Deena Cortese from MTV's Jersey Shore has experienced a lot of highs and lows in the past three years. After losing her dad in 2016 to cancer, Cortese went on to get married in 2017, and just gave birth to her first child earlier this month. And Cortese still thinks about her dad every single day, especially after giving birth this year. Fans' hearts will break after hearing Deena Cortese say she sees her dad in her newborn son, because it's so bittersweet.
Cortese and husband Chris Buckner welcomed their first child together on Saturday, Jan. 5, according to CNN. And they kept their little boy's name all in the family, choosing to name him Christopher John Buckner, or CJ, after Buckner himself. But, according to Cortese's latest Instagram post, CJ is now starting to take after another family member — her own father.
In Cortese's Instagram post from Saturday, CJ can be seen laying down with the cutest expression of contentment on his face. She juxtaposed this photo next to photos of her late father, John Cortese. Although CJ is only just one week and one day old, you really can see the resemblance between him and his grandpa — it's uncanny. And Cortese pointed that out in her post.
"I see so much of my dad's smile in this picture," Cortese wrote. "He has an amazing guardian angel looking over him."
Cortese's Instagram followers can't help but to agree with her caption, taking to the comments to share their support for the reality TV star during her first few days as a mom.
"They say our babies meet our deceased loved ones before they come to us," one commenter wrote (which Cortese agreed with in the comments). "I truly believe he's met your dad. They are twinning."
"Exact same smile, what a beautiful blessing," another commenter wrote. "Love to you all on your beautiful baby boy. Your dad will be proud looking down from heaven."
But CJ and Cortese's late father already share some similarities in addition to this. In November, Cortese told People that she named her son after her two favorite men in her life, one of which was her father (of course).
"I get to name him after my dad and husband," Cortese said. "It's perfect."
CJ's name is a fitting tribute to the man who was so important in her life. But this isn't the first time that she has paid tribute to him in a big way. During her 2017 wedding, Cortese had a piece of his shirt sewn into the inside of her dress, so she could physically carry him close to her heart, according to E! Online.
Anyone who is a fan of Cortese's or the Jersey Shore knows how much her dad means to her. When he died after a battle with leukemia in 2016, Cortese took to Instagram where she posted the sweetest and saddest tribute to him — and she wrote that she would carry him with her if she were to have kids down the line. She wrote:
My heart hurts knowing he won't walk me down the aisle or see my kids grow up, although I do know he will be with me spiritually. But I'm very happy he got to meet the man I will one day marry and his amazing family .. and he helped me with my new home that I will one day raise my children in. I love you so much dad.
And now, nearly three years later, Cortese is now finally raising her children in that home. So, people can understand why her son's birth has been such an emotional time for her.
Although Cortese's dad may be gone, he definitely isn't gone from her life or her memory — and that's really beautiful.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.