Nadya Suleman, AKA Octomom, grabbed everyone’s attention in 2009 because she got pregnant with eight babies at once! She and her doctor became quite controversial and were heavily criticized, but many also showed their support. All the same, America was quite curious about her large family. Keep reading to learn more about Nadya Suleman, how she became known as Octomom, and what’s keeping her and her many kids busy these days.
A Big Family
Nadya Suleman’s biggest dream was having a big family since she didn’t have siblings. She had no idea her intense desire for a big and happy family would cause her to make hard decisions that would change her life forever. All the same, her strong determination to make her dream come true was the reason why the world witnessed a miracle.
Becoming A Mother
When she graduated high school, Nadya Suleman set off on her quest to achieve her dream of starting a family. She may have had a desire to attend college like others her age, but her goal of becoming a mother was still her top priority. Nadya was young at the time and some say she was a little too naive! She had no idea what the future held for her.
Nadya’s First Love
Before Nadya Suleman turned 21, she already met her future husband, produce manager Marcos Gutierrez. She felt instantly connected to him and that connection became something deep and meaningful. Nadya was honest with Gutierrez and told him her dream of becoming a mother. In the beginning, it wasn’t a problem because Gutierrez also wanted children of his own and he and Nadya were madly in love, but unfortunately, fate planned something else.
A Risky Occupation
In 1996, Nadya married Marcos Gutierrez and earned her psychiatric therapy license from Mt. San Antonio College. She also began working for Metropolitan State Hospital, a psychiatric facility. While her job was rewarding, it was definitely not easy and would actually become dangerous for Nadya. Her primary goal may be having a family, but she also wanted a meaningful career, but an unfortunate event that happened in her workplace turned her life into a long roller-coaster ride.
On September 18th, 1999, something horrific happened at Nadya’s work place and she was caught in the middle. Some patients started a riot, so Nadya tried to intervene. Unfortunately, when one patient turned over a desk, it landed on Nadya’s back, causing her herniated disc injury. Workers’ compensation may have provided some assistance (she received $170,000), which certainly helped her for a while, but money became the least of Nadya’s worries.
A Goal Delayed
Her work-related injury brought Nadya both emotional distress as well as physical pain. She received compensation and it allowed her to deal with some things, but she was facing a bigger problem at the time. She was still not able to achieve her lifelong goal despite her efforts and her husbands. They had been trying to start a family for three years, but their repeated attempts yielded the same result – no baby.
Nadia and her husband consulted professionals to find out what the problem was. They really wanted to have a baby, so they followed the instructions they got, but nothing seemed to work and she didn’t get pregnant. Nadya lost hope and she got depressed. Then, the couple learned the bitter truth – Marcos Gutierrez was sterile, so the natural way won’t ever work for them and alternatives should be considered.
Nadya really wanted to have kids, so she pushed the issue. She believed that since the traditional method did not work, she and her husband should try other methods. However, Marcos was totally against the idea and their opposing views began to create a gap between the couple. When Nadya suggested in vitro fertilization (IVF), implanting a fertilized egg into a woman, Marcos told her he would leave her.
A Difficult Choice
Nadya needed to choose between keeping Marcos and having children, her lifelong dream. If she chose to stay married, she would be giving give up her biggest dream, but she chose to take a chance instead and pursue what she always wanted. It might have been very difficult for Nadya, but she got divorced in 2000. Nadya then decided to get an IVF treatment and start her own family, though things didn’t turn out how she wanted them to.
There’s No Such Thing as Free Lunch
Even though in vitro fertilization or IVF is not that complicated, it’s not successful 100% of the time and has a hefty price tag. All the same, Nadya wasn’t the least bit discouraged by these factors since she had already grown sick of failure. In terms of the procedure, many doctors recommend having multiple eggs fertilized so that there is a higher chance of success during the fertilization process. This actually entailed another risk that would be pretty significant to Nadya, but would she choose to take it?
Nadya had to think of one important thing prior to having an IVF treatment – the possibility of being pregnant with more than one baby if all implanted eggs survived. This actually makes the pregnancy pretty dangerous, but she was set on starting a family and her mantra appears to be “the more, the merrier.” However, some people still think that being pregnant with more than one baby at one time should have made Nadya a little scared. No one had any idea what the result would be.
Welcome to This World, Elijah!
Carrying more than one baby in a single pregnancy isn’t always considered a risk, especially if twins or triplets are what the parent wants. Nadya may not have hoped for twins or triplets, but the result of the IVF treatment was amazing. It was a success and Nadya gave birth to her first child in 2001, an adorable boy she named Elijah. Finally, after her many struggles, Nadya achieved her dream, though that was only the start for her.
Babies, Babies, And More Babies!
One year after Nadya gave birth to Elijah, she welcomed another baby, a girl that she named Amerah. However, Nadya wasn’t satisfied with two babies and her positive experience with IVF only encouraged her to go through more treatments. She later gave birth to fraternal twins and two more kids, all from IVF and making her a mom of six! In the USA and other countries, having six kids is certainly not common, but Nadya still wanted to have more children even after giving birth to her sixth child.
