The so-called “Octomom,” Nadya Suleman, who welcomed octuplets in 2009—drawing numerous tabloid headlines and heavy daytime talk show airtime—is opening up on her life nearly 10 years after she delivered the babies.
Nearly a decade after they became the first surviving set of octuplets in the U.S., the children of so-called "Octomom" appear to be thriving.
“I was selfish and immature,” she said of her past, which included time in rehab. “I never wanted the attention.”
Of her difficult time in the public’s eye, she said she told her kids everything. “We talk about everything,” she told the Times.
“They know, they went through it with me,” she added.
“It’s a huge weight lifted off of all of them when I went back to who I was. We were struggling financially, but it was such a blessing to be able to be free from that. Those were chains.”
According to the Times write-up of the family, “There are 14 siblings in all, so many that they eat in shifts. Some sleep on the couch. The octuplets are small for their age, but they’re polite, they cook, they’re vegan, they read two books a month and do their homework without being prompted. In spite of all of the horror stories in the tabloids since birth, they’re model fourth graders.”
In 2008, she was implanted with embryos by Dr. Michael Kamrava in Beverly Hills. The father was an unidentified donor, and Suleman said she didn’t know she would have that many children at once.
— Plastic Surgeon News (@PlasticSurgNews) December 17, 2018
When she went into labor at 31 weeks, it took 46 doctors and nurses to perform a C-section. That was the first time eight babies were born at the same time and survived, according to reports at the time. They were born in January 2009.
In 2016, she told People magazine why she wanted to leave the media spotlight in 2013.
“I had stopped wanting to do it from day one,” she said at the time. “I was violating my boundaries and my value system and my own self. I didn’t think of it at the time because I was in survival mode, and I was doing whatever I possibly could to provide for my kids.”
“There was definitely a catalyst—my girls, particularly my oldest daughter Amerah. She was about 10, and she started integrating my traits and behaviors,” she added to People magazine. “After I had observed my daughter beginning to emulate me, I saw her going down that same potentially destructive path, and I realized at that moment I’d rather be homeless in my van with all 14 kids than continuing down this path. It was not what I wanted for my children.”
Now, she told the Times that she is working on a book. “That’s why I want to do this interview. I’ve been writing this manuscript since graduate school,” Suleman said.
Two of her older children spoke about their lives.
“Some of my friends don’t have any siblings, so they want to know what it’s like,” Joshua told the Times. “It’s nice to have someone to play with, but it can be overwhelming at times.”
“She’s been fighting for our family for 10 years now,” Amerah said. “No matter what, she’s never going to give up and I know that.”