Confessions of Octomom

I thought I'd be able to stop talking about the octuplet situation after my post last week.

But then the mother went public and did an interview with Ann Curry. And now I'm angry all over again.

The highlights:

Octomom apparently felt unloved and ignored growing up while growing up with her parents. You know, the parents she now lives with and relies on to support her litter of children? Yes, those parents. Apparently, they were so horrible to her when she was a child that she couldn't help but expose them to her children, whom she says are her entire world.

She wants to raise her children to feel loved and special, because she felt she wasn't as a child. Octomom? It might be a little hard for your children to feel as if they're the center of your universe when they must share you with 13 siblings, eight of whom are very needy, pre-term infants who no doubt will need a lot of care and attention once they come home, one of whom is autistic, and two others of whom have behavioral conditions that also warrant extra care.

She said she takes no public assistance, which she says is fine for "other people" but not for her, and will only accept gifts that benefit the babies, such as swings and diapers. Unfortunately, it came out later through her lawyer that she receives monthly food stamps as well as child disability payments to help her feed and care for her brood. She also says she's living on student loans. I have no problem with people accepting public assistance. I do have a problem with people lying about it.

And then today I learned from Gracie's Dad that the mother has set up a website to...wait for it...solicit donations. So much for her purported notion that she's able to take care of them on her own.

She went through multiple cycles of IVF, and each time, her doctor transferred a ton of embryos. She insisted over and over that he did nothing wrong. Luckily, the state of California feels otherwise.

And the revelation that irked me the most? Her contention (no doubt targeted at the heart strings of "snowbaby-lovers" everywhere) that the frozen embryos were "her children" and that there was no way she could ever opt to "have them destroyed" should she decide not to use them. No, Octomom did the noble and the Christian thing and had all six transferred. Here's the thing, though. She had another option. She could have donated those embryos so that another infertile woman could have a chance at motherhood. She wasn't backed into a corner by her faith, much as she'd like the world to believe.

This woman should have all 14 of her children taken away from her. What she did is grossly irresponsible, selfish, and deluded. Her contention that she can take care of them by herself is ludicrous. She knowingly and willingly had this many children. It wasn't a freak circumstance, and it most certainly could have been prevented.

Unfortunately, I see a lot of money coming her way from magazines, tv shows, and publishing companies. And the fact that she will profit from reproducing irresponsibly is perhaps the most nauseating aspect of this entire story.

17 Responses to “Confessions of Octomom”

  1. # Blogger In Due Time

    I posted my response yesterday. This woman does need her kids taken away. She makes me so f*cking mad!  

  2. # Anonymous Ness

    For her to say that she felt 'unloved' as a kid - was her reason for wanting so many of her own kids - JUST SHOWS YOU that what she did was done out of a place of total SELFISHNESS. The people I feel for are the ones now undergoing IVF and FET and not having success. Just looking at her (stupid uneducated brainless selfishness) must make those people SICK to their stomachs. Plus they're now probably having to deal with pressure from their friends and relatives too. UGH!  

  3. # Blogger In transit

    I feel sorry for those babies.
    In the news headlines in Aus at the moment is the story of a Lesbian couple who sued and WON, against a doctor because they had twins. The saddest thing about all this stuff is that all these babies will grow up, and be able to read all about it one day. How would the kids feel?
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/751441/lesbian-mums-win-compo-against-doctor  

  4. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I also feel extremely bad for those poor children as they are the ones who will ultimately suffer b/c of their mother and her doctor's terrible choices.

    On the other hand, I see this as a grand opportunity for anti-choicers to step up. But where are they? Off outraged somewhere in the corner, calling for her blood. I am using this as another opportunity to see just how little these so -called "pro-lifers" actually care about life once it emrges from the womb.  

  5. # Blogger Marie

    I feel so badly for these babies! If the woman truly wanted what's best for them, it seems she'd put them up for adoption.  

  6. # Blogger Mom24

    It truly is a horrible story. I find myself rooting against her, yet hoping for the best for the kids. Of course, that strategy won't work. I hope somehow, they can find a happy ending, and let's face it, a component of that will be money. Hopefully the sleaze magazines and tv shows will provide her with what she needs to raise those kids--I don't see it happening though.

    Did you hear the latest about the doctor? He has a 49 year old, uninsured woman pregnant with quads and she's had to be hospitalized with complications. I hope someone can shut him down.  

  7. # Blogger Tracey

    Hmmm. I agree with you on a lot of your points, but one issue isn't quite as cut and dry and we would like it to be. I do not feel backed into a corner by my religion or faith (I believe in MYSELF and the universe. Not man made rules) and yet I couldn't allow myself to destroy any "snowbabies" either. Nor do I think I would feel comfortable donating them, as they would be MY children.

    To me, donating frozen embryos is no different than adopting a child out. You don't have to agree with me on that, it's just the way I feel. Women that ARE able to donate their embryos are amazing, and I am not saying anything against them. I am just saying that the options provided aren't always as cut and dried as we'd like them to be.

    IVF is still pretty new, in legal terms, etc. Our generation is of the first ones to have adult children from sperm donors. The children of such situations sometimes end up feeling extremely similar to adoptees.

