• Monica

    I think the comments here are great and well thought out opinions. I concur and have nothing new to add in that arena. I do however, think of “Nanerpus” every time I hear “Octo-Mom”. Is that weird?

  • http://ngunderground.blogspot.com/ NG

    The truth is none of us knows what that woman has gone through, is going through, or will go through. So it sickens me every time one more pudgy pundit in a suit and tie steps onto the public stage to voice an opinion without meeting her, knowing her or having walked around in her shoes for a day. Do I think she has some issues? Probably. Would I do the same thing? Probably not. Does she have some serious challenges to confront in her near future? Absolutely. But it’s not completely without precedent in the history of our world for a woman to have 14 (or *gasp* more) kids with little or no help from a man. Just because it’s not the common thing to do these days doesn’t mean it’s worthy of her lynching. I wish the media would latch onto something else for awhile.

  • Jessica

    What???? This woman, had 8 children that she is unable to take care of. What are we talking about? What are we overanalyzing here?

    These are two compeltely seperate issues. That’s the problem. Those that will criticize infertility treatments and those that will criticize the woman or doctor for impregnatng a woman in this situation. Not even remotely the same issue.

    I want to scream at this entire thread – Are you f!!@@##ing kidding me. This is not a cause and effect or a dish and blame. This is a f’d up story – an anomaly and yes – crazy on so many fronts. But to try to tie the two together, would be as sane as saying that because I drink black coffee, and John Hinkley Junior drank black coffee…that I am a potential presidential assassin, and that to be safe, we should psychoanalyze all black coffee drinkers…..blah blah blah.

  • http://www.undomesticdiva.com Undomestic Diva

    I’m more concerned with Nadya’s obsession with Angelina Jolie than I am with the quantity of children she has.

    But yes, I’m upset that as taxpayers, we will be footing the bill when clearly she’s found money to spend on plastic surgery and the fertility treatments in the past. If this is how she prioritizes, then frankly, I would question her parenting.

    I hope people who truly need and qualify (where “qualify” = can afford and are mentally stable to have children) aren’t affected by Nadya’s story.

    P.S. Why is her website called “The Nadya Sulleman Family Website” instead of “The Sulleman Family Website?” I think this lady truly enjoys the attention – even the negative aspects.

  • Anonymous

    I think the issue most people had was the WAY she & HER DOCTOR went about it. Certainly you’d do everything possible (i.e. implant only one egg) to avoid multiple births if you had experienced such a great ‘success’ (i.e. six babies) with the last pregnancy. The doctor seemed to ignore her case history and just slapped a load of embryos “up in there”. This is about poor medical practice.

    I stand by her right to have as many children as she wants, if she had conceived those children using responsible IVF methods at a one-by-one rate or even two-by-two.

    I understand why couples want to “manufacture” their own babies…somebody with their spouses’ smile, hands, etc. Would I want children who looked like my partner? Absolutely. Would I think it would be cool to see how our genes mingled to produce a “hybrid” of us both? Absolutely.

    Would I be so keen on it if I was seeing how my genes mingled with that of anonymous sperm-donor? Not so much.

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree that this woman is an outlier and there should not be restrictions on reproductive choices.

    What I believe stokes up so much fury is that she *chose* to risk having all 7 embryos implanted at once. She already had 6 children, they could have transferred fewer and should have. Period.

    You can’t compare this situation with other people who have large families – i.e. the Duggars – who make a point to live frugally and have one/two children at a time. It’s just not the same thing. Not at all.

  • Ashley

    I really struggle with all of this. I do not think it was right to bring 8 more children into a family that already has 6. Especially when there isn’t any financial ability to care for them. However, I believe that we have to be very careful not to cross a line where doctors are deciding which patients can and can not have children.

    My hubsand is legally blind. He is still working but his sight is deminishing. We have one son and another baby on the way. What if we would have had fertility issues and resorted to IVF? Would a doctor decide we are ‘unfit’ to bring another child into the world? Would they decide that since there is a risk of passing this genetic disease onto our children, that my husband will eventually be the stay at home parent while I work or that we since we do not make XXXX amount of money we shouldn’t be allowed to have children? We provide a stable, positive, healthy, sound, loving environment for our child but what if the other ‘issues’ made a doctor decide we should not be allowed to proceed with IVF? I think its a VERY slippery slope if we start to regulate what our doctors allow us to do when it comes to our reproduction.

  • http://retardedinlove.com Michelle

    I am absolutely baffled by that woman. She obviously had all those children to get an obscene amount of welfare and I doubt loves them as much as she should.

