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Friday, January 30, 2009

Happiness turns to controversy....

I'm sure everyone has read about the birth of these octuplets recently. When I first heard of this event, I thought, that is great, a couple trying to have children through other methods, has successfully been given a family. A huge one at that.

But now more information is coming to light, which makes me ponder the situation as maybe NOT so great. This woman has SIX other children in the home, comprised of one set of twins and ranging in ages from 2 to 7. Now, this is a family with 14 children under the age of 7. What is wrong with this picture?

Apparently, she was given a choice of selective reduction, once the number of fetuses was revealed (originally thought to be seven). A procedure which was refused. With the economy being such as it is, even bringing a child into the world at the moment gives one pause, as to the expenses involved in rearing a child - much less 14. Was this couple hoping for an immediate television deal, such as the couple who just delivered their umpteenth child? Was this couple thinking that the sympathetic neighbors and friends would donate all the necessities, i.e., diapers, bottles, formula, etc.?

Apparently the husband is headed back to Iraq, as he is a contractor, and says he needs to get back to work to support his family. I'm not sure that even he can make enough money to support a brood this large. CORRECTION: The grandfather is headed to Iraq...this woman is unmarried.

I also have ethical questions. 1. What fertility clinic would avail themselves to this couple if they honestly knew that there were already six children in the home, all very young? All IVF clinics offer psychiatric counselling to gauge suitability of parents to handle multiple births. 2. How honest was this woman, since she supposedly filed for bankruptcy last year - where did the money come from for IVF treatments (and they aren't cheap)? ***There has never been a documented case of naturally conceived octuplets.

I would imagine that a lot more information will be revealed in the near future, but I would hope that this family does not end up being supported by the government, in some sort of bizarre ruse they were hoping to fulfill.

I would also hope that this woman and supposedly a husband - can physically meet the demands of 8 premature infants plus the remaining six children. The house that this woman and her children are living in, is owned by her parents, and in a cul-de-sac of three bedroom homes. This could be interesting.

I will be waiting to see how this story evolves. Curiosity killed the cat, you know!

Thedaughter is trying to get (drive) to the grocery store, but the weather is frightful. We have gotten four inches of snow since I got up early this morning - and that is on top of two inches of ice. This is when I regret trading in my 4WD.


Mauigirl said...

I heard this today too and had the same reaction. For one thing why on earth would someone who has six children already even consider fertility treatments to get pregnant again? How many kids does one family need? It makes me think of the Duggars. I think there is something pathological about people who want that many children. There is no way they can give each child the emotional support he or she needs let alone how expensive it will be to raise them.

Mnmom said...

I have very personal reasons for being upset at this story. First off, I just HATE when people say it's "God's Will" that they conceived 8 embryos through IVF and that therefore they must go through with the pregnancy. But I say it seems that it was "God's Will" that they not conceive at all!!! People use God for some very convenient excuses.

I did two rounds of IVF including a reduction - how's that for personal? It was a tough decision on the heels of a tough situation. I knew from my experience as a social worker that multiple births aren't always butterflies and ponies.

And our IVF clinic had a strict policy of only implanting 4 embryos max. Any more than that is extremely unethical.

I had lovely healthy twin girls, but was hospitalized during the last months of pg with preeclampsia. Had I not reduced, they and probably I would be dead.

And having raised twins, and a singleton, I think no human can give that many children the attention they need to thrive.

I hate people sometimes.

Mnmom said...

On a lighter note, I love your widget!

Kulkuri said...

I heard that it was a single woman that lived with her parents. Also that it was In Vitro and she had eight implanted and they all took!! I'm still waiting to hear the rest of the story.

daughter2 said...

I heard the same info as Kulkuri....She is remaining anonymous for a reason. I have a feeling there will be quite a bit of controversy when all is said and done.

themom said...

Mauigirl: There are way too many unanswered questions here.

Mnmom: I'm so happy your outcome was great. Being a twin, I know what trouble we can get into, I can't imagine being one of eight!

Kulkuri: Veeeery Interesting...we will have to wait and see now.

daughter2: This anonymity thing is driving me nuts....does she have a husband or not? Differing answers all around.

Nan said...

My first reaction was WTF? What irresponsible asshat of a doctor let that happen! Humans aren't built to carry litters -- it is really, really hard for a multiple embryos pregnancy to reach full term, which means the babies are usually born premature, sometimes by a couple months, and much more likely to suffer from birth defects, including severe cerebral palsy, if they survive. The current ethical standard in in vitro practice is to implant no more than 3 at a shot. Eight screams malpractice.

There's no way in hell the mother and her family are going to be able to care for this herd of infants without a whole lot of outside help. If she had the kids one at a time and then asked for welfare, people would scream bloody murder -- so why should it be okay for her to have a pack?

I am mildly curious as to who's going to be up the tab for her million dollar hospital bill.

rennratt said...

I don't understand this sort of thing, either. I have a few friends that either have or are going to undergo IVF treatments, and they are not cheap.

One had IVF in MA, where treatments are apparently (at least partially) covered by the state. (She has TWO children, 6 years apart.)

I wonder if CA has a similar policy?

Kulkuri said...

I also heard that she was planning on breast feeding all of them!! I only heard that once, maybe the idiot talking heads realized how stupid that sounded.