Thursday, March 5, 2009

Suleman family too big? There have been others!

2/25/09 Chatterbox
Betty Kaiser

Whew! It’s hot! And I’m not talking about the weather. The story of an eccentric mother and her tiny babies has unleashed a firestorm of heated comments and opinions from the bedroom to the boardroom.

Jan. 26, Nadya Suleman gave birth to eight babies in Bellflower, Calif. This 33-year old single woman was already the mother of six children — all conceived by in vitro fertilization. After delivering the amazingly healthy octuplets — in one short 5-minute birthing — she upped her offspring count to a total of 14 babies in seven years.

This saga has captivated the world and is the stuff from which soap operas and movies are made. But overall, the public response has not been kind. Her 69-year-old mother (who has been caring for the first six offspring) is overwhelmed with the situation. Grandma has been quoted as saying that her daughter is “obsessed with kids.”

Suleman and her original six children live in a small house reportedly through the generosity of her parents. At various points in her multiple motherhood journey she became unemployed, received disability payments for a work injury, filed for bankruptcy (or was that her parents?) and her family receives state and federal financial aid.

Miracle births through in vitro fertilization do not come cheap. Yet somehow, despite Suleman’s lack of income, she was able to scrape together in excess of $100,000 to finance conceiving these babies. It is this amount of money and manner of conception that has raised questions about her mental state and the medical ethics of implanting the six embryos that produced eight babies.

Frankly, my first question was not why did Suleman decide to have all of these babies — but — how did her body do that? As the mother of three single birth 9-pound babies, I cannot picture my abdomen stretching large enough to sustain over 20 pounds of babies plus the placenta, etc. It sounds like a form of torture to me.

Anyway, the resulting worldwide firestorm of publicity has generated more hateful remarks than O.J. Simpson’s trial. Under the guise of concern, Suleman has been derisively called ‘octomom;’ a ‘monster;’ ‘obsessive compulsive’ and other profanity laced statements that are not fit to print.

Her ability to parent and provide for the children has been questioned — and rightly so. Hers is a huge responsibility and much of the outrage is concern for the well being of the older children as well as the babies. Another concern is the use of government funds to care for a family of 15.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it’s going to take the state of Calif. and many generous volunteers to raise this brood! So far, the public response to this has not been supportive. But I look at it this way: the care and feeding of kids has got to be a better investment than padding the coffers of CEOs with millions of dollars to spend on mansions and yachts!

An old proverb says “There is nothing new under the sun.” How true it is! Except for the in vitro part, large families and even multiple births are well documented. And contrary to popular thinking, there is never any guarantee as to the quality of life and love that any child will receive because of the size of their family.

If we travel way back in time to the 1700s in England, Susanna Wesley, the wife of the Rev. Samuel Wesley, gave birth to 19 children, ten of whom lived to grow up. They were not multiples but still a sizeable family. Susanna’s devotion to her children, their education and spiritual welfare is legendary.

John and Charles Wesley were her most notable offspring. They were born during what one source calls “a time of almost universal darkness and degradation.” But they are credited with “changing the face of all England

They became leaders in social justice issues including visiting men and women in prison, doing away with the slave trade, building hospitals and schools. They challenged the established church and in turn were persecuted by the clergy.

Moving forward a couple of centuries we have the horrific story of the Dionne quintuplets. Born in 1934, the five identical Dionne sisters were born in Ontario, Canada to a poor family with five other children (a sixth son died at birth).

The premature infants were not expected to survive after being delivered by Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe and two midwives. Ultimately the babies were taken from their parents and put under the guardianship of the Ontario government in a facility directed by the not-so-good Dr. Dafoe. Theirs was a stolen childhood.

These adorable young girls were exploited for financial gain and put on view in “Quintland” (a hospital annex and observation gallery) where they raised $51 million in revenue — a fortune in the 1930s. Later, at home with their parents and siblings they were abused physically and treated as servants in a mansion that their money paid for. Raised in isolation and emotionally scarred, their adult lives were unhappy and tragic.

So if I were Mama Suleman I would be getting some advice from parents experienced on the subject of raising multiple birth children. I’d certainly be chatting up Nkem Chuckwu, the mother of thriving 10-year old octuplets (one of whom died shortly after birth) in Houston, Texas and asking questions like “How do you do this and stay sane?!”

Television’s Dr. Phil calls Suleman’s actions “a study in irresponsibility” and I agree. But the deed is done. The kids are here. It’s time to stop trash-talking the mom. It’s time to start doing the right thing — finding ways to be sure that all 14 children are nurtured, loved, educated and mentored.

So hang on, folks and chill down. It’s going to be a wild ride. But who knows? Maybe there’s a Florence Nightingale or even a John and Charles Wesley in the group. It will all work out.