An Extreme Decision
In 2008, the world was shocked with what Nadya Suleman decided to do and she became an instant celebrity. Because she was not content with just six children, she went to Dr. Michael Kamrava again, the same doctor who did her past IVF procedures. Nadya told him that she wanted another IVF treatment with all her six leftover eggs implanted. She decided to do this because she is pro-life and didn’t want her eggs go to waste.
Dr. Kamrava was initially hesitant to comply with implanting six eggs at once because of the possibility that the mother might be in extreme danger. However, he claims that he implanted the six leftover eggs owing to Nadya’s insistence, which she did even if she knew she might be pregnant with multiple babies. Nevertheless, what’s most intriguing about this entire thing is Dr. Kamrava implanting twelve eggs! Actually, that number is way more than the recommended and a massive risk like that was bound to have a rather significant result.
Eight Babies on The Way
Nadya Suleman and Dr. Kamrava took a really bold and unprecedented step. Implanting so many embryos radically deviated from standard medical practice, but Nadya does not regret anything. Many would have felt totally terrified, but she was totally excited about it. Eight implanted embryos stuck, so Nadya became pregnant with eight all at once but the question was if she was capable of carrying and giving birth to eight babies after she already had six children.
Mother Of Eight – Octomom!
Carrying eight babies to term definitely put Nadya’s body under plenty of strain seeing as the average woman typically carries only one or two. Soon, the media heard about her story, and Nadya and her kids, became sensational. The moniker “Octomom” was born at this time. The news don’t feature all California single moms, but there was a good reason behind Octomom’s notoriety – her pregnancy was record-breaking.
Soon, the time came for Nadya Suleman to deliver her babies. Thankfully, all eight babies were safely delivered and came out healthy – surely a relief for Nadya. Aside from the fact that it was amazing to see, Nadya’s case is the first in history and the world definitely took notice. Nadya’s children are the first set of octuplets who were all born alive and survived for more than seven days after they were born.
All Eyes On Her
Nadya was just happy to see and hold her babies at that point and she was very much looking forward to introducing her babies to their older siblings. However, the world was watching her and they were unconvinced that she would be able to handle things. All the same, a lot of people, especially the medical community, seemed to be amazed of her story and wanted to get all the details. Many doctors tried to speak to Nadya because not only was her pregnancy an extraordinary feat but all her octuplets survived.
Her Growing Fame
Prior to the delivery of her octuplets, Nadya was already getting a lot of media attention, with websites, news channels, and newspapers all reporting about her pretty unique pregnancy. People recognized her and even if they didn’t know her name, they knew her by her nickname, Octomom. Nadya attempted to control the story or the reports about her, and she wanted to use the attention to financially support her large family. Thus, after giving birth to her octuplets, she hired people to manage her public relations so that she could share her story and have some form of control over it, but this task turned out to be extremely difficult.
A Pubic Persona
Nadya continued to get a lot of media attention even after she welcomed her octuplets to the world, and her critics often accused her of wanting to be in the spotlight. They even said this was the actual reason she decided to have all her children. Meanwhile, her public persona was something Nadya had to get used to, but as time passed, her fame became even more difficult to handle. As a matter of fact, Californians assailed her, saying she is wasting taxpayers’ money and she embodies practically everything negative about modern society in America!
Even though there were still those who supported Nadya, she eventually reached a point where the media attention and exposure was too much for her. Her original goal of controlling the story seemed too far away, so she decided to make a bold move and open up about the struggles she is facing. In an interview with People magazine, she reacted to the caricatures about her. “I don’t get much sleep, about two or three hours a night. But I’m continuing to move forward with my life and trying to be the best mother I can be,” she commented, though her attitude towards the attention she received made people still skeptical about her.
A Grim Situation
Even though years had passed since she had given birth, people still speculated about Nadya Suleman and despite many in America adoring the Suleman family, Nadya’s critics kept sharing their skeptical remarks and did not back down. Unfortunately, this started to affect her ability to raise the children and there were even reports of her grim situation. Nadya might have been at a very low point in her life since she still felt alone despite having 14 children. Since she was struggling to raise her 14 kids, she accepted welfare but what she didn’t know was that she would have to face another obstacle that even government assistance would not be able to handle.
Problems At Home
Nadya’s time in the spotlight was at some point rife with rumors of Nadya mistreating her children. It’s not hard to see why such rumors came to be since it is already challenging being a single mother, what more if you have fourteen kids. Fully addressing the needs of the children must take a lot. Actually, Child Protective Services looked into the matter and investigated whether the rumors were true, but when they formally visited Nadya’s house to conduct the investigation, they didn’t discover any signs of negligence and found the rumors baseless, even declaring her home rather suitable for kids.
