She Always Dreamed Of Having A Big Family, But She Couldn’t Foresee Having This Much Kids
Having twins or even triplets seems like a real challenge for new parents and pregnant moms. But what is it to be an Octomom? Well, Nadya Suleman is the one that can tell us as she had an exceptionally large number of children in one pregnancy. To be specific, she had eight kids in a single pregnancy.
Her pregnancy was actually record-breaking in many ways. Not only for the number of kids, but also for the methods Nadya and her doctor used to get her pregnant. A lot of people criticized her decisions, while others couldn’t help but adore her. But what is sure, is that this supermom and her growing family caught the attention of whole America. Read on to discover what her family is up to today and how the octoplets look like.
1. An Only Child
Being an only child born to immigrants – an Iraqi father and Lithuanian mother – Nadya Suleman always dreamed of having siblings she could emotionally connect with. Since she was really young she always dreamed of having a big family.
She craved emotional attachment to other people and promised herself to start a family on her own one day that would permit her to develop deep connections with her future children. But no matter how much she wanted to have a big family, she could never foresee an event that will flip her life upside down.
2. With Adulthood Comes The Motherhood
As soon as adulthood came across her way, Nadya Suleman started her journey toward motherhood. Right after she graduated high school in Southern California, she was determined to fulfill her dream of starting a family as a single woman.
Like most of the people her age, Nadya also planned to go to college, but she knew clearly that becoming a mother was an absolute priority for her. But as they say, Be careful of what you wish for. Nadya will soon get what she wanted, and probably not in the way she had always imagined it. However, it’s her method of achieving it that made the world go nuts.
3. Falling in Love
Nadya was only in her early twenties when she met a produce manager named Marcos Gutierrez. He was a really charming man that made her feel an instant connection. They were deeply in love and for Nadya, this relationship was really deep and meaningful.
As you could probably suspect, Nadya made it clear that she wanted to have children. At first, it didn’t seem to be an issue for Gutierrez either, as he wanted to be a father to her children. But Nadya couldn’t know at the mere beginning, that Marcos Gutierrez and her won’t be able to have children together.
4. A Draining Job
The year Nadya Suleman married Marcos, she got a psychiatric technician license from Mt. San Antonio College and started working at Metropolitan State Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Norwalk, California.
She was working with mentally troubled patients, and while it was indeed a rewarding job, it was still very exhausting for Nadya. No matter how much she wanted a big family, she also wanted to pursue a meaningful career. But a harrowing experience happened at that facility that will change her life forever.
5. The Strike Accident
On September 18, 1999, a disaster struck the psychiatric facility at which Nadya Suleman worked. Twenty patients started a riot, and the dutiful Nadya ended up right in the middle of it all trying to intervene. During the riot, one of the patients threw a wooden desk that landed right on Nadya’s back.
She suffered a herniated disc injury and filed for workers’ compensation benefits that earned her $170,000. But, the injury was the last thing that worried Nadya at the time.
6. Stopped Dreams
Nadya Suleman’s injury affected her ability to work and lead to a great deal of distress and physical pain. The compensation she received indeed helped her get by, but she had bigger issues bugging her. She was afraid that this could mean that she has to postpone her dream.
Nadya and her husband had actively been working to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother. Although they tried to have children, over and over again, somehow it just didn’t work out. They decided to visit a doctor in order to find out what was going on.
7. Bad News
After visiting many doctors, Nadya Suleman and Marcos Gutierrez took every necessary step in order to finally conceive a baby. All the tips they received from different doctors just didn’t seem to work for them. It ended up lowering Nadya’s enthusiasm.
Eventually, these failing attempts frustrated her so much that she became depressed. Finally, they discovered the cruel truth. Nothing they did was wrong, it was just that her husband was sterile. Now they had to discuss different options when finding out the traditional way wasn’t going to work.
8. The Last Hope
Nadya Suleman continued talking about the issue with her husband. If she couldn’t have kids in the traditional way, she wanted to settle for an alternative method. But that’s the way only Nadya saw it. Marcos, on the other hand, had different feelings on the matter.
When Nadya suggested the method of in vitro fertilization (IVF), Marcos didn’t want to hear about it. He warned her that if she decided to do so, he would leave her.
9. In Between
The new situation left Nadya Suleman with a difficult decision to make. She had to choose between her love for her husband and her lifelong dream of having kids. What was the right thing to do? Would she forgive herself for staying with her husband and never having the kind of family she dreamed of?
It was far from easy, but Nadya decided to follow her dreams and ended her relationship with Marcos Gutierrez in 2000. She wanted to have kids through IVF and was excited to start the process.
10. An Expensive Dream
The IVF process isn’t a particularly complicated process, but it doesn’t have a 100% success rate. For not being able to guarantee a successful conceiving, the in vitro fertilization is a pretty expensive operation.
