Friday, February 6, 2009

What the Hell?

Like, I'm sure, many of you, I've been shaking my head in amazement over the story of the California woman who delivered eight babies a few weeks ago. Naturally this was an in-vitro fertilization thing. That, in itself, is amazing enough but then it was reported she has six other children, ages 2-7 who were conceived in exactly the same way.

The woman, Nadya Suleman, who is divorced and in her early 30's lives with her mother. Read a story last night that said Nadya's mother wants no more to do with the whole thing. Can't say I blame her. Yes, they are her grandkids but damn, enough is enough.

Have to say I have a lot of questions about why anyone would want something like this. I'm a mom and love babies and kids and one day I would love to hear a chil
d call me Grandma. But who in their right mind would want 14 kids, especially considering her circumstances? And what ethical doctor would do this procedure? Each of the first six kids were conceived in-vitro and now this. Okay, I've always believed people are free to make their own choices but at what point do certain choices become the responsibility of others? According to a recent interview, Ms. Suleman felt her childhood was disfunctional and she was lacking somehow because of it. As a teenager she decided she wanted a huge family. Sounds to me like she wanted to validate herself in some way. Make up for what she considered a crappy childhood. What the hell? Does anyone else see this as the height of selfishness?

Medical Ethi
cs people are talking this whole thing over right now while the book and tv deals are flowing in to the new mom who, by the way, has just hired a publicist.

Don't get me wrong. Like many of you, I know of loving, wonderful cou
ples who have benefited from in-vitro fertilization. Practically, I'm a big believer in science. Emotionally, I love a happy ending and wish for all couples who would love and nurture a child the opportunity to have one. But where is the line drawn? How will this woman educate, provide healthcare, feed and clothe all these kids? Or will it fall to an already overburdened society to offer a handout?


Dee Shore said...

She just hired a publicist??? So wrong in so many ways. Using your children to get famous is wrong any way you look at it.

There's one child in my family, and lord he is a handful. I don't know why anyone would want to have 14!?

She felt her childhood was lacking? How does she think her 14 kids are going to act when she can't give them all their attention?

Jen said...

I think you touched on a valid point. What ethical doctor would do this procedure for a woman who already has 6 children? I have to wonder if money overrode ethics.

After having 6 children and seeing how much work that takes, why add to the number? I think it is definitely a cry for attention not the desire to have children. It's the kids I feel sorry for.

As far as her bad childhood goes, alot of people don't have the best of childhoods. Mine wasn't exactly a happy experience but that doesn't mean I want to go out and have 2 litters of children to make up for it.

Don't get me wrong, I love kids. Anne will tell you, her 2 girls have a permanent place in my heart. I chose not to have kids of my own, but I do have a bunch of kids in my life. I just wish that when people choose to do the invitro thing, they take into consideration the probability of a multiple birth situation. Are they equipped to raise and nurture a bunch of children (financially and emotionally). Alot of people are ready for that responsibility and I applaud them. Then there are those who aren't. I have a feeling this woman is in that category.

Regina Carlysle said...

I've been thinking about this too, Dee. She says she had a sad, disfunctional childhood but what kind of childhood will these kids have all things considered? One person can only stretch so thing. Will she be able to give each one the individual love and attention he/she needs? This whole thing seems to be so selfish to me.

Yeah...the publicist thing went all over me too. Book deals? Movie deals?

Regina Carlysle said...

I don't know how the woman paid for this Jen but I also know it's very expensive. She's a college grad working on her masters and living at home with her mother. Don't think she's wealthy by any stretch of the imagination.

Questions are being raised about any doctor who would agree to do this a second time for this woman.

Anny Cook said...

I have a feeling that in this case, the publicity might have been the ultimate target.

As for the docs involved... as I said on your other blog, sue them for child support.

Anonymous said...

Holy Hannah! What is wrong with some people? I've got two kids and we have what we need with no extras. I can't imagine juggling 14, with equal time and attention. If I were her I'd be real careful about talking about her crummy childhood when she's living under her mom's roof. It's gotta be overwhelming. Family is one thing, a circus act is another. Kids shouldn't be exploited.

Dee Shore said...

I feel for her children. I really do, and my heart goes out to them. It's not their fault their mother didn't get therapy.

I am with you Jen, a lot of people don't have picture perfect childhood but you don't see us popping kids like it's a log factory.

I don't have children of my own but I am helping raise my nephew, people actually think he is my son. I know how hard and expensive they are. Diapers and formula will forever leave a dent in my pocket.

This woman is ridiculous!

Regina Carlysle said...

Beyond ridiculous and possibly a publicity seeker to boot. That's what makes this seem even more heinous.

Regina Carlysle said...

