It was January 2009 when the world was shocked to see Nadya Suleman (AKA Octomom), already a mother of six young children, give birth to a full set of octuplets. It was big news for everyone because Nadya gave birth to eight healthy children in one pregnancy. Although it was a record-breaking pregnancy in many ways, it led to a controversy in the field of assisted reproductive technology and there was a largely negative public response, including threats as well.
As some criticized Nadya, some adored her courage. One thing can be said with absolute certainty that she became a media sensation and America was eager to know more about Nadya and her growing family. While most people were skeptical about the future of Octomom, she actually proved all of them wrong. She celebrated Mother’s Day this year with her little angels and posted an Instagram photo that proved everyone wrong who strongly believed that she would fail.
2. A Dream of Having a Big Family One Day
Nadya Suleman was born on July 11, 1975, to immigrants, an Iraqi father and a Lithuanian mother. As the only child of Edward Doud Suleman and Angela Victoria Suleman, Nadya craved emotional attachment to people mainly because she never had it.
She had no siblings and the lack of emotional attachment embedded an idea into her mind to grow up and start a big family of her own. So she had a big dream (a seemingly easy one for her), but she didn’t know that something unexpected would change her life.
3. A Journey From Adulthood to Motherhood
As soon as adulthood arrived at the doorstep of Nadya, she started planning her journey toward motherhood. She began her quest shortly after graduating high school from Nogales High School in La Puente, California.
Although her number one priority was to start a family, she did want to go to college. Little did the naïve Nadya know, she got what she always wanted – perhaps a little earlier, she didn’t know at that time.
4. Falling in Love
Nadya Suleman was still in her early twenties when she met a charming producer manager named Marcos Gutierrez. They both felt an instant connection and it wasn’t long before they were deeply in love with each other. It was the start of a deep and purposeful relationship for Nadya.
She didn’t hold back about her dream of having children and made it clear to Gutierrez from the very start of her relationship. It seemed perfect as Gutierrez also wanted to have children. However, life had other plans for her.
5. A Life-Changing Job
Nadya married Gutierrez in 1996 and went to Mt. San Antonio College to get her psychiatric technician license. After getting her license, she wasted no time and started working at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, California.
It was a psychiatric facility and it seemed to be going well for her. Although working with mentally troubled patients was rewarding, it was not an easy job and Nadya found it in the worst possible way. Her goal of having a meaningful job took a serious hit when she had to endure a harrowing experience at the facility.
6. A Disaster Waiting to Happen
When you are working at a psychiatric facility, there is a high possibility of an accident as it involves dealing with mentally troubled patients. It was September 18, 1999, when about twenty patients started a riot at the Metropolitan State Hospital. Amidst all the chaos, Nadya was trying her best to handle the situation.
A wooden desk was flipped over by one of the female patients and it landed on poor Nadya’s back, resulting in a herniated disc injury. Although she filed for workers’ compensation benefits and $170,000, the money was just enough to help her for a while.
7. A Dream Put On Hold Unwillingly
The work-induced injury caused a lot of distress and physical pain to Nadya Suleman and it had a serious impact on her ability to work. Although the compensation helped her get through the most difficult period of her, she didn’t know that there were more serious problems waiting in line for her.
Nadya and her husband were trying to start a family but no avail. They tried over and over again but nothing seemed to work. Their last option was to visit the doctor.
8. When Reality Hits You
The visit of Nadya Suleman and Marcos Gutierrez to the doctor revealed that the couple needs to follow more tips to conceive. They did exactly as instructed but everything seemed ineffective.
The couple did not lose hope and kept on trying various methods as instructed by different doctors, but they didn’t have any luck. The constant failures made Nadya depressed. Eventually, the inevitable news came that Gutierrez was simply sterile.
9. Drifting Apart
Nadya always wanted to start a family and this news really made her feel dejected and unfortunate. She pressed the issue in front of her husband that they need to consider alternative methods as the traditional way proved ineffective. However, her husband didn’t feel the same way.
The last straw for Marcos came when his wife came up with the proposition of utilizing the method of in vitro fertilization (IVF). As in this method, an egg is fertilized outside the body of a woman (usually in a test tube), Marcos wasn’t comfortable with it and warned her that he would leave her if she goes through with it.
10. Following Her Dream
Nadya Suleman had to take a decision; stay with her husband and never have children of her own or chase her dream of having kids. She always wanted to have a family she never had and it was time for her to make the most difficult decision of her life.
She decided to go after her dream. The marriage ended in 2000 and Nadya started to pursue her dream of having kids through IVF.
