A mother and father in England both got tattoos of the exact birthmark that their young daughter has on her legs to make her feel special.
Tanya Phillips said that on her 40th birthday, all she wanted to do was get a full-leg replica tattoo of the red birthmark her daughter, Honey-Rae, has across half of her body. Her husband, Adam, got the same tattoo a few months prior.
“Most people might think it’s very extreme but to us it was the natural thing to do to ensure our daughter never felt different or alone in the world,” Tanya said. 18-month-old Honey-Rae was born with the blemish, which has grown along with her since birth.
“She’s struggled to breathe when she was first born and was rushed to the special care unit. When I went to see her she was just lying in a little incubator and that’s when I saw it. It broke my heart,” Phillips said of the first time she saw her daughter’s birthmark. “I just sobbed and sobbed knowing my baby was going to permanently marked for the rest of her life.” The birthmark is “bright red and it covers almost half of the right side of her body,” going from Honey-Rae’s “toes to her lower back.” It has, according to Phillips, gotten darker as time has progressed.
“Like any Mum I didn’t want her to be different. I wanted her to be exactly the same as every other healthy child. And as much as the birthmark isn’t dangerous I knew it could have a huge impact on the rest of her life,” Phillips said. “Although in our eyes she was perfect, I knew other people would cruelly point and stare at her.
“For the first few months of her life, whenever we went out, I made sure her legs were covered up. I couldn’t cope with stranger’s curious glances or whispering comments,” she added. “I didn’t want sympathy or pity or people feeling sorry for Honey-Rae. Adam and I decided straight away that we wanted Honey-Rae to feel special, that her birthmark was something to feel proud of and not embarrassed by. From the moment she was born, we told Honey-Rae she was beautiful and constantly covered her in kisses."
Phillips said she made the decision to get the tattoo after she and her daughter were out shopping. Honey-Rae was dressed in shorts and sandals, and fellow shoppers soon began to stare.
“I was stood at a check out till, when I saw an old couple whispering and staring at Honey-Rae’s leg. I was distraught. It was first time I had taken her out without covering her up and it confirmed all my worries and fears. People are cruel without even realizing [sic],” she said. “And I knew if adults could be that insensitive, then kids at school would also be unintentionally mean.”
After the shopping incident, Adam decided it was time to do something to make their little girl not feel left out as she got older.
“We had talked about having duplicate tattoos done for a little while but that day my mind was made up,” Phillips said. “We knew we had to do something to ensure Honey-Rae grew up knowing she was very much loved.” Adam got his tattoo for Christmas last year as a gift from his wife, and Tanya for her 40th birthday as a present from her husband.
“It was incredibly painful, especially as I had a flower to cover some old star tattoos, but it was worth every second of the pain,” Phillips said of the tattoo process. “When the swelling went down, I showed Honey-Rae, and she gently touched it and smiled as she said “Match”, pointing to her own leg. If I’d have needed any reassurance that I’d made the right decision that was it.
“She now constantly touches mine and Adam’s tattoos then her own birthmark and giggles – I couldn’t be happier.”
Source: Mirror Online / Photo Credit: mirror.co.uk