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Nadya Suleman, commonly known as Octomom on social media, took the world by storm in January 2009 when she gave birth to eight children in a single pregnancy. What is she up to today? Let's take a look.
Natalie has shed the Octomom persona and is now living a humble life. "I felt less than human as that character I was pretending to be." She said. The big family has now moved to Laguna, Orange County, where Natalie grew up and lived in a two-bedroom apartment. The home office is also converted into a bedroom to make room for the children.
Natalie’s numerous kids are healthy and well-rounded. They eat a strict vegan diet. Aiden, one of the boys, has autism, but her siblings care for him so much, and Natalie makes sure she's always there for her little boy. “They fight, play, fight and play again like any normal family,” she told Daily Mail. However, things were not always so nice.
Nadya Suleman was born into an immigrant family. Her mother was a Lithuanian, and her father was an Iraqi. Without any siblings, she yearned for the love and companionship of a big family. Therefore, getting married and having many children have always been her biggest dreams. As a little girl, she had no idea what she would have to go through to make her dream come true.
Nadya Suleman earned a psychiatric technician license from Mt. San Antonio College and got a job at Metropolitan State Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Norwalk, California. Dealing with mentally troubled patients was certainly strenuous, and something worse was yet to come.
On September 18, 1999, 20 patients at the hospital started a riot. Nadya Suleman was hit on the back by a wooden desk during the chaos. As a result, she suffered from a herniated disc and filed for workers' compensation benefits, earning $170,000. Her career was officially over, but 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.