When Tanya and Adam got to know that their daughter was born with a giant strawberry birthmark, the couple knew exactly what they needed to do. For the love of their daughter, they decided to get matching tattoos of her birthmark, on their legs. The main reason why they did that was to make her feel normal, and just like everyone else. In fact, they made a commitment that any true parent would do – by tattooing themselves with gigantic tattoos that looks exactly like the birth defect that their daughter has. The tattoo perfectly mimics their 18-month-old daughter’s birthmark, which runs up the right side of her body.
After seeing her born with the huge birthmark, the couple from Grimsby, Lincolnshire were reduced to tears in 2013. They did not cry because of the defect, because the strawberry birthmark is pretty much harmless to their child – but they were afraid that the huge birthmark would somehow scar their daughter’s self-confidence when she grows up. Before the age of 1, the couple would notice people staring at their daughter, and whispering to each other. They were fearful that this would affect their daughter, Honey-Rae Phillips when she grows up and begins to understand.
Christmas that year, Tanya and Adam decided to both get themselves tattoos that looks identical to their daughter’s birthmark. The procedure took only 2 and a half hours, and it costed them 80 euros. According to Tanya, most people around them feel that what they did was a bit too extreme, but she defended their actions, because she believes that it was the best thing to do, to raise their daughter and make her not feel alone in the world, or feel different. It was indeed a pretty good act on their side, which shows that they are absolutely loving parents.
Tanya recalls that when Honey-Rae was born, she had difficulties breathing, and because of that, she was taken to the Intensive Care Unit. She did not notice the birthmark at first. After recovering from labor, she immediately went to see Honey-Rae, and when she saw her little baby lying in the incubator, that was when she noticed that Honey-Rae had the strawberry birthmark. She immediately felt sad and she started sobbing, she remembers that it was difficult for her to stop crying, because she knows that her little daughter is marked for life, and was worried that it would affect her growing up.
While some might think that she should not have cried for her child, she admits that just like any other mother in this world, one can only hope, and want the best for their child. She wants her child to be perfectly healthy, and even though the strawberry birthmark does not affect her child’s health, but it could have a huge impact on her, for the rest of her life. In her eyes, she knew that Honey-Rae was perfect, but she also knew that there were many people out there who would shower Honey-Rae with cruel stares.
For the first few months with her baby, she would always try to make sure that her legs were covered up. She was not embarrassed with Honey-Rae’s birthmark, but she just could not bear listening to whispers or endure the stares of everyone else around her. She did not want any pity, nor sympathy or people feeling sorry for her daughter. Because of that, Tanya and her husband Adam decided to go the extra mile to make sure that Honey-Rae feels comfortable, and make the birthmark something special to her, not something she would feel embarrassed with. That was when they decided to do the tattoos.
They would constantly cover Honey-Rae in kisses, and they would tell her how beautiful she is. She is appalled when she recalls that once an elderly couple stared and whispered to each other when they saw the marks on Honey-Rae’s leg. And that was the very first time that Tanya and Adam brought Honey-Rae out without covering her legs. This confirmed her fears. People could be cruel without they themselves realizing it, and this includes adults. Children could be ever so mean, even if unintentionally. They were downright worried of Honey-Rae.
They made up their mind to do tattoos exactly identical to Honey-Rae’s strawberry birthmark, every curves, every pattern. According to Tanya, the process was excruciatingly painful, but to her, the pain was worth it. When the swelling from the tattooing had gone down, she showed her leg to Honey-Rae, and to her pleasant surprise, the little girl pointed to her leg and said, “match”, with a smile on her face, and that was something Tanya would never ever forget. Tanya and Adam are very happy with their decision. While others might think that it is way too extreme, they strongheartedly believe that it was necessary for them, and for little Honey-Rae Phillips.