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Monday, February 2, 2009

Octopulets [Edited]

Just watch the news for the latest update on the octuplet babies. What a miracle! Even the conception, development and birth of one baby is a miracle that boggles the mind. That a woman could possibly carry within her womb eight babies is difficult for me to grasp. Any mother will tell you that even carrying one child to term is most uncomfortable. I can't imagine eight. I truly believe that there are no "accident" babies, and that God has a plan for each life. However, this case causes us to examine the social implications of this particular situation. While I am delighted that the babies are doing so well, I can't help but wonder what life will have in store for them. There is still much that we don't know about this family, and while it is easy to cast stones and judge, there is also an element of compassion, for me, at least. This young woman obviously has some psychological issues, and hopefully she will receive the help she needs. Normally, the birth of multiples results in all manner of freebies and sponsorships for diapers, baby formula, and the like. I rather doubt that this will be the case for these babies. This is unfortunate, because the babies will need these things no less than other babies, but likely have no resources. At least not the glamorous ones. I am watching with interest to see what will be revealed about the physician who performed the procedure. I know very little about IVF or the use of fertility drugs. I do know it is a very expensive process. Who is this physician, and why in the world did he think it appropriate to do this procedure? His license should be revoked. Plain and simple. I've been in health care for 32 years. Oh the changes I have seen! One of many factors of why the system is in such a deplorable state is the staggering amount of indigent care. Of course, everyone is entitled to health care. But to purposefully bring EIGHT babies into the world, even in the best of situations, puts a huge burden on the health care system. One report I saw was that it costs $800,000.00 per day, per baby for every day they are in the NICU. That's SIX MILLION, FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND dollars a day. One month is $192,000,000.00. That is 192 million dollars. [Edited to add: I did hear those numbers somewhere, I was thinking GMA, but perhaps I misunderstood and it is 800,000.00 a day for all the babies. Which is still a pile of money!! I hope my original quoted figures are incorrect.] Am I complaining about the cost of keeping these babies alive? Absolutely not. They are precious little lives, and now that they are here, deserve every opportunity to live and grow. I am complaining about the fact that this single mother, already with six children to raise without a father, would consider herself physically or mentally capable of caring for even ONE more baby. Living with her parents in a 3 bedroom house. Now her dad is going back to Iraq to earn some money for the family, and her mom says when Nadya returns from the hospital she (mom) will leave. You gotta just love those little babies, and hope the best for them. In my unsolicited opinion, there are three things that need to happen here. 1) The physician who performed this procedure should lose his license to practice medicine. Forever. 2) Nadya should undergo psychiatric evaluation. 3) These babies should be put up for adoption. I mean, how can they ever receive proper care? It would be worse than negligence or abuse to allow these babies to go home with their mother. We shake our heads in disbelief when we see on the news that an old lady has 47 cats in her house, and all manner of authorities get involved in the case. How much more tragic would it be for one mom (with obvious issues!) to care for 14 children, eight of them likely needing special care for a long time coming. Her parents already lost their own home, after buying a house for Nadya, the house where they now live. What will happen when they lose this home too?

Again- I do believe that every life has a purpose, and I know that God has something for these babies, as He does for every baby. It's hard to reconcile the two trains of thought- that this shouldn't have happened, and that God has a plan. I know it sounds contradictory. And I don't have the answer. I'll be watching this story with interest.

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