Nadya Suleman, who was once known as the “Octomom,” revealed that she’s finally “at peace” amid the financial strain of trying to look after her 14 children.
Suleman, 42, who now goes by the name Natalie, told MailOnline that she doesn’t use the media persona “Octomom” any longer, saying it “nearly destroyed me and my family.”
“Every day I would wake up with the most ugly, dead, visceral feeling inside of me,” she said, adding that her family now lives in a two-bedroom home in California.
Suleman gave birth to octuplets via in vitro fertilization in 2009.
“I felt less than human as that character,” she said of “Octomom.” She added that she was “pretending to be, to survive and provide for my family.”
“[It] disgusted me and I did not want my children to remember me like that. I was forced into doing things I didn’t want to do because I was so terrified I couldn’t support them and give them the life they deserved,” she continued. “When I abandoned it and went back to who I really am, I had that sense of peace, internal joy.”
Her octuplets—Makai, Josiah, Isaiah, Jonah, Maliyah, Jeremiah, Nariyah, and Noah—turn nine in January.
She said the octuplets follow a vegan diet, but her other six kids do not.
“The whole family, we are all kind of different. The kids say, ‘oh, are we weird somehow?’ and I say, ‘it’s OK to be different if there is nothing wrong with it.’ The kids are happy and that is all that matters,” she said.
She added that the desire to have 14 kids was “very foolish, immature, and selfish,” but she added that she can’t “imagine my life at this point in time any different than it is.”
Suleman posted a recent photo of her eight 8-year-old kids on Thanksgiving.
“A new year, an old tradition…#TurkeyTrot5k #FitFamily #HappyThanksgiving,” she wrote. “Sack Race…#WhenYourKidsTakeUpTheEntireSackRace #NeverGiveUp,” she added.