Full house

Don’t look now, Jim Bob and Michelle, but you’ve got competition!

The California bfull-houseaby factory woman who recently gave birth to octuplets (that’s eight, count ‘em, 8 babies) already has 6 little anklebiters running around at home. That means this family now has fourteen (14) kids:

CBS News has learned the mother who gave birth to the octuplets has six other children.

An acquaintance who didn’t want to be identified told Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman the mom has four older boys and two girls.

“She is young,” the acquaintance says, “fairly young. She has six children already. And in those six children, she has a set of twins.”

While the hospital where the octuplets were born, Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in Bellflower, Calif., some 17 miles southeast of L.A., hasn’t confirmed that the mom used fertility drugs, there are no documented cases of naturally conceived octuplets, Kauffman points out.

Okay: it’s definitely not my cup of tea (more like my vision of HELL), but as long as they’ve got the ways and means to support these kids, it’s their business, right? Right:

CBS News has learned that the family of the octuplets born this week outside Los Angeles filed for bankruptcy and abandoned a home a little over a year-and-a-half ago.

Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman says the mother is in her mid-thirties and lives with her parents.

There’s been no mention of the octuplets’ father, Kauffman observes.

Would it be hideously cynical of me to wonder if there might be some ulterior moneymaking motive behind this? And what the fuck was her doctor thinking, giving fertility drugs to someone who already has 6 kids they can’t afford to feed?

55 Responses to “Full house”


  1. 1 Frank Frink Friday, January 30, 2009 at 10:09 am

    fern hill has more over at Dammit Janet! including a link to a LA Times article. Rather than pull out some salient bits I suggest you just go read it.

    Giving fertility treatment to woman who already has 6 kids!?!?!? Something just doesn’t add up here. There’s some sort of dumbfuquery going on.

    (ps – babydaddy’s a ‘contractor’ working in Iraq?)

  2. 2 Frank Frink Friday, January 30, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Oops.. I read that wrong. No mention of babydaddy in the LA Times article, only that the woman’s father is returnimng to Iraq to work as a ‘contractor’. Which sort of makes it sound as if he</i. is the one who will providing financial support.

    Which also makes it sound as if there is even less that makes sense in this situation.

  3. 3 hemmingforddogblog Friday, January 30, 2009 at 10:29 am

    This is horrible on so many levels. Why was she going to a fertility clinic when she obviously was fertile? Why did the clinic insert so many embryos? According to the AMA no more than 2 should have been used on a women this age. Why would she choose to carry 8 to term. I really wonder about the long term health of these kids. This mother sounds like a real selfish whack-job.

    BTW Suzy All-Caps thinks it’s wonderful that she didn’t abort. Better they should have problems…

  4. 4 mouthyorange Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:00 am

    I keep thinking that this woman may be quite disturbed — I mean, unstably disturbed — and that there’s a lot that we don’t know.

  5. 5 Joe Agnost Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:06 am

    EVERYBODY involved in this case seems to be disturbed!

    How could anyone put 8 embryos into a bankrupt (read: poor) woman who already has 6 kids?!?! It’s insane!

    There must be more to this story… I can’t wait to hear the whole story.

    (aside: I thought IVF was really expensive! How did this woman afford it?)

  6. 6 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:24 am

    FF – I agree, there’s something fucky about this story.
    1. Where’s the husband?
    2. Why are they having more kids when they can’t afford the ones they’ve got?
    3. Why would a doctor give fertility treatments to someone with so many kids already?
    4. Why would she not cull 6 or 7 embryos… oh well that one’s easy — because she’s a fetus fetishist.

    I think it’s a scam to make money with a reality show or something.

    Where are all these so-called “conservatives” and their “personal responsibility” routine?

  7. 7 Joe Agnost Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:31 am

    And if she’s so poor – how did she afford the IVF?

  8. 8 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:37 am

    SQ – I agree — this is many different flavours of bad craziness.

