Nadya Suleman, aka Octomom, took the world by storm in January 2009 when she had an exceptionally large number of children on her own – eight to be exact – in one pregnancy. It was, in fact, a record-breaking pregnancy in many ways, Moreover, the methods Nadya and her doctor used to get her pregnant raised many eyebrows. Many criticized her for her life decisions while others adored her. One thing is for sure – America simply couldn’t look away from Nadya Suleman and her growing family. But even at her lowest points, Nadya Suleman never gave up. Read on to find out what she and her and her family are up to today.
1. Big Dreams
Nadya Suleman always dreamed of having a big family. An only child born to immigrants – an Iraqi father and Lithuanian mother – Suleman craved emotional attachment to other people that she never had growing up due to her lack of siblings. Her biggest dream was to one day start a family of her own and develop such deep connections with her future children.
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What Suleman didn’t know was that in her quest for a big and happy family, something completely unexpected would flip her life upside down. It was an event no one could possibly foresee, and one that would prove both miraculous and contentious
2. Journey Toward Motherhood
Nadya Suleman’s journey toward motherhood began as soon as adulthood arrived at her doorstep. Shortly after she graduated high school in southern California, where she was raised, she embarked on her quest to start a family as a single woman.
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She also planned to go to college like many other people her age, but for Nadya, the calling to become a mother always reigned supreme. But as the old saying goes, sometimes you really should be careful of what you wish for. Young and, some would argue, naïve, Nadya would get what she wanted – big time. It’s her method of getting it that would baffle the world.
3. Her First Love
When Nadya Suleman was in her early twenties, she met a produce manager named Marcos Gutierrez. He must have been a particularly charming produce manager, because she felt an instant connection with Gutierrez, one that was deep and meaningful. The two fell very deeply in love.
From the beginning, of course, Nadya made it clear that having children was of utmost importance to her. And it didn’t seem like an issue at first, because Gutierrez too was interested in becoming a father to her children. Little did Nadya know, there wasn’t even the slightest chance that she and Marcos Gutierrez would have children together.
4. A Dangerous Job
The same year Nadya Suleman married Marcos Gutierrez, she earned a psychiatric technician license from Mt. San Antonio College and began working at Metropolitan State Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Norwalk, California. Working with mentally troubled patients is rewarding, but far from a simple task. And it would prove just as strenuous as it sounds for Nadya.
Family life may have been her primary purpose, a meaningful career was always a part of her plan as well. Unfortunately, something happened at that facility. It was a harrowing experience that would set the rest of her life off on a roller-coaster ride.
5. Disaster Strikes
September 18, 1999 was the day disaster struck at the psychiatric facility at which Nadya Suleman worked, and she ended up right in the middle of it all. Twenty patients started a riot, and the dutiful Nadya intervened. During the chaos, one of the female patients flipped over a wooden desk, and it landed right on Nadya’s back.
She suffered a herniated disc injury as a result and filed for workers’ compensation benefits, earning $170,000. It was enough to help her get by for a while. But as you’ll soon learn, the injury was the last thing that concerned Nadya at the time.
6. A Dream Postponed
Nadya Suleman’s work-induced injury affected her ability to work and caused her a great deal of distress and physical pain. The compensation she received helped her get by, but there was a bigger issue at hand. Throughout it all and before, Nadya was grappling with a challenge that threatened her legacy.
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She and her husband of three years, Marcos Gutierrez, had actively been working to fulfill Nadya’s dream of starting a family. They tried to have children, over and over again, but somehow it just didn’t work out. Their next step was to visit a doctor to find out what was going on.
7. Bad News
After visiting doctor after doctor, Nadya Suleman and Marcos Gutierrez received tips on how to better conceive. They were determined to have a child, and as such, the two took every necessary step, just as instructed by different doctors. Even after all that, they still didn’t have luck. The constant failure began to lower Nadya’s morale.
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It was so frustrating for her that she became depressed. Eventually, they learned the hard truth. It wasn’t that they were doing anything wrong, it was that Gutierrez was simply sterile. What were they going to do? When they realized the old fashioned way wasn’t going to work, the two began to discuss different options.
