I’m sure you’ve all heard about the single mother, Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to octuplets.
Like most people, at first I was shocked to hear the news that octuplets were born to a single mom. But after a little time to digest it and to reflect on my life as a mother, I am withholding judgement of her.
First, I am totally saddened by all those unnecessary comments about her physical appearance and her so-called obsession with Angelina Jolie. Why are people even concerned with that? What does that have to do with her being a mother?
Of course I do understand what all the “hype” is about in terms of her and her finances. People are upset about her being a single mom of now 14 children. People are upset that she may not be able to support her children and may need public assistance. People are upset that she will probably not be able to pay for her very expensive hospital bill. I hope these same people are voicing their concerns about the California government who is now in debt and who probably didn’t spend their money wisely either. That’s your taxpayer money used (proabably unwisely) by the government!
As a mother, I am actually feeling sympathetic toward her. Why? Well, because I too struggled for years with infertility. I, too, had to turn to infertility treatments. I TOTALLY understand why doctors implant multiple embryos into the mother. I know that the odds of getting pregnant successfully is slim. I know how it feels when you yearn to be a mother and you can’t. I know how it feels to have 1 child and want more children. I know how it feels when your body “betrays” you. I know how it feels when you will do whatever it takes to have a family. I know how it feels to believe that every embryo is a life and you would never “destroy” them. I know how it feels to have those embryos inside you and believe that each is a life worth living and saving. I know how it feels to be afraid that your desire for 1 child may lead to multiple children. I know how it feels to decide that you will not have selective reduction should you have multiples.
I also know how it feels to go through multiple infertility treatments and not have a child after all. I truly believe that children are a gift from God. A truly blessed gift.
I know that each of us is not perfect. We all have our own insecurities and limitations. We all do things to make ourselves feel better. We all struggle with ourselves. We all have to live with decisions we have made whether right or wrong. I am not in a position to judge her, especially since I believe that she did not do this with bad intentions. I do believe that she does love her children and did not intend to have octuplets. I have to applaud her courage for coming out and talking about her situation and her struggles.
In one of my past jobs, I had first-hand experience working with families living in poverty (living on public assistance in public housing). Some of these families were what we would call “well-deserving” of public assistance because they had encountered some kind of hardship that put them there. Other, we might say were just caught up in the cycle of poverty. Their families have lived for many years and still do live in public housing. They have family members in jail or prison. They struggle with illiteracy and getting/keeping a job. They have multiple children. Some with over 10 children with a single mom with a father in prison. Many drive nicer cars than me. Many have much more electronic equipment that I ever had or will have.
So, how much more can we judge Nadya?
I’m not sure how different my life would have been had I had multiples. I’m not sure how I would have felt if someone told me that I couldn’t have multiple embryos implanted when I did in-vitro, esp. knowing how slim my odds were of getting pregnant.
As of now, I am withholidng judgement. I only wish her and her children the best. I pray for her and her family…that God would bless them abundantly.
I thank God for my children. I am truly blessed with this life.