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Monday, February 09, 2009

Mommy x14 Speaks About Octuplets' Birth

Friday February 06, 2009

A woman who gave birth to octuplets in California last week has told how she wanted a "huge family" to make up for a lonely childhood.

Unmarried Nadya Suleman, 33, who lives with her mother, now has 14 children - all of whom are the product of a sperm donor.

In her first television interview since the octuplets' birth, Miss Suleman told NBC News that being an only child had left her yearning for human and family connections she felt had been lacking while growing up.

"That was always a dream of mine, to have a large family, a huge family, and - I just longed for certain connections and attachments with another person that I... I really lacked, I believe, growing up," she said.

Miss Suleman added that her childhood had left her feeling a lack of "self and identity".
"I didn't feel as though, when I was a child, I had much control of my environment," she said.
"I felt powerless. And that gave me a sense of predictability.

"Reflecting back on my childhood, I know it wasn't functional. It was pretty - pretty dysfunctional, and whose isn't?"

She said she had tried to get pregnant unsuccessfully for several years before turning to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Her case has angered fertility experts after it emerged she had eight of her own previously frozen embryos implanted.

Official guidelines from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) say a woman her age should have no more than two embryos implanted.

Harish Sehdev, associate professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Pennsylvania hospital, has called the decision to implant eight embryos in a woman who already has six children "insensitive and ignorant".

Multiple-birth babies are often born prematurely - Miss Suleman's octuplets were born nine-and-a-half weeks early - which puts them at significantly greater risk of long-term health problems, Mr Sehdev said.

The Medical Board of California has begun an investigation into the births "to see if we can substantiate a violation of the standard of care".

The babies, delivered on January 26 by Caesarian section, are now the longest-surviving octuplets in the world.

"The babies will be going home one at a time as each reaches near-normal newborn weight," said Mandhir Gupta, neonatalogist at the hospital.

"At this point in their development, they are not mature enough to co-ordinate the suckling and swallowing at the same time to be bottle fed, but they are all getting the love and care they need and are doing well."

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