  • ProudMary

    thank you for putting the photo/chuck/style tabs back in your header. ah…I can’t explain why, but I feel so much better now.

  • Dena

    Thank you for saying this. As someone who is struggling with infertility right now, this whole story freaks me out on so many levels.

    There are just so many parts to this story: she should never have been allowed to have that many embryos implanted. She should never have chosen to give birth to them all. THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET ALREADY. But I digress….

    But none of this has anythign to do with whether infertility treatments should be legal. Someone else commented saying, “she wasn’t infertile, she was just single.” And that is true, but I also think single women should be able to have kids, if that’s their choice. Just not 14 of them. But don’t ask me how we start regulating that; I don’t think we can. (OR maybe the way we regulate it is by doing what we’re all doing now: basically giving her a giant collective SHAME ON YOU and telling her what she did was wrong. In the hopes that other crazy-pants women out there will realize this will not turn them into Angelina Jolie overnight and their crazy-pants dreams will not come true.)

    The other part of this whole thing that is even creepier, to me, is how it echoes the conservative christian movement that is literally trying to force their ideology on us all by trying to outnumber us by having as many kids as possible. I just read an interesting article on it here: http://www.babble.com/Gods-Army-For-the-Quiverfull-movement-a-huge-family-isnt-just-a-blessing-its-a-way-to-change-the-political-landscape/

    Yikes. Puts the 14-baby thing on a whole different plane.

  • http://vendettaforloretta.blogspot.com Loretta

    The doctor involved violated his oath to ‘do no harm’. While Nadya did not have complications, the babies who will not receive the physical and emotional support they deserve will be harmed as a result of his irresponsibility. IVF is a wonderful technology and it’s disgusting that people like this use it for the wrong reasons.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jmatsick Jen M.

    I believe that the decision to have or not have a child is an extremely serious decision to make. I don’t think Miss Suleman contemplated the many aspects of adding to her family before she chose to do so. As many have said in these comments, if she could barely afford to take care of the six children she already had, choosing to have more, regardless of whether she had one more or eight more, was a very, very poor choice indeed.
    I agree that the doctor should be investigated; if, as a previous comment said, he was trying to up his positive results, then he, too, made a poor decision.
    I sincerely hope that this incident does not have a negative effect on other people who wish to use IVF to conceive. Many people have compared the need for a background check or some sort of ethical investigation to the rigorous checks that must happen in order for a person to adopt. I agree – it is much harder for a single woman to adopt a child than for a couple. Why wasn’t it much harder for this single woman to use IVF to conceive a child than for a couple seeking IVF treatment?
    I think some kind of shortcut must have been taken, whether in policy or the treatment itself, for this to have happened. Someone cut a corner on this one.
    I hope that, if she is not capable of raising the children, whether because of her own mental stability or her financial situation, that they are able to grow up in loving foster/adoptive homes and do not suffer in their own lives because of her decision.
    As I said, it was a poor choice on her part, but it WAS her choice, and I’m not sure I understand why she is begging for TV deals and ways to get money when SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THE FINANCIAL RISKS of adding one or more children to the six she already has, long before she walked into the doctor’s office.

  • watercolor

    You know, I wouldn’t do it and I think she’s crazy for doing it, but there is no law against having 753 kids and being on welfare. We may not like it. But this is America. We don’t have fertility laws and that is a good thing.

    One crazy doctor and one crazy patient doesn’t mean laws need to change. Maybe her friends and neighbors need to have compassion and help her and those precious children who are here now and will need help.

    Sending her death threats is just mean and pointless and shows the true character of those making the threats.

    I pray for her and those children.

    And frankly, this isn’t news. It never was. It is sensationalism and the news organizations should be ashamed of themselves.

  • http://www.lymone.com/enme Midiane

    I don’t think this woman is unstable at all. She is a perfect product of our age. She knew that she could have her dream because a) there are unethical doctors who would do anything for money b) an entire media apparatus that will reward and deify her for her “tantalizing” story and c) government and/or misguided, misinformed public/charitable bodies would move in to help her in “her plea”.

    she’s playing the system and the system is paying her back. she’s a self-made celebrity, based on her dream to have a large family.

    I don’t know if it’s common in the US, but in the UK, where I lived for quite a while, it’s called benefits fraud – people living off the government, often publicly known, and making irresponsible choices knowing the world will support them. People living that lifestyle don’t generally have a conception of responsibility or anything. All they care about is money from a world they truly believe owes them a living, no different from yours or mine, regardless of whether they worked for it or not. It’s like the world’s puritanical ethic at loggerheads with a new form of trash upperclass that feels it shouldn’t work and just get the media to pay their bills and lavish lifestyles.