8. The Last Straw
Nadya Suleman pressed the issue with her husband. She really wanted to have kids, and if they couldn’t make any the traditional way, they’d have to settle for an alternative method – at least, that’s how Nadya saw it. Her husband didn’t agree. Their different feelings on the matter was starting to drive them apart.
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The last straw for Marcos came when Nadya suggested the method of in vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure through which an egg is fertilized outside of the body, usually in a test tube. If she were to go through with it, Marcos warned, he would leave her.
9. An Impossible Decision
The experience left Nadya Suleman with an impossible decision – stuck in the middle of a tug of war between her love for her husband and her lifelong dream of having kids. Would she stay with her husband and risk never having the kind of family she dreamed of? Ultimately, she decided to take the risk and run with her calling.
It was far from easy, but Nadya ended her relationship with former husband Marcos Gutierrez in 2000 and decided to pursue having kids through IVF. She was excited to finally get the process going, but things didn’t exactly go as planned for the newly divorced Nadya.
10. Nothing Comes Free
In vitro fertilization isn’t a particularly complicated process, but despite becoming increasingly popular, it doesn’t have a 100 percent success rate. Another reason it hasn’t yet been widely adopted by the general public? It’s a particularly expensive operation. None of these things phased Nadya Suleman, who had already grown tired of failure.
Medical experts usually recommend including several eggs during IVF in case some of them don’t succeed during the fertilization process. Because of that, the procedure involved another risk, one that would turn out to be particularly relevant to Nadya Suleman’s case. Would she be willing to take it?
11. Worth The Risk
The other factor for Nadya Suleman to consider before deciding to run with IVF was one that had the ability to totally change her life. In placing multiple eggs in the mother’s uterus, IVF opens the possibility that more than one egg could make it through the fertilization process, meaning the mother could end up giving birth to more than one baby.
The prospect didn’t phase Nadya one bit. Her motto, it would seem, was “the more, the merrier.” But some might argue thet perhaps the possibility of having multiple children should have scared her at least a little. At this point, had no idea what was about to come.
12. Welcome, Baby Elijah!
The potential to become pregnant with more than one child isn’t always considered a risk – for someone who is hoping for twins or triplets, for example, it can be a useful tool. Nadya Suleman wasn’t necessarily expecting anything like that, but the results of her IVF procedure were truly astonishing.
And they’d lead her down a rabbit hole from which she’d struggle to escape. The operation was successful and in 2001, Nadya had her first child, an adorable boy named Elijah. Finally, after years of struggle, her dream of becoming a mother became a reality! But that wasn’t it for Nadya.
13. Babies, Babies, Babies!
A year after her first child was born, Nadya Suleman had a daughter named Amerah. The IVF worked so well, and Nadya’s thirst for having babies wasn’t yet quenched. She had such a positive experience with it that, after some time passed, she decided to continue the treatments, eventually ending up with fraternal twins and two more children – that’s six in total!
Now, for many people in developed countries, six kids is more than enough – emphasis on the “more than.” But somehow even then, Nadya felt that she wanted more a while after her sixth child. What she would do next would baffle millions.
14. A Ceiling-Shattering Decision
It was the year 2008 when Nadya Suleman would do something that would transform her from single mother of six to national celebrity. Her six existing kids weren’t enough for her, and she turned to the doctor who had overseen all of her procedures, Dr. Michael Kamrava, for another IVF treatment.
Nadya had six eggs leftover from her last treatment that were still frozen, and as a staunch pro-lifer, she didn’t want them to go to waste, she has said. It was important to her that they be used. She wanted Dr. Kamrava to implant all of them into her at once! But that’s not all.
15. Six More Babies?
Dr. Michael Kamrava was hesitant to comply at first, by his own account, but ended up implanting all six leftover eggs at Nadya Suleman’s request. Nadya was adamant and persistent. She didn’t want any of the embryos to go to waste under any circumstances, even if it meant having multiple babies.
