Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Eight is Enough"

There is an interesting article in the Opinion section of the New York Times called "Eight is Enough." Click here to read.

"A woman in Southern California has given birth to eight babies, the world’s second live-born set of octuplets. With advances in fertility treatment, multiple births are becoming more common, but how many are too many? What are the costs of delivering and caring for premature babies? And what about the emotional costs? We asked several experts to give us their thoughts."

What are your thoughts on this subject?

There is also another article related to this that you might be interested in reading on Parent Dish called Kate Gosselin - Advice to Mom of Octuplets.


MoreCowbell said...

Kate's comments were very nice and supportive.

I was just shocked at the fact that one of the octuplets weighed over three pounds! WOW.

Of course, this situation is nothing that should be "aimed for" by other couples. You'd have to be a certain kind of crazy to wish for eight babies at once, but I understand a mother not being able to selectively reduce. Yes, it's probably better for the health of the mom and her children to reduce the number of embryos, but how can you choose? Look at the Gosselins. If they had gone through with selective reduction, which one of those kids would not be here? Leah and Joel (Babies E and F)? Can you live with yourself after doing that? Yes, the Gosselins are fortunate. Most high order multiples do not end up with all normal, healthy children. The McCaughey's have two with special physical needs, the Harris' have one tup with autism, and the other TLC family with sextuplets and two sets of twins have a tup with cerebral palsy. The Gosselins are an exception to the rule.

It's a tough call. Eight children will most likely cost the tax payers some money. Maybe raise their insurance company's rates. How do you pay for eight cribs, highchairs, doctor visits, etc. If Figure 8 dangles some money in front of this family, who knows? We might see them on TLC. And with eight screaming, pooping, drooling, eating machines, the parents might cave and agree to being filmed. When you have 10 mouths to feed and clothe, the extra income is needed. Here's hopeing that all eight are healthy and they never have to deal with trolls and "advocates" making their lives miserable.

indianprincess said...

I think I would break down and cry if I knew I was going to have 7 babies all at once and then find out one was hidden up in there. I'm sure companies will help them out with the needs they will have and good hearted volunteers will step in and help this mother. God bless those babies.

Anya said...

I agree with the sentiments expressed by MoreCowbell and Indianprincess.

As a taxpayer and citizen, I am not hugely concerned about a rash of high order multiple births occuring. Most parents who do not have a moral objection to reducing will do so. I would never feel I could tell another mother that she should reduce. It's a decision for her and her partner to make after they have all the medical facts.

Most of all I am just disheartened by all the judgment - even on the NYT's board, which I would expect to be a step up from some of the other message boards.

themrs said...

i guess i truthfully feel that many these forms of fertility should be an absolute last resort (maybe they are, im certainly no expert) i know there are lots of fertility treatments that only run a risk of twins or triplets at the most. as far as the taxpayer money issue, that doesn't really bother me. my concern is more for these babies, many of which have a lifetime of health problems and struggle. i think, at times, it can be irresponsible medicine. but all that being said, i believe that conception is a personal decision. if they want to run the risk of six babies it's not my place to say otherwise. i can't say what lengths i would go to to have a baby if i were unable to do so. i think that's not really something you can judge unless you'[ve been there.

Saint said...

I would not consider having children this way. I also would never consider "reducing" children if I did. I don't know how anyone can choose. I don't trust the doctors to know either...didn't these doctors miss a baby?

God bless that Mom for carrying those children...what a huge sacrifice. It's really a miracle to me. The demands on her body must have been so great. I wonder if there are long-lasting effects from such a pregnancy on the mother? Sometimes I wonder if the Gosselin pregnancy didn't cost Kate some of her energy/health?

I have no problem with society helping under these circumstances. We have enough money in this country, and we waste so much. I wouldn't begrudge a family under these circumstances the medical help. I think the Gosselins should have received the state-funded nurse for another year. It's not like there are thousands of these children.

Kate's remarks to the mom were very nice. I bet Kate is impressed, knowing what she does about carrying six kids at a time.

cali-mom said...

I like what Kate said. I thought she was very nice. My Prayers will be w/this family.

MommyZinger said...

I didn't know there was a limit to the number of embryos that can be transferred. When did that get implemented? What is the limit? I'm all for it.

I do wish people were a little more altruistic regarding higher order multiples. And in general, I guess.

Kuromi said...

I love this warning she gave: "People will pop up with advice when they have no idea of the situation."

Aimed at certain Internet readers, perhaps?

Anya said...

Saint said...I have no problem with society helping under these circumstances. We have enough money in this country, and we waste so much.

I agree. And I realize it's expensive, but I would think the larger problem in terms of health care costs is the aging of America and the ability to prolong life, but only with very expensive drugs and other interventions. Multiple births remain relatively rare.

Kuromi said...I love this warning she gave: "People will pop up with advice when they have no idea of the situation."

Aimed at certain Internet readers, perhaps?

LOL. Too true.

CincyMom said...

I am all over the place with my feelings on this. Sometimes, I feel if someone is not able to conceive, that's the way it was supposed to be.

