Disclaimer

If I know you, and you're reading this blog, you have two choices:

1) Feel free to pretend you haven't, should the contents be offensive, sensitive in nature, or just TMI (Too Much Information).
OR
2) Comment freely or talk to me face to face, and be prepared for further honesty and opinions.

Okay? Okay.

Feb 13, 2009

Mom of Octuplets + 6

This is a facebook thread- reprinted here without my friends permission- I'll get right on that! I left typos and such in- but removed names...

What's your opinion???



J.
Okay ladies,I am very interested in hearing your views on this woman already has 6 kids at home, lives with her mom and has 6 other kids with got assistance??? supposedly she has had $20,000 in plastic surgery ? You are all very srong woman whom i hold in very high regard and would love to hear your opinions (heavens knows I know you might have one, or two )


K.

To be honest, I don't have much of an opinion on this. I don't question her right to do it, though I do question the wisdom of the doctor who implanted so many embryos at once, especially in such a young woman. Until/unless the state ends up paying for them all, I don't feel it's really my business to think one way or the other about it.

I do suspect, however, that she's a bit mentally ill from a couple of quotes I have heard her make, particularly about her not having been in control as a child being the reason she's wanted to do this. Um, honey, do you think you're going to be in control with 14 children under the age of ???

It will be interesting to see if she still has custody of all of them 5 or 10 years down the road.

S.

My concern is clearly the children's health and welfare. I can understand the desire to want a large family (my mom wanted 10-had 7) yet when I try to imagine where 8 newborns are sleeping, what toddlers are up when the mother is endlessly nursing the newborns and whether they get hot meals, baths, basic love and affection. The odds are not in her favor. With that said, did you see her pregnant belly days before giving birth? O M G! The female body is truly amazing.


Me
Today at 9:42am
I don't think it's our right to judge her.

From what I understand she had multiple embryos implanted each time she was pregnant, this time they all happened to stick and multiply.

Remember back when whoever it was condemned the Murphy Brown show for glorifying single mothers?

Whose to say she won't raise our future president? Those are little children. She needs our assistance (I'm not suggesting we praise her...) and support.

Did you here about the black woman who gave birth to quints and nobody offered her assistance- white woman gives birth to quints and gets free diapers for all the children as long as she needs them.

Our foster/adopt kids qualify for WIC and receive medical benefits until they are 18, as well as our primary medical insurance. The looks I get when I use those WIC checks or show the medical card...

Because I chose to have a large family- should I be judged for using those services? And don't give me the whole- but you adopted foster kids bit- sure we may have different circumstances, but that doesn't give anyone the right to judge us any differently then that mother.

What's better for the kids? For the mother who loves them? Our support or our judgment?

I could go on- but I'll spare you.

J.

Very ineresting points and I love hearing them, thank you for sharing. I am in no way judging anyone or any decission anyone has made.I am a little concerned about the doctor involved in the matter and wonder his stand on this matter now. I am terrified at what the future holds for infertility drs. and the people who really need them.

Will we become more like China and try to control how many children peole can have?

The reason I was asking is because I am spending Saturday with my Sister in law who is the head of Child Protection Services in Oakland.........the stories she tells, WOW. She too has been a foster parent for as long as I have known her and I wanted to feel more knowledgable about this whole situation. She happens to be overly educated and has a very strong opinion about certain things. I watched a program last night on Dr. Phil but missed her interview on 60 minutes.So I needed some input.

I agree it is about the children and I do feel sorry for her, she has a very long road ahead of her and will need as much help as she possibly can get. Her own mother has walked away from her, so how sad is that? The experts say she will need approx. 50 volunteers a week round the clock to help take care of those babies.

So why is our society shunning this woman? Why did they brush off the black woman with the multiple birth? Why did Dr. Phil have show and point out that she has had plastic surgery, etc. ?



Me
Today at 12:18pm
CPS in Oakland? Oh My! The stories are the same all over, I'm afraid- but Oakland?! The amount of crisis and sheer #'s. That's a hard job.

I failed to mention that I have not read or seen any of the many articles- with the exception of one or two that appeared in my headlines on my homepage- so I speak without doing any research.

Are there mental health issues with the birth mother? Do I have mental health issues? Lots of folks call me insane for having so many children, for having a relationship with a woman, for not going to church, for having a beer at 4:00 in the afternoon... How severe are her issues?

