Judgement Day

I'm having a hard time deciding whether to keep comments on this post open or closed, mainly because I already feel like far too much ado has been made over Nadya Suleman and her decisions, her doctor and everything else surrounding her story. I've also felt very uncomfortable with the bru hate-hate occurring as a result. 

This topic is interesting (and unsettling) to me because it makes hypocrites of us all. Myself included. Is it easy to judge her? Of course. Are we all judging her? Yes! But my mother always told me "when you point your finger at someone, three fingers point back at you." And I believed her. Still do. So here I am pointing at myself, feeling like a dunce.




I personally feel like right now more than ever we should be standing beside each other, rather than tearing one another new assholes which is why I was wary of this particular subject (as well as wary of opening up the floor for dialogue.)  I also think that it speaks volumes about our society that this has become a major news story. In many ways I feel like Nadya has become a sort of scapegoat for our economic woes, (First the bank bailout and now Nadya? Down with Nadya!) as well as THE personification of "The American Dream" gone totally wrong. (Families bought homes they could not afford, trusted in loan officers, the market... not too different from Nadya essentially buying a pregnancy she could not afford, trusting in doctors, the system. Down with Nadya!)

If you have an opinion on the subject or want to add your .02, that's fine. (I guess I decided to keep comments open, then, eh?) But do something for me? Pretend she's here, sitting in front of you, and you are telling her to her face how you feel about her decision. And then, if you feel so inclined, cite an example of something you have done as a parent that would most likely be judged as wrong. 

I'll start: My almost-four-year-old still sleeps with a pacifier. My daughter often watches television with us at night. Archer's often late to school because I suck at getting up in the morning. I keep a stash of cigarettes in my glove compartment for nights spent out on the town. 

The anonymity of the Internet often makes us fearlessly uncensored as a responding force, forgetting that there are feelings attached to every human subject, blogger and fellow commenter,  but we needn't forget that our voices carry and that hate is inexcusable no matter the circumstances.

GGC

I also would like to add that Portraits of an Economy has thirty-five heartbreaking, always enlightening, even optimistic stories that span twenty-four states and four countries. As I have said before, all submissions are accepted and desired. Or you can post your stories on your own blogs and email me the links. Kiss.

123 comments:

dharmafrog | 12:30 PM

"we needn't forget that our voices carry and that hate is inexcusable no matter the circumstances."
I LOVE this! So so true! Why on earth can't we just rise up and protect our own? Thank you for writing this.

B | 12:33 PM

I just feel for her kids. I hope there is a way that they all do well. . . what I think about Nadya is irrelevant. There are 14 other little people involved now, like it or not. (I haven't watched the momvo yet)

As for me: I have sworn at my kids out of frustration. Ex. "Goddamnit do ________, it's the fourth time I've asked!"

dawn | 12:37 PM

I think you have hit a perspective on this that hasn't been written about much online. I have asked myself "what was she thinking" I have two kids (adopted so I know it and IVF are expensive) and my husband works at a good job and I stay at home, teach part-time and am a PhD student. I understand the pressures of being a parent and a student--being over extended.

As I type this, my son just home from school is watching Pinky Dinky Doo--because I have homework to do before class tonight--my little one is a sleep.

I worry for her, because I feel as though she didn't make a great and responsible choice. She's living on student loans--I know how little money that is as I still take out student loans to help supplement my income. I don't care that she's using her loans that way--it's just that they aren't enough to support a family of 7 much less 15.

I have judged her, but I have judged her doc more harshly. I feel as though I have judged her becasue I feel for the kids. I can't imagine the difficult life these older children will have.

I am certainly not perfect. My nearly 3-year-old son still sleeps with his pacifer (sorry I lied to you Dr. Dan). I let him have whipped cream on his pancakes for breakfast. I don't make him sit at the table to eat meals---I only care that he eats. I allow him to watch entirely too much tv.

I let my baby girl take her sippy cup of juice or milk to bed at naptime and I don't give her as much attention as I did my son when he was the baby. There are two of them and it's harder.

Thanks for this perspective and I am so sorry for taking over the comments...

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:39 PM

Not at all, Damn. Awesome comment.

TheGirl | 12:39 PM

I agree with everything you said and at first i was really judgemental. Now i just feel for her. She has problems, we all have problems. She needs help, just as each of us does. But it seems to me, that she isn't lucky enough to have the safety net of support from good friends and family that most of us have.
Everyone is fearful for those 14 children, but chiding their mother isn't really helping them get the care that they need.
it's all very sad to me.

Hilary | 12:39 PM

I appreciate the sensitivity you are bringing to what really is an intensely personal and very delicate issue. Thanks for that momversation as well as your honesty.

Anonymous | 12:46 PM

Something I did as a parent that was "wrong" - let's see - I was a teen mom.. I had my daughter at 19! Then I proceeded to hold down 2-3 jobs, become fully self suffient, slowly go back to school. 11 Years later I own my own home, married and waiting for the arrival of baby #2...

Things I didn't do... Have baby upon baby upon baby that I COULD NOT AFFORD. Take aid from the government that become a permanent paycheck and NOT an aid (temporary help). Loose my house because I used 120k on IVF and some obvious plastic surgery. Furnish my child's room with unpacked luggages!!!!! Have my parents bail me out resulting in THEM loosing THEIR house.. Shameful!

When I had my daughter at the tender age of 19 - I didn't create my own website asking strangers for THEIR hard earned money so that they can pay for MY choice!

I am all pro-choice. Whatever you want to do in life it is your choice amen and more power to you.. BUT when YOUR choice affects other people then shame on you! If you can't take of the kids you have now then DON"T keep having kids man.. I don't care how much you say "all they need is love" Dude lvoe the ones that you have right now even more and maybe even take a break from all the love and clean up their room, then maybe MAYBE worry about having any more. These are human lives we are talking about.. NOT 8 new pairs of shoes!

Kayla

Kate | 12:53 PM

I would have no problem saying this right to her face:
*******************
Nadya, I cannot believe that you expect everyone else to take care of the children you brought into this world. I cannot believe you spent all your money on IVF treatments, but have nothing left with which to raise your children. HOW DARE YOU.

My husband and I are waiting to have children until we can afford to, and it is irresponsible people like you who are eating up the precious resources we are saving so that we, too, can have that joy.

Eff you. Except that I'd say it.
********************
She makes me so mad. My husband and I are working SO hard to save money and be as ready as we can be to have children--to provide a home with heat, food on the table, opportunities for activities, etc. We pay an enormous amount of money for health insurance--part of that is because we have to offset the costs of people like Nadya, who use fertility and then NICU resources irresponsibly.

I'm not a parent yet, but I know enough about anthropology to not judge you because your kid uses a pacifier at age four. Not that you need my opinion on that anyway.

As for me, I won't be a perfect parent. That's for sure. But when we discuss Nadya's actions, I think we are VERY VERY far away from discussions about the rights and wrongs of formula feeding, pacifiers, spanking, watching television, etc. Not even close.

~eve~ | 12:53 PM

Let me preface this by saying that I don't have kids. Although I read a lot of mommy bloggers and the one thing that I've learned from that is that you don't know how difficult (or rewarding) being a parent can be until you are one, so I don't judge parents for petty things. Hey, your kid watches entirely too much tv? Whatever. Your kid only eats candy? You do what you gotta. Pacifiers? Hey, the kid's sleeping, right?

But I honestly feel entirely justified in judging Nadya Suleman. It's not just the choices she's made, but also the logistics of her life. I mean, how can she possibly take care of 10 children under the age of 2 all by herself? Let alone all the rest of her children? She says that she holds her babies for at least 45 minutes a day as proof that she loves them. But loving your kids isn't enough to make you a good parent. Love doesn't put food in their stomach or clothes on their backs or even a roof over their heads.

She's decided to forgo having a partner because she just wants babies, but I think that's selfish. Her mother won't be helping her raise her children. She's had enough, and who can blame her? She claims that she's going to school, but how can she possibly go to class when it probably will take all of her time just to feed and care for all of her children? How can she ensure that all of their needs are taken care of?

Julia Rizzolo Blackman, | 12:57 PM

Difficult to judge as most of you agree. Was the doctor involved doing his job ethically? Or just doing his job? As a mother, I personally wouldn't want t go through that. But 100 years ago people used to have 10, 15 kids and a most of times, they coped well (my family included).
I was judged by choosing to have elective C section on my first pregnancy. How dare a woman chose not to go through birth pain these days. But the same people that judged me, did not breast feed, while I did. So, who's right, who's wrong?
We just need to do what feels right for us and make sure the kids come first.

Julia

AshBetta | 1:03 PM

I just feel bad for the children. I am sure this woman is going to try and pull a Jon and Kate Plus 8 and exploit these babies for all she can.

And besides that, how can she manage them? I have one son and I am with his father and I still get frustrated, exhausted and overwhelmed. I understand she "loves children" as she says, but C'MON. Sometimes love just ain't enough!

...if my son wakes up in the middle of the night i let him have a bottle to go back to bed even though i know he really doesn't need it. i let him eat nutrigrain bars or ritz bitz for dinner because he is a picky lil man (14 months)...

amber of TheAmberShow | 1:05 PM

The. Music. Kills. Me. It's so distracting! Anyway...

She made a choice I wouldn't have made, but I'm not judging. I am angry that the system is set up so that it is easy for her to get my money to support her family but that makes me angry at the SYSTEM, not at the people who abuse it. Abuse of the system is human nature. It would take an enormously principled person to refuse free money. *shrug*

Saying, "She needs her children taken away" is so, so dangerous. Letting the government interfer in this way is frightening.

My libertarian perspective.

lorrie | 1:08 PM

I too, was and am very judgmental of Nadya and her choices to have so many children. I believe that part of the problem is the way television and the media portray large families like Jon and Kate plus 8 and 17 kids blah, blah, blah. The huge difference is the fact that there is a father figure for the above mentioned families. I wonder if Nadya was married or had a partner, if it would be that big of a deal. I think the Dr. deserves some of the blame along with Nadya's own parent's for the negative comments they have made to the media. What would we do?? Selectively abort, choose which ones to give up for adoption?? I for one do not agree with her choices, but now that the babies are here, I pray that they will have happy, loving lifes.

Paula Harshbarger | 1:12 PM

Thank you for this perspective. When I first heard the story I definitely thought she made a crazy decision but assumed people would rally to the cause and support her. Instead they are tearing her down. I really hope that there are compassionate people in her area that will help her, not in exchange for a bible lesson or personal fame, but because she needs it, and those babies need it. If I were there I would be donating my kids stuff and taking as many shifts as possible to hold and feed those babies, or just to let Nadya take a nap. Right or wrong we should keep our judgments to our self and step up and do what's more important.. Help the sister out!
I am the mother of twin boys. Having multiples can really rock your world. We didn't plan for them, weren't ready for them, but have managed just fine and always appreciated the help we were given when they were babies... As I type this they are knocking on the door to be let in from outside, where I have them locked in the backyard until I finish typing this post.