    I don’t know. I’m not surprised at all. Very sad and pained about the kids, but the mother – not surprised at all. It’s becoming too common. Financial and emotional capitalism to the absolute logical extreme.

  • holly

    the music in the background was distracting and BAD!

    that’s all, since everyone else has said my thoughts on the subject matter.

  • http://www.lilja.no stellare

    Even though I do not understand this mothers decisions I fully support her right to make reproductive decisions, just like any other decision about her personal life. The doctor cannot do anything but respect her decisions. Maybe, or maybe not she tried to give her advise, we don’t know, but that is all she could and should do. Doctors are in no position to make decisions about our bodies. And we women have fought hard for our right to make decision about our bodies.

    How can it be a good decision to take away her children? Deprive a child of her mother? That is just mean. Especially if it is motivated by anyone not wanting her tax money support this particular woman. All she needs is some assistance, as any parent with that many children would need. For all we know.

    Reproduction is after surviving the strongest biological force there is. Violating these forces of nature, such as a mothers instincts to protect, love and raise her children is the most evil invention of human kind. I am continuously shocked by how many of us think this is a perfectly valid solution.

  • Karen

    I wish that some of the energy directed toward this dialogue (not necessarily here; I’m speaking more about the media) was focused on the need for greater mental health care. I have a hard time believing that even 14 babies will fill the hole that Nadya Suleman is trying to eliminate. In my untrained, completely amateur-psychologist opinion, she needs to work through something else entirely. So does her doctor, for that matter.

    I have struggled with infertility, as have many of my friends. I can tell you that many women who have gone through IVF have probably wanted to transfer as many embryos as possible, with the hope of getting just one healthy baby. When you are feeling desperate, it can seem like you do need 10, 20, even 30 in there just to get one healthy one. It’s the doctor’s responsibility to frame the whole thing more reasonably. Perhaps Californians should expect him to pay for the babies’ upbringing? That whole conversation sickens me, making her a scapegoat for larger economic problems.

    All of this is to say that I agree with you wholeheartedly, Heather.

  • Kitty Cat

    I think the fertility doctor should be held financially responsible for this mess. He/She? has established such a horrible name and reputation for a service that so many people desprately want and have the ablility to pay for. Sure, people could adopt. But if they have the sufficient funds to facilitate the process, then why not? She had enough on her plate…probably too much already. I think what she has done is discgraceful for mothers, for infertility specialists, for people that might need a hand once in a while.

    I haven’t read all the posts. I’m on a margarita bender and thought it would be appropriate to comment on dooce.com. I felt that most readers would relate, and if not, then f&*k it! I’ll state my opinion anyway.

  • Sarah

    I don’t think that I ever had issues with the fact that Nadya Sulleman chose to have her children via IVF – I think that the big issue that a lot of people see is that she has so many YOUNG, HELPLESS children. You are right – they did not have any say in this matter. Nadya chose selfishly to grow her family to the extent that she does not have the means to care for. She chose irresponsibly to have several embryos implanted in her uterus, not two or three which is the norm for a woman that has already had multiples. I hope that in the end, perhaps I am proven wrong and that Nadya is able to support her family. I hope that there are people looking out for these babies, and for Nadya’s mother, as they will need a support system like no other.

  • http://swissbarb.blogspot.com/ SwissBarb

    The “ill-conceived statements and judgments about women’s reproductive rights” made me chuckle.
    I do wonder why one has to meet so many moral and social criteria to adopt a child, but none to conceive a biological child. In many countries you have to get a license to own a pet, but nothing is required to become a parent. I puzzles me.

  • jillybean

    As an older woman who has gone through (unsuccessful) fertility treatments after gving birth to two great kids in the slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am way, I wouldn’t want anyone telling me that I shouldn’t try again (and again). However, treatments cost money, and the doctor likes being paid up front. Where did the money come from for her treatments? Obviously she’s been using her children’s disability payments to go for her fertility treatments.
    Also, my dr was sure to counsel me that he wouldn’t allow more than two eggs to implant – any more would be considered an unsuccessful treatment. If it weren’t for Nadya’s multiple births, it would be hard to believe she actually had a dr involved and had just used a turkey baster…
    Just imcompetence all around!

