2016 at 12:25 am

    […] través de su blog, Katie escribió un mensaje a todos aquellos que creen necesario comentar el aspecto de su hija. […]

  • Reply Christian mom doesn’t want people to pray for her young daughter with facial tumour, citing this reason | Christian Conservative Daily March 8, 2016 at 1:04 am

    […] on her blog “Twelve and Six,” Crenshaw notes that her daughter’s condition is the first […]

  • Reply Barb Tessier March 8, 2016 at 1:58 am

    With a mother like you, Charlie is already on the way to being a beautiful, strong, confident woman… in ANY regard.

  • Reply Brea March 8, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Your daughter is beautiful! I have a daughter named Charlee and she has a large port wine stain on the entire lower side of the right side of her face. I couldn’t imagine her without it… and we have no intentions on changing anything about her. She is absolutely beautiful to us <3

  • Reply Cari R. March 8, 2016 at 2:31 am

    My oldest Ella was born with a large hemangioma on her arm from her elbow to her hand. I love you shared this story!!! I can totally relate to your story. My Ella went through the same experience from tests to propanol. Your Charlie is beautiful!! I cannot wait to follow her story and show my daughter too.

  • Reply Heather March 8, 2016 at 2:32 am

    This baby is adorable, perfect & just a cutie. She is and will be fine if she is taught that she is. Life is a lot about perspective. The perspectives one has about oneself is most important. She has a great start because she is loved as she is. I wish the parents of this beautiful child all the best & am so happy they love her just the way she is. God Bless.

  • Reply Ember March 8, 2016 at 2:32 am

    I was born with a birthmark, I am now 25 and have a beautiful daughter of my own. My parents raised me to be confident and self assured. I never felt that I was some how less then or could have been more beautiful then I already am. I am greatful for them and what they taught me. I know you will do the same. She has the opportunity to be a light to others.

  • Reply Cynthia March 8, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Hi Katie,
    Charlie is beautiful. I actually had strawberry hemangioma when I was young too. Mine was on the left side of my face and from what I’ve been told, I wasn’t born with it but it did spread to cover my entire left cheek. My mom and I wanted to let you know even with it on my face throughout my childhood, I had no trouble making friends and was not subject to any bullying (luckily? haha).

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply Bart March 8, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Charlie is beautiful and adorable and you’re an awesome Mom! She can be very proud of you and vice versa!

    All the best!

    X

    Bart (Sydney, Australia)

  • Reply Vivianna March 8, 2016 at 2:52 am

    I love this because I love the kind of person that you are! I am so glad this is getting the attention it deserves. Your writing is beautiful & your family must be so proud of you for being such an inspiration to so many other families. Thanks for sharing such a personal piece <3

  • Reply Sarah March 8, 2016 at 2:58 am

    I’ve seen your article all over the Internet. I also have a daughter and want to protect her from everything. But I think the most important thing you can do as a parent is to respond to the questions with patience, humor, and kindness. I have a port wine stain birthmark on my cheek, in a similar spot to your daughter’s. And with over 25 years of laser treatments, it has not gone away. One thing I’ve come to realize is that we can’t control what other people are going to say, or when it may surprise us to get an odd question. And yes, people were much more rude and forthright when I was a child. But my mother always remained calm and casual and I learned to do the same. Or she’d crack a joke!
    Continue to be brave and set a great example for your adorable little one. And I will do the same for my two year old when she and her friends ask me what’s on my face.

  • Reply Jennifer March 8, 2016 at 2:59 am

    I seen you story and I would love to say she is so cute and if she didn’t have that pretty birthmark she won’t be who she is and who ever has something bad to say about what God wanted your lil girl to look like they need some praying.sorry you have to go though this

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      <3

  • Reply Sammy March 8, 2016 at 3:25 am

    Thank you so much for this post! My son was born with a hemangioma as well. While it isn’t nearly as extensive as your daughter’s, we still receive constant comments such as “What happened to his poor little head?” and “Did he fall down?”, etc. It’s located right above his nose on his forehead. And personally, I think it’s absolutely beautiful and it makes him that much more unique. I know that many people don’t realize immediately that it’s a birthmark, but there is no excuse for anyone saying that it detracts from a child’s beauty. All children are beautiful, wonderful, amazing little beings. Your daughter is absolutely gorgeous and her hemangioma only adds to her beauty. I don’t know if you practice any particular religion, but as far as I’m concerned, God doesn’t make mistakes. Her birthmark is a part of her and no one should pass judgment or “pray that it goes away”. Why would anyone “pray” that something that is uniquely your daughter’s disappear? Thank you again for the informative post 🙂

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you for reading!

      • Reply Lori Smith March 12, 2016 at 4:08 pm

        I was born in 1960 with a birthmark on my face. It was about the size of a quarter and on the right side, above my mouth/below my nose. It was bright red. Notice I’ve been saying “was.” It is now half gone and the rest is 1/2 lighter than it was. I was one of the patients in the experimental trials of tunable dye lasers.This occurred in the late 1980s at Boston University. I’ve had several other treatments since that trial. Although I sincerely appreciate your position on changing the stigma, and I hope you do, I must say that you need to think about this from your daughter’s point of view. She’s a baby now. She doesn’t care about this, but she more than likely will. From my experience, she will start caring when she becomes a teenager – or maybe sooner. I did everything I could to cover mine up with makeup. I was so, so self-conscious, that it effected my whole being. At 16 I became depressed and eventually experienced major depressive episodes. Before I experienced this, I was a happy child and teenager. At that point I went to a doctor at Ohio State University Hospital and he told my family that they were experimenting with lasers and he described it as a red balloon inside of clear balloon and the laser could pop the red one without damaging the clear one. I was sad that they couldn’t do anything for me – but that doctor was right. It did happen and it does work. Mine is not 100% gone, but that is because of the location (thick skin) and my age. These lasers work even better on a child’s birthmark. I do agree that it would be nice if people didn’t think of it as any more than a freckle, but it is more than a freckle. I hope you consider treatment for her, for I endured the trial not just for me, but for the science that could help others just like her.

  • Reply Terell McConnell March 8, 2016 at 3:28 am

    You’re awesome Katie, and Charlie is undoubtedly beautiful. I was born with a fairly large, dark brown birthmark on my thigh. I’m 29 now and have been dying to have it removed since someone first made fun of me for it when I was about 7! As a kid I was so mad at my mom for not removing it when I was a baby. That was hard for a young girl…to get made fun of for something you had no control over. I’ve gone through life hating it, covering it up as much as possible, and hoping my kid didn’t have to deal with the same thing. But, you’re right, it absolutely made me more acceptable of people, and seriously, for the first time tonight, after reading this, I realized maybe the reason God gave me this birthmark had nothing to do with me (although I do feel it kept me modest) but it will help me teach my daughter about acceptance, love and true beauty. That’s a crazy revelation for me, so thanks for sharing your story and pictures of your gorgeous daughter.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Tears!!!

  • Reply Helen March 8, 2016 at 4:14 am

    My daughter had a large cavernous haemangioma on her face. She was born in 1988. Thankfully before Facebook etc. so we mostly did not need to contend with the thoughtless comments of strangers. I worried a lot at first but 99% of people were lovely and accepting. Once they met my daughter they could not fail to be captivated by her happy personality, her smiles and giggles. I stopped even noticing it and it seemed normal to me. My daughter has blossomed into a beautiful young woman who makes me proud every day. She was always a very caring child even at age 4 or 5 and has chosen to work in the caring professions. I think her early life experiences made her very accepting of others and their differences – be it race, sexuality, religion, colour and so on. My only child, I have valued every day of her life and would not change her for the world.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      So much agree!

  • Reply Natalie Luckeraft March 8, 2016 at 6:09 am

    Hi I am all the way in Australia and your story just appeared on my news feed. My 4.5 year old daughter also has a capillary haemangioma in her left eye socket which looks like she has black eye. She is also on propranolol and is asked DAILY “what happened to your eye”. It absolutely kills me as she has reached an age where she is very aware that this is a question she is asked repeatedly. Thankfully she thinks she has magical powers (special birthmark like my little pony) her magical power is that she makes everyone happy. Your story touched my heart because it is a difficult thing to cope with as a parent. Your daughter is beautiful and thanks for helping me feel like I am not alone in my frustration. All the best to you and your little angel!

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      I have heard so many people say their kids believe they have powers in their birthmark and I LOVE IT!!!

  • Reply Larry Kolinek March 8, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Hello,
    just wanted to offer you and your readers our story:

    http://www.hinthecity.com/

    Similar in concept, but we finally found a doctor that knew what and how to do it.
    Before we found Dr. Milton Waner, the multiple other doctors wanted to wait, do nothing, take steroids, etc. etc. all the while the hemangioma was growing/spreading/getting worse. The waiting and searching was extremely hard, but our family’s life changed a million times for the better after that 1st laser treatment.

    I’m a little confused on why your doctor does not recommend laser or surgery. I do understand the huge complexity of the issues, but Dr. Waner has completed miracles on babies.

    As tough as our situation was, the 1st visit to see Waner, while we were in the waiting room, our situation was nothing compared to what other families were going though. We knew we were finally in the right spot to get help.

    Sending your family some healing energy 🙂
    Larry

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      We have definitely heard of Dr W! Thank you so much.

      • Reply Sue March 9, 2016 at 4:41 am

        Sometimes “wait and see” IS best!!! We also conferred with Dr. Waner. My now-15yo daughter had a cavernous parotid hemangioma on her cheek. Her face was “normal” at birth, small spot showed up on cheek when she was 6 weeks old, grew rapidly for a year, ended up being about twice the size of Charlie’s at the largest phase. Then began involuting when she was 3yo, about 50% gone by age 5, 90% by age 9, and now just a small patch of skin with slightly different texture – most people don’t even notice it.

        When we were researching our options, Dr. Waner (many states away from us) had me send her medical records to him. She was 3mo then, and he suggested the “wait and see” approach. Our local ENT specialist had confirmed with MRI that the hemangioma did not extend into brain cavity or airway, but did wrap around her facial nerve.

        So no meds, no lasers, nothing – and it is now gone. And she is very comfortable telling people her story.

        • Reply Larry Kolinek March 9, 2016 at 3:34 pm

          the ‘wait and see’ is a complex issue.

          we created the site and wanted to share the story so other people KNOW there are options that work. As the “best doctors in the state of texas” during the beginning were, IMO, wrong. I could not imagine what life would be like if we went down the paths of what the early doctors were recommending. Its a choice a family makes, but we wanted to make sure people knew there were options, not a default answer of, “there isn’t anything else to do”.

          now granted, in 2007, hemangiomas like we are talking about were relatively new and treatment knowledge was limited (and still is?)… but obviously discussions like this are spreading the knowledge.

          all family’s with concerns like these have been given a gift. It might take a while to appreciate it, understand it, or even deal with it…. AND WOW is it hard 🙂
          The growth of a child is amazing, but the parents job (IMO) is to help them grow. My wife and I personally wanted to make it easier for our children, as best we could.

