Kennedy was born 11 days early at Durham Regional Hospital in Durham, NC. Immediately after her birth, she was admitted to the special care unit because of a few concerns with her temperature and blood pressure. I could not be with her while she was admitted and an initial evaluation was done because my placenta had not delivered and had to be manually removed. It was a very happy yet sad time for my husband, Nick & I because we were elated at her arrival, yet depressed that she could not be with us. I was down... I didn't want to see friends, I only wanted my parents and husband, and to be with Kennedy every second I could.
I first noticed a strawberry on her spine the first evening in the special care nursery. I asked the nurses and doctors and everyone told me it was just a hemangioma and would go away over time. After our release from the hospital, I continued to ask regularly at our pediatrician appointments in Durham, NC. I was comfortable with the decision that it was just a birth mark basically and to not be worried.
Our family moved to Burlington, NC in November 2011 and at our first well-baby check up at 9 months old, our new pediatrician at Hillsborough Pediatrics, Dr. Clepper-Faith immediately noticed the strawberry and mentioned concern because it had a bit of a fatty pouch under it. She quickly looked for other signs and found two more in just seconds - a deviated buttcrack (for lack of better terms) and a sacchral dimple (or hole in her tush along the crack line near the top). I had noticed it for a long time but just thought it was a cute little spot, kind of like the little hole in my nephew's ear. I would have no idea that was a concern UNTIL my new doctor looked for it and did a referral for an MRI at Duke Children's Hospital. I am FRUSTRATED that the special care nursery and the first pediatrician did not look for these signs that were there from birth. I am RELIEVED that our new pediatrician was so thorough and so educated.
Dr. Clepper-Faith told us her reason for MRI was concern regarding a possible tethered spinal cord. My brain went into instant panic because although I didn't know anything about it, to hear a concern with her SPINAL CORD was deafening!