Remember Octomom? It’s certainly a name that's hard to forget. Already the mother of six at the time, Nadya Suleman famously gave birth to in-vitro
octuplets in 2009, earning the moniker. What followed was a media storm like we had never seen
before. (And although the 2012 photo above is what you might remember her looking like, you might not recognize her on the street now.)
The world marveled at Suleman, who reportedly
sought out IVF treatment to get pregnant with eight embryos. Now she reveals
for the first time that this was not true. She admitted she only
wanted one more, but doctors encouraged her to have 12 fertilized eggs implanted in case most didn’t
This surprising revelation is part of her new mission to kill off the image of the Octomom. The
notoriety was a “dehumanizing and exploitative” experience, she confesses.
giving birth to six boys and two girls—Jonah,
Nariyah, Josiah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Noah, Jeremiah and Makai—she made one bad
decision after another. Struggling to
survive, she did bikini photo shoots and made a porn movie to make ends meet.
I ever did was for money to put food on the table,” she said. "I fully
exploited and dehumanized myself with the porn and the stripping. I was so
desperate—we were on the verge of homelessness, so rather than put my kids in
front of the camera, I decided to put myself out there.”
But it took quite a toll on her, she admitted in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail. Suleman turned to Xanax to cope with what
she calls her “toxic choices.” In March 2013, she quit the adult film business
for the sake of herself and her children after coming home to one of her young daughters walking around the house in her spiked heels. She receives welfare, which only
covers a small portion of her brood's needs, and works as a counselor helping
drug addicts and alcoholics to make ends meet.
Her days now are much like most moms' days in America. Suleman, who changed her first name to Natalie, starts her morning at
5 a.m. as she prepares breakfast and helps the kids get ready for school. After
drop-off, she rushes to work. At night, she makes dinner, bathes the youngest
ones and does the housework before finally heading to bed at midnight.
“I have stayed
strong for them,” she shared. “My kids know what I did as Octomom, I tell them
the truth. I've told them I've done some very bad and shameful things and they
say, 'It's OK, Mom—we love you anyway and we'll always love you.'"