  • Kerri

    While I do believe that people should be able to explore their options when it comes to reproduction, I think that there is a major discrepency between the requirements of adopting and fertility treatments. When applying for adoption or to be a foster parent, an approval process is required. What’s the difference between the welfare of an adopted/foster child versus an as-yet-unborn fertility treatment baby? Aren’t they both entitled to the same (or as close as can be expected) quality of care? Can a doctor reasonably assume to know the situation of a family without SOME background knowledge?

  • Mindy

    I’m not reading all the other comments before posting this – so it might repeat the same sentiments of others. I just don’t have time, because I have to get back to my 2 kids conceived with fertility drugs.

    Poor decision making on multiple accounts (no pun intended), but I don’t believe some governing agency can tell someone how many children they are allowed to have. Believe it or not 14 kids is not the world record, people! It becomes too subjective and discriminating to set limits or turn someone away, although we have yet to hear exactly why they implanted a higher than usual number of fertilized embryos. Some parents are ill-fit to take care of one naturally-conceived child, and some are perfectly capable of handling many many children. I don’t think there’s any way to fairly “regulate” based on financial status, marital status, or psychological well-being who gets to have how many children.

    Welfare / taxes help support children regardless of how they were conceived. Her octuplets are 8 little drops in a very big bucket, if one were to have such a problem with tax money supporting children. Let’s just hope the children get the help they deserve and have a somewhat normal childhood.

  • Jen

    Some good points have been made. I’m saddened that any couple would be made to feel badly for doing everything medically possible to have children.
    If you live in California and are angry that your tax dollars will go towards supporting Suleman and her children, I’m sorry. Just as sorry as I am that my tax dollars go to pay for the THOUSANDS of children born in my county hospital to parents who can’t afford to have and support their children. (I live in the state, county, and city that is home to the second busiest maternity ward in the nation…most of the people having babies there don’t pay for the delivery nor do they support their families without government help…oh, and the majority of them aren’t American citizens either.)
    It’s a shame that our society has turned people’s lives into entertainment. Gone are the days of the Cosby Show, Full House, Knots Landing, Dynasty…Now we can’t turn on the TV without coming across “reality TV”. It’s not entertaining enough unless we’re watching someone else’s life unfold before our eyes…often a train wreck. And we love it! I’m just as guilty as the next person, but at what point do we stop, look at ourselves in the mirror, and ask, “What have I done to contribute to this?” The interviews we turn on to hear her side, the parent’s, and the doctor’s…the magazines we buy plastered with her face and those of her 8 babies that line the grocery store checkout line…and the water cooler talk this woman’s life has become. If she wanted publicity, she’s getting it and we will continue to buy things from the people who are paying her. And we’ll likely do the same thing when the next person comes along.

  • http://mcity.livejournal.com Jonn

    People are extrapolating principles reproductive rights from this? Really? All I did upon hearing of the situation was think “There is something horribly wrong here.” And that was it. How the frick is someone taking this one case and making it the cornerstone of…anything?

  • brc

    I am hopeful that the state social services system will keep a close eye on the health and welfare of the 14 kids. She is certainly not the first single parent to be facing overwhelming circumstances, it’s the medical freakatude that has turned this into such a circus.
    Now if i was the boss of everything, I would make the fertility doctor pay child support for this family through college, as well as her long term psychological counseling.

  • http://www.ozma.blogs.com ozma

    Weird, I was just thinking about this today.

    When this happens I always wonder what people get out of it. There is some kind of need that is filled by bashing one of these media creations and the bizarre obsession. I guess it might just be one of the needs filled by gossip. I’m not sure what they are but they might have to do with people wanting to validate their own life in some way?

    Oh, that’s so lame. I wish I had a better analysis.

    Anyway, what I always want to say is that there are people who start wars or violate others’ rights or whatever. Get all bent out of shape about Robert Mugabe, if you really feel the need to get all bent out of shape at this particular moment.


    Yeah, they are going to do something or institute some policy or scare doctors and this is just going to burn some poor woman who is spending her life savings because she wants to be a mother by giving birth to a child. People LOVE to beat up on infertile women who want to use IVF. Now their sites are on us (well, not me…because that’s not exactly how things are going to go down in my situation)…

    So Heather your good sense is really appreciated here.

  • http://hopesmommy.blogspot.com Melissa

    As a woman who has battled infertility it makes me cringe every time someone says “before anyone has fertility treatments they should have to go through counseling and fill out all kinds of paperwork so they know how many kids they have and their financial situation.”

    As someone who has dealt with the adoption process and was unable to adopt, it was one of the most intrusive things that I’ve had to deal with. Many people do it and jump through hoops to start their family due to the fact that they can’t conceive naturally.