11. An Expensive Procedure
There were other things Nadya had to keep in mind. She was told that the procedure doesn’t have a 100 percent success rate and still, she proceeded with it. She knew that the procedure is expensive, but she was tired of failures and wanted to achieve her dream.
Doctors told her about a risk that would completely alter her future plans. It was up to her to decide whether it was worth taking the risk or not.
12. The Greater the Risk, The Greater The Reward
Nadya Suleman was told by the doctors that IVF could totally change her life. It is because when multiple eggs are placed in the mother’s uterus then IVF could open the possibility that more than one egg could make it through the fertilization process.
Hence, a mother could give birth to more than one baby. She seemed happier instead of worrying. She could finally see her dream come true.
13. Bringing a New Life Into This World
Nadya Suleman wasn’t expecting twins or triplets. The results of her IVF procedure were astounding. With a successful operation in 2001, she gave birth to her first baby boy, Elijah.
She was feeling over the moon as she finally became a mother. It was a start to her dream of having a happy family.
14. More Babies!
Nadya was a woman who felt she would never become a mother, but she never lost hope. Thanks to the IVF procedure, she was able to go after her dream. After the birth of Elijah, she had an adorable daughter named Amerah.
The wonders of IVF astonished Nadya and she decided to have more babies. Due to her positive experience with IVF, she continued with it and gave birth to fraternal twins and two more children. By then, she had six children in total!
15. A Courageous Decision
With already six beautiful children, Nadya felt they weren’t enough for her. So, she went on to take a decision that transformed her into a national sensation. She contacted Dr. Michael Kamrava who had overseen all of her previous procedures.
She had six eggs leftover (still frozen) and she didn’t want them to go to waste. She told Dr. Michael that she was ready for another IVF treatment and she wanted to implant all the eggs into her at once.
16. Six More Babies?
Although Dr. Michael Kamrava says that he didn’t comply at first, he had to agree because Nadya was adamant and determined.
She just didn’t want to have any of the eggs wasted even after she was told that she may have multiple babies. What baffled everyone is that Dr. Michael didn’t inject six eggs and went on to inject 12 eggs in total.
17. Making Way For Octuplets
As Dr. Michael Kamrava injected a high number of embryos, it resulted in his radical departure from medical-community standard practice. However, Nadya didn’t regret it at all as she began her preparation to welcome new angels into this world.
Eight out of twelve embryos stuck and it resulted in making her pregnant with eight children. Questions started to surface about whether Nadya was physically able to give birth to eight healthy babies or not.
18. Octomom or Super Mom?
Being pregnant with eight babies certainly took a toll on Nadya’s body. Giving birth to one child can become difficult for an average woman and the idea of Nadya giving birth to eight babies definitely started to fascinate everyone in the country.
She became a viral sensation and hence that’s when she was given the nickname ‘Octomom’.
19. A Sight To Behold Finally Came
As it took just a week for the media to dub Nadya “Octomom,” everyone waited for the news of successful delivery. The moment finally came as she safely gave birth to her octuplets. Everyone was excited and the news certainly brought smiles to a lot of faces.
The amazing thing was that it was the first ever set of octuplets to be born alive and remained healthy & alive one week after their birth. It was good news, but it also started to raise a lot of concerned questions.
20. All Eyes on Octomom
Giving birth to eight healthy babies make Nadya Suleman a media sensation and it was obvious that everyone wanted to know more about her.
Although people from all over the world were captivated with Nadya’s story, doctors also showed the most interest as they wanted to know more about the capability and strength of a woman’s body.
21. Octomom Everywhere!
Nadya Suleman had already become an internet sensation even before the birth of her adorable babies. Everyone wanted to know more about her and the media made sure she received a lot of attention.
As the entire nation knew Nadya by her face and nickname, she decided to control her story and capitalize it as well. She wanted to be shown in a positive light and decided to hire a public relations team. However, it proved a lot difficult than she anticipated.
22. Balancing the Octomom Persona
Fame can change a person and it was important for Nadya to balance her Octomom persona. Although critics argue that Nadya did all this to get fame and be in the spotlight. Nevertheless, what she did require was a lot of courage and strength, both physical and mental.
Over time, it was her persona that started to consume her. As the pregnancy of Nadya became a controversy, she even received threats.
23. The Pressure Kept on Mounting On Her
It was clear that nothing was going as Nadya had planned for controlling the coverage about her. She was not able to get ahead of the story.
That’s when she decided it was time to let the people know her real story. In an interview with People Magazine, the Octomom said; “I don’t get much sleep, about two or three hours a night.”