THEN, I feel, that isn't something I know, so who am I to form an opinion?

THEN, I feel, if they do get preganant, however the method, I can understand not picking one to reduce(Leah, Joel? that's a way to put a face on it).

Once it is done, though, it is done. Whatever the situation. So to judge someone "gets what they deserve" for having difficulties with so many babies or a child having a disability, isn't a place I feel good going to.

On the other end of the spectrum--against abortion. Again, can't imagine certain consequences (something could harm mother or incest), so hard to judge. But I also think it could be an "easy" (not really during but after for the mom) decision to get out of a hard spot. I personally think I might have done it had I been desperate enough--and I'm even against it.

I have never been a "it's your body, you're choice" advocate. I have sort of always felt it is the baby, not you, to be considered. And I always have been bothered the fathers don't get many rights or choices either.

Can anyone say...can of worms?... with my comments?

Hopefully I didn't offend anyone. I don't think there is a right/ wrong morality. Just my opinion, among many others.....

Heather said...

I don't really think taxpayers money/burden on society is an issue in this case. When you think of how much government money is wasted, this is NOTHING. And, I really don't think normal people would aim for a situation like this. I would love to have twins, but I don't think any woman sits around trying to get pregnant with 8 babies!

It sounds like this mom doesn't want to be identified. That's interesting to me.

MoreCowbell said...

It sounds like this mom doesn't want to be identified. That's interesting to me.

Well, if she's been hospitalized and on bed rest for months like Kate was, she's probably had a lot of time to surf the Internet (and probably has an interest in other families in the same situation as her), and we know what comes up when you Google the Gosselins. Reading some of the horrible commentary on a couple of hate sites probably scared her.

She probably didn't want to be next in line for their special brand of "judgmental advocacy."

BEE said...

I don't believe that God says "Hey wait a minute, Joel/Hannah/Leah etc, how did you get there?" My point is, that children, regardless of how they were conceived are not mistakes.
Just my opinion though!

I think that these 8 children are true blessings and I pray for their continued health! It is not my place to judge their parents for the methods in which they used to conceive these children.

The things that Kate said were very nice and very real. She is so true, God has a plan!

CincyMom said...

I totally don't blame her for not wanting to be identified. That doesn't mean anything shifty, just that they would lack control of all media/ personal contact. Just like many lotto winners ask not to be identified.

It would be a zoo unless you were able to handle the attention.

Heather said...

I can totally see not wanting the media circus - answering the same questions over and over. If it were me though, i think I would be quite tempted by the free stuff. Just imagine how overwhelmed they are. I hope they have good jobs and financial security.

merryway said...

Blessings and Best Wishes for the new family.

I always wonder what it feels like to have so many in there. It seems like the would break your ribs.

VOR said...

Most higher order multiples of this level are not the result of in vitro fertization (IVF - i.e. test tube babies). Most, maybe all, are the result of ovulation drugs used without adequate or any ultrasound monitoring of the production of eggs.

These ovulation drugs are often the first line of fertility treatment for women who do not ovulate. They are very common. It is extremely rare to respond like this. Unfortunately, not all doctors monitor the cycle via ultrasound. Ultrasounds are not perfect and can miss the eggs or interpret the results as an immature egg. That being said, it is extremely rare.

I would definitely use ovulation drugs + ultrasound monitoring if needed.

scarfoot said...

How amazing is it that all eight babies were a decently premature size? I know that 1.8 lbs. is still very small, but when you consider that there were eight in there, that is quite a feat!

I never understand the rationale behind people saying that if you are infertile, that's the way it is meant to be and you shouldn't try to conceive otherwise. Maybe this is comparing apples to oranges, but is that any different than treating an illness? I mean, one could argue that a cold, or even something more serious as cancer is "meant to be" so is it wrong to treat it? I don't know, maybe that's too black and white. I've been told that children aren't really a possibility for me, and it really hurts. Isn't it really funny how we get so wrapped up in creating families for ourselves? I could never choose reduction, either. I understand the concept behind it, but I just could not do it.

Blessings to this family - they have a hard road ahead. But I hope it's filled with joy as well.

fromtheotherside said...

Just a thought but shouldn't we show some sensitivity and not be quick to say it's wrong to reduce when pregnant with HOM? I imagine there are families out there who did opt to reduce for the sake of the mother's health or just for the necessity of being able to support, on your own, the children you bring in to the world. Jon and Kate are held in high esteem by many because they went through with a high risk pregnancy, but what of those who decide it's too risky to carry that many babies? What about people who reduce so they aren't financially destroyed and have to rely on handouts or sponsorships?

I just hate that Jon and Kate are saints for choosing not to reduce...what of the people who do? Should we not co wider their feelings? They certainly didn't take the easy way out and it pains me to think of how hard it must be for couples who have reduced when J and K and others are applauded for having opted out of that.