Sandi | 1:27 PM

I have fourteen children. I have reached out to Nadya, and offered her help. She has not responded to me yet. She probably thinks I am blowing smoke up her ass. Who else in So Cal has fourteen kids?

I feel horrible for her. I honestly do. I do not think she anticipated having eight babies at a time. I am sure she thought she would get one or two like all the times before.

I couldn't do the selective reduction. I would have a damn hard time looking at all those little heartbeats on a screen and saying "go ahead and kill 3-8.... I'll just keep baby 1 and 2.

I am sure she thought she could do it. Nobody can fathom what its like having 14 kids, most of hers the same age. I know I couldn't do it well. But I could do it. I hope she accepts the help that is being offered. Mine included. God bless her. That's all I can say.

Sarah | 1:32 PM

Let's be honest...can any of the really "afford" to have children?
I don't think having money is a reason to have or not have children. It is more about our ability to raise them, to nurture them and to love them.
I can't say that I know enough about Nadya to judge her.
I am BY NO MEANS a perfect parent and would never claim to be. I make mistakes and I am sure there would be plenty of judgement thrown my way if my life was thrust into the spotlight the way hers has.

That is my ".02".

Anonymous | 1:35 PM

At first, the octo-mom story made me angry. How dare someone have children knowing they can't afford them and then lie about getting government assistance? Then, shop at Nordstrom and entertain buying a $1.5 million dollar home in this economy? I went from being pissed at her and sorry for her children to feeling sorry for her and the children both.

I am glad that you bring a different perspective. People are so quick to judge (as I did), but forget what they do (although I must say nothing I've done with my family decisions can even touch the octo-mom). But...I do allow my 21 month old son to eat Nutrigrain bars, shredded cheese, Goldfish or animal crackers to make up for his picking over his dinner because he is such a picky eater. I allow him to drink Sunny Delight although it has sugar. Sometimes when it's been a really tough day, I even let him watch TV for 30 minutes or more just so I can get peace and quiet. Instead of trying to make him sleep through the night, I take him from the crib to my bed nightly when he wakes up the first time; this, without fail, results in both of us sleeping for the remainder of the night which makes sense to meet. I have allowed him to stay up until 10 and 11 p.m. rather than wrestle him to get to sleep on some nights. THERE YOU HAVE IT... Definitely not a perfect parent!

I love this exercise.

Anonymous | 1:35 PM

Let me first come on out and confess what I have done wrong as a mother. I know that people are going to judge me very harshly for this, but here goes...
When my daughter was about 4 months old (she's almost six now), I started using herion, given to me by my then husband. I was in a horrid (I don't know another way to put it) relationship and I was so completely hopeless about my situation that I just wanted to feel better. Let me also say that I know that it was my doing- and I don't blame anyone but myself. I ended up getting a staph infection that settled in my heart causing acute endocarditis and multi-system failure. I was almost dead. Luckily, I somehow pulled through, went through massive PT, got out of my marriage, and now lead a (mostly) happy life with my beautiful daughter and wonderful boyfriend. That was a little more than 5 years ago. I live with the regret and shame of it every. single. day. But, I am also aware that if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't be where I am today. As for Nadya...I am definitely not one to judge. I can already feel fingers pointing at me.

Tiana Barbaza-Cousineau | 1:35 PM

I don't have kids. I'm 15. I only have 2 siblings. So I don't know how hard it is to have 14 kids.
But I have to say, my heart tells me it's not that wrong, what she did.
Sure, she doesn't have a husband, she spent all her money to have kids, she has nowhere to raise them, all that stuff. But honestly, this is a woman who wanted children. She wanted lots of them so she wouldn't be lonely and neither would they. This is a woman who will love her kids to the very end and will try her best to support them. No, she can't afford it, yes, that was dumb, but people should help. Just because the babies came from fertility treatment and not actual sexual intercourse doesn't mean we should help her any less.

Maybe love can't raise children, but it's better than no love at all. I'd rather be raised in a poor family with lots of love than a rich family with no love.
If I was there, you bet I'd be helping her. Though I can't do a lot, I'd do whatever I could, because there's a whole family that is struggling. Why should it matter why they're struggling or her choices back then? The babies are here, the kids are here, the money isn't here. Help is needed.

Then again, I'm just a fifteen year old girl. So what do I know?

InTransitClaire | 1:40 PM

I think what a lot of people are worried about is that this one incident could represent a trend towards this kind of thing happening all the time - which I truly doubt. Just because one woman made this particular decision doesn't mean that everyone is going to run out now and get injected with eight babies, right? Yes, it's a scary possibility, but it's not probable at all. There are extraordinary circumstances in every aspect of life; reproductive choices just happen to much more hot-button issues than most.

Rita Arens | 1:49 PM

I think the octo-mom (which always makes me think of the Rama series) exercised extremely poor judgment. Yes, look at me be judgy! I'm glad I'm not her mother, as it seems her mother and father and her kids are the ones getting the short end of the stick there. Also, though, I think the octoplet part was a mistake -- she meant to have one or two. Is that better? Um, it's still not reasonable, but it's better than planning to have eight babies at once.

In keeping with the theme, though, I'll also allow you to judge me, world! My lungs are with Bec in my glove compartment (pray we never get together). When my daughter asks if she can have a brother or sister, I say "No, everyone in our family is already here." And I have let my child have more stuffed animals than anyone should ever, ever have. Because I remember really believing my stuffed animals were alive and not being able to get rid of any of them.

Beth in SF | 1:54 PM

If Nadya were here with me, I would tell her straight up I think she made a poor choice, but if she needs help I'll give it to her. It's not really about her anymore, right? It's about those poor innocent kids.

My 9 month old watches a ton of TV, and I sometimes breastfeed after drinking a few beers. Oh yeah, and I almost never wash his pacifier.

Anonymous | 1:55 PM

I would tell her that I think she is an idiot. I know that it is mean but I really think that she needs mental help. Lots of families have had 14 kids but not all at once and they have people to help them. Everyone is so angry at her mother but I feel sorry for her, she should not have to raise more children. I also think that her doctor is an idiot, he should be able to tell that she has issues. Plastic surgeons often refuse to do anymore sugeries and her doctor should have said NO!! I do not think that she planned on having eight and I would never have selective reduction done either, but she should not have been trying for a 7th baby in the first place! It is to bad the children will suffer.

Liz | 1:56 PM

I'm not a parent because I'm a trainwreck. That's it.

That said, I know and love so many people who can't have children just because they happen to be dudes living with other dudes. The government ALREADY interferes with our collective reproductive rights by limiting the parenting rights of gay couples. I judge her.

So, so much.

Anyone can take a look at his or her life and say "this is a bad call." From an accidental pregnancy to intentionally going and implanting a litter, you should at least ATTEMPT the prescence of mind to know when to say "no." There are other living creatures at stake.

ikke | 1:58 PM

well said, becca.

The Panic Room | 2:06 PM

It's harder to be approved to adopt a dog from the Humane Society then it is to have 8 babies in America.

This whole thing makes me remember Jurassic Park and one of the only good lines from the movie: "scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. "

Just some thoughts. I could write pages about this.

Anonymous | 2:07 PM

I agree that you can never really "afford" to have children. But it is incredibly irresponsible to purposefully conceive children that you cannot provide even basic needs for. COME ON.

She's not someone whose husband left her in a really rocky single parent situation, or who has fallen upon hard times and needs help to dig herself out of a hole. She is not someone who is a single mother by choice to a couple of kids she can reasonably care for. NO. She is someone who CHOSE to have more than six children while expecting everyone around her to help her and pay for it for her. Disgusting.

And you bet your cookies my husband and I won't be TTCing until we meet our savings goals.

Caitlin | 2:11 PM

I'm not sure what to think about Nadya Suleman. I know that I think it's wrong for her to apply for food stamps at the same time she's spending (wasting) money on IVF, when she already has six children to support. I know that I think it's foolish of her to take on this great responsibility of caring for 14 children when she couldn't financially support herself. All I can see is a woman who is in desperate need of money going to extraordinary lengths to gain some publicity for herself in order to supplement her income. I think she is irresponsible, and I couldn't care less about what happens to her--the only thing I am concerned for is the welfare of her children.

April | 2:13 PM

the video's not working for me... but if she were in front of me today, all i could say is how disappointed i am in her decisions. and that's about how i feel. if the doc who implanted her were here... then i might slap him. i mean, seriously?

have you seen this? http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/famecrawler/archive/2009/02/23/octuplet-dad-revealed-he-s-married-with-two-kids.aspx

Katy | 2:16 PM

I'm not going to make a comment on how she got to this point... I am just going to state the obvious.

She has fourteen kids that she cannot take care of. When a parent is unable to take care of their children, the state must step in and take over and not by handing her money anymore.

I think this woman is very sick. I think she was taken advantage of in some respects, but I also think that she did this all on purpose, for fame.

She had a publicist lined up before she even gave birth.

But that is neither hear nor there. If she was a minority on drugs, her kids would be taken away. If she was anyone else, her kids would be taken away.

Her kids need to be put into foster homes until she can care for them. If they are going to be a burden on the state, they should be away from her until she is well.

Leslie | 2:16 PM

I have not really been keeping up with the octomom's story, because I tend to shy away from media circuses. When I first heard about the octuplets being born, I was so happy that they were all healthy. I started shutting out everything having to do with her once I started hearing things like she's on welfare, has six other kids, etc. etc. I don't like drama.

What I hate about this situation is that it adds even more to the misunderstanding that surrounds ART. Many, many people don't feel that they are able to openly discuss their infertility because most people just don't understand it - the octomom has not done anything to help with this sense of shame and silence that many infertile people deal with.

I have to say that while I have indeed judged the octomom, I don't get morally outraged over her - but I do get rather indignant thinking that her doctor allowed this. He put her and her babies in a life-threatening situation. In my opinion, he should have his license revoked.

Anonymous | 2:23 PM

For me it's about the doctor. It's not that I feel like doctors should be inquiring into women's reproductive choices--I don't. There's no need to make any value judgments here.

But if a patient tells a doctor (and the doctor should be asking) that she will not reduce if multiple embryos take, what the heck is he doing implanting 6 embryos!!?!?!?

Right now it's a soft guideline that doctors implant just 2-3 embryos--why not make it the rule?

