Octomom's Inspiring Story: One Of America's Greatest Sensations
Nadya Suleman became a worldwide sensation in January 2009 after she gave birth to octuplets. It was a miracle in the business of reproductive technology and, of course, the pregnancy broke all kinds of records. However, it also raised a lot of questions about ethics, especially because Suleman was already the mother six before adding eight more to the mix. Some people don’t know the struggles she suffered to have her big family, and you won’t believe how big the kids are already. Let’s find out more!
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Been recently reflecting on how blessed I truly am. Mother’s Day can be an emotionally painful day for many. I feel your sadness. Throughout the six years of infertility (including miscarriages) I struggled with nearly 25 years ago, I believed God would never bless me with children. Unbeknownst to me back then, He had a plan greater than I could fathom. I learned to be patient, trusting, and accepting of the process throughout my obstacle laden journey. I am grateful for the battles I’ve fought, and the challenges I continue to face, as they have forged, shaped and strengthened me into the mom I am today. For those of you who have lost your mom (as I had over four years ago) or perhaps experienced the most devastating of all loses, a child...I can only hope and pray God bestows upon you some semblance of peace. Thank you to all my wonderfully loving children, (even to my eldest Eli who despises pictures), for creating beautiful art, writing heartwarming notes, and showering me with love. You are my life. My heart. I love you. ❤️
While some people didn’t agree with Nadya’s efforts, she became a star with her pregnancy. Everyone wanted to know how she was dealing, but some thought she wouldn’t be able to keep them all. She proved them all wrong.
45. BIG FAMILY
She was born on July 11, 1975, and her father is from Irag while her mother is from Lithuania. Edward Doud Suleman and Angela Victoria Suleman were only able to have one child, and that might be why Octomom started dreaming of having many kids.
44. GROWING UP
As soon as she was old enough, Nadya started thinking about becoming a mother. She graduated from Nogales High School in La Puente, California and wanted to attend college. However, something unexpected happened.
43. LOVE CAME KNOCKING
In her early 20s, Suleman met a producer manager called Marcos Gutierrez, and they quickly fell in love and started a relationship. She revealed her dream of having a big family from the very beginning, and Gutierrez was completely on board.
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The fake tabloid media fed the public many deceptions, for many years. Shameful that after one decade people still believe the sensationalized stories the opportunistic media made up. One of the fabricated tales the trashy tabloids told was how I had plastic surgery to look like an actress named Angelina Jolie. After laughing this lie off for so long, it’s time to set the record straight (a whole decade later 😂). I NEVER had plastic surgery to look like ANYONE else, let alone some “celebrity“ I could care less about. I am proud of my mixed, ethnic background and would not want to look like or be like anyone other than myself. Truth is, more often than not, “celebrities“ have more insecurities and are more broken than people not in the public eye, they just have more money to conceal their brokenness (of course the inordinate pressure from “Hollow-Wood” doesn’t help their confidence 😑). The above picture is of me and my friend Veronica taken in 2003, 3 WEEKS after having my third child JJ, and 3 months before breast implants (which I regret). I was 100% natural, (today I’m 90% 😉). This was also around the time I was approached by a modeling scout; one of multiple times in my lifetime, from a real modeling agency, years before the social media Instagram began lol. Politely, I waited until he left before tossing his card into the trash. Becoming a mom was always in my heart, my calling, not modeling. The media had one hidden agenda: to ignite as much intense hate towards me, for as long as possible. This particular untruth added fuel to the fire of hate. The crazier I appeared, and the more of your “tax payers dollars” I supposedly stole to waste on “plastic surgery,” the more intensely I would be hated; and in turn, the more it would line the tabloid media’s parasitic pockets. Truth is, I have had THREE and a half...yes, only THREE (and a half 😂) cosmetic procedures done in my life. Due to lack of space on this post, I will list my few cosmetic alterations on a subsequent post. #MediaHijackedMyLife #TimeToTakeMyLifeBack
42. A NEW JOB
They got married in 1996, and Nadya started studying at Mt. San Antonio College to get a psychiatric technician license. After that, she went to work at the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, California. While she loved her job, something happened that changed her life forever.
