Pleasure Island

There are many, many things that irritate me.  Some I write about, most I don’t. Stupid things like walking down the street can irritate me.  Mouth breathers and people who move their lips while reading irritate me.  I hate it when I can hear people swallow.  Yellow cars, knee high boots with leggings a la Robin Hood, purple nail polish, loud bass in a car next to me at a stop light, singers who get record contracts before they are old enough to drink – all these things send irritated signals to my brain.  You get my drift.

However, this octuplet lady hits that Palin level of pissiness in me.

I’ve always been irritated at the 5,6,7 baby fertility stories.  Most of the time, these couples cannot afford to support this many kids.  “Oops”, they say,”We didn’t expect this?” Really?  And how is it different than the teenager who didn’t think she could get pregnant the first time?  You have to assume: You shoot, You score.  Act responsibly.  These litter moms get community sponsorship and corporate sponsorship alike for situations they and their irresponsible doctors created.

What makes couples who have this many kids in one batch more deserving of couples who have only say, two kids and are struggling to pay the bills, work and care for them?  What about the single working mom of one who needs help with diapers, a functioning car, formula or just plain house cleaning?

Okay. Enter this 33-year-old divorced mother of six between the ages of 2-7.  She has eight frozen embryos left from her earlier fertility treatments.  So being clever, under the guidance of REALLY clever and ethical doctors, she uses all eight in one try because she doesn’t want them destroyed?

There are so many problems with this logic that it’s best that I’m writing because I can’t catch my breath I get so pissed.

1.        No need to destroy the embryos.  I know at least ONE woman right now who would have taken one of those embryos, given it a very nice uterus to grow in and a very wonderful life full of love and happiness.  I know there are at least seven other women who would take one.  If not donate/sell them, let them sit on ice for a while. Way, way less emotionally and financially expensive than 14 kids.

2.       What doctor in their right “First, Do No Harm” mind would implant 8 embryos?  Loki was conceived on my last try before IVF.  One of my limited cycles produced 2 or more follicles that could have resulted in multiple births. My doctor ended the cycle prematurely specifically because of this possibility.  While twins would have been just fine with me (don’t ask Sparky’s opinion), Dr. G was more concerned with the possibility of three or more and health of all of us.  Her goal was to help me have a healthy family and not put any of us at risk?  The doctor who implanted this woman with 8 embryos was obviously not so concerned.  And frankly, that doctor should be held financially responsible as if he/she knocked up this woman the old fashioned way.

3.       How about the 6 other kids?  Ever think of them?  This borders child abuse.  How does a single mom care for 14 kids under the age of 7?  Seriously?  Any moms out there feeling overwhelmed with one or two?  There are limits on day care centers as to the teacher/child ratio.  This woman will need help. She’ll not be able to do it alone.  This ain’t like practicing for that triple axel so she can go to the Olympics.  It must be a team effort and this lady doesn’t have a team.

4.       So, a single, unemployed mom with 6 other kids has 8 babies and gets a new van, book deals and corporate sponsorship.  What if she were gay, employed and financially responsible?  Would GM be jumping to provide her with a van?  Would the Christian anti-choice movement be jumping to defend her reproductive rights or would these same people be condemning her for her “lifestyle”?

5.       Who is absorbing the cost for this?  She’s a Kaiser patient, so the 46 or 49 doctors required to deliver the kids is covered by Kaiser, but later?  Tell me, how is this woman going to support 14 kids?  She’s unemployed and living with her parents.  A sperm donor ensured that there won’t likely be any child support from a partner.  Are we going to be bailing out this woman?  Probably.  Seems to be en vogue to bail out the irresponsible.  Anyone going to help Carol with her kids college tuition?  She did everything right, she saved for her kids, thought ahead, worked hard, but that didn’t stop the economy from devastating those savings accounts. Is she less deserving?  I think not.

How is this woman any different from say an old woman hoarding cats or more appropriately, a Wall Street exec?  With the cat hoarder, they take the cats away and give them better homes because the woman, and it is usually women, is mentally ill.  How many people would scream in defense of this woman if it were suggested that her kids be given to loving families?

This woman and her doctors represent everything that is wrong with America.  America is all about having the freedom to make choices. This freedom is in the bones of every American I know.  But this freedom comes with a price and that price is responsibility.    It’s the consummate greed paired with absolute irresponsibility and complete narcissism that has brought America to her knees and it is these exact qualities that will bring 14 innocent kids, in the public eye no less, to a very difficult childhood with an obviously mentally impaired mother.