I have two kids and we all know It's NOT CHEAP to raise children and give them what they need.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Don't know how true this is but I heard her father talked on TV saying how he had plenty of money to take care of the kids....still...isn't just a money thing. That is A LOT of children for a single woman to have. Hell that's a lot of children for a married couple so I can't imagine how a single person could do it. She had a disfunctional childhood? Well think about how hard this will be on her kids. Plus, raising kids is hard. Rewarding but hard. There are days I'm so stressed out I could pull my hair out and I only have two (if you don't count my hubby, lol). Can you imagine the stress being single and having 14? Then that stress will bleed into her children's life. Personally, I believe whoever the doctor was, should be in some hot water as well.

Susan Macatee said...

It just boggles my mind. I only raised three boys and after the third I knew that was enough for me. The time as well as financial committment of raising children is tough. My three sons, all adults now, are in no hurry to provide me with grandchildren either and I have no problems with that. I want them to be able to provide for themselves as well as be in a committed relationship before embarking on parenthood. It's nothing to take lightly.

BrennaLyons said...

According to what I've seen so far, she paid for en vitro from two workman's comp settlements. Her family has gone bankrupt, trying to support her. She's not working. Her father is still trying to make money to help. Her mother has bowed out.

The kids, to my understanding are NOT from her ex-husband's sperm. In their divorce, the decree said the two of them had NO children together, and the Baby Daddy has never been named.

So, she's losing what little support network she had. She's got no money to raise the kids. She doesn't have enough hands, let alone enough money.

And fertility specialists claim it's against procedure to implant that many at once. I guess it was done in the past, but even if she didn't have 6 other kids at home, it is common practice to implant only 2-5 at a time now. And who the hell implants 8 babies in a woman who has no SO committed to helping her and no steady income?

This entire thing is a train wreck.

I have three (9, 11, 14), and they are a handful...all mildly special needs and medical needs. For six consecutive years, I had no less than two kids in diapers at a time. THAT was a walk in the park compared to this woman, who will likely have at least 6 of those 8 as medical needs, 10 in diapers...and all babies.

I've also worked at a day care, with up to ten children in diapers at a time. You can't DO that alone. You need at least two...preferably three to pull that off. You need someone checking/changing diapers every hour to hour and a half, bathing and other bodily chores...a second and possibly a third doing feeding and snuggling. You can change off jobs, but anything less means short-changing someone. I've lined up three babies in car seats or bouncies and fed them at the same time, but beyond that, you're stretching. Until they can feed themselves, it's impossible to handle that alone.


Anonymous said...

Being a mother of a single child, who grew up so quickly and has gone off to join the Marines, I can understand this woman's desperate need to have children. My ex-husband and I were infirtle. We tried desperately to have more children, to give my son a step brother or sister, but all attempts failed. We could never afford Invetro-which at the time cost anywhere between 12-15 thousand dollars and was absolutely not covered by insurance.
Finally, in 2000 I was forced to have a complete hysterectomy, and though it still hurts, and though I still long for more children, that is never possible outside of adoption, which unfortionately is just not an option for me now, as a single mother who is struggling.
However, once this woman had a sucessful Invetro, and had several children the first time, I feel that going beyond that was not only a selfish act, but unethical for her doctor.
She had her dreams of having children come true, now she needs to move on and learn to love herself, as well as the children God has given her.

Tess MacKall said...

This was incredibly selfish of her. Who is going to take care of those children? She's divorced. I know for a fact one woman can't deal with that many alone. So does that mean the government has to step in and see to their welfare? And that of course makes it our business.

Also, I'm wondering how responsible is it for a single parent to have this many children and not know what would happen to them if she died. Who would take them? It's hard enough to find someone to do that for one or two children, but 14?

I honestly think that no doctor should have done this procedure. It was irresponsible of the doctor to do this if he knew she already had other children. Maybe there should be laws in place that require a psychological screening process before agreeing to impregnate a woman.

As for the book deal? Well, she could very well have done all this for the notoriety, book deal, etc. Which goes back to the need for a psyche evaluation.

Regina Carlysle said...

My heart simply aches for those couples with infertility problems. It's hugely expensive as Taylor said and heartbreaking when it doesn't work.

This women, however, is in another situation altogether. The dr. should lose his license after this and Tess is right. What happens to these 14 kids, some with special needs, if she's not around? Foster care? What family member, no matter how loving, could be financialy capable of taking this on?

Unknown said...

I think it makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

Mary Ricksen said...

Actually I find it unethical to ever
transplant that many viable fetus'
Some Dr.'s will do anything for notoriety. Sad statement about some of the people in our country.
It makes us look bad. don't you think?
If--we as a country are going to have to support her, we should have a say in how many she should be able to have and get paid to support.

Amy Ruttan said...

I didn't know she was single. I thought these were her first children.

I read about Octuplets. The first set born to a couple in Mexico, all their babies died. ALL EIGHT!

The second set of parents, only one baby died. They have seven kids only.

So this, I'm just shaking my head. She's already got six, and has hired a publicist? That's just not right.

I mean that 18 and counting show, at least the parents are married, debt free and have viable jobs. They've never looked for a handout.

*shaking head*

Anne Rainey said...

I've never heard about this. What a freaking mess. Divorced and living with her mother?! Really? It makes me want to shake some damn sense into her.

