A woman who has lost all her limbs to meningitis is finding a new way to be a mother.
Jessica Haldin, 26, of Waikiki, Western Australia, collects lifelike dolls, all with their own names and their own birth certificates.
"I like that I get to experience at least a little bit of what motherhood might be like,” Haldin said in an interview with Caters News. “I know the chances of me ever becoming a mum are small.”
So far, she has seven Reborn Dolls — two boys named Cody and Zayden, and five girls named Allie, Ciara, Hope, Willow and Destiny.
“My favorite thing to do with the dolls is put them in cute outfits and give them cuddles,” Haldin said. “I've learned how to cuddle and hold them, even with my disability.”
When she was just 2 years old, she came down with a life threatening case of meningococcal meningitis. Doctors originally thought she had the cold, but two hours later, her arms and legs had turned black and she fell into a coma for a month.
"When I woke up, my legs had been amputated as had my left fingers and my right thumb,” she explained.
After a year in the hospital and more than 100 operations later, Haldin was able to beat her illness, but not without scarring on more than 90 percent of her body, which makes prosthetics painful for her.
“I find it easier and less painful to just crawl on my bum,” she joked. "I have adapted to life without limbs. I walk on my bottom or jump in my power chair to get around.”
Haldin explained her disability did not cause her to biologically be unable to have a child, but she doesn’t believe she will get the opportunity to mother her own babies.
"Though I'm very happy and couldn't imagine my life with limbs, there are still some things I miss out on, which is why the dolls are so great,” Haldin said. “They help me nurse that mothering instinct that I wouldn't get to use otherwise."
To help Haldin purchase a new electric wheelchair, visit her GoFundMe page.