In 2009, the world followed closely as one of the greatest miracles of life was unfolding in front of their eyes – birth. This was no ordinary birth though. While we always get excited when we see a cute stroller with twins or even triplets, this was not the case of a woman giving birth to two, or even three babies. Octomom, like her given name suggests, begat eight separate children at once.
Although most people tuned-in mostly to see the spectacle of a pregnant woman carrying 8 babies, which indeed was something of a miracle, some of us were genuinely intrigued by the unique life story and struggles of Nadya Suleman, known later to the world as Octomom. In this article, we’re going to reveal her story from the beginning and share the incredible details you’ve never been shown in mainstream media. And we’ll also take a look at what Nadya and her family are up in 2019!
The young Nadya Suleman lived a life that was lacking the loving, emotional connection she was seeking. Already in her childhood, she resolved to one day start her own family and give them the love and warmth that she lacked when she was a child. Although she was interested in many things, starting a family was her main goal.
People often like to use the famous phrase “Be careful what you wish for”. But in this case, nothing could have prepared the young Nadya Suleman for what she was about to experience. When she sought out to create her own family, she had no idea that the entire world would be watching. Getting pregnant was the start of something magical for her that would prove to be a true miracle of life, but also a big controversy.
High School Goals
It wasn’t long after finishing high-school that Nadya Suleman was ready to begin her journey of becoming a mother. Most people would argue that it may be best to wait until you’re a lot older and wiser, but the young Suleman had already made up her mind - becoming a mother was her top priority.
While most girls her age think of college and career, she knew that for her, building a family, creating a sense of connection and having someone to look after would be far more meaningful than any kind of degree. So when Nadya would go out and meet a guy, it wasn’t just for fun. The goal was clear - she was looking for someone who would fit her criteria, someone to be the man that she would end up raising a family with.
First Spark of Love
A beautiful and talented woman like Nadya Suleman was bound to find a few suitors, but there was one guy that stood out among the pack, he was the produce manager in a nearby store, and his name was Marcos Gutierrez. Nadya found herself quickly falling in love with him and the two began dating.
It was important for Nadya to make her priorities and goals clear from the beginning. For her, having kids was the biggest priority and she was happy to know that Marcos also wanted the same. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned, and Nadya was about to get a very big and dangerous surprise that would change her life forever.
The loving couple got married that year and was looking forward to having kids and starting a family. Not one to neglect her financial responsibilities and career aspirations, Nadya took the time to study at Mt. San Antonio College and earned a degree that allowed her to work as a psychiatric technician at the Metropolitan State Hospital. This was no ordinary hospital though, as it was a mental institute for troubled patients with mental health issues suffering from anything between depression to schizophrenia.
Working at a mental health institute is far from the world’s most secure job. Imagine being inside a securely locked building on a day-to-day basis with people who have mental issues that, while usually harmless, could sometimes result in very dangerous situations. Despite the risks, helping people was an important value for Nadya, but she would soon come to learn that sometimes risky environments lead to bad results.
On what seemed to be a regular day on September 18, 1999, a group of 20 mental patients began a riot at the mental health institute where Nadya was working. She was right in the middle of a full-blown riot, and chaos and violence ensued. She tried to calm the waters and defuse the situation, but ended up getting the attention of the wrong person. Either intentionally or accidentally, Nadia got hurt badly by one of the rioting mental health patients, who hurled a table that hit her right in her lower back.
It was immediately clear that Nadya wasn’t just in pain, she was injured. She was quickly taken to the hospital and found that she had suffered a herniated disk injury. Nadya was recovering and couldn’t work for the time, so she filed for workers’ compensation benefits, which netted her almost $200,000. Although the money was enough to help her get-by for the time being, there was something much more important on her mind than the injury. She was afraid the injury had hurt her ability to have children.
Dream at Risk
The injury that Nadya had suffered caused her much physical and emotional pain, from having to recover and heal herself, to the trauma of being assaulted by someone she thought she could trust.
Recovery wasn’t an easy thing for Nadya. Not being able to work caused her to feel confused and abandoned. But her biggest challenge was the scary thought that she might not be able to get pregnant.
Hardships and Disappointments
The couple did everything they could in order to get pregnant, but for some reason, Nadya was still unable to conceive. Things were looking quite bleak for the recently married couple, so they went to several doctors to get their opinions and recommendations. Each doctor offered a different approach to help Nadya get pregnant, but no matter what they tried - nothing seemed to be working. Every day her morale got lower; Nadya was not happy at all.
Nadya’s disappointment and frustration began to weigh heavily on her and she found herself becoming very depressed. Just when things looked like they couldn’t get any worse, the couple was about to hit true rock bottom. It took a long time, but eventually, the couple realized that what they feared most was happening. It seems that Marcos and Nadya's problems were caused by the fact that Suleman was sterile and she would not be able to conceive.
