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In 2009, there wasn't a grocery store in the United States that didn't know the news about the Octomom. Nadya Suleman was a worldwide phenomenon after giving birth to 8 healthy babies. Now, 11 years later, how are they going?
Nadya Suleman is now living a humble life. "I felt less than human as that character I was pretending to be." She said. Nadya Suleman moved her family to Orange County, where she lived in a two-bedroom apartment with her 14 children.
The octuplets are in fifth grade now. The New York Times described them as "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." However, things were not always so nice.
Suleman, who grew up without any siblings, craved for a big family. Therefore, it was her life-long dream to have many children since she was a little girl. However, she never thought about what she would have to go through to make her dream come true.
Nadya Suleman's first job was at Metropolitan State Hospital as a psychiatric technician. She was hit on the back by a wooden desk during a chaos started by 20 patients. As a result, she suffered from a herniated disc, and then her career was officially over. However, that was not the worst part.
Nadya Suleman's back injury ruined her dreams, but there was a bigger issue at hand. She had been married to Marcos Gutierrez for three years, yet they didn't have any children, despite many attempts. Eventually, a doctor told them that Marcos Gutierrez was sterile. Since the couple couldn't conceive naturally, they began to discuss other options.
Having children had always been Nadya's dream. Since she couldn't get pregnant the traditional way, she suggested other methods like in-vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure through which an egg is fertilized outside of the body, usually in a test tube. However, her husband didn't agree. Nadya was given a hard choice between her marriage and her dream of children. Finally, she decided to end the relationship and pursue her lifelong dream through IVF.
IVF could help Nadya realize her dream of being a mother, but it was far from perfect. For one thing, IVF is not guaranteed and it costs lots of money. Besides, in most cases during IVF, several eggs are included in case some of them don't take properly. As a result of this it opens the possibility of delivering multiple babies in a single pregnancy. Despite all these risks, Nadya was determined to be a mother and nothing could stop her. However, no one knew IVF would change her life completely.
The IVF operation was a success. In 2001, Nadya gave birth to her first child, Elijah. She had finally become a mother. A year later, she had a daughter named Amerah. But that was not the end of it. She continued the treatment and gave birth to two more children and a set of fraternal twins– that’s six in total! Six kids might be more than enough for most people, but not for Nadya.
Since having six children was not enough for Nadya, she turned to the doctor who had overseen all of her procedures, Dr. Michael Kamrava, for another IVF treatment. This time 12 eggs were implanted into her. There have been controversies in the medical community over the injection of such a high number of embryos, but Nadya was satisfied with the result. Out of the 12 embryos, eight of them were implanted successfully, and overnight, Nadya was pregnant with octuplets.
Nadya's seemingly miraculous pregnancy soon caught the media's attention and they coined her a new nickname, Octomom. Many people wanted to keep up to date with her record-breaking pregnancy, which brought the single mother a lot of fame. But fame was not an entirely good thing.
Carrying and delivering eight babies might seem too extreme for a woman's body, yet Nadya was healthy enough to bring all eight babies safely into the world. Her octuplets were the first set of octuplets to be born alive and remain alive one week after their birth. Thanks to the media, the whole world was watching Nadya and her newborn children, and they were not going to be quiet about it.
The octuplets' successful birth made Nadya even more famous. People had so many questions for the Octomom and her octuplets. How had Nadya managed to give birth to eight healthy babies? How would a single mother raise so many children? Octomom became a household name and her face was familiar to everyone. This is when Nadya decided to make money from the fame. She hired a PR team to manage her story, but things soon spiraled out of her control.
Nadya was known all over the country, but not everyone liked her. Many people blamed her for wasting taxpayers' money and being irresponsible. Some even said she was the embodiment of all that was wrong with society. She tried to open up to the public about her problems. In an interview with People magazine, she said: “I don’t get much sleep, about two or three hours a night, but I’m continuing to move forward with my life and trying to be the best mother I can be.” However, that didn't release her from public criticism. The Octomom seemed to have hit rock bottom, but worse things were about to come.