24. A Low Point In Octomom’s Life
Many thought that Octomom was no longer a topic of interest for American people, but it was surprising that people still wanted to know more about her.
With such spotlight on Nadya’s every move, it started to become more difficult for her to raise her kids. As she struggled to raise her 14 kids, she had no option but to accept welfare.
25. False Rumors
As if the spotlight and criticism of Octomom weren’t enough, she had to deal with the rumors of her being an irresponsible mother.
Such was the intensity of such rumors that Child Protective Services were alerted and they had to check it. The investigation of Nadya’s property discarded all the rumors as Child Protective Services deemed her house suitable for children.
26. One Problem After Another
As Child Protective Services deemed Nadya’s house suitable for children, some other people had different plans to affect her life concretely. One of those people was her landlord who accused her of violating her lease’s terms.
It seemed as if he was purposefully trying to harm Octomom’s reputation because he went to the media to discuss Nadya’s living situation. As he evicted Nadya, she had to take desperate measures to make sure her family had a home.
27. Difficult Times
Although Nadya Suleman tried her best to convince the landlord, he was hell-bent on making sure that she and her kids don’t have a roof over their heads. She strived to find a place for her fourteen kids.
As she didn’t have any money, it was imperative for her to find get some money fast. In her search for earning money, she tried her luck in the film industry and even dove into some business ventures. But did her attempts reap any rewards for her?
28. A Fresh Start
It was pretty evident that there was immense pressure on Nadya and being under the spotlight had a lot to do with it. She comprehended the real problem and decided to move away from the spotlight. Although she may have become a caricature to the media, she loved her children and wanted to give them a better future.
Hence, she made up her mind to turn around her life and started it by changing her first name to Natalie and then finishing her college degree. Soon after completing her degree, she started to work as a family therapist.
29. How Are The Kids Today?
Octomom’s famous offspring turned 10 in 2019 and are doing well. All of her kids are strictly on a vegan diet and it seems as if they all are doing well. It seems as if Nadya is doing wonderful parenting as her kids are very humble and gentle.
The Octomom believes that it is important for parents to be straightforward to their kids and she has always been straightforward to her kids as well.
30. A Guardian Angel
Whatever Nadya Suleman has done, she did it for her kids. Now, Natalie is in her early 40s, she has gone past some of her questionable jobs. In several interviews, she told that there was a “Guardian Angel” who changed her life and gave her the courage to move forward and never give up.
In an interview, she explained that it was 2013 and she was still working in the film industry and she was in a club in Florida when a tall man walked straight to her. “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 gives times.” It was the moment that changed Natalie’s life forever.
31. Looking into the Past
As Natalie tried to turn her life, she did admit that her decision to bring so many children into the world without thinking it through was very “foolish, immature and selfish”.
She accepted her mistake of not reflecting on the possible consequences of her decisions. But she did confess that she has no regrets about her decisions. Now, her number one priority is to raise her children right.
32. A Simple Life
There is no denying that raising 14 kids as a single mother is no easy task, but Natalie is doing it pretty well in her three bedroom apartment. Although she is living from paycheck to paycheck, she is optimistic about a good future for her family. She told Daily Mail that she has endured a lot in raising her kids and now she feels “at peace.” Another thing that makes her feel at peace is her efforts to inspire other women.
She shares her controversial story to help women make the right decisions for themselves and their children. She doesn’t like the nickname “Octomom” anymore because she believes that persona almost destroyed her and her family life. She said in the interview: “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.”
33. Saying Goodbye to Social Life
Natalie Suleman is doing a good job as a mother of 14 children. She spends most of her time with her youngest children and the octuplets Makai, Josiah, Isaiah, Jonah, Maliyah, Jeremiah, Nariyah, and Noah. Her six older kids from her first five rounds of IVF are Elijah (17), Amerah (16), Joshua (14), Aiden (12), and 11-year old twins Calyssa and Caleb.
She doesn’t want her kids to remember her as the “Octomom.” In an interview with Daily Mail, she said: “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 I deserved.”
34. A Normal Family
Natalie Suleman has become a very hands-on mother as her social life is almost non-existent. As she spends a lot of time with her kids, she knows them pretty well. “They fight, play, fight and play again like any normal family,” she said to Daily Mail.
According to her, some of her kids are outgoing while some are shy. Aiden is autistic but all his siblings take care of their brother. Natalie teaches her kids that there is nothing wrong with being different.
