Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Who Did Their Homework?

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.


ForHisGlory said...
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ForHisGlory said...

I am with you on the confused part because I really don't know what to think. During the hour that I watched this women my mind ran a gammet of emotions: I was angry that she would do this, it will be near impossible to give each child the love and attention they need; then I was thinking man this women needs help mentally. She is obviously doing this because of some kind of imbalance. Then my sister and I commented on how she looks like Angelina Jolie and mind you that I had not heard that comparison was already being made by some. She seemed to have an answer for everything that skirted around the issues at hand. Remember, she has a publicist so how many of those answers were truely hers and how many were given to her by her publicist. I also start to think that if this time hadn't resulted in eight, instead she'd only had one, two or even three babies would we even know who she is? I don't know that anything I said made sense because I just briefly touched on all the things in my mind, but there you have it.

Sarah said...

Great piont on the number. If she had only had twins would it have gained the firestorm? And would the risk to any of them be any different?

ForHisGlory said...

I don't think there would have been a firestorm, but the risks would still be there. She already has 6 kids, no job, no money, no room for more kids, kids with disabilities (which takes so much more time and love), and well, honestly she needs mental help. I wonder what will come of all this. It will be an interesting story to watch!

Jenera said...

I am angry mostly because of how flippant she is about having baby after baby with no means to support them or a plan. These kids will suffer in the long run whether from lack of parenting, time with her, food, shelter, clothing, etc. It angers me because she is out running willy-nilly having babies for no reason other than to have a big family and so many people would love to have kids but can't.

I think it is terribly irresponsible what she has done. If you want a big family, more power to you. But if you don't have the means to, don't do it!

I really think it is all for attention. What happens when the babies are not babies anymore and real life sets in? Is she going to have more? Give them up? Etc.

Sarah said...

But she's going to stop her life and hold them and make sure they are loved and that's so much more than other parents do! That part got to me too. There's more to parenting than providing material goods but there's also more to parenting than hugging and snuggles. There's discipline and providing. There's drivers ed and puberty. I'm with Sam on this one. I hope they continue to cover this story in some form or fashion so that we can see how it turns out.

Fer said...

I think if she wanted a large family, that's great. But she's not that old, so there was plenty of time to wait. So what was the rush? She doesn't have the income to support her children, she can't possibly have the TIME to properly care for 14 children, 3 of which are special needs (and that could increase drastically since the babies were so premature). She says she's not selfish, but I think everything about her is the very epitome of selfishness. I just don't understand. I have 3 kids under the age of 5 and I would lose my mind if I was a single mom. She now has 14 under the age of 8. I don't think it would be that much of an issue at all had she just waited. Find a husband, a father for your kids... If you start pushing 35, 40 and still don't have that, fine. Do IVF to complete your family. Plus, with no income other than student loans and SSI checks, to spend her settlement money on IVF was beyond selfish. Her kids deserved some of that money to provide them security for a while.

Amanda said...

What concerns me is how did 6 become 8? I'm admittedly not overly familiar with the IVF process, but don't they implant eggs that have already split to make their little cell clumps that will be the babies if they attach to the uterine wall? So how did at least one of those split after implantation? I think she was part of a drug trial or something.