And we just watch.  Our failing companies sponsor it, our medical teams enable it, our media encourages it.  America is Pinocchio’s Pleasure Island and we’ve all become jack asses.

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11 thoughts on “Pleasure Island

  1. I honestly haven’t heard people defending this woman and my ear is to the ground in other circles :). Generally, I don’t approve of “reducing”, which is why I obviously think transferring more than you intend to carry to term is ummm. . . ill considered. The prep for frozen embryo transfer is neither expensive nor physically taxing. There is absolutely no justification for transferring so many embryos all at once. NONE.

    Could this transfer have even happened in the States? Are there doctors that are this nuts (read unethical)? At the _minimum_ somebody should have his or her license revoked. Maybe even more than one somebody.

    Thanks for letting me vent Jen – thrilled silly that everything is going so well for you!

  2. A: Kein problemo, A. I needed the vent too, obviously.

    I didn’t even want to touch on the subject of reducing. That is a personal choice and one that should not be governed by any doctor or law.

    It could have been completely avoidable with a transfer of say, two embryos? It worked in the past, obviously. It wasn’t like she had a history of being unable to keep them going.

    Seriously, doctors are trained to notice crazay when approached for procedures that are say, CRAZY. They don’t cut off limbs of people who have body integrity identity disorder.

    Where as I haven’t heard a lot of people in support, the media just keeps the story going and now this woman has hired an agent. If there isn’t some sort of positive spin would the corporate sponsors still be interested?

    And really, I would love a good story of just an average family struggling who got lucky with a new car that they didn’t have to pay taxes on or a single working mom of one who got free diapers until the kid was potty trained or free childcare at a good day care center that eased her mind during the day.

  3. Yep, bugging me since I heard about it. The ones I feel sorry for are all those kids and the insane life they will end up having. (I don’t want to end up paying their therapy bills someday.)

  4. Add me to the list of people who think this was clearly malpractice. In what world does a doctor agree to impregnante the single mother of six with eight embryos? And what mother would disregard the normal, everyday needs of the six living breathing kids she has? And let’s just continue to encourage this irresponsibility through media attention and corporate bandwagon jumping. Just because something is possible does not mean that it should be done. Your expressed my horror so wewll.

    Btw, if you were related to my husband’s family, I would have already made my way to Germany to crash on your couch 🙂 Glad to know I am not the only one with a crazy family.

  5. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/22/AR2009012203995.html

    I probably shouldn’t give you a link to this article, but compare Ms Octuplets to this woman from Sudan. She gave birth to quintuplets in Maryland–no IVF, it just happened and she went into labor early while visiting family. Her husband is a military liaison now stuck in Tanzania and she has minimal money and support.

    While that twit in California will undoubtedly get all kinds of help and money because of this incredibly unusual (and incredibly stupid) act of procreation, this woman, who didn’t PLAN on having 2 babies, never mind 5, is struggling to care for and feed her children. And somehow after the initial publicity, most of the help has drifted away. I guess 5 little African babies just don’t sell diapers and such or match up the cute to the point of vomiting life of “Jon and Kate Plus 8”
    (Hey, do you think they really used to call themselves Jonathan and Katherine and use the names because they rhyme for TV?)

    And you’ve got to wonder how much of that show and that equally nausea inducing “17 Kids and Counting” that woman in California was watching.

    I generally have nothing but praise for Kaiser–they’ve been my health care provider for 20 years. But any doctor involved in allowing that woman to do this should be fired and lose their license!!

  6. I agree with everything you’ve said here, and think that the doctor who performed the IV should be held financially responsible for child support and have his/her medical license revoked. I really, really hope this woman doesn’t get a tv show.

  7. Did you mean 4 kgs? I’m only asking cause my baby was 4.25kgs at birth and i didn’t have gestational diabetes. 4 pounds is just below 2 kgs so wouldn’t be considered too big for a baby who is 30 weeks. All the best with the birth. Children are a blessing.

  8. Yikes. I hadn’t kept up on this story. When I last heard, she’d kept the details ‘private’ and I thought there was some reference to a husband on tour in a Iraq? Great to know that the kids will be brought up in the same crazed household that produced their mother. All that can come out now to make this story better would be that Dad was the sperm donor. This kind of shite (and ginormous breast implants) is what makes me have to explain / apologize for California. Those poor kids.

  9. Egads…I heard about this story too and was HORRIFIED. You definitely hit the nail on the head with your post. Did you read about her appearance on the Today show? If you haven’t seen it, don’t read it unless you want to write another ranting post!

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