When these parents’ baby girl was born with a birthmark covering a large part of her face, they could have removed it right then and there. Instead, they decided to leave. They say that they want to teach their daughter that she is beautiful no matter what. The decision to remove the mark or not should be hers when she is older. (1)
Parents Choose Not To Remove Daughter’s Birthmark
One of the hardest parts of parenting is teaching your kids how to love themselves no matter what. Especially in today’s society with social media, photo editing, and filters, it’s hard for most people – especially young girls – to look in the mirror and be happy with what they see. The large birthmark on baby Harper’s face was both surprising and troubling for these parents. They had to decide whether to remove it or not.
“The birthmark came as a huge shock, and it upset me so much to think how Harper might be treated as she grows up. People can be very cruel.” said mom Ebony King.
The pregnancy was a very normal one and everything, including the delivery, went according to plan. Ebony of course wasn’t expecting anything to be different about her precious baby girl.
“ When she was born, Jamie said to me: ‘She has a really big birthmark on her face’,” Ebony recalled. “I couldn’t believe that half of her entire face was covered. I was in shock, I think, and it wasn’t until about two weeks later that I just sat down and cried my heart out. I wasn’t crying for me, but I was crying for Harper and for all the prejudice she will face in the future.”
A Unique And Beautiful Baby
Ebony and her husband Jamie went back and forth over the decision for a bit. The mark is harmless and poses no health risks. The chance of being ostracised and bullied by her peers, however, is definitely a real concern. In the end, however, they decided that the decision wasn’t theirs to make.
“to us, it’s just a part of her and we can’t ever imagine her without it,” said Ebony. “Her older siblings call it her ‘special mark’ and that is exactly how we see it too; Harper is special. She is even more beautiful with her birthmark and we will make sure we tell her that every day.”
Congenital Melanocytic Naevus
The birthmark that Harper has is known as a congenital melanocytic naevus. These are benign, tumor-like malformations in the skin at birth. They are caused by the faulty development of pigment cells in a developing embryo. (2) One so large on the face like Harper’s is rare – one in 20,000, to be exact.
The doctors offered removal surgery to the parents. The process, however, is not easy. It involves skin grafts and a painful recovery process. The mark has faded somewhat since her birth, however, it will never fade entirely.
“We’ve decided to leave the surgery until Harper is old enough to make up her own mind. It’s a huge undertaking and she should be the one to decide.” says Ebony.
Ebony and Jamie describe her as a cheeky, mischievous little girl. Her siblings adore her, birthmark and all. The whole family calls it Harper’s special mark and they can’t imagine her smiling little face without it. They know that she will face challenges because of it, but they are ready to help her face them.
“it’s our job to make her feel special and to make her see that the birthmark makes her even more beautiful.”