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Eight Babies!

A California woman gave birth on Monday to octuplets. It took 46 doctors, nurses and neonatologists five minutes to deliver the babies during the Caeseraen birth. All are doing well so far, though three have needed oxygen.

Prior to the birth, doctors expected the woman to have seven babies; the eighth may have been hiding behind a sibling during all of the mom's examinations. Octuplets are extremely rare. A woman in Houston gave birth to eight babies in 1998. One died a week later.

So, what does it take to raise eight babies?

* Diapers, lots and lots of diapers: ABC News estimates that the parents will go through more than 22,000 diapers in a year. But at least they won't be paying for them. According to The Associated Press, the family has been given diapers for life along with toys for the little ones.

* Parent helpers: In just five minutes, this family became outnumbered at least 6 to 2. That's a daunting prospect. Earlier this year, moms of multiples talked about the fog of the early days of parenting multiples. And one thing many said was that extra help, such as a night nurse, was crucial.

* A schedule: I wonder how fast you can get eight babies to sleep at the same time and wake at the same time.

* A good breast pump: Doctors at Kaiser Permanente say the mom intends to try to breastfeed the little ones.

* Patience

What else does it take to raise eight babies at once? What do you think of this birth?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  January 27, 2009; 3:16 PM ET  | Category:  Newsmakers
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Having 8 babies at once is a little ridiculous, don't you think? Kind of like a litter of puppies. A mommy dog has an advantage though- no need for diapers and she has more than 2 nipples!

Posted by: LBH219 | January 27, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jezebel3 | January 27, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The hospital won't confirm that these births come from fertility drugs. Of course these 8 babies resulted from fertility drugs. I think it is irresponsible of parents to do this. Not only do you put the mother's life at risk, you risk every one of those babies. Frankly, I'm sickened at the fertility industry's money over morals attitude. No doctor in their right mind would implant 8 (or more) fertile eggs into a woman. Even more sad is that corporations jump in and will pay for everything for this family for the next 18 years, including a new and bigger house. I'm finally starting to realize what it takes to make it in this country: stupidity and the absolute refusal to take any responsibility for your actions.

Posted by: lafilleverte | January 27, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Having eight babies at once is nuts. I hope the poor little things aren't penalized for life by the decision made by their parents.

Posted by: MILW | January 27, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse


I agree with all that you said. However, it's not the babies faults that their parents are irresponsible and just plain stupid. So I don't have a problem with some companies giving out free diapers and stuff.

Posted by: LBH219 | January 27, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

This is an absolutely disgusting situation.

Posted by: EWemmelman | January 27, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

TLC will give them a show....

Posted by: jezebel3 | January 27, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

If they were natural octuplets, wow that would be amazing. But if caused by fertility drugs, as seems extremely likely... kind of creepy, actually.

And a bit worrisome for the children, too. Hard to imagine that they would grow up normal, not only from all the attention but also from the inevitable lack of personal attention. I feel kind of sorry for them.

Posted by: catherine3 | January 27, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with lafilleverte and other similar comments. These parents are reckless. These children will grow up with health problems. Makes one wonder if parents are mentally ill.

Posted by: outofID | January 27, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with you all. I know plenty of people who grew up quite normal and were the child of parents who had more than 8 kids.
I think that these parents are going to need lots of time to talk and nurture each child and a supportive community that respects their decision in raising a junior level indoor soccer team with an additional three bench warmers. In addition to patience and love, this crew is going to need a small bus.

Posted by: jsmurf18 | January 27, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I did the fertility-drug thing for about a year, but didn't have the -*whatever*- for pergonal. That's the drug that causes litters of babies, and I knew I wasn't built to carry more than one at a time, and couldn't have raised multiples very well either.

If this woman and her support team feel they can handle this level of responsibility, I wish them all the best. If they didn't consider the ramifications, though...

Posted by: SueMc | January 27, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Eight is Enough

There doesn't seem to be any mention of the father in this article, only "family".

Posted by: jezebel3 | January 27, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I really feel sorry for this family. The Post recently ran a story on a local family with multiple births and that womans' life seemed miserable. There is little to celebrate here...other than that there were no casualties.

Posted by: kweenbee | January 27, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

How do we know this pregnancy was the result of IVF? It could be the result of a fertility drug that caused the ovaries to release a large number of eggs (that's how the Dilleys got their sextuplets-the joys of Pergonal!).

I agree, these parents are a bit nuts to be having that many kids at once, and not just because of needing all the help it takes to handle the early years of eight babies. Who's going to pay for eight kids in college simultaneously if these babies don't have any handicaps such as cerebral palsy or something? Even ONE kid in college at a time can be a financial strain, let alone eight. And I agree with lafilleverte on how you can bet your boots that corporations will jump in and supply this family with help such as free diapers, a van big enough for eight kids, a new house, etc. It's just another form of welfare for having a huge litter, and in this day and age, we shouldn't be encouraging that sort of thing. It's ridiculous.

