“The happiest day of my life was finding out I was expecting a little blessing. I found out I was pregnant on January 19th, 2019. I remember feeling such joy when reading all seven tests, ‘YES.’ After I found out, I called my husband and started crying. I told him he was going to be a daddy and he just started crying as well. It was the best day ever for us, and we could not contain our excitement. We began to tell our parents, family, and friends. Everyone was so thrilled and happy! I had the best pregnancy, no issues at all. However, I did become anemic and had to have iron infusions in my second trimester. Other than that, everything was great and perfectly normal.
All my ultrasounds were great and baby boy was perfect and healthy. Even at the ultrasound, baby boy was moving all over the place but he would hide his face so we could not see him. Each doctor’s appointment I had, there was never any indication of anything on Jase’s face. Fast forward to September 24th, 2019. My mom, myself, and my mother-in-law all went to the mall to try and walk this baby out. He was due on September 22, 2019. I was ready for Jase to get here and so was everyone else. After we walked the mall for a good two hours, we headed home. I had some mild cramping while walking, but nothing too bad at all. That evening, my husband, myself, and my in-laws were all sitting around the dinner table, eating, and I became very sick and nauseous all of sudden. I ran to the bathroom and tried throwing up, but nothing came out. My husband came in to check on me and just held me and told me everything would be just fine. I began crying because I was so ready for our sweet boy to be here. Plus, I was super pregnant and super emotional.
After dinner, I took a shower, got ready for bed, and sat with my husband and my in-laws on the couch and watched TV. I asked my husband to massage my feet because they were hurting so badly. Plus, I was told having my feet rubbed could also cause labor and I was trying everything I could at this point. My wonderful husband was rubbing my feet and hitting all the pressure points I told him to. After he was done, we were just sitting there. Suddenly, I felt a gush of warmth between my legs. I ran to the bathroom, pulled down my pants, and water just fell and continued to fall. I was in shock and then realized what just happened. My water had just broken. I walked to the bedroom door and said, ‘You guys, the baby is coming. My water just broke,’ and they all started hollering and got excited. We all started getting dressed. I called my parents and brothers to let them know and they started yelling with excitement as well.
We had everything packed. We hopped in the car and soon we were on our way to the hospital. I remember just shaking the whole way there because I was feeling all the emotions. I was so excited but so scared as well. Once we got to the hospital, the nurses checked to see if my water really did break, and it did. I was admitted and had to change into a hospital gown. The doctor came in to check and see how much I was dilated, and I was only at a one. I moved to a different room where I would be giving birth. They gave me my IV and we just waited. All through the night, I was having contractions. The pain was at a three or four. My mom told me to take deep breaths while having a contraction, and this helped me tremendously. The doctor came in a few times during the night to see if I had dilated any more but I was barely at a two. It was now September 25, and the nurses decided to give me some Pitocin to really jump start my labor. The contractions started getting more and more intense.
A few hours passed and the doctor came in to check on me and to see how things were. I was dilated to a three and then she stepped out with another nurse and began to talk. The nurses had me rolling from my right side to my left. After, the doctor came back in and told me I wasn’t dilating as I should be, and the baby’s heart rate was dropping. I got scared, very scared, and asked what I needed to do. The doctor said what I never thought I would hear. She said I was going to be having an emergency c-section so the baby would be okay. When she said this, I instantly started crying and was having a panic attack. An hour before I had gotten the epidural, so I was already numb and couldn’t feel anything at all. While the doctors and nurses were getting prepared for my c-section, I began to shake very badly and got extremely sick. I wanted to throw up. I was terrified and just wanted my baby boy to be okay.
After minutes of getting everything ready, they wheeled me out to the operating room. They gave me more numbing stuff, plopped me on the table, and got ready to deliver my sweet boy. Thankfully, my husband was in the room with me. The doctors started the surgery and I just remember feeling every tug and pull. Finally, I heard them say, ‘We can see the head, here he comes,’ and I felt them tug my son out of me. I blacked out. My son was born at 7:57 p.m. I was not able to hear him cry for the first time and was not able to hold him. However, I guess I woke back up once they cleaned my son up because the nurses were able to get a few pictures of me touching my son, but I do not remember this at all. Afterward, I was completely out of it. They stitched me up and I went to the recovery room where my husband, my son, my parents, my in-laws, and my brothers were. I had been out of it for a few hours when I finally came to.
I remember my husband walking over to me and before showing me my son, saying, ‘Baby, he has a big birthmark on his face.’ I remember looking at my son and just being in awe of how perfect he was and even though I saw the birthmark, I did not care at all about it. All I was concerned about was my baby boy was alive and healthy. Later that night, I was finally able to hold my son and I was in complete heaven. I just remember staring at him and I could not stop. I could not stop thanking Jesus for blessing me with such a perfect little boy. However, I remember the nurses were telling my husband and me the birthmark could be possibly bruising from being without the amniotic fluid for so long. I was in labor for 22.5 hours. We were holding on to what we were being told.
My son, Jase, slept so well the first night in the hospital. The next day, our son’s pediatrician came to visit him. He checked him out and everything looked good. We asked about the red on his face and if it was just bruising. He hit us with the possibility of it being a Hemangioma. We instantly looked it up and started doing all our research. My husband then found a woman on Instagram, Shawntel Poidmore, who had the same thing as Jase. My husband asked her questions and she was a HUGE help to us. Shawntel said her son, Leo, has a port-wine stain. We began to look more into it. Once we did more research, we knew our son had a beautiful port-wine stain birthmark. Jase was born with extra blood vessels. He has a port-wine stain on top of his head, right side of his face, on his ear and a few spots on his neck. I’ll be honest, you never think your baby is going to be born with a huge birthmark.
