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