There'd be no need to ask about a woman's "fitness" to make reproductive choices if we stopped giving doctors the option to implant more embryos than could ever, EVER occur and survive naturally.

Danielle | 2:26 PM

So this is me, finding comment on the Nadya story for the first time.

I believe she truly loves her children. All fourteen of them. I don't believe that she is making the best choices for them.

I believe she has some childhood issues (admitted to by her) that have created an excessive situation.

I’m disappointed that she wasn’t better advised by her doctors, although I don’t think that would have mattered in her “need” for more children.

I would desperately love to have 20 children of my own. I love big families and understand a person’s desire for their children to have many siblings. I don’t understand the means by which Nadya went about creating her big family. I don’t think it was “responsible”, but really, who the hell am I to say or understand anything about it.

I read a blog somewhere (can’t remember) where the author said something to the affect of “thousands of people take advantage of “the system”, but Nadya is just the first to rub our noses in it”. (I thought, “Ha! That’s funny!” and “ya know what, kinda true”.)

And, when pointed back at me, my fingers tell me that I constantly tell my 2 year old “no” to things he should not be doing, and then sit and watch as he does them anyway. I have no energy to follow through with discipline ever, and it’s so not fair to my four year old, who almost always listens and follows directions. That’s just for starters… :)

BV | 2:28 PM

Full comment here at my blog:
http://www.blogosaurusvex.com/2009/02/23/reproductive-rights-the-octuplets/

Edited Excerpt:
I have noticed a really disturbing trend in the comments and critiques that are being leveled at the mother. On the one hand we are saying a woman should have complete reproductive control in her own life, meaning she should carry, birth, or abort as many children as she wants in whatever manner she wants, with the support of the medical infrastructure. On the other hand, we are harshly criticizing the doctor who performed the IVF for his unethical behaviour.

Does anyone other than me see the contradiction in there? A woman should have total control… as long as her doctor says yes? Is that really what we mean? Or do we mean women can’t make a reasonable choice so we must rely on doctors to tell us whether our choice is ethical or not? How can it be that the doctor unethical for *doing* it, but the mother is not unethical for *asking for* it?

This is what I think: if we really support a woman’s right to be in control of her reproduction, in control 100%, then we should be pleased as punch with all concerned in this little scenario. Woman makes a choice freely, seeks medical aid, receives it. Hooray for everyone. The fact that this doctor is riding heat is a clear signal that many folks are not in fact in support of a woman having 100% control over her own reproduction.

I wish there was a way to set the moral standard in such a way that we could rule in the good behaviours and rule out the bad ones, but there are no moral absolutes in practice. I think what this woman did was wrong because it harms her children, and think what the doctor did was wrong for the same reason, though I place the primary burden of responsibility on the woman. Doctors advise and provide services - it’s not for them to say what you can and cannot do with your own body.

Nonetheless I am on record as being 100% in support of women’s reproductive rights. Making restrictions that would prevent the situation that happened here would unavoidably unfairly restrict the rights of other women who should not be restricted. I think less rules are better than more. And let’s face it, this sort of situation is pretty rare. Do we need to get all hot under the collar about it? No. A big clutch of poor kids who will have an utterly overtaxed and therefore inattentive mother is bad, but not really that bad, relatively speaking. At least she wants them. I wish she had made a different choice and I feel bad for those babies, but I do think it was her choice to make. And it was the duty of her doctor to respect that, because she is not mentally incapacitated or requesting treatment that will kill her when it is not her intention to die.

And making her blameless and her doctor responsible is gross patriarchy in action and I absolutely reject that.

JessicaToday | 2:37 PM

I would like to understand how the doctor feels about all of this. Does he regret allowing this to happen? He knew she would not reduce. Isn't it in his power to make the call about how many to allow to be implanted? What if all 6 had split? Why didn't he foresee how insane this would all be if they all took and even multiplied? Why didn't he treat this situation properly? I wonder if she would have gotten another doctor to make the same choices the original one did. Isn't it his place to say no? I understand wanting children and I am pro choice in every facet of the word. But in a situation like this, doesn't the doctor assume responsibility for his own bad choices? That's what I want to know. He is the professional that is supposed to be the one who screens out the people who are not right for processes they wish to go through. He is the one who is ultimately at fault for allowing this to take place. We cant judge Nadya alone here, she is just a woman who has the idea that children are gifts from god that are there for her to love. She went to a professional to help her make these choices for herself and I think he let her and the rest of society down in his inability to help her see what she was doing.

Abby Johns | 2:39 PM

I recently started smoking again, after not smoking for 6 months. I ask my 3 month old daughter what she wants in a frustrated tone on almost a daily basis, and I often will wait for the baby monitor to wake her dad up an night because I want the sleep so desperately, even if it means she cries a few minutes longer.

Gosh, it is so easy to judge this poor woman. I guess I really feel bad when I think about the fact that she doesn't even get called by her name anymore, instead she is called "Octomom" like some carnival freak show exhibit.

I hope that people out there will pray/meditate/send good vibes/etc. for her and those children.

I agree that in times such as these it is more important that we support one another than tear each other down. None of us are perfect, and I try to remind myself when I catch myself judging someone, that that time can be better spent choosing something about myself to improve on.

zakary | 2:59 PM

Man, that poor OctoMommy. I wouldn't want to be in her damn shoes in a second. I can't even handle two kids. I feel that she honest to god loves kids. Everyone (including the press) needs to lay off.

And I put my son to bed with a bottle, I drink too much wine, my daughter is often late too school as well and I don't put our laundry away.

Anonymous | 3:11 PM

It seems to me that this situation was a confluence of bad judgement and bad luck, both on the part of the doctor and the patient.

The patient seems to have very poor judgement, acting very much on her emotional desires and not basing her decisions on the reality of her situation. And I believe that is true for multiple steps of this process. First, she decided to have children on her own without a means of supporting them. Then she spent a lot of money she doesn't have on treatments to have 6, which by today's standards, is quite a lot of children. Then she tried to have at least one or two more by this last IVF cycle. When it was clear that there were 8 fetuses, she chose not to reduce.

The doctor has an abysmal success rate according to public records. He probably therefore does not get the best clientele. I am guessing this guy is one of few who would accept her as an IVF patient because he probably doesn't get many patients at all, and was desperate. Then because he has a low success rate, he decides to implant 6 embryos, with the hope that one or two will stick. Unluckily for them all, this resulted in 8 viable fetuses.

Of course, I just made all of this up, but it seems likely to me. I think she has displayed terrible judgement and has been incredibly selfish. I agree that she needs some psychological help. If the children appear to be neglected, then the state should take custody, but I say give it a chance first. Maybe they will be okay. Like others have said, the kids are here now and it's not their fault, so they should not be punished.

That doctor should undergo some remediation in the form of medical training. Maybe if he can learn how to achieve successful implantations, he will not make such a poor decision in the future.

re: my confession-I don't have kids, but as a babysitter I was late picking my charge up from school a few times and he was the only one left there. I felt so bad.

Steph | 3:22 PM

One thing I hated about that interview/special they did was the interviewer kept trying to get her to say she did something wrong. That she shouldn't have done what she did. I can't imagine a mother saying in such a public and documented forum that she regretted having her children. Of course she wouldn't say it. That would surely hurt them deeply some day.

I don't think I could say anything negative to her face because I think she's going to need all the strength she can muster to face the reality ahead of her and I for one don't want to knock her down.

Steph | 3:24 PM

As far as mistakes I've made... list me among the teen mothers. The cussing mothers. The mothers that wait as long as possible to potty train.

Anonymous | 3:25 PM

I think BV summed it all up!

AlbertaMom | 3:31 PM

This past July my twin boys were born prematurely and passed away shortly after birth. The reason they were born so early is 100% linked to the fact that they were multiples. I do not fault parents for pursuing fertility treatments, however, there is a difference between implanting two embryos hoping one will thrive, and implanting six. As my obstetrician puts it "twins = twice the problems". If you are implanting six embryos hoping to get lots of babies at once you are asking for six times the risk. Risk of death and health problems for the babies, and maternal risks. My cousin who had triplets almost died because of the steroids they had to give her to mature the babies' lungs when she went into premature labour.

Sometimes when people make choices that are endangering children it is ok to say "that is wrong".

My confession: My daughter is addicted to popcorn and jube jubes. Me too.

Mirinda | 4:05 PM

I don't feel comfortable saying anything against her. It's not my place. I do a lot of things wrong as a parent and don't always make the best decisions. Whatever anyone- myself included- thinks about her stems from our own ideas of what is right and wrong.

I want to scream when people are saying the government- or someone!- needs to step in and do something "about" the situation. No, no and no. Do you want the government telling you how many kids you can have or how to parent? Um, no. It's the only real issue I have with this situation other than concern for her children.

Loraine | 4:40 PM

i feel bad for the kids... i wish her well for the sake of her babes...

i have a hard time showing enough attention to the two that I have... Cannot imagine 14. HOLY CRAP!!!

i have made and make bad choices everyday. we're human... but i try to wake up everyday and make better choices then the day before...

my babies still sleep with us... considered by some to be a HUGE MISTAKE ~ we love it!!!!

In Due Time | 4:45 PM

I blogged about it a week or so ago. I wouldn't take back anything I said on the list, in fact, I might even add a few things if she was sitting right here.

(http://in-due-time.blogspot.com/2009/02/800th-post.html)

I ♥ Dooce, but I was annoyed when she said 'the father isn't around'--well there wasn't a father. It's a sperm donor. She (Octomom, not Dooce) shouldn't pressure him to be in their lives, that's not what a donor does. Having said that, we don't even know the 'true' extent of their relationship as far as what he knew/what she told him.

As far as Karen saying she hadn't 'heard' of Octomom doing anything wrong, well, apparently she doesn't watch the TV much because its been plastered since their birth her own mother said she wasn't a good mother.

Anyways, I don't want to get off on a tangent here (is it too late? Ha!). I could go on all day.

I'm still a childless infertile, so I don't have any 'bad' mommy moments, but when my niece was here a few months ago I told her Thunder was God being mad at her because she wasn't going to bed like a good girl. Ha.

Fable is getting so big! I loved her belly laugh video.

weirdo_mom | 4:49 PM

When the story first broke out, I was a little judgmental, I'll admit.

But honestly, think about this -- 100 years ago, it was COMMON for families to have 14 children. The family needed all the farmhands they could get.

Sometimes, the father might pass away and leave the mother to care for those 14 children alone. And the community would rally behind her. Someone would drop off extra milk, or eggs, or assist with harvesting this or that crop.

That mother likely would have moved back in with her family as well.