But the part that many found most baffling about this story is that Kamrava went even further, injecting not only six, but 12 eggs in total. That’s 10 more than the recommended maximum of two! Such a radical move was bound to have unparalleled results, and Nadya was prepared to face them.
16. Octuplets On The Way
Dr. Michael Kamrava’s implanting such a high number of embryos is unprecedented and a radical departure from medical-community standard practice, but Nadya Suleman didn’t regret it one bit. Where others would be terrified, she was excited. It turns out eight of the 12 embryos stuck, and Nadya became pregnant with eight children at once.
There is a difference, though, between what a person desires and what they can actually handle. And that was the central question: Was Nadya Suleman physically able to give birth to eight babies at once, after already having done so six times before? She’d find out soon enough.
The strenuous nine months of Nadya Suleman’s pregnancy certainly took a toll on her body. Eight babies at once is clearly far more than the average woman could handle. Indeed, the media caught onto the story fairly quickly, and Nadya became a viral sensation. That’s how her nickname, “Octomom,” was born.
As much as one Californian single mother’s pregnancy might not seem newsworthy to some people, there was good reason for Octomom’s notoriety. Nadya’s pregnancy would turn out to be a record-breaking one that would have implications for the rest of her life – not all of which were so positive.
18. Successful Delivery
Soon enough, the moment of truth arrived for Octomom. When it actually came time to deliver, Nadya Suleman’s pregnancy turned out to be a healthy one and all of her octuplets were born safely. What a relief it must have been for Nadya. It was a sight to behold, and the whole world did.
In fact, Octomom’s were the first ever set of octuplets to be born alive, and remain alive one week after their birth. She was so happy to hold her eight little babies and couldn’t wait to introduce them to their six other siblings. To the watching world, though, there were questions that loomed large.
19. Attention On Octomom
Nadya Suleman’s incredible story captivated the world and, more specifically, the medical community. Shortly after she gave birth to eight adorable babies, doctors all over were trying to get a piece of her. It wasn’t yet common knowledge that Dr. Kamrava had walked Nadya through IVF, and just the mere fact that a woman’s body was physically capable of handling such an onerous pregnancy was a subject of great interest.
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How was she able to successfully give birth to eight kids at once? How was she able to do the impossible? The questions abounded, and researchers looked back to the beginning of Nadya Suleman’s case. How was it physically possible for a woman to give birth to so many babies? What fascinated the media even more, is how all the kids are thriving, happy, and healthy today, having reached their 10th birthday in January, 2019.
20. A Media Sensation
By the time her octuplets were born, Nadya Suleman was already a media sensation. Newspapers, websites and news channels – everyone was reporting on her pregnancy. The entire nation recognized her face. And while not everyone knew her real name, everyone knew her moniker: Octomom. Nadya’s plan was to attempt to control the story.
She intended to capitalize on the attention, too. After all her sweat and toil, why not make sure she’s shown in a positive light? Not long after recovering from giving birth, Nadya hired a public relations team so she could spread her story without losing control of it. That proved harder than she’d expected.
21. An All-Consuming Persona
They say fame changes a person – whether they like it or not. And for Nadya Suleman, the media attention never really let up. Critics argue that Nadya wanted to be in the spotlight all along – that it’s the reason she even had all those children. Nevertheless, Nadya had to balance the Octomom persona with raising her 14 children!
Over time, though, her persona began to consume her. Her pregnancy itself became a controversy, as Californians assailed Nadya for embodying taxpayer waste, irresponsibility and basically everything wrong with contemporary American society. She even received threats! Yet others adored her and her children.
22. It Weighed On Her
Indeed, the media circus started to get out of hand as soon as it began – it was a far cry from her original goal of controlling the coverage. Nadia Suleman failed to get ahead of the story. She decided she would have to take more drastic measures to get her side of it out to the public. She had to open up about her struggles.