Betty Kaiser’s Chatterbox is about people, places, family, and other matters of the heart. Contact her at 942-1317 or via e-mail — bchatty@bettykaiser.com

2/25/09 Chatterbox
Betty Kaiser

Whew! It’s hot! And I’m not talking about the weather. The story of an eccentric mother and her tiny babies has unleashed a firestorm of heated comments and opinions from the bedroom to the boardroom.

Jan. 26, Nadya Suleman gave birth to eight babies in Bellflower, Calif. This 33-year old single woman was already the mother of six children — all conceived by in vitro fertilization. After delivering the amazingly healthy octuplets — in one short 5-minute birthing — she upped her offspring count to a total of 14 babies in seven years.

This saga has captivated the world and is the stuff from which soap operas and movies are made. But overall, the public response has not been kind. Her 69-year-old mother (who has been caring for the first six offspring) is overwhelmed with the situation. Grandma has been quoted as saying that her daughter is “obsessed with kids.”

Suleman and her original six children live in a small house reportedly through the generosity of her parents. At various points in her multiple motherhood journey she became unemployed, received disability payments for a work injury, filed for bankruptcy (or was that her parents?) and her family receives state and federal financial aid.

Miracle births through in vitro fertilization do not come cheap. Yet somehow, despite Suleman’s lack of income, she was able to scrape together in excess of $100,000 to finance conceiving these babies. It is this amount of money and manner of conception that has raised questions about her mental state and the medical ethics of implanting the six embryos that produced eight babies.

Frankly, my first question was not why did Suleman decide to have all of these babies — but — how did her body do that? As the mother of three single birth 9-pound babies, I cannot picture my abdomen stretching large enough to sustain over 20 pounds of babies plus the placenta, etc. It sounds like a form of torture to me.

Anyway, the resulting worldwide firestorm of publicity has generated more hateful remarks than O.J. Simpson’s trial. Under the guise of concern, Suleman has been derisively called ‘octomom;’ a ‘monster;’ ‘obsessive compulsive’ and other profanity laced statements that are not fit to print.

Her ability to parent and provide for the children has been questioned — and rightly so. Hers is a huge responsibility and much of the outrage is concern for the well being of the older children as well as the babies. Another concern is the use of government funds to care for a family of 15.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it’s going to take the state of Calif. and many generous volunteers to raise this brood! So far, the public response to this has not been supportive. But I look at it this way: the care and feeding of kids has got to be a better investment than padding the coffers of CEOs with millions of dollars to spend on mansions and yachts!

An old proverb says “There is nothing new under the sun.” How true it is! Except for the in vitro part, large families and even multiple births are well documented. And contrary to popular thinking, there is never any guarantee as to the quality of life and love that any child will receive because of the size of their family.

If we travel way back in time to the 1700s in England, Susanna Wesley, the wife of the Rev. Samuel Wesley, gave birth to 19 children, ten of whom lived to grow up. They were not multiples but still a sizeable family. Susanna’s devotion to her children, their education and spiritual welfare is legendary.

John and Charles Wesley were her most notable offspring. They were born during what one source calls “a time of almost universal darkness and degradation.” But they are credited with “changing the face of all England

They became leaders in social justice issues including visiting men and women in prison, doing away with the slave trade, building hospitals and schools. They challenged the established church and in turn were persecuted by the clergy.

Moving forward a couple of centuries we have the horrific story of the Dionne quintuplets. Born in 1934, the five identical Dionne sisters were born in Ontario, Canada to a poor family with five other children (a sixth son died at birth).

The premature infants were not expected to survive after being delivered by Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe and two midwives. Ultimately the babies were taken from their parents and put under the guardianship of the Ontario government in a facility directed by the not-so-good Dr. Dafoe. Theirs was a stolen childhood.

These adorable young girls were exploited for financial gain and put on view in “Quintland” (a hospital annex and observation gallery) where they raised $51 million in revenue — a fortune in the 1930s. Later, at home with their parents and siblings they were abused physically and treated as servants in a mansion that their money paid for. Raised in isolation and emotionally scarred, their adult lives were unhappy and tragic.

So if I were Mama Suleman I would be getting some advice from parents experienced on the subject of raising multiple birth children. I’d certainly be chatting up Nkem Chuckwu, the mother of thriving 10-year old octuplets (one of whom died shortly after birth) in Houston, Texas and asking questions like “How do you do this and stay sane?!”

Television’s Dr. Phil calls Suleman’s actions “a study in irresponsibility” and I agree. But the deed is done. The kids are here. It’s time to stop trash-talking the mom. It’s time to start doing the right thing — finding ways to be sure that all 14 children are nurtured, loved, educated and mentored.

So hang on, folks and chill down. It’s going to be a wild ride. But who knows? Maybe there’s a Florence Nightingale or even a John and Charles Wesley in the group. It will all work out.

Betty Kaiser’s Chatterbox is about people, places, family, and other matters of the heart. Contact her at 942-1317 or via e-mail — bchatty@bettykaiser.com

2/25/09 Chatterbox
Betty Kaiser

Whew! It’s hot! And I’m not talking about the weather. The story of an eccentric mother and her tiny babies has unleashed a firestorm of heated comments and opinions from the bedroom to the boardroom.