For Nadya, discovering she was sterile was not the end of the road. She wasn’t going to give up, no matter what. After all, this was her biggest dream! The persistent wife immediately began searching for alternative methods of conception. Unfortunately, her husband had different opinions about alternative conception, and their differences led to arguments that began to draw them apart.
Nadya told Marcos that she wanted to try getting pregnant through in vitro fertilization, a process where eggs are collected from the woman's ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. The fertilized egg or eggs are then placed back in the uterus, hopefully, allowing the woman to get pregnant. The reluctant husband was not happy about this idea at all and told Nadia that if she were to go through with the procedure, he would divorce her.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Poor Nadya was left with the hardest decision of her life. She had to choose between her husband and pursuing her lifelong goal of having children, which would mean the end of her marriage. The brave woman decided to follow her heart and chose to do the procedure in spite of her husband’s protest.
In the year 2000, Nadya finally followed through on her decision despite her grief over the potential loss of the couples’ relationship. Eventually, Marcus and Nadya got divorced, and while she was sad about this chapter of her life ending, she could feel a strong sense of excitement building up for what was waiting for her. Even though she was absolutely sure that things would end up in her favor, the path ahead was still a very challenging one.
A Complicated Procedure
There were three major obstacles stopping Nadya in her journey to become a mother. The first and most obvious obstacle was that the in vitro fertilization procedure doesn’t have a 100% success rate, and might not work at all. Why was this a problem? Partly because of the second obstacle. The second problem that Nadya was facing, was the high cost of the procedure. It would cost her around $15,000 just for one round of the procedure, but she wasn’t going to let the financial burden stop her from getting what she always wanted. The main issue for Nadya was actually the third problem.
Most medical experts suggest taking several eggs from the woman in order to increase the chance of one of them getting fertilized. The increased cost of this wasn’t what scared Nadya. Her main concern with taking multiple eggs was that there was another risk that usually causes potential future moms a lot of stress and uncertainty. What was that risk? And was she willing to take it?
Taking the Risk
The risk that Nadya Suleman had to take into account before starting the procedure, was that the more eggs the doctor would take to attempt fertilization, the more fertilized eggs she could potentially end up with. This means that there was a very real chance that Nadya could end up with more than one child, which is something that would frighten most future mothers.
After so many years of dreaming about the day that she would finally have her own children, the idea of accidentally having more than one baby didn’t scare the brave young woman at all. In fact, thought Nadya, the more the merrier, right? But what she didn’t anticipate, was just how many kids this procedure would cause her to end up with.
Welcome, Baby Elijah!
For someone who’s looking to have kids and wants as many kids as fast as possible, the idea that you may accidentally end up with more than one child due to the procedure doesn’t seem too scary. And sure enough, it didn’t phase Nadya at all. She was happy to give as many eggs as she possibly could for the fertilization procedure, and it ended up paying off brilliantly! Within a very short time, she had managed to get herself pregnant and had her first child.
For Nadya, giving birth to her first child, Elijah, in 2001, was just the beginning of her journey towards creating a loving family. In her mind, she was just getting started. The procedure was a massive success and her appetite for the love and happiness she got from raising her baby only grew stronger. She decided to use the eggs from the procedure to try and get herself pregnant once again.
A Growing Family
After her first child was born, Nadya didn’t wait a single moment before becoming pregnant again. She had another child the following year, this time a daughter, and she named her Amerah. The new mother of two was so happy, that she immediately went ahead to try for even more babies. Her next pregnancy caused her to give birth to twins! Now that's a handful, right? Well, not for Nadya, she then had two more pregnancies, resulting in a total of 6 children in just a few years. She could not have been happier.
Most people would consider 6 kids to be quite a lot, and even religious families that pride themselves on having as many kids as possible usually decide to stop there. For Nadya though, having 6 kids to take care of just gave her even more motivation to keep having babies. She couldn’t wait to get pregnant again. This motivation, plus an ethical decision she chose to make, ended up putting her in the international spotlight.
When Nadya was left with 6 frozen eggs, she decided it was time to step things up a notch. While most parents would already be overwhelmed by having 6 children, especially as a single mother, Nadya’s love for kids only motivated her to continue her journey of creating more and more babies. She talked to Dr. Michael Kamrava, who was responsible for all her previous procedures, and asked for another in vitro fertilization.
Perhaps because she was a staunch pro-life advocate, or perhaps because she just wanted a lot more kids, Nadya was adamant that she wanted to use all the eggs this time and not just one or two. This may sound strange enough to imagine, but wait until you hear what her next incredible decision was.
When Nadya asked Dr. Michael Kamrava to inject her with all six of the single mother’s fertilized eggs, she wasn’t sure whether this would be a good idea or not. The recommended amount of eggs to be injected at one time is just 2. This means that what Nadya was asking Dr. Kamrava to do, was to inject 3 times more eggs than the guidelines recommended. Obviously, this would cause a chance that Nadya would be pregnant with up to 6 babies at once, but this didn’t phase her one bit.