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In an interview with People magazine, Nadia Suleman reacted to the public caricature of her. “I don’t get much sleep, about two or three hours a night,” she said. “But I’m continuing to move forward with my life and trying to be the best mother I can be.” But still, her seeming embrace of the media attention she was receiving led many to skepticism of Octomom.
23. A Low Point
Even years after giving birth, Nadya Suleman was still a subject of national interest. As loud as her critics shouted, America simply couldn’t get enough of Octomom and her children. But the spotlight was really starting to bring Nadya down to the extent that it harmed her ability to raise her kids.
According to multiple reports, Octomom had reached a low point in her life. Struggling to take care of 14 children, Nadya had no choice but to accept welfare. It seemed like it was her against the world. Even with all her babies, she felt all alone. Soon enough, she’d face a challenge that government assistance alone couldn’t solve.
24. Trouble At Home
Throughout the relentless media coverage and national scrutiny, rumors started to spread about Nadya Suleman mistreating her children. After all, how could a single mother take care of all those kids by herself? Some asked. Child Protective Services were even alerted and decided to look into whether Octomom was in fact neglecting her children.
When they actually investigated Suleman’s property, they found no grounds for the rumors that had been circulating and deemed her home perfectly suitable for children. Unfortunately for Octomom, someone else who had the power to change her life just as drastically strongly disagreed with that claim.
25. Eviction Notice
Just because Nadya Suleman’s home was good enough for child protective services doesn’t mean it was good enough for everyone – namely, her landlord. And, to be frank, he’s probably one of the only people following her story that really had the power to affect her life concretely. Apparently he accused her of violating her lease’s terms.
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He took his issue with Nadya Suleman’s living situation to the media and, eventually, evicted her. All her life, Nadya aspired to be a good mother, and now she was on the verge of being homeless. She couldn’t let that happen. And thus, Octomom was driven to desperate measures to ensure her family had a home.
26. Desperate Times
Much to Nadya Suleman’s horror, there was no convincing her landlord: she and her kids had to get out. She had to find a place for her numerous children to live! She may have been a caricature to the media, but in her private life she was a loving mother. That, she has always maintained, was the real her.
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The issue was that Suleman simply didn’t have enough money – she had to get some, and fast. So she eventually tried her luck in the film world. She dove into a few other business ventures as well, including a short-lived music career. But did it help?
27. A New Beginning
The pressures of the spotlight certainly got to Nadya Suleman, and when she finally recognized that, she decided to depart from it. The caricature she became was so different from who she really was that she could no longer recognize herself. She needed to make some changes so she could be a better mother for her children and live a happier life.
When she did, Nadya Suleman turned her life around rather impressively. She started by changing her first name to Natalie, just as a symbolic move. Then she finished her college degree. After that, she started to work part time as a family therapist. But what about the kids?
28. Strictly Vegan
By 2018, Nadya Suleman’s octuplets were nine-years-old and doing well – specifically in the food department. All of them are on strictly vegan diets and seem to be loving it. It’s not something that’s necessarily easy to do as a child who constantly dreams of chocolate milk and candy, though.
The kids’ mother, now known as Natalie Suleman, has said she is open with her children about her journey throughout it all. She believes it’s healthy to be a straightforward parent. Everything she has done since entering quasi-celebrity status, no matter how bizarre some might consider it, she has said, was for the good of her children. She believes this lifestyle is key to running a healthy household and shares that with her fans on the Instagram account she created called the Solomon Family. The page also shares what she’s been up to as an unemployed mother of 14.
29. A Guardian Angel
Now that Natalie Suleman is in her early 40s, her life is back on track and she’s ditched any questionable jobs. She has told several news outlets that it was a “guardian angel” who gave her the strength to move forward and put her “seedy” life behind her.
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According to Natalie, it was in February 2013 when she was still working in the film industry that she saw a very tall man walk into the club she was at in Florida. “He walked straight to me and looked straight into my eyes. He took my hand and grabbed my arm and said in a very gentle, but firm way: ‘You don’t have to do this.’ He repeated it gives times.” This was the watershed moment for Natalie Suleman. She couldn’t help but fight back the tears that were streaming down her face. It was at this moment that her life changed forever. “I knew I had to be my healthy self again.”