    The only way it makes any sense is if it’s a get rich quick scheme. Maybe they saw all the publicity the Duggars got — their reality TV show, “18 kids and counting”, is in its second season.

  9. 9 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:40 am

    orange

    I keep thinking that this woman may be quite disturbed — I mean, unstably disturbed

    If she isn’t now, she soon will be.

    Seriously, there are probably some layers to this story that haven’t emerged yet. We’ll see, I guess.

  10. 10 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Joe

    There must be more to this story…

    No doubt. I shudder to think what it is.

  11. 11 deBeauxOs Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Wonder what Blob Blogging Wingnut would say if this manifestly deranged woman’s mental illness (an intended pregnancy that produces a baby is a choice, this one sounds like a deluded investment in potential commercial endorsements) deteriorates to the point where, like a desperate caged lab mammal, she devores her infants.

    Oh. Wait. SUZIE ALL-CAPS will blame feminists.

  12. 12 Beijing York Friday, January 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    I wonder who paid for the procedure? And who is subsidizing the costs associated with treating such fragile newborns in NICU?

  13. 13 Niles Friday, January 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Err…is it fair to immediately jump to the conclusion she’s mentally wonky and at fault because she’s got lots of kids and she’s poor? Or at least, temporarily financially unstable?

    It seems like a woman is damned if she doesn’t have kids at all and damned if she has ‘too many’. What’s the magically acceptable number that keeps people from treating women like aberrant psychologies? Or are these goal posts that keep moving around, depending on the mood of how the public feels that day about what I thought was a woman’s private bodily choice? If she decided to not have more kids after six, or aborted some of the fetuses she made viable, that would be ok, right? It just seems wrong to turn on her since she’s decided to run the table on odds for a successful outcome of baby raising.

    This urge to proclaim public power over private decisions seems most manifest in the celebrity circles with baby bumps hyperventilation and people like Angelina Jolie who adopt and give birth for a houseful of offsprogs. Ms. Jolie is alternately lauded, lambasted and concern trolled. The only thing they can’t lay on her is she’s too poor to have kids.

    In the case of this lady, I don’t know if it was done to exploit public sentiment or not, given that there is no guarantee all or most of the embryos would go on to viability, but the doctors didn’t even know there were eight until the delivery.

    Still, it seems from the pressers all the doctors were on board for supporting the woman through efforts to have seven. You’d think if there were serious concerns about so many, those would have been voiced far earlier in the pregnancy by informed parties directly in the process. She was in the hospital for the last seven weeks of her term. She wasn’t exactly isolated or making decisions in a vacuum.

    I just don’t want to see this devolve into “welfare mom exploits taxpayers to selfishly reproduce on our dime” because the lady in question is a person of colour. And it sounds like it’s about to do that.

  14. 14 fern hill Friday, January 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Niles, you’re right. Women are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. But it’s such a weird story.

    Is she a person of colour? That wasn’t clear in anything I saw and usually the good ole msm has a way of letting the public know vital information like that. (You got rolly eyes here, JJ?)

  15. 15 deBeauxOs Friday, January 30, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Niles, the points you have developed are important. We all are raising issues regarding her situation, based on very little facts. I didn’t know that she was a person of colour and it changes nothing about what I wrote.

    There are reasons why human females rarely gestate more than one fetus. For one thing, we are mammals with only two breasts. The human uterus is not designed to successfully carry multiple fetus to term.

    It seems that this woman received extraordinary medical support – she must have enviable health insurance coverage, the institution who facilitated her pregnancy must have an exceptional policy for providing care on compassionate grounds or – my cynical take – her pregnancy was exploited to advance experimental procedures.

  16. 16 Beijing York Friday, January 30, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I’ve posted links at DAMMIT JANET, but it seems that the mother worked at a fertility clinic as a technician and that ALL her kids are from a single sperm donor who made a deposit in what turns out to be a long term account.

    That point of exploiting experimental procedures is a very good one dBO. There certainly is lots of money being invested into invitro surgery and other medical procedures associated with making fetus viable at earlier and earlier stages.