          • Sue March 13, 2016 at 3:37 pm

            Yes, I understand that your daughter’s situation was very different that ours, and I am very thankful that Dr. Waner and his team were able to help Kaylynn!! I was not questioning your decisions about Kaylynn’s treatment at all.

            What I did notice on Katie’s website was this: lots of (well-intentioned) people are commenting to tell Katie about surgeons, implying (to my ears) that she perhaps “isn’t doing enough” for Charlie’s hemangioma. Katie’s post clearly explains all the testing that has been done on Charlie, and that a medication is helping keep Charlie’s hemangioma under control. What many people do not understand is that “strawberry” and “port wine” birthmarks often respond well to laser treatments, but other hemangiomas do not. I wanted to give Katie the comfort of knowing about my daughter, who had a very similar (but larger) hemangioma in almost exactly the same spot.

            The “wait and see” approach really was best for us. (Dr. Waner recommended no intervention unless there was an ulceration, which thankfully there was not.) Dr. Waner said that any surgery would have risked permanent facial paralysis for our daughter. Permanent paralysis!! So we decided it was not worth that risk, based on Dr. Waner’s review of her case.

            But then we had to wait. There were many, many days during that waiting when I questioned if we had made the right decision. It took years for my daughter’s very large hemangioma to involute. Everything that everyone has posted about people making comments about and to my child, I have experienced. (Accused of abuse, neglect, “oh you poor thing,” photographers trying to edit the birthmark out of photos, etc.) Would I go back and do it the same way now? Absolutely! Does my daughter agree? Yes.

            So I was trying to comfort Katie, knowing that the uncertainty of waiting is hard! I am very glad to know that there are now medicines to help in some cases (they were not available for us 15 years ago, except for steroids, which Dr. Waner also said were not recommended in our case). But even with today’s medicines, I’m sure the waiting is hard. Hemangiomas, especially larger ones, can take a long time to involute.

            So that was the point of my post about waiting. Sometimes it really is better than medical intervention, depending on each individual child’s case.

            Blessings to you and your sweet family! (Very nice, informative website about Kaylynn!)
            Sue

          • katiemcrenshaw March 13, 2016 at 11:53 pm

            Thank you very much for taking the time to write this!

  • Reply Linda March 8, 2016 at 7:33 am

    My 8 y/o son has a different type of vascular birth mark (KTS). We’ve received all kinds of questions but over the years I’ve tuned them out to the point that I don’t even think about it anymore. I even forgot to warn his teacher so she wouldn’t call DHS about all the “bruising”… Anyhow, it came time for him to be fitted for compression garments to keep swelling and pain at bay (again this is a different type of birthmark for those who may be confused reading this). He chose fluorescent yellow fabric. The color of newer pedestrian crossing signs. A color so bright it can blind airplane pilots in the sky. I’m sure you get the idea. On top of that, he wanted his name in fluorescent green down the side. When I asked him if he was afraid it would draw more attention to his birthmark, he responded, in a disgusted tone, “Mom, I REALLY don’t care!” He celebrates his uniqueness and highlights it in the brightest color possible. 🙂

    You’re daughter is absolutely gorgeous and perfect exactly the way she is. Continue to highlight her beauty in the brightest colors possible. 🙂

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      So encouraging, thank you.

  • Reply Esta mãe se manifestou porque as pessoas não paravam de perguntar sobre o rosto de sua filha | Synd Feed March 8, 2016 at 11:01 am

    […] A marca de nascença é um tumor vascular benigno, disse Crenshaw. É uma questão estética, então não causa nenhum mal a Charlie, e ela toma medicação para garantir que ela não cresça, Crenshaw escreveu em seu blog Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply Carole March 8, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Dear Mom, I’ve heard about your adorable baby’s story. Charlie’s hemangioma has reached it’s maximum size , that’s normal, and you’ll see, after few month , the hemangioma will shrink, and after, discolor. I had the same story with my baby girl, people looked at her and said “What a pity, a so sweet baby with it!!! I hope for you it will disappear!”. Today there’s a little pale pink stain on my baby’s face, nobody can notice if I don’t tell there’s one. I understand your situation, but all the things taht you have to do today, is to live every lovely moment with Charlie.

    Kisses from France little Charlie!

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you Carole! This comment felt like a big hug!

      • Reply Ron March 8, 2016 at 4:13 pm

        My daughter had a similar “strawberry” at birth. In her case it was located on her arm about 1 1/2″ in diameter. We did as you and responsibly monitored it and over time it faded. Today you cannot tell anything was ever there. She is in fact a 24 year old model and stunning beauty, just as your precious daughter is and shall remain. Good for you mom. Beauty is so wrongly defined in our culture.

  • Reply Mother speaks out over baby daughter&apos;s birthmark after people tell her they &apos;pray it goes away&apos; March 8, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    […] an honest and emotional blog post, Katie Crenshaw provided an explanation behind the birthmark, the reaction people have to her child […]

  • Reply Georgia mom's defense of daughter's facial 'birthmark' goes viral March 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    […] Charlie Crenshaw, who is 6 months old, has a large vascular birthmark, under her right eye, covering her cheek. Tired of hearing strangers comment on it, her mom, Katie Crenshaw, took to her blog, Twelve & Six. […]

  • Reply Una mamá enfrenta a todos tras recibir groseros comentarios sobre la marca de nacimiento de su bebé - UpSocial March 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    […] Crenshaw indica que le molesta que la gente -incluida familia y amigos- sienta lastima de una de las características que hacen única a su hija y decidió externar su opinión en su blog Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply Georgia mom's defense of daughter's facial 'birthmark' goes viral | The World 247 March 8, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    […] Charlie Crenshaw, who is 6 months old, has a large vascular birthmark, under her right eye, covering her cheek. Tired of hearing strangers comment on it, her mom, Katie Crenshaw, took to her blog, Twelve & Six. […]

  • Reply Melissa March 8, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Your daughter is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Samantha March 8, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Hi, I saw your blog referenced on Fox News. I had a strawberry mark at birth (left arm) that started fading as I grew, more so after puberty than before it. By my mid teens, it had gone from bright red and dense to a whitish flat circle, and by my mid 20’s I couldn’t even tell where it had been. Mine was rather small in comparison and the location was able to be hidden sometimes but it never bothered me as it was. When kids asked, I just told them it was my strawberry kiss mark. I know that you want her to be confident for her….so I’ll just say, the future holds many things, including a confident girl that may have no mark at some point.

  • Reply Jeanne Safran March 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    After having 2 boys, my husband and I said that’s enough. We are good on kids. But low and behold nature takes its course and here comes #3! So as I lay on the sono table in a darkened room, my husband holding my hand so tight, the technician uttered those magical words…Its a GIRL! After having 2 boys though it was like having our first all over again. All new clothes, toys and everything pink! Jessica Rose was born a day ahead of her due date turning our planning upside down. She was a planned C-section that decided not to wait. The first baby girl in the family of kids, grandkids and great grandkids. So much joy. Now comes the hard part. She was born with a hemangioma on her nose. Our perfect little girl had a purple nose. Every trip every where drew concerns of her hurting herself. Did she fall down? How did she hurt her nose? I’ve walked out of many puplic places in tears so tired explaining why this fun loving happy little girl had a purple nose. And her nose was not what it should have looked like had she not had the birth mark. It was bulbous and of course purple. The doctors told us it would keep growing. If it would stop growing, it would be when she was about a year old or it may contunue to enlarge. So our hopes where set on her first birthday. And we were lucky, it stopped. As time passed the purple color faded. As she grew her rounded nose didn’t look so big. Today Jessi is a beautiful 14 yr old teenager. Her nose is not as purple any more and the round tip looks pretty normal. Jessi knows she can have plastic surgery if she wants to have a nose like she should have had, but we only discuss it here and there. She is beautiful as she is and I think it would be vanity that would turn her to surgery now. She knows she is beautiful just as she is and her friends and the ‘boys’ who try to suit her prove that what’s inside is what makes you beautiful. Her purple nose may have faded but as a typical teen these days her hair has taken on the color purple! Thank you for sharing your story and giving so many other parents a venue to tell theirs.

  • Reply Heather Biggerstaff March 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Katie. My daughter, Jadeyn’s hemangioma began developing at just a couple days old on right cheek close to her nose. At 12 weeks old, she was put on a steroid to help stop the growth and initiate the shrinking. Of course, the main side effect was extremely chubby cheeks. We were not only barraged with, “What is that on her face?”, but also, “You have a steroid baby!”. It was frustrating at times to have to answer so many questions and listen to people tell you how they would handle it; like what we were doing was not good enough. Jadeyn grew into a very strong and self confident little girl who adored her birthmark! On two occasions, while in Headstart, her school pictures were taken and photo-shopped by the company because they assumed she had fallen and I would want the blemish removed. I remember opening the pictures and immediately being heartbroken and thinking, those pictures aren’t my Jadeyn Rose! I showed them to her to see what her reaction would be and both times she immediately said, “Where’s my birthmark? I want it back!”. Needless to say I called the company and had them reprinted, untouched! Jadeyn is now 10. Her birthmark has all but gone away and the only tell-tell sign is a small pocket of “extra skin” which is usually hidden by her laugh line. She has recently asked about what it would take to get rid of what is remaining. She is not pushing the matter, so I figure for now we will continue to let things be and possibly in the next couple of years consult with a surgeon and go from there. I genuinely pray that your Charlie grows into same confident little girl as my Jadeyn. It’s a very beautiful thing!

  • Reply Mom's defense of daughter's 'birthmark' goes viral | WORLD NEWS March 8, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    […] Charlie Crenshaw, who is 6 months old, has a large vascular birthmark, under her right eye, covering her cheek. Tired of hearing strangers comment on it, her mom, Katie Crenshaw, took to her blog, Twelve & Six. […]

  • Reply Kristie Andrews March 8, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    My little one also has a hemangioma is age five. She has had it since she was born located on her right collarbone. My little one’s did cause some complications when she was about four months old due to it growing so fast. It ulcerated down to her collarbone and we were sent to Atlanta. Please my little one – she was in pain. She stayed in the hospital and began the propanol. Over time the ulceration healed and she began PT to help with movement due to her being scared to move because of pain. Now years later she is no longer on meds. Her angel kiss as we call it is still prominent but does not bother her. She is happy to tell people that is where the angel kissed her. I am sure that your little one will also have that confidence.

  • Reply Jill aronsky March 8, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I just read your blog on Facebook and i wanted to first say that your daughter is gorgeous. my daughter was born with a hemangioma near her eye and since it was going to impede on her vision, we opted for surgery. we went to the most talented, brilliant, kindest surgeon who specializes in pediatric hemangiomas. I’m not sure where you live but he is in new york city. people fly in from all over the world to see him. he makes the time for you and has the best bedside manner. my daughter was left with virtually no scar. he did wonders. his name is Milton Waner.

