© 2015 Nevus Support Australia PO Box 262, Seacliff Park, South Australia 5049  
My   daughter   Olive   is   the   youngest   of   my   3   children.   She   was   to   be   our   last   baby,   and   after   two   pregnancies   resulting   in   pre-eclampsia,   it   was   a surprisingly enjoyable pregnancy. On the scans, there were never any worries. She was a bouncing, perfect little bean, growing inside me. Due   to   two   previous   caesareans,   Olive   was   born   via   elective   caesarean.   On   April   3,   2012,   Olive   made   a   dramatic   entrance   when   she   crashed   soon after   birth   –   she   stopped   breathing,   was   blue,   floppy   and   unresponsive   and   had   to   be   resuscitated.   Because   the   doctors   had   never   seen   the   rare condition   we   would   soon   discover   she   had,   they   thought   her   tiny   body   was   being   attacked   by   tumours.   We   soon   found   out,   once   she   was   stable   and in   the   special   care   unit,   that   Olive   was   born   with   the   rare   condition,   Giant   Congenital   Melanocytic   Nevus.   Hers   was   located   in   the   bathing   trunk   region –   it   covers   a   large   portion   of   her   back   and   thighs,   and   wraps   around   her   front.   She   was   born   with   7   smaller   ones   over   her   body   and   since   her   birth until now (she is almost 2 at the time of this writing) has developed almost 100 small nevus called satellites. When   Eddie   and   I   first   found   out   about   Olive’s   CMN,   and   had   gotten   over   the initial   shock   that   our   baby   was   different   from   what   we   expected,   we   decided   to be   very   open   about   it.   We   figured   that   we   wanted   to   raise   Olive   to   love   her body   and   to   be   comfortable   enough   with   it   to   not   want   to   hide   it.   We   hope   to raise   her   just   the   same   as   our   older   daughter,   in   regards   to   body   image   and being   proud   of   their   bodies   and   respecting   themselves.   Eddie   and   I   decided the   best   way   to   help   Olive   to   do   this   was   to   be   completely   open   with   our friends   and   family   about   Olive   and   her   CMN.   So   we   showed   all   our   visitors   her back   when   she   was   a   newborn.   For   the   most   part,   everybody   has   been incredibly   supportive   and   fallen   in   love   with   Olive   almost   as   much   as   us!   She is   a   charismatic   and   humourous   wee   girl   who   has   very   endearing   qualities about her. Though   a   lot   of   people   choose   removal,   and   I   completely   respect   that,   for   us we   have   chosen   not   to   remove   Olive’s   nevus   for   a   multitude   of   reasons.   The   main   one   being,   that   we   feel   she   was   born   this   way   for   a   reason.   We don’t   feel   it   is   our   place   to   alter   her   body   so   dramatically   through   surgery   for   the   sake   of   cosmetics.   If   she   ever   needs   to   consider   removal   for   medical reasons,   or   she   chooses   to   do   so   for   her   own   cosmetic   reasons,   we   will   absolutely   support   her   100%   -   we   just   don’t   feel   it   is   our   choice   to   make   for her.   In   New   Zealand,   a   lot   of   doctors   have   not   even   heard   of   CMN,   let   alone   seen   it,   so   there   is   not   a   lot   of   support   here.   It   has   been   quite   daunting   and frustrating,   and   sometimes   quite   isolating   to   have   to   deal   with,   while   trying   to   get   the   best   care   for   my   child.   Nevus Australia   and   their   members   have been   a   wonderful   support   and   I   hope   to   meet   a   lot   of   them   one   day   soon.      We   have   been   fortunate   though,   to   not   need   extra   medical   care   as   yet   for anything   nevus   related.   She   still   requires   a   bit   of   care   taken   when   picking   her   up   or   when   she   plays   as   sometimes   her   back   can   scrape   and   bleed   very easily,   where   ‘normal’   skin   wouldn’t.   OIive   has   a   6   monthly   check   up   with   the   dermatologist   where   they   check   her   nevus   for   changes   and   check   her development is on track for her age, but apart from that, my daughter is just the same as any other toddler her age. Our   older   children   have   been   detrimental   in   our   mission   to   give   Olive   as   ‘normal’   an   upbringing   as   possible.   I   am   so   proud   of   how   accepting   they   are of   their   baby   sister   and   how   humbly   protective   they   are   of   her   (as   opposed   to   fiercely   protective   Mama   Bear   here!).   My   3   children   have   helped   to teach   us   all   how   to   be   better   people   and   my   son   (aged   6   at   the   time)   summed   it   all   up   when   shortly   after   Olive’s   birth   I   asked   him   what   he   thought   of her nevus; “It’s part of her, Mum. She is just a bit different. Just because someone is different doesn’t mean we have to tell them to be like us”.

Olive’s Story

By Kizzie Robertson (Olive’s Mum) Published 2014
ABN: 23543860400
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