Being a parent means being prepared to shower your child with unconditional love, even if he or she is not quite what you expected when you were pregnant. When this couple first saw their newborn baby, they got the shock of a lifetime. But their reaction is a shining example of what unconditional love really looks like.
Courtney and Evan Westlake live together with their son, Connor. When Courtney realized she was going to have a second child, she could not have been more thrilled.
The parents immediately began planning for their new life as a family of four. “I’ll have to learn to braid hair now,” Evan joked lightheartedly.
Everything seemed to be going to plan as Courtney got closer and closer to her due date. The doctors had performed numerous checkups on the baby, and she appeared to be growing normally. The couple could not wait to meet their little girl, whom they would name Brenna.
Then, on delivery day, the situation changed. As Brenna took her first breaths, her parents noticed that she was covered in thick white scales.
She could hardly move, her body temperature was extremely high, and there were sores all over her body. Courtney and Evan were devastated.
The doctors explained that Brenna suffered from a hereditary disease called Harlequin ichthyosis, in which the body produces skin 10 times too fast for normal growth. The newborn needed intensive care immediately, and even then she might not survive.
Although Courtney was not able to hold her baby for the first time until two weeks after she was born, the mom never gave up hope. She and Evan knew that Brenna was in their lives for a reason, and they loved her with all their hearts.
When they finally introduced their little girl to Connor, he fell in love with her, too.
This was a family that would not let anything get in the way of their happiness.
Brenna is growing stronger every day, and the beloved little girl has a bright future ahead of her. She loves going to the park with her mom.
Courtney is grateful for Brenna’s growth, but she wishes other parents would teach their children not to be so judgmental.
“Why do parents try to avoid talking to people who look different? What are they afraid of? They could just come up to me and ask how old Brenna is,” Courtney shared with Newsner. “When their child asks why Brenna is so red and swollen, why can’t they just be honest and say, ‘I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter how we look. We’re all unique?'”
Fortunately, Brenna has two parents whose love is much more than skin deep.
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Courtney’s story shows the true nature of unconditional love.
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