Mom Of Octuplets: I Always Wanted A “Huge Family”

Mom of octuplets, Nadya Suleman, says she tried for seven years to get pregnant before successfully conceiving with in-vitro fertilization, “and then I just kept going in.” In an interview for the Today show, the recent mother of octuplets, who also has six other children, tells NBC’s Ann Curry: “That was always a dream of mine, to have a large family, a huge family.”

Nadya said in the interview, which airs Monday, that her desire for a large family stems from a dysfunctional childhood. “I just longed for certain connections and attachments with another person that I really lacked, I believe, growing up.” When asked what she felt she lacked, Nadya said, “Feeling of self and identity. I didn’t feel as though, when I was a child, I had much control of my environment. I felt powerless. And that gave me a sense of predictability. Reflecting back on my childhood, I know it wasn’t functional. It was pretty, pretty dysfunctional, and whose isn’t?”

Suleman, 33, was interviewed shortly after she left Kaiser Permanente’s hospital in Bellflower, Calif. Her babies – six boys and two girls – remain in the hospital all in good condition.

Meanwhile, PEOPLE uncovered new details about Suleman’s medical and financial history. Accordingly, Suleman received nearly $168,000 in disability benefits. The mom of 14 children received the payments as a result of injuries she suffered during a 1999 riot at a California mental hospital where she worked, leaving her with chronic back pain. She was still receiving disability payments at about the same time she was inseminated with octuplets, and doctors recommended that she not take on any job that involved prolonged sitting, standing and walking.

The document goes on to say that in 2001 Suleman’s car was was rear-ended. She injured her neck, back and shoulders, and filed an additional claim for workers’ compensation arguing that the car accident would not have occurred had she not been going for medical treatment for the earlier injury. It was unclear if she received any funds from that claim.

Photo: Paul Drinkwater / NBC

Filed under: Nadya Suleman

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  1. Sam

    If she was still disabled enough to be still reciveing disability benefits, She already has 6 kids why did the doctor agree to inseminated her?

    If she still had neck and back problems, she shouldn’t have carried octuplets, it would have made her problems worse.

    the docotor who preformed the insemination should be examined.

    Reply
  2. anne

    Feeling like you didn’t have much control over your environment? powerlessness? predictability? Lady, that’s not exceptional … that’s the very definition of childhood!

    Reply
  3. Leandra

    She’s trying to lay the blame for this irresponsible behaviour elsewhere, namely her parents. So is money pouring in for the interviews, book deal, etc. she’s planning on getting to help raise the children? Is she living in some kind of fantasy land? Who does she think is going to raise these children….her parents are fed up – her grandfather bolted to Iraq….help costs money and she’s going to need a lot of it to raise these children plus the six she already had.

    Reply
  4. Lioness

    She felt powerless growing up? So she doesn’t think that by having so many children, her own kids may feel just as powerless in what’s inevitably going to be a zoo of a household? I’m all for people doing what they want with their families- she’s entitled to a large family if that’s what she wants- but THIS woman is having babies for the wrong reasons. You shouldn’t have children to make up for your own childhood. I think the doctor made a bad decision in her case…

    Reply
  5. Dea

    This woman NEEDS a reality slap ASAP! if she thinks she can fill “the void” in her life by having gazillion children, she obviously has a problem. I read from other blog, she has a great childhood life (no abuse/no neglect/loving parents) so what the heck triggered her to do that? I personally have no problem people having kids but this is borderline irresponsible to say the least: to her kids, her parents and tax payers money (please, do not compare this to the Duggars as they never declared bankruptcy unlike this woman). Sorry I get riled up but thinking of this woman’s selfishness makes my blood boil!! rant over..

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    I think she’s attracted to the idea of having a big family because it gives her a sense of unconditional love. Who better to give you that than children? She’s definitely trying to fill a void by collecting babies which is incredibly sad.

    Reply
  7. Sanja

    I’m sorry, but a doctor willing to implant 8 embryos in a woman with 6 children and no apparent fertility issues should at the very least loose his licence (where I live he’d be in jail, because the maximum # of embryos can be 3 and only in women who have had multiple unsuccessful IVF attempts). Doesn’t the US have ANY laws governing fertility treatments!?

