Cyber Babies and Real Life

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Hi, meet Cody. The hard, plastic, computerised baby that threw me back into a life long past and taught me a few things about myself, Cyber Babies and Real Life.

Cody, the Cyber Baby from another world!
Cody, the Cyber Baby from another world!

So, a few months ago, our youngest daughter, who turns 15 this week, mooted the idea of bringing a Cyber Baby home.

The school she attends, in what I can only assume is a desperate attempt at preventing teenage pregnancies, has Cyber Babies. These computerised dolls are intended to show ‘girls’ what living with a newborn baby is like.

In today’s modern, blended family, society, it really is a wonder that they see this as a valid exercise – my point being, a larger number of children than ever before, are currently brought up with a variety of siblings, be they whole, half or step, that vary in age from Daddy’s new baby, to Mummy’s eldest child already ripe to yield their own offspring.

I digress. Our daughter was very, very keen about bringing home a Cyber Baby and taking full responsibility for it. A point which was fully emphasised by her elder sister, who told her, and I quote, “You’re not sleeping in our room with a noisy baby, you can sleep downstairs!”

As parents we agreed and triple signed a form (basically signing the value of our house away, should Cyber Baby sustain damage whilst in our home!), agreeing to allow our daughter to bring little bubba home.

Daughter was excited about matching accessories, blanket and car seat for baby and cheerfully counted down the days until Cody (Cyber Babie’s name?) came home.

Cody was sent home, midweek and would be ‘activated’ at 6pm on the Friday evening. Super. Lovely.

On the very next day (Thursday) daughter had very high temperature and came down with a really grotty cold and cough. I prayed hard she would be fine by Friday!

You see, at this point daughter was still blissfully looking forward to Cody’s activation and determined to look after him, without help.

Friday came and Cyber Baby activated. Daughter was still very unwell but thrilled (she had missed 2 days at school, not something she ever does lightly, so when I say she was poorly I mean, that poorly!).

Nobody was allowed near Cody, except for a quick hold and to her credit our daughter took care of him for the entire first night.

Taking care of Cody involved wearing a wrist band that was then swiped across his tummy the moment he cried (left crying for more than 2 minutes and you would be penalised for neglect!). Then he would need either feeding with a bottle, winding or changing. At all other times he slept. Whilst sleeping he made breathing sounds.

Cyber Baby was not woken by loud noises, nor was he comforted by human contact. He was a robot baby!!!

At approximately 11am on Saturday morning our daughter came upstairs, where I, in bed( The Pain Pay Off), Living With Seizures, Migraines)

“Mummy, I feel so ill and I am so tired”. My poor real life baby looked exhausted. My heart broke.

Immediately I took Cyber Baby from her, gave her some medicine and tucked her into bed. She fell asleep almost instantly.

Her elder sister turned out not to have a heart of stone and took Cody from me and looked after him for the rest of the day whilst her mum and sister rested. She even took her mattress downstairs, determined to look after Cyber Baby during the night so her sister could rest.

Then I heard it cry. And it didn’t stop. The crying tore at my heart. I tried to ignore the crying as I found myself walking downstairs to find our eldest daughter doing everything she could to shut the thing up!

I immediately took control, said to our eldest to tuck down, I would settle the baby and look after him for a bit so she could sleep.

Now here’s something you should know, although we have 3 beautiful children, I don’t like babies, or even toddlers really. I have loved and cared for my own with a passion and dedication I didn’t know I possessed. I loved and cherished my sisters children in the same way. But if I am out and a baby is crying 99% of the time it irritates me and I have no desire, whatsoever to calm or soothe the screaming baby/toddler. It’s just how I am.

Except for Cody. Even though I slept with him cuddled on my shoulder, which still bare the bruises from rocking, to burp him. I did care. I cared because he was important to my daughter. When he cried, my heart tugged. I couldn’t ignore a plastic, robot doll when it cried, because that was what it had been programmed to do.

So that night I cared for Cody like he was a real baby. It was hard because physical contact wouldn’t settle him in the way it did my own babies, yet he was still cuddled. He barely whimpered and I’d swiped the thing across his tummy and held a bottle to his mouth. Also alien to me as I breast feed all 3 of our babies.

I looked after him Saturday and Sunday night, as well as helping out through the day on Sunday. I didn’t enjoy the experience, but I didn’t hate it either. Because I was doing it for my daughter and that was enough for me.

Cody deactivated at 6am on Monday morning. I felt relief that our daughter didn’t have the pressure of looking after a Cyber Baby anymore.

He is gone and upon her return from school later that day I reminded our daughter of a saying that many African villages have “It takes a village to raise a child”.

I reassured our beautiful girl that when the time comes, it will be as a family that we help to raise our children’s, children.

I read a blog recently about how to ensure you get a good following on your blog, only positive, happy posts would grab readers attention. That leaving ‘space’ was key to not overwhelming your reader.

I would just like to say, I think that’s a load of rubbish. In other posts where I’ve mentioned about pain, Real Life, migraines, I’ve always, always had more comments, as people find they can identify with what I’ve written. I have too much respect for you, my readers, to write a load of happy, crappy flannel, complete with Instagram perfect, white, stylised photos to match.

The picture of Cody was taken at 6am after he had deactivated on the Monday morning of what had been a hellsh, but eye opening weekend. That is Real Life, well the Cyber Baby wasn’t alive but the experience was very real.

