A woman, Natasha Harridge is expecting a baby with her partner, Jordan Rodwell, but instead of decorating just a nursery for her soon coming child, she’s decorating two nurseries one for the child and one for life-like dolls.
She says one room will be for her child, who’s due in February 2023, while the other will be for the collection of ‘reborn’ dolls she’s been building since she was a teen.
According to Harridge, the dolls were a great source of comfort for her after she lost six pregnancies in four years, and she refers to herself as their mother.
Natasha, 23, said: ‘Even when I have my own baby, the reborns will always be a part of my life.
‘But when I lost my babies, it meant so much to me to be able to sit and cuddle them.
‘I am fully aware that they are not real, but there is an emotional bond there and I do call myself their mum and love them.’
She says her partner, Jordan, aged 26, supports her plans to decorate two nurseries, with the one for their child painted yellow and the one for the dolls painted sage green.
She says each doll costs around £500.
‘I won’t have as much time to spend with the reborns because, obviously, my real baby will be my priority. But I would love to be able to introduce them to each other.
‘Once the baby gets a bit older, if they show an interest in the dolls, I would love to get them their own reborn doll called a “playborn.” They are made specifically for children and cost around £100 to £200.
‘I like to imagine, once we have expanded our family even more, watching our son or daughter at Christmas opening their first reborn doll and seeing their expression.’
Natasha, a carer, first met Jordan, on a dating app in 2021, and a month into their relationship, she introduced him to doll Scarlet.
She said: ‘He calls Scarlet his “Daddy’s girl” now and loves her sitting on the sofa with him and interacting with her.
‘He’ll say, “Look, she’s watching us watch TV” or “She’s watching me play my game.”
‘It’s really sweet.’
Jordan is also looking forward to the birth of his child, and to introducing the baby to the reborns.
He said: ‘Before I actually saw the reborns, I wasn’t that interested in them because I originally thought they were weird.
‘But one day Tasha had Scarlet downstairs when I came over, after we had just starting dating, and about a week or so later, I thought she was quite cute. Ever since then, I have shown more interest in them.
‘I do prefer the toddlers. The babies are okay, but I find them very small and don’t really do anything with them.’
‘It will be a big change to have a real baby, but I have grown up around kids, so I have a lot of experience with babies.
‘And I am excited for when they become a little bit older and I can show them new adventures.’