    It seems to me that this was some king of medical experiment, because that’s the only way I can understand how she managed to pay for so many IVFs since my friends saved from two pay checks and had to get a loan to do it twice (luckily the second time was successful).

    As for this woman, all I can say that I sincerely hope she gets some psychiatric help before she destroys those poor children’s lives (shakes head at the whole family situation).

    Reply
  8. Peta

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s trying for her own TLC show as well. She strikes me as someone who loves attention, no matter who pays the price.

    I feel sorry for her children, but she’s highly irresponsible.

    Reply
  9. seren getty

    Lady, if you want to be loved unconditionally get a rescue dog!!

    Seriously though, this woman has very serious mental issues and those poor 14 children are the ones who are going to suffer because of it. She sounds like those 13-14-year old girls who get pregnant without thinking of the child’s best interests because their Daddy bailed and they want someone to love them. Why didn’t she at least adopt instead? I know – because no competent social worker or agency would ever have looked at her situation and given her a child, let alone 8.

    I would love a child more than anything, but right now I’m not in a stable enough relationship or financially secure as are many of my 20-something friends. If only Ms. Suleman had the same sense of personal responsibility…

    Reply
  10. gia

    I dont think any of this has anything to do with what she is talking about…She probably is crazy & unstable & is just an opportunistic person. It sickens & angers me because she is going to cash in on it, all at the expense of those poor children. The media needs to just do this interview & then ignore her, no one I have encountered in real life or online supports any of this publicity & definitely not the money she will make. It’s just not right.

    Reply
  11. Judy

    The whole thing is nauseating. First off, she milks the system by drawing disability when she could have been working – she was told no prolonged sitting, standing or walking, so she could have gotten something that was a mixture. Then she has this houseful of children just because she felt powerless as a child? Does it make her feel powerful to have all these kids? She is obviously mentally ill, and your tax dollars are going to support her and all these poor little kids she keeps having. I would love to see the media shut her down and just refuse to report on her or pay her anything.

    Reply
  12. Kim

    WHO IS THIS DOCTOR?? I WANT HIM REVEALED NOW!

    Reply
  13. Pika

    Maybe we should just ignore her.

    Adoption might have been a good idea here….there are plenty of
    kids that are lonely and would love a family of six to blend in with….

    Reply
  14. Jenny-Loo

    This woman has some serious mentle health issues…

    Reply
  15. k

    Having so many children in her situation is so irresponsible and selfish, the doctor should be struck off, that whole thing sickens me, but has anyone noticed the copious ammounts of plastic surgery this crazy woman has had too???

    Reply
  16. k

    Also meant to say I hope as few people give this woman the time of day and certainly no freebies.

    Reply
  17. Keri

    Has anyone noticed that she kinda looks like Angelina Jolie? I wonder if she is trying to be like her???

    Reply
  18. Sarah

    I wonder who is paying for all her plastic surgery? I mean she looks so plastic. Poor Children, think of all the issues they will have with her as a mother.

    Reply
  19. Hannah

    Keri, I was totally thinking that when I saw the interview on the Today show! Bizarre. This whole situation is very sad. Especially for the children involved. This woman is showing a complete disregard for everyone but herself. She’s put nothing but a burden on her parents. It’s one thing to want a lot of children, IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO PROVIDE FOR THEM!!! She clearly has some severe mental problems. I agree with everyone above, I would love to know who this idiot doctor is!! I hope he’s revealed because he definitely needs to shoulder some of the blame for this situation. Very, very sad. My heart goes out to the children.

    Reply
  20. Bee

    Her mouth has def been injected or worked on, and her nose maybe too? I think she might be trying to emulate(poorly at that) Angelina Jolie.
    I hope all those children end up ok, poor little things are just helpless and have no idea of their life to come.

    Reply
  21. Monkey

    How did she afford her obvious nose job and even MORE obvious puffed up lips? Something is very fishy here. She thinks she is Angelina Jolie – except A. Jolie can afford to take care of her half dozen kids!

