A team of 46 medical professionals worked together in a choreograph of birthing.
She had presented herself for care at the Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in California when she was three months' pregnant. The in-vitro fertilization had taken place elsewhere. In fact, the divorced mother of six other children, aged seven, six, five, three and a pair of two-year-old twins, had used in-vitro fertilization with all of her pregnancies.
The mystery is how a 32-year-old woman already weighted with the responsibility of six young children, could be assessed as an acceptable candidate for further birth assistance. It's a costly procedure, estimated to ring it at $100,000 for the total costs involving an IVF birth. Nadya Suleman claims she did not have to pay for the treatment, that indeed, she was paid to have them.
From her childhood years her mother and her close friends recall how obsessed this woman was with the prospect of motherhood, that she claimed at an early age to aspire to having a dozen children. She has now outdone herself, handsomely, handily, by extending beyond a baker's dozen.
She lives with her parents who themselves filed for $1-million bankruptcy several years ago, abandoning their home in the process. Rumour has it that the family lives on government assistance, although Ms. Suleman's exasperated mother Angela, explains that her Palestinian-born husband plans to travel to Iraq, to work there and earn the wherewithal to support his suddenly-expanded family.
It would appear that not one of the children born to Nadya Suleman, not the six previous births, nor the current one that resulted in octuplets, were the result of conjugal relations with her former husband. Rather, it was donated sperm from a neighbour, in all these instances. Despite that the same neighbour, recently married himself, had asked her to refrain from using any more of his sperm.
This is a convoluted story unusual in its balance of good news, bad news. Good news in that there are now fourteen young children, eight of whom are babies, in one single family. The bad news is that raising that number of children presents an inordinately difficult dilemma. How to pay for their needs, let alone provide all the practical, physical and emotional support each requires?
The mother may be exulting over her good fortune; her own mother rather less. It's truly questionable how the needs of all these children will be met - on the emotional supportive scale to begin with, without the assistance of a hugely supportive expanded family, inclusive of their immediate community. And how to begin to estimate the huge cost to ensure all their consuming needs are met?
And then again, there is the question of responsibility; social responsibility. A conundrum of some considerable proportions.