30. Reflecting Back
Since Natalie Suleman’s major life overhaul in 2013, she has admitted that she was very “foolish, immature and selfish” to have brought so many children into the world without thinking it through carefully. She admits that she didn’t reflect on the possible consequences at the time. However, in saying that, she doesn’t regret one bit of it.
With this honest confession, Natalie is focused on raising her kids. They are her number one priority, so much so that she isn’t interested in looking for love and is content with leading a celibate lifestyle for the time being. It is through her social media pages that she shows just how much she has changed and what her family are up to — including the incredible values she instills in all 14 of her kids.
31. A Modest Life
Raising 14 kids alone is no piece of cake, but Natalie Suleman is handling it all pretty well in her two bedroom apartment and living from paycheck to paycheck and food stamps. She even converted her office into a bedroom to make it a three bedroom. Natalie has told Daily Mail that she now feels “at peace” after all the hardships she endured to raise so many kids alone.
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One way that she feels at peace is by sharing her controversial story with other women in the hopes of inspiring them to make the right decisions for themselves and their children. What’s more, Natalie doesn’t like to be referred to as “Octomom” any longer. She feels this persona almost destroyed her and her family life. “I didn’t want to live. I felt less than human as that character I was pretending to be, to survive and provide for my family.” But what does all this mean for the kids living with all this knowledge of the past?
32. Sacrificing The Social Life
Mother of 14, Natalie Suleman is in a much better place now enjoying quality time with her youngest children, the octuplets Makai, Josiah, Isaiah, Jonah, Maliyah, Jeremiah, Nariyah, and Noah. Natalie wants all her kids to be proud of their mother and the woman she has become. She didn’t want them to remember her as the persona “Octomom” she adopted for several years. “I was forced into doing things I didn’t want to do because I was so terrified I couldn’t support them and give them the life I deserved,” she lamented to Daily Mail.
After overcoming all the trials and tribulations as a single mother of 14 trying to make ends meet, Natalie Suleman is as happy as ever and enjoys every little moment she enjoys with her nine-year-old vegan octuplets, as well as her six older kids from her first five rounds of IVF Elijah (17), Amerah (16), Joshua (14), Aiden (12), and 11-year old twins Calyssa and Caleb — who she dubs “omnivores.” In order to provide a more stable upbringing for them, she moved back to Laguna in Orange County, the place where she grew up herself.
33. Live, Fight, Play
With absolutely no time for a social life, Natalie Suleman is a very hands-on mother. This means she knows each child really well. “They fight, play, fight and play again like any normal family,” she related to Daily Mail. She went on to say that some of her kids are shy and keep to themselves taking after her, while others are more outgoing. Aiden is also autistic but this challenge doesn’t deter any of his siblings from caring for their brother at all times. In fact, Aiden and Makai have and incredibly strong bond.
All 14 kids are aware that their home life is quite different to the average American household. She teaches them that it’s okay to be different and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But that’s not the only thing Natalie has taught her kids.
34. Holiday Season Fun
Despite all the hardships Natalie Suleman and her kids have to endure, they are a happy family. Natalie teaches each and every kid good values and virtues by getting each just one gift for Christmas and the other holiday seasons. “I’m focusing on raising the kids to focus on serving other people, to get out of their own head,” she told US Weekly.
By getting her kids only one Christmas gift, Natalie believes she is teaching them to value every little thing. She believes this will teach them how to earn and not expect gifts. Besides, the Natalie Suleman’s financial situation is why she has to keep things pretty simple during Christmas, but she feels blessed with how extraordinary her kids are.
When Natalie Suleman has to send all her kids off to the first week of school, one can imagine that it’s far more stressful than sending just one or two kids. The 43-year-old shared her anxiety on social media with a picture of her octuplets posing just before the school day boasting their smiles and with their satchels in tow, along with the caption “Any other parents exceptionally stressed and overwhelmed by the first week back to school?”
