11 years ago, a woman by the name of Nadya Suleman gave birth to eight babies. She was single, already had six other children. She was jobless and she was immediately dubbed Octomom.
Naturally, the media went crazy. As the comments and death threats came in, Nadya quickly discovered that strangers had a very strong opinion about her decision to have children.
Stories, stripping and a sex tape
To make ends meet, Nadya sold her story. She accepted the nickname and she opened her doors to allow the media a sneak peek into the chaotic world of raising eight newborns, plus six older kids, as a single mum. As the babies got older, the attention died down, but the rising costs did not.
She then turned to other measures to put food on the table – she made a sex tape, became a stripper and posed for a nude photoshoot. She continued to let the media into her life, to play the role of ‘Octomom’ and to allow the critics to comment on her ‘irresponsible’ choice to add to her already-large family.
You probably remember all of this unfolding in the tabloids a few years ago. The babies were the world’s first surviving octuplets and born via IVF to a single mum, I mean, that’s definitely going to cause a stir.
But where are the kids now? Whatever happened to Octomom and her tribe?
Octomom 11 years on
Well ladies and gents, Octomom Nadya is no more. The now-44-year old goes by the name Natalie and, by the looks of Instagram, all’s well in the busy household.
The octuplets – Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariyah, Jonah, Makai, Josiah, and Jeremiah are turning 11 this month and are a constant fixture on mum’s Instagram page. Her older kids – Calyssa, Aiden, Joshua, Elijah, Caleb, and Amerah – also make the occasional Instagram appearance.
There are pics of the kids celebrating birthdays, going on family hikes, swimming, winning medals, completing in a 5km fun run together – you know, typical family things.
In the photos, the kids look happy, healthy, active, and relaxed. Of course, it probably took 20 minutes to actually get a decent snap but, hey, we’ve all been there. It takes me 200 tries to get a decent pic of my kids, and I only have three of them!
New name, new goals, new life
In a previous interview, Natalie admitted that her choices in the past weren’t always the best ones. “I think I was young, dumb, irresponsible, selfish, reckless,” she told Sunday Night last year.
She also shared that money is tight and she does rely on food stamps for her family. The family lives in a three-bedroom home and some of the kids need to share beds.
But she remains positive and focused on providing for her kids without the media scrutinising her every move.
As a mom I try to instill the value of relentless drive, determination, and perseverance, despite the obstacles we face in life.
Despite the pain of my past, I’ve chosen to use my struggles as stepping stones, promoting my pursuit of achieving the goals I’ve set for my family.
We parents lead by example and set the stage for our childrens [sic] future health. I chose to instill the value of health/fitness by leading the lifestyle I want my kids to live.”
What a difference 11 years can make! Kudos to Natalie for raising 14 babies and good luck on the next chapter – raising 14 teenagers. Can you even imagine?