  17. 17 fern hill Friday, January 30, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I just read your comment at our place, Beijing York. Curiouser and curiouser.

  18. 18 Bruce Friday, January 30, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Unless she’s going for a world record, something doesn’t add up. I mean, I’ve lived in smaller towns.

  19. 19 catnip Friday, January 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Wow. Can you guys be any more judgmental? She had the babies and now she’s going to raise them. All of this poking and prodding into her circumstances (the sum of which none of you know and which is really nobody’s business) serves no useful purpose whatsoever. Why not just wish her and her family well and get on with it?

  20. 20 mouthyorange Friday, January 30, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Since I’m the one who introduced the idea that she may be “mentally wonky”, as Niles put it, I want to distinguish myself from Niles’s characterization of those who might consider whether this woman has mental health problems. I have no idea whether she is unstable or not but because we are discussing her situation I suggested that she might be. I have a lifetime of personal experience with both family and friends who have serious mental health problems (both male and female, mainly middle class, Canadian or US born and mostly white, as it happens) and some of them do things that others judge as indicative of a moral lack when it’s really motivated by something else. So:

    I did not jump to any conclusions nor advocate that anyone else do so. I suggested that she *may* be mentally unstable because I wanted people to consider that her choices *may* not be morally bankrupt, but come from something else.

    I did not wonder whether she may have mental health problems because she is a woman, poor, or a person of colour. I have not assumed she is a person of colour, and I would not judge a poor woman for having children! However, a woman who already has many children, no co-parent in sight to help her raise them or pay their way, and who herself appears to have serious financial difficulties, who in such circumstances chooses a fertility treatment that could result in multiple births — this to me seems so bizarre as to suggest that either the woman is looking for fame or money OR she may be unbalanced.

    All this said, I’m still not saying she DOES have mental health problems. I’ve got no idea. I’m also not meaning to imply that no one with mental health problems is capable of making morally responsible decisions. Everyone’s different. I’m just saying.

  21. 21 Niles Friday, January 30, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    They haven’t officially released her name, but they’ve had contact with her mother, who said that because she was an older candidate (33) they implanted more embryos and they just all decided to take – whoops.

    I *presume* there is a conservative belief system at work in the pregnancy because there was a testified conscious decision not to ‘kill’ any of the embryos, although doctors did advise for a culling. And two of her previous children are twins, so she’s in line for having more successful multiple births.

    I am also presuming that someone with the surname of Suleman (the spokes-mother) is not AngloCelticSaxon, or possibly is married into same since (it was phrased oddly– her daughter’s father)I’m presuming grandpa is the man going back to work in foreign lands ‘to support the extended family’.

    The detail in the article included lots on the previous American family who had octuplets a decade ago, whose names were also very non-AngloCelticSaxon. I admit, my foreboding about the slant becoming ‘white demographic winter/eating up our badly needed tax dollars’ hit about then.

    I just find it unsettling to ‘pathologize’ people willingly having lots of kids. It was only two generations ago that numerous offsprogs (and I mean 5-10 kids was not rare) were accepted North American/European social norms, albeit weighed in a classist manner. It’s still far too recent that deliberately childless women and queer people of all stripes were pathologized for not fitting the ‘norm’.

    This woman is reported to actively be taking on a crazy hard responsibility and she has family support. More power to her, she’s going to need it. I wish all women had that as part of their procreational portfolio. They obviously and painfully don’t, which is why I enjoy coming here to listen to JJ put on her Comstockery stompin’ boots and do some git-flattening as she levels the playing field.

  22. 22 Niles Friday, January 30, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    …and I apologize for waxing prolific in the comments

  23. 23 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Niles

    I just don’t want to see this devolve into “welfare mom exploits taxpayers to selfishly reproduce on our dime” because the lady in question is a person of colour. And it sounds like it’s about to do that.

    No worries, I knew she was a poc but it didn’t occur to me that this was an issue because white black or purple, this is an odd story. But you’re right, somewhere else it would almost certainly devolve into that kind of stereotyping. (But not here.)