    To place that burden on someone who is attempting to make their body work naturally by stimulating it to do it’s job we are setting a dangerous precident. Who gets to decide what a good parent is, how many children are appropriate per family and how much a family brings in is appropriate to have “your own” children? How would those guidelines be set? And how many of us with children would not be able to “have children” if they did set these guidelines?

    That said, I think Ms. Suleman failed to realize just how having 14 children will effect her life and the lives of her children. I hope she gets the help she needs to raise her family, she will surely need it.

  • KimPossible

    I commented on Momversation (which I love BTW!) but also wanted to comment here because I feel pretty passionate about it. I judge that woman, the Octomom, but from a personal perspective. In my opinion, she is a bonehead and wayyy irresponsible. And unfortunately the sensationalist media wants to glorify the craziest case scenario there is. But that in no way means that a womans reproductive rights and choices should be decided by our government.
    I, like you, liken it to the issue of pro-choice. Yes there are absolutely women who make bad decisions that lead to multiple and/or late term abortions. That is awful and I hate it that that happens. But that doesn’t mean that the choice should be taken away from all woman. I feel the same about ART (assisted reproductive technologies). It is a choice and a right that should be open to all women. Without it my son wouldn’t be here and that is reason enough for me. We waited until I was the ripe old age of 34 to try and have a child. And guess what, it wasn’t easy. I went through probing and prodding and pills and injections and patches. But at the end of it we got the most beautiful little boy in the whole world. Not everyone would choose the path we did or gets as lucky as us. But as I checked in on that munchkin this morning, who is now 2 years old, I feel like the most blessed woman on earth. And I am thinking about trying to do it all again! And if ANYONE tried to tell me I couldn’t have those procedures that helped me get knocked up – well I would beat their ass. So they can judge me personally and in turn I can judge Octomom personally but don’t try to legislate anyones reproductive rights.
    I do think though that the docs and clinics should have some screening process in place – I know mine did. Both my husband and I had to go through an interview process. Then they also very thoroughly explained what might happen, choices we migh have to make along the way, possible issues, etc… so we had realistic expectations. And we decided ahead of time, jointly with our doc, how far we were willing to go. But that is more of a moral and ethical issue and it sounds like the clinic Octomom went to was either lazy, greedy, or hungry for notoriety. So I hope they suffer the repercussions of their decisions.
    I just hope and pray that everything works out for all of those children both from a health and well-being standpoint.

  • c

    That woman is clearly mentally ill and the doctor should be put in jail. He is a horrible disgraceful asshole! He clearly knew he was bending ethics!!!

  • http://yogabitch.blogspot.com kristin kaminski

    It makes me want to cry when I read over and over in all these comments that she is a “nutbag” or “crazy” or “insane.”

    We don’t know WHAT she is. Our reality is just that. OUR REALITY. Sure I completely judged her, at first. I thought she did all this for the money….the fame…the attention. Until it occurred to me that no one even heard of her until she gave birth. She wasn’t in the media before. She didn’t give interviews or advertise her situation when she was pregnant.

    Mental illness, is an ILLNESS. Do we have derogatory names for people with cancer? diabetes?

    AND she didn’t CHOOSE to have 8 babies at once…8 babies HAPPENED and she CHOSE not to abort them.

    We all do crazy stuff, some more than others. Doesn’t make us “crazy.” I think that doctor should pay for these kids, quite frankly.

    Also? Our media PROMOTES this by the way. Those “multiples” families all ended up on Oprah…got diaper endorsements. mini-vans, new homes paid for by baby food companies, news coverage, etc.

    And if she does have a mental illness? Then yes, it IS our job to help with this. If she gave birth to 8 babies while having leukemia, I really don’t think that we’d have an OUTRAGE on our hands. We’d have an OUTPOUR of support.

  • http://www.livinginthegray.com Shannon

    I agree that a woman’s unusual choice to have a large family does not make her crazy or unstable, HOWEVER…her choice to bring child after child into a world where she cannot and does not provide for their physical needs is clearly irresponsible. I agree that the doctor should not have agreed to perform IVF in this situation. Her desire to have many children is trumped by her inability provide for her family.

  • Melissa

    Frankly, I have no issue with reproductive medicine as a whole. Mostly, I think that couple who cannot conceive on their own are largely a responsible bunch of people who are blessed to live in a time where they can be provided medical help to achieve the dream of family.