Posted by: dragondancer1814 | January 27, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I feel terribly sorry for those who stand ready (and willing) to condemn anyone using fertility treatments. I'm a father of multiples and find it bizarre that folks would make some sort of distinction between those who were conceived with or without fertility treatment. I've had one close friend as well as a close family member with serious infertility problems. Those who stand in judgement should seriously examine their own values.

Here's the hard one for the hypocrites out there. The only alternative to a massive multiple birth is selective reduction.
Also known as abortion. It's a terrible choice for a prospective parent to face: terminate a life or risk the life and health of all. I'm glad that it was twins in our case and so we were never faced with this awful decision.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 27, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

To answer the actual question....what will this family lots and lots of money.

Posted by: teach1 | January 27, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"I think that these parents are going to need lots of time to talk and nurture each child"

The poster who wrote that inane comment probably has 1 kid. Lots of time to talk and nurture each child? These parents will be very lucky if they have time to remember each kids name.

Posted by: khoreia | January 27, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry jsmurf18, this situation isn't about having eight children total, but eight at once. There are HUGE health and developmental issues associated with carrying this many fetuses.

Posted by: MzFitz | January 27, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

What will this family, lots and lots of wine.

Posted by: mlc2 | January 27, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I also have to agree with MsFitz...having all eight at one age or developmental level is a lot different from having eight children all at various stages and ages. It's a completely different scenario.

Posted by: mlc2 | January 27, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

My friend had triplets after using fertility drugs. The doctors suggested the selective abortion of the teeny, tiniest one to give the other 2 a chance to develop better.

The bigger 2 have mild to moderate retardation but are physically fine. The teeny, tiny one has no mental retardation and no physical probems, and has caught up in height/weight.

I think the fertility drug/IVF industry is out of control. She barely saw a doctor - maybe for her first appt. After that, it was just some techs who basically monitered her to see when she got pregnant.

It seems to be an industry that preys on people who are distraught, without caring about the health or welfare of anyone - the babies, the parents, the state of the marriage, the strain, etc.

Posted by: Amelia5 | January 27, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Amelia5. The fertility industry is a disgusting one, that preys on hope and is often careless.

I also think choosing to have 8 babies is irresponsible and reckless.

Posted by: goodhome631 | January 27, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a huge challenge to have octuplets! I can't condemn the parents though - - if their only choice to conceive was fertility drugs, and those drugs resulted in multiples -- I certainly would not want to be faced with the choice of deciding to terminate some of them. They are brave and they need all the help they can get!

Posted by: ElaineatLipstickdaily | January 28, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

I read on MSNBC (I think) that the docs originally through it was 7 babies, not 8. The eighth one was a surprise.
What's the difference between having 7 or 8 babies at one time? It's still a lot of kids.

Posted by: choirgirl04 | January 28, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

"Here's the hard one for the hypocrites out there. The only alternative to a massive multiple birth is selective reduction."

There actually is an alternative - not using fertility treatments in the first place. We decided not to pursue fertility treatments because we didn't want to be faced with "a massive multiple birth" or a devastating selective reduction situation. We have grown our family through adoption and are very happy. It's obviously a very personal decision, but if someone isn't prepared to assume all the risks of fertility treatments, they shouldn't use them.

Posted by: adoption | January 28, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

There is always an alternative to fertility treatments and the chance of multiples: ADOPT! Thousands of children need loving families but far too many Americans would rather have their 'own' babies than adopt because they seem to feel that their DNA must continue on. If you cannot conceive naturally, perhaps that's a signal that you shouldn't reproduce. Maybe nature's way of thinning the herd..

Posted by: falltillfly | January 28, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I just can't imagine breastfeeding 8 babies! It's hard enough with one! I feel like she would spend every moment of every day pumping. I don't know if it's physically possible.

Posted by: lindseycowen | January 28, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

And we wonder why our health insurance premiums keep going up. Just hospitalizing 8 preemies for this long - yeowswers.

Posted by: Marimom | January 28, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Adoption - I agree with your comment to a degree. Although the incidence of multiple births has increased dramatically due to fertility treatments, that's not the only reason. Many parents have delayed childbearing and the odds of a multiple birth increase with the age of the mother. Multiples are conceived without the use of fertility treatment and the same ethical issues arise.

I vigorously dispute the assumption many posters have that fertility treatment is unethical per se. I'm glad to hear the adoption route has worked for you. I have friends who have adopted as well. It's not an easy route, particularly if you're not prepared for an older or special needs child (or both).

The thinning the herd comment is idiotic by the way. There are a number of medical conditions causing infertility that arise which have nothing to do with congenital defects.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 28, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that some of the posters have an all or nothing mentality in regards to infertility treatment. There is NO reason to have 8 or 12 viable eggs implanted into a woman and "see" if they take. Put in one or two and you can manage those risks. For the fertility drugs that pump out a lot of eggs, I find it hard to believe someone produced 8 at once and then they all took and she became pregnant. More than likely, this is from IVF and I stand by my comment that this industry is truly preying on the desperate. More eggs = more money. Pure and simple. Never forget that they are a business and therefore care more about their bottom line than about your health or well being.