Sure, the context and conditions of the situations are different. These days it's rare to find families with that many children. But it's still a single mother, with a lot of children, living off the community's charity.

But one woman gets the sympathy of "You poor thing, you've been through so much" and the other receives, "You horrible woman, how dare you!"

When I think about it that way, I find its difficult to vilify or judge.

susan | 4:59 PM

The only problem I have with this octuplet birth is with the doctor. As an infertile that has gone through IVF, it is simply unethical to implant so many embryos. It goes against every bit of IVF medicine I have ever heard of. There was a TREMENDOUS danger to the mother and babies. Thankfully and miraculously it all turned out so well. I bet the odds were very slim for that.

What Nadya does and chooses to do with her family is her business. I don't think taxpayers should be asked to pick up the bill. Perhaps the doctor can do that.

Ray | 5:11 PM

“I personally feel like right now more than ever we should be standing beside each other, rather than tearing one another new assholes.”

^^It’s really nice that you wrote that because it’s true. It would be nice if the world could get together instead of judging (even though we ALL judge, myself included) and going at each other’s throats. Life would be easier to live in. It would be more worthwhile place to be in. But we all have our flaws and I think that’s what keeps us from standing beside each other.

I agree with you on the video where you said that you’d rather see your tax money go to Nadya as opposed to have the money go to prison systems. I completely agree on that. I’d rather my money go to seeing children thrive rather than murderers (though not everyone in prison is guilty but that’s a completely different story).

I did give my comment about Nadya on Dooce.com’s site (over 200 comments deep so it probably won’t be read) and though I was pretty respectful in my comment (saying most things that are common sense); I don’t know that I’d be able to say anything to her face. Because like you said, “Who are we to judge?” BUT: we are humans and judgment and gossip will forever be apart of us as long as there is breathe in our lungs. And I mean that in not that we should indulge in it 24/7, but we are aware of certain things and we can’t help that as soon as our brain computes our thoughts into our hearts; emotions spread. And those emotions can’t help but be spoken/written down. We just have to keep in mind what you wrote that it could hurt someone’s feelings. So we should be careful what we write. And remember like you wrote, “that three fingers will be pointed at us.” That I know.

Wendy | 5:17 PM

I believe that she can keep the kids... until DFS determines that she is unfit, which will probably happen in a few years when she is no longer in the news and is no longer getting pity donations. She has made an irresponsible decision to have so many children. I would feel differently if she had a husband/partner, more family support, and a way to support them NOW (not at some future point after she graduates from college--- like that is any guarantee of income these days).

As for myself, I am embarrassed that my newborn stares at the TV, and that I let her because I want to watch it.

Anonymous | 5:22 PM

Here is what I have to say about the situation. She may love all of her children. Coming from a family of 8 my parents loved all of us. However, most of us didn't truly believe that until we had our first child. This was because neither of my parents had time to spend with us because they were always working or helping out with a younger sibling. I really hope that she finds a good social network to help her and those children out.

I fully believe that there should be limit on the number of embryos implanted because of the risks to the mother and children. Doctors don't just implant any old organ because it is there. They make sure that you have the best chance of survival before implanting.

As for my confession. My 2 year old often says F*ck under his breath when he is frustrated.

braiding mommy | 5:57 PM

Geez. Now I remember why I never really read comments anymore...

Kids watch too much tv. Eat too much sugar. Don't eat enough veggies. Are too spoiled. Don't sleep when they should. On and on and on blah, blah blah. If anyone can get their kid doing *everything* like they should, and not turn themselves/their kids into a nutcase at the same time, then great, you get a medal.

Rebecca, thank you for pointing out that with every finger we point, more point back. Maybe that's why everyone just seems to LOVE jumping down someone else's throat. Sure takes the attention of anything anyone else does wrong.

The 14-babies-with-the-screwed-up-mom story is tragic. Wasting time going on and on about it doesn't help those babies one bit. Start telling people when and what they can do reproductively and you sure start on a slippery slope. How about trying to do something positive in the world for someone you know needs help, rather than yell about someone you don't know and kids you most likely can't help? Maybe if more of us started doing this, there would be less room for such sad stories.

cocosmalls | 6:10 PM

i have just read all the comments here and on momversation and honestly i have a few thoughts:

1. i refused to watch any of the coverage because its bullshit and i would rather play video games with my 3 yr old (yah i am mom of the year). so i did not know this was SUCH a big issue. i am shocked.

2. whats the point is discussing if it was right or not now. if we dont support her kids they will end up a disaster-that is certain.

3. i glad people have done it right and are sharing that story but you are not her. people make bad choices-some more serious than others. pointing that out, i am glad that makes people feel better about making the right choice but honestly how are the two connected? why they are so frustrated with this woman? There are millions of people in CA, that means each of us contributed about $5 to her. thanks i have blown more than that in the dollar store.

4. i like to make lists-can you tell?

seriously though, we get that she did something stupid. i am sure there is not a person out there who is like dude this is awesome. but what is getting up an arms about this going to do? nothing productive.

get up in arms about something that can be changed, Prop 8, Darfur, you kids schools underfunding, losing music in your community. let's channel our limited mommy free time into something big and real. (see sufferage movement for example).

Issas Crazy World | 7:30 PM

I feel more irritation at the doctor than at her, although...if you can't afford to feed the six you have, please don't have eight more. That being said, I think Nadya is sick and needs help. A good therapist to start. But that doctor was just way outta line. She could have died. That's not worth the attention he's getting.

Me, hell I have so many things I could be judged one, that its not even funny. I have three kids, so I'll give you three. I didn't breastfeed. My girls have their own iPods and DVD players for trips. And last um....today I tweeted that my kid stayed home, just to watch her sisters movies and then a few hours later had to take her to the ER with a 105 fever. Mom O' the year.

Karen L | 7:37 PM

I think the reproductive and parental rights implications of this story are important. I'm glad that the story has provoked discussion but I'm quite disappointed in the level of the discourse in the general public.

I've gotten a sense from reading about this story that there is a lot of misguided peer-pressure on those who are pro-choice to be _100%_ pro-choice on all reproductive matters because any equivocation is tantamount to being anti-choice.

Can we really not have nuanced positions? A collective attempt to find a balance is of course doomed to fail. There is no perfect balance. But is that to say that the best solution is no balance at all, ere we risk sliding off the other end of the slippery slope?

For example, I think that most people who ascribe to a pro-choice position do have some line on term limits. They might not support abortion on demand at 32 weeks for example, others might say 28, or 24, or 20, or 16. There's no perfect number. Is that to say that there can be no professional or legal guideline? Similarly, many people will think that there is _a_ number of embryos that is too big, though it would vary from case to case.

A similar dilemma of balance occurs in the "state-interference" issue. There is a balance to be achieved again. Must we say that the state has no right to interfere in any way, lest children get snatched away from their families with complete disregard to the civil liberties of the parents?

Even those who describe themselves as libertarians might approve of some level of what others would call "interference" in extreme situations, which clearly this is. For example, they may feel it is wise for someone to identify families with 10 or 8 or 6 or 4 children under the age of two as "at risk," which might entail some periodic interviews or supervision by public health nurses and/or social workers.

Now, that I've judged the general public to be unsophisticated, let me 'fess up too. People would judge me because...

I know in my heart that I was a more valuable employee when I was childless. I get less out of my vocation (I'm a teacher) now because I put in less. The same is not true for my husband. Talk about selling out the sistas - or maybe just myself.

Heather | 7:49 PM

I think your point about getting into reproductive rights in a good one. Hadn't looked at it like that.

I think if Nadya were in front of me, I would just offer to help. The kids are here. Nothing can change that. (That's me aiming for the high-road.)

The other day Miles was mugging his sister and driving me crazy. I yelled at him, "Stop fucking around!"

Gold star for me.

mattandvicky | 8:41 PM

Ever since this story broke, as a mom of twins I have had the fabulous opportunity to talk to EVERYONE I run into about the Octomom. Seriously, the mailman, the cashier, even people at church want to stop me to tell me what they think about Nadya's situation! They want to tell me how much they dislike IVF, her decision and everything about it. THANK YOU!

Today in the grocery store a random stranger stopped me and asked how many eggs I had put in to get 2 babies! REALLY, just because this lady made what everyone thinks is a bad decision, now strangers think it is okay to ask me that!

Having 2 babies is incredibly hard, I cannot imagine having 8. I do think the doctor who put 8 eggs in her should rethink what he is doing.

However in the end the real issue is that it is not our business. Not anymore than my decision to go through IVF and have twins is anyone elses decision.

Stacy | 9:05 PM

My son will be 2 years old on Sunday.

I really, really, really, really, REALLY, R-E-A-L-L-Y want another baby. So bad that I have dreams about babies every single night and I cry every time I see a Johnson & Johnson commercial.

But we don't have health insurance anymore. My husband got laid off from him supposedly permanent, awesome job, and his new job doesn't offer benefits (not that I'm complaining, because in this economy we're just lucky that he HAS a job).

So we pay for the expensive, crappy private hospitalization insurance (in case of accident or major illness), pay out of pocket for everything else (our son's vaccinations, visits for the flu, etc), and keep putting off having another child (by way of condoms, because they're cheaper than the birth control pills that my nonexistent insurance doesn't cover anymore).

I have a friend who, when she became pregnant with her second child, lied and said that she and her husband were separated so that she could qualify for Medicaid. She suggested I do the same. But I won't. I know it would probably be very easy to do. I know that I probably wouldn't ever get caught. And I'd get my baby, free of charge.

But it is not the responsibility of taxpayers to fund my personal wishes. We can't afford another child right now. So we won't have one. No matter how much I want one.

So, what would I say to Nadya?

"Nadya, you are a very selfish person. Just because you want something doesn't mean you can, or should, get it. But more than the fact that you are abusing public resources, you are hurting your children. Because even though you may think that all they need is love, we all know that that isn't realistic. They will do without. They will suffer. Because of YOUR selfishness."

But having said all of that, if she were my next-door neighbor, I would be over at her house every day rocking babies and changing diapers. Because those kids are here now, and nothing will change that. They deserve love, and hope, and opportunities. I pray that they receive all that and more.

***And my not-yet-two-year-old has all the words to the first half of The Lion King memorized. Impressive for him, not so much for me.***

Jaime Lynne | 9:47 PM

So I live in Canada and it's not really affecting me persay, but I can't help but feel so sorry for those poor children and worry for their future!
i really think that her doctor should have refused to do it. I think he should have his licence taken away.

I may not be the perfect mother, I have a 2 1/2 year old & I let him drink from a bottle because he wants to. ( he drinks from normal cups too, but he likes his bubbas ) I let him eat in front of the tv because he actually eats. I bribe him with ice cream to eat his meat and veggies.

