QT's Mummy Columnist Clare Evans of Goodna.
QT's Mummy Columnist Clare Evans of Goodna. David Nielsen

Vascular problem proves eye-opener

I'VE just breathed out the biggest sigh of relief I can ever remember. And I didn't even realised I'd been holding on to it so hard. El Baberino has been given the all-clear not to have a little operation at this point, and my joy is palpable.

I know that there are kids doing it a lot tougher than El Baberino. Much, much tougher. She has a little vascular problem next to her eye that has given her a little strawberry hemangioma. Which is totally harmless. Except that in her case, it kept growing and growing, and bleeding and bleeding.

There's something truly stomach turning about seeing a baby bleeding from what looks like their eyes. I mean, I was really bored in Repco while Modern Dad talked about cable lugs and other words that I think he was making up, but I could think of other ways to get out of there without re-enacting scenes from Carrie, thanks baby.

And once it had started bleeding, being a vein-related thing, it just didn't stop. It ended up with a beautiful black scab on the end too, which moved around as her eyeball did like some sort of weird antenna.

But the hardest part for me was that people felt the need to comment on it. What's wrong with her, they'd ask. Did someone punch her in the eye? As much as I wanted to reply yes, my 11-month-old baby is a Muay Thai fighter, I calmly explained as much as I could without wanting to punch someone in the eye myself.

You see, I'm not really used to people asking questions like that. And I sort of find it hard to see that I ever would get used to it. For the most part, the Boy's illnesses and therefore his difference from other kids are invisible. He might eat what they think is weird food, but on the outside he looks like them.

El Baberino and her giant antenna was a pretty eye-opening experience for me in what other people think is ok to comment on. Maybe I should be commending those people on their forthrightness, but I don't know how many more times I could have heard "what's wrong with her?" before I flipped my lid.

Because there was nothing "wrong" with her. She is my beautiful baby, antenna or not. But if it was going to continue to grow I was pretty keen to get her into surgery and get it whipped off before she started to realise what people were asking.

Thankfully, it looks as though it is subsiding on its own, because I wasn't totally thrilled with the idea of putting my tiny one under a general anaesthetic. It may grow large again and require an operation at a later date; we just don't know. And because she's so little, we have to make the decision for her if and when it comes to that.

I just hope she thinks we make the right one on her behalf.

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