Dear Oprah and Diane: Please Mute the Abuser

01.31.09

Dear Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer,

I implore you both to refrain from giving Nadya Suleman a bigger voice.

The woman is clearly deranged, she’s created 14 new people and subjected them to gross neglect from the moment of conception. Rather than exalt this woman, and give her the attention she so desperately craves, please ignore her. Feeding her illness is akin to telling an anorectic she’s plumped up a little.

Perhaps instead you’ll parade medical ethicists, malpractice attorneys and mothers of multiples in front of the screen.

I promise, we’ll still tune in (I actually use my DVR), and ladies, we’ll talk about you.

And if you listen to my plea, I’ll talk about you nicely.

Warm Regards,

Jessica Gottlieb

Octuplets: The Babies California Will Caretake

01.30.09

In the earliest months of 1998 I was a newlywed woman with one thing on her mind. I wanted a baby. It wasn’t because I felt particularly prepared for motherhood, it wasn’t because I had a big home or a husband with a great income. It was because I was madly in love my husband and I longed to start a family with him.

A family.

Not a baby, but a family. You see, much like puppies and kittens, they’re cute and irresistible, but they will in fact grow up and become adults. In order to have my children I first got married, treated my body well with a great diet and exercise, and I set up my home. I made sure that I had the time and energy to care for my children. We have two children.

I won’t have any more children.

Telling people that I won’t have another child makes me ill. I have to hold back tears and pretend like it’s not terribly disappointing. The reality is that I’m a 38 year old woman, children are expensive and I wouldn’t abort a baby if an amnio revealed they were somehow impaired.

I understand the decision to keep eight babies. I couldn’t selectively abort either.


For that reason, and for that reason alone, I am not a candidate for fertility treatments. I have two breasts with one nipple each, this body is meant to carry one child, perhaps two, it’s a stretch for nature to give us triplets, but it’s an unthinkable absurdity to have eight children in one human womb.

First, do no harm.

Based on media reports there is a single mother who is bankrupt, living in a home that is already overcrowded with six children under the age of seven and no father in sight. There are eight more children who will hopefully come home from the hospital in a month, and have eight sets of unique needs. The Grandfather is returning to Iraq to earn more money.

In the City of Los Angeles a daycare provider would need to a four to one ratio to care for the infants. From the moment of birth, these children will fall under the umbrella of neglect.

I expect that within two years (most likely sooner) the children will be knocking on the door of the local resource center to get physical therapies, speech therapies, behavioral therapies and more. I wouldn’t deny these babies services to which they are entitled. These are million dollar babies, each of them, and it’s unconscionable. It’s startling to me that an MD doesn’t know better, perhaps their malpractice insurance can take care of some fraction of the medical bills these eight people are creating.

I would like to meet the physician who decided that a single woman with six small children and no apparent resources needed more.

The mother is a fool who will gobble up California’s resources, and hopefully do only minimal damage to the lives she created. I pity her, and I worry for her children.

The physician is a failure on every level, I’d like to see him/her named.