I know there are those who are against reduction...but there are some infertile couples who really I my want one child or maybe two or three because that's all they can afford emotionally or financially. I'm just suggesting we do not damn those who have not taken the path of Jon and Kate by being critical of people who have made other choices. I'm sure there are couples out there who have dealt with the pain of reduction and I'd like to suggest that until we have walked in their shoes we cut them some slack.

Guinevere said...

fromtheotherside, I don't disagree with you. Not to get too far into a touchy subject, but I think some of it has to do with peoples' individual feelings on abortion. I think if you do not believe life begins at conception, reducing is an easier choice (though it still may be emotionally difficult). If you do believe life begins at conception, and particularly if you look at the Gosselin family and imagine no Alexis or Aaden, I'm guessing it feels different.

That's why I do feel that these things should be up to the individual. I don't particularly laud J&K for choosing not to reduce - for me it's a personal choice that I see as more or less morally neutral. I do acknowledge how hard I think the pregnancy was on Kate, and admire her fortitude in that regard.

I would hope not to damn anyone for the choices they make in dealing with infertility - I'm not in their shoes and I only have an outsider's perspective on how hard it is to deal with. I feel like watching J&K+8 has made me a less judgmental person in that regard. I used to be one of those people - like scarfoot mentions - who felt that some infertile couples should accept their infertility. Or more specifically, I felt that they were hypocritical for thinking it was God's will that they no reduce when it seemed to me that it was God's will that they be infertile. But I understand better now that a person can believe fertility treatments are God-given and not feel the same way about selective reduction. It's not hypocrisy, just a different perspective.

Again, I don't judge anyone for reducing. I'm sure the vast majority of people who choose to do that are following their consiciences, and that's all we have the right to expect from others, IMO.

scarfoot said...

I apologize if I came across as "damning" someone for making the choice to reduce. I just meant that for me personally, I'm not sure I could do it. I do understand that this is an incredibly tough situation with no easy answers, and respect people's choice to decide.

MoreCowbell said...

Okay, I think I know the reason that this woman wishes to remain anonymous. I just saw a report on TV that she ALREADY HAS six children and lives with her parents. That seems to cloud the situation more and leave her open to criticism. Such a high order set of multiples has never occurred without fertility treatments or at least popping fertility drugs, and if you already have six children, HOW in the HELL does any doctor agree to do this for you? They also showed the home where the family lives. Not a large home. Certainly not large enough for parents, grandparents and 14 children.

I can see this opening a huge ethical can of worms now that this secret is out. I would be willing to bet that the State of California is going to have to foot some of the bills, here, whether it be food stamps or Medicaid. From the looks of the home, these people are not rich, and caring for 14 children, which includes a set of octuplets, you'd pretty much have to be.

Good lord. I'd be interested to hear from the doctor who greenlighted the use of fertility drugs for a woman with six children (if that is the case).

Guinevere said...

scarfoot, I personally don't think you came across that way. I totally understand your feelings. I'm not sure if I could do it, either. It's hard to say unless one is in that position, I think.

I do think people may reduce for the right reasons - again, it helps if your view is that life begins when a fetus is viable or something similar. I would definitely be concerned about the expense and hardship involved in raising five or six or more children of the same age, but my main concern would be having healthy babies - I would think I might feel quite guilty if I had multiples and they had serious health problems.

indianprincess said...

The media needs to leave this women alone then go digging for information about her large family. What are they trying to get at? It's just shameful. There is a reason she didn't want to be identified and I don't blame her. Still wishing the babies the best.

kristin said...

Morecowbell- regarding the story on the news - was that the grandparents saying that there were six other grandchildren in the home (perhaps NOT the new mom's children)? I keep hearing this and I watched a clip online, and unless I heard wrong it seemed like maybe they aren't all the new mom's children... can anyone clarify?

Lizabeth said...

kristin, I just found this article with more info:

I have no idea how I feel about all of this... I do admire Jon and Kate as well as any parents who choose not to selectively reduce but I am also not sure how I feel about the measures taken something to have multiples. Since I am not married and have no plans to have kids till I've been married for awhile, I feel like I don't really have a clue what kinds of decisions potential parents need to make. It has to be tough to go through infertility as well as deal with the options available now.

Lizabeth said...

Just found this article as well:

This discusses the ethical implications for a doctor choosing to go forward with fertility treatments in different cases. Again, I have no idea what my opinion on all this is but thought some might appreciate this article.

MoreCowbell said...

Morecowbell- regarding the story on the news - was that the grandparents saying that there were six other grandchildren in the home (perhaps NOT the new mom's children)? I keep hearing this and I watched a clip online, and unless I heard wrong it seemed like maybe they aren't all the new mom's children... can anyone clarify?

THAT would make a little more sense. The report I saw on CBS news made it sound like all the kids belonged to the octuplet mom. God knows, the press has been known to mess things up at times!

kristin said...

Yikes - thanks Lizabeth - I guess they are all her kids!

