Mom and Grandma and Grandpa + 14?

I’m sure many of you have read about the woman who just had octuplets, and today, CBS is reporting that this woman, who is apparently rather young, has six other children, and lives (along with those kids) with her parents in what is likely a 3-bedroom house. No one has confirmed whether or not any sort of fertility treatments were involved, but I think in this community we all know they probably were.

I must first say that I support single moms by choice. I don’t think women need a partner to have a child or even multiple children. However, at some point, when one is living with one’s parents in what seems to already be a fairly difficult situation, shouldn’t one opt NOT to have more children? Putting aside the dangers of a pregnancy like this to both mom and the babies, what is this going to do to those around them? What about these other children who are likely to become caretakers for their siblings? How much of their lives do they have to sacrifice for mom’s choices?

How is this woman (or her parents) going to afford to raise fourteen children? Maybe she’s got hoards or cash. More likely is that she’ll be given all sorts of donations from the usual suspects because her multiples birth is so unusual.  As someone who is trying to make ends meet so that our child has a good life, I just don’t find this fair. Those women out there who opted NOT to inseminate or have sex when they had too many follicles growing aren’t going to get a special van or house or even diapers for a year for having just one or two kids. None of us is.

This woman and her doctor clearly made some decisions that led to her litter of children, and I’m not sure those decisions should be rewarded.

I’m curious, though. What do you think?

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Mom and Grandma and Grandpa + 14?

  1. I agree with you, I don’t think it should be rewarded. I think it’s irresponsible and I’m really not looking forward to their tv show.

    Yet, this perspective we share is one I haven’t heard in the media. People are dancing around with excitement and everyone’s talking about it and I just can’t share in the enthusiasm.

  2. Amy

    i couldn’t agree with you more AND i didn’t know that she already had 6! WOW!! but honestly, how could she have afforded ferility treatment as a single parent, living with her family (presumably because she needed the help) with 6 already. it all really seems unfathomable.

  3. We TOTALLY agree with you. And personally, I really am wondering what the thought process was behind deciding to go through with the whole thing. Plus, how DO you afford fertility treatment in that situation?? It’s hard enough with two hard working parents. Hm.

  4. I agree with you completely. I went to the link you provided and read through the tons of comments after the article. Most people seemed to be in the same camp as us with a few token wackos chiming in on how great it is and God works in mysterious ways, blah blah blah.
    I’m curious to know the whole story and baffled that real life human beings are out there who don’t think any fertility drugs were used in the making of 8 babies. Seriously? You think God did that, huh?

  5. Jodi

    I’m really curious about this whole thing too–the kind of curious you get when you see a two-headed turtle or a five legged cow. Who decides to do this when she already has six children? What doctor agrees to perform fertility treatments on a mother of six? No mention of a partner/husband, and no one is talking to the media about it, so it’s hard to say why she did this.

    The babies will be in the hospital for a long time before they can come home, and some of these babies will likely have long-term issues due to their premature birth. Who will pay for their health care? Will this woman be given a deal with Dateline or Lifetime? Should these children be paraded about like two-headed turtles at a freak show just so mom can earn some extra scratch?

    The whole thing is kinda creepy. I think there’s way, way more to this story than we know.

  6. A

    I totally agree. I haven’t really followed her story since I didn’t know she already had 6 children. It’s not like she has been trying for years and years and oops I accidently got pregnant with 8 when I was just trying for the 1 I so desperately wanted….

    Didn’t happen like that. She already had 6!! I feel like it’s a little selfish. It shouldn’t be rewarded, but she’ll get a ton of free stuff. Be followed yearly by the morning TV shows and use this situation to her advantage.

  7. cindyhoo2

    Ick, ick, ick! See above responses. Clo.mid is just so damn cheap that anyone can afford it. Granted the woman is completely irresponsible, but I want to know what doctor gave her the meds, why and did he/she do any monitoring? For pete’s sake, if this is the way doctors use fertility meds, let’s just sell them over the counter!

  8. Agreed. Completely selfish and insane. I’m all for forced sterilization now.

  9. vee

    I’m with you too. I read a different article http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/30/octuplets-mother-six-children saying that she DOES have a husband, who works away in Iraq. It also mentions fertility treatment of the IVF kind and I can’t help but think that the doctor that sanctioned the transfer of 8 embryos to a young woman clearly capable of sustaining pregnancies was UTTERLY irresponsible too and should be struck off. I also read that the kids she already has are aged between 7 and 2. What a freak show. poor kids.

  10. A.

    Agreed. I saw on Good Morning America this morning that they’ve confirmed that the mother used fertility treatments to have the 8. Before I saw the house she lives in (with her parents), I thought “she must be independently wealthy” to be able to afford fertility treatments, in addition to her 6 other kids! I’m just in shock. To me, it seems like taking advantage of the system. It took 46 doctors to deliver those babies!

  11. Elsha Quinn

    I’m a perpetual lurker, and I read your blog a lot. Congrats on the BFP!

    On this topic however, I have to disagree with you. I feel like everyone is making A LOT of assumptions about this woman’s living situation and motives for TTC again.

