They look so grown up!
t’s hard to believe that it’s been 13 years since Nadya Suleman, the world-famous “Octomum”, welcomed her eight babies as the world watched on in fascination.
Already a mum to six, Nadya (who now goes by the name Natalie after publicly shunning the name Octomum) added to her brood by an incredible eight babies at once back in 2009 thanks to IVF.
Now, on their thirteenth birthday, the infamous multiple-mum is sharing a sweet tribute to her “rare and unique” children as they enter their teenage years together.
Sharing an adorable throwback image of her octuplets as toddlers as they cuddle up with their mum and her father Edward Suleman on the couch.
“Happy 13th birthday to Nariyah, Isaiah, Maliyah, Jeremiah, Noah, Josiah, Jonah, and Makai!,” penned the now 46-year-old.
“You are all growing into some of the most kind, humble, grateful and loving human beings I have ever known. Each of you possess rare and unique characteristics, and are unlike any other child of your age, particularly in our society today. You are selfless, altruistic, nonmaterialistic, and loving, fearing, followers of God. I have never seen children who love and want to serve others, (particularly those less fortunate), so boldly and confidently like each and every one of you do,” she added.
The proud mum, who regularly shares images of her growing family on social media, finished by saying: “You are not followers of this shallow world, but of a God that created and loves you unconditionally. I do not know what I could possibly have done to deserve being blessed so bountifully. I love you
In 2008, Natalie was implanted with 12 embryos by Dr. Michael Kamrava, a Beverly Hills fertility specialist who had also implanted her for all six of her previous IVF pregnancies with an unidentified sperm donor.
She hit the headlines all over the world and when she gave birth to six boys and two girls – Noah, Josiah, Nariyah, Maliyah, Jonah, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Makai and signed very lucrative deals to show off the babies, making the most of the interest in her extremely rare multiple pregnancy and birth.
Nadya (Natalie) Suleman gained notoriety in 2008 when she was implanted with 12 embryos and eight of them stuck!
But life wasn’t good for the then 33-year-old and she turned to booze, drugs, had a short-lived career in porn and ran out of cash. At one point she admitted she was even suicidal from the pressure.
“I have PTSD from all the reporters coming in over the years,” she recently told The New York Times. “I would take whatever I could back in the days, and I would let them in. I was spiraling down a dark hole. There were no healthy opportunities for Octomom. I was doing what I was told to do and saying what I was told to say. When you’re pretending to be something you’re not, at least for me, you end up falling on your face.”
Many questioned how the kids would turn out as they all live in a small three-bedroomed house and some have to sleep on the couch – but she’s shocked everyone!
Natalie is also mother to Elijah, 20, Amerah, 19, Joshua, 17, Aiden, 16, and twins Calyssa and Caleb, 14, who were also conceived via IVF.
The busy mum credits a raw vegan diet with how well-behaved all her children are and says that she has now shunned the limelight in a bid to raise them all healthily.
“My kids don’t get sick, and neither do I,” she told The NY Times. “From Day 1, I’ve been giving them healthy food all the time. I hate cooking. I am not domestic.”
She adds, “They’re the only surviving eight octuplets in the history of mankind. I’ve raised them to be wide-awake.”
Natalie works as a full-time counsellor and relies on her family and friends to help with school pick-ups and drop-offs.
The new mum had her hands full when she went from six to 14 children in just one day!
Although she’s proud of all her children, she admits life hasn’t been easy and she’s not sure she would have implanted eight embryos if she had her time again – especially because of the toll its taken on her health. Despite a breast augmentation and some plastic surgery, Natalie says that her body has never been the same since her pregnancy with the octuplets.
“Four out of the five discs in my lumbar spine are ruptured, herniated fully,” she says. “Think of a jelly doughnut being squashed, and it hits nerves, causing bilateral sciatica. And I have irreparable sacral damage. And I have peripheral neuropathy. I haven’t felt my toes on my foot on the right side for many years, and my fingers are numb all the time every day. The pregnancy caused it. The eight.”