  • Reply Jill aronsky March 8, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    your daughter is beautiful. our baby girl had the same kind of hemangioma near her eye. dr milton waner (NYC) saved her. she has virtually no scarring. he is kind, brilliant, caring, and takes his time with the family. if she didn’t have the surgery, it would have impeded her vision.

  • Reply Katherine March 8, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Hooray for you being a mom who loves no matter what and stands up for your child. Your daughter is lovely. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Reply Georgia mom's defense of daughter's facial 'birthmark' goes viral - Lazypens March 8, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    […] Charlie Crenshaw, who is 6 months old, has a large vascular birthmark, under her right eye, covering her cheek. Tired of hearing strangers comment on it, her mom, Katie Crenshaw, took to her blog, Twelve & Six. […]

  • Reply Kristin March 8, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Hi, I’m not sure you’ll ever read this, but I saw your baby and her birthmark featured in an article on Fox News. My mom has what she’s always called a “port wine” stain on the left side of her face. It goes around her left eye and extends down her cheek ending around the line of her mouth–taking up half of her top lip. Her birthmark is classified as cosmetic. As a child, I would stare down anyone that was staring at my mom in public–I always felt very protective of her. Even now, in my thirties, I find myself staring down little kids in the store! I sometimes laugh at myself for reverting to that. I don’t even see it when I look at my mom’s face because it has always been part of her–it’s just my mom’s face and it’s a face I love! I actually like running into people who have birthmarks similar to hers, not because I’m happy someone has to deal with one, but because it reminds me of someone I love! Looking at your daughter, her eye especially reminds me of my mom. Her face is beautiful and I love seeing every part of it. Thank you for not hiding her.

  • Reply Clare March 8, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Katie, your story caught my eye because I too have a birthmark like Charlie’s. It is on my inner right thigh high up and is oval in shape and wraps around near my bum. I’m 35 and a mom myself now, (of an 8 year old boy ) and although I’ve learned much about myself over the years, I am happy I never had it removed. It is a special part of me and I am not ashamed of it. I used to wonder why I had one when it seemed no one else did.. But I learned eventfully that it was a part of what made me unique.. Thankfully I have an amazing partner who loves it and me.. Honestly, i couldn’t imagine not having it if that makes any sense… When I turned 16 in 1996 my parents gave me the option of making the decision myself whether or not to have it removed, but when the day came I opted not to… My mom was much like you and encouraged me to accept myself, she was the best teacher I ever had… Although I won’t say it was always easy, I even remember worrying whether my first lover would think I had something wrong with me. But those struggles helped me become who I am today. I’ve learned that people who have something negative to say are usually bitter people and aren’t worth your time.. Your daughter is beautiful just the way she is. I appaud you and your article, it was well written and I really enjoyed it. Thank you. All the best to you and your beautiful family, especially Charlie !!

  • Reply Bits March 8, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Good job confident mama, as you are her mirror to the world.

  • Reply Beca March 8, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Katie, your daughter Charlie is a beautiful little girl, which I’m hoping is a sentiment you’re hearing a lot these days. What your post is telling me, though, is something much more important. It’s telling me that, yes, you are smitten by the beauty of the daughter you’ve given birth to (as a mother should be), but you are looking past that to see (and try to get others to see) the person she is growing up as, which is infinitely more important.

    I’m a 24 year old woman. I was born with a large hemangioma and lymphatic malformation on the left side of my body. I had a benign tumor that was about 2/3 the size of my head on the left side of my neck. It was mostly lymph tissue, but also contained a lot of blood vessels, so it had bluish purple coloring pretty similar to Charlie’s. My parents chose to have my neck operated on when I was four, mostly because my hemangioma impaired my ability to move my neck properly. I no longer have a mass of tissue on my neck, but I do still have lots of extra veins and lymph tissue there. My neck has a very large scar, and is mostly blue on the left side because of all of the extra veins that developed just under the skin there.

    I guess the reason I’m writing all of this to you is to let you know that Charlie will be fine. Things will occasionally be hard for you, and for her. People will surprise you in both good ways and bad ways. People will assume horrible things about what may have happened to Charlie, but it will mostly be out of concern (my mother used to carry my medical records with her at all times when I was too young to explain what had happened, because she legitimately feared that people would assume she abused me). Other people will have questions and say things that are not so nice, that will not be rooted in concern. This will happen more often than you’d really like, and in some ways it will never get easier to interact with these people, but it will make you and Charlie more resilient people. Mostly, though, I know from my own experience that people will get to know Charlie, and see her for the person that she becomes, just like you do. Charlie will worry about school and friendships and dating, and she will occasionally have to deal with annoying twerps who make her feel like less of a person because she looks different, but the important thing to keep in mind is that those twerps will be twerps no matter what, so they’re really not worth her stress. It’ll probably take a little bit of time (I know it did for me), especially since young kids can be especially mean, but she’ll find good kids and develop a great deal of empathy at a young age.

    I look like I’ve had a major accident that’s left me bruised and scarred, and I will look this way my entire life. I’ve had family and friends suggest to me and my parents that I should find thick costume makeup to hide my discoloration. I’ve had strangers ask me if I’ve been abused, out of pure concern, and I’ve also had strangers laugh and tell me that I look like someone who could be cast as a zombie on The Walking Dead. However, I also have lots of friends, a husband who loves me, a bachelor’s degree, and a managerial position in which I interact with hundreds of people each day. Some people are jerks, but the vast majority treat me like a normal person, which is what I am and what you and Charlie are.

    Mostly, I guess, I want to say that you’re doing the right thing and that Charlie is lucky to have you as her mom. There might be days when you rethink your decision, I can’t presume to say, but I think that what you’re doing right now… ensuring that Charlie grows up with love and support, and maybe a little extra backbone, is way more important than anything else you could do for her.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 8, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      Wow. What a story. Thank you so much for this.

  • Reply Jeff March 8, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Such a doll! My daughter was born with a large hemangioma on her back and it was so hard to manage at first. Being on her back she had to be handled a certain way and you could tell she was in pain because of it at times. We went to several specialists until we found the right one. They sent us to a cardiologist to prescribe propanol and monitor the size. It shrank to a very small size and while the skin is still pink it’s almost like it is gone. It’s a hard process to deal with, we were in and out of doctors every week. Just keep at it and love that little girl, cause she is going to repay you tenfold!

  • Reply Claudia Lopez March 8, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Charlie is a beautiful girl ! my son Noah had the same birth mark on his back… growing up in Australia and being at the beach very often did attract some attention … I never bother…when he was born the doctor told me that it will shrink 10% every year… Noah is 10 now and you can’t tell where his mark was…so there you go, every year will be smaller and better !!

  • Reply Mom defends birthmark - Big Sky Headlines March 8, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    […] Charlie Crenshaw, who is 6 months old, has a large vascular birthmark, under her right eye, covering her cheek. Tired of hearing strangers comment on it, her mom, Katie Crenshaw, took to her blog, Twelve & Six. […]

  • Reply Mother of Baby with 'Strawberry' Facial Birthmark Wants Others to Stop the Negativity: 'It's Part of What Makes Her Beautiful' - WOMEN OF TODAY March 8, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    […] Charlie’s mom, Katie Crenshaw, says strangers tend to comment on the reddish, benign tumor covering her daughter’s right cheek, often asking her the question ‘What’s wrong with her face?’ […]

  • Reply Mãe se manifesta após se irritar com comentários sobre o rosto de sua filha | Catraca Livre March 8, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    […] Leia na íntegra (em inglês) aqui. […]

  • Reply Norma Ryan March 8, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I am 62yo and I was born with a large birthmark on the right side of my head. The doctors back then were not sure what it was, so they took a biopsy of it to see if it was cancerous. When it showed negative, they told my mother to keep a close watch and have it checked if it changed in color or size. It always bothered me because no hair ever grew in that area,and it often bled when I brushed my hair. When I was 45 it did turn cancerous and I had a large area of my scalp removed. I don’t know if that is a common problem with these birthmarks. Your baby is gorgeous and you have to ignore ignorance from some people. My mother always told me it was a little stork bite!

  • Reply Bryan March 8, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Katie
    I am a 56 year old man and have a strawberry port wine stain on my face, around and under my left eye. I am writing this reply/comment to offer insight to the effects that the birthmark on Graysons’ face will have, mostly on an emotional basis, in short it has shaped most everything in my life, big and small. personally and professionally
    if you are interested, I would be happy to share with you some of the impacts such an exposed mark can make, in terms of society’s first reactions and comments and the scars that can be left behind.
    I only offer this because my parents struggled with the decisions on how to deal with it and weather or not it would be wise to have any treatments so close to my eye. I can offer hindsight in those decisions now, and the things that I wish i would have done. feel free to contact me via email if you like

  • Reply Melissa March 8, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Your baby is gorgeous!! One of my best friends has a boy around the same age as your daughter with a lymphangioma, he is just 2 months youger than my daugther so we are almost always together and we also want him to understand and aprpreciate his beauty I hope we all can. In a completly (kind of) unrelated issue… the bows are incredible!!! would you mind sharing where you get them?? I can’t find cute ones like that anywhere!!

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 9, 2016 at 12:39 am

      Hi there! Thank you for the message. If you click the tab- products we love- I have talked about several bow shops!

  • Reply Amy March 8, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Your family is beautiful! My 7 year old has a hemangioma on her chest and she calls it “her special spot.” We like to say that her heart is so big it bursts out! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Reply Julie March 8, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    My daughter had a superficial hemangioma on her lower eyelid and started Propranolol at three months old. Thank goodness it never impeded her vision, which was our concern at the time. It is difficult to hear comments about it everywhere you go, especially when you just don’t see it anymore as a parent. We did the meds for 12 full months, every eight hours (it’s exhausting!). At the end, the tumor was gone, but some redness remains today, and she’s about to turn four. I’ve honestly forgotten that it was really there, but I still get surprised occasionally when people ask how she scratched her eye, even medical professionals. She sometimes notices her “strawberry” in the mirror, and understands that it’s just a part of her body, like her eyebrows. I guess what I’m getting at is that I totally understand what you’re going through. As a side note – Propranolol “may cause dizziness” and it may be a coincidence, but she didn’t start walking until she weaned off the meds…although we thought it would be “any day now” for months.