But Nadya had already grown tired of failure and wanted to do everything she could in order to become a mom. During the fertilization process, medical experts usually include several eggs in case some of them don’t succeed. That’s why the procedure involved another risk that would turn to be very important to Nadya.
11. Will The Risk Be Worth It?
What this risk meant was that by placing multiple eggs in the mother’s uterus, there are higher possibilities that more than one egg could make it through the fertilization process. As you suppose, this means that the mother could end up having more than one baby.
But this wasn’t a problem at all of Nadya. In fact, it seemed that she was hoping that she would be having more than one baby at the time. At this point, some argued that she should have been scared at least a little because of this risk. But she indeed had no idea what as about to come.
12. First Baby Elijah!
For someone like Nadya, the risk of being pregnant with more than one child is actually something she’s hoping for. She wasn’t expecting anything like that, but she was more than happy when she got the results of her IVF procedure.
The operation was successful and Nadya had her first child, a beautiful baby boy named Elijah. After years of struggle, her dream of becoming a mother became a reality. But Nadya didn’t plan to stop.
13. More Babies!
Only a year after Elijah was born, Nadya Suleman had a daughter named Amerah. It seemed that IVF worked so well for her, and finally, Nadya could fulfill her dream of having as many babies as she wanted. She decided to continue treatments, ending up with fraternal twins and two more children.
While for most people six kids would be more than enough, Nadya still felt she wanted more children after her sixth child. Even if the situation was already particular and controversial, what she would do next would baffle millions.
14. A Shocking Decision
In 2008, Nadya will decide something that would transform her from a “regular” single mom of 6 to a national celebrity. She turned to her doctor dr. Michael Kamrava who followed all of her procedures for another IVF treatment. But this time it will be a different one.
There were still six eggs frozen that left from Nadya’s last treatment, and she didn’t want them to go to waste. Nadya wanted to make sure all of them will be used. She asked Dr. Kamrava to implant all of the remaining eggs into her at a single procedure! But that’s not the shocking part…
15. Six More?
At first, Dr. Michael Kamrava hesitated before complying to Nadya’s request. He ended up implanting all six leftover eggs. Nadya didn’t want to hear about wasting any of the embryos even if it meant having multiple babies.
But what many found most baffling about this story is that Kamrava when even further by injecting not only six but twelve eggs in total. The recommended maximum of eggs is two! And this doctor increased the number by 10 more. This caused serious accusations and affected immediately doctor’s reputation because of the unparalleled results that Nadya was about to face.
16. Octuplets On The Way
It turned out that eight out of 12 embryos stuck, making Nadya pregnant with eight children at once. However, Dr. Michael Kamrava was punished by a radical departure from medical-community and was expelled from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine by violating group’s standards.
However, Nadya seemed to not regret any bit of it. But still, there is a great difference between what a person wants and can actually handle. So the question that arose was “Will Nadya Suleman be physically able to give birth to eight babies at once?”. Especially after giving birth to six kids before.
The draining nine months with 8 babies in the stomach, definitely took a toll on Nadya’s body. The pregnancy with 8 babies at once is certainly something that most women couldn’t handle. In fact, the media shared her story very quickly, and Nadya and her family went viral. That is when she got the nickname “Octomom”.
As much as this pregnancy could seem like a less important story to share, there were other reasons that justified Octomom’s notoriety. Her pregnancy turned out to be a record-breaking one. Not only, but it will bring implications to the rest of her life that won’t be really positive.
18. Delivery of Octuplets
The moment of truth arrived for Octomom when the time of delivery came. It turned out that Nadya Suleman’s pregnancy was a healthy one and they were born safely. What a relief! It was something that the whole world was waiting to hear.
In fact, what made this pregnancy so special, is that Octomom’s set of octuplets were the first ever set to be born alive and remain alive one week after their birth. Nadya was so happy to hold her eight little babies and to finally introduce them to their six other siblings.
19. Subject Of Awe
The whole world was captivated by Nadya’s incredible story, but the medical community seemed to be especially interested in it. Shortly after her octuplets delivery, doctors were trying to get in touch with her. Almost no one knew that Dr. Kamrava walked Nadya through IVF, and many were fascinated by the fact that a woman’s body was physically capable of handling such an onerous pregnancy.
Many questions abounded. How was she able to successfully give birth to eight kids at once? How was it physically possible for a woman to give birth to so many babies?
20. A Media Sensation
Before her octuplets were even born, Nadya was already a media sensation. Everyone was reporting on her incredible pregnancy: newspapers, websites and even some news channels. Suddenly, the entire nation knew her face and her nickname: Octomom. Nadya wanted to stay in control of her story.
She wanted to capitalize on the attention and make sure that she’s presented in a positive light. Not long after her post-pregnancy recovery, Nada hired a public relations team. She wanted her story to be spread, but in a way that she won’t lose control over it. It wasn’t an easy task to do.