    Regardless of race colour or creed, there’s something odd about this story. In itself, having octuplets is quite remarkable, just because it’s so many babies all at once. Having octuplets when you’ve already got 6 is WILD! I mean, I can see one or two or maybe even 3 more, but 8!!?? All at once?? :lol: But that’s my subjective opinion.

    As you say, she seems to have a good support system (parents willing to help out) so everyone involved has obviously decided it’s doable.

  24. 24 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    fern hill

    Is she a person of colour? That wasn’t clear in anything I saw and usually the good ole msm has a way of letting the public know vital information like that.

    I’m not positive, but I think they’re of Iraqi heritage. The grandfather (returning to Iraq to work as a contractor) was formerly in the Iraqi army.

  25. 25 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    deBeauxOs

    my cynical take – her pregnancy was exploited to advance experimental procedures.

    You’re even more cynical than I am! ;)

    As for medical coverage, I’m sure she has a great policy since she had a pretty good job.

  26. 26 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Beijing

    it seems that the mother worked at a fertility clinic as a technician and that ALL her kids are from a single sperm donor who made a deposit in what turns out to be a long term account.

    Hmmm. Well, uh, err, hmm. I can see where there are situations one might go that route, but still. Although, there’s nothing wrong about 7 kids, so maybe she just wanted one more before the biological clock ran out, and got more than she bargained for when they all glommed on. And if she was anti-abortion, culling them wouldn’t be an option.

    Still, what a mistake to implant her with 8. You wouldn’t think 33 is such an advanced age that she’d need the extras as insurance. Lots of women don’t even have their first one until that age.

    Hmmm I still think there’s an unethical doctor in this somewhere.

  27. 27 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Bruce

    I’ve lived in smaller towns.

    LOL. I think all her other kids are under 8, so imagine when they all get into adolescence and teenage years — SHRIEEEEEK!!! It will be like living in a small town. Of course, I guess she’s got an endless supply of babysitters for the littler ones.

  28. 28 mouthyorange Friday, January 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Hey Niles — thanks for the decent explanation of where you were coming from. I’m cool — just needed to explain where I was coming from, too. When impassioned I’ve been known to, as you put it, ‘wax prolific’ myself. I’m no saint (thank God — what a responsibility that would be) but at times when I’m consciously trying not to be judgemental and someone seems to turn around and suggest that I was — well, then I feel a strong need to clear my name!

    deBeauxOs — I’m sharing your cynical take, at least insofar as to say that there was something in this adventure that was in the medical profession’s interest.

    JJ — It really bugs me how many times it was mentioned that — was it the granddad? — is Iraqi. Mentioned way more often than was necessary if the purpose had been only to provide a detail of the story.

  29. 29 mouthyorange Friday, January 30, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Do we know that she takes an anti-abortion stance? If we don’t know this, it may just be that she herself doesn’t want to have an abortion, which is not the same thing of course.

  30. 30 deBeauxOs Friday, January 30, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    “I just find it unsettling to ‘pathologize’ people willingly having lots of kids. It was only two generations ago that numerous offsprogs (and I mean 5-10 kids was not rare) were accepted North American/European social norms, albeit weighed in a classist manner.”

    It wasn’t that long ago that no one gave birth to 8 babies at once.

    Assuming that Mega-Mama allows herself 3.5 hours of sleep, 2 bathroom breaks and 1 ten-minute shower a day, that she doesn’t have to prepare her own meals or do any housework, she can lavish 2.5 hours of personal attention and care per 24 hour cycle on each baby. Just saying.

  31. 31 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    catnip –

    Why not just wish her and her family well and get on with it?

    I didn’t see anyone not wishing her well.

    I regret if you’re offended, but to say this woman’s situation isn’t at least a little remarkable is somewhat naive. It’s totally acceptable to speculate about a story that’s newsworthy enough to be covered by all kinds of media.