41. AN ACCIDENT
On September 18, 1999, 20 patients started a riot at the hospital, and Nadya did her best at handling the situation. However, one female patient threw a wooden desk and Nadya was hit on her back, causing a herniated disc injury. She received $170,000 from workers’ compensation, but the money would only help for a while.
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Found this old photo of me and one of my dearest friends Veronica. I had given birth to JJ only weeks prior and we were excited to get out without kids. Now her little baby (my first baby Selina) is about to have her own baby! This reminds me to cherish every moment with those who matter. #Memories #MyFriendsAreMyFamily #tbt #2003 ❤️
40. POSTPONING A DREAM
She went through a hard time after the accident and couldn’t work properly. The money helped for a time, but there were a lot more problems waiting in the wings. She and her husband started trying for children but nothing was happening. They decided to go to the doctor.
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I am so grateful for kind hearted people in this world who take valuable time out of their lives to be thoughtful and considerate towards others. Thank you for the perfect birthday gift. I've been wearing the same workout outfit for years now (detergent lol), and needed a new one but didn't want to waste money 🙈...I have never met you but all the kids and I are so appreciative of your altruistic gestures! #YesTodayIsMyBirthday #AndOfCourseMyWayToCelebrateIsAtTheGymAfterTheKidsGoToSleep #FitMom 💪🏽
39. A HARSH DOSE OF REALITY
The doctor told the couple that they needed to follow certain steps to get pregnant, but it still didn’t work for them. They kept trying with several other doctors but to no avail. As a result, Nadya became depressed, and they soon discovered that Gutierrez was sterile.
38. FALLING OUT
The news was tough on them both, and Nadya wanted her husband to consider other methods, but Gutierrez wouldn’t hear of it. When Suleman wanted to try IVF, Marcos threatened to leave if she went through with it.
37. GOING FOR HER DREAMS
She had a big decision to make, and in the end, she went with her dream of building a family. Their marriage was over in 2000, and Nadya started IVF treatments.
36. NOT CHEAP
Despite reaching for her dreams, Nadya soon discovered that the procedure didn’t work all the time, but she went for it anyway. Unfortunately, it is also expensive. Additionally, the doctors also told her that there were several risks that could change her life.
35. LOOKING FOR THE REWARD
The great risk Nadya was facing was the fact that more than one egg took take root in her uterus during IVF, which meant a multiple-baby pregnancy. However, Nadya still decided to go for it to finally fulfill her dream.
34. HER FIRST BABY
Luckily, her first pregnancy was completely normal, and in 2001, she delivered a boy named Elijah. After the happiness of having her son, she wanted more.
33. MORE CHILDREN
While Nadya didn’t think she would ever become a mother, she dreamed. Thanks to more IVF, she gave birth to a daughter after Elijah, and Nadya named her Amerah. Therefore, Nadya kept going with the procedure, and she delivered fraternal twins next and two other kids after that for a total of six children.
32. A BIG DECISION
Anyone would be more than satisfied with just six children, but Nadya wanted more for her family. Therefore, she went once again to Dr. Michael Kamrava, who has worked with her through the previous pregnancies. Nadya had frozen six eggs and wanted to use them; so, she told the doctor to put them all in at one go.
31. SIX BABIES?
Six eggs should mean that only six more babies, or less, were on the way. While the doctor was not alright with the decision at first, he ended up agreeing. However, something crazy happened and Dr. Kamrava ended up placing 12 eggs inside her at once.
30. THE OCTUPLETS
Dr. Michael Kamrava ended up leaving the medical world after that situation, but Nadya doesn’t regret any part of it, as she got her babies. Out of 12 embryos, eight took root, and soon enough, Nadya would earn the interest for the world.
29. A SUPER-MOM
Being pregnant with one child is hard enough already, and eight babies exhausted Nadya horribly. American wanted to see if she would be able to deliver all the children safely and she was given the “Octomom” moniker.