  • Reply Mom defends birthmark - Lazypens March 8, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    […] Charlie Crenshaw, who is 6 months old, has a large vascular birthmark, under her right eye, covering her cheek. Tired of hearing strangers comment on it, her mom, Katie Crenshaw, took to her blog, Twelve & Six. […]

  • Reply Mother of Baby with 'Strawberry' Facial Birthmark Wants Others to Stop the Negativity: 'It's Part of What Makes Her … – People Magazine March 8, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    […] Charlie’s mom, Katie Crenshaw, says strangers tend to comment on the reddish, benign tumor covering her daughter’s right cheek, often asking her the question ‘What’s wrong with her face?’ […]

  • Reply Isla March 8, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    My son has a hemangioma on his right eye. He is on propranolol as well and we are trying for the second time to ween him off in the hopes it will start to involute on its own. I get the same comments from people all the time. Usually when someone asks “what is wrong with his eye” I simply respond with “nothing!”. There is nothing wrong with his eye or his hemangioma. Usually I forget he even has it until somebody comments on it. Some people are curious, some know what it is, and others are just ignorant. I don’t mind talking about it with people or explaining what it is, however the assumptions that he “fell on his eye” or rude comments get old fast. So many times when I tell people what it is they respond that they had one when they were younger or knew someone with it as well. My son just turned 2 and we are so lucky to have such great vascular doctors and ophthalmologists where we live. It’s crazy how fast you go from never even hearing the word hemangioma to knowing so much about it when your child has one. I’m really hoping this time he gets to stay off the medication for good, I know my next few months will be filled with many eye appointments and visits to the vascular clinic for check-ups. I am not concerned with the size of his hemangioma it is just if it puts pressure on his eye.
    Your daughter is beautiful and I’m proud of you for sharing her story.

  • Reply Jenna March 8, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Cute baby!! My only concern would be it affecting her eye as it is clearly displacing it. I work in dermatology and just wanted you to know that these are frequently treated with propranolol, which is a blood pressure medication, when used and safely monitored by the pediatrician, this causes the blood supply to the hemangioma to “tie” or “close” itself off, which decreases the size of it and stops the growth. It is very successful and will stop pushing on her eye. It would also decrease in size, and then eventually you could have laser done if you wanted to. Just wanted to let you know there are minor/less invasive treatments out there that work incredibly well instead of having surgery!

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 9, 2016 at 12:37 am

      I guess you didn’t read the post, I addressed all of those things….

  • Reply Stuart Littler March 8, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Our oldest had multiple hemangiomas when she was little including one below her eye like your daughter. She ended up having surgery when she was two and a half because of a rupture. I just wanted to say good for you for standing up for your daughter. My wife and I understand the looks and questions you get as we went through that as well. The one thing I would say is stay on top of it (as you are!) as we had many doctors telling us it would go away on its own and if we were not aggressive, she could have had serious issues. Also to let you know, the scars she has are minimal and have all but faded in the 9 years since her surgery. Thank you for sharing and know you are not alone.

  • Reply Donna March 9, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Katie
    I am 50 years old and have had a hemangioma on my cheek my entire life. As a child, my mother told me that the mark was a sign from God to differentiate me from all the other children. This explanation not only made the mark not a big deal for me but actually made me feel special for having it. Not a day goes by even now, when I don’t get asked about my mark and I always repeat what my mother told me. It warms my heart that you will make your daughter feel as special about her birthmark as my mom did me. She’s a beautiful little girl and very lucky to have such an insightful mother!

  • Reply Steve March 9, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Good Lord! God took all the greatness that could ever exist in a mom and put it in you Katie. Your daughter is beautiful.

  • Reply AH March 9, 2016 at 12:27 am

    It is hard to believe that we live in a world where people would feel the need to comment on a person; child or adult, and their looks. From the picture you shared, Charlie looks like a beautiful little baby, and her eye color is gorgeous! I just love it, my daughters eyes are a similar color. I am glad you are raising Charlie to be a strong self accepting and confident person. My daughter has freckles, and one day I caught her trying to scrub them off because someone told her they were gross. We are all different, it is those differences that make us beautiful. If we all looked the same, how boring would that be! Kudos for you for writing this post.

  • Reply Rebecca March 9, 2016 at 12:42 am

    This is so wonderful! My now 8-year-old had a large hemangioma that covered her entire left arm and I was just telling someone YESTERDAY that if she hadn’t been my firstborn I probably never would have had the surgery to diminish it. I was so worried, in that way we do about our firstborns, and so tired of the gasps and questions every time she was in a short-sleeved shirt. There is something about handing your baby over to a surgeon and anesthesiologist for a cosmetic fix that just feels wrong, and by the time I had my 2nd, I trusted myself (and maybe the universe) more. It all turned out fine, but I’ve always regretted it. She was (and is) perfect.

  • Reply Ria March 9, 2016 at 1:18 am

    She’s beautiful:) my daughter also has a strawberry birthmark which by 6 months was huge and deep red above her left eye. We saw specialist doctors to check her eye sight etc. we always found people to be very accepting and instilled in her that she was unique and beautiful as she was. By about the age of 3 if anyone asked about it she used to say it’s my special mark. It’s never bothered her and she’s just turned 6 and it now looks like a bruise, get lots of comments about “have she bumped her head” she just simply replies “no it’s my special Mark” we don’t even notice it anymore, it’s just part of her. Thank you for a brilliantly written blog post.

  • Reply Kat Dinges March 9, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Thank you for this post! Last year my husband and I talked about hemangioma on my channel. Would love for you to check out our story!

    https://youtu.be/aUuA8HpKk-Y

  • Reply MommySince'14 March 9, 2016 at 2:44 am

    I saw this article on my fox news app and like many many other moms, it is so nice to know someone else is experiencing the same challenges. I hate to even word it like that and I try not to talk about it much because I feel like I’m being unthankful because I know there are far worse things a child can have. My 14 month old has a strawberry on the top of her head. Thankfully I can cover it up with a little high pony when I want to avoid people when shopping.. it is a little bigger than a quarter and is fairly high in my opinion. It has honestly really bummed me that I can’t give my little girl pigtails without seeing this rising in between. I have learned to love it, though at times it strikes pain with me that people won’t simply over look it like I have… anytime her pony falls out I am asked when it will go away or told it looks bigger or etc variations… I just wish people would be more positive. I think I get upset mostly for her sake because I don’t want her to be picked on or talked about for something she can’t help .. thank you for your story.

  • Reply KAYLA March 9, 2016 at 2:51 am

    I am 45 and had 2 hemangiomas on my face when I was born. My mom had to cover my face with a blanket in public because people would get angry at her thinking she burned me with a cigarette. She never smoked! Mine got smaller by the time I was in elementary school. Now with a little makeup you can’t see them! Your daughter is beautiful!!!

  • Reply Amanda Lizano March 9, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Hi!
    Charlie and I have the same hemangioma just mine in on my right arm. When I was born, it was red and purple, just like Charlie’s, and raised up to the point where my baby clothes had to be cut up just for my arm to fit in. My parents decided not to have it removed and over time it has gone down and lost some of it’s coloring. I was teased mercifully and even had concerned educators intervene believing I was being abused due to coloration. As an adult, I have come to realize that my parent’s decision not to remove my hemangioma was the best decision for me as a human being. It’s a part of who I am and I’ve had to learn to function with it and honestly, I know no other way. Thank you for speaking up and being in Charlie’s corner. From someone who has had this since the day they were born, I can’t thank you enough for speaking up.

  • Reply Pamela March 9, 2016 at 3:13 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter with the world! I have come across her story on three different popular media outlets. My daughter has a hemangioma on her lower lip. She is now four and fields the questions herself. Her favorite response is, “That’s just my beautiful birthmark!” You’re doing great, mama! Keep up the positive talk around your beautiful girl and continue to educate people.

  • Reply Alicia March 9, 2016 at 4:03 am

    My daughter had a hemangioma on the tip of her nose and experienced the same things whenever I went out in public. She was on the propranolol clinical trial when she was 3 months and it lasted for about 2 years. First couple of months we went to hospital (9am-3pm) and she had 3 EKGs,3 blood withdrawals and 3 vital checks. The visits then were less frequent but it was worth it. The medication worked wonders along with a couple of laser treatments. She no longer has the birthmark. When i went out in public the adults asked the dumb questions not the children. It was a very difficult decision but it was what we felt was best for her. Glad to see other children are benefiting from the medication and that my daughter helped by participating on the trial.

  • Reply Grant March 9, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Every human has some imperfections. Some we can clearly see on the outside, others are on the inside, and still others are the soul. Most importantly for each of us is that we love and respect everyone for who the are and not based on what they look like. I am comforted by the fact that this little girl has a wonderful, loving mother who understands the importance of unconditional love. A characteristic we all should strive to obtain and maintain.

  • Reply Grant March 9, 2016 at 4:51 am

    Every human has some imperfections. Some we can clearly see on the outside, others are on the inside, and still others are the soul. Most importantly for each of us is that we love and respect everyone for who they are and not based on what they look like. I am comforted by the fact that this little girl has a wonderful, loving mother who understands the importance of unconditional love. A characteristic we all should strive to obtain and maintain.

  • Reply Msue March 9, 2016 at 4:52 am

    Your daughter is beautiful! And you are a great mommy to write this. My husband had a very large hemangioma/port wine stain on his head that his parents had surgically removed when he was little (unsure why they had it removed as they won’t tell us the whole story and we’re unsure if it was more than cosmetic). His hair never grew back in that area and I know he’s self conscious about it and has been asked about it a lot. My daughter had a small strawberry on the top of her head too but it went away by the time she was maybe 15 months. Kiss that beautiful girl and hang in there!

  • Reply Blogger Mom Celebrates Her Daughter’s Strawberry Birthmark | Colorful Women March 9, 2016 at 7:21 am

    […] So a Atlanta, Georgia-based mom motionless to take a stand, penning a absolute post on her blog, Twelve Six, about what it is like to understanding with a […]

  • Reply Beverly March 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Thank you for sharing my daughter is now 9 and was born with the same thing as your beautiful daughter it started of pink flush with skin and it grew like u cut a huge tip of a strawberry off and placed it on her forehead we had it removed because at nine months she discovered it and kept picking at it which it bleed good was so hard to hold her down ro stop bleeding she would steam and cry all rhe time I agree alot of people are just plain rude I had one older couple ask rather loudly at a restaurant oh my what happednto that babies head I never covered her up or kept her at home just was upsetting to listen to.the rude comments but there was good ones too I applaud you on being an amazing mom and doing what you are doing she is beautiful

  • Reply Elle prend des photos magnifiques pour briser les tabous autour de la tâche de naissance de sa fille – MediaVor March 9, 2016 at 11:52 am

    […] SANTÉ – Charlie Crenshaw, six mois, est une petite fille dynamique au très joli sourire mais ce n’est pas toujours ce que les gens remarquent en premier. Ils ont plutôt tendance à demander ce qu’elle a sur le visage. […]

  • Reply Des Photos Magnifiques Pour Briser Les Tabous Sur La Tache De Naissance De Sa Fille | News Québec March 9, 2016 at 11:58 am

    […] By Christian Duperron Charlie Crenshaw, six mois, est une petite fille dynamique au très joli sourire, mais ce n’est pas toujours ce que les gens remarquent en premier. Ils ont plutôt tendance à demander ce qu’elle a sur le visage. […]

  • Reply Elle prend des photos magnifiques pour briser les tabous autour de la tâche de naissance de sa fille – France News March 9, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    […] SANTÉ – Charlie Crenshaw, six mois, est une petite fille dynamique au très joli sourire mais ce n’est pas toujours ce que les gens remarquent en premier. Ils ont plutôt tendance à demander ce qu’elle a sur le visage. […]

  • Reply Keravita Renew March 9, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Good post. I am facing some of these issues as
    well..