  32. 32 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    orange

    However, a woman who already has many children, no co-parent in sight to help her raise them or pay their way, and who herself appears to have serious financial difficulties, who in such circumstances chooses a fertility treatment that could result in multiple births — this to me seems so bizarre as to suggest that either the woman is looking for fame or money OR she may be unbalanced.

    Well, yeah, that’s kind of my feeling too.

    Sure, everyone’s different, but this just seems like purposely stacking the deck against herself and her kids.

    We could be (hopefully) wrong — she could have such an awesome support system (extended family) that it’s able to help her get through the hard financial times and still have enough flex to add another 8 kids into the mix — who knows? But it’s certainly not wrong to wonder if something else is at play.

  33. 33 Niles Friday, January 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Oh duh. I’m sorry everyone. When I said that stuff about devolving into welfare mom castigation, I actually didn’t mean this confab here. This is *way* civil and reasonable compared to some US sites I wandered through.

    I was referencing the slant of some of the ‘emerging’ news articles and the rankly reactionary posters in comment sections. People were really letting loose on the ‘disgusting’ woman insisting on so many offsprogs. The really sad thing is, I found them on ‘liberal’ sites. I was afraid to delve into ‘conservative’ sites after that. Google had already turned up comments about brown puppies off ‘forums’.

    The weirdest headline that those seemed to be playing off was ‘Woman gives birth to eight babies in five minutes’. How’s that for feeding the sharks?

  34. 34 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Niles

    my foreboding about the slant becoming ‘white demographic winter/eating up our badly needed tax dollars’ hit about then.

    I just find it unsettling to ‘pathologize’ people willingly having lots of kids. It was only two generations ago that numerous offsprogs (and I mean 5-10 kids was not rare) were accepted North American/European social norms, albeit weighed in a classist manner. It’s still far too recent that deliberately childless women and queer people of all stripes were pathologized for not fitting the ‘norm’.

    For sure one walks a fine line when opinionating on anything where cultural differences might be part of the issue. However, I think where most of the other commenters are coming from is that regardless of race, this is just kind of a wacky story.

    It didn’t even occur to me to take into consideration that the mother is a poc, because I don’t think this is normal behaviour for anyone, regardless of race. But I can see where you’re coming from — on SDA et al would probably jump on the race aspect immediately.

    Which reminds me: I should ask SUZANNE how this squares with her fears about the Demographic Winter.

  35. 35 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    orange

    It really bugs me how many times it was mentioned that — was it the granddad? — is Iraqi. Mentioned way more often than was necessary if the purpose had been only to provide a detail of the story.

    Agreed, I noticed it but thought it didn’t have any real consequence to the story. I mean, what does it add, other than to establish race? And that’s kind of bullshit, because this story would be weird no matter who was involved in it.

  36. 36 Niles Friday, January 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    And I’m sorry to go on at length, but I guess I’m just as much a media gossip victim as anyone else. One of the articles had a picture of a lady identified as the family nanny, so I’d say they definitely have help, whatever the mom’s plans to breastfeed.

    Because the Iraqi angle is coming out, how’s this for a wild angle? What if…yes, this is a what if…they lost a lot of their family in Iraq and this is their way of ensuring the family name doesn’t die out? And when faced with the sort of background that has driven Iraqis the last while, maybe it’s more personal not to let even the ‘extra’ potential go by the wayside? Ok, it’s a patriarchal theory presuming on the only somewhat related war zone and a woman hazarding her life to accomplish it, but as MouthyOrange mentioned, motivation can come from nonconventional needs.

    Whatever the story, hopefully the kids will grow and prosper and the family be good to each other.

  37. 37 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Niles

    Oh duh. I’m sorry everyone. When I said that stuff about devolving into welfare mom castigation, I actually didn’t mean this confab here.

    No prob, don’t apologize. You were speaking your mind, and besides, you raised some valid points.

    This is *way* civil and reasonable compared to some US sites I wandered through.

    NOOOOOOOO!

  38. 38 sassy Friday, January 30, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    I wonder if she would like to have more children.

