When a couple from Florida learned about their newborn boy’s large facial birthmark, they feared for health implications. However, the love for their son and his beautiful, unusual feature was never compromised.
“My advice is to not care what others think,” mother Jazmen Hall wrote for Love What Matters. “Do not let fear rule you and your mind.”
Jazmen described finding out that she fell pregnant on Jan. 19, 2019, as the happiest day of her life. She and her husband, Justin, wept tears of joy, and Jazmen recalled that her pregnancy proceeded beautifully.
“All my ultrasounds were great and baby boy was perfect and healthy,” Jazmen explained. “Each doctor’s appointment I had, there was never any indication of anything on Jase’s face.”
Jazmen’s water broke on Sept. 24, 2019. When she reached 3 centimeters dilated, baby Jase’s heart rate started to drop. The laboring mom’s medical team decided upon an emergency cesarean section, and baby Jase was safely born at 7:57 p.m. on Sept. 25 after Jazmen underwent 22.5 hours of labor.
Jazmen blacked out as a result of stress, fear, and labor drugs but recalls waking up in recovery, where her husband delivered some unexpected news. “I remember my husband walking over to me and before showing me my son, saying, ‘Baby, he has a big birthmark on his face,’” Jazmen recalled.
“I remember looking at my son and just being in awe of how perfect he was,” she continued, “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.”
Jase was born with a port-wine stain birthmark, a result of abnormal development of blood vessels in the skin thus causing pronounced coloration on top of his head, the right side of his face, his ear, and a few spots on his neck.
Unfortunately, with the birthmark came cause for concern, as port-wine stains can indicate a neurological disorder called Sturge-Weber syndrome, seizures, strokes, and even glaucoma.
A few weeks after Jase’s birth, an EEG picked up that the little boy had already had a seizure on the opposite side of the birthmark. However, Jazmen recalled a lady saying it could be a “fluke” and thus suggested having another EEG done.
“I remember my husband and I just praying nonstop and asking the Lord to intervene and take control,” Jazmen admitted. A second EEG reaped “normal” results, and the couple, relieved and grateful, turned their attention to pursuing preventative treatment.
The couple then found a dermatologist in Orlando when Jase was 4 months old and started a course of laser therapy, but not without agonizing over their infant son’s experience. “Laser treatment is hard,” Jazmen explained. “They do not do numbing cream. My son was getting zapped for a solid five minutes. … I would hear him cry, scream, and even hold his breath.”
Jazmen explained that laser treatment helps lighten the birthmark and is quite beneficial in the future. However, people reached out to Jazmen and told her that “when you have laser treatment in an office without any numbness, it feels like hot rubber bands slapping your skin, and it’s painful.” The concerned mother then didn’t want to continue to put her son through that much pain and suffering.
After six months, the couple learned that Jase could have laser therapy under general anesthesia, and everything changed. At the time of writing, Jase is healthy and has been seizure-free for a year, has normal eye pressure, and has met every milestone for his peer group.
Additionally, the Halls have been heartened by how others have treated their baby boy.
“You always wonder how others will treat your child, and there hasn’t been one single person who has been ugly or mean,” said Jazmen. “Everyone has been so encouraging and we thank the Lord for this. … We are so blessed in every single way possible.”
Jazmen now shares sweet, intimate snapshots of life with Justin and Jase on Instagram.
For anyone else going through a hard time, Jazmen implores, “[K]now after every storm comes a rainbow. The journey isn’t always easy,” she reflected, “but it will always be worth it.”
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