28. GOING VIRAL
After her nickname was born, everyone was waiting to see what would happen, and when the time came, Nadya gave birth to all the kids perfectly. It was the first ever set of octuplets to be born alive and keep thriving after one week.
She might have become an internet sensation, but some doctors wanted to explore how it was that Nadya managed to do something that others never did. Her body’s strength was definitely remarkable.
26. FAMOUS OCTOMOM
While the public still wanted to know everything about her, Nadya decided to control the narrative and earn some money in the meantime. She wanted to be shown in a positive manner and hired a public relations group. But, things were more difficult than she expected.
25. MOTHER OR SENSATION
Fame is very tricky, especially for the unprepared, and she had to be a good mother while being the Octomom. Some people even said that she did all that to become famous, but Nadya was still brave, and it still took a lot of effort. Sadly, it became too hurt, and she even received threats.
24. TOO MUCH PRESSURE
Things were spinning out of control for Nadya, although she tried to control the media coverage. One day, she decided to tell her truth, and in an interview with People Magazine, Suleman revealed,
“I don’t get much sleep, about two or three hours a night.”
23. THE WORST POINT
While some forgot about Octomom, others still wanted to know everything about her, and the constant strain of being in the public eye was too much. It made it too hard to raise the children properly. Soon enough, she had to start getting welfare to maintain her family of 15.
22. THE RUMORS
Aside from the negativity that circulated about Nadya, there were also some rumors that were a horrible mother. Things got so bad that Child Protective Services were called. They checked in with her family, and fortunately, the gossip was put to rest because CPS thought everything was normal for the kids.
21. ANOTHER ISSUE
CPS might have approved of their living situation, but other people had different ideas that changed her life completely. Her landlord said that she was violating her lease, but all he wanted was to ruin her reputation. He even went to the press to talk about her and eventually, evicted her.
20. HORRIBLE MOMENTS
It seemed like the landlord wouldn’t budge, no matter how much Nadya reasoned with him. She needed to find a new home for her 14 children immediately, but money was scarce. That’s when she turned to the film industry and other businesses like boxing.
19. STARTING OVER
The pressure of Nadya’s life as a mother and as a celebrity were becoming too much, and she realizes that she needed to step away from the spotlight. At this point, she was only a caricature for the world, but the mother was only trying to raise her kids well. She changed her name to Natalie and finished college to give her children a better future. Natalie started working as a family therapist.
18. THE CHILDREN TODAY
Octomom’s kids turned 100 this year, and things are going great too. All the children follow a vegan diet, but they are healthy. Meanwhile, Natalie is doing a great job at parenting, and the kids are humble as well as responsible. She promotes honesty and speaks openly to her children.
17. A GOOD PERSON CAME ALONG
Trying to raise her family alone was hard, and unfortunately, it involved taking some questionable jobs in the process. Luckily, Natalie revealed that there was someone who encouraged her to keep going and called him her “guardian angel”. While she worked in film, she met a man in Florida. She said,
“He walked straight to me and looked straight into my eyes. He took my hand and grabbed my arm and said in a very gentle, but firm way: ‘You don’t have to do this.’ He repeated it gives times.”
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Calyssa found this pic today and asked if she was in my belly with Caleb here. I was only three WEEKS (nearly one month) pregnant with the little 8! I started showing by 3 days 😳...#tbt #LookingLikeNineMonths #AidanPlayingWithMyBigBelly #PleaseExcuseTheOutdatedOverlyTweezedBrows 🙈
16. LOOKING BACK
While she worked on turning her life around, Natalie realized that having so many kids without much thought was “foolish, immature, and selfish”. However, accepting a mistake is also brave, and she has dealt with the consequences in the best way she can.
15. THEIR LIFE IS NORMAL
The family lives in a 3-bedroom apartment and paycheck to paycheck. However, Natalie thinks things are going great for them. She lives “at peace” and apparently, loves how she has inspired other women. Her story has helped other women make big decisions, but Natalia does hate the “Octomom” nickname. It was something that almost ended her life. During an interview, she said,
“I didn’t want to live. I felt less than human as that character I was pretending to be, to survive and provide for my family.”
