The Wild Story Of ‘Octomom’ Nadya Suleman—And Where She Is Today
You'll never guess who she took on in a boxing match!
In 2009, a California woman named Nadya Suleman gave birth to a set of octuplets. She quickly became known as “Octomom.” When people discovered she was a single mother who already had eight other children and no job, tempers flared.
But what has happened to Octomom and her brood since then?
Born Natalie Doud
Natalie Denise Doud was born on July 11, 1975, in Fullerton, California. Natalie was the only child of Ed Doud and Angela Suleman, who later divorced. She graduated from Nogales High School in La Puente, California, in 1993.
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Happy Father’s Day to my dad “Eddie” (a nickname he adopted to sound more American since emigrating from Jerusalem, Palestine fifty years ago). My dad was a chronic alcoholic for over 40 years, until a tragic alcohol related accident rendered him paralyzed from the neck down, unable to breathe on his own. Had my eldest son and I not been present to administer CPR, my dad would not be with us today (he will need subacute care for the remainder of his life). My dad is incredibly fortunate that although he is quadriplegic, he is more lucid and cognizant in his mind than he has been throughout all the years of his self-destructive numbing with chemicals. The kids and I love you with all our hearts grandpa. ❤️ Happy Father’s Day to all you loving, devoted, hard working dads out there. You are special and appreciated. #HappyFathersDay
Trying To Start A Family
Natalie married a produce manager named Marcos Gutierrez in 1996. The couple planned to start a family. However, she suffered three miscarriages before she and her husband separated and ultimately divorced. She took to babying her best friend’s daughter.
Babies On Disability
In 1999, Natalie suffered a back injury while working in a state mental hospital. Over time, she collected more than $165,000 in disability payments. This money helped pay for in-vitro fertilization treatments for the now-single woman.
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Found this old photo of me and one of my dearest friends Veronica. I had given birth to JJ only weeks prior and we were excited to get out without kids. Now her little baby (my first baby Selina) is about to have her own baby! This reminds me to cherish every moment with those who matter. #Memories #MyFriendsAreMyFamily #tbt #2003 ❤️
Six For Five
Natalie’s first five rounds of IVF resulted in six children. Elijah came first, followed by Amerah a year later. Joshua was born two years after Amerah. Aiden was born two years after Joshua. Twins Calyssa and Caleb completed the family of seven.
A Final Round
When the twins were only toddlers, Natalie decided to try again. She said this was because she still had some frozen embryos.
“There’s some left,” she told Ann Curry in a 2009 Dateline interview. “And, you know what, I knew in my mind that if it hadn’t worked, I’m done. Doesn’t work, it’s not meant. And I’m gonna let go and move on. So, the last try: (laugh) yeah, it worked. It worked a little too well.”
They Said Seven
The embryos certainly took. Her sixth round of in-vitro fertilization treatments resulted in more than twins. Doctors said she was carrying seven babies (yes, seven, more on this later).
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Calyssa found this pic today and asked if she was in my belly with Caleb here. I was only three WEEKS (nearly one month) pregnant with the little 8! I started showing by 3 days 😳…#tbt #LookingLikeNineMonths #AidanPlayingWithMyBigBelly #PleaseExcuseTheOutdatedOverlyTweezedBrows 🙈
Babies Born Early
Now going by the name Nadya Suleman, she threw out her back and was put on bed rest at 23 weeks pregnant. Soon, doctors discovered one of the babies was no longer growing and decided it was time to deliver them. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks before their due date.
Number Eight Was A Shocker
Suleman gave birth to six boys and two girls. The eighth baby surprised even the doctors. She named the babies Noah, Jonah, Jeremiah, Josiah, Isaiah, Maliyah, Makai and Nariyah.
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Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariyah, Jeremiah, Josiah, Jonah, and Makai, you taught me more about gratitude, forgiveness, patience, and unconditional love than I could have hoped to learn in a lifetime. You are all the strongest, most loving, compassionate, and selfless human beings I have ever known. God blessed me plentifully by placing you all in my life, my loves, my angels. I love you so so so much. ❤️💜💙💚💛❤️💗💜…#happyseventhbirthday #angelsfromheaven #mylife #mybabies
The octuplets all share the middle name Angel. All 14 children have the surname of Solomon. Suleman has declined to state who their father is.
The Father Is Not Involved
Suleman says that all 14 children are full siblings.
“All the kids are from the exact same father,” she told Radar Online.
However, she said he was not pleased to discover she had octuplets after having already given birth to six other children.
She Always Wanted A Huge Family
Having several children was a lifelong dream.
“That was always a dream of mine, to have a large family, a huge family,” Suleman told Ann Curry in her 2009 Dateline interview, “and — I just longed for connections and attachments with another person that I … I really lacked, I believe, growing up.”