    BUT …

    I worked with disadvantaged kids whose parents were on welfare. I saw the toll that took on those kids. I saw the effects of not having enough resources available for basic needs for those children and my heart broke over that. And I currently work with a population of people who are constantly working the governmental assistance system when such manipulation is completely unnecessary.

    I have my own hospital bills and was told by the medical billing agent that if I didn’t have insurance my medical bills would be reduced, yet this woman is getting more assistance than me. I will not stoop to such lows to say that these kids need to be taken from her; frankly, I hope those children are given the resources possible to live happy, well-adjusted lives. But I think it speaks ill of our system as a whole that this woman with 14 kids already on welfare gets more governmental support and me, an employed citizen working for a non-profit to help others can’t get any assistance. That I think needs to be the topic.

  • Anonymous

    That this can even happen is an unfortunate side effect of the broken medical insurance system in the United States. Infertile couple are paying for expensive IVF treatments out of their own pockets. The pressure for treatment to work the first time is immense for both patient and doctors as financially it could be their only chance to try IVF. This leads doctor and patients to take the risk of implanting multiple embryos in hope of succeeding the first time. With all of the financial responsibility on couples, it’s very difficult to make guidelines on the number of embryos implanted enforceable or even ethical.
    A possible solution for enforcible legislation would be to have reasonable state-funded coverage of IVF. Like, funding for six cycles, for up to two live births.With a maximum of two embryos transfered during each cycle.
    A solution like this would give infertile couples an excellent chance at being able to have a family. And likely pay for itself by drastically reducing the incidence of multiple births.
    It doesn’t infringe on peoples rights, as they could pay for additional cycles after 2 children/6 cycles if they choose to.
    Infertile couple benefit, insurance companies benefit(multiple premature births are vastly more expensive than single full term births) and guidelines on implantation numbers are ethically enforceable because the financial onus is taken off couples/doctors to succeed on the first try.

  • Willie Williams

    She is not infertile. She already had SIX children. From what I read in these comments there are so many women and couples who would love to have one. She already had SIX children. IVF to have more….irresponsible. It’s not like the condom broke, she planned on having more children when she can’t adequately provide for the ones she is presently raising.

    Tax complaints? Too late people. The children are here. They need provided for because none of this was their choice.

    Her doctor need investigated.

  • http://www.jenjennyjennifer.typepad.com Jen

    “becoming a mother is an intensely personal decision” – said by one of the other moms on the video… I understand this statement but it’s not a personal decision anymore when you are asking others to take care of your decisions. This is a woman who had six children before undergoing yet another IVF treatment, is unable to pay for their upbringing, relies solely on her family and disability payments and government funds to pay for them and yet she was able to pay for IVF? On her end I feel she was totally and completely unethical in her thought process in regards to the children’s welfare. I understand wanting children but I also understand wanting to be able to take care of the children I bring into the world, and shouldn’t that be the first and foremost thought in any parents’ mind? I just feel this woman put her own desires and wants before her children and to me that doesn’t scream “mother of the year.” It screams “selfish!” Either way the children are here and deserve a good life… I’m just curious how that will happen. In the end I feel this will be a case of “it takes a village.”

  • http://www.epiphenita.blogspot.com epiphenita

    Don’t equate making a judgment with advocating government intervention.

    Believing a woman’s right to choose to never have children, abort a pregnancy or have 14 of them is not the issue. Forget the media feeding frenzy–why do we feel that questioning this woman’s choices is a slippery slope?

    We already make these judgments as a society.

    If CPS sees a woman who can’t feed her children but is striving to change that situation they will give her the chance to prove it. If, however, they see a woman with hungry, almost homeless children and she is doing nothing to help change the situation, they take the children away. Because we, as a society have decided that homeless hungry children are worth stepping in to save.

    So maybe she really loves her children…and maybe they really love her but if she can’t take care of them (which seems well-documented), then introducing 8 more is neglect at best and abuse at worst.

    And none of use should be so fragile that outside judgment, correct or not, should wreck us.

    I find our quick judgment of the fertility doctor in light of all this hands off approach to the mother EXTREMELY disturbing. If the woman is mentally ill, then this conversation is moot.

    However, she has not been judged mentally incompetent. Yes, there seems to be ample reason to take his license away or suspend it. Clearly irresponsible. But people, he simply can not be held more responsible than she. It is sexist, condescending and totally fcking insulting to think her decision is less culpable than his.

  • http://www.epiphenita.blogspot.com epiphenita

    Holy shit people. THIS.IS.NOT.ABOUT.INFERTILITY!

    Really. If she’d had one baby every nine months and was approaching #14, we should be having the same conversations.