  • Reply Elle prend des photos magnifiques pour briser les tabous autour de la tâche de naissance de sa fille | Marketing et affiliations March 9, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    […] SANTÉ – Charlie Crenshaw, six mois, est une petite fille dynamique au très joli sourire mais ce n’est pas toujours ce que les gens remarquent en premier. Ils ont plutôt tendance à demander ce qu’elle a sur le visage. […]

  • Reply Elle prend des photos magnifiques pour briser les tabous autour de la tâche de naissance de sa fille | Presse Algérienne - Revue de Presse et Journaux en Algérie March 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    […] SANTÉ – Charlie Crenshaw, six mois, est une petite fille dynamique au très joli sourire mais ce n’est pas toujours ce que les gens remarquent en premier. Ils ont plutôt tendance à demander ce qu’elle a sur le visage. […]

  • Reply Kieu March 9, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Your daughter is BEAUTIFUL! Little ones can be so resilient and strong it amazes me all the time. Ignore ALL the negative and love on that little lady and her brother likes there’s no tomorrow. My little one developed a Hemangioma when she was just about 2 months old and had to be on Propranolol at 3 months. It developed down where her lady parts were and every time she would wet her diaper or soil it; she would cry! I would worry endlessly and have sleepless nights. Long story short her original pediatric doc said it was nothing until it started to ulcerate and a trip to an ER forced her to give us a referral to a specialist and she was treat and now she is a VERY happy child. Your little girl is BEAUTIFUL and she is very fortunate to be surrounded by those that love her. Anyone who comes across her path will have their life forever changes. You are a great and wonderful mom for sharing your story. LOTS of love to you and your family.

  • Reply Cathy March 9, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I read your article about your daughter’s hemangioma. I think that your daughter is beautiful. My son has one on the side of his head. It was growing at first they put him on timolol and it made it stop growing. I only had to treat him until 6 months old cause they said after that it shouldn’t grow anymore,he’s 11months now and his spot hasn’t gotten any bigger. I understand the looks and comments people make it almost seems like unless you have a child with it and know someone with it no one has any idea about it. Thanks for trying to get the word out about it.

  • Reply Kelliney March 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I commented already but I just love that you wrote this my daughter has one on her eye as well and I think i have thought all these same things… You can’t be mad about the curious but sometimes it’s hard not to get upset… You just never want them to hear the comments that some will say… Loved the blog thanks for writing this it’s hard when your beautiful baby is smiling and someone is being negitive… You put in word that I think of but never really know how to explain… Awesome blog!

  • Reply Cette mère en a marre qu’on lui demande quel est le problème de sa fille - Metrodakar March 9, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    […] des médicaments pour empêcher qu’elle ne s’étende, précise Katie Crenshaw sur son blog Twelve and Six […]

  • Reply Katie Crenshaw scrive un blog per difendere la voglia rossa sul viso della figlia: "Non pregate affinché scompaia. È ciò che la rende unica" – Italy News March 9, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    […] Proprio contro quegli sguardi compassionevoli, la mamma, Katie Crenshaw, ha scritto sul suo blog un post dal titolo “Cosa non va nel suo viso?”, diventato virale. Nella lettera, la […]

  • Reply Jennifer DeCaul March 9, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    My 9 year old son was born with a large dark brown birth mark on his left hand. It is very noticeable. I have had people come up and tell me how awful I was for burning his hand – or just asking OMG what happened? I taught my son at the age of about 2-3 that when someone asks about his hand that his response is “God gave it to me because I am special. He uses it to keep track of me. Are you special like me?” This gets people to look into themselves and realize how horrible they are being about it. I totally agree with you – it is what makes our children that much more gorgeous. Let your daughter’s spirit shine on and continue to be beautiful in the face of humanity. Love her chunky cheeks!!!!

  • Reply Dream Service | Katie Crenshaw scrive un blog per difendere la voglia rossa sul viso della figlia: “Non pregate affinché scompaia. È ciò che la rende unica” March 9, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    […] Proprio contro quegli sguardi compassionevoli, la mamma, Katie Crenshaw, ha scritto sul suo blog un post dal titolo "Cosa non va nel suo viso?", diventato virale. Nella lettera, la donna […]

  • Reply Lindsey Ogden March 9, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    My daughter too had a Strawberry Hemangioma on her left cheek, lip, and one small spot on her right cheek. They began growing when she was around 4 weeks old and were what I thought a heat rash as she was born in June. We were referred to a pediatric dermatologist who was wonderful. We started a topical medication called Timolol and had great success. I remember being asked “whats wrong with her face” it was crushing to me a first time mom! I felt very protective over my small, innocent baby because people knowingly and unknowingly can be so cruel. She is now 3 and only has small areas left. When asked about her “birthmarks” she says “they’re birthmarks and they make me special”. I am so proud of her and our journey. Keep your head up Mama you’re doing a great job!

  • Reply Kristen March 9, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    You’re a great mom, Katie and I commend you for speaking out about this. My oldest daughter developed a hemangioma on her forehead when she was 2 weeks old and it grew to about the size of a quarter and was pretty raised. I can’t tell you how many stares and hurtful comments we received from both strangers and sadly, friends and family. We once had a daycare teacher photo shop her hemangioma out of a picture that she used for a Christmas present that she gave us. As if we were ashamed of the way she looked… My daughter is almost 7 now and her hemangioma is still there, but has faded significantly. People (mostly kids) still ask her every now and again what’s on her face and she simply tells them that it’s a birthmark. She recently told me that she loves her birthmark, that it’s part of her and she doesn’t want it to go away. I couldn’t be more proud. I wish you and your family all the best.

  • Reply Rachel March 9, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    As someone with capillaries so close to my facial skin on top of thin facial skin that I appear sun-burnt and blotchy all the time, thank you for speaking out about this and allowing your story to go viral and be an important lesson. I very much understand how tough it can be to be asked, What’s wrong with your face?, all the time. And, I didn’t have a parent as strong as you to stand up to the people that taunted me, which continued on into adulthood. It’s not only important for “regular” people to learn manners, but for parents of children with skin abnormalities to protect their children and teach them how to handle insensitive and unwarranted comments of all types. Your daughter is beautiful and precious, as is your entire family, and, again, thank you for your strength and sharing your story.

  • Reply Ashlee March 9, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I just need to say this. I have congenital bells palsy (that means i was born without the muscles that usually stop working with bells palsy so the right side of my face is paralyzed). I was bullied. I didn’t conform to everyone’s ideal of beauty. But the ONLY reason I had surgery to “fix” anything was because of issues it caused. I couldn’t blink my eye so it was drying out and could have caused blindness. I couldn’t eat well because of the inability to use a bottle correctly, etc. Yes the bullying bothered be at times. Yes I came home upset and crying on occasion. But my parents constantly reminded me that I was a gift from God and he doesn’t make mistakes. They reminded me of my unique beauty. As a result I had few friends but REAL friends. I’m 24 years old now and still am friends with EVERY friend I had in elementary. And now when my “normal” sisters come home crying because of a bully…I’ve always been able to help them see their worth just like my parents helped me. It’s important to notice that EVERYONE will be bullied at some point, even the “normal” ones. Your baby girl is BEAUTIFUL! She will embrace her uniqueness if you pull her through those hard times. She will gain thise coping skills to use on her own in all aspects of her life. And one da,y if she has children, she will know how to help them overcome insecurities also. Youre doing the right thing. Good job momma!

  • Reply Kay Martin March 9, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Charlie is beautiful, as was my daughter, Amy, at that age when she had a hemangioma on her top lip which made it droop down on one side. Most people would make comments thinking one of her older brother had been too rough with her. My mother wanted me to see a plastic surgeon even though the pediatrician reassured me it would probably go away on its own as she got older. I stood my ground and sure enough, by the time Amy started kindergarten it was no longer noticeable. In fact, I never even think about it unless I am looking through old photos. Today Amy is 40 years old and a very smart and confident woman with two little girls of her own. With you as her advocate, I am sure Charlie has a bright future ahead. God bless!

  • Reply Danielle March 9, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I felt an automatic connection with you as soon as I read this! My 7 month old too has a strawberry hemangioma on her wrist that is rather large. I get so tired of people mentioning it before anything else comes out of their mouth, not to mention to look of horror on their face as they say “what’s wrong with her hand?” Then when I tell them what it is they say”aww, bless her heart” or, “well maybe it will go away”. Well, I don’t need any “aww, bless her heart” or “maybe it will go away” comments and personally think the pity should be directed to children who are really going through something worth feeling sorry for them about. Children with terminal illnesses or other situations that I could not even imagine. A birth mark is not a curse and it is not affecting her developmentally or affecting her health in any way. I am so thankful that you have taken a stand on this. Hang in there, your daughter is absolutely gorgeous and you are a blessed mommy. I too feel that her birthmark is what makes my baby girl who she is and if it goes away fine and if it doesn’t fine because I know that she is beautiful no matter what.

  • Reply Lysa DeVinney March 9, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Katie, I’m super touched by your post. My daughter was born with a “strawberry” on her shoulder, about the size of a quarter. To us it wasn’t a big deal, but I did have an experience when she was getting her picture taken that the photographer tried to adjust her dress strap to cover it. I told her to leave it alone, that it was her “angel kiss”. I always told her that was where the angel kissed her when she was born, but she forgot to wipe off the lipstick first. It went away by the time she was 6. You have a great attitude and I know you’ll raise your daughter to love herself for who she is and not what others tell her she should be.

  • Reply Gina March 9, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Katie thank you for sharing your story your daughter is beautiful. It sounds like you have found amazing Drs. to look after her She is blessed to have such a wonderful Mom in her corner. You stay strong ! You know what is best for your little girl. 🙂

  • Reply Michelle March 9, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    She is GORGEOUS! Look at the sparkling eyes! I cannot believe people can be so clueless and unintelligent about their comments. Who needs them! She is fabulous and she will take this world by storm! Thank you for sharing her with us!

  • Reply Debbie March 9, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    As a 55y/o woman I have the same birthmark on my throat. so I understand, your baby is beautiful. I send a hug to you and your family

  • Reply Laurent March 9, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    She is soooooo cute. You have a wonderful baby. I will not write too much but just send Charlie Kate,you and your family lots of love from Switzerland !!!!