All the things ran through my mind. Everything. But I remember just giving it all the Lord. A couple of days later, we finally went home. After being home for a week, we really started doing more research on what to do. At Jase’s one-week appointment with his pediatrician, the doctor said we really needed to get set up with a neurologist. This scared me. I remember leaving the appointment just crying to my husband. See, with a port-wine stain comes Sturge-Weber Syndrome, seizures, strokes, and glaucoma. A lot of kids who have port-wine stains can be behind on their milestones and just behind in general, with different things. We set up Jase’s neurologist appointment and it went great. The neurologist was extremely helpful and encouraging. He did say Jase would need to have an EEG to see how his brain activity was, so my husband and I took Jase to get his EEG done.
A few weeks later, we went for the follow-up appointment. The test read Jase had a seizure on the opposite side of his port-wine stain, which did not make sense. The lady said it can sometimes be a fluke, and we would need to have another EEG done. This time, the EEG would be 12 hours instead of one hour. We scheduled the EEG and as we waited for those couple of weeks, I remember my husband and I just praying nonstop and asking the Lord to intervene and take control. We asked the Lord to have his way and for the results to come back normal. After having the EEG and making another follow-up appointment, we were told Jase’s results came back NORMAL. I just remember my husband and I being so at peace with it. We knew it was all the Lord’s doing. We were so happy to hear those results.
After going through this, we went onto finding out what else we needed to do about the port-wine stain. A port-wine stain can be treated by laser. The laser helps it lighten and helps the birthmark down the road. We wanted to look more into it. I reached out to several other parents in a group I had joined on Facebook and they highly suggested to start the laser treatments. Jase was three months when we were recommended a dermatologist in Clearwater, Florida. After two treatments with him, we were NOT seeing or getting the results we thought we would. When getting laser treatment on a port-wine stain, you will see dark red or black dots. Jase NEVER had any of them. After praying about it and looking more into it, we decided to find another dermatologist. Jase was about four months when we found his now-dermatologist. After the first treatment, we saw exactly what we needed to. Thankfully, she was in Orlando and only an hour from us. My mom, Jase, and I would make the trip every two weeks for the treatments. My husband was not able to come due to work.
Let me be real with you for a second. Laser treatment is hard. They do not do numbing cream. My son was getting zapped for a solid five minutes. It was hard. So hard. I would hear him cry, scream, and even hold his breath. After six months of doing this, it was just getting so tough on my son and me. I remember asking my husband what to do and he said to talk to the dermatologist. Our dermatologist mentioned there was another option. We could put Jase under general anesthesia. With this option, we would do the treatments every other month instead of every two weeks. I told her it was something to think about. And of course, there are always risks. My husband and I really prayed on it. We asked the Lord to give us peace about whatever decision we went with. After two weeks, we decided to try general anesthesia because, after Jase’s last treatment, we knew we needed something different. In July, Jase had his first OR (operating room) appointment. We checked in, got him all set, and then the doctor and his team took him back. When they took Jase, I just started crying and my husband held me. It is not that I didn’t trust the doctor and the team, because I did. I am just a mom who always needs to know her son is safe. No matter what.
Jase’s appointments are awesome, and we are seeing so much clearance with them. It is so much easier on Jase and me. Jase does not feel the pain and this is what matters to me. I had a few people reach out to me before we started doing the GA treatments, and they told me when you have laser treatment in an office without any numbness, it feels like hot rubber bands slapping your skin, and it’s painful. When I read this, I knew I no longer could allow my son to go through it. I am not against it at all, because there are several people who have no choice but to do it and that’s okay. We will do whatever we have to for our son and that’s that. This journey hasn’t been easy at all, but it also hasn’t been the worst, either. We are so blessed in every single way possible. We have a healthy son, who has been seizure-free for a year. He does have eye appointments every few months to check on his eye pressure and so far, his pressure has been GREAT. Also, we’re so thankful Jase has met every milestone.
We know the Lord is so evident through this journey. He has covered us when we needed Him the most. You always wonder how others will treat your child, and there hasn’t been one single person who has been ugly or mean. Everyone has been so encouraging and we thank the Lord for this. People will stare and it’s normal. But we have the happiest boy in the world who is so kind and loves others. We pray others will not judge him and get to know our sweet boy first. I know the Lord is going to use Jase in the best way. He already has. I remember when Jase was two months old, a friend of mine had texted me, telling me she and her mom were talking about Jase and his port-wine stain. She told me her mom said Jase is literally covered in the blood of Jesus. From this moment on, I have held onto this and soaked it in.
There are hard days through this journey, but we know we have Jesus to pull us through. We pray against glaucoma, seizures, and strokes with Jase. Before I end this, I would love for you to know even if you are going through a hard time, know after every storm comes a rainbow. Run to Jesus through it all. Trust in Him with all you have. The enemy will try to attack you and discourage you, but don’t allow them to. Jesus never gives us battles we cannot handle. Love with all you have and be the best parent you can be. As long as your kids are happy and healthy, THAT’S WHAT MATTERS. My advice is to not care what others think. Do not let fear rule you and your mind. It will happen but don’t wallow in it. The journey isn’t always easy, but it will always be worth it.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jazmen Hall of Florida. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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‘It was pizza day in school. ‘Your face looks like a pepperoni.’ My friend got up and slapped the guy.’: Woman born with port wine stain learns to embrace her beauty, ‘I needed to be myself’
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‘After my C-section, I heard, ‘Wow! He’s got a big birthmark on his face.’: Baby is born with Port-Wine Stain and Sturge-Weber Syndrome, ‘Never did I think I would have to consider what anti-seizure medication would best keep my child thriving.’
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