It all started with the rumor that Nadya was abusing her children. Soon rumors started to grow and CPS (Child Protective Services) got involved. After an investigation, CPS considered her home perfectly suitable for her children, but soon she lost her home because her landlord accused her of lease violation and evicted her. How would an unemployed single mother find a new home and support her 14 children?
Since Nadya failed to convince her landlord, she needed to find a new place to live. Her numerous children needed diapers and food. All of that meant she had to find a quick way to make money. She tried reality shows, a brief music career, and even an adult film to support her big family. But starting a new life with 14 children was not that easy.
Besides her financial problems, too much media attention was also a huge pressure to Nadya and she decided to depart from it. “I was pretending to be a fake, a caricature, which is something I’m not, and I was doing it out of desperation and scarcity so I could provide for my family,” she said that over the phone. “I’ve been hiding from the real world all my life.” She wanted the world to see her true self. She changed her name to Natalie, returned to school to finish her degree and began to work as a therapist for families. She made a fresh start for herself and her children.
While Natalie put the whole Octomom caricature behind, she manages to give all her fourteen children equal love and attention. She sets up a family fun night on a regular basis. She does girls' night with her girls as well as watches scary movies with her sons. Here is a picture of her having a spa night with the girls. Isn't it sweet?
Natalie goes to the gym regularly to relieve her stress and to get some “me” time. Meanwhile, her young kids are very healthy and active. Pictured here is Natalie’s set of eight after completing the Russ Miller Memorial 5k race in February 2018.
While the children enjoy running marathons and having a healthy vegan diet, they are hard workers at school, too. Here are the kids' works for their school projects. We can see they've made impressive posters of their heroes. Nothing could make a mother prouder.
Natalie has admitted it was "foolish, immature, and selfish" to have so many children without considering how she would support them. She didn't think through the entire process. But she has never regretted having her children for one minute. Now, she is devoted to raising her children and make them her No.1 priority.
Natalie loves her children with all her heart and her children love their mother, too. They made these adorable cards and letters to express their deepest love and gratitude.
Natalie is busy raising all her children now, so basically she has no social life. She tried her best to know each of her children and spend time with them. The kids are more outgoing now and enjoy socializing a lot more.
Natalie has managed to feed her children as well as teach them values. She only gives her kids just one gift on Chrismas to teach them value even the smallest things. “I’m focusing on raising the kids to focus on serving other people, to get out of their own head,” Natalie said during an interview.
Every parent is a little stressed about the back to school season, that’s especially true for Natalie cause she has 14 kids to get off to school. She recently posted a picture of the octuplets getting ready to school with their backpacks and expressed her anxiety on social media, saying, "Any other parents exceptionally stressed and overwhelmed by the first week back to school?”
In 2018, Natalie Suleman went on The Dr. Oz Show to share the story of how she made the transition from Octomom to Natalie. She talked about how she built her new self and become a happy, healthy mom to her 14 children. Natalie has recently launched a Youtube channel to record her kids and their colorful life as a big family.
Natalie has a diverse family since her kids got t different genes from her and their donor. But she loves the uniqueness of each of her children. The two children pictured here are Nariyah and Noah. They are both octuplets but they look very different. However, Natalie has made sure both of them share equal love from their mother.
Having 14 kids is a blessing and it also means a lot of stress. Natalie has her own methods to relieve herself, including spending time each day working out at the gym.
Natalie likes hanging out with her girls from time to time. Pictured here is she having a girls’ night with her daughters. It was Amerah, the oldest girl’s birthday.
Natalie values family tradition and she set up a Saturday Family Fun Night years ago. The whole family will watch a scary movie or play board games together. While the older four kids fell it’s a cringe-worthy tradition and they prefer to run off to hang out with friends, the younger 10 kids are happy to play with their mother.
The octuplets have grown from tiny babies that captured a nation's heart, to rowdy nine-year-olds. Here is a picture of them having fun on stage.
Natalie likes capturing special family moments with her camera. She tried to get all 15 family members to take a fun photo, but the oldest three were quite camera shy.