Forced to Move Out
Child Protective Services may have declared the Suleman home suitable for children, but unfortunately, someone who could very much affect Nadya’s life completely disagreed with the statement – her landlord. He said that Nadya had violated the terms of the lease and even told the media about Nadya’s situation prior to evicting her and her entire family. Nadya simply wanted to be the kind of mother who is good to her kids, but they were now about to lose their home and this made her resort to desperate measures.
To Nadya’s dismay, there wasn’t anything that could make her landlord change his mind. Nadya and her 14 children needed to move out! She has always maintained that her real self was a mom who loved her kids deeply but the pressing problem was her money wasn’t enough to put a roof over their heads. Because she needed some money, she tried all sorts of things to get it, like joining the film industry, going into some business, and even trying out a music career.
It is very stressful being in the spotlight and all that stress got to Nadya Suleman in the end. When she realized this, she decided to change and start anew. She knew that this change would allow her to become a better mom and lead a much happier life, so she was successful at turning her life around. First, she got a name change, then she got a degree, and then she began working as a part time family therapist.
The Solomon Family
Now 10 years old, Nadya’s octuplets are all doing pretty well and have a vegan diet, which they appear to enjoy. Their mother Nadya (now named Natalie) has said that her children are aware of her journey since she is open about it and she believes straightforward parenting is good for her children. When she looks back, Nadya thinks everything, even her odd relationship with the media, has turned out well. What’s more, she believes that their current lifestyle helps in having a healthy household and her followers on Instagram know about this.
Her Guardian Angel
Nadya’s life is now back on track, now that she has given up her questionable jobs and is in her 40s. She was asked what pushed her to change her life and she explained her “guardian angel,” whom she met back in February 2013, gave her the strength so she could stop living a “seedy” life and move on. She said that one day while she was working in the movie industry, a very tall guy talked to him and she added, “He walked straight to me and looked straight into my eyes. He took my hand and grabbed my arm and said in a very gentle, but firm way: ‘You don’t have to do this.’ He repeated it several times.” Nadya had quite a trying moment and she couldn’t stop her tears from flowing but this was the start of a new life for her.
Nadya’s major life overhaul began in 2013, and she readily admitted that having so many children without thinking hard about it was “foolish, immature and selfish” of her. What’s more, she confessed that while she did not consider the possible consequences of her choices back then, she also has no regrets. With this confession, Nadya keeps her focus on raising her kids because they are her main priority, and she has basically put her love life on the back burner, saying her celibate life is good enough for her now. Her pages on social media basically show her life now and what her family is up to, plus some great lessons and values which she teaches her fourteen kids.
A Humble Life
It definitely isn’t easy raising fourteen kids, but Nadya appears to be doing it quite well. She and her kids currently live in a two-bedroom apartment that she rents and their family get by on food stamps and from paycheck to paycheck. According to Daily Mail, Nadya explained that after the hardships she endured in single-handedly raising so many kids, she’s now “at peace,” partly due to the fact that her story continues to inspire and encourage women to decide for themselves what’s best for them and their families. Nadya doesn’t even like the name “Octomom” anymore and she explained, “I didn’t want to live. I felt less than human as that character I was pretending to be, to survive and provide for my family.”
No Social Life
As a mother of 14, Nadya feels much happier now as she enjoys life. She loves spending time with her youngest children, the octuplets Nariya, Makai, Noah, Maliyah, Josiah, Isaiah, Jonah, and Jeremiah, and she enjoys her moments with her other children: 17-year-old Elijah, 16 year-old Amerah, 14-year-old Joshua, 12-year old Aiden, and 11-year-old twins Calyssa and Caleb. For her children to live a more stable life, Nadya decided to move her family to Laguna, Orange County, her hometown. She explained to Daily Mail, “I was forced into doing things I didn’t want to do because I was so terrified I couldn’t support them and give them the life they deserved.”
A Normal Family
Nadya is a hands-on mother who has opted to forego her social life and it has allowed her to form quite a close relationship with each of her kids. She said to the Daily Mail, “They fight, play, fight and play again like any normal family.” She also faces an additional challenge since her son Aiden has autism, but her children aren’t deterred and take care of their special brother all the time. The Suleman kids know their home life is quite different from what others in America typically have but Nadya has made sure to teach her children that there isn’t anything wrong with being different.
Fun During Holidays
Things may not always be easy for the Suleman family, but they are happy and Nadya makes sure her children learn good values, like being content with getting only one present during Christmas. She said to US Weekly, “I’m focusing on raising the kids to focus on serving other people, to get out of their own head.” She believes that doing this teaches her children to value all the things they receive, big or small, and not to expect things to be free, meaning they should put in the work to get what they want. Besides these reasons, Nadya’s finances cannot really support an extravagant lifestyle, so she chooses to keep things simple at Christmas.
We can only imagine what the first few days of class must be like for Nadya, a mom of fourteen! The stress levels must be really high and the 43-year-old mom actually shared her anxiety on social media by posting a photo of her youngest children smiling before they went to school. Her caption was: “Any other parents exceptionally stressed and overwhelmed by the first week back to school?” Nadya joked that her older kids refused to have their picture taken even though their mom begged them.
