The public debut of Baby Berto 2.0

Last week we finally got to see the newest member of our family. We don’t yet know if it’s a boy or a girl, but we do know that so far all is normal, strong and healthy. There’s only one in there and all appendages (except for one more, hopefully) are accounted for.

What a relief.

You can’t go into an ultrasound or a well-baby appointment expecting the worst. But, you have to be ready for it still somehow just in case. So, to see this perfect outline of Thing 2 has lifted the first weight of parenthood off my shoulders. There’s many more weights that will come off. And, there’s likely more that will be put on.

There’s not many words that can describe how it feels to see the little arms and legs flailing around or the blurred outline of the heart as it pumps away. Pure joy knowing that there’s a happy little baby in there and that in just 27 short weeks or so, we’ll get to meet it.

27 more weeks. It sounds so long, yet I know how fast it’s going to go. Now, please meet Baby Berto 2.0:

So, keep in mind the overall length was 6.5cm or so...

 

 

 

 

 

Wait, how do you say that?

When you become a parent, you live almost perpetually in fear of something horrible happening. To hear the scared or hurt cries of your child is almost unbearable. The first time I saw Kylah bleed from an injury I felt the tears well up.

So to face something that might have a permanent effect on Kylah was something that Kelci and I definitely struggled with. We learned a couple of months ago that Kylah has something called alopecia areata. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attach the hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out. And with today’s news that a genetic marker for Alopecia Areata has been discovered, it seems like a great opportunity to tell our story.

Kylah at Pike Place Market

Somebody called this the world's most adorable mug shot. I agree.

One evening, I went to tussle her hair and I came away with a whole curl in my hand and discovered a round bald spot. Several days later, it happened again and we had her to a dermatologist the following afternoon. To not visibly react when the second bit was in my hand was one of the more difficult acting jobs of my life.

Kylah’s version is localized to two round patches on one side of her head and there’s no danger to her. Hair loss is the only symptom and she’s perfectly healthy and happy and there’s no long-term concerns.

Aside from losing her hair.

The great unknown

One of the challenges of alopecia is that you don’t know. The hair she lost might grow back. It might not. More hair might fall out. More hair might fall out or this might never be an issue for the rest of her life. We know that life as a girl is already a challenge and to grow up with bald patches or even totally bald is a challenge we just don’t want for Kylah.

I know it’s a bit selfish. In the scheme of things, there are far worse challenges we could be facing. But dammit (I can’t say that word out loud), I want my daughter to have an easy life and Kelci and I are doing our best to give that to her.

So far, we are optimistic. There’s no reason to expect that her hair won’t regrow those amazing curls that she has. In fact, it has grown back a lot, but we’ve recently found a new patch. One thing is for certain though, as she gets older, she’ll know what it means to be beautiful and that beauty is not what the mirror shows you, it’s what you project into the world. She’s going to be amazing and a little hair loss won’t stop her.

Daddy and Kylah

She buried me under blankets. It was awesome.

It surely hasn’t stopped me!