As far as having admiration for those who choose not to selectively reduce, I don't know if I feel admiration as much as I have respect - but I respect the decision to selectively reduce as well. The folks that choose reduction must face as much criticism as those that don't, and I don't think it is fair to applaud one group and not the other (which is not to imply that that is what you've done, just speaking generally); this is a personal decision and it's hard enough to have family members and friends vocally weighing in on personal decisions, much less folks all over the internet, which may be some of the reason this new mom wants anonymity. I hope this doesn't come across as snarky, because that's not what I'm going for here :)

As someone who has had several cycles of Clomid+Ovidrel+IUI with no success I will be starting IVF soon. My co-worker today asked me how I would feel about selective reduction. If I chose to reduce to say 4 from 2, I would always have some kind of irrational fear that I chose "the wrong 2." BUT, I think I would choose to reduce to (hopefully) improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and healthy babies.

MoreCowbell said...

Good luck with your treatment, Kristin! I hope you have all the success in the world (and never have to face the dilemma of "selective reduction"). You're absolutely right. For me, it's not an abortion issue, since I am pro-choice, but it is a "how do I choose?" issue. It's Sophie's Choice. Would you spend the rest of your life wondering if you "chose the right ones?" Or look at your twins or triplets and always wonder how their siblings who were "reduced" would have turned out. The guilt would be horrible, I would think.

Oh, here's another link to an article that claims the older six children belong to the Octuplet Mom. I think they're all feeding off the same CBS source, though. Could turn out to be inaccurate, but as of now, it looks like this woman now has 14 children and they all will be living in a two bedroom home with Gram and Gramps. Oy. I wonder if Ty Pennington will show up eventually?

The big question, where is the Dad?

Jen K said...

I have a question for anyone who happens to know or have experience with this because I personally don't.

Maybe this is just my lack of knowledge of the subject, but wouldn't it be fair to say that if someone were planning to have implanted embryos that they should really only implant the number that they could realistically carry to term and adequately care for after birth? Because 8 seems extreme to me and I would think that someone would say, "hey, why not do 5 and hope 1 goes to term" or something.

I don't know the statistics on viability of implanted embryos (i.e. how many make it to full term babies) but it would seem that implanting only the # one could seriously see themselves carrying/raising would take some of the concern/guilt etc out of the equation. I know it's terribly expensive each time it's done which is why some implant a bunch at once, but I'd rather risk the $$ than anything else.

Just my opinion and question...

Kikibee said...

If they haven't already, I'm sure
someone "someplace" will blame Kate for giving this woman the idea
to have all those kids.

I don't really see much of a difference between selective reduction and keeping extra embryos frozen "indefinitely".
I know it might feel different psychologically, but either way it is a potential child who will not be born. (No judgement from me on anyone who has done either thing.)

And, good luck to you Kristin.

Lizabeth said...

Kristin, I hope things go well for you this cycle, too!

And kikibee, you were completely right. Apparently according to some the rash of HOM's is the fault of Kate Gosselin and TLC for glamorizing infertility treatments. Just like rap music causes kids to kill, playing violent video games creates sadists, and eating McDonalds makes you fat and entitles you to the right to sue the restaurant because of that.

Not trying to get into a debate about those items ( all of which have their time and place :)!), but there is personal responsibility which seems to go by the wayside when something can be blamed on the Gosselins or anything else in society. I wish this mother the best in raising her family, and hope that there is an investigation on the doctor if in fact she is already the mother of 6 kids and she is living in a 2 bedroom home with her parents. She may be the absolute best mother in the world, but that does not mean this doctor had the ethical right to allow this kind of pregnancy considering her circumstances.

Bee, I completely agree with your statement that I don't believe that God says "Hey wait a minute, Joel/Hannah/Leah etc, how did you get there?" My point is, that children, regardless of how they were conceived are not mistakes. . At the same time, considering the drugs used for this pregnancy, it really comes across as irresponsible of the doctor considering this mothers circumstances. As I said she could be the most amazing mother in the world, but with 6 kids already and in circumstances where she seems to not be able to even care for them (living with her parents in a 2 bedroom home) I am just really wondering what happened behind the scenes here...

jb said...

Maybe the Gosselins can't be blamed directly (although who's to say their 'circumstances' were any better to be able to handle multiples than the California family), but TLC sure needs to take some blame for glorifying large families. I'll bet there are more than a few people out there who are planning their future to fame and riches because of these TLC series that week after week show the families getting so much bestowed upon them while the country is in such bad shape.

And I don't know if there has to be a doctor involved since there is mention that fertility drugs can be purchased without a prescription. I saw an article that quoted a doctor, I believe, on this.

SamanthaNC said...

As someone with fertility issues this sotry "freaks" me out a bit. I know that high order multiples are rare but any number higher than 2 and I think I would pass out. More than likely we will will have to have fertility treatments of some kind to conceive again- I haven't heard yet whether she took fertility drugs or if she was implanted with embryos? Surely a doctor wouldn't have implanted her with 8! I cant imagine how difficult things must be for them right now- especially with such intense media scrutiny.

ChinaMomof4 said...

