Hannah April Bloomfield arrived into the world on the 28th November 2001Her arrival was one that I will never forget. Being my second child I allowed a student midwife to deliver her, big mistake. David (Hannah’s dad) and I will never forget the first words that were spoken when our precious little girl was born. “Oh my god! get a load of this!” and instead of being given to me she was whisked away for a check up. When I finally got to hold our baby we noticed a giant black mark covering her chest and large spots on her head, hip, bottom and legs. Another midwife present who was present at the time explained that they were birthmarks and left it at that. Many hours followed before I got to speak to a paediatrician, who told me that Hannah had brown nevus, but he had never seen a case like this before so didn’t know much more about it. 26 hours after the birth of Hannah I discharged myself from hospital due to the fact that throughout the day I was visited by many nurses who wanted to see the baby with the birthmark. Once I got home I still didn’t know a great deal about Hannah’s condition and it remained that way for 3 months. When Hannah was 3 months old we had the first of many visits to the Dermatology Department at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Melbourne. At last we were given a more detailed explanation of CMN and had many of our questions answered. Treatments were discussed but due to the positioning of the nevus at this stage treatment didn’t seem to be an option. There were risks of breast buds being damaged and excessive scarring, which could also effect her breast development. So at this stage we decided to leave things as they were.This was also the time when I was diagnosed with delayed post natal depression. I had struggled for the past few months trying to understand Hannah’s condition, be supportive towards my family and just get on with life, which I never once stopped to really deal with my own emotions. When Hannah was 14 months we decided to get the internet and this is when I discovered the Aussie Nevus Support Group. For the first time since Hannah was born I stopped feeling alone. I owe this group so much. They gave me the support that I desperately needed and pulled me out of the dark place that I was in. The internet also gave me the chance to learn about CMN, finally the rest of my questions (at this stage) were answered. For the past 4 years Hannah’s nevus had grown with her and is now a reddish/brown colour. It had also thickened on one side, which may result in breast development troubles when she gets older, but we will just wait and see. She was born with 10 satellites, but now has 100’s. She visits the RCH annually where we have photos updated and every mole checked and sees her paediatrician 6 months after the RCH visits, who has since educated himself on CMN. Hannah also has to visit an ophthalmologist every 18months-2 years to get her eyes checked due to having a small satellite on her iris. She has a small chance of getting glaucoma due to this spot. We have recently begun a new path in Hannah’s nevus journey. Due to her chest nevus developing quite a large amount of hair we are currently undergoing test patches of laser treatment to see whether we can retards its growth and whilst undergoing these test patches we are going to try to lighten the pigment also. This treatment will take many years to complete, if the test patches prove to make some difference, but we are in no hurry.Hannah is a beautiful, happy and confident 4 year old girl who is strong willed and just loves life. I know that our nevus journey has just begun but watching how Hannah deals with doctors, peers and society I know in my heart that Hannah will be okay and that she will take on the world ‘spots and all’.
By Katie Bloomfield (Hannah’s Mum) Published 2002
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