But I know enough to not have 14 kids just because I love them and want them... Love does not keep them fed, keep clothes on their backs, keep them in a home.
and I would tell her to her face that she's Fu*ked.

Joann | 10:18 PM

I can't begin to understand Nayda nor do I try, it is truly beyond me...but what I do understand is how remarkable the babies are and that they survived this pregnancy. One way or another they will be cared for, if not by her then maybe by us...this is certainly not their fault

Rachel | 10:27 PM

As a foster parent (and a behavioral foster parent at that!) I honestly cannot believe that Nadya would have the gall to bring more lives into the world when she already has 3 special needs children to take care of.

My husband and I had 3--count em--3 behavioral boys in our home at once, ages 8, 7, and 5, all at the same time, and it was all I could do not to scream and cry and throw my own tantrums and wonder what on earth had made me want to change the world in THIS way? Okay, so I did do that several times.

Our children had/have ADHD, autism, and were bi-polar, diagnoses similar to the ones Nadya's 3 special needs children are. I had/have a husband helping me 7 days a week. Nadya's mom says she's done and now there are 8 more kids, some of which will more than likely have their share of special needs as well, being multiples and with the past family medical history.

How in the world does she think she can handle that? Without proper handling, care, medication, teaching, etc., these kids could develop serious issues in the future, thus costing the tax payers even more money if and when they become institutionalized for whatever reason (jail, residential treatment, whatever).

For that reason, among many others, I think the state needs to step in and provide services NOW. The goal of any children's division is to keep families united, not to take kids away forever unless absolutely necessary. They need to help Nadya create a plan for success, show proof of income and housing just like EVERY OTHER PERSON whose children are in the system, and work to keep that family together. If Nadya can't hack it, then the children need to be placed in homes with people that can make sure they are raised properly.

And to judge myself, I more than once went out to buy the boys new underwear rather than force myself to do yet another load. And let them watch the Harry Potter movies before we finished the books. And yelled sometimes when I should have laughed.

Tina Nanez | 10:31 PM

I think it's very selfish what she did. I feel for the children, it's not fair to them. They didn't ask to be brought into this world...or shall i say in that environment.

I have a baby on the way and I'm trying to figure out the expenses for day care, diapers, clothing etc... not to mention a plan to start saving for his or her college tuition and this is only for 1 child!!

Rebecca, "Have the doctor attach a couple of extra arms" - LOL good one, point definitely taken!!

Nila | 11:47 PM

I do hope that someone steps up to help her out, but it is hard not to judge her. The plastic surgery, the perfect french manicure, all of the money spent on IVF, her own mother saying that she's crazy. There are so many factors that have led to all of the judging. It's not just about having a butt load of kids. She just seems so unrealistic. She thinks that she will be able to afford her kids after she's done with her education. My mom has a Master's in Social work and I can tell you from first hand experience that a MSW's salary is not enough.
I know I sound judgemental and you were trying to be all peace and love about this but you have to worry about the welfare of all of those children. Letting your child sleep with a pacifier is not even close to being on the same scale of the position that she's put her children in.

Carolyn | 1:39 AM

What I find so hard to take about Nadya Suleman is that She. Does. Not. Care. She isn't thinking about her new babies or her older children or her parents who are clearly at their wits' end and have no idea what to do. She. Does. Not. Care. that she is taking advantage of the system as evidenced by her using student loan money to pay for IVF and plastic surgery.

What I am trying so hard to remind myself of is that she is mentally ill. The woman who was interviewed by Ann Curry had no contact whatsoever with reality. I am trying to remind myself that this is a sick woman who was badly, badly failed by her doctor. No competent doctor would transferred Six! embryos into a healthy woman under thirty five with five (or four? I can't remember how many sets of twins she has) previous IVF successes. I think it's pretty questionable whether a competent physician would've agreed to provide a delusional woman with fertility treatments at all. She is sick. She needs psychiatric help and I hope she gets it. That is what I'm trying to remind myself of.

Mistakes? Hell yes. I'm not a mother yet and I wonder every day if I ever will be, all due to mistakes I've made.

Anonymous | 4:17 AM

IF she's being truthful, Suleman has admitted being implanted with six embryos per pregnancy. Times 7 = 42. The amount of ovarian overstimulation to get that amount of eggs is mind boggling in and of itself. This was the first chance for the doctor to say- Whoa! Let's consider 42 embryos as being excessive. Then the pregnancies one after another. There's another risk factor. Pregnancy is hard on the body, multiple pregnancies even more so. Again, doctor continued to implant her. Then there was the issue of her stability. I don't care how much money she got from her settlement or how much she was able to pay for the treatments, the doctor should have said- Whoa! After two or three children in as many years.

I experienced infertility. I did ART. I was ovulating on 50 mg of Clomid and didn't get pregnant and we moved onto ART. They wanted me to take 100 mg. I said no. I took the 50mg. I had two follicles. I gave birth to twins.

Doctors really need to take some responsibility and invest some judgement in EVERY SINGLE OPPORTUNITY FOR A MULTIPLE BIRTH. I very well could have had triplets or more had I taken the 100 mg of Clomid that was RECOMMENDED. I was a little more cautious than the doctors and nurses.

If you look at the McCaughey septuplets, there was a lack of medical ethics there, too. Because their first child required high dose injectables, they ASSUMED that it would be necessary for subsequent pregnancies and just went right on ahead and seven babies later....

There is obviously a lack of guidelines, medical attention, and in the case of Suleman, a doctor w/o one whit of sense or sane judgement. We, as patients, can't all be as savvy as I was in choosing NOT to follow medical advice. THEY are the experts, why the hell don't they act like it instead of letting folks like Suleman and the McCaugheys take "reproductive choice" to an extreme that should have never been allowed in the first place?

prufrockn | 5:06 AM

First of all, this woman has a deeper emotional need that no brood of children will ever fill. I have to think--did the novelty of six newborns wear off, making her anxious and desperate for more little ones? She must have some deep-seated restlessness.

Second, from what I know a person cannot default on their student loans; that is, even if you declare bankruptcy, you're still required to pay back the full amount. So even if Nadya Suleman takes out $200,000 in student loans, she will be responsible for every penny. That takes care of the welfare question.

Third, this has just as much to do with boundaries as it does personal decision-making. At what point (if any) did Nadya's parents tell her that if she had more kids, she should not count on them to be full-time babysitters? That another pregnancy would mean "get your own place"? Her parents failed to exercise their right of "nuh-uh, no way, not gonna happen." Don't know much about her family, but there seems to be some difficulty with setting limits? On one hand I pity her parents, but on the other I wonder how much they are enabling her.

Overall, just sad. This woman is desperately looking for some kind of love she never had.

Katy | 5:13 AM

Miranda,

It is not about the government "telling" her how many kids she can have. If she did this, but had the means to take care of these children, and was mentally stable, then I would be singing a different tune. I don't think it is right that she loaded her body with embryos, but if she can take care of them, so be it...

She can't. She hasn't.... And if she was a poor, black woman in the ghetto, those kids would have been taken away without a single outcry from the media or "mommy" community.

This woman is over $60,000 in debt. Her parents lost their home because of her, when she only had 6 children. They are losing their current home. She has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to have children she cannot take care of, as well as plastic surgery instead of using that money to TAKE CARE OF HER CHILDREN.

She isn't well. She admits to having problems that influenced these poor decisions.

These children need to be put into a safe and stable environment, until this woman can stabilize herself and finances.....

As I said, if this was a "poor" woman in the ghetto, we would not even be having this discussion.

Katy | 5:16 AM

Pru, you most certainly can default on your student loans. The only debt you cannot default on are back taxes.

Holly | 5:42 AM

For me it comes down to reproductive responsibility.

Holly | 5:54 AM

My bad parenting: I fell asleep and forgot to pick up my kid from school. I curse a lot. I've let her take a sip of wine.

I take the Nadya thing waaaaay too personally. My husband and I are on year 3 of trying to have a second child. Our insurance will pay for hCG shot and clomid. They will *NOT* pay for IUIs or IVF. And those procedures will stretch our budget in ways that neither of us are comfortable with. Do I want octuplets? No, that would stretch my sanity in ways I'm not comfortable with. I'm screaming that it's not fair for her to be so financially irresponsible. It infuriates me because I can't take a chunk out of my savings to have that baby I've been dreaming about if it meant relying on 'public assistance'

Sass E-mum | 6:02 AM

I read your post half way through writing about something completely different. Or so I thought.

Anyhoo, this is how it turned out: http://onestrangelylushmother.blogspot.com/2009/02/all-about-cute-stuff.html

Oh. And I take my daughter to the pub. Shame on me. We have fun.

Beckie | 6:40 AM

I love how you express yourself so thoughtfully. So before I write about Nadya I'll own up.

I rarely eat meals at home with my son. (I let him eat in his room because the sounds he makes with his mouth while eating drive me batshit crazy.) I curse. I listen to music that's uncensored when we're in the car. I've sent him to school when he said he didn't feel good, but stayed home "sick" from work for no real reason. Judge away.

The thing that worries me the most about Nadya is that I don't think she's mentally stable. She wanted a big family because she was an only child. I get that. But 6 wasn't enough? That's mighty big by today's standards - and WAY bigger than being an only child. Now she has 14. How do we know she'll stop now? Using children to fill a void is the true slippery slope because if you aren't happy from within how can you expect a child to fill that for you? When 15 year old girls go on Maury screaming that they want a baby because a baby will love them unconditionally, Maury sends them to a shrink and some bootcamp. Did the doctor that did her IVF not think to recommend a psychiatric evaluation? Because I LOVED your arm analogy, but if you seriously went to a plastic surgeon asking for an extra arm he'd refer you to a shrink in an instant. I don't think the government stepping in is a valid response to this, mostly because I see Nadya as the exception not the norm. Hopefully though, the doctors will ban together and set some serious guidelines about getting a psychiatric consult in select cases. In my humble opinion I see that as a positive approach in moving forward. As for the kids...my heart goes out to them.

Sarah | 6:43 AM

My best friend got pregnant at 18, and the father was not involved. While her actions were not very smart, there was no changing the consequences. So I bought baby presents and was one of the first people to hold her son. And five years later, he loves to see Aunt Sarah, and she is working hard to make a good life for him.

Sometimes you just have to say, well, that was stupid, but let's make the most of it, and be a good friend. And that is definitely what Nadya and her children need right now.

mrs. q. | 7:09 AM

I was one of those 'how dare she!' people... horrified at her choices and scared for those children (and her own mother's sanity!)