For some reason that only Nadya will be able to tell, she asked her doctor to inject her with not only 6 of her frozen eggs - but to use a total of 12 eggs at once! This was absolutely unheard of and nobody had ever even considered attempting it. Having 12 eggs injected into the single mother, meant that there was a chance that she would have 12 babies at the same time.
Pregnant With Eight
The procedure was a success. Despite hesitations, Dr. Michael Kamrava managed to implant 12 eggs inside Nadya Suleman, and she was as happy as anyone can be. You can imagine how excited the single mother of six was when she found out that she was now pregnant with 8 embryos at the same time. This did pose a matter of concern though, was she even able to physically bear that many children at once?
So far, Nadya had 6 kids from 5 different births. The most babies she had ever carried at once was 2, from being pregnant with twins. Concerns began to arise regarding her health and physical ability to give birth to 8 separate babies at the same time. There was no precedent for this, she was the first woman in history to be in this situation. Her pregnancy ended up leading to far more than just physical strain, as she would soon become a person of national attention.
When the media caught on to the story of the woman who got herself pregnant with 8 babies simultaneously, it was just a matter of time before Nadya Suleman became a national sensation. The whole story went viral quickly and everyone was talking about her. From newspapers to YouTube channels, everyone was talking about the “Octomom”. The unique and sticky nickname that the media gave Nadya was likely one of the reasons that the story became so viral in the first place.
When your friend tells you about a woman who’s bearing 8 kids and refers to her as the “Octomom”, you just have to see what it’s about. Unfortunately for Nadya, in addition to the physical hardships of carrying 8 babies, the media’s attention also brought along with it a lot of criticism and pressure, which led to some very negative results.
The entire world got a chance to celebrate with Nadya Suleman when it was revealed that the birth was completed successfully and that all 8 of her babies came out healthy. This was a huge relief to Nadya and frankly, to the whole world. We can’t imagine how scared moms worldwide must have been in imagining the physical labor that it would take to make this accomplishment happen.
The Octomom did it, and hers were the first-ever octuplets to have been born and survive past the first week. She could not have been happier and was excited to finally get to introduce her 6 existing kids to their 8 new brothers and sisters. The single mother’s family had just grown from 7 to 15 people overnight. Now, the questions started to pour in from the media and the medical community.
The amazing story of how 8 kids were born in one pregnancy captivated not just the media, but also the medical community. It wasn’t yet known that Dr. Michael Kamrava had done the in vitro fertilization procedure. Nadya was approached relentlessly by journalists, fans and medical professionals who all wanted to know more about her and her story. The main questions that were on everyone’s minds stemmed from the fact that nobody knew anything about the case.
Medical professionals all across the world were asking Nadya, how she was able to give birth to, let alone conceive, 8 children? And where is the father? And how did she get pregnant with so many kids in the first place? Once the details of the story began to emerge, people were even more interested in the single mother and her 14 children. This led her to receive some unexpected benefits.
From the time the media found out about her pregnancy, Nadya had become what’s known as an “overnight celeb”. She would get approached by paparazzi, get interviewed, videotaped and covered in just about every medium possible from newspapers to online videos. Everyone wanted to get a piece of the action and there was a lot of speculation surrounding her story, which was still a mystery at the time. The new mother of 14 knew she would have to make ends meet and somehow feed a family of 14 kids while being the only parent and provider, so she did what she had to do.
Nadya hired a professional public relations team to help her control the narrative and capitalize on the massive media attention she was getting. The woman obviously didn’t have a product or a service to sell and was busy just taking care of 6 kids and 8 newborn babies. She knew she had to find ways to monetize her newfound fame. Unfortunately, with fame also comes criticism, and she received plenty of it, in fact, it proved to be a lot more than she ever expected.
The Dark Side of Fame
Although her original goal was to have kids for the love of family and connection, Nadya’s persona of Octomom began to take over her life. She got an insane amount of media attention and was in the spotlight 24/7. This also dragged much speculation and criticism regarding her true motivations. Many people speculated that Nadya’s original goal was to become famous and that this was just a publicity stunt meant to put her in the limelight.
If that wasn’t bad enough, even the love and empathy she got from so many people began to fade, and with it came a slew of judgments about her merits. She would often get criticized and stopped in the middle of the street, get cast as an irresponsible mother and an example of what’s wrong with American culture. Her pregnancy also sparked a debate about government programs and assistance.
As the weight of her vast media presence kept piling on, Nadya Suleman began to get crushed and became desperate to escape the never-ending amount of attention, scrutiny, and criticism she received on a daily basis. She knew that she had to do something drastic if she wanted to stop the insane speculation that caused the media frenzy to continue indefinitely. She had to tell the truth about her story and what she was going through.
The single mother of 14, and now international celebrity sensation, decided to formally get interviewed by People magazine and answer some tough questions. When asked about the public’s image caused by her “Octomom” persona, she revealed personal details about her life and who she is behind the character. “I don’t get much sleep, about two or three hours a night,” she said. “But I’m continuing to move forward with my life and trying to be the best mother I can be.” Despite her opening up and trying to reclaim some sanity in the situation, her interviews just led to even more skepticism and critique of her.