  • Reply Katie March 9, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    My son had a strawberry birthmark on the back of his head – very large, but flat. His hair was fine and blonde and it always showed, but all we did was kiss it. No one ever recommended we have any testing or do anything about it – maybe I should ask the doctor? Anyway, I believe it has faded completely now (his hair is much thicker – he’s 11). His health is just fine otherwise. And BTW, your little girl is beautiful. And believe it or not, even at this young age, she will start become self-aware of her birthmark. Babies and young children understand more than we think. But with your love and positive attitude, she will be fine.

  • Reply Leslie March 10, 2016 at 2:29 am

    I do not have a child with hemangioma. Seeing your beautiful child and reading that people have been making comments about her beauty and how it should be covered up, or things in that nature. My first thought, feeling was disgust and what I would have said and done. So after reading your whole story Katie I was inspired by your grace in handling it. No matter what no one NO ONE should ever speak nor think of a child that way. However that’s what’s wrong with the world today. I am glad that you did put your story out into the world. Even better that I was able to read it. You have a beautiful family. No one as you know can tell you different hopefully the other people in the world would mind their keep their negativity to them selves, better yet grow and leave all the miserable negativity behind.

  • Reply Sarah March 10, 2016 at 2:42 am

    Hi Katie,
    You have had so many wonderful comments of support and a number which aren’t so supportive but i credit you for addressing an issue which you live with every day as do i.
    My daughter is 6, nearly 7 and has a birthmark which is in effect her left earlobe. It came out when she was 2 weeks old and over the next 12-18 month grew to a stage at one point it was in line with her jaw line. The doctors took their time in telling me what it was and what it meant for her but by the time they were able to tell me i really did not care. The only time i really didn’t like it is when it used to open into large weeping sores when she was still in her cot, some mornings i would go in to her bedding covered in blood because she has caught it in the night, now it has a number of scars from then but it hasn’t opened up since she was 18 months old.
    Month on month i watch it change shape and colour and the patterns change and it is gradually getting smaller. At some time in her future she will have to have minor cosmetic surgery to remove the scaring and any excess skin and that is her choice, but until then it is just part of her.
    Now my daughter is at an age where she has her own thoughts views and opinions she can tell me how she feels about it and what she says is ‘it’s a birthmark and that’s it, most people have them’. She will say that to anyone who asks, that is a view she has developed herself not from what i tell her to say and she is not ashamed of it. I have never let it impact our lives since those early days and neither does she, it is part of who she is and that shouldn’t be hidden.
    For those critics who have commented before, who are you to judge another person, we all do what we feel is right and that decision is usually governed by our hearts, if you can’t say something nice or be genuinely helpful then keep it to yourself and move on.

  • Reply Esta niña recibió comentarios negativos en Internet. Lo que su madre hizo es digno de admirar - mott.pe March 10, 2016 at 5:09 am

    […] ello es que Katie decidió tomar cartas en el asunto y a través de su blog llamado Twelve and Six escribió lo siguiente: “En la publicación llamada “¿Qué está mal con su cara?”, la mamá […]

  • Reply Misty March 10, 2016 at 5:26 am

    My daughter is now 9 but she had a hemangioma on her forehead, her back and her leg. The ones on her back and leg didn’t grow but the one on her head started to grow and it looked like she had fallen and hit her head. It got so big that it was falling down into her eye and I became very concerned for her vision. She also acted like it bothered her if she touched it and she refused to wear any kind of hat or hood that rubbed it – even though she couldn’t say so I think it caused her some pain or discomfort. There were no steroid injections or medications offered to us then and nobody near us would even agree to see her. I was up late one night watching Discovery Channel and this show came on. There was a doctor from Charleston, SC – Dr. Marcelo Hochman – who specializes in the treatment of children’s hemangiomas on TV. After watching the show I called his office the next day and told them about my daughter. They asked me to email them some photos of her. I did and the next thing I knew I was on the phone talking to the doctor himself. He wanted me to call and schedule an appointment to bring her in to see him. I did and I made the trip to take her to his office. He and the staff were wonderful! He felt that her vision was in danger if the tumor continued to grow and surgery was scheduled for two months down the road. Surgery was successful and I am so glad that we did it because by the time her surgery date came around it was growing down into her eye and her nose. Had I listened to the folks that said leave it alone it will go away, my daughter would have suffered needless complications with her breathing, vision and possibly even worse. Now she just has this teeny little scar that her bangs covers. You have a beautiful baby!

  • Reply Tiffany March 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Your daughter is precious. Thanks for sharing your story.
    My daughter has a small hemangioma on her wrist and I’m asked about it all of the time. I saw a comment above about not wanting it to go away because it’s part of who she is, and I completely agree with that statement!

    I also wanted to share that the size and redness of my daughter’s hemangioma is significantly smaller after treating it topically with a timol maleate solution. The form that the doctor gave me is eye drops meant for treating glaucoma. I didn’t initally care to treat my daughter’s hemangioma since it was not threatening, but the doctor asked if we would consider it so that she could know that it works recommend it for babies who have a more serious hemangioma. I am very pleased with the results and have some photos of before and after. It sounds like your daughter has a great doctor, so of course follow his recommendations.

    Have a great day!

  • Reply Erica March 10, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Awesome, clever mom. I was born with an angioma going all the way from the chin to the neck, breast, as well as back and chest. It used to be in a very strong red tone when I was a kid. As you say, I can remember kids staring at me and adults approaching me and wondering “poor girl what happened to your face” (POOR GIRL!). I I remember once my mom was so mad at this one guy she told me: “Next time an adult asks you the same, tell him he’s an ignorant”. When I was about 10 years old, my parents decided to start a laser therapy to reduce the angioma, at least on the face and on the neck. We were driving every couple of weeks to a hospital in Rome. The trip would last about an hour from where I used to live, at about halfway I had to apply an anesthetic lotion. Lying on that bed, eye closed, only perceiving the flashing of the laser, I felt so frustrated and depressed, as if something was wrong with me. My parents were only trying to “make ma life easier”, I know their intentions were good. Nevertheless they understood how the whole thing was making me feel and the trips to Rome were quickly over. During the high-school, I sometimes regretted that decision. Even though I was never bullied from other kids/teenagers, the angioma was a heavy mark to wear and it made me feel very unconfident. Now that I’m 29, I understand it was all for good, it made me instead stronger, more self-confident and caring less about what people think. It made me who I am and I like who I am.

    Today, the angioma is in a much lighter red, barely visible on the back and on the chest, a bit more on neck and chin (sun exposure I suppose). I now moved from Italy to Switzerland and work in an international company. While having a coffee with a Russian colleague, he asked me whether he could make a personal question. He asked me what was on my neck/chin, whether it was because of an accident or so. I told him it was just an angioma, that my parents wanted to remove it when I was a kid… At that point he stopped me saying in with his very strong Russian accent “Why? it makes you different and prettier!”. Yes, it does!

  • Reply Claire March 10, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    She ‘s beautiful.
    My daughter had a hemangioma on the arcade. She was treated with propranolol . The hamangiome regressed and can’t be seen when she entry to the school when she was 3 years old. My sympathy to your family. kiss the princess. Claire from France

  • Reply Mary March 10, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. My daughter has the same birthmark on her forehead and also had to be on the medication you mention above. It worked miracles and shrunk it so much and her vision was never affected. She’s a beautiful baby and will be a strong confident girl cause she has you has you as her mom. xo

  • Reply Sara March 10, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Congratulations! I’m 26 and I have a big Port Wine Stain in my left cheek since I was born. I think so the most important thing your daughter has to learn is to love herself. People normally is not cruel but they look at the diferences because they are curious. It doesn’t matter. All is in her mind and in her way to understand the world. You are in the best way increasing her self acceptation. When I understood it and I accepted myself my life changed and now i’m so much happier than before 🙂 However, if someday she wants to remove it there are fantastic laser and treatments to improve it. I take it once a year and my stain is so much clearer than it was. I’m not sad whit the stain, I feel it’s a part of me and I really don’t mind it as before. Even a lot of boys fall in love with me and my stain. jajjaj Kepp going with this attitude!

  • Reply Una mamma difende la diversità della figlia con un angioma : March 10, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    […] mamma ha pubblicato il suo messaggio sul suo blog  Twelve Six nella speranza che queste parole arrivino al cuore delle persone e che molti comprendano il suo […]

  • Reply Lydia Norder March 10, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Katie, you have a beautiful baby girl, Charlie has the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve seen! Your little girl is precious and unique, and created in the image of a loving God. People come in all different shapes and sizes, thank goodness. Who cares what people have to say about it? Enjoy your little girl, they grow up before you know it. Don’t let other peoples opinions cast a shadow on this precious time!

  • Reply Going Viral: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly | Twelve & Six March 10, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    […] of weeks have certainly been interesting. If you are reading this, you likely already know that my blog post about my daughter (and her facial birthmark) has gone viral. The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, Inside Edition, US Weekly and […]

  • Reply The Way This Mother Deals With Her Daughter's Birthmark Is Inspiring! March 11, 2016 at 4:47 am

    […] “We just hope to educate people on our perspective and perhaps challenge them to think about the way they think and the words they say,” she mentioned on her blog named Twelve and Six. […]

  • Reply 'Hold the pity': Mom shares empowering photos of daughter with birthmark #FitFam March 11, 2016 at 8:13 am

    […] In January, a Atlanta-based mom posted an letter on her blog, Twelve and Six, titled, “What’s Wrong With Her Face?” […]

  • Reply Su hija recibió comentarios negativos en Internet. Lo que su madre hizo es digno de admirar – El Rincon Curioso March 11, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    […] ello es que Katie decidió tomar cartas en el asunto y a través de su blog llamado Twelve and Six escribió lo siguiente: “En la publicación llamada “¿Qué está mal con su cara?”, la mamá […]

  • Reply Jill March 11, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Been through this very thing with my daughter. We are on the other side and she is a beautiful 15 year old!!

    My daughter’s was a left check and we worried much like you about vision and hearing! We were not offered drugs and “rode” the process naturally. After 24 months and visit to Dr Waner we were told that could have been a option but we were well into our journey. No ill effects. She has a prominent vessel that was the feeder to the tumor which is only a reminder to me!

    As a Mom, it was very scary and the resources and knowledge was just not there. I’m so glad you are sharing your story. In doing so, you are helping yourself and others!!

    Sending you lots of encouragement!!

