Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman Gutierrez known as Octomom in the media, is an American woman who came to international attention when she gave birth to octuplets in January 2009. The only child of a high school teacher and a Realtor, she always hoped to have a large family of her own. The Suleman octuplets are only the second full set of octuplets to be born alive in the United States and, one week after their birth, surpassed the previous worldwide survival rate for a complete set of octuplets set by the Chukwu octuplets in 1998.
She conceived the octuplets and her six older children via in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Nadya Suleman came one step closer to starting a family of her own in 1996 when she married Marcos Gutierrez. Unfortunately, she and her husband could not conceive children. Upon closer examination, doctors discovered she had lesions in her fallopian tubes, thereby further complicating her attempts to become pregnant. Nadya Suleman never abandoned her dream of having children. She began saving for in vitro fertilization (IVF) by working around the clock as a psychiatric technician at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, California. She had already saved enough money for several procedures by 1999 when she suffered a severe lower back injury in a riot at the hospital. The ensuing trauma left her unable to work, and she began receiving disability payments. She also fell into a deep depression which, coupled with her inability to conceive children, led to the termination of her marriage in 2000.
Nadya Suleman convinced a platonic friend to donate his sperm and, on May 18, 2001, she finally gave birth to a baby boy named Elijah. Suleman underwent another IVF treatment soon after, and 13 months later gave birth to a little girl named Amerah. And she didn’t stop there. Another IVF treatment resulted in the birth of a second boy named Joshua in August of 2003, Aidan in 2005 and twins Caleb and Calyssa in 2006, giving her a total of six children in just five and a half years. Nadya Suleman made another life-changing decision the following year when she opted to use the frozen embryos left over from the batch that produced her twins. In June of 2008, she was informed that all six embryos had been successfully transferred.
Nadya Suleman’s pregnancy progressed well until the fifth month when the extraordinary weight of the fetuses snapped several of her ribs, forcing her to go on bed rest. She was then brought into hospital at 30 weeks for an emergency C-section after doctors expressed concern that one of the babies was not growing. Suleman was still in for one more major surprise when doctors discovered she was carrying eight babies and not seven as previously thought, meaning that two of her six embryos had resulted in twins.
|1year old octuplets|
|2 yrs old|
Public reaction to the birth was at first positive until news started to leak that Nadya Suleman was unmarried, unemployed and already had six other children under the age of eight. Nadya Suleman’s babies have since become the longest surviving octuplets in U.S. history.