She dubs herself the an “official bus driver” having to drop off and pick up so many kids from school, seeing that only this takes up most of her day. She also joked that her six older kids weren’t having it and refused to pose for their first day back at school no matter how much she begged. Luckily, the do smile for the camera during other milestone occasions and just for those everyday family moments.
Being a mother to 14 young kids is certainly not an easy feat, and in order to deal with all the pressure and stress, Natalie Suleman likes to share her coping mechanisms, one of which is stealing an hour or two out of her busy schedule to work out at the gym.
She posted the image of herself on her Instagram with the status “I would like to share about how I cope with inordinate stress, after being asked how I stay sane lol.” Natalie went on to say that exercise has always been a way for her to channel her stress. “The stress literally drips off of me, as I’m drenched in the end. Being physical has significantly helped me cope with so many challenges I’ve struggled with throughout my life, ” she added.
37. Spa Night
Natalie Suleman is all about being a strict mother, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be extremely fun either. One of her best pastimes is to enjoy a spa night in with her daughters and to document all the fun they had trying out new face masks and skin products.
As a mother of 14, Natalie tries to give an equal amount of love and attention to all of her children, so if they means girls night in or watching a scary movie with her sons, Natalie is down for it. Her kids come first, and she’s proud to share that with the world.
38. A Chat With Dr. Oz
Natalie Suleman was invited to chat on The Dr. Oz show in May 2018 to share her story about how she decided to undergo in vitro fertilization treatment and how she became fertilized with 12 implanted embryos. Natalie also discussed her evolution from Nadya and “Octomom” to the happy and healthy dedicated mother she now is.
She opened up about her self-made journey and transformation from a single and desperate mother to raising her 14 kids, whom she calls the Solomon family on all her social media pages. She also took the opportunity to talk about the new YouTube channel she launched with her kids.
39. Luck Of The Draw
If you’ve ever wondered why you look nothing like your siblings, that’s because genetics are pretty fascinating and tricky at the same time. A luck of the draw some would say. Well when you have 14 kids, the chances of all of your genes being expressed in your progeny are high. Natalie Suleman calls this her diverse family and dichotomous genes.
She simply adores every single one of her children and feels blessed that they each look unique and inherited the different genes. The best part is that these two kiddos over here, Nariyah and Noah, are from the same set of octuplets.
40. Active Kiddos
Natalie Suleman’s octuplets are all raw vegans and love living the healthy life, and if that means participating in marathons they’re super down for that. Pictured here is Natalie’s set of eight after completing the Russ Miller Memorial 5k race in February, 2018.
They all love being a part of a worthy cause to raise money for incredible initiatives. Natalie wants to instill these important values and virtues in her kids from a very young age, and she seems to be doing a brilliant job at that. They all look happy after finishing the race hand-in-hand. And this just makes Natalie’s fans even happier. Turns out the kids have been up to so much more than just running races.
41. Modern Day Heroes
When the octuplets aren’t running races to raise money and awareness for important causes, they work tirelessly on other projects for school. The kids were instructed to create poster on their heroes and created the most creative-looking projects. But perhaps the best part of the photograph is Caleb’s photo-bomb.
Natalie Suleman doesn’t like to boast about her talented children, but her fans enjoy seeing what they get up to. Natalie also shares these moments to prove that anyone can raise 14 happy kids if they just put their minds to it. And clearly her kids appreciate her dedication, judging by what they prepared for her next.
42. Putting Pen To Paper
What makes it all worth it for Natalie Suleman is the love she receives from her kids every day and on special days like Mother’s Day. She had to take s snap of all the special cards and handmade gifts she received from her kids. It’s the little things that make her feel so blessed.
Talking about putting pen to paper, Natalie’s 12-year-old son Aiden ans the struggles of her raising an Autistic child alongside 13 other healthy kids has inspired her to write a book. He has the mind of an 18-month child and he’s still in diapers and non-verbal. She’s open with her children about autism and loves teaching them about it. She is hoping to get the book published, which she originally started writing to jot down the challenges she faced. “It’s a story that needs to he told and I think it will encourage a lot of women to draw up strength that didn’t know they had, ” she told Daily Mail.
