A Wickenburg, Ariz. woman found her world turned upside down after it was revealed that her best friend’s baby was actually her husband’s child. Hailey Custer said that she was there to help her friend deliver and even gave the baby girl her first bath. Then a rare birthmark exposed the child’s paternity.
“We had just got home from the hospital and I was changing the baby and when she turned her neck, the birth defect popped out. When they’re babies, it is really hard to see, and I wasn’t looking for it,” said Custer.
Custer said that her now-ex-husband’s family calls the birth defect “bowling bumps,” and that they’re extra exposed pieces of cartilage that grow on the neck. Both her ex-husband and one of her own sons have the condition. She knew right away who the baby’s father was, and the fact that her best friend couldn’t meet her eyes only confirmed it.
The Arizona woman shared her story on TikTok and the video has gone viral. The original video got over 3.4 million views and Custer is grateful that she has a platform to share her healing process.
She said that before the baby’s birth, her friend was homeless, pregnant, and had no one to count on. Her best friend was also an addict and as a former addict who had to get sober for the birth of her first kid, Custer wanted to help. She was determined to be there for every step of the pregnancy and birth.
Custer was in the delivery room, drove her friend to all her appointments and even wore the daddy wrist band that hospitals give future fathers. She stepped into the “father role,” and even helped her friend through the pain of an epidural.
The mother of four said that she went into a state of shock after learning about the affair. The woman now believes that her husband of six years, Travis Bowling, cheated on her over 30 times and has fathered two other children with different women. Bowling has denied that the friend’s baby is his.
She said, “There were no words that were said, I just knew. 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. Like you have your shock, your anger and you come to the conclusion that this is actually real life, this is actually happening.”
Custer also said that she never expected that her former husband was having an affair with her best friend. She told viewers that the three of them were friends and always very charismatic. She said looking back at it, that she was naïve to believe that nothing was going on.
Hailey Custer chose to not name her friend and said that she ended up forgiving her in the end. Custer even allowed the woman to live with them and helped take care of her baby. The Arizona mother said that at the end of the day, she wanted to protect the baby and make sure that her kids knew their sibling.
Even after telling the story on TikTok, Custer continues to protect her friend from hurtful comments. “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,” Hailey Custer told her followers.
Her friend has since moved out of Custer’s home, but the two are still on good terms. Hailey Custer has also gotten remarried, and while she co-parents with her ex-husband they don’t keep in touch often.
Hailey’s friend and her ex-husband have not commented on their involvement in the story.