Woman Gives Birth to Octuplets

_924475_quint150.jpgIt’s unusual enough when a woman gives birth to twins (two babies) or triplets (three babies).  This week, a woman living near Los Angeles gave birth to octuplets–that’s 8 babies!

The hospital has not released (told the public) the name of the mother or given any medical information about how the babies were conceived (made).  However, doctors say that the chances of a woman having octuplets naturally is infinitesimal (very, very small) and it is very likely that she used fertility treatments (using medical procedures and/or drugs to become pregnant).  This, doctors say, calls into question (makes one wonder) whether her doctors used the treatments properly and did so in a way to safeguard (keep safe) the health of the mother–and of course, the babies.

All eight babies are doing well.  Two had to be placed on respirators (machines to help a person breathe), but they are now able to breathe on their own. How many babies it’s safe to have at one time is a medical question, but how many you want to have is a personal question.

So, how many babies would you want to have (not necessarily all at one time)?  If you already have children, do/did you want more?  For you, how many is too many? (As longtime listeners know, Jeff may have a very strong opinion about this last question!)

By the way, here are the terms we use for multiple births:

2 = twins
3 = triplets
4 = quadruplets
5 = quintuplets
6 = sextuplets
7 = septuplets
8 = octuplets
9 = nonuplets
10 = decaplets

And if you have more than 10 babies at one time, you’ll have a lot more to worry about than what to call them!

~ Lucy

Update 1/30/09

I read this morning that the mother of the woman who gave birth spoke to the press (newspapers and other media) and told them this:  The mother is in her 30’s, is a single mom (is not married), has six other children, and she didn’t intend to have eight other children.  When she was pregnant and the doctors told her that she was going to have seven babies (the doctors expected seven, and was surprised by the eighth), she was given the option to end some of the pregnancies.  She decided not to do that. It must have been very difficult news to get and a very difficult decision to make, and I wish the best for her, her family, and all of her children.

This entry was posted in News and Current Events. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Woman Gives Birth to Octuplets

  1. Rafael Tatsch Jacóbsen says:

    Good afternoon.
    Well, I found the report about this family really interesting. Wow, octuplets! I think this mother will have a hard time breastfeeding all these little angels.
    Dr. Lucy, I enjoyed your explanation very much.
    I am Brazilian and I teach English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese and at the moment, I have been attending a Master’s Degree in Reading and Cognition here in Brazil and yours and Dr. Jeff’s explanations are always tremendously useful for me.

    Congratulations for your excellent job!
    Rafael Tatsch Jacóbsen
    Director/Teacher of English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese at Fisk – Language School – Cachoeira do Sul – Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil

  2. emiliano says:

    Only thinking about it I am so tired that it is imposible to have an opinion about this matter.
    One is too much work nowdays that a baby needs so much about everything, just different
    the time Jeff grew up or by the time my daughters did it also.
    But now I may see fathers so busy with only one or two children that it seems quite a very difficult
    question to think in having two or three simultaneously, puff it is so much work at the same
    time that this family needs a lot of people looking after all their children at least meanwhile
    they have grown up enough.
    In theory is beautiful to see so many children in the photograph but all of us that have
    memory about how much care needs a baby, we just are shivering of imagining the
    situation of the octuplets parents.

  3. RAUL says:

    That’s very good for both the mother and father. The only problem that they will face is how to support them but the government of the United States can help them so that those boys can grow up well and be good citizens.But let me tell you something, it is a hard work to take care of eight boys at the same time.Well Lucy thanks for this blog because it gives the opportunity to practice our English, Although I don’t always have time to sit down at my computer and give my opinion. By the way Lucy I am recommending your wonderful webpage to my friends because you deserve it. your webpage is the number 1 because we can practice our English through the podcasts, The English cafe and the blog where everybody has the opportunity to participate by giving his or her opinion about the topic. May god give you and Jeff the strength to continue doing this.

