Friday, February 27, 2009

Eight little babies, all in a row.

The Octuplet mom thing? Is kind of getting to me.

This woman is my age. She has fourteen children.

I'm ashamed to say how much news coverage I have watched of this woman lately. I watched both days of the Dr. Phil special on her (thank you TiVo) and I was so struck by so many things about her:

2) She has a lot of excuses for what she did, but no real plan for how she's going to support all those kids.
3) This gal is getting a degree in counseling, apparently. I am confused as to who she thinks will want counseling from someone who has pretty obvious mental issues.
4) Bless her heart.
5) Bless all those children's heart.
6) Bless her mother's heart.
7) Good God.

I had two babies at the same time, and no husband. My parents, my older brother, and my sister and her now-husband were all around me and all helped me feed a baby, change a baby, and play with a baby. They gave me a break so I could have a bath. They made sure that I had time to do things. Important things like use the restroom and eat.

Did I have all the support I wanted and needed? No. Of course not. But I had a heck of a lot less kids than this mom and, seemingly, a lot more support.

And I almost lost my mind.

There were times that I could not do anything but lay on my face and cry. There were times that I seriously thought, "I cannot get through this day". There were times when I would achingly wonder how I had gotten to the point I was at and what I was going to do next.

And I only had two. Twelve less than this mom.

I know people hate her. I know she is a very polarizing figure. I know that people are furious about what she has done. She gets death threats. People wish her uterus would fall out and her babies would die.

I don't think what she did was right, at all. I don't think she made good choices. I think she didn't think it through. I think she was selfish and focused on what she wanted and wasn't thinking about those kids she already has and hasn't been able to support. And? I think she had babies because she wanted someone to love her.

That being said:

I didn't make good choices in my life. I married someone I knew didn't love me. I have been so selfish and so desperate for a child that I was willing to put my own life at risk and potentially leave my two children without a mother, because I wanted it so badly. I had two children when I had no husband, no job, and no education. And? I had a baby (well, two) because I wanted someone to love me.

So. There's that. Judge not lest ye be judged and all that.

I don't know. I just don't know.

There are so, so many things wrong with this situation. It's seriously scary and awful and I feel my chest tighten up whenever I think about it. And yes, I think about what she's done wrong and all of her bad choices, but I also think about how desperate and scared and lonely this poor woman must have been, to do these things. And God yes, she's selfish. Ridiculously so. But how could someone be so lacking? So needy? What on Earth could drive her to this point?

I don't know. But I do know I feel sad for those 14 little children. Who, unwittingly were born to be their mother's saviors.

It's a hell of a burden to put on a kid.

And I know that much to be true.


Anonymous said...

after watching the Dr. Phil show (both times, minus baby mishaps of my own), I now feel completely sorry for this lady. She's obviously not holding it together at all. At the end she is calling Dr. Phil frantically saying they won't release the babies until she has a place for them. Oh yeah, and the people of the State of California LOVE that. They'll keep paying 10 grand a day for these kids she can't rent an apartment for. Jeminy. Anyway, the point is (and do I have one), that I think someone should help her. I dont know that it's me, but hey, why not dr phil? he could rent her a house for a year. or 15. how about angelina and brad? they could get together and have barbeques with all their kids. and they have the money. How about everyone from hollywood gives 1% of their pay to her. They'd see it as charity and never miss it, and she might, just might be able to scrape by. And I think there's a serious difference between getting pregnant by your husband when you're 18 (or however old you were) and going for in vitro 5, 6, 7 times when you KNOW you dont have any support. She knew ahead of time. And her mom seems to love her, so I'm not sure why she seems to feel so bereft, but that's what therapy is about, that's not why you have kids. This is the part where I echo you and say. For. the. love.of.God. the end!

Patience said...

The mother has issues, no doubt about it. But the priority has to be on the children, on their welfare. She obviously has not the capability nor the capacity to take care of the newborns. Probably not the six she already had either.

So, what is to be done with these children? Can she possibly raise them, alone or with family support? It doesn't seem so.

Should the courts remove them from her care and give them to people who can care from them? I don't know.

This is a sad and difficult situation and I'm not sure there is any right answer.

Angie said...

I am very, very conflicted about this situation. So, very conflicted.

And I pray for those babies. . . those precious little babies.

Good post, my friend. Very good post.

NGS said...

I have to say that in all the media clamor over this story, the kids themselves are getting the shaft. What's going to happen to them? Who's going to care for them? It's obvious to me that she has some issues, maybe even disabilities, so whose responsible for these kids? It's all very disconcerting.

Lynnbug said...

I dont feel sorry for this lady--I feel sorry for her children. REally sorry for them. This thing boggles my mind and I feel like there issomething terribly wrong with this woman. She kind of makes me feel like one day we will wake up and the headlines will read "Woman drowns kids and then kills herself". Seriously, I think that. Because she is crazy. And she loves all this attention, I have no doubt aobut that. And when the attention moves on to somehting else equally or more bizzarro, what will happen then? The whole thing totally SUCKS.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I'm in tears now. I think compassion is the right reponse - it's impossible not to feel a bit of horror and judgement mixed in with it but...yeah. It's a scary world, and full of scary people doing scary things. Figuring out why is no easy thing. There's some things we just can't wrap our heads around, I think.

Bethany said...

I think she was nuts to have in vitro when she already had six kids and was in these financial circumstances. I feel sorry for her and in no way wish her any ill but I am concerned for all of the children. How will she care for them? Something as simple as transportation- how will she physically move around that many children? I just can't help but feel sorry for the whole situation. I think she needs some serious counseling and some serious financial help.

I also think the doctor who performed the in vitro needs a serious kick in the ass.

Stephanie said...

I feel EXACTLY the same way you do but some times I wish the media would just let it go. Years ago it was common to have that many kids without people blinking an eye! Of course, a single mother wouldn't have had that many kids years ago on her own (since this was IVF) but I think the main problem here is everyone is overlooking the obvious - what on earth kind of doctor would allow this!

Unknown said...

Bethany wrote "I think she was nuts to have in vitro when she already had six kids and was in these financial circumstances." Agreed.

As someone struggling with infertility, I've been keeping tabs on the story as well. I echo the sentiments that the doctor should have his ass kicked & his head examined. I don't know that there is a 'right answer' for those poor children though - it's just too bad they've been put in this situation at all.

What gets me is that "it's always been my dream to have a large family.." well, know what? I've always wanted to win the lottery, but I'm not going to go off my rocker to attain that dream, and then put myself in a state that I can't enjoy what I have attained. The woman needs some serious help. Gah.

ZDub said...

Very well said. I feel bad for her and bad for her babies. All of them. The media is butchering her to bits too.

Boriqua said...

Great post on a touchy topic. How different her situation would be if she'd gotten the help she clearly needs before making that fateful decision to get IVF again.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel the media coverage is like a terrible accident you pass on the freeway: you don't want to look but you can't stop yourself. I, too, am fascinated by the whole thing and I don't want to be. Of course, bless those children- it's all about them right now.

Tamar said...

She's just refused the offer from 'Angels in Waiting' of a house for six months with paediatric nurses to help her with the octuplets. I'm all out of sympathy at this point - somehow, Steph, I don't see you or any other NICU mom I've known saying no to having a paediatric nurse at home watching your little one when you could not. It's really not about the children's needs for her, at all.

KiKi said...

I bet there will be more octo-moms coming soon, esp with all the attention this one's getting. I feel sorry for the kids and hope her mental state improves and they all get the support they need.

Death threats? Taking things way too far.