It can’t be easy raising 14 kids, but Nadya has come up with a way to deal with the stress and pressure – she goes to the nearest gym and works out, setting aside one or two hours for herself in spite of her very busy schedule. She has shared this with her followers on social media and this snapshot of herself exercising had this caption: “I would like to share about how I cope with inordinate stress, after being asked how I stay sane lol.” She explained, “The stress literally drips off of me, as I’m drenched in the end. Being physical has significantly helped me cope with so many challenges I’ve struggled with throughout my life.”
Even though Nadya is a strict mom, she’s also a really fun one, and among her favorite pastimes is having fun with her girls by doing a spa night. Nadya documents the fun that they have in trying skin care products and various face masks. Because Nadya wants all her children to get the same amount of her time and love, she makes sure to bond with her daughters through a girls’ night and with her sons by watching a scary movie. Nadya puts her kids first, and she isn’t shy about sharing the fact with the world.
Interview with Dr. Oz
In May 2018, Nadya was invited by the Dr. Oz show to come and tell her story. She talked about what made her decide to go through IVF treatments, how she ended up having fourteen children, and her transition from Nadya to “Octomom” to who she is now – a happy and healthy mom. She shared her journey, the trials and even the desperation she felt at one point to provide for her family, whom she now calls the Solomon family on social media. She also got to talk about the YouTube channel she and her kids recently launched.
The Genetic Game Of Luck
Ever wondered why you don’t look like your siblings? Well, the primary reason is genes – some children get a certain genetic attribute, while other kids don’t. If you had 14 kids like Nadya does, chances are all your genetic attributes will be expressed. Nadya loves all of her unique children, and feels lucky that her kids inherited different genes from her and don’t look alike. Noah and Nariyah are a good example because they are two of the Octuplets but don’t really look like each other.
The vegan octuplets like eating raw veggies, living healthily and having a pretty active lifestyle, even joining marathons together. In this photo, you can see the kids after they finished the 5-kilometer Russ Miller Memorial race in February 2018. Actually, they do more than run races since they help raise money for various causes as well. The kids love doing activities and joining events that help people probably because Nadya started instilling in her children the importance of helping others when they were really young.
The octuplets have a lifestyle that is very active and healthy, and they also put in a lot of effort on their school projects. In this picture you can see the posters that the kids made after being instructed to create a poster of their own heroes. Nadya doesn’t really like boasting about the accomplishments of her children, but her fans love to know what the kids are up to, so she posts these photos. She does this to update the fans and to prove that anyone can raise 14 children, as long as they are determined about it.
Nadya believes that all her hard work for her kids is absolutely worth it due to the love her family gives her, especially on special days, such as Mother’s Day. She took a photo of the handmade gifts and cards, and handwritten dedications which her kids gave her on the special day. Speaking of written work, Nadya felt inspired to start writing a book about what she experienced in raising Aiden, her autistic child, and her 13 other children. She hopes to get her book published and she told the Daily Mail, “It’s a story that needs to be told and I think it will encourage a lot of women to draw up strength they didn’t know they had.”
Nadya only has four girls, so they have a really close relationship in spite of their age gap. This photo was taken at the birthday celebration of Amerah (16) and shows her and her sisters Calyssa (11), Nariyah and Maliah (9). It’s clear to see that this was a picture perfect moment and the similarities among the Suleman ladies are quite obvious. Nadya always tries to spend time with her boys and her girls separately on a weekly basis, though she especially like spending time with all of her kids together, which isn’t always possible.
Family Fun Night
Nadya always emphasizes how important family traditions are, so the Suleman household take their weekly family night seriously, a tradition that she and her kids came up with. On Saturday night every week, they spend time together doing various activities and they call it “Family Fun Night.” Sometimes they watch documentaries or horror films, other times they discuss educational subjects, but there are also times when they just play some board games. However, their favorites are watching The Shining and playing chess. Her teenage children cringe at this family tradition and would rather hangout with friends, but all her other children, the 10 younger ones, enjoy their Family Fun Night, so the tradition stands.
Nadya’s children know that they are not a typical family, but they accept their unique qualities and enjoy doing school activities together. The kids are actually pretty talented and Nadya is a proud momma! This photo was taken after they finished acting in a school play. Don’t they all look lovely and precious?
On her Instagram account, Nadya shared this photo with the caption: “Could we be anymore vegan?” Her six older children aren’t vegan, but her eight youngest kids enjoys eating raw greens, so there are golden or red beets, organic kale, bell peppers, and chard in their house and they often have health shakes in addition to eating home-cooked meals that have quinoa and sprouted lentils. They are pretty consistent with their diet and the desserts they eat are vegan as well, like the green apple with raw almond butter that they normally have. Since Nadya grew up as an ethical vegetarian, adopting the vegan lifestyle was not difficult for her and helped her recover from the various physical conditions caused by having multiple pregnancies and deliveries.
