Freya's story

Freya was born on 17th January 2012 a few minutes after her birth the midwife noticed a bruise like mark on her left hand and wrist. 

After about an hour a paediatrician confirmed that she believed that it was a haemangioma birthmark and she would be fine, that was all the information we had at that point. 

Just before our discharge from hospital the paediatrician measured the birthmark on the hand area, it was currently 3cm x 3cm, and said that if her team felt there were to be any problems then they would be a referral letter to get it looked at, but I received nothing. 

Over the next couple of days it seemed that the birthmark was starting to disappear and we did start to question perhaps it was a bruise. But within 10 days it had changed its appearance, and had started to go bright red, at this point the wrist area was more noticeable. I must admit that from this point I found it very hard to cope with it. The midwife and health visitor just reassured me that it would go away and that was all the information I had. 

When Freya was 5 weeks old I took her to my lovely GP who referred her to a dermatologist at the Royal Gwent Hospital, it was such a relief to think I would get some answers. While I was waiting I was put in touch with a lovely lady from GOSH who gave me more answers than I could of asked for, and was available whenever I had a question or concern. Our biggest concern at this point was ulceration because of the area the birthmark was in. 

Freya was seen by the hospital at almost 11 weeks old, and my consultant was amazing he explained everything in detail and we were offered two forms of treatment. The first was Timolol, a gel that would be applied directly to the birthmark, or Propranolol, an oral beta-blocker drug. It was a lot to think about and after a lot of research and questions we decided to take the Propranolol route. 

Freya was admitted to hospital 2 weeks later to start the treatment, it was frightening how much it had grown in those two weeks measuring 7cm x 5cm, after several tests the Propranolol was started, Freya took to the drug very well and after 3 weeks the change was amazing, she has currently been on the Propranolol for 7 weeks and we see small changes, but most important it has stopped the growth.