You wouldn't think I'm in a light-hearted mood and reveling in Fridayness, though I am. I probably shouldn't even go there but what's the point of a blog if you can't occasionally empty your mind of its thoughts? This has nothing to do with DIY or anything really except that if I don’t get this out and I have to hear or see one more media report on it before I do, my head may explode. You’ve been warned.
I’m a single, 40ish woman. I’m not in a serious relationship. I’m an only child. I longed for siblings while growing up, and I’ve always wanted children of my own. I still feel a little bit cheated in that department. But as the sun begins to descend rapidly on my time in which to become a mother, especially in the most conventional way, maybe I should find myself a donor and run myself over to the nearest fertility clinic.
Knock me up, doc.
Never mind that the economy’s in the crapper, I’ve got a house to maintain, and I’m already worried about staying employed to do it. I’m relatively certain this is not something my insurance plan covers. Even so, I could probably still find enough money to do the procedure. Maybe by mortgaging This D*mn House and selling off some possessions, I could squeak by. After all, it's what I want and this is all about me. Aren't I just a portrait of responsibility?
And if it worked, I could have a baby – or two. Or four. Or 12. Sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it?
Well, it is -- and that's the point. But what if, for the sake of argument, we said I didn’t have a job, or a house to mortgage? Oh, and I already HAD SIX KIDS?! That’s not just crazy, that’s selfish, and irresponsible, too. And Nadya Suleman –the new mother of 14 after having octuplets last week – maintaining that it is anything else is nothing short of delusional.
I’m not saying she set out planning to have this precedent-setting brood. Still, I burst out laughing when I read that she “only wanted to have one more baby.” Um, sweetie, you’ve GOT SIX AT HOME! One still IS a baby! Well, OK. If this was someone who decided to be a single parent, had the financial, physical, and emotional wherewithal to do it, just to have a child, I’d still disagree with them philosophically, but hey, live and let live. Lots of women do it every day. More power to them if they can handle it.
I’m not doubting for a second this woman’s ability to love all her children. But I am saying unequivocally that she did not act in the best interests of any of them. (I love my dog and cats, too, but that love isn’t doing enough for them unless there is food in their dishes and a roof over their heads. What if I suddenly decided to go adopt 11 more? How could I hope to provide enough love and sustenance for all of them without drastically taking away from the original three? The answer: I couldn’t.)
Who is going to take care of the 14 of them – financially and physically? Is she just going to foist all this on her parents? The state? The federal government? God knows they already have enough people they can't take care of.
I know plenty of parents ready to pull their hair out with two or three under the age of 10 or 12. But FOURTEEN under age NINE?! Supposedly, she has collected (depending on which news report you believe) $150,000 to $170,000 in disability payments from a back injury 10 years ago, worsened by pregnancy! Hello. Anything in this woman's head? She was not even thinking about her health or of jeopardizing her ability to care for any of her other children. What if this pregnancy had paralyzed her? Yeah, that would have been great for all her children! Really good thinkin' there, mama.
It’s a substantial sum of money, probably gobbled up by her fertility treatments, but a sum that wouldn’t even cover half of the birth expenses of the octuplets. Even assuming she still had the full amount, and that she had only one more baby instead of eight, that breaks out to less than $25,000 per child. How far will that go? Not far. Parents, I know you agree on this if nothing else!
This woman has no long-term resources, no support system, and, dare I say it, no sense.
She told morning TV she wants to be a counselor. I think she should get counseling first. Clearly, she needs it before attempting to help others.
The thing that gets me the most is the bad light this is casting on infertility treatments generally and the implantation of multiple embryos. They do this because first, it gives them the best chance to become pregnant, and second, because this is both an emotional and expensive procedure. Why wouldn’t you want to get the best odds possible? I know several people who have had them, resulting in one, two, and in two cases, THREE babies! For the others, it resulted only in more heartbreak.
Where the light should be shone instead is on the doctor who agreed to do this and on the people close to this woman. Her own mother even said she has problems. Why didn’t someone intervene? Reproductive rights are one thing. This, however, is insanity. I guess no one ever bothered to tell her that just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
So, I guess that’s it. I’m going home tonight and telling the mother that I’m planning to have children. Lots of children. As many as I can, as soon as I can.
I’ll be committed before sunrise.