OK, so my daughter’s marks are not from neurofibromatosis.
They’re from lemons.

It appears that her skin was exposed to lemon juice before going out into the sun, and it caused chemical burns all over her face and legs. It’s called phytophotodermatitis, which is also known as Lime Disease (not to be confused with Lyme Disease). The burns should fade in 6-12 months.


I’m still so in shock that I can’t even be happy yet. I haven’t exhaled. My heart is still stuck in the terror that she’ll be severely deformed and forever shunned from society. I can’t yet extricate myself from the maternal fear whose depths I couldn’t fathom until now. And I just made a donation to the Children’s Tumor Foundation whose mission it is to end NF because of course I did. I mean, jesus christ, what those mothers and children and families must be going through. I just lived through the tip of their iceberg, and I still can’t begin to imagine what lies beneath. They have to deal with neurofibromatosis, and all I have to watch out for is lemons.

It’s possible that I’m overstating this, but I doubt it: the experience of eluding this sickness might be the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. She could have had NF, and it’s sheer luck (or grace, if you lean that way) that she doesn’t, and so now’s my chance to quit planting seeds of regret. I want so badly to kiss her with all my heart and to love her without reservation, and so for fuck’s sake, I need to tear down the last of this ridiculous barrier that’s keeping me from bonding as fully as I can with my baby.

My sweet, sweet, sweet, lemon-stained baby with the crooked smile that I love more today than ever, but which I hope to love even more tomorrow.


PS: To those of you who got in touch after reading my last post, I am deeply grateful for you. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much.

About TG

My eggs don't work, so I manifested a baby via egg donation. Let's blog and see what happens.
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8 Responses to Lemonade

  1. Jen says:

    I hadn’t been able to keep you and your daughter out of my mind since the previous post. So glad to see this follow up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A. says:

    Jesus, I just exhaled after reading both posts back-to-back. So incredibly relieved that it went the way it did!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CristinaKL says:

    I wanted to cry with happiness after reading this second post. I am so so happy about this outcome. I can hardly wait to go home and kiss my own little girl and be ever more grateful for her, no matter how we got her!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so so so happy to hear this. Funnily enough, my sister had these same stains from eating limes years and years ago. Her whole face looked dirty – and sure enough, that’s what it was when she saw the dermatologist.
    I love that this experience has made you throw caution to the wind. Love that baby with all you’ve got.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. TeeJay says:

    I’m so glad I did not get updated when you posted the first post. I logged in today and yay for reading back to back posts. My heart sank as I was reading and thinking of what you must be going through. I can’t even tell you how glad I am that she does not have NF. I’ve never heard of lemons causing that before. That is the strangest and most random thing I think I’ve heard. And oh my gosh the worry and stress you have been through waiting to see the dermatologist. I hope that you are able to tear down those walls and love that baby with 100% of your heart. I don’t think you will regret giving yourself fully to those emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stacey says:

    Hallelujah! Lemons have never been more sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kristi says:

    I am so relieved and happy to see this post. I saw your previous post right away and was seriously concerned for you but honestly didn’t know what to say. I guess they don’t test for these things while going through DE screening. You gave great parenting advice though in the beginning of your last post :)


  8. Pam says:

    Mulling over what to say in response to this intense experience. Ideas about perspective, motherhood, gratitude. But ultimately all that is important and worth saying is I’m so happy your little girl is healthy and I wish you both continued good health and all the joy that motherhood has to offer. I think you’ve earned your stripes.


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