She took her pregnant friend in, helped with the birth, and brought the mother and child home before discovering it was her husband's baby.
When a woman found out her best friend was having a baby, she was eager to help and excitedly did the little things like give the baby her first bath and bring her home from the hospital after birth. Little did she know that she was taking care of her own husband's baby after he cheated on her best friend behind her back.
Hailey Custer, 28, from Arizona, revealed how she was married to her husband, Travis Bowling, 36, for six years before finding out he was cheating on her. They shared four children together, and all the while, Travis had affairs with multiple women and fathered children outside of their marriage.
Hailey only discovered the truth after she decided to take her homeless best friend in after she got pregnant.
"I heard rumors that my friend was pregnant and homeless, so I reached out to her. I felt the need to help her," she said, as quoted by news.com.au. "We are all charismatic people, so we all had that nature to be charismatic around each other and make jokes. I didn’t see anything there. I was very naive..."
After the baby's birth, Hailey brought the mother and child home and saw a rare heredity birth defect on their neck, which was identical to the birthmark her husband has.
“We had just got home from the hospital and I was changing the baby when she turned her neck the birth defect popped out..." Hailey recalled. "I felt it and was like ‘OK’, this shock came over me. When I found out my friend was standing next to me, I looked at her and you could just tell. She couldn’t say anything, she just dropped her head and looked to the floor, and I just knew. There were no words that were said, I just knew."
As her husband's lies unraveled, Hailey found out that he had cheated on her with at least 30 different women. While they were married, he even became a father to two children with two different women that he had affairs with.
"I was in a lot of shock in the beginning I couldn’t even process what had happened, it was almost like a stage of grief," Hailey shared. "Like you have your shock, your anger and you come to the conclusion that this is actually real life, this is actually happening."
It was hard for her to process how she took on a parental role for her best friend's child without even knowing that the little one was her husband's baby.
"Before I found out, I stepped into that father figure role," she said. "I was there for her every step of the way. Even in the hospital I wore the daddy wrist band, when she got her epidural, she laid on me. I actually gave the baby her first bath."
Although it took her time, Hailey was finally able to make peace with the situation and even let her friend continue staying with her.
"We have this innocent child who had no say in this whole situation, you have someone who doesn’t have anywhere to go, who has no family, we’re not going to kick them to the streets," Hailey said. "I kept thinking of my kids, at the end of the day that is their blood sibling and I’m not going to be the one who causes harm to that child. So, she ended up staying with us."
Hailey is now sharing the story with the world so people know that "you can walk through anything in life, and you can find forgiveness it just heals you from the inside out."
"When you don’t forgive yourself it’s like you drinking poison and wanting them to die," she said. "When I forgive for myself, it means I’m forgiving because I can’t stay sick anymore."
Cover image: Representational (Source: Getty Images | Photo by Mayte Torres)