Octuplets: The Controversy Over In Vitro Fertilization (Updated with New Information 2.6.09)

The California mother who recently gave birth to octuplets (8 babies!) is now stirring up a whole lot of questions. Questions over ethics, in vitro fertilization and how any children is too many. For one, I can't even imagine having 8 newborns...oh and then bringing them home to meet their 6 siblings!  But...just in case you find yourself in this situation...here's a survival guide for Octuplets

When I first heard the 33 year old mother already had six children I couldn't understand why she would bring eight more into the world, especially at one time. While I respect her decision not to abort any of the fetuses, my concern stems from how she even got pregnant with this many babies in the first place.

According to the Associate Press Nadya Suleman's mother (who she lives with and is helping raise the other six children, ages 2-7) revealed her daughter was obsessed with having babies since she was a teenager. Her mother was quoted in an AP article as saying "but luckily she couldn't." Apparently that was true until she met a doctor who was willing to implant at least 8 embryos. What kind of responsible doctor would allow this??? This is a woman who doesn't have a husband, is living at home with her own mother, and gave birth to six other children in the previous seven years. 

Not only is this not responsible medical practice, this is not responsible parenting. These 14 children will end up relying on public services and taxpayers' money to be taken care of..and by no fault of their own. Apparently, the woman's own mother tried convincing her to stop having babies. But was she enabling her by putting a roof over her head and raising her children? Even the mother now says she's thankful it's over since her daughter is out of eggs and she can't get pregnant the tradition way. 

I have little room to talk, and I admit that. I conceived my daughter with relatively little effort. However, as the mother of an infant, I feel I am justified to add my two sense.  I fully understand that fertility treatments are extremely expensive and there's always the risk that implanting too few eggs will not result in a pregnancy. But there's also the risk that implanting too many eggs will result in too many fetuses, hence the octuplets. I know what it takes to raise a newborn... I'm doing it full time. There are days when I feel I'm not giving my daughter enough attention. How in the world is this woman going to raise 8 infants and take care of 6 other needy children, work a job, sleep and eat healthfully. Oh wait, SHE WON'T! She likely won't work, but without a husband, what will her income be? Handouts? Public assistance? She won't sleep and will, therefore, most likely be extremely stressed out and have little patience in meeting her childrens' needs.  I'm sure as a mother she will put her children before herself and therefore she's at risk for letting her own well-being and health slip.

The bottom line is her fertility doctor and medical advisor should not be allowed to continue practicing and she should not be allowed to continue have babies. 

But then again, who am I to say?


So I guess the saying is true...once a new producer always a news producer. Alright so I made it up, but you get the point. I can't get the newshound in me to completely go into hibernation. My husband knows this which is why he recorded NBC's Today Show for me this morning when the mother of the octuplets was interviewed by Ann Curry. She defended her decision and told Curry that once she's done her school she'll be able to afford them...meaning her 14 children (all under 7 years old.) I just wonder what happens until then. Hmm??? You can watch part of the interview if you're interested.

Now the most revealing part of the interview to me was that this woman actually had the same fertility doctor for all of her children. You see what I'm getting at here? The doctor already knew she had 6 other children. He rightfully deserves the California State Investigation that he now finds himself at the center of. What was he thinking? (In all fairness he did only implant six eggs. Two of them split resulting in two sets of twins.)


Anonymous said...

You have raised some interesting points. Today, someone suggested that the mother of the octuplets should have psychiatric testing. At first I thought that was such a harsh comment, however, the more I've thought about it, the more I think that this woman is living recklessly, and maybe should have a mental evaluation! First of all, she has placed her babies at risk for all of the problems that babies can have from being born preterm. Many of those complications can have lifelong ramifications. Now, how can she possible give these babies the proper time and attention required to meet the basic needs of food, diapering and attention. I can not even imagine how she will handle the financial burden of raising 14 children. I can only hope that she will receive a lot of assistance because if she doesn't, and she can't take proper care of these babies, she could possibly have them taken away from her.

...The Obnoxious SAHM said...

Hi! First of all I found your blog via on facebook on a SAHM group. :) I responded to your post and said that I would check out your blog. In regards to your blog here... very interesting points. Frankly ... I'd be running scared from all of those babies. I only have 2 and my hands are completely full with my dealing with them.
I think she is crazy.

Jan said...

There is only one Octomom in the world. Women who have octuplets are extremely rare - not even worth discussing, really.

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