Parents Get Tattoo Of Daughter’s Birthmark To Make Her Feel Special
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. 18-month-old Honey-Rae Phillips was born with a birthmark that has grown right along with her and now occupies nearly half of her entire right side. Her 40-year-old mother, Tanya Phillips, said the birthmark is a side effect of medical difficulties her daughter experienced after birth.
“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.
“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. I just sobbed and sobbed knowing my baby was going to permanently marked for the rest of her life.”
“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 decision to get the tattoo was decided after she and her daughter were out shopping. Honey-Rae was dressed in shorts and sandals, and strangers 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 ,” she said. “And I knew if adults could be that insensitive, then kids at school would also be unintentionally mean.”
At this point she and her husband, Adam, knew that they would make their daughter much happier if she wasn’t the only one who looked the way she did.
“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.”