Did she really plan on giving birth to 8 children at the same time? If this story had broken, with the outcome being that she had "selectively reduced" the #'s of fetus's down to one- wouldn't the conservative right be all over her ass saying how she killed her children? If she had chosen to destroy the embryos instead of having them implanted...?

And the dr.? Holy crap if we are going to start with that let me give the names of lot's of folks who should be sterilized-( uh, hello parents who have already lost the rights to their birth children, child abusers, pedophiles...). How many plastic surgeons are out there performing unnecessary surgeries? Let's pass judgment on the dr. who filled Goldie Hawn's lips first- okay?

I say again, The birth woman needs help and support- in whatever shape that may come-( food, formula, diapers, counseling, volunteers, sleep, bottles, dishwasher, housing, cribs, clothes...) not criticism.

J. I didn't think you were judging-


C.

I suppose for me, I would really like to know HOW she afforded in vitro in the first place? It seems to me like a what came first? type of situation to some extent. i definitly think that the Dr. should be held to question as it seems to me that he has violated the ethical code he promised to uphold. And, i think he has done a huge diservice to the profession in general. She freely admits that she did this for HER, she has been quoted saying that and I heard her interview on whatever talk show she was on... sorry it escapes me at this time, but I heard her say it, so it is not just hearsay. I think her words were something in line with she wanted lots of kids because she grew up in a dysfunctional family. I would LOVE to know what her psychological profile would reveal. Seems a bit of twisted logic in my opinion.
Tricia, I have MOUNTAINS of respect for you and Kari and the family you have. Seriously, having been in the child care industry for a million years and seeing first hand the best and worst of families, thinking about the D. clan can honestly bring a tear of sheer joy to my eye. And i think you have GREAT points. But in my opinion the difference between the D. women and this woman is self LESS versus self ISH.
I do not feel sorry for her. I feel extremely sorry for those children.... each and every one of them She already has 2 girls and 4 boys ages 2 to 7... and 3 of them are already getting assistance for their various disabilties if I am not mistaken. Don't you all think that THOSE 6 children need EVERYTHINg she has to give THEM. I am SURE this next comment will not be well received by some or all of you, BUT here i go.... it reminds me in some ways of people who hoard animals. AND NO!! I am in no way comparing a child to an animal, so i know it is a huge leap. But what I mean is that mentality that one is good, two better, three better, etc etc etc.
She does not in any way deserve to have death threats leveled against her... that is horrible. But I do think it was an incredibly irresponsible decision. Did anyone SEE the video of the bedroom her 6 kids live in now?
Is that fair? I was shocked and saddened to see it.
And what about her parents? Seriously can any of you imagine putting YOUR parents in that position? That screams selfish too. Who does that?
I applaud her for wanting to get her masters degree. Iwant to get mine too and I often sit down with my finances in front of me trying to figure out how I could pull it off. Hell, I am on a first name basis with more than one of the enrollment counselors at the Univ. of Phoenix and the SF State extension program. But I have not done it because I cannot afford it right now. I want to say that she needs forget about school and work 10 jobs if necessary to support her kids, but then who raises them if she were to do that? Not her. And if she is in school getting her masters WHO raises them? NOT HER!! Where is her parenting in all of this?
C'mon.... really? And she has a PR firm representing her now?
I think it is unecessarily tragic. Maybe I am clueless because I do not have children but I just don't think so. Almost all my friends have children and I listen to them talk all the time about the joys and struggles of being a parent. I see how much they sacrifice and give of themselves to give their children the very best possible. I have friends who only shop with coupons and i have friends who would never dress their kids in clothes in anything less than designer clothes. And friends everywhere in between. I have never judged any of them, only admired them for their dedication to their kids. My pont is is that in EACH case, these parents do THE VERY best they can within the finances they have available to them.
Being a parent is a PRIVELAGE, not a right.
I am sorry if I am unpopular here, but I think she is an incredibly selfish woman. And, I think that some, if not all of those kids will eventually be in foster care. She maybe flew under the radar with the first 6.... til now.
Shame on her.

C.

P.S. Let me know if any of you are defriending me after this, OK??
xo



Me
Today at 12:50pm
I'm totally defriending you now because your opinion is wrong.