  39. 39 JJ Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Sassy – Oh shit, NO DOUBT :lol:

  40. 40 Bene D Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 1:23 am

    Yeah sadly there is a wacky element.
    Mom has a degree in child development and was a psych tech until she was injured on the job.
    One of the older kids is autistic, and grandma can’t take anymore and is kicking her out of the house.

    Her debt was nearly a million bucks and her attorney says she withdrew her bankruptcy filing and paid it off?
    She wanted 12 kids and has been obsessed with having children since she was a teen according to grandma.

    All the babies are from her own embryos, grandma is grateful there aren’t anymore in a tank.

    It’s going to take a village to raise these kids, and I agree, although she went against medical advice, there does appear to be some medical agendas here on the part of er, medical people.

    There is continued insistence there were no fertility drugs used, although grandma said Ms. Suleman couldn’t have kids when she was younger(which may have fed her obsession, who knows).

    She wanted a one more girl according to grandma. Mom is divorced and her ex isn’t the father.

    It’s not against the law to plant as many embryos as a doctor wants to.

    Interesting ethical dilemmas, I find myself feeling sad for all concerned.

  41. 41 Bene D Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Back to the obession theory. Displacement?

    ABC News:

    ABC News has learned through San Bernardino Superior Court Records that the 33-year-old California woman, whose name is Nadya Doud (she filed to have her name changed to Nadya Suleman in 2001 — though it was not clear if the request was granted), divorced her husband, Marcos Gutierrez, in January 2008.

    He isn’t the father of the first six either. If I’m reading this right, grandma and grandpa are divorced also, but still live together.

    NNIC will run about 8 hundred thousand, thats not counting pre delivery hospital rest and delivery. The complications these babies face are huge: prematurity and low birth weight in multiple-birth babies puts them at greater risk for a variety of complications, including respiratory problems at birth, cerebral palsy, birth defects, sensory disorders and even death.

    It gets financially harder real fast. “For eight children under the age of 1, that number mushrooms to $73,368. Per. year. Yikes.

    In 1998 the Chukwu family in Texas (8 born, one died) put out a call for help to the community.

    ABC News: “They received cash contributions, volunteer help with child care, a year’s worth of grocery and diaper donations and more.”

    People, companies, churches, organizations are going to have to step in to help Nadyas kids, what option is there?

  42. 42 brebis noire Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 7:15 am

    I’m still wondering about the fertility treatment ethical issue. It seems to me that any medical treatments to enhance fertility which often involve abortion/suppression of excess embryos should be a big focus of the fetus fetishists. But somehow, it appears to be off their radar.

    Talk about making life cheap. The cheapest things always turn out to be the most expensive.

    I’m wondering how many years it will take to make the conclusive links between fertility treatments and all kinds of physical ills (and not just because of prematurity). In natural conditions, human women can barely support twin pregnancies and births, never mind these multiples.

    Any doctor who says that it’s none of his business to tell a woman how many kids she should have at one time should have his head – and his qualifications – examined.

  43. 43 hemmingforddogblog Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 7:31 am

    According to the article I read, the AMA says that no more than 2 embryos should be implanted in a woman of this age (32-33). Also, have you noticed that the clinic where she went has not come forward?

  44. 44 Dr. Prole Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 8:21 am

    As a bleeding heart liberal, I am generally in favor of helping those in need, especially children. But this case is really pushing my “it takes a village” envelope and testing the boundaries of my sympathy.

    I sincerely hope, for these childrens’ sake, that they are all healthy, have full use of their 5 senses and have no developmental disabilities.

  45. 45 Beijing York Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 8:28 am

    the AMA says that no more than 2 embryos should be implanted in a woman of this age (32-33)

    Well that seems like a very reasonable guideline.

  46. 46 JJ Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Bene D – Thanks for the update and info.

    It’s going to take a village to raise these kids, and I agree, although she went against medical advice, there does appear to be some medical agendas here on the part of er, medical people.