  • Reply Ruth March 11, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Your Charlie is beautiful! I’ve walked your path with my middle granddaughter who had a large nasal tip hemangioma. We also spent a lot of time with specialists, but we are very fortunate to have Johns Hopkins in our own back yard. She was seen by a wonderful vascular surgeon who then referred to the most fabulous plastic surgeon, also at JHH, who removed the hemangioma when our girl turned 2. We waited until he felt we would have a good cosmetic outcome with removal.
    Our girl was also very beautiful prior to surgery and still is. She does have some other anomolies that also occurred very early in my daughters pregnancy, Duane Syndrome, Growth Hormone deficiency to name 2. None of these changed the person she is, and she is one tough, gorgeous little girl.
    Hang in there, keep doing the right thing by your child and overlook those that decline to educate themselves and only look at the surface!
    blessings to you and yours!

  • Reply Dan March 11, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    You have a beautiful young lady on your hands. My bride of 35 years has the same issue as your daughter. She was raised by parents who told her it wasn’t what you looked like and more of the person you are. I fell in love with the mind and the soul and love her more today than ever. Thank you for your post and I hope it helps people get over this “have to look perfect” idea. Your daughter is a beautiful little girl.

  • Reply Jacquelyn March 11, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Good Afternoon! I just wanted to comment that you and your daughter are not alone! My daughter, 12 months, also has hemangiomas on various parts of her body; the 2 largest of which are on her back and upper leg. Like the encounters you have had, when people see it peeking out from clothing they always ask what is that on her legs?! Will it go away? What will you do if it doesn’t? I will admit that in the beginning I was upset seeing them on her beautiful skin but now they are just part of her character. If they fade completely or if they remain with her it doesn’t matter because it makes her who she is. Your Charlie is absolutely adorable!

  • Reply Tiffany L March 12, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    When I was born I had a birthmark on my left eye, from my eyebrow to my eyelid. It was big and puffy and pink. I’ve always called it a raspberry birthmark. My mom got all kinds of comments, even from family members. “She would be the cutest baby, she could win so many of those baby competitions, if she didn’t have the birthmark.”

    I was teased in preschool over it. I was called a monster (on countless occasions) by kids my own age, I only ever had one child stand up for me (“no, she’s not a monster. That is totally a pirate’s eye patch and pirates are awesome”), parents wouldn’t let their kids play with me because they thought my birthmark was something their child could “catch”.

    When I was about 6, the pink started to go away and the puffiness went down a bit. Now, unless you knew or I tell you, it’s difficult to see my birthmark. It will become very puffy if I am tired or have been crying, if I had been crying it turns a light shade of pink too.

    I have never understood why I was made fun of, or why people sad/did the things they did about my birthmark. I was not in any pain. It did not hinder my abilities to be a child, to learn, to love, to live, to just be. I have been so scarred by what people have said. I don’t want that for your child or for anyone else. A birthmark is just that. A mark. A spot. Nothing that can be “caught”, nothing that makes a child look like a monster, nothing to be prayed it goes away over. Your child is so beautiful, her eyes are so blue. She look like she just loves everything. I wish the best for you and your children.

  • Reply Sue March 13, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I have replied above with specifics of my daughter’s case, but just did a little research that I would like to share with those who don’t understand hemangiomas and their treatment/management (including “wait and see,” which was the right decision for us):

    https://www.vbiny.org/vascular-birthmarks/hemangiomas
    This is a great website for general information. Dr. Waner (who reviewed our daughter’s case 15yrs ago) is now Director of this fantastic place.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2884766/
    It Is Important to Understand What Treatment Can and, Perhaps Even More Important, Cannot Do for Patients
    … parents often believe (or have been told) that lasers will “remove” hemangiomas. However, the flashlamp pulsed-dye laser was designed not for hemangiomas but for port-wine stains and penetrates the skin only about 1.2 mm. Lasers thus do very little for a hemangioma that is raised to any significant degree. … The use of a laser for early, proliferating hemangiomas is controversial because of the potential for promoting ulceration within large, segmental hemangiomas and also, even with smaller, focal hemangiomas, for causing a worse cosmetic outcome (i.e., more scarring, atrophy, and dyschromia) than if the lesion had been left to involute naturally. Surgery is, of course, the only way to remove a hemangioma definitively and is generally a straightforward measure for redundant tissue after some degree of involution has taken place. However, as plastic surgeons well know, the decision to remove an early hemangioma surgically depends on the individual case and can sometimes be difficult, as one must predict whether the resultant scar would be better than the results of natural involution.

  • Reply J. Sims March 13, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    I am so glad I came to your blog to read the whole post for myself. I saw the story on Yahoo with only parts of your post. My son is dyslexic, so only those in his class and the teachers knew he had challenges. At 39, he is a husband & father, earned a Master’s degree, has a great job, and is a fine person. His classmates may remember him as the kid who couldn’t spell or read well, but he learned to get around the difficulties and to gain confidence from what he could do well. Your daughter will figure these things out as well, sometimes through tears and confusion. Inner strength and resilience are nurtured by parents like yourself who seek the best medical care, who partner with others in helping groups, and who promote understanding and compassion. May you find answers as you need them, appreciation for each new day, and carry a song in your heart.

  • Reply Barbora March 13, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    I cannot help it, I think Charlie is super cute baby! 🙂

  • Reply diana March 13, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    all I see is a beautiful angel that god created and good parents that. is all that needs to be said about this.

  • Reply Ken March 14, 2016 at 12:24 am

    I am a 63 year old man and have one of these covering about 75% of the left side of my face. When I was in school long ago, I was called “Big Chief Redeye” by some of my school mates, and always draw stares and furtive looks from people who are curious, or comments from those that are ignorant or plain insensitive. In my 20s, I received laser treatment at Harvard Univercity, not to remove this, but basically to cauterize the underlying capillaries so the hemangioma would not develop lesions as I grew older and to that extent, the treatment worked though it did not remove it or change its’ appearance.

    Regardless, I learned very early on that my difference in appearance could be both a drawback and an advantage in certain situations. I confess that it made me shy around females and negatively affected my self-confidence, however it also made me much stronger of character and determination to succeed. I decided to ignore the fact that it even existed and and live my life as I wanted to. As a result, through sheer determination, will power and hard work, I was able to rise to the very top of my chosen profession, marry and raise a family of three beautiful girls, gain recognition in my community for service towards others and enjoy the company of life-long friends.

    Basically what I am saying is that handicaps, of whatever type, are only handicaps if you let them be. If you continue to teach your daughter that she can do and be anything she wants to be, I’m sure that she will grow to realize that the world IS her oyster and her future is whatever she can and will make of it!

  • Reply Kristy March 14, 2016 at 2:42 am

    Hello. My daughter now 5 years old was diagnosed with a hemangioma of infancy at 5 weeks of age (covering a large proportion of her face). She had added complications of it being in her airways and starting to occlude her airways, altering her ability to get enough oxygen in. If you have want to get in touch or need support, and hear how our story went please do. I found there was little information and few cases when we were navigating this for her.

  • Reply Rachelle March 14, 2016 at 2:59 am

    I know exactly what you’re going through. My daughter (now 11 years old) had a hemangioma on her right cheek. Although the redness is gone now, she was left with a huge scar. We had a plastic surgeon operate and improve the symmetry of her face, however, the scar is still there. She’s handled it well and she’s a very well adjusted kid. She plays sports, has lots of friends, and just got elected as student council treasurer. She’s a great kid and she’s learned how to handle the questions, stares, comments, etc. I am always supportive of her and do my utmost to build her confidence on a daily basis. As long as you remain strong, she will be strong too. I wish you the best!

  • Reply Hanan. March 14, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Oh my gosh people are so cruel ,people stop making bad comment about this beautiful little girl ,you should see past that birth mark this is a beautiful face and get over it ,ok it’s not nice to make some one feel bad it’s a birth mark.

  • Reply Amanda Hutchinson March 14, 2016 at 4:25 am

    Our daughter’s small capillary hemangioma appeared under her right nostril when she was about 4 weeks old. We talked to our pediatrician about it and she told us to expect it to get bigger and redder, which it did. But that it should begin to fade and would hopefully fully resolve by kindergarten. I was also that mom who never tried to hide it or retouch it in photos. It’s part of who she was and we loved and were proud of every last bit of our girl. Kindergarten came and went and her hemangioma was still there. She was never bothered by it and all of her friends were used to it so they never commented on it or anything. So we weren’t concerned about it. At the end of last year she came to my husband and I and said she wanted to see about having it removed. When we asked her why she said she was honestly just tired of people in public either asking us about it or just staring. We discussed it with our pediatrician, a dermatologist, and ultimately found ourselves meeting with the head of plastic surgery at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.
    Well here we are now 2 weeks and 3 days postop from having what was left of her hemangioma removed. Oh let me tell you how I cried the night before her surgery. Part of those tears were due to fear of my baby’s first ever surgery but the overwhelming majority were simply tears of sadness that I would never see “this” face again. “This” sweet face I’ve looked at every day for nearly the last 8 years. My husband and I talked about how much we would miss her hemangioma because it’s always been a part of her. I was so scared to see her after surgery because she wouldn’t look like my Lizzie anymore. Well she came through surgery like a champ (thanks be to God) and guess what… she’s still my Lizzie. Thanks for bringing awareness to the hemangioma family community. I wish nothing but the best for you and your sweet little girl.

  • Reply Glenn March 14, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    As a parent (and human being for that matter) I agree with you. Your daughter is special and this shouldn’t define her, or even be noticed or commented on every time someone sees her…BUT…the world is an unfair place, and many people are superficial and cruel. The unfortunate fact is that her life will be harder with this, and while that may “build character”, I couldn’t see putting my child through that without trying to help. It’s sad and as much as we wish the world wasn’t this way, it is (just look at all the hateful people supporting Trump!).

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 14, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      You must be aware of an alternative that her parents and doctors aren’t?

  • Reply another mom March 14, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    My son had a large, bright red strawberry hemangioma on his check. It appeared as a small dot a week after birth and began growing aggressively. At a few months of age, he began receiving laser treatments from a pediatric dermatologist at our local Children’s Hospital. However it continued to grow, stretching from his mouth to his eye. He was a very happy, outgoing baby and toddler and it did not deter him. However, strangers were often rude with comments which mostly just bugged us when he was tiny. By about 4 he was reluctant to enter unknown groups of kids, such as at parks or parties. We would have to have an encouraging chat so that he would go into the group because kids would say things (often unkind) and come up and stare and touch. His standard answer was that it was his “special spot.” We continued treatments and it had mostly faded and was a raised spot the size of a dime by 3rd grade. We thought he was fine and had coped with it nicely. He was a kind, sympathetic child. However, as a teen he went through very rough times and was diagnosed with extreme social anxiety, particularly a fear of entering new groups. In retrospect, I wish I had sought counseling for him in his elementary years. I would just encourage watching for signs of social challenges in the future (feeling isolated, odd, left out). Those anxieties can be devastating in the later years.

  • Reply Meredith March 14, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    My daughter (now 5) has a hemangioma on her neck. She is a super confident little thing and loves to tell everyone about her birthmark when they ask what’s on her neck. We tried laser treatments last year but stopped as she was super uncomfortable with it. I think we will eventually start up again (the few treatments she had were very effective) but for now, if she’s happy with it, we are too. She says her birthmark “keeps her warm.” 🙂 Your daughter is beautiful just the way she is!