Posted by: lafilleverte | January 28, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

If this is the result of Pergonal, I think that the makers of Pergonal should support this family, or perhaps the practitioner who decided to implant 8 or more fertilized eggs could accept some responsibility.
Once she has the 8 viable embryos growing intact, it would be difficult to decide which ones to terminate. I hope this causes a revision in the practice. However, there is so much reward for this situation in the form of glamour, awe, press and products, that it likely won't.
Narcissim and codependence - it's the American way.
There are so so many babies that do not have families that are in need of adoption, and orphanages with no funding, children living in severe poverty and malnutrition, that this practice and this result is unfortunate.
Best of luck to the parents and babies and I hope it proves beneficial in some way to society.

Posted by: am10 | January 28, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

In re to: "There is NO reason to have 8 or 12 viable eggs implanted into a woman and "see" if they take."
Actually, it has a lot to do with the cost of the process and maximizing potential results. Say it costs $10,000... and the chances of a fertilized embryo surviving are 10-15%, this very practice may "make sense".
I don't think they expected them all to survive, and they want to maximize success, statistics (as well as glamour, profits...) Not that this is an excuse, but maybe a lesson to be learned (or again, not learned due to the apparent lack of accountability and actual reward for the irresponsible action)

Posted by: am10 | January 28, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. What a curse!

Posted by: Soguns1 | January 28, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Re: "What a curse!"
The mother chose this for her family. I wouldn't call children a "curse", ever.

Posted by: choirgirl04 | January 28, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous. Why does the US grant individuals the right to have more then then 4 Children! I would bet these people are not wealthy, just like those idiots who have 18 Children. We will be paying for these children either through insurance premiums, unemployment, etc. The US must put restrictions on how large families can be in order for our countrys resources to be used up.

Posted by: Italiaxxx | January 28, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I heard on the new this morning that this woman had SIX other children, another set of twins, and lives with her parents in Southern California.

Why does that make we wonder if she's a bit wacko?

I hope they tied her tubes.

Posted by: RedBird27 | January 29, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Agreed with all who said this is the height of irresponsibility. The 'fertility industry' is not to blame and nor is any one drug.

The ultimate responsibility for the risky act lies with the parents and the doctor (which no one has mentioned) Regardless of which fertility method they were used to conceive it's clear that the doctor did not monitor her during the follicle stimulation stage. If the doctor did monitor them and instructed them to cancel the cycle because her ovaries overreacted and she and her husband still had sex -- they are responsible for their actions along. It's not the big, bad 'evil' fertility industry that's responsible for this. Those parents that their doctor are.

Secondly - there's a difference between IVF and ovarian stimulation with artificial insemination. We can't assume her doctor is responsible -- in fact it seems its clearly the opposite -- but if she was going to a responsible doc they wouldn't put in more than three or four depending on the age and grade of embryos. (yes, they grade the embryos for viability) With ovarian stimulation and AI, the doctor should be monitoring the number of follicles produced every 24 to 48 hours during the cycle. Different people respond to drugs in a unique way so there's no way to know if this was clomid or pergonal or anything else.

Embryo survival rate has more to do with the age and quality of the eggs and the 10 - 15 % quoted by the previous poster is not the case for all women -- and is even low for women over 40.

Responsible fertility practices are encouraging single embryo transfers whenever possible as their is a single, healthy child.

Posted by: danielle514 | January 29, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

This is not a miracle this is a woman who wants attention or is looking for something for free. She is the single mother of 6 kids, she lives with her parents and was on fertility drugs. Now the miracle would be if she could pay for the kids and the expenses all on her own. Maybe the government should give another bailout... oh way its call Welfare.. this mother is a loser lookinf for a free ride.. and what about the complications those innocent babies may have...

Posted by: diva3 | January 30, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

If the children can be raised in a loving home then go for it. I just wonder though........ how does a woman with 6 other children, so obviously no problems having children, access fertility treatments in the first place. Forgive my ignorance, but I thought you had to fulfill criteria in order to be a candidate? If the previous children were as a result of similar treatments, the costs must be astronomical by now. If the family can support themselves then go for it, but if they were already recieveing external support, surely this pregnancy must be viewed as irresponsible.

Posted by: aussiechick | January 30, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

The Doctor who allowed this woman to take the fertility drugs needs to be investigated. Fertility Drugs are for woman who are having problems getting pregnant!!! not for women who are able to produce 6 children. It is obvious this woman was not having fertility issues. It is none of our business how many children a person has as long as they are able to support them without seeking assistance from welfare thru the state or federal government (that would be another issue as we would now be involved in having to pay higher taxes, insurance premiums etc due to this situation) I feel for women who are barren and desire a child of their own, but this is ridculous. The fertility industry has a good product for barren women seeking to have children, but again no insurance company is going to approve the fertility drug for women who are not infertile. There are test they have to perform and submit to the insurance company to have the drug approved for payment by the insurance company. So how did this woman pay for these drugs and or fertility treatment???

Posted by: JRfromTexas | February 3, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

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