It is no easy feat getting Nadya and her 14 kids together for a family photo, so any time the family is together in one place is definitely a great opportunity to take photos of them smiling and laughing. Nadya shared this photo on Instagram with this caption: “So THIS is what happened when we attempted to take a fun family photo with as many family members as possible. Per usual, Elijah, Amerah, and JJ are absent from the pic.” Nowadays, thanks to social media, it is easy for Nadya to share special moments like this. As a matter of fact, her more interesting posts are the ones where we can get a peek of her life as a single mom single-handedly raising 14 children.
Nadya is not a full time counselor, so she thought of creating her very own YouTube channel to be able to reach more people and inspire them. The first video she uploaded was a six-minute one that featured her daughter Amerah reading the letter which she penned for her mom for Mother’s day and Nadya’s other children giving her gifts after Amerah’s speech. The video was taken at a women’s event in Long Beach, California. Nadya has gone through so much, which motivated her to make her own channel and share her story, though her children also help her manage the channel and post videos of vegan food challenges, grocery shopping, fun activities, and other creative ideas that they come up with.
Nadya encourages her children to be remain and keep making a difference even on special occasions, such as Thanksgiving, so ten of her kids joined the 5-kilometer family run dubbed the Turkey Trot. Their matching t-shirts clearly show their team spirit. As for Nadya, she has a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving and one of them is her children Noah, Josiah, Isaiah and Maliyah winning the race. They went home with pumpkin pies as their prize and we bet they had those pies rather than a turkey for Thanksgiving since most of Nadya’s children are vegan.
The Struggle Within
It may not look obvious, but Nadya has had plenty of emotionally and physically tough times and she has ongoing battle with pain, which is the result of carrying her octuplets to nearly term. Looking at her, you would not think that she has had four ruptured lumbar spine discs, and has bilateral sciatica, irreparable sacral damage, and peripheral neurophathy. To fight the pain caused by her pregnancy-induced injuries, she climbs 10 miles daily on a stair master machine rather than using a treadmill. She also goes to a gym exclusively for women because she has suffered from severe social anxiety ever since she was young. She shared this snap to thank the people that gave her workout clothes (they noticed Nadya couldn’t afford to buy herself new ones).
Nadya shared this throwback photo on her social media pages and you can see that it shows cute little Nadya sporting a messy clown costume with some smeared lipstick for Halloween in 1978. She may have changed her name, but that doesn’t mean she would also like to forget her history or erase it. Actually, she would just like to let go of her Octomom persona – the thing that almost destroyed everything she values. She has been proving to everyone that she is a great mom to all her fourteen children, which we imagine is not easy to do.
Prior to Nadya having her own kids, she expressed her motherly nature to a cat while she was growing up. She was a mother to over twelve cats, but one stole her heart – Boots. This photo taken in 1975 shows Nadya as a toddler and her cat Boots. Her children love this photo, especially her daughter Calyssa who loves cats as well, and they couldn’t believe how fat the cat was, that it weighed over 50 pounds and that it would drag her belly on the ground when she walked.
This picture was taken in Germany in the ‘80s and shows a two-year-old Nadya, looking a lot like her son Caleb. Some of her kids are fair while others have a darker complexion but this amazing throwback photo could explain why. Nadya loves showing these lovely photographs from her past since they help her become more appreciative of her family. Raising 14 kids is surely not easy, but she knows how to be always positive – by appreciating the blessings that comes her way every day.
Since Nadya has many followers who have asked about her origins, she decided to clear this up in a post about her father that had the caption: “Happy Father’s Day to my dad “Eddie” (a nickname he adopted to sound more American since emigrating from Jerusalem, Palestine fifty years ago).” Someone then commented, “Love this. But why have you given your kids Jewish names when your father is Muslim?” Many have probably been wondering the same thing, but she cleared things up with this: “Yes absolutely, and when my father immigrated to America, he befriended many Israelis and loved all people unconditionally.” Nadya added, “This is how I grew up, loving all human beings, and embracing differences. Sad how America is so polarized in recent years. I pray one day we will all unite.”
Why We Don’t Hear So Much From ‘Octomom’ Anymore
We actually don’t hear so much from Nadya in the press these days probably because she hired a PR agency and she’s also careful about not ‘exploiting’ her family. Nadya explained in a recent post on social media, “I have always been against exploiting kids on a “docu-series” or “reality” type show (am aware consistent filming can be deleterious to a child’s developmental process); and all the documentaries we have done have been filmed and aired only in international countries.” Nevertheless, seeing as her children are now older, she added, “At this point in time, my family and I would be open to an American documentary.”
Animal Loving Family
Nadya still shares snaps of her family and children on social media and it seems as if her motherly instinct has rubbed off on her children. It appears that her kids are not content with how many people there are in their household since they love adding animals to the ever-growing nest that that they have. Nadya makes sure her kids have a healthy diet, and she also does the same for the animals. In one post she explained the cat is a bit overweight, but she captioned the photo with: “We are following the veterinarian’s diet plan and hopefully she will be at a healthier weight soon”.