  • Reply Amy K. March 14, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Hey there! Your daughter is so beautiful! My older daughter Penny had a sizeable hemangioma as well, when she was a baby, and I could never remember the name of it so I called it her “Chuck Mangione.” (He was a trumpet player in the ’70s, super cheesy.) A friend of mine was talking to one of our nurses from when Penny was in the NICU and said “Oh, she’s doing great, she just has a … a… a think that Amy calls Chuck Mangione,” and the nurse said “A hemangioma?!”

    So, I dunno, I thought you’d get some mileage out of that, since I’m not using it anymore! 😉

    One of my most touching moments when Penny was a baby – we were out at a street fair and a woman walked past us. She had a sizeable wine-stain birthmark across her face and she did a double-take, then leaned forward and smiled at Penny, who smiled back even though she didn’t have any idea that they “matched.” We had a good long talk. She was kind and beautiful and glamorous in a hippie-boho way; I would love for Penny to grow up like her.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 15, 2016 at 2:23 am

      I LOVE THIS. Period.

  • Reply Linda Thomas March 15, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Soon after my daughter was born, we discovered what looked like a bruise on the ball of her foot that was diagnosed as a hemangioma. This was in the 1960’s and not much was known about hemangiomas. I was told to just observe it and to let her lead a normal life; barefoot in the summer and all. It slowly grew and by the time she was 4 years old it was causing her enough pain that she developed a limp. The nation’s only hemangioma clinic was meeting that summer in San Francisco. I took her to the clinic and it was decided surgery was necessary. No guarantees were given as to whether or not it would return after removal. The surgery took much longer than had been anticipated. Afterwards, the surgeon explained to me they found a blood vessel the diameter of a #2 pencil feeding the hemangioma. If she had cut her foot running barefoot all those summers he said it would have been a medical emergency. Her hemangioma, which had first appeared when she was about a week old, did return, but she has chosen to live with it for 50+ years. Yes, it still bothers her and she stays away from wearing heels, but she’s happy and has made the decision not to seek further treatment unless it should do something unexpected. I was very young, didn’t know much about the medical field, and the internet hadn’t been invented yet.

    Charlie is adorable, and I am so happy for you and the others who have written about their experiences regarding hemangiomas. You are an informed group of women who have access to the data and to the physicians who treat your children. I am exceptionally pleased to know there are now medications that are so very helpful. So much is now possible.

    I believe Charlie is a very lucky young lady to have a mom who is so wise. You will guide her and strengthen her and celebrate her life as no mom was equipped to do 50 years ago. All of you mothers, keep up the good work. Every child is precious.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 20, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply Mercedes March 15, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    shes beautiful either way

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 20, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply Greg March 16, 2016 at 6:06 am

    She is beautiful. You are beautiful. I am beautiful. Thanks for the reminder.

    i’ve had mine for fifty-three years, and this may be the first time I’ve seen an article about it. So informative, and filled with such care.

    Thank you for giving me a place to belong in a whole new way. I’m sharing your words with my very loving parents.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 20, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply Angela March 16, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Hi! She’s a beauty. I have a strawberry hemangioma on my neck that everyone called a hickey when I was in school. Whatever. My daughter was born with a similar one on her forehead and we treated it with Timolol, an eye drop! When she was about 2 months old. It’s pretty faded and the puffiness went away so it just looks like a little scratch. Anyway just wanted to share our experience. God bless!

  • Reply Stephanie March 18, 2016 at 5:10 am

    She is a beautiful baby! And that bow.. 🙂 My son, who is now 6, was born with a hemangioma on the side of his head – his temple to be exact. It started as a non-raised red spot and grew deeper and darker then raised a bit. I remember the stares being the hardest – I almost wished people would just ASK me what it was, rather than stare. I wanted to tell them it was okay, that it was “nothing” really. That he was still a happy, healthy baby boy. I didn’t want the spot to define him. By the one year mark, as his little head started to grow, the hemangioma started to break up. As he grew more, it faded out. I honestly missed it when it was gone–because it going meant he had grown so much that he was not a baby anymore. It was a part of his babyhood and it left with that stage. 🙁

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw March 20, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply Alisha April 4, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    My daughter had a large, dark, protruding hemangioma on her thigh that developed after she was delivered at 25 weeks (yeah, on that topic she weighed 1 lb. 3 oz. and spent almost 6 months in the NICU. It was not a good time!). I guess it’s fairly common for micropreemies. She’s now 20 months (17 adjusted) and though it’s still large, it’s the same shade as her skin, lays flat, and is being reabsorbed by her body. We were very fortunate that it never caused any complications, but it did hurt her when it scabbed and started peeling around 10 months. But even if it was still just as prominent as it used to be, as long as my Lucy didn’t let it bother her I didn’t care either way. I’m sure the attention Charlie gets from having hers on her face gets old, so here’s a fist bump of solidarity for that, mama!

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw April 4, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and I hope you follow along!! ❤️

  • Reply L June 21, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Katie,
    I have just recently come across your blog & instagram. I must admit I became curious about Charlie and your story because it reminded me of myself..

    I was born with a giant cystic lymphangioma, had several surgeries as a baby and toddler, as well as two cosmetic surgeries as teen & adult (due to pinched scarring in the neck & to release badly healed skin).

    First I must say that for years without end the very first question any other kid would ask me is “What is happening in your neck?” Funnily enough I used to roll my eyes and answer the most dismissive “Its just a tumor, I was operated”. And that was really the end of the story 90% of the time. I would get an eventual “Does it hurt?”, I’d say “No” and we would go play ball, barbies or whatever Lol. Sometimes someone would want to touch it, so I’d take their hand and put it on my neck Lol (kids are so simple lol)

    My point is, yes it is there, but I forgot most of the time 99% I would say. I think only when you grow older (teen, not even pre-teen) you become more aware (and sillier) lol
    Except for preferring to pose in pics on your “good side” (hey we all like to see our best side! Its incredible actually because I cudnt care less about the scars but I didnt like my nose profile on that side lol) I could not care less about my scars. And with time they have become incredibly less visible (no bumps, pinched skin, sagged patches).

    So all this, to say that I dont think my parents did anything particular; they did not tell me I was special, or advocated for anything; they said “ur a girl like any other, u were operated and thats it”, and I guess that’s my percepcion.
    I think maybe Charlie wont even notice or care for most what is going on for years and years to come; and just abiding by the fact that she is a regular healthy child is I think a likely great approach (worked w me!).

    I also would like to say, that I do admire all the mums that go through particular cases (adults can be quite insensitive, nurses had to hide me away from the incubators cuz I was like the elephant baby or something.. That thought makes me sad).

    My lymphangioma is nowadays easier to treat with injections (wonders!) as surgery is not at all an efficient way to remove my tumor types (I actually still have it).

    And lastly, I would like to encourage all the mums that really have to go through ICU, surgeries, months without end in the hospital, life or death situations, and difficult cases (like my mum).
    Doctors told my mother I would likely have my jaw to the side when talking, that I may not talk properly (they cut my tongue to not asphyxiate.. I did have a little logopedic sessions for d R), etc etc.
    I tell you, none of thise things happened, I speak out of my elbows, completly fluent in 4+ languages, my jaw and expression are not deformed (it corrected itself totally naturally), I was valedictorian throughout, and have Been succesful so far.

    Moms out there, believe in yourselves, believe in your kids & the incredible healing power of childrens bodies! Let us all be kind adults

    Thank you for sharing your and Charlies story Katie, I am certain you have a blessing in each other xoxo

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw June 21, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write this! I appreciate your words!

  • Reply Dawn Delano November 26, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Hi Katie,
    Just a quick note to let you know my son was also born with the same birth mark on 1/4 of his face and is now a very happy well adjusted 30 year old man. They have come a long way since he was born with different medications and ways to remove birth marks these days. When Josh was born laser surgery was the answer and was vey exspnsive, insurance would not cover it and money was very tight. I also heard the remarks from people about his looks and how could I let him be seen like that. I was proud of my son and just as I do now did not see a baby boy with a bright red birth mark but a beautiful gift from god. He has never had anything done to his face.One day when he was about19 I told him if he wanted to have his mark removed I would fid a way. His response to me was perfectly beautiful, he said no way it makes me who I am, it’s part of me now and forever and if people don’t like how I look then the heck with them and I don’t need them in my life. Josh embraces his uniqueness and so will Charlie. She is now and always will be beautiful no matter what you/she decides when the time comes.

    Dawn D
    joshmom1986@gmail.com

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw December 5, 2016 at 7:19 am

      Thank you so much for your support!

  • Reply Melissa December 13, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    this is a beautiful story. Praise God for your healthy, beautiful, sweet girl! You are obviously a good, good mama and she is going to grow up to be strong and confident!

  • Reply Charlie's Hemangioma | One Year Later February 20, 2017 at 7:01 am

    […] you have been around here awhile, you probably remember when my post about Charlie’s hemangioma went viral. In fact, that may be how you found me. That post […]

  • Reply Ms. Kyle April 10, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Hello,
    I have a port wine stain birthmark on the right side of my nose, that used to be much bigger and more vivid when I was a child. It has since shrunk to only a few inches in length, to the point where one can barely notice it when I wear my glasses. I had a laser surgery at age 8 to seal the blood vessels that had burst one morning and covered my face with blood. At that time, the dermatologist asked me if I was interested in undergoing laser treatments to ultimately remove my birthmark. I chose to go without the treatments, and I am proud of my decision. At age 31 now, I wish I knew a way to keep my birthmark from shrinking! It’s my favorite part of my face, and it always has been. I was lucky enough to have the unending support of my loving parents, who respected my decision about keeping my birthmark, and they never encouraged me to do otherwise. I had lasik surgery in 2007, so my birthmark was on full display once I stopped wearing glasses. I got all sorts of well-intentioned but incredibly rude remarks from strangers, like “What happened to your face?” & etc., to which I usually replied with a comment about how it was my birthmark and yes, it actually has been there since birth, hence the term “birthmark”. I was amazed at how many people asked me how long I’d had it, even once I had already said it was my birthmark! Anyway, lasik surgery lasts about 8-10 years on average, and I started wearing glasses again in 2015. I miss seeing my birthmark when I look at myself in the mirror throughout the day, because I have chronically low self-esteem about many of my physical and personality qualities, but my birthmark makes me feel better. I can’t imagine my face without it, nor do I want to. Thank you for renewing my faith in the state of contemporary parenting by approaching your daughter’s birthmark with such grace and kindness. I wish more parents treated their children with the same sort of compassion and perspective. She is lucky to have you.

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw April 14, 2017 at 12:19 am

      That means a lot, thank you!

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