Then I saw an interesting piece this morning. Nadya is deeply religious, and she outright asked her mother (who has been very vocal in her disapproval of her daughter's choices) if she should have destroyed the 6 remaining embryos (two split) rather than had them implanted.

gulp.

After we watched this exchange on TV, my husband and I discussed what we may have done. Fertility experts told us we would need IVF; however, luck, a few miracles and some surgeries later produced two wonderful children. We never had to face what we would have done with any remaining embryos, if we had any leftover from IVF.

Could we destroy them? (Although we are spiritual, we are NOT pro-life; but these would/could be our children)

Could we donate them?

Would we keep them forever frozen in a state of limbo until science gave us more options?

I hoped I would have the courage to donate them to a couple desperate to have a child of their own. But...

These are my children's SIBLINGS. I don't think I could donate without knowing where they went. Can you imagine bumping into a child someday that looks like your son? And finding out he is? What if your daughter grows up, falls in love with someone who shares her likes and dreams-- only to find out this person is her biological sibling? [shudder]

I feel quite blessed that my husband and I could have a theoretical discussion. For many parents, these decisions are all too real.

mrs. q. | 7:12 AM

I forgot to add-- I'm NOT a super mom. My almost-two-year-old daughter sleeps with me while my husband usually passes out in my four-year-old son's bedroom after getting him to sleep. And I let the kids snack on Froot Loops this morning.

Loukia | 7:13 AM

Damn, I thought I was a great mom and I let my 3 year old:

- use a bottle for milk when he wants,
- use a pacifier whenever he wants;
- let him stay up almost daily until midnight to watch Transformers after I've tried to put him to bed and after we read all our books;
- If he sees a McDonald's and says " I want McDonald's!" - even though he just ate, I'll stop there and get him a happy meal.
- I forget to tell him to brush his teeth every other day.
- He eats way too much chcolate. So does my 1 year old.
**Is this all really bad mothering?

As for the mom of 14 kids, or however many she has, I simply don't know how she is going to do it. I don't know if you can give each child the attention and love they so deserve. I'm thinking, no, they can't all be loved as much as they should, or hugged as much as they should be. I think she was a bit wrong in her decision to have so many kids, considering her situation. It's a sad world, really, and I'm glad there is so much attention being paid to her, so at least she'll be making some money and will receive some help with raising her kids. But I don't think she made the best decision.

Frosty | 7:52 AM

I would just like to know why, if she is on welfare and collecting food stamps, does she spend money on acrylic nails and Starbucks runs. Doesn't seem like an intelligent or thoughtful way to spend California's money.

I don't have kids but you asked us to mention something we do that could be judged. I buy liquor on my credit cards when I don't have the cash for it. (I know, that's really trashy.)

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com | 9:14 AM

I feel like I've just commented on about fifty posts about this topic lol. And essentially, even though I disagree with her choices, I am a full-fledged supporter of reproductive rights - of the fertile and infertile both - and I keep coming back to the fact that the decisions she made? Are made. It's done. My responsibility now, as a member of her community, as someone who lives a stone's throw from her house, is to support her as I would support any mother, regardless of whether or not I always agreed with her.

Also, I've not had my baby yet, but I did eat an alot of chocolate the other day just to feel the baby kick. I know, I know, caffeine and the evils of processed sugars are going to ensure that my child pops out with horns, but they'll be really cute horns, I'm sure =)

Amber | 9:22 AM

"The babies are here, the kids are here, the money isn't here. Help is needed.

Then again, I'm just a fifteen year old girl. So what do I know?"

You know a lot more than you think you do, we could all learn a thing or two from you, I think.

toyfoto | 9:46 AM

I don't really have anything to say to Nadya. I don't know her. I can't presume to know what her life is like. I can guess, but that's all I can do.

But when my husband wondered aloud why she was getting her nails done and her haircut . ... I told him to ZIP IT! Who are we to decide how she spends a dollar and a cent? The world has bigger problems. ... The CEOs are STILL getting their multi-million dollar bonuses -- the people who sold us this box of shit -- and yet we quibble about how the poor spend their pocket change?

The problem isn't at the bottom, it's at the top.

emilie | 10:55 AM

If I met the infamous Nadya? I'd offer to babysit a few at a time.

Poor choices aside, the girl needs HELP. C'mon ladies, have some compassion.

Good for you, Rebecca- this needed to be said.

ikke | 11:16 AM

"The problem isn't at the bottom, it's at the top." This is so well said. We shouldn't all be turning on eachother (and on single moms) when times are hard.... We should be turning on the millionaires!

Roxy | 11:25 AM

I don't care that she had another 8 kids. I don't care how she spends her money. I don't care how she spends her time. I don't care because it's none of my business....plain and simple.

What I do care about is that her kids are raised in a safe home, treated well, and hopefully loved. If she can't make that happen the state certainly will place them in homes where those needs will be met.

I think some of you need to back off and just understand that it's not something you can control nor should you try to control. Let the woman get on with her life and try to do the best she can for her family. Isn't that what we all want?

Anonymous | 11:26 AM

www.duggarfamily.com

Di | 11:45 AM

It's complicated. I think she's free to have as many children as she wants, as long as she's able to support them, which she isn't. The chances of having the 8 babies was 0.0001% but still, it was a chance and it happened. I read today that she'll soon have no home because her Mom hasn't been paying her rent. Now what?

In spite of all this I don't think she should have her kids taken away from her. And I hope she gets all the help she needs.

The Grown Up Teenager | 12:09 PM

Dear Nadya,

You're incredibly selfish for having as many children as you do. You're a burden to your family, your friends, and now American taxpayers. You've said that you were having children to try to fix loneliness that you experienced as a child. A child doesn't need 13 siblings to avoid loneliness.

You brag that you hold each of your babies for 45 minutes a day. That's fine and well, when the older 6 are being cared for outside the hospital by someone else, and the other 7 are being attended to by nurses. How do you plan to manage giving any of them ANY reasonable attention when they come home?

I think you have many mental issues from your past, and in all sincerity, I wish you would spend more money and time on a therapist instead of a publicist.

Signed, Me.

I could go on for days about how foolish I think she's being, but I won't. And to everyone who's bringing up the idea that families of 14 used to be the norm, keep in mind that those families didn't have 8 infants at a time.

Now to do my part and point out my imperfection: I'm not a mom yet, but I have a "niece" (best friend's daughter). We were at the park, and I told her we had to leave (she was about 14 months old), and she didn't want to, so I picked her up. She arched her back to try to squirm away from me, and hit head her on the metal jungle gym behind her. She only got a tiny bump on her head out of it, but I'm not sure who was crying more in the car, her or me.

Erin | 1:02 PM

Anonymous pointed to the Duggar family, yet another family exploited by America's fasication with large families, and I think that's the complete opposite of what the issue at hand should be. Just because you have 18 kids, or in Nayda's case, 14, doesn't make you irresponsible. I mean, you can look at our grandparents generation to discover that 12-13-14 kids weren't as uncommon as today.
The Duggar family may have 18 children, but they have one loving father and one loving mother that make their children their world. They provide for their family with their own money, not take advantage of government handouts. They have no mortgage susceptible to foreclosure, yet they aren't out scouting for a 1.37 million dollar home either. They don't disrepect their parents when they are on TV either, as Ms. Suleman did to her parents. The Duggars are an example of 14+ kids goen right, albiet natural. What I'm getting at is don't get mad at th fact she has 14 kids, as that act is not irresponsible in itself.

I think Nayda is selfish, rude, and needs some serious mental help. I think her "dr." needs to lose his license for malpractice.

Me? Not a parent yet, but I know I will come with my own set of faults. Heck, I tell my husband that our dog causes me to drink (in joking...um, sometimes) so I can imagine when we have kids.

MLB | 1:10 PM

I think the issue here is not Nadya - it's the doctor who transferred 8 embryos. And I am not in favor of some legal structure regulating fertility treatment, but I am in favor of ethical guidelines and self-policing. I'm an attorney - I'm a member of multiple bars - I can be barred from practice or censured without being subject to some sort of criminal sanction. In my opinion, that's the structure that should be in place and at work here. That doctor should not be permitted to practice medicine with judgment that permits him to transfer 8 embryos into a woman with 6 children, little to no income, and possibly mental illness.

tanyetta | 2:07 PM

I would tell her this:

Surround yourself with a few trusted friends or relatives, pray and take one day at a time.

GingerB | 3:27 PM

I think it is important to note that as we "judge" this situation we need to separate the decision to have kids from the decision to live in such as way as to need government assistance. As a tax and spend liberal, I am pretty happy to see tax dollars used to help people who need help, to benefit the needs of the affected kids, but I am happier if they are learning the skills of self-sufficiency, such that help may not need to be permanent. However, having a high number of children has never been a basis to remove kids. A commenter here states that no one would think twice of taking these kids from a ghetto mother, but in many states the exact opposite is true - regardless of where a child lives he/she will only be taken where there is tanglibe proof of a future threat to health or safety. In my state, a "parents' rights" state, no child gets removed because the mom is nutso or a prolific reproducer. It isn't enough to crush a child's spirit, the state will only act when the child's body is in peril, because we value the right of the parents to raise children as they see fit. The decision to reproduce and with what quantity of children is entirely separate.

And I think we judge because we feel better about ourselves when we compare our actions to others', sad though that may be. We might all be using TV as a babysitter and using foul language but we feel less crappy as moms than we would if we knew we could only give two hugs per day per child because the timing wouldn't allow for anything else. I say we give ourselves a break and just not pay for the media versions of Ms. Suleman's story. Didn't our grandmothers say something like least said, soonest mended? Face it moms, we just don't suck that badly. Ahem, my daughter watches TV because it is convenient for me while I pay attention to baby #2 in the limited time frames available to a working mom.

Anniereese | 4:19 PM

I've never commented before, but I read a lot of blogs and a lot of comments, and I just wanted to say how impressed I am with the intelligence and compassion you all demonstrate.

Rebecca alluded to the horrors that can be found in many comments sections and I have to admit with a topic this controversial I expected the usual name-calling and thoughtless attacks. I was very wrong. What an amazing group of interesting and varied responses. It just goes to show, we can express our opinion without resorting to childishness. Thanks for showing me how thought provoking and inspiring the internet can be.

another Rebekah Woolf | 5:24 PM

I for one could in no way meet the needs of 14 kids - rich or poor, married or single, that is an INSANE number of children. I'm not comfortable with a person having a baby to satisfy some emotional need in herself that she thinks will be filled with a child, or children and I don't think it is the responsibility of kids to make their parents feel happy or fulfilled. I hope to have one child because I feel that is what my husband and I can happily and responsibly care for and so that we can be the best parents we can be. Its not about money (though we don't have much of that) but rather about our desire to be attentive and involved in our child's life and being introspective enough to recognize our own strengths and shortcomings.