Veggies For Dinner
The shopping list in Nadya’s house must be impressive – similar to shopping for one giant army! Some moms may settle for fast or microwavable unhealthy food, but Nadya always ensures that she teaches her children to choose healthy options. She shared a recent snap of her son Jonah with a big green chard and her captioned was “Jonah sharing the soon to be devoured forest before dinner.” People regularly asks questions on her Instagram, such as how much Nadya shops and she replied, “Every two days! In all honesty, shopping for fresh organic produce is the only shopping I love!”
Is A Cookbook On The Cards?
Nadya’s social media posts are often about the organic, vegan, vegetarian and healthy meals she makes for her family and this has started to create something of a stir in her own social community. Her posts of delicious-looking and healthy meals have attracted plenty of positive attention. One follower recently commented, “You are an inspiration and should do a cookbook!” She replied, “The kids would love to help create a cookbook!” and she added a bit of humorous side-note, “But first I’m preparing to publish my memoir.”
Kids Will Be Kids
Nadya’s life may have been high-profile, but she does seem down-to-earth as a mother and allows her kids to enjoy being kids. She recently shared this cheeky snap of some of her kids monkeying around outside and she captioned it with: “Three little monkeys hanging on a tree, sharing with you all to see.” She may have attracted many fans because she keeps it real and her children look very healthy, playful and happy. When she uploaded this picture, her followers responded with positive and motivational things, like “I love seeing kids being kids!! Outside! Stay strong Mama,” and “You are doing an amazing job raising beautiful children!”
A Birthday Surprise
Since Nadya does a lot for her children, it’s heartwarming to see how her kids sometimes surprise her to show that they appreciate her as well. Nadya recently posted this super cute picture of the surprise birthday breakfast the children prepared for her. She said, “Awoke this Sunday morning to 8 amazing kids surprising me with the best early birthday (big omg) breakfast!” Needless to say, the breakfast was organic and vegan and came with vegan mac and cheese, peanut butter, maple syrup, vegan pancake, organic fruit, and coffee in her favorite cup of course!
Busy But Healthy
Most busy moms don’t have a lot of time in the morning, so they just to have toast or cereal. However, Nadya ensures that she makes time to stay healthy. Recently, she shared this picture of her enviable, delicious-looking, healthy, vegan breakfast and this was her caption: “Sometimes breakfast and lunch looks like this”. One of her followers wrote a comment, “I love that you and your family are vegan and so healthy! I’m a single mom too, your story inspired me to keep my eyes focused on the babies when there is so much to distract us in the world.”
Is The Diet too Vegan?
Nadya has gotten a lot of positive feedback for raising her younger kids with a strictly vegan diet. However, there was a comment on her post which expressed concern about how a vegan diet at such an early age may not be very healthy for child development. It seems that Nadya has gotten used to criticism already and replied, “Yes the little kids and I are vegan! Their pediatrician said they are some of the healthiest kids she has ever seen in her practice.” On the other hand, one of her followers encouraged her with this comment, “Good job momma influencing your kids to lead the healthiest (and most compassionate) lifestyle!”
One reason Nadya makes an effort to only eat organic and raw vegan meals, and stay healthy is because her meals make up her pre-workout food. Oftentimes, she is asked what she eats in a day which helps her stay in shape, so she replied, “Pre/post workout, breakfast and lunch, in addition to 2-3 gallons of Alkaline water.” Nadya added, “For dinner I eat raw vegetables such as organic kale, chard, collard greens, bell peppers, and red or golden beets (plus a cooked vegan dinner such as organic sprouted lentils or quinoa).” She explained why she has a strict diet: “I grew up an ethical vegetarian (was an animal rescuer with my mom and adore all living things); therefore going vegan was not a challenging transition. Becoming raw has only enhanced my health, clarified and strengthened my mind, and helped heal my broken back (from her earlier injuries).”
Not All Vegan
Nadya posts a ton of photos that show her younger children having a super healthy lifestyle and vegan diet, shares vegan recipes and admits to being a vegan activist. Her older kids, however, don’t share her views. She recently posted a photo of one of her octuplets happily enjoying getting fresh vegetables at the supermarket. Then, she posted another picture showing Amerah, her daughter, looking stubbornly with this caption: “The look my daughter gives me when I educate her on the benefits of being vegan”.
Nadya appears to love teaching each of her kids good values and she wants to inspire them to be kind. On this post for the birthday of her daughter Amerah, Nadya wrote this comment: “One of the most important lessons I try to teach you all is that every person that crosses your path is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind, compassionate, and patient with people always; and aware that sometimes the brighter the smile the deeper the suffering. By looking at your beautiful smile no one could imagine the struggle you face, that we all face, daily. We are going through challenges for reasons God only knows, yet those challenges are meant to forge, shape, and strengthen our character. We have to be patient, continue to pray, and never stop working relentlessly and consistently at achieving our goals.”
Where Are The Big Kids?