Me
Today at 12:59pm
Did you like that??? How I totally judged you for your opinion????


It's all good- you know I'm kidding right??? Just proving a point.

My bottom line- we all have our opinions- none of us are wrong. I have not done any research -most of the things you mention C.- I had no idea about.

Her kids are what is important. If we can't support her- we need to support the kids, and at this point that means we need to support her- ya know?


C.

HA!! I just checked and we are still friends!! Plus I see that Kari is online right now and my guess is if YOU dump me then she dumps me too!!
Plus, I know you are WAY to bright to view opinions as right or wrong!!

xo


K.

I'm still friends with all y'all...no matter what! Bring on the 14 kids!!!

How many boxes of Kraft Dinner do you think you need to feed a family of 15??

S.

J's point about the 50 volunteers, around the clock, each week is startling. 50 people shuttling through your life each week, caring for your babies, offering you advice, the constant commotion. How long will that last? I hope the kindness and generousity of people will succeed in allowing the village to raise these children. But as C. has pointed out, the switch that separates "what I should do" and "what I want" wasn't working for this mom. And yes we will pay. I will pay for the present and futures for these children to be healthy and bright, and I will do it gladly. And Tricia, you and Kari are the village, with your unique perspective, kindness and generousity to envelope your children.

One question still remains. Has anyone seen the picture of her belly days before she gave birth? Honestly. It's amazing.


C.

I did!! Truely amazing is right.
So let me ask you S. ...when you say that you will pay and pay gladly.... Can you elaborate on that? No sarcasm or judgement, just a real curiousity. Why do you feel that that is your responsibility?
Just to play devil's advocate.... do you feel it is MY responsibility to pay for your girls? Would you want me to? Would you have had them if you could not have afforded them? Would you want YOUR girls to have to "compete" for your attention with 12 other children... 3 with special needs and who knows how many more will have special needs?
As Mom's how many nights have you all wished that you could have ONE night off from bed time stories, one night with no one refusing to take a bath or brush teeth? ONE night with no little pitter patter of feet down the hallway after lights out? OR..... one morning to not have to make school lunches (or dig thru your wallet for exact change for hot lunch)
MULTIPLY THAT BY 14!!!!
Please.... trust me, I could go into a very painful tale of being pregnant once unexpectadly years ago and us deciding to keep the pregnancy and then so much going horribly wrong and it was devastaing for myself and my then boyfriend. Like I said... I think it is a privelage, not a right, so maybe I am skewed because I once thought I would have that miracle in my life and then did not, but I think it is more than that.


I think this is a very interesting thread and i appreciate the opportunity to discus this with you all maturely.

xo

C.

Here's the belly pic: http://www.tmz.com/2009/02/12/octomom-it-was-a-very-goodyear/ Yowsa.

On to C.'s Big Question (even though I'm not the one being asked!): I DO feel it's my obligation to help pay for any child who is in distress, be it through abuse, neglect, tragedy etc. They are defenseless, and if society as a whole does not form a safety net then we are no better than animals. This is not an obligation I begrudge at all.

However -- I have to grit my teeth a lot harder to pay out money to people who need it only because of the proactive choices they make. This makes for an interesting dichotomy in this case -- if I have to end up paying for the kids, then so be it, they are kids and they require our help to live safe, healthy and happy lives. If I have to pay for their Mom to never work again, then I get pissed. Yet it's probably best for the kids that their Mom concentrates on them and not on working.

Where I do completely lose my rag on the whole social payments issue is when my taxes pay welfare to Moms who choose to go back to school rather than back to work. No. That's a privilege and not a right. If you can be away from your kids, you should be working, not going to school!

OK, off my soapbox now. I realize my views are completely inconsistent!
J.

I look like that now and I'm not even pregnant

S.

So C., first and foremost, I completely agree about this thread being interesting and I am engaged by each perspective. I am going to step back to a comment you made previously about animal hording (which I think was a valid comment)...let's say a company supported by tax payer dollars came to the rescue of 18 puppies/dogs (or taking it macro, 6 million) how would you feel about your tax dollars going to basic care (food, home, medical) of those animals? Knowing these animals have no voice, no choice in the environment their lives began. These children are innocent. And the level of frustration I hear from many of my friends (including you) I believe is because of how much you care... So my point is...do the babies suffer? do we dwell on what is done? do we focus on things out of our control? Or do we gladly help the helpless.
So yes, I will gladly pay for these children. I personally don't think that the doctor or mother made good decisions. I am completely against the abuse of our social services system. I hate the complusiveness of some to achieve their 15 minutes, certainly at the expense of others. We don't control the universe. Given the choice of taking some financial responsibility for a needy child or just hoping for the best, hoping they won't become a broken child/adult in our society...it's easy for me to embrace the baby. I really don't think you and I are too far apart on this.