If I can’t be honest and share the good with the bad on this, my blog, then I’m not being real. For those of you that have got this far and realise you prefer the shiny, perfect blogs, that’s your choice. To all the rest of you lovely, wonderful readers and honest fellow bloggers, thank you for allowing me to be me, supporting me and sharing in the love that is Real Life. I really appreciate each and every one of you.

Sammie xxx

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Migraine Not Always Sunshine And Roses

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Hello there eveyone. How you doing?  No really – How – Are – You?  I really want to know. I thought I’d veer off my normal recipe/uplifting thought inspiring post for today and be honest.  It’s not that I’m dishonest on my blog, but I fully understand that whenever you portray yourself via a blog, or on social media, you get to choose which parts of you the world sees. Which is why I’m addressing why Migraine Not Always Sunshine And Roses.

Now I love Sunshine and I adore Roses, but in my real, everyday life sometimes the Sunshine hurts and the Roses are thorny and those thorns can dig in and take a while to come out – I’ll explain:

Actually, this is really hard to put into words.

Migraine
Migraine

I struggle.  I’ve just been up (I literally mean out of bed and dressed) for 2 days.  The previous 4 days were spent laying in my bed, blackout curtains drawn, burying my head into piles of pillows trying to stop the pain. I had a Migraine and yes it lasted 4 whole days.

The slightest sniff of even the blandest food can set off nausea and vomiting. A shard of sunlight, streaming through a gap in the curtains, feel like a dagger to my eye.  My head literally feels like it is going to explode; like someone is blowing a balloon up inside my head and the pressure keeps building and building.

A Migraine is not a headache, although blinding pain in your head can be part of  the Migraine.  My head throbs with every beat of my heart, the pressure increasing with every beat until eventually I vomit and the pressure is temporarily released, only to build again as the cycle repeats itself.

At the onset of a Migraine I begin to lose the sight in my left eye (a relatively new development), my sense of smell goes into overdrive, I crave fresh, cold air, yawn incessantly. My one and only desire is to head straight to bed, briefly halted by the need to get Indomethacin in me ASAP – there’s no dignity in having a Migraine, it’s a suppository.

Once cocooned in my blacked out room I have to decide whether to use my Triptan injection. You’d think it’d be a straightforward decision, but hang on – my ability to think, let alone think clearly goes right out of the much needed open window as soon as a Migraine begins.  Firstly the injection hurts – a lot!  I also have Migraines so frequently (it’s not uncommon for me to spend more than half of the week in bed) that I have to limit how much Triptan I use.

Sumitriptan is one of a group of drugs, called Triptans, that can halt, or shorten the length of a Migraine.  However, in me, overuse can lead to tolerance and  so the injection has little or no effect.  Long term overuse can also lead to ‘Medication Misuse’ triggered Migraines and/or headaches.

Writing this blog is upsetting because it forces me to focus on the reality of the world and body I live in.  A natural optimist, I always focus on the good rather than the bad.  And that sucks.  I hate that I am in pain. Also, I hate that my back and neck go into spasm and my body aches like I’ve got the Flu. Being sick is something else I hate, except for the few minutes after vomiting, when the pressure in my head is relieved.  I hate that the Migraine plays tricks on my body, I feel a bit better, move and the throbbing in my head comes back with a vengeance.  I hate having my words come out all jumbled up, when I try to speak.

But mostly I hate the impact it has on my hubby and our 3 children. Is there a mother out there who delights in being cared for, dependant on their children??? I don’t. I’m their mum, I should be doing the looking after. The added stress to my amazing hubby, who I forever wonder why he choose me?

On a practical side, me being ‘out of action’ is a nightmare, that is soothed only by help from the BEST family (both of ours), friends I don’t deserve and my Faith (see ‘Important Stuff’).

To all of you I say Thank you from the bottom of my heart – I love you.

I have always had Migraines, even when I was a toddler. Then I was involved in a car accident 25 years ago and the Migraines changed. Before they would build during the day, culminating in a vicious cycle of intense pain, vomiting, sleep, pain building etc. I learned what foods to avoid and overtime narrowed down some of my other triggers; such as tiredness, excitement, not eating regularly.

Since the car accident I wake in the early hours of the morning (between 3-5am) with a full blown, excruciatingly painful Migraine. Dr’s don’t know why – I suspect it could be due to the neck/back injury I sustained in the accident. Who knows?? It is what it is and it sucks.

The waste of being unable to ‘do’ anything, just stuck in bed. Praying hard that this Migraine will pass quickly. All I’ve ever wanted to be is normal. To blend in (hard I’m 6 foot tall). While giving our children a great childhood and being the best wife I can be. And to help others. So frustrating and disappointing. My belief in and love for Jesus gets me through, always, even when I think I can’t face another day He carries me through.

I’m not looking for sympathy, just a little understanding. Finally, I started this blog so that I could not only share my recipes but have something positive to do when I’m recovering from a Migraine?

If this post Migraine Not Always Sunshine And Roses has helped you, these posts may be of interest to:

The Pain Pay Off

FF Migraine Not Always Sunshine And Roses
The Pain Pay Off

Living With Seizures 

FF Migraine Not Always Sunshine And Roses
Living With Seizures

Adapting My Life To A New Normal 

FF Migraine Not Always Sunshine And Roses
Adapting My Life To A New Normal

Do you get Migraines? How do you get through those days?

Sammie xx

 

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