Her younger children often feature in Nadya photos that she shares on social media. However, she comments a lot that her older kids are not so keen on being in the spotlight, so they are rarely in her photos. Nadya cleared things up in a post of her eldest daughter Amerah. She wrote: “I am often asked, “where are your big kids” lol…well they are all healthy, thriving, caring, compassionate towards others, focused on succeeding in school (a priority), and very busy socializing with friends (who I must know). I know where each and every one of my 14 children are 100% of the time, as I am a very over-protective parent. This is the closest Amerah will get to allowing me to show her off on social media and I respect her choice. (my oldest girl). My kids are very modest, respect themselves, and others, and I admire and love them all more than words or pictures could possibly express.”
Time To Appreciate
Nadya may have mentioned in some of her posts the struggles she has had in raising many children alone, but she still takes the time to be thankful of what she does have. This is an adorable photo that she shared two of her lovely girls and she wrote this caption: “Couldn’t help but pause and take a picture of my little angels.”
This may look like just a regular group picture of kids starting third grade, but all these children are actually brothers and sisters, which some may find hard to believe. They all look pretty excited to go to school after summer break, and how fun must it be to already know so many people on the first day. Nadya shared this cute photo and captioned it with: “Had to share the first day of third grade! Caleb and Calyssa didn’t want me to “embarrass” them by taking a pic lol.” However, she added that all her kids were really excited and so was she – probably because she would have a bit of peace and quiet again while they were at school!
No Time To Share
Despite being pretty active on social media, Nadya is still a mother of fourteen, so she likely doesn’t have the time to post everything that she does. She wrote a comment on her post that finding the time is difficult. “I wish I had the time to share more!” she added. She explained that taking care of her “severely autistic son and all the kids monopolize most of my time so social media is neglected.”
Nadya may have attracted plenty of media attention, positive and negative, for the life choices she has made, but her fans on social media look up to her. For them, she is an ‘insta-inspiration,’ a strong and inspiring mother. On her page, there are encouraging comments, such as, “I love how you have changed your life and continued college through it all and I absolutely adore that your kids are vegan! You’re an inspiration now as a mother of one I need to continue with my masters and or to a PhD”. There was another comment that said: “Your dedication and love to your kids is something half of society lacks. I have 3 in a row as a single mom and I feel sorry for myself. I enjoy learning from your story and truly feel more positive about things. Keep fighting the fight”.
Happy And Healthy
In all the pictures which Nadya shares, the children do seem happy and healthy, picture-ready and bursting with energy. She shared this one taken at her friend’s pool during the summer and she captioned it with, “It seems like they were just born…Good looking group of kids…” Nadya’s posts on social media are usually about how her children often join in 5K runs together and how she makes sure they have a raw vegan diet that they enjoy. This might be their secret to happiness…. Whatever the case, Nadya seems to be doing a great job raising some healthy and happy kids!
Setting The Record Straight
Recently, Nadya sat down with a New York Times reporter to talk about her experiences in more detail. She explained, “I’m at work on a book.” The book took her 13 years to write, and it seems she wants to set the record straight finally. “That’s why I want to do this interview. I’ve been writing this manuscript since graduate school.”
Weaving Around The Kitchen
During the interview, the reporter was quick to say that the kids worked really well together as one family, especially when they are in the kitchen. “The children moved in unison, weaving around the tight kitchen and adjacent living room, while their mother checked on their brother Aidan, 13, who has autism,” he explained. Despite the fact that they live in an Orange County townhouse with only three bedrooms, he noticed that everybody worked in harmony. He said, “One kid chopped veggies, one boiled water, one readied the silverware and on and on. The older children supervised, as Amerah, 16 warned the kids, “Be careful with that,” while also thumb scrolling”.
Eating In Shifts
As the interview began, the reporter asked about how Nadya manages meal times, especially since there are 14 children in the kitchen. Nadya said that because there are very many kids, eating has to be done in shifts. Some of the children even sleep or do activities while the others are eating. It appears as if the family works together in harmony, and it’s quite heartwarming to see.
The reporter watched as the octuplets weaved around the kitchen and remarked that the kids are smaller than average, which is understandable. Nevertheless, he had this to say about the children: “They’re ‘polite, they cook, they’re vegan, they read two books a month and do their homework without being prompted.” The octuplets have been embroiled in controversy from when they were born, so the reporter couldn’t help but ask, “They’re model fourth graders. How did she do it?”
The Controversial Birth
The interview put the focus back on Octomom and the controversial birth. Nadya recalled that 46 scrambling nurses and doctors had to work together in performing the C-section on her when she was in labor at 31 weeks. There were two girls and six boys born and they weighed between 1.5 pounds and 3.25 pounds. The birth was regarded as a medical miracle and captured the interest of tabloids all over the globe but the birth quickly became a newsworthy scandal for glossy magazines and tabloids.