Nadya’s Doctor Testifies
In 2010, fertility specialist Dr. Michael Kamrava testified that he had implanted 12 embryos at Suleman’s final appointment with him. The physician stated that he was apprehensive, but that Suleman had been adamant.
“She just wouldn’t accept doing anything else with those embryos,” testified Kamrava.
The Specialist Lost His License
His apprehension was not enough to get Kamrava off the hook. The California Medical Board ruled that the doctor committed gross negligence. The Beverly Hills doctor lost his medical license.
Finding Ways To Support 14
That same year, Suleman posed in a bikini for the cover of Star Magazine. She went on to auction off the swimsuit. When she appeared on “The View,” Barbara Walters asked her about it.
“The main reason is for revenue,” Suleman told the journalist, “and I’m open and honest about that.”
The Worries Were Constant
Walters proceeded to ask about money. She wondered how Suleman would support 14 children once the money from interviews stopped coming.
“Every hour of the day, 24 hours a day,” Suleman told Walters, “I contemplate how I am going to do this.”
Paid By PETA
She earned some quick cash as a PETA spokesperson. In 2010, the activist organization paid her $5,000 to hang a sign on her door. The sign read, “Don’t Let Your Dog or Cat Become an Octomom. Always Spay or Neuter.”
A Big Dose Of Mom Guilt
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Suleman admitted she suffered guilt because she could not possibly meet all of her children’s needs.
“I live every single day, every hour of the day, with a tremendous amount of guilt,” she told Winfrey. “And I’ll live with this forever. But all I can do now is keep on going, keep moving.”
Never Gonna Give Them Up
Suleman went on to say how challenging the situation was. Winfrey asked Suleman if she had or would ever consider placing any of her children with a foster or adoptive family so they could be better cared for. Suleman said she would die first.
Finding ‘Me Time’
Around the same time, Suleman engaged in another interview that sparked controversy. TMZ released an audio tape of the interview in which she stated that it had been difficult to bond with her babies. She also admitted to eating dinner in the bathroom to be alone.
In November 2011, she earned more money in a boxing match. The 36-year-old mother faced Amy Fisher, known as the “Long Island Lolita.”
Round Three For Charity
Both women wore comical, oversized gloves in the ring. The crowd was largely rooting for Suleman, who won the match in the third round. She stated that proceeds would go to charity, likely one associated with autism, as one of her children is on the autism spectrum.
Foray Into Adult Entertainment
Although she had sworn to Oprah that she wouldn’t do porn, even if “they offered $100 million,” Suleman apparently changed her mind. In 2012, she starred in an adult film.
Suleman told TMZ, “Any job I’m fortunate enough to get is for the kids.”
Losing The Family Home
Her decision to be in a pornographic film came after the family’s home went into foreclosure. She had filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and hoped to use the money she earned to buy a house.
“I’m not supposed to talk about when or where we’re moving, but I’d love to find a safe, big house for my children,” she told the Daily News.
Debating Michael Lohan
Suleman’s next gig was as a work-at-home mother who was literally paid to argue. She worked as a professional debater for a site called Deeyoon.com. The company paid her several thousand dollars to debate anyone who wanted to argue about anything for 90 minutes, two times each week. Lohan (father of Lindsay) was one of her sparring partners.
Fighting Criminal Charges
In 2014, Suleman found herself fighting charges of welfare fraud. Four criminal charges were brought against her. Deputy District Attorney William Clark with the public assistance fraud division filed the complaint, alleging that she had failed to report income she made as a topless dancer and adult film actress.
Probation And Community Service
Suleman faced up to six years and four months in prison if convicted for the crimes. She settled the case by repaying $26,000. She also had to serve two years’ probation and work 200 hours of community service.
Loss Of Emotional Support
In 2014, Suleman’s mother passed away from ovarian cancer. A year later, her father suffered a serious fall. He is now paralyzed.
So Many Schools
All of the children attend school now. However, few of them attend the same school, it would seem. In a recent Instagram post, she said that she has six drop-offs and pickups every day.
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Any other parents exceptionally stressed and overwhelmed the first week back to school? 😩 I must admit six (yes I said six!) drop offs and pick ups monopolize most of my day, as I am an official bus driver (but wouldn’t have it any other way lol). Per usual, none of the older kids want anything to do with taking a picture, as much as I begged! 😂#BackToSchool #BackToStressAndNoSleepingIn 😝
The Family Of 14 Today
The octuplets turned nine in 2018. Suleman’s oldest children are teenagers. The family lives in a three-bedroom townhome in California.
Back To Natalie
Suleman has gone back to being known as Natalie. She began working as a counselor and says she has worked to put the “Octomom” persona behind her.
“I admit that I made many mistakes in my life, and that I’m imperfect,” she told Extra. “I make mistakes constantly. But my children were not a mistake — they were meant to be here.”