Nadya was stuck in a constant battle between two equally challenging sides. On the one hand, there was her media personality and attention, which helped her financially and allowed her to support her 14 children, but led to high degrees of stress and anxiety and also took away time from her family. On the other hand, while withdrawing from the media would decrease the negativity and stress in her life, it also meant that she would struggle financially and have to feed 15 mouths all by herself.
The weight of her problems kept getting bigger and bigger. Nadya was sleeping less and could barely function at this point. She felt that she had no other option than to turn to government assistant and welfare programs. This only ended up increasing the criticism and pressure from the public even more. Things got so bad that people were reporting her to child services and attempting to take her kids away from her. What’s scary is that it almost happened.
All the negativity and heat surrounding Nadya’s story caused many people to speculate whether or not the single mother of 14 was somehow mistreating her children. Everything she did was scrutinized, from going to the supermarket to going with her kids to a playground. Eventually, this caused Child Protective Services to step in and check for themselves whether anything foul was happening behind closed doors.
Nadya and her children were investigated, and her house was carefully searched, but no evidence of any wrongdoing was found, and her house was deemed perfectly safe for her 14 children to live in. Sadly for Nadya, she would come to find out that despite being exonerated in the eyes of the government, her real troubles were just beginning.
Just when Nadya thought that things were getting better for her, she was asked by her landlord to leave the apartment she and her kids were living in due to allegedly being in breach of her rent contract. At first, Nadya was shocked and looked for every way to avoid having to leave the house that she and her 14 kids called home, but when the landlord began going to the media in order to publicize the event and force her out, she had to relent and leave her home.
This was extremely scary for Nadya. Imagine having 14 kids and almost no income, and suddenly being evicted from the one place that you call “home”; the one place that gives you and your kids a feeling of security. Due to this troubling situation, Nadya was forced to take even more drastic measures in order to capitalize on her fame and do whatever it took to make ends meet.
The terrified mother knew she had to find a way to provide for her massive family and give them a home. The landlord would not allow her to stay and it seemed her options were starting to run out. If the single mother of 14 wanted to be able to feed and care for her children, she would have to use the Octomom persona that the media created for her and leverage it to get the income she so desperately needed.
The sensational Octomom had to do things she would end up regretting. Nadya Suleman tried everything from films, to music videos and even some not safe for work kind of activities. Despite completely ruining her reputation and to some extent proving all her critics right, Nadya’s short-lived stint with fame and entertainment helped her pay the bills. At one point, she was even offered $250,000 to participate in a documentary about her incredible story. But did she manage to turn things around after that?
The New Octomom
Once she was able to take care of her kids for the time being, Nadya Suleman bravely used the opportunity and the small window of time to start turning her life around and become the mother she always wanted to be for her children. It was time for her to shed the character of Octomom once and for all, and begin a normal and happy life.
The first thing the brave mother did was to change her first name from Nadya to Natalie. She did it both as a symbolic gesture for a clean slate and also as a way to draw some of the media attention away from her. Next, she went back to college and got her master’s degree in counseling. With that out of the way, she also began working part-time as a family therapist.
Today, all of Natalie’s kids are 10 years old or older, and it seems that everyone is happy and doing well. The entire family is living on a strictly vegan diet and loving it. The mother of 14 recently opened an Instagram account for her family where she regularly posts photos of the kids, and occasionally posts photos of delicious looking vegan meals. She often preaches about the health benefits of a plant-based diet and claims it’s her biggest secret to sustained health.
Natalie claims she’s very open with her kids about the journey that she’s been through, including the bad stuff. Her oldest kids that were born before the Octuplet media debacle all hate being in pictures and avoid having their photos taken even in family photos. Natalie says that she understands why they feel this way and can empathize with them. She states often that everything she has done since becoming a viral sensation was to benefit her kid in one way or another, including some of the shadier things.
Moment of Clarity
When Natalie Suleman is asked about her life as a media sensation and what she had to do to provide for her family, the topic of her incredible transformation comes up. She likes to talk about the moment that completely changed her life and allowed her to gather the resources to make the change from a controversial public figure to a private and loving mom. Natalie claims everything that happened started because of a “guardian angel” that turned her whole life around in one moment.
The moment that Natalie was talking about happened in 2013. While still in the heat of controversy and public attention and struggling to make ends meet, she found herself in shady nightclubs engaging in activities that she would later come to regret. One night when she was in Florida, in a club, a very tall man walked towards her: “He walked straight to me and looked straight into my eyes. He took my hand and grabbed my arm and said in a very gentle, but firm way: ‘You don’t have to do this.’ He repeated it many times.” When Natalie heard these words, she began to cry. As the tears were streaming down her face, she knew it was time to make a drastic change: “I knew I had to be my healthy self again.”