  4. Julio says:

    Nowadays I think the best family size is a four members one. Both parents, of course, and two children, and if possible each one of each gender. If anyone likes having more children, it is not my business.
    Thank you, Lucy, for offering the information.

    Sincerely yours,

    Julio, Spain.

  5. emiliano says:

    Talking with my wife about this octuplets birth she told me: “Before having daughters I thought that food, love and good examples was enough to grow them up well”, but “afterward I discovered that it wasn’t enough at all as they needed a room for each one (they had one for the three), a computer, travels, to many clothes, make-up, books, a career each one, money to go out, and so on”. And of course, some time all these things are impossible of given to them, plus love, too much attention to every one, and day by day keeping your inner feelings inside or aside because you are afraid of doing you task badly.
    Do what you do it should be sure you’ll be unjust, hard, or unkind. Even you may be soft with them if you aren’t hard, so who knows the middle point?
    At the end you may see that nothing is enough to success in being a good mother or father, as I think this is the most difficult task we can do along our lifes.
    Yes, the children looks so tender inside their crudles, but I can’t avoid to think about future.

  6. Mahshah says:

    Hi, Jeff & Lucy

    I am listening to your podcasts for last 6 months. Let you both know, you are part of our family without you knowing it. I was talking to my sister in-law yesterday. When I asked her what is she doing ? She told me that she was listening to Jeff. The way she said it seemed to me, we both knew this person well. The only Jeff came to my mind was Dr. Jeff from ESL. Yes, Jeff , it was your podcast that she was listening to and she sounded so upbeat about it.
    Here is my response to your question of how many children is a good number?
    Myy response is no children. Not because I don’t enjoy being around children. I love them and I enjoy watching them . When it come to make a decision for myself, I rather to not have any of my own. The responsibility is huge, specially if you live in another country which has different cultrure and you will be all by yourself to raise the child. I feel one of the parents responsibility is to create a good , and friendly family environment for their child. If I have a child, I would like him/her to be spoiled by his/her grand parent, aunts, uncles, cousins.
    Second, our jobs are so demanding these days. Everyone needs to ask whether they have enough time for raising a child. I don’t want to be negative. But If I have a child I would love to raise my child myself and be with the child at first 4 or 5 years of the child’s life.
    The other point that I would like to make. How many childern are already need love and care? Why we don’t change a child’s life before having our own if we can committ ? This is the questions I would ask myselfe before deciding to have my own babies.

    Good luck to the parents of Octuplets. If I heard it right. that family has six more children. I heard in the news when I was half sleep this morning. It might not be right. Do you know how many more children that family has?

    Thanks Jeff and Lucy. You are making a big difference in teaching American culture and language to your listeners.

  7. Hyeon Gyeon Mun says:

    I heard that the worldwide birthrate decreased, and a lot of couples are not reluctant to conceive kids because of lacking of welfare and high cost of care.
    So I would say that the above mentioned woman made really difficult and valuable decision when it comse to her condition as a single mom and the low rate of birth.
    I hope that she and her child will be given a blessing and various supports to bringing up the babies from the government.

    Always thnak you Lucy and Jeff.

  8. elcomandant says:

    I feel happy because this mother decided to give birth to octuplets. I’m glad for the eight babies, for their mother, for their grandmother and for the entire humanity. I think she (the mother) did it correctly.

    Just there is a thing that I’m surprise about and I don´t understand. Who are the doctors to propose to the mother ‘to end some of the pregnancies’? Maybe they think that they are God?.

    I’m wondering, in bad case that the mother had decided ‘to end some of the pregnancies’, Which babies had they decided ‘to end’? Maybe the smallest? or perhaps the weakest? or, they could be both?.

    Sincerely, I think the human race have lost most of the our values. Why the doctors thought in negative way instead of think in positive way?. Don’t you think that would be better to have thought how be able to help this large family anyway posible, instead of ‘to end some of pregnancies’?. Surely The Government going to help them, and also big children’s food companies, and more.

    Everybody has right to live, even the doctors who did this bad propose.

