I was married in another country, and after the marriage ended, I lost contact with my sons. In September it will be 19 years that I haven’t seen my three boys.
I grieve for my kids. They’re not dead, but I grieve for them, because I can’t talk to them. I don’t see them or hear them. I don’t know what’s going on in their lives. I am a grandmother of a little girl who’s three years old and I don’t know what she looks like.
I couldn’t cope. I kept crying all the time. I would just cry and cry and cry. I was getting more and more depressed. I started to get sick, really sick. My body was shutting down. I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Watch: A tribute to all the babies we've lost. Post continues below.
I was on 15 medications. I worked in a pharmacy and they used to call me “the drug queen” at work because I was taking almost more tablets than were in the pharmacy.
My doctor said, “You’re taking enough medications. You’re taking them for the pain, you’re taking them for your depression. I can’t do anything more for you.”
My psychologist didn’t know what to tell me anymore.
Three years ago, I got so desperate that one day I just typed “realistic-looking baby dolls” into Google and [Reborn doll artist] Annette Kravchenko’s videos popped up. I spent hours and hours looking at her tutorials and her babies that looked so real. I started to see if anybody around here in Western Australia had them. I found a lady close by who had a baby for sale on Gumtree, so I asked if I could go and have a look.
The minute she put that baby doll in my arms I just burst into tears. It gave me a nurturing feeling, the feeling a mother gets when she holds her newborn. The weight is the same as the weight of a baby.
I used to get anxious when I’d go out in public. When I have anxiety attacks I can’t breathe. I thought, “You know what? I am going to take this baby with me everywhere I go, and I don’t care what anybody says.” So then I bought a pram and I bought a car seat and I started taking her with me. I just hold her to my chest and it calms me down.