When asked today about her decision to have so many kids simultaneously, Natalie admits without hesitation that she was extremely “foolish, immature and selfish”, and that it would have been a lot better to be more patient and selfless. She also confessed that had she thought it through before, she would have probably not done that. When asked if she regretted having so many kids, Natalie responded by saying that her kids are everything to her and that she doesn’t regret them at all.
Nowadays, Natalie is a new person with much more maturity and a clear set of values. She chronicles her family’s life on Instagram to over 100,000 fans who follow her daily. We see from her social media posts that she has changed a lot and is a much better parent, as well. Natalie has also spoken out about her choice to live a celibate lifestyle and focus mainly on raising her 14 beautiful children.
A Simple Life
With the possibility of making her income drop, Natalie decided to completely step off the spotlight of media attention and ditch the Octomom persona. She was forced to downsize everything to manage the massive expenses of raising 14 children with a part-time job and government assistance. She currently lives paycheck-to-paycheck and uses all the public assistance tools at her disposal, such as food stamps.
Natalie hopes to inspire other mothers to make better decisions for themselves and their kids, both through the example of how she’s living at the moment and through the clear and public failures she had to go through to get there. Natalie asks people not to refer to her as “Octomom” anymore. She claims the media persona she took on to survive and provide made her suicidal and almost broke up her family completely.
Things are a lot better nowadays for the single mother of 14. Natalie Suleman spends most of her days enjoying and raising her family. An Australian reporter that visited the family recently stated that the house was being run “like a military operation”, with everything working just according to plan. Of course, you’d have to have a lot of order and discipline when taking care of so many young kids by yourself. Natalie managed to almost completely escape her unwanted “Octomom” persona and is quite out of the limelight at this point, and she couldn’t be happier about it.
Even though the drama is over and there are no more immediate risks for the family, Natalie is still busy finding every way to make ends meet and provide for her children - this time without relying on her fame and notoriety. She enjoys every day she gets to spend with her children. Starting with her original 6, which are now all over 10 years old, and also her unique octuplets, named Noah, Jonah, Josiah, Makai, Nariyah, Maliyah, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. Natalie also moved back to her hometown of Laguna in Orange County, where she can live a much more peaceful and drama-free lifestyle.
Natalie Suleman has a massive daily responsibility with 14 little kids that she has to take care of. Just imagine the hectic routine of trying to figure out where each kid is and what they’re doing at any given time. Regardless of the challenge, Natalie is very hands-on and makes sure that each kid is functioning to the best of his or her ability. While some kids are very expressive and outgoing, some of them are clearly shy and tend to keep to themselves, which means that every kid needs a unique way of parenting that’s required of the single mother.
Another challenge is that her son, Aiden, is autistic. Although this might deter a regular household, Natalie’s big family is more than capable of taking care of their brother. She also claims that Aiden and Makai have a very unique connection. The family isn’t oblivious to the fact that they run a very unique household. Natalie teaches her kids the benefits of being unique and that there’s nothing wrong with being different. This might sound manageable on a regular day to day basis, but what about Christmas and other holidays?
Natalie’s main priority in life is raising her kids to become mature adults with great values that will serve them throughout their lives. One of the most important things she teaches them is the importance of giving and helping others. “I’m focusing on raising the kids to focus on serving other people, to get out of their own head,” Natalie told US Weekly. One way she does this is by making sure to give each child only one gift on Christmas and all other big holidays. This helps them learn how important it is to be grateful for what you have.
Natalie also wants to teach her kids the value of hard work and to always earn their lot in life rather than expect others to take care of them. Her financial situation is another reason why she has to stay on the frugal side during the holidays. Imagine if every kid wanted to get his own Xbox or iPhone! Even a fairly well-off person would find the idea of having to buy 14 gifts multiple times every year financially stressing.
One of the more emotional and stressful activities parents do every day is having to send their children off to school. Natalie recently shared her own horror experiences at having to dress and prepare 8 different kids for their first school day. She uploaded this picture and captioned it: “Any other parents exceptionally stressed and overwhelmed by the first week back to school?”
Natalie jokingly calls herself the school’s “official bus driver” for having to drive so many kids to school at the same time. This is a very emotionally consuming experience for her. Natalie also joked that her other 6 kids would not agree to pose for their school picture, probably because they’re quite sick of having their pictures taken from the many years of intense public attention, scrutiny and from being followed non-stop by paparazzi to everywhere they went. Luckily for the Suleman’s, nowadays the only time the camera flashes at them and takes their pictures, is when Natalie herself is doing the photographing.
Natalie has always been known to be a very healthy and fit individual. Many women were either jealous or admired her slim and toned physique that somehow maintained itself even through 6 different pregnancies, one of which was to eight kids simultaneously. People began wondering how she manages to deal with the daily stress of raising 14 kids while staying sane and healthy.
She explains that every day she tries to carve out an hour or two for intense exercise at the gym. Natalie claims that this is her way of dealing with all the drama and stress she has to deal with on a daily basis.
Despite being known as a relatively strict mother, Natalie is also big on having fun and spending quality time with her kids. She enjoys watching scary films and doing more athletic activities with her many boys, but she also loves to enjoy special bonding time with her daughters. They usually like to try out different skin products and cosmetic items while having what she refers to as “spa night”.
