When Melissa Moro had a feeling something was wrong with her newborn son, her pediatrician dismissed it as the fear of a first-time mother. But when her concerns about her son Luca's head size wouldn't go away, and she still couldn't even get clothes over his head, it took seizures when he was two-and-a-half months old for her fears to be confirmed: her son had a rare brain tumor.

Too often, new moms' concerns are dismissed because they're 'first-time' moms and 'hover' over their babies. Apparently listening to a mother's gut feelings is out of style and beneath the concern of many well-meaning clinicians, friends and family.

But when Melissa Moro felt something was wrong with her son Luca just a few days after he was born, she was not wrong.

Her concerns were dismissed, but she was not wrong. She told her pediatrician she was struggling to get Luca's clothes over his head at just two months because his head was so big but the doctor said it wasn't a concern. As he grew, his head did too and just a few weeks later, she couldn't even pull toddler clothes over it.

In an article with Today Parents, she said that she'd been telling her husband she thought their son's head was way bigger than it should have been. She's a nanny and has seen many children from birth. She felt something was off, but no one really gave her concern credibility.

At least they didn't until he had a horrible reaction after his two months shots. She said that after he got the shots, he couldn't keep his eyes open. He rolled them downward then started darting back and forth. He ended up having a seizure in her husband's arms, and then another two hours after, and tests at the hospital confirmed that her son had a golf ball-sized brain tumor in his head. The tumor caused his head to swell, and no one had seemed to pay any attention until that point. He was immediately transferred to NYU Langone Hospital where he underwent surgery for almost five hours. Doctors removed the choroid plexus papilloma, which according to Cedars-Sinai, is a rare type of brain tumor that typically starts benign and grows slowly.

Though his tumor was not cancerous, it was considered stage 2 and that means he has a higher chance of it returning. The doctors were able to remove the entire tumor, but during recovery, he had a 45-minute seizure that sent him back to the operating room. Doctors discovered a bleed and diagnosed that as the cause of the additional seizures.


Luca is now almost two-years-old and doing well, according to mom. There were some developmental delays as a result, but therapy has been tremendously helpful and experts believe he should continue to meet developmental milestones provided the tumor doesn't return.

Moral of the story, mamas?

When your gut is screaming, find someone who'll listen to it. Moro says that checking out those gut feelings, even if you're dismissed initially, could be what saves your child's life.

Image: Melissa Moro