35. Values and Virtues
Natalie and her family had to endure a lot of hardships, but they fought bravely. They all live as a happy family and she tries her best to teach them values and virtues to live a good life. She does it by giving just one gift to each of her children on Christmas and other holiday seasons.
“I’m focusing on raising the kids to focus on serving other people, to get out of their own head,” she told US Weekly. With giving each kid one gift, she hopes to teach them to learn how to earn and not expect gifts from life.
As it can be really stressful to just send one or two kids to the school, one can just wonder the level of stress and anxiety of Natalie when her octuplets went to school.
Natalie shared the picture on Instagram with the caption “Any other parents exceptionally stressed and overwhelmed by the first week back to school?” She was not reluctant to call herself as the “official bus driver” as she had to pick up so many kids from school.
37. Staying Fit and Strong
It can be really challenging to take care of 14 young kids. Natalie is a strong woman and she knows that she has to be physically and mentally strong to ensure she is able to handle all the challenges. She takes out an hour or two from her busy schedule to work out at the gym.
She posted a picture on Instagram with a caption “I would like to share about how I cope with inordinate stress, after being asked how I stay sane lol.” She went on to express how going to the gym helps her “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.”
38. Girls Night
Although Natalie considers herself a somewhat strict mother, she tries her best to make sure her kids have a lot of fun with her. To do this, she likes to enjoy a spa night with her daughters every now and then.
She makes sure all her children are getting enough love and attention, so it means she is either enjoying girls’ night or watching a horror movie with her sons.
39. Sharing Her Side of Story
In May 2018, Natalie Suleman was invited on The Dr. Oz Show and she accepted the invitation as it was a great opportunity for her to share more details and clear some misunderstandings. She explained how she was ready to finally go for the vitro fertilization treatment and how she became fertilized with 12 implanted embryos.
. It is a must-watch episode of the show because she shared a lot about her evolution from Nadya to Octomom to a mother who dedicatedly takes care of her children.
40. Fascinating Genetics
Genetics is truly amazing yet tricky as well. It is the answer to your question of why there are no similarities between you and your siblings.
In Natalie case, she had 14 kids and this means that all the genes expressed in her progeny were high. Natalie feels blessed to have such unique children.
41. Active Octuplets
Natalie Suleman’s 14 children are vegans and living a healthy and active life. As a mother, she ensures that all her kids are participating in healthy activities.
This picture is taken from Russ Miller Memorial 5k race in February 2018. It seems like the octuplets are happily playing their role in raising money for important causes.
42. Taking School Projects Seriously
It is clear that the octuplets love raising money and awareness for important causes, but they are also paying attention to education as well. This picture is a clear example of their dedication.
The kids were given a school project to create posters of their superheroes and they came up with some really creative posters. When this picture was being taken, Caleb knew that it was the right time for a photo-bomb.
43. World’s Greatest Mom
Natalie Suleman receives a lot of love from her children and that’s what makes her feel so blessed. She took a picture of all the special cards and handmade gifts that she received from her loving children.
Natalie is hoping to write a book about her struggles raising an Autistic child alongside 13 other healthy kids. She told Daily Mail “It’s a story that needs to be told and I think it will encourage a lot of women to draw up the strength that didn’t know they had.”
44. Mother-Daughters Bond
Natalie Suleman gave birth to 14 kids and four of them are girls. She absolutely adores spending time with her daughters, namely Amerah (16), Calyssa (11), and Maliah and Nariyah (9).
This memorable picture is taken on the birthday of Amerah. With some astounding resemblance, one thing that seems evident is the bond between mother and daughters.
45. Family Fun Night Tradition
Natalie understands that some sort of family traditions can help a lot in holding the family together. That’s why a lot of importance is given to the weekly Saturday family night in the house.
The tradition “Family Fun Night” was created by Natalie and her adorable kids. It involves everything from watching horror movies to educational discussions and playing chess. Her kids love to watch The Shining.
46. Slaying Costumes
Although the kids of Natalie know that they are different from others, they do not try to hide from this fact. Instead, they embrace it by doing things just like other kids.
In this picture, the children can be seen having a lot of fun in their role play in an Orange County school play. The happiness on their faces tells the story.
47. Vegan Kids
The fans of Natalie Suleman were happy to see the picture on Instagram with the caption “Could we be anymore vegan?” Although the older six kids are not vegan, the octuplets really enjoy their vegan life. After all, their mother ensures that their raw vegan diet consists of organic Kale, health shakes, bell peppers, collard greens, red and golden beets.
The vegan diet helped her deal with some of the medical conditions she started experiencing after the birth of octuplets. Natalie believes this way of life makes the family cheat/treat meals more enjoyable.