    And we’ll never have all the information. You form an opinion based on the info you have…and reevaluate that opinion it if new facts come to light.

    And we actually have quite a bit of information about this situation.

    Does this woman have the legal right to have as many children as she wants? Absolutely. But that does that mean the rest of us ought to be her ever-positive support group? I sure as hell hope not.

    This behavior defies common sense. I don’t want her in the stockade but so many of you feel like it’s mean to criticize…MEAN? What are we, in middle school? You’re adults. You make assessments on information, not on etiquette or some misplaced need to make nice with everyone.

    I don’t support viciousness but sane criticism of this act is how a civilized society defines it’s ethics.

  • http://bethalea.blogspot.com just beth

    I totally agree that the ‘fault’ of this should lay on the doctor’s shoulders. He is supposed to be the professional, and the fact the he didn’t tell her ‘no, this is too much’ is HIS bad. We hire doctors to help us make the right decision, to guide and to mentor. What was he thinking? I know that I have my own judgments of her, and I am totally with you about the fact that it is now about those children and not about their… ah… interesting mother. I think it’s odd that there doesn’t seem to be any guidelines for doctors about this kind of situation.

    Anyway. I’ve been throwing around a post about her myself, I’ll let you know when (or if, children-be-willing) I do. Oh, and I’m going to see you in Seattle, when you’re here. Anything you want me to bring you? I could bring you some snacks… you know, Doritos or something.



  • Amy

    It is a complicated issue that I really don’t know how to feel about.

    All I know is that seeing her being money-grabby with interviews and tv shows and shopping at MAC when she may be losing her house – leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

  • Tara

    Unfortunately, the actions of the fertility doctor were NOT isolated. My bother-in-law and sister-in-law have 3 year old twins via in vitro. Their doctor implanted FIVE embryos. This was a matter of course for the doctor and it wasn’t a question. It’s “just the way it’s done.” She started with 3 babies but one didn’t make it past a couple of months. She also had enough health issues with two that I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if all three remained viable!

    There are definitely some ethics issues here. I certainly don’t know what the answers are but starting with evaluating the profession as a whole as well as making it a rule to not implant women already on welfare would be a good start.

    Just my two cents. I’m sure I’m restating one or twelve of the previous 500+ comments.

    Thanks for posting this. It’s a great topic and deserves some valuable discussion.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t possibly still be reading this far down the list, but as much as she is a baby hoarder, the deed is done, her uterus is now out of business. Let’s move forward to help and protect these helpless babies, some $$ and some mentors could go a long way in helping rescue them.. god forbid she end up in an abandoned bus, run out of smoothie ingrediants or make a porno to feed them.
    and thank you for caring,
    steph pdx

  • http://crookedhouse.typepad.com/ Steph

    I’m not judging Nadya Suleman, not at all. No, I blame Angelina Jolie. Totally.

  • Kathy

    I agree that we cannot and should not judge a situation when we have limited facts. The children involved should be the primary concern. For those upset about state assistance (my tax dollars shouldn’t pay for their upbringing opinions) I wonder what your stance was prior to this? Were you aware of how many millions went to help other children – perhaps only 1 or 2 per family – did you begrudge them? There are those who need assistance and there are those who abuse the system but I would not want the assistance to be negatively impacted due to the bad judgement of a few (and no, I do not receive any type of government assistance myself).
    I believe the doctor should answer for his poor judgement. It seems he endangered many – not only the mother and the children, but everyone who struggles with infertility.
    I pray that the children will be loved and cared for – irregardless of who foots the bill, they are here and deserve a chance.

  • http://tinykorean.com Anneli

    I don’t think society is entirely wrong to blame Nadya Suleman for this, but I think most of the blame lies with the doctor. It is not normal or healthy to want that many kids at once, and when you look at this woman’s life situation as well, it’s very obvious that caring for these children will be tough on her, and she will rely on help from outside sources to manage it. That is pure exploitation of the people around you and the government, and though she might not see anything wrong with it (to me, she seems a wee bit unstable), a doctor should have seen it, and stopped it. More than anything, I do not condone his actions.

    That being said, I think IVF is a wonderful thing – I am adopted, and having blood ties is unbelievably important to me. If I were to find out I am infertile somehow, it would break me. And if IVF could change that, you’re damn right I’d do it! Nadya Suleman is just getting an extraordinary amount of attention because she not only knowingly got pregnant when she was in no financial situation (or life situation) to handle it, she chose to have EIGHT children, when she already had six. That’s irresponsible, to an extreme degree. The average parents-to-be will not make such a choice.