Having gone through fertility treatments, I have to say they are not fun and they are pretty dehumanizing. After four failed IUI cycles with Clomid, my husband and I chose not to go on to IVF and instad adopted four wonderful children over the next eight years. It is the best thing we ever did (aside from marrying each other!). I am not criticizing anyone who uses fertility treatments, but I wish more families would consider adoption.

kristin said...

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes... wasn't trying to turn my post into a sob story :)

To Jenn K - what you are saying does make sense. Typically for IVF only 3-4 TOPS embryos are implanted. What may have happened here is IUI was performed where the mom may have taken clomid, gone in for ultrasound showing ripe follicles, given trigger shot to ovulate and had her husbands sperm "washed" and placed in through a catheter. This means that there is less control of how many embryos you may end up with, though my doc always told me that if there were too many via u/s she would cancel the cycle... but even if this happened you could still go home and try timed intercourse and get pregnant, it just would not be wise. Hope this clears it up, and anyone who knows more or has corrections, please feel free to pipe in!

Finally, while I don't blame Kate for glamorizing multiples, I think society has made HOM seem glamorous. Even before the Gosselins I remember being young and seeing the Dilly's on all kinds of talk shows and seeing how much stuff they got and thinking ooh how great, wouldn't it be fun! I know better now, but am sure a lot of people still see this as a good opportunity... the new mom may have seen this as a way to help her family financially, just as Jon and Kate saw the show and everything with it as a great way to be with the kids and also provide for them the way they want to. Am I making sense?

MoreCowbell said...

According to this article:,2933,485584,00.html

The embryos were implanted. I realize what the doctor's quoted in the article mean when they say, "Who are we to say how many kids she should have?" But it is the job of the doctor who implanted this woman to not treat her uterus like a clown car and plant that many embryos (at least in my opinion).

I thought there was a limit, anyway.

Nancy said...

My YAHOO News says that this mom is not married to the babies' daddy. I am wondering what doctor would provide fertility treatments to a single mom with a family of 6 children? Is that ethical?
I wish the new mom and her babies the best; hope the babies all turn out to be healthy with no medical problems. I especially hope the media leaves her alone! But as we know, it only takes one publication with enough money to bribe an insider to talk....

Jen K said...

Yes, just read that there are six kids (at least one set of twins), and that they lost a house and the family (not sure if the mom or grandparents) also filed for bankruptcy.

Where was the money for IVF coming from? This is a sad story if you ask me. There is something seriously not right with parents who willingly go through all of that to have kids when it sounds like they can't afford the kids they already have.

MoreCowbell said...

Here's what HuffPo is reporting:

More news about the mother of the octuplets born in California. She was recently bankrupt and conceived through IVF. The mother is in her mid-30s, and as the world learned Thursday, already had six older children. Her name has not been released.

She lives with her parents in a 2-3 bedroom house, and a year-and-a-half ago the family declared bankruptcy and abandoned another home. She conceived the babies through IVF, which doesn't normally transfer more than 2 embryos, and all eight embryos took.

There is no mention or information about the babies' father or where she got the fertility treatment. When she arrived at the hospital where she gave birth for prenatal treatment, she was already 3 months pregnant.

The babies grandfather is reportedly going back to Iraq to earn money for the doubled family.

Have mercy. This just gets more bizarre every day. I just don't get it.

Six children at home and the youngest is only two years old. How does that qualify for IVF? Can you just walk into a fertility clinic and ask for IVF, whether you've had problems conceiving in the past or not? She'd already gone through five pregnancies (she has a set of twins).

Oy. I agree with the doctor I saw on TV this morning. This situation is a fertility disaster (or as Kate opined in the Question and Answer episode to the woman who wrote them saying she WANTS sextuplets, "We're a fertility nightmare.") The system wasn't created to have this result.

Anya said...

jb said...but TLC sure needs to take some blame for glorifying large families. I'll bet there are more than a few people out there who are planning their future to fame and riches because of these TLC series that week after week show the families getting so much bestowed upon them while the country is in such bad shape.

I doubt such people exist, but if they do, they are dumber than a bag of nails and they are ripe for any get rich quick scheme.

The only families I know of that have had long term relationships with TLC and have improved their financial condition because of it are:

-The Roloffs (only 4 kids, but they did have the "good luck" to be born as little people - I am sure that has been a breeze).

-The Duggars (18 kids which they would have had with or without TLC due to their religious convictions).

-The Gosselins (8 kids born of only two pregnancies. The odds against this happening even with fertility drugs are astronomical).

In short, each family has a "hook" to pull viewers in.

I honestly think these imaginary people you have created that see TLC as a way to "fame and fortune" would be much better off buying $100 worth of lottery tickets every day. Their odds of "fortune" would certainly be higher anyway.

Wish we had an in-house actuary!

jb said...


I haven't created any imaginary people. I expressed my thought based on the various comments I have seen on the Internet. There are a lot of young girls who have expressed how they love the kids, want the kids, want to be Kate. That is unhealthy yet young kids/adults are impressionable. I think TLC should take some responsibility as The Learning Channel and not allow this glorification to continue for any of their series. I think that a documentary type format allows viewers to learn but doesn't build a lifestyle for the featured families that is unrealistic but fantasized about and quite possibly emulated by these young impressionable kids and adults.

indianprincess said...

