Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Octuplets Drama, My Take

Strangely, or maybe not strangely, I have been asked repeatedly about my opinion of this woman and her kiddos. I think it is sort of funny that my having triplets makes me an authority on all things multiples. Not really, frankly I think it is just something people want to gossip about, which leads me to blog on this subject.

A fellow triplet mommy said the following and I laughed out loud: "It is a vagina, not a clown car!" I seriously hooted at that description. She is very funny. You can read her blog here. I understand a goodhearted chuckle at odd circumstances. People say goofy stuff to me all of the time and I only have triplets. For the most part though, people have been kind, some ignorant and as a result rude, but rarely intentionally hateful.

I watched her interview on Dateline last night with Brandon. Though I had sort of formed an opinion on this issue prior to seeing the interview, watching her on T.V. really sealed it for me.

My question is WHY ARE PEOPLE SO ANXIOUS TO CRUCIFY THIS WOMAN? Why do we need to rip another human being limb from limb just because her life looks different from ours? You disagree with her choices? Ok. All I ask is just keep it civil or keep it to yourself. This is not China (thank God), and we are allowed to have as many children as we choose.

Would I choose to have 14 kids? No, I don't think so. But neither did she. After several successful IVF cycles where 6 embyos were implanted and 1 or 2 children were conceived, she did what MANY Christians do and chose to use the remaining embryos to try for 1 more child. We (Brandon and I) were fortunate that we did not have to go through IVF to conceive, but have friends who did. They made a commitment that no matter how many embryos were created, they would try for pregnancy with all of them because they believe that life begins at conception, and could not stand the thought of destroying their babies, or of offering for adoption their childrens' biological siblings (embryos) to strangers.

So back to the octuplet mom. There was nothing in her reproductive past to suggest that more than 2 would take. So, surprise, all of them do take, and again, she chooses life. Who is in this woman's corner as she faces a critical world, with newscasters, talking heads, and shockjocks leading the crusade against her? Have the Christians rallied behind her? Nope. What about those folks who are advocates for reproductive choice? No, again. Feminists? Nope. What about other moms? Again, No. How about other moms of high order multiples? No. High profile parents of large families? John & Kate Goslin or the Duggers...Silence. No one. No one is coming to her defense. No one is saying "Back off. This is a person here. And there are 8 healthy babies here. A complete miracle. " Instead, she is the topic of talk show fodder, blogger ridicule, and the target of mommy chat boards in America. Honestly, I don't get it.

I see that she is not married, and I understand that problem from a Christian perspective, but I don't think that is the heart of the issue at all. I think that is the excuse people are hiding behind as they lob hateful bombs at her. Pretending to take the high ground by saying you worry about someone's wellbeing or a child's safety, and thereby justifying hateful behavior is not the same in spirit or fact as actually being concerned for her. If you are concerned about your friend, you comfort or console. You pray. You do an assortment of things, but none of those things are being done for this young mom.

I know. My perspective is probably contrary to everyone reading this, but let me try to put a different perspective on it for you. Brandon and I desperately wanted children. Fortunately with some assistance, we conceived 3 beautiful babies. Thank God for them. We hope at some point to have another child, maybe 2. Yes, I know we are crazy. But here's the thing. What if I get pregnant with 3 again? (GOD HELP ME) We will do everything in our power to prevent that, but if it did happen, I don't want to be on the news. Before you say that it is different because we have jobs and are married, is that really why she is being ripped apart? Or is there something else at the core? I honestly don't know what has spawned such hatred for a woman that none of us knows personally, but I for one, find it sad and tragic, not for her but for everyone who ridicules her. Don't we see that what we are saying about her is really more telling about us?

So here it is, my opinion on the whole darn thing. She is a person with a heart, a soul, and feelings just like you and me. I personally think it is our job to be kind. He who is without fault can start throwing stones, but for the rest of us, maybe the best course is prayer and silence. :)


Sunny said...

I also would like to point out that from the interview, she said that she worked double and triple shifts to pay for the IVF treatments herself. She said that she had saved enough to pay for all of the treatments herself!!! That is a lot of determination.

Yes, she was injured and lived off of disability and student loans. We lived off student loans to help get by while I was in school. She is getting her MASTERS degree and plans to have a career once she is done.

When Ann Curry questioned her about welfare...she said that she is not on welfare but does recieve food stamps. One thing she said that surprised me is this "it is temporary. i look forward to the day when we do not have to have assistance."!!!

What about all the people on welfare that have kids to get more money? Why do we not crucify them? Working in Banking, I have seen many times when a mother would come in on the 1st and 3rd to draw all the money out of the accounts that were set up for the children. The children were not in designer clothes or even good clothes, but the mother drove a brand new Cadillac Escalade with chrome rims...hmmm...who is benefitting there?

This woman impressed me and I for one would support her and say good for you. I agree with Sunny, how is this any different from the Gosselins or the Duggars that have large families? Have we forgotten that large families used to be the norm?

i could go on, but i will stop.


Jon and Melissa said...

my beef is she is unemployed and has no income to support these kids by herself. The duggars and gosselins work and pay their bills. I am not dissing her b/c she is on food stamps but hwat happens when they run out. It does not sound like she is getting a job anytime soon. I am not dising her b/c she is single it is the fact she has no income and she willing choose to bring more into this world under that circumstance. Plus she says she wants to go back to work. Great so how you going afford childcare for 14 kids. BTW what kind of vechile is she going to drive in order to get all these kids to daycare. A bus! BTW you did convict me a bit. But my beef is no income. If she just lost her job I would not have a beef it is she does not work and is not working. btw she gets disability for a speech delayed kid. So when did that become a disability where you get $$. If so where do I get in that line. I'll take some free $$ since Easton was considered speech delayed.....

Liz said...

I understand where you are coming from. I don't think people need to ridicule her because like you said she is a person just like you and I. However, I disagree with you in terms of her reproductive history as rationale for transferring 6 embryos. She had several successful IVF's. That alone is a indicator that to put back 6 embryos is a HUGE risk especially given her age. I am 31 years old and it took 5 IVF's for me to get pregnant and BAM I ended up with triplets. My doctor was VERY hesitant to put back more than 2 and I begged him to do three. I did not have a successful history at all yet he knew that putting back more embryos did not increase my chance of a successful pregnancy it only increased my risk of having multiples. It is too soon to say that her octuplets are "healthy" too. I really hope that they are and that she and her family can move on from this media frenzy and live their lives but I do think that she made some bad decisions but don't we all at times???