Unlike their elder siblings, the octuplets like being under Natalie’s camera. Pictured here are the kids and their medals from a fun run. It seemed they didn’t care they had never eaten the food from the background picture.
Aside from being the mother of 14 kids, Natalie is also a daughter and she is very proud of her mother. She has posted the photos of her loving mom from time to time, just like this one below. She captioned “My mom in Germany at about 2. I can't get over how much Caleb resembles her! Well, to those who have seen the picture of Caleb, be the judge!”
In May 2016, Nathalie took her kids to the Family Smile Center to see the dentist. Dr. Afiffi and Diane were incredibly kind and they took a picture with the big family.
On June 24, 2016, which was Natalie’s father’s birthday, she posted a picture of her hero and wrote the most loving words: Growing up he was my hero; so strong, seemingly indestructible, yet the kindest, most loving, nurturing, and giving man I had the honor of calling my dad. He was (besides mom) my most influential teacher, my best friend, my "Eddie." I love him so much and am not ready to let go. Happy birthday Eddie. I love you so much.
While the older kids are not fans of cameras, that doesn’t mean they are drifting away from their mother. In fact, they are very close and like pranking each other. One time Natalie hacked her son’s account and posted a picture of the ever adorable Elijah pushing her sister Amerah on a stroller. She even left a note “ELIJAH DONT DELETE THIS”.
Amerah, the second child and eldest daughter of Nathalie, is now 16 years old and has grown into a beautiful woman now.
In August 2016, Natalie took her kids to a swimming party. Before jumping into the pool, she took a selfie with her two beautiful angels, Malian and Nariah. While Natalie said they were not used to selfies, the girls were effortlessly adorable!
Tragically Natalie’s little son Aidan has autism, but she has managed to give Aidan extra care and attention. Natalie posted a picture of his first day of school. The little guy still looked confused but we are sure he can live a normal and happy life.
As we have mentioned, Natalie likes physical activities and that has passed down to her kids. The little angels enjoy running for fun and achieving little accomplishments.
Back then when the whole world turned their back on Natalie, her parents and grandmother Angela had always been there for her and her kids. Sadly Angela passed away in 2014. When the kids worked on a Day of the Dead project for class, they shared the memory with the amazing grandma. It was an emotional week for the whole family.
Natalie has received tons of backlash from many people, but she knows her kids are her top priority and time with her precious angels are moments that truly matter. The kids like playing with their mother, too, whether it’s playing chess or some board games.
On January 19, 2017, the family had an amazing visit from Aunt Christine. The kids were obviously excited and posed for a reunion photo. Christine has been a raw vegan for over 30 years and is still very healthy at over 50 years old. That may be part of the reasons that Natalie decided to give her children a vegan diet.
Aside from Aidan, Nathalie’s daughter Callyssa also has a mild Autism spectrum disorder. But she is also a little artist. You can see her imagination and talent form the paintings Natalie posted online.
The octuplets are little helpers in the kitchen. One would help Natalie chop veggies, others would boil water and the one would prepare the silverware and so on. But they also like a friendly competition like who has the longest pasta!
Among all the siblings, Makai seems to be the sweetest to his autistic brother Aiden. The smile on Makai’s face tells everyone he is right where he belongs.
Natalie has raised very healthy and active kids. She brings them to the gym every now and then, too. But don’t expect them to catch up with their mother’s workout routine, though. Pictured here is JJ’s first day of weightlifting. It seems the little guy is done with it.
As a single mom, raising up 14 kids must have been exhausting, but Natalie still manages to catch up with her other loved ones. On June 11, 2018, she shared her happiness of seeing her best friend’s grandson.
Two days before her birthday in 2017, Natalie received the sweetest birthday gift. The kids prepared her an early birthday breakfast!
Despite all the hardships and criticisms, Natalie has managed to give her kids a normal, happy childhood. In this photo, you can see the kids are as happy as any other child in this world.
On March 1st Natalie took her kids to go hiking together in a forest. Seeing all the things she did for her family and kids, we can say Natalie deserves all the credit.
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