Monday, March 9, 2009

The Octo-Mom

I find Nadya Suleman, also known as the Octo-Mom, to be utterly repulsive. If you don't know the details, here you go.

My main issue here is for the health and safety of these babies. They've been in the hospital for well over a month, and their release doesn't seem to be imminent, to say the least. They were born at just thirty weeks (a normal pregnancy is 38-40 weeks), and between their premature births and the strain of being one of eight inside a womb, they've got a long road ahead of them.

There are a couple of things that really boggle my mind here. First, these babies were conceived via in-vitro fertilization. Now, I know that this is the only option for some couples, and I completely respect that. The nature of in-vitro fertilization is such that frozen embryos are implanted in the mother's womb, and I guess the odds of success are increased the more embryos are implanted (I'm obviously not an expert in this). For some reason, a doctor implanted six embryos in this woman (two of the embryos ended up dividing into twins) ... a woman who already had six kids (yes, I said six--ages 7, 6, 5, 3, and 2-year-old twins). Am I crazy for questioning the legitimacy of this doctor ... and the sanity of this woman?

I have two children. Two is a good number for me, particularly when you consider the nine-year gap in their ages (they almost never fight, which is nice, and they don't clamor over the same toys ... Addie's attached to her laptop, Belle plays with Barbies). While I understand and appreciate that some people would rather have many kids and that some people leave the decision up to God (or whomever), I cannot fathom why a single mother receiving public assistance would choose to have more children (in a manner that she knew would more than likely be multiple births).

Further, I cannot imagine why a single mother receiving public assistance was permitted to have more children.

This does, of course, open a can of worms. For example, look at the popularity of "Jon and Kate Plus Eight." Did this crazy woman view her frozen embryos as a blank check made out by some sensationalized television network?

Who's to blame? The mother, for being nuts? The doctor who approved this? Society, for making single parenthood via public assistance acceptable? Science, for creating IVF? The media, for sensationalizing the biggest and most outlandish stories? Nadya Suleman's family, for her dubious morals? Other places? Other people?

I don't know the answer to that (I suspect it's like a pie chart, with varying pieces of blame going to different places), but what I do know is that my heart aches for those babies. Aches!