California: Second Set of Octuplets Born
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: January 27, 2009
A woman gave birth to eight babies in Southern California, the world’s second live-born set of octuplets. The mother, who was not identified, gave birth to six boys and two girls weighing 1 pound 8 ounces to 3 pounds 4 ounces, doctors at Kaiser Permanente hospital told KCAL-TV. “Eight newborns are in stable condition, and they’re doing quite well,” Dr. Karen Maples said. Myra Suarez, a Kaiser spokeswoman, said she could not release any information about the mother, including whether she used fertility drugs. The first live-born octuplets were born in Houston in 1998, and one baby died about a week later.
Who are these people? We are not livestock.* Two breasts, not eight teats. Motherofgod, who would want to put themselves and this many babies at risk?
I understand the desire for children. I was lucky. Had two children and happily put up the Closed for Business sign. I understand the risk of multiple births with invitro or fertility drugs. But too often this is about abortion.
If you have 8 eggs implant (one might question the dosage of the fertility meds or the enthusiasm of the fertility doc) you get to choose between the probability of losing some or all of those embryos or having children with untold number of physical and mental problems due to lack of natural development and almost guaranteed premature delivery. Well, shit. Unplant (read: abort) five of them and have two or three children who have a better chance of not spending their lives with full or partial blindness, central nervous system disorders, serious learning disabilities, chronic respiratory problems, etc. and worse.
Just because these 8 babies are breathing on their own doesn't mean they are going to be a-okay. Furthermore, this story is the exception. Dead or damaged multiple births don't make the news. The long term effects of medical intervention need to be highlighted with stories and photos.
We are not livestock.*
P.S. "...Kaiser spokeswoman...could not release any information about the mother, including whether she used fertility drugs." That's okay. You don't have to release information about whether she's ever had sex either, we can figure it out.
ADDENDUM: Of course, many of you have now read that Miss Reproductive America has six other children under the age of 7 at home. This, obviously, is the big footnote to my opinionated thesis. But even if she weren't...crazy is the only adjective I can call up, this is still a deeply disturbing decision. Either the fertility doctor didn't do his homework or she's one hell of a liar.
*Apologies to most livestock. They usually do not drop that many calves, lambs, etc. I should have said, "We are not hogs or household pets."
(Holy shit. I've just used a post script, addendum and asterisk for post post commentary. There must be a name for people who can't stop editing. Or clarifying. Oh, that's right, it's called obsessive-compulsive opinionating. Ha, ha. Beat you to it!)