    Wow. At the risk of sounding judgmental, it’s hard to escape the fact that there are many kinds of wrong in this story. Ms. Suleman’s clearly got issues that pre-existed the octuplets. And the doctors who enabled her to have the octuplets — what can they be thinking??

    Not that there’s anything wrong with wanting a whole big passel of kids, but it seems that with the deck already stacked against her, this woman is taking on an almost insurmountable responsibility… especially if the babies aren’t all healthy (and I’m hoping they all turn out to be very robust).

    Wow.

  47. 47 JJ Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 9:12 am

    brebis

    Any doctor who says that it’s none of his business to tell a woman how many kids she should have at one time should have his head – and his qualifications – examined.

    Can’t argue with that. Doctors are supposed to advise their patients on the healthiest path to take, and they do have the option to say “Sorry, no can do” when what the patient wants is so obviously risky and unnecessary. (And this has nothing to do with “conscience”, but rather just doing the healthy thing by the patient.)

  48. 48 JJ Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 9:14 am

    SQ

    Also, have you noticed that the clinic where she went has not come forward?

    Yes… but how could they not know that this would get media attention? I suppose they didn’t think all 8 would take, and having fucked this up royally, they don’t want to identify themselves.

  49. 49 JJ Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Dr.Prole

    As a bleeding heart liberal, I am generally in favor of helping those in need, especially children. But this case is really pushing my “it takes a village” envelope and testing the boundaries of my sympathy.

    Mine too.

    Purposely setting up a situation where you know you’re going to need a lot of help doesn’t seem right, when most people fall into such circumstances completely by accident.

  50. 50 JJ Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Beijing – At age 33, and already having had 6 (including twins), the woman is obviously healthy (reproductively, anyway). I can’t imagine what they were thinking to install so many embryos in someone who clearly doesn’t have a problem getting them to “take”.

  51. 51 brebis noire Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 3:13 am

    It’s being presumed that she went to an under-the-radar or out of the country IVF facility, which is why no one’s talking.

    IVF isn’t a very expensive technique; it’s done routinely in dairy cow medicine to implant genetically valuable embryos into regular cows. (I predict that will also end in grief at some point.) But in this case, it’s not the embryos that were costly – it’s gonna be the care they’re needing after birth.

    Either “the village” is gonna have to step in, or this is going to end badly, I’m sad to say.

  52. 52 Joe Agnost Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 9:22 am

    In the paper this weekend they were reporting that she (the mother) is in contact with Oprah and Diane Sawyer – she’s “selling” her story to the highest bidder. It said she was looking for $2 million… it even said (I think) that she had an agent!! It was in the Ottawa Citizen – I’ll look for the article online.

  53. 53 Joe Agnost Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Oops… you’ve got another thread for this… I’ll move on. ;)

  54. 54 Gordie Canuk Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Just curious here….

    “Okay: it’s definitely not my cup of tea (more like my vision of HELL), but as long as they’ve got the , it’s their business, right”?

    So…only those with the “ways and means to support these kids”, then its their business, but not if they need state assistance?

    Does that mean you want the state imposing its will on reproductive rigths based on a “ways and means” test?

    “Sorry dear, you’re rich so no abortion for you…you can afford the child”.

    “I understand you’re opposed to abortion…but you can’t afford those twins you’re carrying. The doctor will see you shortly”.

    Talk about a brave new world.

  55. 55 JJ Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Gordie – Uh — I think you missed my point by about a mile.

    OBVIOUSLY I am not advocating that the state have any part in deciding who can have kids or not, and I’m a little baffled that you’d take that away from what you’ve read here. Especially since it should be clear by now from other discussions that we’ve had that I’m against “the state” intervening in ANY personal decisions.

    When I say “it’s their business” all I’m saying is that it’s nothing for the media to get torqued up about. Another way of putting it would have been “there’s no story here”. As for the term “ways and means”, that covers a lot more territory than finanicial wherewithal, as we are beginning to find out with this particular tale.

    That better?

    OTOH, if you were just being humourous, then :lol:


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