Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Joshua's Head (Or Lack of)

People often make the comment to me that Joshua's head does not look small, so I recently took some photos of his head to share on my May Mums board, so that they could see what I am talking about and so I thought I would share them here too.  What generally happens with Microcephaly, is the face grows normally but the head doesn't.  At the moment, the size of his head is not that obvious, especially when you look at him front on.   His current head circumference is average for a 3 month old baby.  He is 9.5 months old.  Because he has the "face size" of a 9.5 month old, people don't realise that his head circumference is in fact, as small as it is.

When you look closely however, you can see his head is not "normal".

The following picture illustrates the difference in head shape between a normal head and a person with Microcephaly:

The following photo shows Joshua with another baby of the same age (born the day before him).  You can see the difference in their heads quite clearly, as per the previous illustration.

Typically, a baby has a big boofy head.  When you look at Joshua's head from the top and the back, it doesn't look nice and round like a normal head, it looks somewhat rectangular.

Where the difference is most obvious however, is when you look at the size of his forehead area.  This really hasn't grown since he was born and is extremely noticeable when you look at it from the right angle, as it gives him a 'conehead" like appearance.  This is shown in the photo below:

When looking at him from behind on a slightly side on angle, you can also see that his head looks small on his face.

Joshua's head is like this because the damage to his brain has prevented it from growing normally.  It will likely become more obvious to people as he grows bigger.  Like HIE, Microcephaly is associated with poor outcomes, however it is also possible to have microcephaly and still be highly functional so this is just another one of those things that we have to wait and see on.  His doctor has told us that she would expect him to be a lot worse off given his head size, so in some ways, that is a positive sign.
In the mean time though, it is just super hard for me to find hats that fit him :)


  1. Awe he is a beautiful boy! Hannah's head is the EXACT same way, so when she was his age I used to be so scared it would get worse looking as she grew but it actually hasn't her hair covers it and now she just looks like she has a smaller forhead...I used to hear from my drs that she might have a harder time from the micro, BUT I wanted to say she really isn't she is doing really well and so try not to get stressed or upset as some kids have big normal size heads with HIE and are doing worse...hugs!!!!! Laila