    This is my opinion about it.”


  9. Elisângelo says:

    Jesus Christ….. , yeah! We gotta call for his name, because only he can help this mom to take all of those children. I cannot imagine me having 4 children, much less taking care of 14 children.

    My God! we gotta pray a lot for all of them 8 babies keep growing safety and much, but much more patiente , strenght, and health to take care all of those children. I hope that she got a lots of good friends a so forth to help her in her mission impossible.

    esl team, thanks a lot by the efforts you’ve been done to teach us english.

    sincerely best regards!


  10. Richard says:

    That’s a lot of blessings. She should be very grateful despite of the possibilty that she may have difficulties bringing up the children. I wish her all the best. In our country, there’s an old saying. Children are wealth, so should have no regrets about having 8 children. Thanks for the information.

  11. marina says:

    Wow, this woman is my hero. The first thing which popped into my head is when she is going to sleep.
    I am a mom of two boys. You can hardly imagine how tired I am at 7:00 p.m…Since my oldest boy was born (five years ago), I am not able to sleep more than 3 hours continuously. When he is not sick, he wants some water or has just a bad dream or maybe he is fine BUT it is his brother’s turn. The thing is that children need attention 24 hours, seven days at week.
    My kids attend the school in the morning but in the afternoon they have full of activities; story times, karate, swim lessons, theater lessons, and so forth. And they have still energy in the evening. They play with their toys and demand even more activities to do.
    I am spending a very good time with them but I recognize that having a kid is a very difficult job. That job requires a big amount of responsibility and creativity, to be strong physically and emotionally, and to have a lot of patience.
    With two boys, sometimes, I have overdose. Therefore, how this woman can manage eight babies and six more children. Wow, she is my new hero.
    Congratulations and good luck from the bottom of my heart!!

  12. Maria says:

    Clearly, a woman who would bring 14 children into the world solely through artificial means and with no visible means of support — a woman who already has gotten $160,000 out of “the system” through what I’d guess was a trumped up disability claim — is completely irresponsible and selfish, or a whack job. The doctor or doctors who performed these processes should have their medical licenses revoked — assuming real doctors even performed these procedures. Folks, this is not a good thing. This story is sickening.

  13. GB says:

    Crazy!!!totally crazy!!! Eight babies!!!!What a big family!!! Anyway, I have a idea about this question ” And if you have more than 10 babies at one time, you’ll have a lot more to worry about than what to call them!”. I think if I will, I am not going to worry about it, just call them as One GB, Two GB…..lol, yeah, I can have million and billion babies, at least, I am not worry about the babies’ name. Just make a joke!

  14. Essi says:

    Hi. My name is Essi and I’m from Iran. I just wanna say to mommy: have fun with your big little family!

  15. Angie says:

    Well I think it’s great if the mother wants a big family but not so great that she has no income to support these children. Yes you can give lots of love to these kids but obviously they have needs that need to be met and I’m wondering how she is going to do this.

  16. claudia murrieta says:

    It is very complicated having so much children, it is something you cannot leave at random, the responsibility you acquire it is huge, if this situation was not accompanied for love, you would not go far enough.
    I know women gets into fertility treatments for creating a new life, that will growth and will be the proud of the family, but I do not get how couples that cannot have babes do not consider the possibility of having a kid and a family trough adoption, if at the end the important issue is giving al the love you have to offer, and there are not kids that needs it more, those one abandoned, or which parents died, or the kids in a poverty situation. I think it is more rewarding and special if couples with this condition are special enough to give the opportunity to be someone to any of these kids, not creating more citizens in this overcrowded world full of misery and people needing help.

  17. DEISY says:

    oh my god, I think that this woman is crazy, because in a world like a modern world is more difficult to educate to 8 children, for me would be impossible, because in this world there are many dangers that show to people, most kids, the bad way.

  18. Jenny says:

    I think that when a women can´t give child, she can adopted child because this sitaution can to pass and this situation is difficult

Comments are closed.