Jan. 26, Nadya Suleman gave birth to eight babies in Bellflower, Calif. This 33-year old single woman was already the mother of six children — all conceived by in vitro fertilization. After delivering the amazingly healthy octuplets — in one short 5-minute birthing — she upped her offspring count to a total of 14 babies in seven years.

This saga has captivated the world and is the stuff from which soap operas and movies are made. But overall, the public response has not been kind. Her 69-year-old mother (who has been caring for the first six offspring) is overwhelmed with the situation. Grandma has been quoted as saying that her daughter is “obsessed with kids.”

Suleman and her original six children live in a small house reportedly through the generosity of her parents. At various points in her multiple motherhood journey she became unemployed, received disability payments for a work injury, filed for bankruptcy (or was that her parents?) and her family receives state and federal financial aid.

Miracle births through in vitro fertilization do not come cheap. Yet somehow, despite Suleman’s lack of income, she was able to scrape together in excess of $100,000 to finance conceiving these babies. It is this amount of money and manner of conception that has raised questions about her mental state and the medical ethics of implanting the six embryos that produced eight babies.

Frankly, my first question was not why did Suleman decide to have all of these babies — but — how did her body do that? As the mother of three single birth 9-pound babies, I cannot picture my abdomen stretching large enough to sustain over 20 pounds of babies plus the placenta, etc. It sounds like a form of torture to me.

Anyway, the resulting worldwide firestorm of publicity has generated more hateful remarks than O.J. Simpson’s trial. Under the guise of concern, Suleman has been derisively called ‘octomom;’ a ‘monster;’ ‘obsessive compulsive’ and other profanity laced statements that are not fit to print.

Her ability to parent and provide for the children has been questioned — and rightly so. Hers is a huge responsibility and much of the outrage is concern for the well being of the older children as well as the babies. Another concern is the use of government funds to care for a family of 15.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it’s going to take the state of Calif. and many generous volunteers to raise this brood! So far, the public response to this has not been supportive. But I look at it this way: the care and feeding of kids has got to be a better investment than padding the coffers of CEOs with millions of dollars to spend on mansions and yachts!

An old proverb says “There is nothing new under the sun.” How true it is! Except for the in vitro part, large families and even multiple births are well documented. And contrary to popular thinking, there is never any guarantee as to the quality of life and love that any child will receive because of the size of their family.

If we travel way back in time to the 1700s in England, Susanna Wesley, the wife of the Rev. Samuel Wesley, gave birth to 19 children, ten of whom lived to grow up. They were not multiples but still a sizeable family. Susanna’s devotion to her children, their education and spiritual welfare is legendary.

John and Charles Wesley were her most notable offspring. They were born during what one source calls “a time of almost universal darkness and degradation.” But they are credited with “changing the face of all England

They became leaders in social justice issues including visiting men and women in prison, doing away with the slave trade, building hospitals and schools. They challenged the established church and in turn were persecuted by the clergy.

Moving forward a couple of centuries we have the horrific story of the Dionne quintuplets. Born in 1934, the five identical Dionne sisters were born in Ontario, Canada to a poor family with five other children (a sixth son died at birth).

The premature infants were not expected to survive after being delivered by Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe and two midwives. Ultimately the babies were taken from their parents and put under the guardianship of the Ontario government in a facility directed by the not-so-good Dr. Dafoe. Theirs was a stolen childhood.

These adorable young girls were exploited for financial gain and put on view in “Quintland” (a hospital annex and observation gallery) where they raised $51 million in revenue — a fortune in the 1930s. Later, at home with their parents and siblings they were abused physically and treated as servants in a mansion that their money paid for. Raised in isolation and emotionally scarred, their adult lives were unhappy and tragic.

So if I were Mama Suleman I would be getting some advice from parents experienced on the subject of raising multiple birth children. I’d certainly be chatting up Nkem Chuckwu, the mother of thriving 10-year old octuplets (one of whom died shortly after birth) in Houston, Texas and asking questions like “How do you do this and stay sane?!”

Television’s Dr. Phil calls Suleman’s actions “a study in irresponsibility” and I agree. But the deed is done. The kids are here. It’s time to stop trash-talking the mom. It’s time to start doing the right thing — finding ways to be sure that all 14 children are nurtured, loved, educated and mentored.

So hang on, folks and chill down. It’s going to be a wild ride. But who knows? Maybe there’s a Florence Nightingale or even a John and Charles Wesley in the group. It will all work out.

Betty Kaiser’s Chatterbox is about people, places, family, and other matters of the heart. Contact her at 942-1317 or via e-mail — bchatty@bettykaiser.com

1 comment:

kate said...

So true. I think that's why people are donating money...for the babies, not the mom. However, someone really needs to get mom some mental help and maybe some birth control!