Monday, February 16, 2009

Octuplet Thoughts

I have been reading a lot about the birth of the octuplets in California. Frankly the very concept of octuplets boggles my mind. It has been sad to watch the nation turn from joy at their healthy births to anger and even hatred toward the mom when it became known that she is a single parent living at home with her mother. I am not angry at her. I am sorry for her. And I worry for her children and for her.

I love big families. I would have more children if we could and we may in fact adopt older children when our younger 2 are school aged. But as an experienced parent I see the amount of time children need from their parent(s) and I can not for the life of me figure out how this mom is going to do it. Looking at this as an outsider it would seem that there just aren't enough hours in the day for all that must/should be done. I hope there are systems in place to help her. Should the situation have happened as it did? I think most of us would agree no. But I wish that we would focus more on supports and making sure that these children have the best life possible than raining down abuse on the mom. Won't this make her afraid to ask for help if it is needed?

I understand that the health costs are being born by the state of California. And I am very cognizant of the fact that in these tough economic times that is not a great thing. But I get the sense that if this woman had been married and had the octuplets that there would have been less hue and cry over lack of health care and the subsequent costs to the state. The costs are there and maybe indeed safe guards should be put in place so that this type of situation does not arise again. I don't know. I am no expert on the in vitro fertilization industry.

What I do know is that in worrying about dollars and cents we are losing sight of the fact that there are 14 lives here, not just these sweet little babies, but their 6 siblings at home. And we should focus on that and how to help this be a home that is healthy and happy for them.


GirlSpeaks said...

Yikes this is a very touchy subject as of late. I believe that anyone can have as many children as they want as long as they have the ability to take care of them.

What is bugging myself and many of my friends though is the fact that this lady, on government assistance (food stamps and wic) has had fertility treatments done to concieve every single one of her children. Fertility treatments aren't cheap... How is she affording them if she is still qualifying for government assistance?

Why was one of her first thoughts to hire a publicist? Why was her immediate reaction to "sell" her childrens first official photos?

I could care less that she's single. That really doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that this woman lives with her parents, in a 3 bedroom home, and is UNEMPLOYED (and has been for a very very long time).

It's those things that bother me.

Lee said...

I agree that there is much to the story that disturbs me as well, I read (and of course don't know how true it is) that she received a largish settlement for injuries sustained at her prior job and this was the financial means to her fertility treatments.

I wonder if the publicist approached her, or the other way round?

I do certainly suspect that there is a level of instability perhaps (maybe not the right word, but something a tad . . . off?) about this woman. I worry that someday when all 8 kids are screaming with colic and 2 of the other are sick with colds or something that she will snap. While I would like to see a situation like this not happen again, I'd also like to see our society help make good lives for those kids.