Tag Archives: Octomom

Mother Surveillance

SNL spoof on tan mother from New JerseyWhen Susanne and I were still trying to get pregnant, we made an appointment to see a fertility specialist in Seattle, and were told that there was new paperwork to sign because the Federal rules had changed about informed consent and patient monitoring in light of the eight pregnancies Nadya Suleman had carried to term in California. Ms. Suleman was known more popularly as “Octomom,” and derided in the media as a bad mother even before the birth of the eight children, because she wanted to birth all of them (she did also have other children at that time, but this wasn’t mentioned, in what I read back then, as the reason for questioning her parental fitness). Eight embryos didn’t magically appear in her uterus–some health practitioner had to put them there (and in fact, 12 were transferred into her). Thus while the question of malpractice or medical negligence was brought up by some of the talking heads, most of the attention was focused solely on why a woman would even want to carry and care for that many children. And although the medical board in California investigated the practitioner and subsequently revoked his license, it wasn’t he who came away with a derisive nickname.

In context, the TLC show, Jon & Kate Plus Eight was getting great ratings and later, a reality show about the Duggers, who have 19 children in Arkansas, also started on the cable channel. Yes, Ms. Suleman has courted some of this attention, gracing the cover of Star Magazine to show off her body and dole out exercise advice. But that shouldn’t absolve people from mocking her every move. Read More…

Thank you, Nadya Suleman

Although Susanne and I have put ourselves to the task of making a baby for about 15 months now, we actually have only had two occasions during which the human procreative process could take place. We are thus not especially worried about anybody’s fertility, though we do have increasing concerns about our healthcare system.

Our first doctor had us on a protocol that wasn’t going to get anybody pregnant in this decade. In her defense she told us she wasn’t a fertility expert. But that’s like saying, “sure, I’ll build you the Empire State Building, just know that I’m a portrait painter,” and saying it’s not their fault that 1,800 feet of oil paints stacked up doesn’t work as a building. If you don’t “do” that specialty, then get the hell out of the situation. We wasted months and a lot of money trying to do things this doctor’s way. And the whole time, she meant well. I’m sure of it. It just doesn’t matter how she felt about it, as far as fetus creation is concerned. Read More…

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