It’s important for Natalie to have a really strong bond with her 14 kids, so over the years, she found a variety of group activities where they can have a great time and make sure everyone feels loved and respected. For Natalie, her kids are the most important thing in the world, just like she dreamed when she was a small child herself.
Going on Dr. Oz
In May 2018, Natalie Suleman and a few of her kids sat down to talk on the Dr. Oz show about the incredible journey the brave mother had to go through to get to her current situation. In the interview, Natalie told Dr. Oz about the fertilization procedure, her decision to ask Dr. Michael Kamrava to be injected with 12 eggs at once, her transition from Nadya to “Octomom” and then to Natalie, and also her current happy family life and the various challenges they deal with daily.
Before her appearance on the Dr. Oz show, Natalie also launched a YouTube channel that was meant to include 'vegan food challenges, vlogs, and grocery shopping' and teased it during the show.
One of the coolest things about genetics is that they play a much bigger part in the way our child looks than most of us think. If that’s not cool enough, there’s a concept in genetics called “genetic variety”. Basically, not all your genes are “active” in your kids, which is why some kids look different than others even though they’re from the same parents. Imagine how weird it might be to have 14 kids, which means that the chances of some of them looking VERY different are actually quite high.
Natalie is in love with all her kids and embraces their different looks and personalities. For her, this just creates an even more amazing environment of love and adventure.
Keeping your kids healthy and fit is a big part of their growth into mature and happy adults. We’re happy to tell you that all of Natalie Suleman’s family is vegan and lives a very energetic and sports-filled lifestyle. They routinely exercise and take up various sporting events; even marathons aren’t out of the questions for this energetic family.
This race and many other sporting events that the family participates in were used to raise money for an important and worthy cause. The family was super happy to support and give back to their community because they were raised on the value of being good people that help others. We can only imagine what Natalie’s little army of incredible kids will do for the world once they are older.
One of the happiest days in every mother’s year is Mother’s Day. After all the hard work, love and sacrifices that mothers put into their children, it’s an incredibly emotional experience to receive gratitude and appreciation back from them. Imagine how Natalie felt when she got 14 different cards, drawings and gifts from her children for Mother’s Day.
All these experiences have inspired Natalie to write a book about her many challenges and experiences, from giving birth and taking care of 14 children, to raising her 12-year-old son Aiden, who is autistic. Natalie is using every bit of strength she has to keep her family happy and safe, and she’s not afraid to share with them the struggles and challenges she faces. Now, the single mother of 14 wants to share her story with the entire world.
While the boys in the Suleman family look very different from each other, the girls actually look eerily similar. We sure hope Natalie doesn’t have a preference for girls, because out of 14 kids, only 4 of her children are girls. This gives the little girls a lot more intimate time with their mother, who’s probably busy all day taking care of their 14 siblings. Her 4 daughters, Amerah, Calyssa, Maliah, and Nariyah love to enjoy dinner dates and trying out beauty products together.
In this picture, the Suleman girls are all out celebrating Amerah’s 16th birthday. With Amerah being the oldest by far, she’s a great help to her mother and helps reign over the other kids. It’s very important for Natalie to have as many girls and boy days as she can, although she prefers to be with all her kids at the same time when it’s possible. Additionally, Natalie and the Suleman kids invented a special tradition that allows them all to get together.
Family Fun Night
For Natalie, tradition is something that’s very important, as it helps get and keep the family together despite the many hectic schedules and nature of raising so many kids. What Natalie and her kids invented was a special weekly hangout called “Family Fun Night”. Every Saturday, the family all gathers together to enjoy each other’s company and do fun activities. Natalie and the kids take this tradition very, very seriously, and make sure to never miss a hangout unless they absolutely have to.
On Family Fun Night, they make sure to do something extra special and fun. Sometimes they’ll watch a scary film or a documentary, other times they will play board games together or participate in an awesome family discussion. Natalie said that part of the family’s favorite activities on Family Fun Night is watching 'The Shining', a classic horror film from the 1980s, and also playing chess together.
All of Natalie Suleman’s kids are unique, each in their own way. One of the favorite ways for the kids of this large family to highlight their differences is through wearing costumes for Halloween, and through various plays they participate in at school. While each of them is very talented and amazing on their own, together the octuplets form a beautiful team and show just how strong they are as a unit.
In this picture, we see all 8 of Natalie’s beautiful octuplets taking a group photo before an Orange County school play that they all participated in. The kids all look beautiful and sweet, and the picture really goes to highlight the huge differences between them. What’s perhaps the most amazing, is how each child looks so different from the next, but you can still tell that they’re all related.
Veggies or Meat?
Natalie’s 8 younger children, the octuplets, enjoy a fully vegan plant-based diet full of healthy fibers, shakes, fruits, vegetables, and many other superfoods. The family loves cooking their meals together and making the most delicious looking vegan meals we’ve ever seen. It’s clear to anyone that the family is healthy and loving their lifestyle, but what about the other 6 kids who were born before the octuplets? Well, apparently, they have all become meat-eaters!