After the octuplets were born, the story became hot property and numerous offers from tabloids came Nadya’s way. Understandably, she cashed in, receiving money for interviews since she was raising her fourteen children singlehandedly. When the public interest started to fade, a dark time in her life also started and she told the reporter, “I was pretending to be a fake, a caricature, which is something I’m not, and I was doing it out of desperation and scarcity so I could provide for my family.” Then, she added, “I’ve been hiding from the real world all my life.”
Nadya revealed to the reporter, “I was the classic victim, a victim of having an alcoholic father, a victim of having been an only child, hungry to fill that void and victim of fate since I couldn’t conceive naturally.” She added, “Most of all, I was misled by my doctor.” According to Nadya, she originally just wanted twins, but she had this to say about Dr. Kamrava, her doctor: “He told me we lost six embryos, he said they were expelled out of me, and that’s why he wanted to implant another six.” In other interviews, on the other hand, her doctor claimed it was Nadya who had pressured him into doing multiple rounds of implants. Whatever the case was, the US medical license of the Iranian national Dr. Kamrava was revoked in 2011 and soon after, he left the country.
Funding The IVF
The reporter turned the spotlight to Nadya again and asked how she could afford to have several rounds of IVF. She explained that she had a degree in child development, which allowed her to work at a state mental hospital. She worked there for three years but she suffered an injury on the job, which resulted in more than $80,000 in disability payments. In addition, she received a family inheritance of $60,000. All the money she got helped fund the expensive IVF treatments.
Nadya reflected that she was selfish and immature in the past and in effect became a caricature. She said, “I never wanted the attention,” but the staff violated her privacy and secretly alerted the press. She explained, “I have PTSD from all the reporters coming in over the years. I would take whatever I could back in the days, and I would let them in. I was spiralling down a dark hole. I was doing what I was told to do and saying what I was told to say.” However, she had this realization: “When you’re pretending to be something you’re not, you end up falling on your face.”
After experiencing a darker period in her life, she thankfully found the strength to turn away from the downward spiral, both emotionally and physically. Nadya told the reporter, “Once I finally ran away from all of the pretending, I was able to be me.” However, Nadya still had to put in the work to heal from the physical damage that the pregnancy caused, because she said, “Physically at least, that “me” has been irrevocably transformed.“ A major side effect of her last pregnancy was her back getting broken, but instead of caving in to the pressure, Nadya began running half-marathons instead and even encouraged her entire family to do the activity with her.
The Pregnancy After-Math
After giving birth to her children, the number of health issues that Nadya suffered are quite hard to believe. She listed some of them, which include ruptured discs, sacral damage, bilateral sciatica, peripheral neuropathy, endometriosis and migraines. In spite of suffering pain every day, she insists on not taking traditional medicine. She said, “I’m a raw vegan, and I perceive pharmaceuticals to be poison,” and she has expressed her reliance on home exercise and prayer.
Nadya looks at her fitness regimen as a form of therapy both mentally and physically. She said, “If I didn’t climb 40 miles a week on the StairMaster, which acts as a buffer, then I’d be completely incapacitated. I can adjust the pain based on my posturing.” She doesn’t really believe in the traditional methods in medicine and she was quick to point out that her kids ‘don’t get flu shots’. However, she makes sure they see doctors and get vaccinated, but she is convinced her and her children’s super healthy lifestyle and diet are the reason for neither of them getting sick.
Nadya is very open about everything, and we really mean everything. She is also filled with pride that her children are thriving and she shows this to the world. “They’re the only surviving eight octuplets in the history of mankind. I’ve raised them to be wide-awake,” she said, which means that her children also know about the darker period she had in her life. She explained, “We talk about everything. They know, they went through it with me. It’s a huge weight lifted off of all of them when I went back to who I was. We were struggling financially.”
How The Older Children Feel
The reporter then shifted his attention to the older kids, and it appears that their feelings about the media attention are pretty mixed. Her eldest daughter, Amerah, said,“Most of my friends don’t know about the eight.” Then, she explained, “When they were born, I was in elementary school. I would get questions about everything. But I would answer and say…I get that you’re interested, but I wouldn’t intrude on your family, why intrude on mine?” Nadya’s son Joshua, a 15 year old gamer, responds differently when asked questions and he said, “Some of my friends don’t have any siblings, so they want to know what it’s like. It’s nice to have someone to play with.”
At the end of the interview, Nadya rounded it up in the best way possible. Since she has had time to reflect on the journey she went through, she explained, “I own and take responsibility for my poor choices, but it doesn’t take away from how extraordinary these kids turned out to be.” In the end, that is what matters. We can definitely see that her kids have grown to be quite extraordinary!
Recently, the octuplets reached a milestone with their 10th birthday. Nadya is extremely proud of her kids and posted this really cute photo on Instagram of her octuplets when they were 4 years old in order to show just how much they have all grown. She captioned it with: “I love you forever, love you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby (babies) you’ll be.” She also added this: “I reflect daily as to what I did to deserve eight more blessings in my life, as you angels are the greatest gift any mom could wish for. Always know, with every passing year, my love for you continues to grow. I love you forever.”