We are a mere two and a half years into our journey with our little bundle of joy....or more accurately, our pint-sized hurricane of a human.
Olive is a full on toddler. I never experienced this with the other two, or if I did, I have conveniently forgotten all about it! You cant look away for two seconds with her, or you will come back to sunscreen all over the front door, loom bands strewn across the house end-to-end, breakfast smeared on the table/floor/door/anyone, or more recently a mask made of playdough covering said hurricane's face.
It is non stop all day every day, including when she is sick. Which she has been for the last week and a half. This has made her very clingy (understandably - who doesn't want Mum when they are sick!) and very unwell. What started as a cold progressed to a chest infection and the start of pneumonia and then to an ear infection. Because of the rattle in her chest, our GP sent us to the hospital for an x-ray. I was quite worried about her, as her temperature was getting over 40 degrees and she was really unhappy.
It's been quite a while since I have had to 'explain' her nevus, and as such I completely forgot about it until the nurse went to listen to her chest.
"Is that a birthmark on her arm?" She asked, pointing to Olive's big satellite on her left arm.
With her nevus being the last thing on my mind, I was somewhat taken aback.
"Oh...yes, it is. She has a giant congenital melanocytic nevus on her back."
Cue blank look from nurse.
"Here, I'll show you." I said, and asked Olive her permission (since she is getting older and is very good at understanding and talking, I always ask her permission now before showing anyone. She always says yes).
As I lifted her shirt, the nurse went, "Oh! I've never heard of that before".
It still astounds me how many medical professionals haven't heard of CMN, let alone seen it. It is such commonplace in our family now, that we tend to forget sometimes we may have to be the one teaching those we turn to for help in other aspects with our children.
I also had a similar reaction from the registrar when she finally came to do her consultation. Except this time, as I went to explain, she cut me off and said, "but it doesn't matter, she is still beautiful".
Which she is. But I would have thought, for someone who studies medicine and health that she may be a bit more interested in the medical rarity of it. I guess some doctors are just more interested than others! (Although, on second thought, perhaps she was just hurrying to get around all her patients).
Either way, it was yet another experience to add to our belt. You just live your life getting on with it, and tend to 'forget' somewhat that your baby has something special. Until someone else reminds you.
I guess it will always be this way. It inspires me more to get Nevus NZ up and running so we can have pamphlets to give to people for them to read later when they have the time, and somewhere New Zealand based to point them to for more information.
All in good time.