Natalie believes that her vegan lifestyle helped her recover after the physically demanding labor of birthing 8 kids simultaneously. The octuplets absolutely love the veggies and the greens and probably do their best to try and convince the older 6 to also go vegan. We can only imagine how hectic and insane meals in the Suleman house look like!
A Family Picture
With 14 kids that are rapidly growing and becoming teenagers and young adults, it’s getting very hard for Natalie Suleman to capture all of them in one picture. These little balls of energy are hard enough to put into one room, let alone make them all look at the camera and smile. If that’s not enough, her older kids HATE the camera because they were used to getting photographed nonstop back when Octomom was a viral sensation.
Somehow, Natalie managed to capture almost her entire crew of little children. Managing to capture 11 out of 14 of her kids with Natalie and their family cat is quite an achievement. It’s inevitable at this point that in every Suleman family photograph there’s at least one person moving and getting blurred, but the family has gotten used to it - and so have the Instagram fans.
Social Media Family
In addition to her beloved Instagram channel that has over 100,000 followers, Natalie Suleman thought it would be a great idea to also introduce people to her family’s life using video, as well as pictures. During her interview with the popular show host, Dr. Oz, the single mother of 14 decided to share with the world the news that she was opening a YouTube channel for the Suleman family. Her first upload was a six-minute video of a speech her oldest daughter, Amerah, gave to her mother.
The content Natalie wanted to upload to her YouTube channel was along the lines of the popular vlogs genre — from cooking and recipe videos, to family trips and holidays, and perhaps even some personal content from the family members. Despite the idea being received well by fans, Natalie eventually chose to close down the channel and delete all the videos that were uploaded. Supposedly, in order to respect the wishes of her children for privacy.
There’s something special about holidays like Thanksgiving, where entire communities of people get together with the common goal of helping each other. It’s very important for Natalie to teach her kids life-values that will help them become the best adults they can be. One way she accomplishes that goal and also burns some calories in the process is the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot five-kilometer run.
Natalie likes to make a habit of dressing her children in matching outfits. One theory is that she does it to create solidarity and a strong connection between her kids, but we suspect she’s doing it to make sure that no kid is lost on sports days like this! Luckily for her, she’s not just proud of the kids participating in the run, but even had her younger kids win 1st place for their age groups. Maliyah, Josiah, Noah, and Isaiah all received Thanksgiving pies as prizes for their wins. We just hope the event organizers remembered to make them vegan for the kids.
One of the main questions that people ask immediately after hearing the story of how Natalie gave birth to eight children simultaneously is — “how in the world is she still alive and healthy?” Well, based on her athletic appearance due to constant physical exercise and a healthy vegan diet, people assume she’s perfectly healthy and feels as great as she looks. Unfortunately for Natalie, what most people don’t know is the extensive damage her body suffered in part due to 9 months of carrying 8 children in her belly. She claims to have everything from ruptured spine discs, lower-back nerve damage, bone damage and disrupted pain receptors.
A huge part of Natalie’s path to physical recovery and daily maintenance is exercising for 60 to 90 minutes daily. This helps her to not only take care of the mental and emotional side of things, but also rebuild a lot of the damage the pregnancy had tolled on her body. This takes many years and is not an easy process, as she is dealing with pain and discomfort on a daily basis. However, Natalie is getting a lot of support from her family and fans.
From Baby to Mother
A few months ago, Natalie Suleman shared a wonderful picture from 1978 with her Instagram followers and fans. The picture was taken during Halloween and the girl pictured is none other than Natalie (or Nadya, at the time) herself. In the post, she claims nostalgically that it was her Mom that made her the costume, as she did every year, and that in this image Natalie sees herself as a “clown with smeared makeup”. You can still check it out in her Instagram!
Who would have believed that this young girl would make the incredible journey that she has? From becoming a young mother through the process of in vitro fertilization, to giving birth to 14 different children under intense media attention, to eventually finding her true self in the long and painful process. This is an amazing story of love, dedication, fortitude and learning from your mistakes to become a better person. But if there’s one thing that didn’t change about Natalie, it’s the love she has for a certain type of creature, way before she ever had her first child.
When Natalie was just a young girl, she grew up with over a dozen cats. It’s quite ironic that the way the media portrays women who love cats is usually as lonely old ladies in their apartments with well over 20 cats. Well, in this case, Natalie went from being a very active girl with many cats to a very active mother with more than a dozen kids. Out of all the many cats that Natalie has had over the years, there was one cat that stole her heart more than any other.
Meet Boots. When Natalie first showed this picture of her Mom holding Natalie and Boots to her kids, everyone thought the cat looked quite normal. Well, looks can be quite deceiving, and this cat was indeed not normal. Natalie claims that Boots weighed over 50 pounds (or 25 kilograms) and would drag its belly on the floor whenever she walked anywhere. The family still owns cats, with one of her younger children, Calyssa, being an avid lover of cats herself.
