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My Name Is Nadya And I'm a Motherholic

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"I am addicted to motherhood and my life is unmanageable."

That's what 33-year-old Nadya Suleman would say if there were a self help group called Mothers Anonymous.

Instead of praise, the super-ovulating mother of octuplets and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Bellflower, CA where her births took place last month are eliciting hate and incredulity for their audacious medical extravagance during a time of national austerity.

Unmarried; unemployed, crashing with her parents and with six children under eight not even by an exhusband, why should she seek more children anyway, the public is asking? Through in vitro fertilization? Eight times over?

Who were the fertility doctors--the same ones each time says Suleman--who created this "miracle"?

What were they paid to enable her motherhood addiction--and who paid them?

Who paid the hospital delivery staff of 46 and the infants' continuing care? How about staff who handled--and continues to handle--press presence?

Who wants their hospital bill or tax dollars to help cover Suleman's mental illness?

And who will pay for the disabilities, learning difficulties and visual problems the babies will likely face from their extreme and avoidable prematurity? All because Nadya loves babies?

Certainly not Suleman's parents who just discharged $1 million in liabilities by filing bankruptcy.

Wait--a book deal!

Of course, even if Suleman had just one ABM (all by myself) child--who needs a second parent when grandparents or the state will support you?--she is doing the child no favor.

Not when 70 percent of state prison inmates, 63 percent of suicides, 71 percent of drug abusers and 90 percent of the homeless and runaways come from single parent households.

Got guilt? Got a spouse before you're ten-years-old? Got no childhood and no money?

That's how children from single parent households describe their upbringing--when the parent is out of earshot, of course.

Getting a life when Mom or Dad never did; trying to repay their unilateral "sacrifices" and martyred devotion sets children from single parent households up for failure in life. Like having 13 siblings at home.

No wonder so many children from single parent homes repeat the "favor"--hoping a child will fill their unmet needs the way they didn't their own single parent's.

But of course Suleman had eight children not one, making her the mother of fourteen.

There's a reason women stopped having twelve and fourteen children a hundred years ago in this country. And women want to stop having twelve and fourteen children in poor countries.

Because it's unmanageable. It's unmanageable even when half the children aren't the same age!

What a irony that Suleman is using latter day technology to bring women back to frontier days when just surviving birth was as miraculous as surviving a snake bite. Quality of life? What quality of life?

What a further irony that childless couples who don't live with their parents and have jobs would like just one of Suleman's brood.

As for loving babies--animal hoarders with 33 stray dogs and 41 cats, all underfed and with no medical care, also say they love their charges. And also love multiple births.

Of course bringing her eight babies home to live with their six siblings in her parents' three bedroom house has a revered place in American folklore known as The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe.

But who remembers after "giving them some broth without any bread, She whipped them all soundly, and put them to bed?"
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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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