I think people need to take responsibility for themselves and stop pointing fingers at other people for their mishaps or wants, needs or whatever! It's so easy to blame someone else or a TV channel, show etc for bad choices. Parents need to parent their own children. If young girls think having Hom's is the cool thing to do then maybe their parents need to sit down with them and have a discussion about it instead of blaming Jon and Kate, TLC for peoples poor choices. If you want to blame someone, blame the Doctor who allowed this women to have fertility treatments.

GLO said...

Although the media is currently revealing information that appears to be damaging to our perception of this family, I am going to reserve judgment. We do not know the entire story, just some "facts" that may be interpreted in a different way with further information.

At this point, I am giving the family the benefit of doubt.

Lizabeth said...

Whoa... just read this article...

Now it is being reported that the octuplets were from a sperm donor that also was the donor for this womans other 6 kids...

I am trying really hard to suspend my opinion here until there is verified evidence of what is really going on, but this woman is coming across as exceptionally irresponsible... The person this article quotes (who wants to be anonymous) said "From what I heard she likes kids, she wants a jillion kids. She even lied to the doctors who impregnated her."

Guinevere said...

I've read so much unverified stuff at this point I don't know what to believe. About all I can say for sure is that if a doctor was involved in implanting at least eight embryos in a woman with six kids, that doctor acted irresponsibly.

I don't see TLC as glamorizing multiples. If you actually watch J&K+8, it's not that glamorous, and for all of the "blessings" the show had brought them, the Gosselins still have the hard work of raising eight kids. Anyone who would see birthing mulitples as a ticket to easy street is too dumb for words; I really don't think TLC can be blamed for that level of stupidity and cluelessness.

And while there may very well be young girls who think it would be so great to have five or six or eight babies at once, I think the operative phrase is "young girls" - hopefully by the time these young ladies reach child-bearing age they will be a little more mature and understand the responsibility that comes along with raising that many children.

(Though I know some teenaged girls do get pregnant on purpose, because they think a baby will give them unconditional love. Obviously, such girls are not realistic about what it means to be a mother. Hopefully, they do not have access to fertility treatments, however.)

themrs said...

i'm really going to try to withhold my judgement on this situation as we really don't know what details are true. what i do want to say is that another site published this family's names, addresses and other personal info which just infuriates me. this woman did not go on tv, she has asked to have her privacy respected and people have no right to publish her information. it makes me really mad.

Lizabeth said...

themrs, I totally agree it was in really poor taste to publish this mothers info online. Honestly, I was shocked... she did not put herself out there making it 'acceptable' to share 'public information.' Just makes me sick to think of how low some people will stoop to try to feel better about themselves.

I am trying SO hard to withhold judgment as well and to keep a balanced view of this situation after reading some of the unverified information that is out there now. Not an easy task though....

yourmama said...

Alls I can say is "God bless those babies." They are truly a miracle.

MoreCowbell said...

"Grandma: Octuplets mom obsessed with having kids"

Holy CRAP. Like I said, this gets more bizarre every day! Unlike the article posted above which claims the parents are very supporting of Octuplet Mom, this one article paints a different light. Oh, and we now know the mom's name. You knew the secret of her identity wouldn't last.

"The woman who gave birth to octuplets this week conceived all 14 of her children through in vitro fertilization, is not married and has been obsessed with having children since she was a teenager, her mother said."

"Nadya Suleman wanted to have children since she was a teenager, "but luckily she couldn't," her mother said.

'Instead of becoming a kindergarten teacher or something, she started having them, but not the normal way,' he mother said.

Her daughter's obsession with children caused Angela Suleman considerable stress, so she sought help from a psychologist, who told her to order her daughter out of the house.

'Maybe she wouldn't have had so many kids then, but she is a grown woman,' Angela Suleman said. 'I feel responsible and I didn't want to throw her out.'"

Oh. My. God.

I guess we know who'd going to be supporting these children. The tax payers. This quote from a babysitter who took care of one of the Mom's older children, "'She told me that all of her kids were through in vitro, and I said 'Gosh, how can you afford that and go to school at the same time?' she added. And she said it's because she got paid for it."

No wonder the State of California is broke.

For all the flack Kate Gosselin gets from critics, I would at least say she is sane and capable of handling what she has been given. Octuplet Mom is a few fires short of a Happy Meal. And the doctor who implanted her? Negligent.

Lizabeth said...

An article where the octuplets grandma speaks out.... its... yeah.

themrs said...

here's what i don't understand, if anyone can clarify i'd appreciate it. i have several close friends who have had IVF. in all of their cases the dr. would not implant more than four embryos tops. in fact, one of my friend's dr would only do two. this family donated their remaining eggs after having a set of twins and then one baby naturally. they still had seven eggs left. i was not aware that any dr would implant 8. does anyone know more about this?

Nina Bell said...