On another note. I DO know a couple who have 14 kids. Not in-vitro or anything like that. They just happen to have certain beliefs. They're a great couple. The husband has a farm and the wife owns her own store. All the kids are VERY well loved and taken care of. Some are off at college, a few are in the military. Others are in the same grades as my girls. There aren't any financial problems and the kids aren't troubled or anything even remotely like that. I don't know how she does it, but she does it and she does it well. She's a sweet lady and I respect her and her husband. They've truly raised some good kids there. However, I'll stick with 2. I know my limits! LOL

Regina Carlysle said...

Believe they are doing more of her story on Dateline tonight Anne, if you want to check it out.

Hey! I'm all for freedom but this just feels wrong.

Actually the doctor wanted to remove two of the eight eggs to give the healthiest eggs more of a chance but she said no. She said she wanted to try for at least a few more girls.

Beyond Ridiculous!

Tessa Rae said...

Selfish, very selfish.

I think the woman is mental - seriously.

There's no way all those children can get enough love and care from one parent. Imagine changing all those diapers, feeding all those hungry tummies? And if one gets sick, they will ALL get sick.

She can't support them unless she scores a huge book deal and exploits her kids even more.


Judith Rochelle said...

I, too, have seen large families where the situation works, but it is always a two parent household-not because I think that's the only kind that works but because with that many kids you need someone to share the work, and discipline, and spread the affection around. And they are also staggered in ages. I'm with everyone who sahs the doctor's ethics need to be called into question. I hope she gets a lot of sponsors but only because it seemes to be the only way she'll even be able to afford to feed and clothes the kids, never mind doctor's appointments, trips to the dentist, health insurance, whatever. The list is staggering. I cannot begin to know what's in her mind. She says she had a dysfunctional childhood, but she lives with her mother who ahd to contribute to that in some way. I feel for all those kids.

Regina Carlysle said...

Mental? Oh yeah, I think so Tessa. Most of us have 1-2 or 3 kids and we KNOW we have our hands full even with husbands to help. This? A plea for attention that borders on sick.

Regina Carlysle said...

Makes the head just spin doesn't it, Judith? Have to wonder too, how many of these kids will have special needs? I understand some of her kids already have some problems. The mother isn't even working. She's going to school to get her masters in early childhood development. I don't know what kind of high paying job she'll land with this degree but she'll need care givers. Several of them.

Desirée Lee said...

I'm split on the issue. I am no stranger to big families. My dad is #10 of 12 children. His sister Mary and her husband Henry have 5 biological children and 27 adopted children. Yes, you read that right. Twenty-seven adopted children. Plus they're raising at least one of their grandkids that I know of.

Still, we're talking about a different situation here with Ms. Suleman. She's a single person and has 14 children all age 7 and under.

In some fairness, it was reported that two of the embryos split, resulting in two sets of identical twins. Only six embryos were implanted, not eight.

I don't have kids, but I do have nephews and a niece. I have friends with kids. I work in a school for kids with behavioral problems. Even though I've never had any of my own, I think I have a pretty good idea about what it takes to raise kids. It's tough.

The thing that gets me, all eight of those kids were preemies and still in the hospital. I hope they all grow up healthy, but I think it's probably more likely they'll have health problems along the way. So not only will she have 14 children to care for, but some of them will likely be special needs children, adding additional constraints on her time. How does she plan to take care of them all?

I saw a TV interview with her last night. She kept repeating to the interviewer "All I ever wanted was to be a mother." Excuse me... she had SIX children already! That doesn't qualify her as a mother??

Apparently the medical board here in CA is investigating the doctor. He is the same doctor who performed the IVF for all of her prior pregnancies, using the same sperm donor for all. The doctor was fully, 100% knowledgeable about her family size.

Far be it from me to tell a person how big their family can be. Look at the Arkansas couple, Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar, who have 18 children. A Romanian immigrant couple living in Canada had their 18th child last summer. TLC channel has the show Jon & Kate Plus 8 about the lives of the Gosselin family.

Big families are not anything new. This woman made headlines because she got her family via IVF. I do certainly hope she can raise all those kids well. I just don't see how she can do it alone.

Where do we draw the line though? Where do we tell another person "enough is enough." Yes, it's a medical ethics dilemma to consider IVF of so many embryos for a woman who already has six chldren, but to deny services would launch the doctor into an even greater ethics debacle, imho. Where would it go from there? First, saying "you can't have any more children" (If you want that move to China...) to what? Forced sterilization? (again, move to China). Population control? Ugh. The mind reels at how dangerous the paths from this ethics issue can go.

Carpe Noctem,

Desirée Lee
Putting the Romance Back in Necromancy

Fedora said...

Yikes, I've been hearing just the basic info about this story, and I agree with all the comments so far--I can't see how this is a good situation for her children. It makes me so sad to think that they're ultimately the ones who will be paying the price for her selfishness and that doctor's incredibly poor judgment.