Kids Health

‘His hands and feet were really purple’: Mum opens up about her son’s rare birth markings

This mum was horrified to discover her baby’s markings weren’t the result of birth, but in fact a rare disorder.

Rachael Moore, who is a Healthy Mummy Community member, says she conceived her much longed-for third baby the very first month of trying.

“At 20 weeks, we found out that we were expecting another perfect little boy, he was growing perfectly and measuring almost spot-on,” she says. “Never once did it cross my mind that our baby would be born with any problems.”

isaac with CMCT
Isaac. Source: Supplied

Markings came up on Isaac’s legs a few hours after birth

In February, little Isaac entered the world and Rachael says within an hour she noticed a few little marks come up on his legs.

“I didn’t think much of it, I thought it was just bruising from the birth, although his hands and feet all remained really purple,” says the mum-of-three.

“The midwives noted his marking on their paperwork and said they would be getting a doctor to have a look. Within hours, more marks had appeared.”

Rachael reveals the midwives, doctors and paediatricians all came to have a look and said they didn’t know what the markings were.

“To hear this coming from experts about my little boy so sent many emotions and thoughts through me,” Rachael admits. “I was thinking, ‘What is wrong with him? Will he be okay? Is he in pain’?”

isaac's markings
The markings on Isaac’s legs. Source: Supplied

Rachael says she did some research online and came across a condition called Cutis Marmorata, which is a common skin disorder that appears when an infant is exposed to low environmental temperatures, but disappears quite quickly.

After experts did a thorough examination on Isaac they diagnosed him with Cutis Marmorata Telangiectatica Congenita (CMTC), which is clinically similar, but the lesions are more intense, persistent, and may be associated with loss of dermal tissue.

CMTC is an uncommon kind of birthmark and is characterised by discoloured patches of skin caused by widened (dilated) surface blood vessels. As a result, the skin has a purple or blue ‘marbled’ appearance. While it is present at birth, it fades considerably over a child’s first year.

CMTC soon consumed my life. Almost every time I picked up my phone, it wasn’t to message a friend or share a photo of our baby, it was to look on the internet for any bit of information I could possibly find,” Rachael says.

“I cried a lot. I would just stare at this little baby, but not at his gorgeous, perfect little face. All I could see was these markings all over his body, the size difference between each arm and each leg, constantly comparing the lengths of his legs.

“I just couldn’t see past it. I couldn’t understand why my perfect little baby had to be born with such a rare disorder. I stressed about what his life will be like. ‘Will these markings fade? Will this affect his way of life? How will he be treated by kids at school? (We all know how cruel some kids can be). How will I comfort my child when he is upset over the way he looks? Will his smaller leg grow’?”

Isaac baby
Isaac. Source: Supplied

Accepting Isaac’s condition

But Rachael says a child health nurse came over and told her directly that she needed to accept his condition.

“I was wasting his first few weeks being consumed by what was wrong with him,” says Rachael. “I wasn’t enjoying everything else that is just so perfect about him.”

“CMTC is something that is now a part of our lives. We need to accept it.”

hands heart
The heart shaped marking on Isaac’s hand. Source: Supplied

Isaac is still undergoing tests and Rachael has started a blog to help her deal with her son’s condition.

“His markings have faded since he was born. They are nowhere near as dark purple. Hopefully they continue to fade,” says Rachel.

“They also do remind me of just how special he is. I noticed this heart shape on his hand the morning after he was born. I’ve begun to realise as long as my little boy is okay, it doesn’t matter to me what he looks like.”

Thanks for sharing your story Rachael. We can’t even imagine how confronting it is to be told your baby has a rare disorder, but we’re glad he’s doing well.

For more information on CMTC, click here. If your baby has any markings on their body that you are concerned about, we advise you to see your GP as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for support from other new mums, who may be having the same anxieties – be sure to check out our NEW MUMS FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP.

The Healthy Mummy has multiple private and JUDGEMENT-FREE groups you can access (for free) and exchange tips, tricks and experiences with other new mums.

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You can learn more about our other Private Facebook Support Groups and Facebook Pages to follow HERE.