Guest Author - Carol Taller
On January 26, 2009 Nadya Suleman gave birth to octuplets for the second time in history. The first family to give birth to octuplets was to Nkem and Ikye Louis Chukwu of Houston, Texas. The differences between the two families are as different as night and day.
The birth of the Suleman octuplets was more like a circus event than a warm family event. Nadya's psychological state was questioned and she immediately was dubbed "octomom".
The family today is in turmoil. They are in financial ruins and have gone on welfare. She expected to be offered a reality tv series, but it never came through and now admits that she would not have had the babies if she had known what life would be like now.
Suleman began in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments when she was 21 years old. She gave birth to her first child four years later, and then her next child within another year. She had four more children through IVF treatments.
In 2008 Suleman requested six embryos be emplanted, even though the norm for a woman her age is usually two or three. There is conflicting reports about how six embryos turned into eight, and her medical records remain private. She was offered selective reduction after five fetuses were found and she declined.
There was public outrage that she was not able to support her 14 children without a spouse and she should not have been allowed to “choose” implanting so many embryos. Her physician, Dr. Michael Kamrava, was expelled from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine as a result of his poor decisions during her treatment. The public wondered if science had gone too far.
She was accused of being selfish because she knew she could not raise that many children on her own. Americans resented her giving birth to children that they would have to support.
After the birth of her octoplets she hired two public relations companies that both quit after death threats. US tv networks were reluctant to make any deals with Suleman due to the huge resentment she evoked.
During an appearance on Oprah Winfry, Suze Orman gave Suleman financial advice. She told her eliminate her nanny team and only use one nanny, sell off what she wasn’t using, and to write a book. Suleman followed her advice.
Compare this life to the Chukwu family. They were international news when the babies were born. The world watched in amazement and prayed for their safety. One baby died and the country mourned the loss. The seven other children are reported to be happy and healthy and completely unaware of the notoriety.
On the Chukwu children’s 10th birthday their Mom, Nkem, was quoted saying what a blessing her family has been. She wants to give back to the world since they were so supportive of her.