Nostalgia and Genetics
The picture below is very old, and in case the face looks familiar to you, just know that it’s not Natalie’s son, Caleb. It’s actually Natalie’s mother from when she was just a toddler at 2 years of age. The picture was taken in Germany back in the ‘40s. Hopefully, this might shed some light on the massive gap of skin and hair colors in Natalie’s 14 children. As you can see, her mother didn’t look Latina at all when she was a young girl, if anything, she looked like a classic Russian doll.
Family, history, and tradition have a huge role in Natalie’s life, and she makes sure to engage as much in it as she can. Her family is already very strong with the holiday traditions and classic family values, but she also teaches them about tolerance of others and the importance of accepting that not everyone is the same.
Eight Double-Digit Birthdays
One of the most exciting times for the Suleman family was the birthday of all of Natalie’s eight octuplets. Now, imagine having a birthday party for eight children every year instead of one - how exhausting!We’re happy to say that this recent octuplets' birthday was no ordinary birthday, it was their 10th birthday. In January 2019, the Suleman octuplets all celebrated a decade of being alive at the Orange County CircusTrix amusement center.
Despite their financial challenges, the family is prospering and everyone is growing into beautiful tiny adults that each have their own amazing personality and values. It’s amazing to think that their coming to this world was the first time an octuplet birth successfully occurred.
One way that Natalie manages to keep her house of 15 in order is by teaching her kids the importance of responsibility and taking care of yourself. She also makes sure to divide the daily and weekly tasks between her children so that everyone contributes in one way or another. While some kids are responsible for cooking, others have to deal with the cleaning chores. We’re sure there are many more activities in the Suleman household, and based on the way it looks, Natalie runs the household like a military operation!
Natalie Suleman told Inside Edition that the family’s chores are divided based on each kid’s strengths and likes. For example, Jonah is an active kid so he gets to do the dishes. Jeremiah is meticulous so he gets laundry drying duty. Her kids also cook a lot for the family, mostly Nariyah who’s already building herself up to become a wonderful chef someday. She loves cooking and mostly makes vegan food for the family.
Natalie’s moto for her family is “work hard - play hard”. She often encourages them to have fun with each other and do everything they can to develop and find their talents and passion. The kids are all unique and amazing, each in their own way, but they also have a lot of shared activities that would make any parent proud. Natalie claims that her kids often test one another on their math abilities. They also spend time practicing musical instruments together and singing.
One of Natalie’s octuplets, Noah, is known for being a young and rising violin player. The beautiful little boy is seen in this picture dressed in formal attire in his violin practice session. You can tell based on the facial expression that he really likes playing the violin and isn’t shy of some love from the camera. We have a feeling that one day we’re going to hear a lot about Natalie’s talented family. In everything from sports to music, the Suleman's are pretty much covered in the fame and talent section.
One of the reasons people love following the Suleman family is because of how positive and upbeat they always appear in their posts. Natalie has taught her kids well, and each of them is inspiring in their own unique way. She often talks about how blessed and grateful she is for everything, from the miracle of her children’s births to having such a wonderful and supportive family. She truly got what she wanted.
This beautiful picture was taken of the family celebrating Mother’s Day in 2019. Every child had made Natalie such beautiful cards and gifts - you can barely contain all the love in this one tiny picture. The proud mother uploaded this picture to her Instagram, where she received even more love and support from her loving fans and followers.
First Young Adult
As amazing as it may sound, Natalie recently celebrated the birthday of her oldest son, Elijah, who just turned 18, making him the first fully grown young adult in the Suleman family. As time goes on, more and more of the proud mother’s kids will start turning into amazing adults and have kids of their own. Maybe that was Natalie’s plan all along? It looks like she’s well on her way to start a small country in 80 or so years.
Natalie recently uploaded this photo from Elijah’s 18th birthday. You can see how beautiful and happy all her children seem. It appears that having 14 children is a great environment to learn how to become an amazing mother. If Natalie’s main goal in life was to create a big, loving and connected family, she not only accomplished it, but went above and beyond. But once those kids are all grown up, there’s still one important question that will have to be answered.
With her amazing kids already starting to turn into young adults, it was time for Natalie to consider an important question regarding the children's paternal fathers. Since she became pregnant through in vitro fertilization process, this begs the question of whether or not the kids would like to meet their fathers who donated the sperm that led to the inseminations.
Natalie claims she’s not in contact with any of the original sperm donors, but is open to the idea of her children making initial contact with them once they’re 18 or older. One thing that shows that Natalie is truly an amazing and principled person, is that during the time she was pregnant with the octuplets, the media offered her one million dollars to give them the identity of the father. Despite the importance of taking care of her finances, she chose to not share his identity because she promised him that he would remain anonymous.
We wish the Suleman's the best possible future, and hope to invite you in a decade or so to see just how each of the family’s amazing children is doing, once everyone is over 20 years old!