Kate | 6:07 PM

I talk about the crazy mom here:
http://www.recommendeddailydose.com/?page_id=460

You have to scroll down aways. I think she's just plain crazy. But it begs the question how many kids should one be able to have? Should there be limitations put on people?

LIBERTY POST EDITOR | 6:15 PM

This whole scene is very scary. It is quite possible that anything could happen to anyone if the masses or majority or media make a decision to oust you. We all need to rethink this one. I can't bare the thought of any baby being taken from their mama. P.S. I am pro-choice, very liberal and a mother of 4.

Pickle's mom | 6:41 PM

GGC,
I don't really have anything to add that hasn't already been said. In the end, I just hope that the babies and their other siblings have happy and healthy lives.
I do, however, want to comment on the pointing fingers thing. How very wise of you to ask that while we may have negative things to say to Nadya, we all have things that we do as parents(or child free folks) that aren't particularly awesome.
I got pregnant at 21, wasn't really "dating" the father, but kept my baby anyway. It was the best decision I ever made. I have raised him completely on my own with no support (financial or otherwise) from the father. He is 8 years old now and is my world. I let him watch too much television, eat too many sweets, and only make him shower every other day (GASP!). The other day when he was throwing a ridiculous fit, I yelled at him, "what the f*ck is your problem?" Not a high point in my life, but I apologized and we moved on. Thank you, Rebecca, for helping us see that while we may not agree with Nadya's choices, we are not perfect, either.

amyinbc | 10:14 PM

I love dogs. If I thought I could afford or spend enough time with desired dogs I would have 14! But I cannot afford 14 dogs with vet bills, grooming/clipping fees, having them all spayed or neutered. Feeding them high quality dog food and exercising each of them every day as their needs demonstrate. And some will need extra training and time to spend with their mom.

Nope. Am a middle class American with a healthy income and cannot do it. Because I know I can't.

Now if you turn this equation into babies and young children (3 with special needs) under the age of 8. Yeah, 14 of them; eight of which are ICU babies and you see my point.

I am completely unable and unwilling and incapable of emotionally/physically support 14 dogs; though I LOVE them so. What the hell makes this woman think she can do it with FOURTEEN young children???

messyfunmommylife | 1:55 AM

I am actually doing a presentation on this case Friday. Everyone I have talked to is outraged. Some were even thankful they might give the government the right to take the children away from her. EXCUSE ME! You want to give the government the right to take away your children becuase you have too many? Or you cannot afford them? Or is it because you are single? If it is any of those reasons how many other children would you like the government to take away. BUT don't we have a right to say what happens to these children. I mean we are raising them with our taxes. let me put this simply you have about as much right to telling her what to do with her kids as you do telling that lady down the street with six children living in a trailor working at walmart with a heavy crack addiction. There are alot of bad cases in the world. It is noones business but her own. If she thinks she can do this let her. noone is judging any of you for your parenting cases. ok rant over. i feel better. (I was responding to many of the negative nancies in the comments here)

Mirinda | 7:47 AM

Katy: There were many before and after me who pointed out the government had no business telling her or anyone else how many kids to say. But you singled me out, so I'll respond. And it's MirInda, not Miranda ;)

It is about the government TELLING people how many kids they can/cannot have because that is what's being shouted all across the nation right now. Infertility laws! Regulations! We need them now! Wrong.

Now it seems as though the lady has problems. But considering I am not a social worker who evaluates families and makes the decision for children to be removed from their home I don't feel comfy calling that one out. Had you or I sat down and done the job of a social worker on this exact case then I think we could determine if she can care for her kids.

There are crappy parents everywhere, whether it be in the county backwoods, the ghetto or the city. We all have faults and make mistakes as parents and even say sometimes things that we may not mean/feel in a normal moment. Since you do not have children I don't expect you to understand but parents have a different perspective: Don't be too quick to judge another parent.

So to clarify I was not talking about the state removing her children. If they follow the proper channels and find her unfit then so be it. It's not my job.

Beyond that the government does not EVER need to be allowed to make laws that prohibit the amount of children you can have thru IVF or any other fertility treatment, etc etc etc. It is a slippery slope that we do not need to go down.

I wonder if the people supporting that are Pro-Choice? Because isn't that the platform: Women have a right to choose what to do with their own bodies? The argument that the babies didn't have any say into being born is void. The babies that are murdered didn't have a say when it came to a chance of life or not. People can't have it both ways and defend one but scream against the other.

You're right, if this was in the ghetto it would NOT be an issue. The sad reason is that poor women who live in those circumstances often have multiple abortions. I know this because I am Pro Life and work with this cause. I've met women in the "ghetto" who've had sometimes as many as 10 or MORE abortions. I say if women can make that choice then they can have as many darn babies as they want. If children are in harms way THEN the government should step in and only then. That was my point.

My word verification is octivess LOL

Anonymous | 7:52 AM

I don't really have an opinion on her parenting skills/readiness/ability/financial plan. I completely agree that no one - NO ONE - should be able to tell a woman when or how many children to have. That's a scary thought.

My comment is about medical and technological norms. I once took a course call 'Ethics, Genetics and Reproduction' where the professor emphasized that there are an unfathomable number of things that we 'could' do, meaning things that are scientifically plausible. BUT just because we 'can' doesn't mean we 'should.'

He also emphasized that in most cases new technologies are introduced far before social norms form to regulate them. I think this is a perfect example of what has gone on here.

In my opinion, this case comes down to the fact that there is absolutely no reason why a woman - especially a woman who is clearly receptive to fertility treatment given that she's had successful IVF before - should have six embryos implanted. It is excessively dangerous for the mother and the children, and as we know physicians are generally prohibited from performing treatments that are wantonly dangerous without additional medical benefit.

No one should be able to request reckless medical treatment, especially when unborn children are being put in danger. Not the rich, not the poor.

-KH

JessicaToday | 9:17 AM

Mirinda: I totally agree with you.
As a student working on her degree to go into the family services/human services sector I think its insane for anyone on the outside to make any sort of judgment call on a families behalf. To say things like "she should have her kids taken away" How can people be so accusations? How would they feel if someone on the outside of their world caught a skewed glance at their parenting abilities and said "take her kids away"! If you are not her case worker, you don't know what you are talking about. All you know is what the mass media is telling you to think. You are getting edited interviews and slanted portraits of who this woman is. You do not have the right to make a judgment call about her life no matter how much you are telling yourself "its for the children". Children need their mother. Just because she is not perfect does not mean she shouldn't have her children. Just because she hasn't made the decisions that are OK with society doesn't mean she should have her reproductive rights yanked. Its sick and sad how quick people are to put themselves in the position to tell someone else what to do with their family. Its ridiculous. You cannot know all the details unless you have all the facts. And like you said, its not our job its her social workers. So let the people who have the degrees and resources and experience evaluate this woman who is being unjustly strung up and set on fire by our society.

JessicaToday | 9:19 AM

oops... i meant "accusatory" not accusations. Third sentence in.

Amber (cardassianvole) | 10:27 AM

You know, if she was right in front of me I would have many questions for her, and I would want to make sure she understood the ramifications of her actions. First up would be "What were you thinking? I mean really? Do you SEE how some people might interpret your behavior as selfish, or abnormal, or frightening?"

Then, I would say, in your heart of hearts, do you really believe that you can take care of all of these children, and do you feel that the people of California should feel good about supporting your family if not? Do you understand how some people might be put off by this?

I don't feel sorry for her in the slightest. I don't feel like she was taken advantage of--she knew perfectly well what she was doing. I DO feel INCREDIBLY sorry for her children, whose lives aren't going to be easy, through no fault of their own. And you know what? I bet a lot of those California taxpayers--myself included--wouldn't feel so angry about the possibility of supporting Nadya and her brood if she spoke out with even one IOTA of remorse or understanding for the burden she will place on a state that can't even afford to fund its schools. If she even said "I know this will be difficult, and I am sorry for that--but please look at these beautiful children, and I will do whatever I can to help out." That's all she needs to say! But instead she comes off as clueless and greedy--at best. It's very sad.

Katy | 10:56 AM

Mirinda,

To state that you are against the government regulating how many children a woman can or cannot have, and then stating that you are pro-life, is pretty hypocritical. So, you don't want the government to not let women have babies, but you want them to make women who don't want babies, have them?

Right.

It totally invalidates any point you are trying to make.

Also, just because I am not a mother, doesn't make my point invalid. I am a member of this society and I am affected by bad parenting decisions and bad parents just as much as people with children. I have a tendency not to feel too sorry for people who make decisions to put themselves into certain situations, such as Nadya Suleman.

I don't think the government should regulate a woman's reproductive rights at all, and I never claimed to. I do see this woman as financially, emotionally and logistically unable to care for 14 children. So do her parents, who are caring for the six that are at home right now.

If a woman is unable to care and provide (AND NO LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH)for her children, her children should be placed in stable environments until she is able to care for them, by herself. I feel terribly for these children. They are a result of selfish, crazy, greed. They are going to pay the rest of their lives for the poor decisions their mother made, and I think that is awful.

With all the people in the world who are so desperate to have their own children, who can't, who wait desperately for an adoption to finally go through..... It's just horrible that this woman and her doctor did this.

Heza Hekele | 11:42 AM

I'm not adding my two cents. I just want to say that I think you handled the subject brilliantly!

Anonymous | 1:17 PM

people keep mentioning that it used to be common to have 12-14 kids, but hello! the mortality rate was so much higher, and kids were often workers- on whatever family farm or business was keeping the food on the table. Parents needed to have kids to work, children were once married off for dowries or to make various connections between families which largely benefited the parents. Let's just remember that those were very very different times and children were often seen as property and sometimes an investment. Additionally birth control was not always an option!

Anonymous | 1:35 PM

I won't judge her. I am a single mom with two beautiful girls from IVF. I had 4 embryos implanted and my MD told me there was a less than 10% chance I would even be blessed with one baby, let alone multiples. If I had four actual develop, I would have dealt with it but am glad to have come out with two wonderful girls. Who knows what she was told and who knows the decision process she took to get there (not to mention the crazy chance that two embryos would split and she'd end up with 8 babies!!)

I am sorry she has 14 children to take care of and pray she gets the help she needs to take care of them emotionally, spiritually, and , yes, financially. There are 14 souls to nurture and develop. I hope everyone remembers those children first.

Quite a topic!