So on a personal level, I am sorry.



Me
Today at 4:17pm
Okay- K.- isn't it like the middle of the night? What the hell??? : )

2nd- My 8 eat 3 boxes of mac n- cheese- but really it's 6 kids because two won't eat it. And i don't like it- Käri nibbles it. Plus we have fruit or veggies and protein of some sort with it.

C.-

I love my kids like crazy- would lay down my life for any of them and yes, sometimes I want to tape their mouths closed and stick 'em in their velcro suits and velcro them to the wall- behind the soundproof doors... Sometimes I REALLY need the cocktail at the end of the day. Who would I choose to give up to make my life easier? Give one up for adoption? Which one? They all came for a reason- what that reason is...?? Not a clue.

I've got two with ADHD, one that doesn't hear so well, one that's super needy (like gonna be pregnant at 13- Gods help me), one that has emotional/attachment issues (been through counseling and medicated), and one with a rare metabolic disorder that could kill her or at least put her in the severely brain damaged and wheelchair for life category.

I never have enough time for them. And yet, when they call to ask if we will take another- I waver. What is the answer to that dilemma? Do I have enough time to fit another one in? And yet, what's the difference - one more? How do I turn an unknown life away?

I mourn each of my miscarriages, a life lost.

I cannot imagine tossing my frozen embryos. (No, I don't have any) I can't imagine (I almost wrote having 14- but actually, I could) having 8 infants at the same time.

So many people are fans of John and Kate plus 8. Do you think they could have afforded those sextuplets without the t.v show? What do they do for a living? How many donations did they receive? Who paid for their big fancy car?

We got pregnant the first time while we renting a home- both working full time with benefits... could we afford Leo? Did we have a savings? Nope. We wanted a baby- we wanted a family. We paid for the "donor" and medical crap with credit cards- No cheap date for us! We were selfish.

I'll gladly pay my taxes for families and children in need, education and social services. It's my life, though- I'm a bit biased. And as far as college- Yeah, I'll pay for that too. How do you survive on minimum wage jobs?

I'll also pay for mandatory sterilization for parents who have had their parental rights terminated in a court of law- yeah, that's right you heard me. I would. If you fuck up that bad- you don't get a second chance to biologically parent another- However if you've straightened up feel free to become a foster parent where you can parent a child in need... but, I digress from the issue at hand.

I agree with K.'s first paragraph. And I agree, parenting is a privilege. Who says we get to decide if this mother of 14 should be denied that privilege? And why?

C.

I believe I said parenting is a privilage more than once during this thread...yes?
Tricia.... please re read what I said about you and Kari. I love and respect you and Kari SOOOOOOOOOO much
back to me as that is all that I know....
YES!! Lots of us are fans of John and Kate plus 8. And yes they make money from it. SO WHAT??? I applaud them. The difference once again is that they were good on their own and then the media found them.... there was never a website begging for money.... cash, check or credit.
I will happily pay for sterilization for parents who have had their rights terminated.

2 comments:

Kari said...

Okay, so I tried to read all of that and couldn't quite get through it...yeah it's late and I'm tired.

All I have to say is this:
I want a show on TLC and want to make enough money to take my kids on vacations and pay for college! Nobody would be interested in our boring life, but hey, our kids are darn cute!

That mom of octuplets made her decision in the same way lots of us have made decisions about our families and lots of other things. I think she's got a huge job of ahead of her and a real need for a tummy tuck! Really though, no matter how many kids we each have it's a big job. I don't know about you, but I could use a tummy tuck!

I think TLC is calling... oh that's just the bed. damn.

Meritt said...

Just surfed in today from Karen's blog. :)


Also of note: Apparently they owe $23,000 in back-mortgage on their current home and are set to foreclose.

Perhaps the idiot doctor who impregnated her with all the kids should have to be required to pay for them. LOL.