  • http://www.wearenortons.blogspot.com Holly


    that is all.

  • Margaret

    I’m a 34 year old woman who has been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for over five years now. My husband and I are now smack dab in the middle of our first attempt at IVF due to the fact that my fallopian tubes had to be removed (they were the issue in our infertility). We’ve luckily had very good specialists who have been very realistic with us about everything along the way. Because my tests have shown that my ovaries and uterus are quite healthy, we are opting a single embryo transfer and freezing any other embryos for possible transfer if required. I am comfortable with this even though the chances of success are 15% lower than transferring two embryos because the chances of multiples are a staggering 35% with two embryos transferred. I do this even considering that I am paying 100% out of pocket.

    The “octo-mom”‘s situation can be partially blamed on her making life decisions that most of us wouldn’t agree with but the majority of any blame in this matter lies with the IVF doctor she had. Unfortunately it seems that with growing infertility issues and advanced technologies, there are a segment of the medical profession that sees the dollar signs and act accordingly. This doctor transferred way too many embryos in an effort to boost his own clinical statistics. I have also read a gazillion IVF related blogs and have marvelled at how some doctors will let patients go through procedure after procedure, spending tens of thousands of dollars and not even give their patients realistic statistical information. Why would you let a couple go through six different IUI cycles if they only had a 3-4% chance of conceiving that way? Money! What it comes down to is that the medical associations need to monitor their doctors, the reason they are there in the first place and reprimand/remove doctors that are playing with ethical boundaries.

    Oh and for those who say she wasn’t infertile…I tend to disagree. If she were able to conceive with IUI or any other reproductive technology, why would she (or anyone) choose the highly invasive nature of IVF.

    The most disappointing thing about this whole situation is the assisted reproduction backlash that we and other infertile couples have experienced due to the ignorance of the realities of infertility. Possibly the most heinous comment I have heard so far (and it has been repeated by a number of people) is that mine (and others’) infertility is God’s way of telling us that we aren’t meant to have children and that we should just be happy to adopt. I wonder if they were to get cancer, if that is God’s way of telling them that they weren’t meant to live?

  • http://www.paintingchef.com PaintingChef

    Huh. I am SO SO torn on this one. I mean, OBVIOUSLY it’s a bad situation and she has really had the wrath of the media and society’s judgment unleashed on her during a time when she really needs all the support (moral support, if nothing else… just someone to go “Damn lady… let me hold a half dozen or so of those while you go pee”) and I think the doctor is HORRIBLE to have done this but at the same time, shouldn’t there have been so many red flags before it got to the point it did?

    I don’t know.

    My husband and I are in our fifth year of a heartbreaking battle with infertility. We have decided that if it doesn’t happen by the end of this year, we are going to start the adoption process. But we’ve also realized that we are running a high risk of a multiple birth that many would call quasi-planned because of the lengths to which we are going to get me knocked up already.

    And do people judge us? Of course. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that we are wasting all this money and why don’t we just give an unwanted child a home (their words, not mine… and we all know that they just give those babies out like samples at the Costco on Saturday afternoon, right? No expense or effort involved at all… it’s instant baby… JUST ADD WATER!). Or my favorite… “You should just adopt a baby, then you’ll get pregnant. You know, because you’ll be RELAXED” (STAB! STAB!)

    When you are dealing with infertility and multiple miscarriages and all the sadness and horror that goes with that, it makes it hard to NOT understand that people will go to great lengths to have a child. But I’m talking about like… ONE or TWO children. Not a do-it-yourself little league team.

    But this woman was NOT infertile. (Was she? She was just single, right?)

    So again I say, I don’t know. It is a horrible situation and people are focusing on this mother who is obviously crying out for help and attention and the doctor who is just, I think, a BAD GUY and nobody seems to be focusing on these 14 children and what is going to happen to them. Because one woman simply cannot take care of 14 children. I don’t care who you are or who you are trying to be… it is impossible.

  • Kelly

    1. This lady must have some sort of mental instability.

    2. Taking children away from their parents because you are pissed at their parents for being odd or having odd tendencies is not always in their best interests. However, if she is truly nuts and can’t take care of them that is an entirely different story.

    3. It is horrible that this situation will make it more difficult for women who cannot easily conceive to get medical assistance…hopefully, only minimal requirements, like a questionnaire and evaluation by a mental health doctor, can help to alleviate these situations.

  • Christabel

    Well said. I don’t think I want a placenta smoothie. No matter how hungry I get.