Andrea

Karen, Scott, & Jared | 3:17 PM

Rebecca, I love your compassion. You are so consistent and I love that. Thanks for this post. I was so hoping that Oprah would shell out the money yesterday when Nadya's dad was on the show just so those babies and kids could try to have a better life. Poof! Problems be gone. ;-) Living in LA, I have wanted to go over to the Suleman's house and volunteer some time holding the babies (or something!) when they come home from the hospital. Hope you are your little family are doing well! :-)

Mirinda | 5:01 PM

But Katy, it is valid. I'm Pro Life but never said I think our government should force a woman to have a baby, did I? No. But I can sure as heck try and convince her to do so without the government making a law for it. So unless you want my number and we can discuss for an hour or two I really can't tell you ALL my thoughts on the each issue, can I? :)

And I never said your point wasn't valid because you are not a mother. What I actually said is that AS a mother/parent it gives you a different perspective...on a lot of things, actually. Doesn't make your point invalid it's just coming from a different perspective than mine, as a parent.

amyinbc | 7:19 PM

http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2009/02/octomom-erupts-video-showdown-with-her-mom-over-babies.php

S.T. | 9:01 PM

It might not be right, but I judge her. I judge anyone who purposely has children she cannot afford. When you can't provide the basics for their survival -- housing, clothing, food, medical care -- you should not have children, imo. And that doesn't even address the question of how she will physically care for 14 children, eight of them the same age, and many of them with health problems. It was an incredibly irresponsible decision made by her and her doctor, and yes, I judge them both negatively for that decision.

I'm far from a perfect parent. One of my things is I spend a pathetically large amount of time sitting at this damned computer, time that could/should be spent with my kids.

http://wormsevisertateapples.blogspot.com/ | 10:35 PM

unmarried or not.
wealthy or poor.
these kids need
L O V E
no media

they will have many development issues growing up that has not even been brought up.
even just glasses are HUGE on on a little child.
i respect you for keeping your comments open...
as you will still hear both sides.
xoxo bec.

Katy | 6:55 AM

Being Pro-Life insinuates that you believe that Abortion should be illegal. In making Abortion illegal, the Government is then forcing a woman who would choose to terminate her pregnancy, have a child.

You can't have it just one way, Mirinda.

Indigo Children | 8:13 AM

I started to write a long long comment but decided to just write my own post: http://bodhibaby.blogspot.com/2009/02/grey.html

Thanks for bringing out the complexities in the issue.

Cole | 8:39 AM

De- lurking myself here....i have been reading for weeks and finally got to the new stuff.

My whole issue with "octomom" is the fact that we all know that her children are not going to get the one on one time that they need with their mom. She will have 8 newborns and several (well more than one i think) children with disablities....it's just not possible. I don't feel sorry for her, i feel sorry for the kids. And i worry about her coping with the pressure of it all. Sleep will not come easy for her in this house and i'm afraid of what might happen in a fit of sleep deprived rage....we all know that tiny things can set you off when you are sleep deprived...with most people it's a outburst and you are over it and you feel horrible (coming from someone who confesses screaming at her newborn daughter b/c SHE wouldn't stop screaming, damn acid reflux....) but will she be able to hold it together with 14 kids? She seems a little unstable as it is...it just makes me worry.

Ok confession time for me....my 4 year old daughter (the one i yelled at...love her, it was a bad day that week...lol) still sleeps in our bed most nights, eats pasta at least 2 nights a week (high protein varitey, but COME ON!!) and watches WAYYYYY to much TV. But she speaks better spanish than i do and her preschool teachers think she's the best thing since Play_Doh, she's NEVER (no joke) gotten in trouble at school either. My 8 year old son is already planning what tattoo's he wants to get when he turns 18 (i have 2....), we regularly bribe him with video game time and he LOVES WWE wrestling (i have the violence....sigh) BUT he is a gifted student and currently 2nd in his class, you win some and you lose some!!

Mirinda | 11:17 AM

But Katy....it might be insinuated to YOU or anyone else but go back and read my comment: I TOLD you (briefly) what I think on the issue. Geez. TOTALLY off topic now on the comments section of someone else's blog LOL Moooooving on...

Anonymous | 12:16 PM

She's a human not a dog. Why the fuck would you want 8 kids at once? That is completely crazy. I'm judgey judgemental, don't care. I don't see selective abortion as murder.

Anonymous | 5:51 AM

I got bored half way thru the comments so don't know if this was pointed out. But how the hell can she even afford IVF? Let alone all teh plastic surgery she has had. And isn't creepy that she looks like Angelina Jolie? And yes we should judge. Judgement gets a bad wrap. And last I heard there are rules/guidelines on the books in regard to how many embryos can/should be implanrd at a time but that most docs ignore them.

When talking about reproductive rights I think you need to seperate the 'natural' from the 'scientific'. Just becasue it's possible does not mean it should be done. I'm all or abortion. The more the better. This planet is dying from over population as it is.

And yeah, I'd say all thisto her face. with ut one second thought.

Anonymous | 1:43 PM

Perfect example of why the government steps in and butts their noses into our business...Yes, it's wonderful that we have reproductive "rights" in this country. But then along comes someone who obviously lacks good sense, having 14 kids that she can't support without handouts, to give people second thoughts...sort of like cell phone legislation...everyone KNOWS that talking on a cell phone while driving increases your odds of being involved in an accident, yet if it isn't strictly illegal, people do it all the time! My point being, when people lack good sense within the confines of a right or law, that's an invitation for government or other busy-body intervention. If people would just use their brains and exercise some self-control and stop being concerned only about their desires and the heck with everyone else (oh, except for their money), we would be a lot better off and enjoy more freedoms. Oh, and for my imperfect-mom confession, I've yelled at my son, and let him eat junk food.

L | 8:20 PM

I feel that the children will suffer--a lot--as a result of this decision. Love goes a long way but doesn't fill tummies, or send you to college. I also worry that with 14 kids, at least 12 will get lost in the shuffle.

--I forced: FORCED: my son to do something that he was totally scared of, in public, reducing him to screams and sobs. He did it, and we're both glad, but I think I might have been cruel or power tripping and I wonder if I shouldn't have just let him have his way.

robin | 11:38 PM

I read most of the comments but couldn't finish, it was taking SO LONG!

Here's my $.02.

I am one of the most judgmental people I know. So much so that I'm judging all the commenters who were judging Nadya. This isn't to say that I haven't judged Nadya myself. Sure I have. But...

I honestly, really and truly, believe that she has problems. We all do, right. But this is more. And saying this is the one time I'm NOT judging. There are many illnesses in the world. Some physical, some mental. I think she is sick. I don't say this with anger, as one might when speaking of a child molester. I just say it, as a statement. A fact. I would say it to her face, but people who are mentally ill and undiagnosed don't usually see it themselves. She would probably get angry/defensive. It may hurt her feelings. I probably wouldn't say it, unless I knew her really well.
When I think of her, I feel sad. For the babies, sure. Definitely. But also for her. For someone to be that lonely, that empty and lacking, that in need of friendship, support, positive regard from other humans, that they would attempt to remedy it with children, is just very, very sad, whether they have 1 child or 41. I wonder what happened in her life. I don't know her, her history, what her own parents are really like, but from what I can see on the surface, she loves all 14 of her own children far more than she was loved as a child. They will, at the very least, grow up knowing that, I'm sure she will make sure of it. Somehow.
I hope she gets the help she needs. I hope people reach out positively, and she's able to build connections, so that she can keep her children. And I hope she gets help for her own, deeper issues as well. The underlying reasons for the choices she made. Otherwise, unfortunately, even if she is able to raise all of her children to adulthood, she will come to a point when she is faced with the reality- children grow up, move out, get on with their lives. They can't completely fill the void that she feels. They can't assuage her loneliness.
All my rambling really amounts to just the simple fact that almost everything about this situation makes me sad.

Anyway, on with my judgments, this time of myself.
I let my not-yet 3 year old watch far more TV than I'm usually willing to admit. Like at least 2 things everyday. Often more. I also feed let her eat fruit snacks daily. And I yell at her too much. I use disposable diapers with my second kid even though I swore I never would. I still give her a bottle at night even though she's past her 1st birthday, and sometimes I just give it to her in her bed so I can go back to sleep.

my comment is WAY too long. Sorry.

Heather | 5:24 PM

Sticky situation! I think if anything, this should cause facilities that give this sort of service a wake up call and be more aware of what they are doing with their patients. I mean...is it just me or...I feel like I went through more screening when I adopted a couple of cats from the local animal rescue than this women did at this clinic. Hello-- I mean, shouldnt there been a questionairre that asked "are you employed? Do you own a home? How many children are currently under your care?" It seems like she should have been turned down from the get-go.
And while i know it is the pc thing to say "women dont need a man! I can do it on my own!" the truth is...having someone else there who loves the child and cares for the child and wants to raise it and care for it throughout its life...is priceless. I am just astounded that there are now 14 little lives hanging in the balance here. That should be the bottome line.

cmominIllinois | 9:57 PM

Heather: about your proposed "questionnaire" - although the idea certainly couldn't hurt, you do not have to own a home to be a good parent.

Mitch McDad | 9:53 PM

I think you ladies are nuts!
I'm a big fan of you all. I'm as open mined as the next guy. I stumped hard for Obama and against Prop 8. I believe that for the most part people can do whatever they want. (For the most part.) I'm a progressive liberal.

Here's the bottom line. If look at this ladies and don't immediately think she certifiably nuts, then you're living in denial in a effort to cling too tightly to your liberalism. All your hedging and rationalizing and dancing around the subject are born from the your fears that any concession to the liberal platform somehow invalidates your whole belief system. Conservatives do the same thing, sadly. That's why were such an all or nothing country, politically.

This octo-mom is freaking nuts. Period. No discussion. You all know it. Everyone knows it. She didn't even take care of the six kids she already had, so she decide to add eight babies to the mix? Please.

Too often these days we like to dance around issues and realities. This case calls for some good old fashioned common sense diagnoses like: Stupid, Crazy and Grossly Negligent.

You ladies really whiffed on this one.

Oh, and the extra arm analogy was poor, too. If someone wants four arms, fine, go for it. It may be weird, but it only effects that person.

GrittyPretty | 5:56 PM

Thanks for the momversation.

I fear for Nadya. She must be feeling vulnerable and instead of sending good vibes her way she is getting an onslaught of hate and judgment. I have friends who come from families of 14, 15, 16, even 17 kids (I live in Utah). Growing up the kids help and rely on each other. I am jealous of the built in support system!

That was a good point about not knowing where our tax money goes. I would much rather my taxes go to Nadya than all of the idiotic things they pay for (war, indutrial farming subsidies, etc.)

Thanks for promoting non-judgement on mothers.