Octomom Is Back: Nadya Suleman Talks About Raising Eight Kids On A Budget, Her Shady Past

Krystee ClarkWikipedia / Cropped and resized

The so-called “Octomom” is back. Natalie (who now goes by “Nadya”) Suleman, the California woman who made international headlines in in 2009 by giving birth to healthy octuplets, and then became a villain when it was learned she was receiving public assistance, has re-emerged from the shadows to look back on what has transpired in her life in the eight years since.

As The Daily Mail reported, Nadya was, at one time, so overwhelmed with all of the negative publicity that she had even considered suicide.

Back in January 2009, Nadya (who went by the name “Natalie”) at the time, became a media darling when she gave birth to eight, healthy octuplets, all of whom lived beyond the first few days after their birth, something considered rather miraculous at the time. However, the admiration was short-lived: it was later revealed that Natalie, who underwent in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, was a single mother who already had six children, and who was living on public assistance. That meant that she was raising 14 kids, and getting IVF treatments, all on the taxpayers’ dime. The public vilified the then-33-year-old.

Natalie, for her part, didn’t do much in the way of turning around her public image, and in fact seemed to embrace her role as a villain, even appearing in adult films and working as an exotic dancer.

During those years, she struggled with her past, and with her role as a villain. She abused drugs and was even close to suicide.

“I had to medicate to just get through what I was doing. I would mix [benzodiazapenes] with alcohol which I later found out was what Whitney Houston, died from.”

One night, while working in a strip club, a man she believes might have actually been an angel showed up.

“He took my hand and grabbed my arm and said in a very gentle but firm way: ‘You do not have to do this.'”

These days, Nadya is desperately trying to get her life back on track. She’s ditched her old name and has moved back to her old hometown of Laguna, California. She got a job as a part-time drug counselor.

Still, raising 14 children – Elijah, 16, Amerah, 15, Joshua, 13, Aiden, 11, and 10-year-old twins Calyssa and Caleb; and her octuplets, Makai, Josiah, Isaiah, Jonah, Maliyah, Jeremiah, Nariyah and Noah, now approaching their ninth birthdays – on a part-time income doesn’t come easily. They all live in a two-bedroom house, with a former office converted into a third bedroom. Her paycheck helps some, as does her residual income from “that horrible porn thing,” as she calls it, but she still uses food stamps.

“We live paycheck to paycheck. It’s a struggle every day.”

Meanwhile, she’s working on a book and shopping around publishers, hoping to tell her story so that other women in difficult situations can know that there is hope.

“It’s a story that needs to be told and I think it will encourage a lot of women to draw up strength they didn’t know they had.”

Despite the difficulties, Nadya says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s OK to be different if there is nothing wrong with it. The kids are happy and that is all that matters.”