What I want to know is, why aren’t pro-lifers rushing to rescue poor Nadya Suleman, aka Octomom?
Suleman resurfaced in the news recently, explaining why she’s posing nude for a European magazine for $10,000: Her house is in foreclosure, she and her 14 kids need a place to live, pronto, and she felt she was out of options.
So, what words popped into your mind? Slut? Opportunist? Loser? Or did you see a story of desperation, and wonder what that feels like. Nadya Suleman knows. Do you? If not, maybe you shouldn’t judge her.
Few of us have been forced to choose between our dignity and maternal instinct. Guess what — maternal instinct will trump dignity every time. Me, I’m not throwing stones in that glass house. I’d know I’d have done whatever it took to feed my babies — beg, borrow, steal and, yes, strip, too.
I have to wonder if Suleman went public with this story as a Hail Mary pass, hoping someone would save her. Bear in mind that besides the sheer psychological and financial stress of raising 14 children on your own, her octuplets are now 3 years old now. All of them. At once.
Fellow mothers, wrap your brains around just that one piece: parenting eight 3-year-olds on your own. Me? I’d be in 5150 lockup, curled into a fetal position, mumbling and drooling all over my straightjacket. Suleman deserves a humanitarian award for not driving her whole brood over a cliff and ending it all. Thankfully, she can’t. They won’t all fit in one minivan.
Maybe you’re viewing Suleman through the harsh lens of judgment and scoffing, “She chose to have all those children — why should I have pity on her?” Well, for one thing, if we lose our ability to have pity, we start sliding back down the evolutionary ladder. Second, Suleman didn’t exactly choose to have eight babies. She was only trying to have one in-vitro baby. Trouble is, in the process, eight eggs were fertilized. Suleman later explained that she saw each one as a human life and was unable to choose which ones to kill.
How about you? Could you play God and point to the fetuses and say, “This one lives — this one dies”? Suleman couldn’t. She’s the epitome of everything the pro-lifers profess. She should be their poster child. The pro-lifers should be falling all over themselves to help her out after her noble choice to keep her babies. But all they’ve offered is apathy at best and scorn at worst. Not only did the pro-life camp turn a deaf ear to Suleman’s pleas for help, her own friends betrayed her too.
Last week, Suleman was in the news again, this time for alleged child neglect. Her house-call hairdresser, whom she considered a friend, turned her in to Child Protective Services after witnessing dirty, grungy, barefoot 3-year-olds walking around in T-shirts and being “forced” to use training potties in the backyard because the plumbing was out.
A couple things:
One: dirty, grungy barefoot toddlers in T-shirts? Is there another kind?
Two: “forcing” a toddler to use a potty, or anything else for that matter?
All the Moms in the room know that there’s only one answer for both questions: peals of raucous laughter.
And another thing: Using training potties when the plumbing is out is different than using them when the plumbing is working … how?
The whistleblower also told TMZ, which surely paid her for the story, that Suleman paid $520 for a Brazilian blowout haircut, despite claims she must pose nude to pay her rent. The woman left out a few details, however: the bill was for three haircuts for Suleman, not one, probably costing at least $50 each, and haircuts for all 14 children. That’s a lotta haircuts.
And some of you are sniffing, “If she’s so destitute, she should have taken the kids to Supercuts.”
Right. All 14 of them, sitting in Supercuts, waiting half an hour to get into the stylist’s chair. For just the first kid. Imagine sitting in a hair salon with 14 cranky children, most of whom are toddlers. And — they’re someone else’s. Who do you suppose would become homicidally violent first: Mom, the hairstylist, or the other customers? Supercuts probably locked the doors when they saw her coming. No wonder she had to have someone come to her house.
As for the neglect allegations, CPS determined that a smudged-up toddler in a T-shirt using a training potty didn’t raise any red flags, not even times eight, and Suleman’s name was cleared. Even so, she was defending herself to the news anchors again, meanwhile, we sit watching the super-fertile circus freak in shock and disgust, tsk-tsking over our morning coffee.
Did you notice that Suleman seems breathy, spacey and a bit unstable when she speaks? She’s singlehandedly raising 14 kids under the microscope of National Enquirer paparazzi. You’d be unstable, too.
What if this unstable, stressed-out, financially desperate woman finally snapped, and drowned all her children like that woman in Texas? Will we just shake our heads as we watch the tragedy unfold on the evening news, and sigh, “It’s it a shame someone didn’t do something to prevent it,” and then point the remote at the TV and watch Seinfeld reruns?
It’s time for the Pro-Lifers to walk the talk, and assist this mother who chose not to end her unplanned pregnancies. Suleman is crying out for help and hearing only the echo of her own voice in return.
If only all those little Sulemans were still fetuses. Maybe the pro-lifers would still consider them “human life.” Maybe they’d still care. Ah, but that’s the catch. The pro-life camp isn’t interested in life after the umbilical cord is cut.
I have news for you, pro-lifers: If life begins at conception, it sure as hell doesn’t end at birth.
— Email Debra at firstname.lastname@example.org; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com, www.edebra.com and www.ipinion.us