On March 4, 2008 I gave birth to my third son. His birth was a relatively uneventful one. He was born perfectly beautiful. Immediately after birth, his perfect little 8lb 13oz and 21 inches of a body was placed in my arms. I cuddled him. Kissed him and marveled at the miracle of life. I held his body close to mine.
The left side of his face and body was held close to my chest. After holding my baby for quite some time. Long enough that the nurses and Doctor were gone. With just my husband and I left alone in the hospital room and enjoying our new baby, I noticed after changing my new baby’s position that he had a large reddish brown birthmark on the left side of his nose. The birthmark almost reached the inner corner of his eye.
My mind begins to whirl in a fog of thought. What will people say? Will they see the beauty I see in this boy? This moment was only the beginning of the journey for our son and us. Every time anyone met our new son we were asked a series of RUDE questions. Questions like: What is that? Or will it go away?
There were a small handful of people that we met that found the mark a sign of beauty. I even had an Indian receptionist at the doctor’s office congratulate me! I was stunned! She said that when a baby is born with this type of mark on the face that it is a sign of good luck!
It is fair to say that the judgment of people with regards to my child’s mark was a matter of perspective, opinion, and culture. After being given medical advice concerning our child’s mark from several doctors and along with taking into consideration our medical history of skin cancer, my husband and I made the difficult decision to have his mark removed by a plastic surgeon. It was a difficult decision since at six weeks our baby had been operated on for an unrelated medical issue. Once again our baby would be operated on.
It was decided that it was medically best for it to be removed immediately. When our baby came out of his surgery and we saw him for the first time we were left speechless! He looked horrific! It was a pitiful sight to see his little face puffy with fresh stitches across his nose. I then wondered to myself what had we done?
Our baby had stitches on his face for several months.
They were removed little by little.
He has been left with a scar that has been traveling across his nose for over 3 years.
I rarely notice the scar anymore. I don’t give it much thought. Just recently he has begun to ask me about it. I have been honest and frank with him on why he has a scar. I was told that once he is done growing he can have a plastic surgeon remove the scar. But for now the scar is part of who he is.
The other day while he was at basketball practice I saw something that bothered me. A child that was standing in line in front of him had turned around and was talking to my son while running his finger over his scar. I don’t know what the child said to my son but; I could read my son’s lips as he explained the reason for his scar.
I don’t know why this child’s action bothered me so much. Maybe because I realized I DON’T SEE THE SCAR. When I look at him I see his strong will for life. I see his bright mind. I see the talent he has with words. I see his big beautiful bright brown eyes that have been blessed with long eyelashes. I see a smart amazing three year old.
It was in this moment that that child ran his finger over my sons scar that I realized that there may be times where people won’t see the person behind the scar. I realized that maybe too often all of us get stuck looking only at the scars left by the past and forget to see the beauty of the present.
Best wishes, Moms 4 Boys