    Reply
  22. Lala

    Good Lord. yes the woman is a freak, yes she is incredibly irresponsible and an emotional wreck, but come on, immulating angelina jolie just because she has a passing and vague resemblance? That is pushing it. There is plenty of ammo here without dragging that issue into it all.

    Reply
  23. melanie

    how should the doctor be examined?!?! he was just doing his job and getting his money, why she he care how many children this woman has???

    Reply
  24. Sam

    Melanie, the doctor has a duty of care to his/her patient and if she had had back and neck problems from the accident severe enough for her to be still on disability up until her insemination then she shouldn’t be carrying eight babies. His/her medical licence should be examined for agreeing to do this procedure on a lady who already has six children, no income, no way of providing for all these children and a previous disability that could make it more dangerous for the mother and children.

    I think both the doctor and the mother are money hungry.

    Who’s going to provide for these children – the state and donations which I don’t think she should be receiving.

    Reply
  25. Dea

    I say we voice out to all the networks who want to publicize/expose this woman. I personally wont watch Oprah or Dianne Sawyer (who agree to offer her $2 million a pop) if they do the interview. Guess who is the enabler and guess who is laughing her way to the bank? plus she still will get the disability checks/donations from taxpayers. That’s her way of saying “I work hard to take care of my children”!!

    Reply
  26. missy

    I think she’s very selfish to have this many children. The poor grandparents and family don’t want to be burdened with 14 kids under the age of 8. She talks of getting her master’s degree soon, but who will take care of all those kids? I hardly think she’ll have the time to commit to her studies. As a mother of 2 teens, I remember it being hard with just 2 to raise. I pray these little ones will have there needs met.

    Reply
  27. Peta

    On the poll, there’s an option that says ‘No, all children are a blessing.’. Yes, children are blessings but having them wantonly when you can barely support yourself IS irresponsible.

    I also read an article where some ‘professional’ or the other suggested that much of the backlash stems from society being ‘jealous’ of this woman for her large family and the attention she’s receiving. Yes, someone actually pulled the “You’re Just Jealous!” card.

    Also, doesn’t she have student loans to repay after her schooling is finished? Does her future job pay so well that she can adequately support 14 children (1 autistic and 8 newborns) AND cover all her bills? Ugh.

    Reply
  28. Hannah

    I have TWO young children and there are days I can barely find time to brush my teeth. I couldn’t imagine trying to go back to school. This woman is clearly delusional. I think she’s created this fantasy world in her mind where all her children live on love alone and everything magically finds a way to get paid for.

    I know, I read the article about the “jealousy”. I was waiting for someone to play that card. I think most women couldn’t be any farther from jealous. I think she is pathetic. If anything, I feel very, very sorry for this woman, and even more so the children and grandparents.

    Peta, one of her children is autistic? I didn’t know that! Wow, that makes it even more tragic. How can a child with autism find the special attention and devotion he/she needs in order to develop successfully in such a chaotic household? Ugh, this just keeps getting worse.

    Reply
  29. Nana

    Her welfare was probably about to run out and she would be expeceted to get a job. This is what the welfare system in this country has taught people. There is something very wrong when we allow this to continue.

    Reply
  30. Anonymous

    Saying she’s selfish and greedy isn’t really helping the situation. If you feel sorry for the kids then it would be reasonable to assume that you would want their mother to be able to care for them, not snarking about how she doesn’t deserve welfare or donations.

    She may have been incredibly stupid, but it’s not the fault of her children. What’s done is done, and now the focus should be on ensuring that her children grow up in the cleanest, safest, happiest environment possible, and if that means more government help and/or public donations then so be it. There’s no reason they should be made to suffer any more than other children with unemployed parents.

    It might go against the grain to “reward” this woman for her irresponsibility in reproducing, but the kids’ welfare should come first. Taking them off their mother should be the absolute last resort. I think you’ll find that there are very, very few foster families equipped to deal with 14 children, and why should they go through the trauma of being split up? Anyway, who do you think funds foster care? Santa?

    Reply

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