I was watching an interview with a well known MD in my area last night that specializes in this area. She said they usually only implant 3 at the most.

themrs said...

that's what i thought too. my friend who did it wanted four put it in and they had decided that if all four "took" they would not have any more children after that. her dr wouldn't do it. i can't help but wonder if this dr will have some backlash. i can understand a little better if you do fertility drugs and then have over stimulated ovaries which result in HOM> this situation, IMO, is malpractice though. that dr willingly implanted 8.

jb said...


The California Mom hasn't even spoken yet. While I agree this story is bizarre and more information will come out, it appears so far that she, as a single parent, has raised her 6 children with probably the help of her parents and maybe more people. She will most certainly need help with the 8 babies.

Jon and Kate Gosselin did not handle their 8 children on their own. They have had help from so many people, the state of Pennsylvania, corporations, etc. Didn't Kate beg/sue/appeal a decision or something to have the state of Pennsylvania continue to pay for a nurse after the first year or so because they couldn't do it on their own?

I'm amazed that people defend the Gosselins no matter what they do or say, yet the California woman is drug through the mud before she has even spoken or before the whole story is out.

BTW - I'm not defending the California woman.

Casey said...

"For all the flack Kate Gosselin gets from critics, I would at least say she is sane and capable of handling what she has been given."

Don't you agree that Kate also had/has a lot of help with her kids, physically and monetarily?

MoreCowbell said...

Don't you agree that Kate also had/has a lot of help with her kids, physically and monetarily?

Uhhh, yeah. So has every family with high order multiples that we're read about or seen on TV. It's pretty much a necessity (for example, the Dilley's, Harris' and McCaughey's all got large custom homes built for them free or at cost). Sorry, but I'm trying to figure out what the point is here. No one has ever disputed that the Gosselins got assistance. The Gosselins themselves never disputed that fact.

Octuplet Mom is going to have to have help. Probably more than most people being that she's single. She is not married, has to support 14 children, lives in a 2-3 bedroom home and one of her older children is autistic. She's going to need more than just the army of volunteers that will have to help with feedings and diaper changes. This whole situation screams irresponsibility. From the doctor who implanted her to the Mom herself.

Saint said...

It's a can of worms, I agree with that.
Maybe this stuff will be better regulated because of this episode. I don't have a problem with rules for these things. Isn't it dangerous to carry this many children at once? Never mind the kids (yes, they count,) but just consider the mom. Implanting eight embryos is nuts! A mistake because of fertility drugs (like the Gosselins had) is understandable and very rare. But purposely implanting eight embryos should be malpractice.

No matter what happened, the kids are people and they need to be cared for. We should be able to do that in America, IMO. We're rich, even with a sucky economy. We can't punish the kids because of a silly mother and unethical doctor (if that's what happened...who knows?)

I agree that the mother's name and address should not be published here or anywhere, if that is her desire.

Guinevere said...

I'm amazed that people defend the Gosselins no matter what they do or say, yet the California woman is drug through the mud before she has even spoken or before the whole story is out.

I don't understand. You're "amazed" that people defend the Gosselins because people (maybe the same people; maybe different people) criticize someone whose circumstances are similar in only the most general of ways? To perhaps clarify it for you a bit, the California woman is being criticized for having six kids at home under age 8 already (the Gosselins didn't), choosing to undergo fertility treatments while living with her parents (the Gosselins didn't) in a house far too small to accommodate even the 10 people it would've housed if she'd had a single birth rather than octuplets. She's being criticized for repeatedly pursuing IVF as a single mother. I have absolutely nothing against single mothers, even those who choose single motherhood. But to choose it repeatedly - I guess this was her sixth pregnancy if I'm counting right? - when there is no father to help raise the children is simply another indication that the woman is irresponsible and quite likely mentally ill.

I think at this point there are people who are being very critical and maybe "dragging" the woman through the mud. There are other people simply trying to understand how something like this happened. If this woman is mentally ill, how did she manage to convince a doctor or doctors to keep helping to impregnate her? I, for one, while curious about the case, am already a bit sick of the circus of moralizing and harrumphing that has sprung up. The impact of this rather freakish occurence on society at large is pretty non-existent.

In any case, I really don't see the parallels to the Gosselins. Wild conspiracy theories aside, it appears that they chose to go ahead with a second round of fertility treatments, in the hope of having ONE more child. AFAIK, Kate has only been pregnant the two times. The equivalency escapes me. Unless you are condemning all parents who choose to undergo fertility treatments across the board, or all parents who choose to undergo fertility treatments but refuse to selectively reduce, then I'm afraid I don't understand what your point is.

jb said...

My main reason for my last post was in response to MoreCowbell's post and in particular the following sentence:

"For all the flack Kate Gosselin gets from critics, I would at least say she is sane and capable of handling what she has been given."