14. NO SOCIAL LIFE
Her time is spent with her children. The first six are Elijah (17), Amerah (16), Joshua (14), Aiden (12), and 11-year old twins Calyssa and Caleb. Meanwhile, the octuplets are Makai, Josiah, Isaiah, Jonah, Maliyah, Jeremiah, Nariyah, and Noah. However, she doesn’t want them to see her as the “Octomom”,
“I was forced into doing things I didn’t want to do because I was so terrified I couldn’t support them and give them the life I deserved.”
13. AN AVERAGE FAMILY
Natalia focused on raising her family in a normal manner. She explained once,
“They fight, play, fight and play again like any normal family.”
Some of her children are outgoing, but others are shy. Furthermore, Aiden is autistic, but the rest helped a lot with their sibling.
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Hanging around on the playground after singing in their school's Christmas performance. Wishing all of you and your family a peaceful, joyful Holiday! During this busy season, which can become stressful and overwhelming at times, never forget to slow down and reflect upon what truly matters in life. #God #Family #WhatTrulyMattersToMe #HappyHolidays
12. THEIR VALUES
She also does her best at teaching them values. She told US Weekly, “I’m focusing on raising the kids to focus on serving other people, to get out of their own head.” Natalie has taught that everything is earned.
11. SCHOOL AND WORKING OUT
It can be crazy sending so many kids to school at once, and on an Instagram account, Natalie wrote, “Any other parents exceptionally stressed and overwhelmed by the first week back to school?” Her car almost has more kids than a school bus. On the other hand, she likes to take some time off her busy schedule to stay fit, which helps with stress.
“The stress literally drips off of me, as I’m drenched in the end. Being physical has significantly helped me cope with so many challenges I’ve struggled with throughout my life.”
10. SOCIALIZING AND OPENING UP
Natalia believes that she is a strict mother, but she loves when her kids have fun. She bonds with her daughters with spa nights and works so that all of them receive all the love they need.
In 2018, she was invited to ‘The Dr. Oz Show’ to talk about her experience being the “Octomom”, and she took the chance to tell her story. She cleared up some misconceptions about her IVF, pregnancy, and her children. It was a great way to explain her evolution from Nadya to Natalie.
9. THE CHILDREN AND GENETICS
Genes are interesting, and most siblings look alike, but Natalie’s children are similar and different at the same. All the different forms of genetics have been revealed in the kids, and that is why they are so unique.
Aside from staying fit herself, Natalie makes sure that 14 kids are active and healthy with their vegan diet.
8. ADORING MOM
The kids are good at working towards important causes, and they are hard-working students. One project had them making superhero posters, and they turned out really creative. Meanwhile, Natalia is lucky enough to receive all kinds of love from her kids with handmade gifts and cards.
Additionally, she is also raising a child with autism, which can be challenging. She told the Daily Mail, “It’s a story that needs to be told and I think it will encourage a lot of women to draw up the strength that didn’t know they had.”
7. TOO LARGE FOR A PHOTO
Capturing a photo of a big family can be hard, and it must be a lot more difficult to get 14 kids into one shot. Additionally, it can be tricky to get all of them in their best moment without some sort of weird facial gesture. However, with some effort, anyone can make it happen.
6. THEIR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
After getting her life together and becoming a family therapist, Natalie left the spotlight. However, she opened a Youtube account, especially to talk about her life and her story helping people recover from substance abuse. Obviously, she also talked about her kids and once shared a letter her daughter, Amerah, wrote. However, it seems that she later closed her channel.