21. Octomom’s Consuming Persona
When fame hits you, you inevitably change they say. Well, it seems to be true for Nadya too. The media was always around, and the critics were quite harsh in commenting on Nadya’s decisions. They argued that the reason she had all those children was the fact she wanted to be in the spotlight all along.
However, Nadya was trying to balance out the Octomom persona and raising 14 children. After some time, her new persona began to drain and consume her. Californians started to accuse Nadya of embodying taxpayer waste, irresponsibility and basically everything wrong with contemporary American society.
22. People Interview
The more people talked about her, the more her story started to get out of hand. Nadya couldn’t do anything to control the coverage of her pregnancy and octuplets. So, she decided to take a more drastic measure and get out to the public.
In an interview with People magazine, Nadya opened up about her struggles “I don’t get much sleep, about two or three hours a night,” she said. “But I’m continuing to move forward with my life and trying to be the best mother I can be.” But still, her urge to explain the situation and seek embrace of the media attention made many think she just wanted more media coverage.
The fame around Nadya and her kids didn’t seem to fade even years after giving birth. No matter how much the critics were loud, America just couldn’t get enough of Octomom and her kids. But the spotlight she wasn’t prepared for brought her down and she felt so bad to the extent that her ability to raise her children was compromised.
Many reported that Octomom reached a low point in life and accepted welfare in order to take care of 14 children. She felt all alone despite her 14 kids, and she felt like the world was against her. But soon a challenge will arrive that won’t be very easy on her.
24. Poor Childhood Conditions
As if it wasn’t enough, certain sources started spreading rumors about Nadya Suleman mistreating her kids. Many still asked how could a single mother take care of all those kids? Child Protective Services were alerted and they had to check if Nadya was, in fact, neglecting her children.
But after investigating Nadya’s property, they found no proven ground for the rumors and described her home as perfectly suitable for children. Unfortunately for Octomom, there was someone who disagreed with that claim and had the power of changing her life drastically within a day.
25. Eviction Notice
The person that didn’t agree with child protective services was Nadya’s landlord. And honestly, he is probably the only person that had the power to affect her life drastically. Reportedly, he accused Nadya of violating her lease’s terms.
He took Nadya’s living situation to the media and eventually evicted her. Nadya’s dream to be a good mother was now again jeopardized. She was on the verge of being homeless and she couldn’t let that happen. She had to go for desperate measures to ensure her family had a home to sleep in.
26. Entertainment World
Having no chances in convincing her landlord of staying in the house, Nadya and her kids had to get out. Now she had to find a place where she and her 14 children could live. The media might have depicted her as a caricature and as a trash persona, but in her private life, Nadya was a wonderful mother.
Suleman didn’t have enough money to find another place where her kids could live normally and she had to get some as soon as possible. She tried her luck eventually in the film world and had a short-lived music career. She also dove into a few other business ventures. But did any of it manage to let her lead a normal life?
27. Spotlight Pressures
While spotlight pressures indeed left a mark on Nadya Suleman, but as soon as she recognized she was losing herself in it, she decided to depart from that kind of life. The persona that media created of her was so much different from who she really was, and she had troubles in trusting and recognizing herself. She now wanted to make big changes that would make her a better mother for her children and make her life easier.
Nadya decided to start with her name first and changed it to Natalie. It might seem like a simple symbolic move but she didn’t stop there. Nadya finished her college degree and started to work part-time as a family therapist.
28. The Kids Today
Her octuplets are 9 years old today and are all doing well. What seems to be their passion is food! They are all on vegan diets and actually seem to be loving it. Those must be really strong-willed kids when most children constantly dream of candies, chocolate, and chips.
Their mother, today is known as Natalie, said that she often speaks to her children about her entire journey and prefers to be a straightforward parent. Everything she has ever done since getting the octuplets, she did for the sake of her children. She calls herself and her kids “the Solomon family” and has opened an Instagram account under the same name where she shares her story of being an unemployed mother of 14.
29. A Guardian Angel
But what has made this mom change her mind? According to Natalie, in February 2013 when she was working in the film industry a man walked into the club she was at in Florida and approached her with words: “You don’t have to do this”. After repeating it a couple of times, Nadya couldn’t fight back the tears that were running down her face.
She said that in that very moment her life changed forever. She realized that in order to be a good mom and give her kids only the best, she had to feel good in her own skin. Nadya was determined to achieve it and she made it despite having to take care of 14 children.
30. A New Life
She calls the man whose words changed her life her guardian angel and says he has given her the strength to move forward and put her “seedy” life behind her. There were hard times, and she struggled many times. But now she is happy and surrounded with love.
Now that Natalie Suleman is in her early 40s, her life is back on track and she’s ditched any questionable jobs. Her kids are growing up to be beautiful persons, and are very different among them.