48. The Difficulties of Capturing a Family Photo
One can only wonder how difficult it would be to capture the entire family picture when it includes 14 kids. This is definitely an adorable picture as it captured some kids smiling while others are laughing… and how can we not see their cat.
Natalie posted this picture with the 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.”
49. Creating a YouTube Channel
Natalie is a self-made part-timer counselor who tries her best to help people who suffer from substance abuse. She decided to create her own YouTube channel to share her life’s testimony.
The first video she shared on her channel was of her eldest daughter Amerah reading a heartfelt letter that she wrote for Natalie for Mother’s Day at a women’s event in Long Beach, California.
50. Thanksgiving Fun Run and Awareness
Natalie tries to educate her children about making a positive difference in the world and her lessons don’t stop on special occasions as well. 10 out of the 14 kids participated in the Turkey Trot five kilometer family run with matching T-shirts.
It was a proud moment for the mommy as Maliyah, Josiah, Noah, and Isaiah were winners for the race of their age group. Although more than half of Natalie’s family is vegan, it is really great to see their high spirits for an important festival.
51. A Constant Struggle From Within
It is a truly incredible story of Natalie Suleman as she had to endure an immense amount of physical pain due to carrying eight kids in her pregnancy. As a result, she incurred injuries but didn’t give up. Natalie finds it really painful to run due to four ruptured discs in her lumbar spine, irreparable sacral damage and peripheral neuropathy. But she is a brave soul.
Instead of running, she climbs 10 miles a day on the stair master machine. She goes only to women’s only gym as she had always struggled with social anxiety since childhood. Natalie took this photo to express her gratitude to people who sent her gym outfits upon knowing that Octomom wasn’t able to afford her own gym gear for many years.
52. Not Forgetting the Past
Natalie uploaded the picture on social media to reminisce how she dressed up for Halloween when she was a kid. It was the picture of her from 1978.
Although she had changed her name for Nadya to Natalie, this picture showed that she hadn’t forgotten about her past. She has definitely made tremendous strides to become a good mother.
53. Cat Momma
Natalie Suleman had the natural maternal instinct even before when she became a mother of 14 kids. This picture from 1975 shows Natalie with her mom and siblings. She had over dozens of cat growing up but this particular cat in the picture is her favorite cat Boots.
Natalie’s children also love cats, especially Calyssa, and all the kids were shocked to see how fat Boots was (she was over 50 pounds).
54. Looking Back On History
This picture is a major throwback to 1940. The girl in this picture is Natalie Suleman’s mother when she was just two-years-old.
The picture explains why some of Natalie’s kids have a fair complexion while some have a darker complexion.
55. Celebrating 10th Birthday
The octuplets celebrated their 10th birthday at Circus Trix OC at the start of this year. The happy faces of these kids sent a strong message to anyone who doubted Natalie’s capability to raise her children.
All the kids had numbered T-shirts. Natalie told the Inside Edition “Now that 10 years passed on by, I feel as though I can relax and be myself, and be real.”
56. Responsible and Caring Kids
Although the three-bedroom house of Solomon’s family may look less for others, it is a perfect place for the kids.
All the chores are divided among all 14 kids and every kid plays a role in the stable running of the house. As Nariyah loves to cook, she is cooking for the family. The laundry work is handled by Noah and Maliah.
57. Talented and Hardworking Kids
Natalie is proud of her kids and feels blessed that they are really supportive. Although she is strict on them for doing their chores, she also encourages them to do what makes them happy.
Some of the kids practice musical instruments while others love to spend their time quizzing each other in math. Noah loves to play the violin and this picture was uploaded by mommy to congratulate him for performing his first strings performance.
58. Blessed with Little Angels
Natalie doesn’t miss any chance to share on the social media how blessed she is to have such caring and loving children.
In an interview with Inside Edition, she told “I couldn’t do it without my kids. They are literal angels.”
59. Going All Nostalgic
Natalie equally loves all of her kids and knows that it is possible to show an equal amount of love, care, and affection to all her kids.
She shared this picture of her first-born child, Elijah (he celebrated his 18th birthday). She knows that moments such as these are priceless. And she definitely knows the right time to go all nostalgic on them.
60. To a Better Future
As all 14 kids are growing up, Natalie told Inside Edition that she isn’t in touch with her sperm donor, but she may contact him once all the kids turn 18. Her other kids are from another donor.
What is really interesting here is that Natalie promised the donor that she would never reveal his name and she did not break her promise even after she was offered one million dollars by the media to disclose donor’s real name and details.