I now seem to be the repository for all things “octuplet” since blogging the other day. I was sent an article by Lisa Belkin of the N. Y. Times in which she sounds a lot like me.
exerpt:” In all the conversation since yesterday’s announcement that octuplets had been born in southern California yesterday — the talk of ethics, and lingering disabilities, and selective reduction, and cost of care — the part I kept coming back to is that the mother told her doctors she plans to breastfeed.” (end of exerpt) Full article here
True to my prediction, the press has been sniffing out details whether the mother likes it or not. Even the daily gossip sheets in the U.K. are getting a lot of mileage out of sketchy information that the mother already has 6 other children and lives with her parents.
Many of the comments on my blog post that appeared on nursing digests ran in the direction of “you’re not positive enough about the miracle of the octuplets”. One of my friends who is a respected lactation consultant sent me this note privately:
“Boy, am I with you on this one!
Even at its best, these “induced multiples” tend to happen to older mothers – the kind who have a harder time learning to mother even one. Are any of the fertility multiples in their teens yet? I’d love to see how they’re turning out.
And I’ve wondered if there’s an ethical cap on the number of embryos that can be implanted, and whether that cap has changed as survival has increased.
I once had a client with PCOS whose first baby was the product of fertility drugs. He had been one of twins, but the other one didn’t survive the first half of gestation. The next time around there were three embryos. I really felt for her; she was hoping for a singleton but at the same time didn’t want to hope that two of her children would die. It was a tough time. Then it got tougher. All three survived, so they went into high gear, parenting a 2-3 year old and three premies/babies/now toddlers. They’ve managed… but most people want more than “managing” out of their family life. And of course with “only” three babies there’s no commercial help or money. Just two parents slogging along better than expected with a litter when what they wanted was a baby.
Octuplets to be breastfed, my foot!”