I tried to do mine but Beloved kept changing the channel on me so I may have to go back and rewatch parts of the interview to make sure I have my facts straight. So I want to hear your reactions to Ms. Suleman's interview. Let's go with your gut reactions first - mad? Annoyed? Flabbergasted? Sad? Thrilled? Surprised?
Now give me your why's. Dateline's front page of course is all about the story so if you want to read some other reactions you can check them out there. But that's not what you came for. You came to see if I had done my homework and to hear me rant about it. So here you go.
My gut reaction? I'm sad. I'm sad for so many reasons. Her older daughter's reaction to the question "are you excited?" was met with a pretty quick "no." All of the older children made a note that there would be "a lot of crying" and one of the boys noted that the house was going to be "squishy." It's pretty clear that their feelings weren't taken into consideration.
Then I'm sad because her own mother has been pretty clear about her disapproval. To have that very critical support fall out from under you with any birth is pretty tough to handle. I'm sad because it really looks like she has NO plan financial, physical or otherwise! She's counting on volunteers and friends to help her out. How long is that going to last?
Then I get angry. Her 3 year old is autistic. Can you imagine what an overload it's is going to be on this little guy when eight babies move in? On top of that I'm angry that she used her savings and funds that she earned for all the IVF and she is using disability checks for three of her children and student loans to pay for basic family necessities. If she is going to school but is using the loans for her family, who is paying the school? And aren't some student loans state and federally funded? My pressure really shot up when I noticed the French manicure in the footage of her with the babies. I don't know how much mani's cost in California but around here they are a luxury I have done without from the moment I started having children. So the money issue has me beyond tweaked.
On the schooling issue. I'm wondering when she is going to school. How far is she into her degree? How long before she is able to start working and earning money and paying back those loans and supporting her family?
Now let's get into the doctor. He's up for review and possible censure by his own board of peers for pulling this implantation in the first place. However, to hear her tell it, he's been implanting this many embryos all along. But this is where it gets to a slippery slope for me. If we start to regulate how many embryos can be implanted and how many times a woman can have IVF, are we going to deny women opportunities to have children?
Beloved kept asking me why I was so affected by this story last night. His answer to it all was "She's obviously crazy! Child Protective Services will end up taking the children anyway." But THAT'S exactly what bothers me! If she is unsound mentally shouldn't the public be more concerned about her getting help? And if a person can't be a parent because they are mentally unsound, who is going to start administering that test? And what about all of the mothers who battle PPD daily? Are their children going to be taken away? Won't it be even MORE traumatic for these 14 children to be split up by CPS?
The best answer she had for "how does the father feel" was that he's shocked. This draws into question whether he even knew about this last round of IVF. She says that she talked to him each time she tried but he's shocked that there are eight this time. There is a serious incongruity here for me. Either she didn't tell him that she was doing it, she didn't tell him how many embryos were being implanted or the doctor wasn't implanting 6 every time. Anyway you slice it there's more to that part of the story.
I really wish I had been able to come out of this interview with more answers than questions. I think I'm actually more confused now.