    I think its clear that there’s a great deal we absolutely don’t know about this woman and her life. I don’t think its right to judge her and assume she’ll be become a leech on society because of her decision.

    Multiple births attract media attention, but from what I’ve read, she’s asked for a lot of privacy. We don’t even know her name. The press has had to camp outside of her parent’s house for any shred of information. She doesn’t seem to be standing in front of the TV cameras with her hand out.

    And I definitely wouldn’t blame her for accepting free baby items or a new car. Who would turn that down?

    So in the spirit of reproductive freedom, and her right to privately raise her family the way she wants, I think we should leave her alone.

  12. I agree that it seems irresponsible and just sort of odd. It will be interesting to read the People article (I just assume there will be one lol).

    Also, I don’t believe Clo.mid would give you 8 babies….she had to have more intense intervention than Clo.mid.

  13. it’s pretty amazing that all eight of those babies survived the birthing process

  14. If this was IVF, the transfer of eight (if not more!) embryos to this patient HAS to be malpractice.

    Good grief.

  15. I think it’s criminal.

  16. giggleblue

    wow. i’m the only person with a differing opinion about it. honestly, i think a lot of people have assumed a lot of things about this lady based upon the fact that she has so many children.

    i mean, in this post and comments alone, it’s been assumed that she is a single mom (when in fact she is married and her husband is a contractor in iraq, which pays quite well) and she is abusing the system (a “system” that does NOT pay for IVF, keep in mind).

    if anyone knows, we know that IVF is not cheap or free, so she has to have some type of cash flow to even consider that as an option. considering that her husband is working a contracting job in iraq, i’m sure he is bringing in plenty of money.

    for all we know, she could be living with her parents for the time being because her husband is away and she needs help with her children. a lot of individuals with deployed spouses move in with their parents while their spouse is away, especially if they have more than a few kids. it’s easier that way sometimes – speaking from the experience of my life as a military brat.

    not to mention, this lady is not asking for the publicity. as a matter of fact, she asked explicitly for the hospital not to release her name to the media. the media found her parent’s home and is now camped out in front of their house. the grand father has said that they will be moving to another home far more secluded, so that they can live peacefully. seems like if she wanted to abuse the system, she would be flinging her children around on camera trying to get free diapers and car seats.

    it’s funny to me that just in the wake of the anniversary of roe vs. wade with all the anti-abortion talk, so many people are suggesting that she should have done a selective reduction (specifically those that are anti-abortion). it’s her business if she didn’t want to reduce, and as the doctor stated regarding the reduction, it wasn’t his choice to make. people praised palin’s daughter for not having an abortion, but no one is praising this woman for allowing all of these babies a chance at life.

    regardless, it’s her uterus and i’m a strong advocate for everyone minding their own uterus and being able to make choices about what happens in their own uterus. i try not to judge situations like this. there is a large portion of society that believes that homosexuals are not fit to raise children and that a pregnant lesbian is “unnatural”. it’s not fair to us, just like the talk about this lady isn’t fair to her.

  17. reproducinggenius

    I’m loving this discussion, although it looks like I’ve stirred up some controversy for some of you!

    It’s actually the woman’s father who is a contractor returning to Iraq (mentioned in the Guardian article linked by Vee above). There has been no mention of a significant other in any media. Regardless of whether or not she has a partner of any sort, and regardless of whether or not she will receive public assistance, these children will benefit from public services. They will place more strain on an already strained California economy. More than that, this will place strain on the other kids on the family. That was one of my primary points.

    Having octuplets is a choice, and in my very humble opinion, when one already has six children, it’s a poor choice. But then, I’m not a fan of the Duggars either. I’m not a fan of those huge Mormon families. I’m not going to go protest outside of their homes, but I’m certainly going to speak out about it as I see fit on my own blog.

    Given the pain so many feel about difficulties with reproduction in our corner of the blogosphere, it honestly surprises me when this sort of thing is celebrated. It was irresponsible of her and her doctors for medical reasons, for social reasons, for environmental reasons, and for personal reasons. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  18. giggleblue

    people could say it’s irresponsible to have a child if you aren’t 100% mentally stable, or if you don’t own a home or if you don’t have a job or if you don’t have enough money to afford private school. it’s all relative.

    for anyone who is pregnant or has children, someone could think of a thousand reasons why it was “irresponsible” for someone to reproduce.

  19. liberationtheory

    i had a conversation recently with a woman who felt that anyone who goes through ART to have a child is selfish for the very reasons that you have stated, that infertility whether by “choice” (no male in your life) or by nature is natural selection and to go around that is putting a strain on “the system.”

    i’ve also heard people that say that if you don’t make XYZ amount of money or if you can’t afford the bells and whistles of ART then that means you can’t afford a child. again, a judgement statement about someone else’s choices based on a person’s OWN value system.

    but then to hear it repeated here is really disappointing.

    yes, it’s your blog. you can say what you want and it’s all great. but as a reader and someone that’s going through a similar struggle, i find it uncanny when we start to pass judgement about someone else’s womb. i won’t even go there with the H word.

  20. liberationtheory

    oh yeah, best of luck in your journey. i probably won’t continue reading your blog because i feel very strongly about ppl who wave one banner but then aren’t understanding about other’s.