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Proving other people wrong was never my intention when I gave birth to a small village ten years ago. If there was anyone I needed to prove anything to, it was myself. My fears, doubts, and insecurities were palpable; I was single, alone, in poverty, and terrified. What had I done to my family? How could I be so selfish and immature? Fear was the fuel I used to fight for my family. I never planned, never wanted, nor was prepared to be propelled into the public eye. Paradoxically, as an introverted agoraphobic, I spent my entire life hiding from people. Mainstream media hijacked my life. Out of desperation to provide for my family I pretended to be something I was the polar opposite of. I listened to everyone other than my own self. It wasn’t until I stopped pretending, risked losing everything, and began following what I truly believed in, that my life fell into place. I feel as though I owe my supportive followers both an update and an explanation. First, I am incredibly thankful for your kind words and respect. Many of you have been encouraging us to consider doing a “show.” The primary reason I have been avoidant in allowing my family to be filmed consistently (particularly when younger) is due to it’s potential deleterious effect on a child’s developmental process. Kids need to be kids. One or two documentaries per year is far less invasive than the day in day out, ongoing filming necessary for a docu-series or “reality” show; therefore, I exploited myself so I wouldn’t have to exploit my kids. Just this year many healthy opportunities have been presented to us, (there were no healthy opportunities open to octomom). I am grateful, though will be far more open to embracing other options (such as a docu-series) when my children are a little older and their sense of self is stronger and more mature. Documentaries (in countries other than our own, ironically) continue to be presented to us, which are incredible sources of supplemental income. I reflect daily on how blessed we all are; how God always provides; and remind myself to remain patient, as it is His timing not mine. #Blessed #Trust #Grateful
5. THANKSGIVING FOR A GREAT CAUSE
Her profession has also taught Natalie how important it is to teach her kids to give back. 10 of the children participated in the Turkey Trot 5 Kilometer family run in similar T-shirts. Maliyah, Josiah, Noah, and Isaiah won among their age group.
4. PAINFUL PREGNANCY
A normal pregnancy is uncomfortable, but a multiple one is even worse. Natalie even went through injuries she never imagined. Nowadays, she cannot run due to four discs ruptures in her spine, sacral damage, and peripheral neuropathy. The mother of 14 uses the stair machine to work out. However, she goes to an only women’s gym due to the anxiety she went through as a kid.
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I would like to share about how I cope with inordinate stress, after being asked how I stay sane lol. Throughout my life I’ve opted on a physical outlet to constructively channel stress, anger, anxiety etc. Since age 17, I would go to the gym, climb on the stairmaster, and push 99 (highest it would go), no music (I’ve graduated to a tiny iPod that my son has to download music onto as I’ve been stuck in 1995 for over 20 years 😂), climbing approximately 10 miles, my mind pushing my body to press on, despite pain or exhaustion. The stress literally drips off of me, as I’m drenched in the end. Being physical has significantly helped me cope with so many challenges I’ve struggled with throughout my life. How many of you can relate 🙋🏻♀️? I’m sure many of you have faced your own challenges and cope differently; and as long as it’s a healthy form of coping always carve out time to incorporate it into your life. The following are some of the challenges I’ve coped with throughout my life: 1. Social phobia, specifically agoraphobia, since my youth. My social anxiety significantly exacerbated subsequent to being catapulted into the public eye a decade ago, and turned into a parody without permission. The real me is a non social, introverted loner. Now I am a loner with 14 kids 😂. 2. Another obvious stressor is being a single mom to 14 wonderful kids, who I have raised single handedly; one of which is a 13 year old disabled, severely autistic son, who is a baby in his mind, requiring my total care and supervision. 3. As a direct physical repercussion of carrying an octuplet pregnancy to nearly 8 months (I am aware that is not human), my ribs, and lumbar spine were broken. Most of the discs in my lumbar spine are ruptured, pressing on nerve roots causing bilateral sciatica; I sustained severe sacral damage, and have peripheral neuropathy. Despite these few challenges (among others I have no room to share), I count my blessings daily for my abilities (mental stamina, strength, and endurance), rather than focusing on disabilities. #PleaseExcuseThePoorQualityPicture #IAmBlessed #MentalStrength #StayStrongMoms #NeverGiveUp #GymIsBetterThanJail 😂
3. CAT MOTHER
Natalie dreamed of a big family because she was an only child, but she actually grew up with a bunch of cats, and her favorite was named Boots. The children also love cats.