    That said, any number placed in a uterus that is higher than a woman can naturally conceive and normally carry to near-full-term (twins and triplets) is unethical. There needs to be legislation confirming the # allowed.  

  8. # Blogger My Wombinations

    This gets into some very ethical questions about what the government can and cannot regulate. On a purely principle level, I am not sure that the government regulating the number of embryos that are transferred is any different than the government forcing a woman to carry a fetus to term that she does not want to carry.

    I am not saying I agree with this woman's decision, but I see Tracey's point here, for sure. I think it a lot more complicated and sophisticated a topic than our laws allow. Those embryos are human life as much as a fetus on the inside is, so as someone who is politically pro-choice, but personally opposed to abortion, I would have an incredibly hard time with either donation or discarding them.

    If this really represents this woman's beliefs, I can't fault her for her decision, even if I disagree with it wholeheartedly.  

  9. # Blogger Kristi

    Tracey and Sasha-you both make very good points. With IVF, though, the possibility that you'll end up with a large number of frozen embryos is actually pretty high. I only had four frozen following my "fresh" cycle (the one that resulted in Isabella) and that's actually pretty rare. So, if you want only two or three children, but have many frozen embryos left over, you're left with a decision about what to do with them. It's something virtually everyone who goes through IVF has to consider. Doctors generally defrost the embryos in groups of 4. There's a 75% thaw survival rate. All four of mine survived the thaw, but one was of a much lower quality than the other three. We chose to "discard" that one, and we had the other 3 transferred, 2 of which became the twins.

    I guess my point is that many IVF patients have to make the decision as to what to do with mutiple leftover embryos upon the completion of their families, and while there's no right or wrong decision, I know in my case that if I had leftover embroys following the birth of the twins, I would without a doubt have either donated them for stem cell research had the option been available, or I would have had them "discarded." Michelle Duggar I am not. ;)  

  10. # Blogger Shannon

    Do you ever watch "Supernanny?" Last week's show was about a couple that have 10 children and the mom wants two more, but the dad does not, as he already feels overwhelmed (and drinks as a result). Turns out that she wants 12 children because, like Octomom, she felt neglected and unwanted as a kid, etc. And of course, her older children are pissed off because they must be "parents" at a young age to help her out, as she is over her head and stressed to the breaking point. Supernanny had to point out how selfish and wrongheaded her reasons were and how they were backfiring right under her nose. Same dang story!  

  11. # Blogger The Princess

    Perfectly and wonderfully well written. Thank you for writing what my frustrated mind won't allow me to!  

  12. # Blogger Jesser

    This was THE hot topic at our play date this AM. I never thought I would advocate taking away a woman's children unless they were being seriously, overtly abused, but I have changed my mind. This whole thing freaking sickens me. I hate her money grubbing attitude. I hate that her kids will really be the ones to suffer. I hate that she WILL probably get some $$ for the public to watch this train-wreck ... and I hate to think that could encourage others to do the same. This whole situation is wrong and really unfortunate. *sigh* I don't know entirely what the alternative is ... I don't really think the gov't should be involved in our reproductive rights, period. But this is even testing that belief.  

  13. # Blogger kenju

    IMO, the doctor(s) who did the in vitro are the ones who should face prosecution and lose their licenses. She's an idiot, and I hope that no one in the world is silly enough to donate money to her.  

  14. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    I personally understand her not wanting to discard her embryos...however, I think her decisions are very irresponsible. Why she ever went back for this last fresh cycle is beyond me. Why she couldn't have just had 4 of those embryos frozen and waited until later to do another pregnancy isn't something I can comprehend either. I mean, I don't really think we should be told how many kids we should have, but I do think when people start putting their own lives and especially the lives of unborn babies at risk...someone needs to step in. I really don't care much about her, but she risked the lives of those 8 kiddos...and some will likely not live very healthy lives because of it. So, while I'm torn on what she should have done with her embryos...I'm not torn on the fact that she certainly shouldn't have transferred so many at once. The woman obviously has problems we aren't even aware of at this point...and I won't be supporting her by buying any book she writes, so I guess I'll never know.  

  15. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    The more I read about this story, the more worried I become for those kids, and the more angry I become at a system that allowed this to happen.  

  16. # Blogger Damselfly

    Just incredible.

    Did you see the allegations that she also had surgery to look like Angelina Jolie? Another reason she wanted so many children -- to be like Angelina, supposedly. Weird!  

  17. # Blogger Many Faces

    This is what angers me in addition to her lack of responsibility for bringing fourteen innocent children into her world. How is she able to receive food stamps and government assistance and ALSO afford in-vitro? The money came from somewhere to benefit her. When I was on public assistnace, I truly needed it. I was a single mother, living in public housing with no car. Just for food stamps, they wanted my life story: any assets and how much they were worth, any bank accounts, any donations or family and friends helping me to pay bills, and even how much cash money I had on me at the time. If she is receiving all this money and still on government assistance, isn't that defrauding the government, which is a felony?  

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    born in August 2006 following
    IVF and girl/boy twins born in October 2008 following FET. Come along as I document the search for my lost intellect. It's a bumpy ride. Consider yourself warned.

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