43. Sister Act
Out of the 14 kids Natalie Suleman gave birth to, four of them are girls. She just loves bonding time with her all her girls and loves it when they share girl time together despite the age differences, namely Amerah (16), Calyssa (11), and Maliah and Nariyah (nine).
This was taken when Amerah celebrated her birthday. The resemblance between all the ladies in the Solomon family is just astounding and this is truly a picture perfect moment. Boy time and girl time is something Natalie tries to instill on a weekly basis, but she loves it best when all her kids hang out, which isn’t always possible.
44. Family Traditions
Keeping with the family traditions is something very dear to Natalie Suleman’s heart, so that means the weekly Saturday family night is taken very seriously in the Solomon household. The tradition was created by Natalie and her kids. They call it “Family Fun Night.”
Every Saturday night is dedicated to spending some quality time together watching scary movies and documentaries, conducting educational and stimulating discussions, or playing board games together. Some of their favorite activities are to watch The Shining, and to play chess. The older four kids usually go to friends and “cringe” at the tradition now that they are teens, but as it still stands, Natalie’s 10 youngest children love fun nights in with the fam.
45. Dress Up Time
All Natalie Suleman’s kids are aware they are different to other families, but the octuplets embrace their uniqueness and enjoy school and fun activities together just like other children. In fact, they are all very talented individuals and Natalie is proud to share that. Who would have thought they’d grow up so quickly?!
Here are her eight gifts of life enjoying their role play in an Orange County school play. They are all posing beautifully for the camera here, but the next image shows that this isn’t always the case, but that even the failed pictures make for the best captured memories.
46. Going Raw
Natalie Suleman posted this on her Instagram with the funny title “Could we be anymore vegan?” That’s right, the older six kids are not vegan, whereas the octuplets enjoy a raw vegan diet consisting of health shakes, organic kale, chard, collard greens, bell peppers, and red or golden beets. They also love home cooked vegan meals consisting of quinoa and sprouted lentils.
To top that off dessert usually consists of green apple with raw almond butter. Natalie Suleman grew up as an ethical vegetarian so it wasn’t hard for her to convert to the vegan life. The diet change has also helped her deal with the medical conditions she endured from carrying octuplets to nearly eight months. She believes this way of life makes the family cheat/treat meals and nights all the more worth it.
47. The Whole Familia
Capturing the whole family in one picture — yes, that’s all 14 kids and the mama bear Natalie Suleman — isn’t always an easy feat. So when almost the whole clan are snapped smiling and laughing away, it’s definitely one for the books.
Natalie captioned the Instagram post with, “So THIS is what happened when we attempted to take a fun family photo with as many family members as possible. Per usual, Elijah, Amerah, and JJ are absent from the pic.” Luckily for Natalie, she’s able to share many special family moments with the world on her social media. However, what’s even more intriguing are the everyday, raw moments she shares that capture what it’s really like to be a single mother of 14, raising all of them as happy and healthy individuals.
48. YouTubing Away
As a self-made part-time counselor to help people suffering from substance abuse, Natalie Suleman thought it would be a great idea to launch her very own YouTube channel. The first video she posted was a six minute clip of her eldest daughter Amerah reading a letter she wrote to her mother for Mother’s Day at a women’s event in Long Beach, California.
After Amerah’s speech, all her children lined up and each bestowed her a gift. Natalie created the channel to share her life testimony, but she said she planned to let her kids manage it with vlogs of fun activities, grocery shopping, vegan food challenges, and any creative ideas they come up with.
49. Thanksgiving Madness
Even special times like Thanksgiving are moments Natalie Suleman educates her children to keep active and make a difference in the world. Pictured here are 10 out of her 14 kids who participated in the Turkey Trot five kilometer family run. We just love the team spirit and matching T-shirts!