I see over and over at this site comments to the effect of 'we just don't know', 'we only see what is shown and can't really guess', 'we have to take their word on it' but yet the California story just broke and I'm sure all of the details are not known yet and people are already guessing, critisizing, and such. For example, you mention that the house is too small for 10 people. Who's to say that 10 people can't live in a small space? I'm sure there are families doing just that and doing fine. Yes, they might want something bigger but yet can't afford it or haven't compromised themselves or others to get it. And the California grandfather said that they have a bigger house and that is where they will go to avoid the media exposure. What happened to 'we have to take their word on it'?

And, no, I'm not condemning anyone who deals with infertility. I dealt with infertility and pregnancy issues (miscarriages) until I was able to have 1 child with assistance and another without. I do think there needs to be some attention and changes made regarding fertility practices. And I think the glorification of multiples needs to cease.

Guinevere said...

I see over and over at this site comments to the effect of 'we just don't know', 'we only see what is shown and can't really guess', 'we have to take their word on it' but yet the California story just broke and I'm sure all of the details are not known yet and people are already guessing, critisizing, and such. For example, you mention that the house is too small for 10 people. Who's to say that 10 people can't live in a small space? I'm sure there are families doing just that and doing fine. Yes, they might want something bigger but yet can't afford it or haven't compromised themselves or others to get it. And the California grandfather said that they have a bigger house and that is where they will go to avoid the media exposure. What happened to 'we have to take their word on it'?

A couple of things: 1) I think there is a difference between the statement "we don't know" and the statement "we have to take their word on it" - the latter is far more emphatic. I see much more of the former here, and generally if I make such a statement, it's phrased as "we don't know" rather than telling everyone that we have to take the Gosselins' word on something and that's that.

Regarding the house size, I was expressing an opinion. And yes, I did make an assumption - I don't have any verified info on the house size. In my defense, I have heard SO many crazy rumors about this woman and her family in the past couple of days, and I've not commented on the majority of them - it didn't really occur to me that the size of the house may be in dispute.

I think it can be difficult sometimes (especially when views in general diverge) to separate opinion from fact, and reasonable assertion from unreasonable one. I thought that stating that 10 people would be too crowded in a two bedroom house was a reasonable assertion. You don't. So I think it's more a case of our opinions being different, rather that my criticizing something when I just don't know.

That said, the gist of what I was saying was that J&K chose to get pregnant a second time with the intention of adding a third child (and a fifth person) to a house that IMO could reasonably accommodate them, so the comparison between them and the California woman wasn't quite fair, since she knew she'd be adding at minimum a 10th person to her household.

(To forestall any arguments, let me just say that I don't really feel like getting into a discussion right now about whether the Gosselins where reasonable in their assumption that their fertility treatments would result in one child and not six. That's not really what this thread is about, anyway.)

Lizabeth said...

I guess this confirms and explains a lot of what we have been hearing about this situation. The mom wants 2 mil for interviews and "plans a career as a television childcare expert after it emerged last week that she already had six children before giving birth on Monday." The article also states that this is a woman "who describes herself as a “professional student” living off education grants and parental money," as well as the fact that she "broke up with her boyfriend before the birth of her first child seven years ago"

I have no idea what to think. I really hope and pray those babies get the love and support they need from whomever raises them.

I'd rather poke my eye out... said...

I just read that article about the 2 mil on Fox News. It makes one wonder about this woman's motivations. Maybe she really did want a big family. I am trying not to judge. I think a lot of us know that 2 million won't get her very far with 14 kids though. People act like a million dollars is a huge amount. It really isn't in today's economy.

Lizabeth said...

I agree, Poke (can I call you poke for short? lol!). From what the article stated, she is using her kids as leverage at this moment... This is not people approaching her and offering those funds, but her requiring that before doing any interviews.

I have the feeling it will come back to bite her, though, because of how the babies were conceived...

Kuromi said...

Poke, your comment reminds me of the scene in "Austin Powers," when Dr. Evil reveals that he will make his demand of "One. Million. Dollars!" and everyone laughs at him because he doesn't understand modern monetary values :)

Another lesson in speculation: I don't think these media personalities whose names are being bantered--Oprah, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, etc.--have offered money to this lady. "Legitimate" news organizations don't pay for interviews. (Indeed, a CNN report last week said that the oct-mom's father had demanded money when approached by a CNN reporter, and that CNN informed him they didn't pay for stories.)

This woman's family probably just said, "We want so-and-so to buy our story," and then that raised speculation among the gossip press. Still, if I were looking for money, I'd do that Oprah or 20/20 interview for free, and then ride the publicity in hopes of donations or a paid book deal or something. Or take what the National Enquirer or other gossip media are willing to give.

Lizabeth said...

Interesting local article on the ethical implications of the octups...

And this one is like what MCB posted on a different thread with more info :).,2933,487518,00.html

Lizabeth said...

Holy crap... check this out from the FOXNews link I just posted...

TLC President Eileen O'Neill said production companies that work with TLC have already made offers to Suleman's family, but the network is waiting to see how TV-friendly the family is.

"We're certainly like the rest of America; we're waiting to see how this develops," O'Neill said. "The number of children or scale of the multiples is intriguing, but it also comes down to what are the family's lives like?"