Natalie had a lot to be proud of and celebrate that day — Maliyah, Josiah, Noah, and Isaiah were all winners for their age group of the race. They even got pumpkin pies as prizes! The best part of this all is that Thanksgiving is still a very important festival for the Suleman family even though more than half of them are vegan. So we guess it’s more pie that stuffed turkey for them.
50. An Internal Struggle
While it might not be apparent on the outside, Natalie Suleman has to endure a tremendous amount of physical pain on a daily basis owing to the injuries she incurred from carrying eight kids to almost full term. It’s very difficult for her to run because of the four ruptured discs in her lumbar spine, irreparable sacral damage, bilateral sciatica, as well as the peripheral neuropathy, but she soldiers on!
In order to combat the pain and stress, Natalie climbs 10 miles a day on the stair master machine instead of running on a treadmill. She also attends a women’s only gym because she struggled with severe social anxiety since childhood and crowded gyms just made her feel even more stressed. The reason she snapped this workout photo was to express gratitude to the people who sent her a free workout outfit seeing that Natalie couldn’t afford to buy her own gym gear for many years.
The next image proves just how much Natalie has overcome and what a strong woman she truly is.
51. Little Natalie
Yes, once Natalie Suleman was a small little girl too. She shared this on her social media accounts to reminisce how she dressed up for Halloween way back when, smeared lipstick and all. This was all the way back in 1978 when Natalie’s mother dressed her up as a messy clown.
She might have changed her name from Nadya to Natalie, but that doesn’t mean that Natalie has tried to erase anything from her past. The only part she wishes to overcome is the persona she took on as Octomom when she made some decisions she wasn’t so proud of. Since then, Natalie has made tremendous strides to be the best mother she can to her octuplets and all her kids for that mother. Being a mother of 14 isn’t easy, but she’s doing a great job of it and sharing her journey with everyone along the way.
52. Cat Mother
Before Natalie Suleman became a mother to 14 kids, she expressed her motherly love for cats. She had over a dozen cats growing up, whom she jokingly calls her cat siblings, but there was just one cat that stole Natalie’s heart.
This picture of Natalie, her mom, brother, and Boots the cat was taken in 1975 when Natalie was just a toddler, but her mother’s natural maternal instinct must have rubbed off on her too. When Natalie shows this to her kids, especially Calyssa who loves cats, they are shocked at how fat her favorite cat Boots was (over 50 pounds, and her stomachs would drag on the ground when she walked!). She shared some old pic to give a glimpse at some of her rolls.
53. Looking Back On History
Now we know where Caleb gets his looks from. This picture is of Natalie Suleman’s mom when she was just two-years-old in Germany. This is a major throwback picture to 1940! This image might explain a lot about why some of Natalie’s kids are fair and some are of a darker complexion.
Natalie loves sharing pictures from the past as they get her all nostalgic and appreciative of the beautiful family she feels privilege to raise every day. It’s not easy for her to be a single mother to 14 kids, but Natalie counts her blessings every day and shares her appreciation for her own parents and everything they taught her while she was growing up.
54. A Decade Old
In January 2019, the octuplets celebrated their 10th birthday at Circus Trix OC. They bounced their way happily into the new decade of their lives with their loving mother Natalie by their side. She even got them blue numbered t-shirts to celebrate the momentous occasion.
Natalie told the Inside Edition that she feels she can finally prove all her critics and the naysayers out there wrong. She might struggle financially, but her children have grown into healthy and happy 10-years old kids. “Now that 10 years passed on by, I feel as though I can relax and be myself, and be real,” she declared.
55. A Responsible Bunch
All of Natalie Suleman’s kids are thriving and happy, and one of the main reasons is because she has taught them the meaning of responsibility and appreciation. She divides their chores at home, after all, looking after 14 souls isn’t an easy feat. The Solomon family’s three bedroom house outside Los Angeles might be small, but they all work together to keep a stable, running household.
Nariyah’s pastime is cooking, so she cooks for the family. Her favorite dish to make is lentil soup, as most of them are vegans. “It’s really, really, really good,” she told Inside Edition. Noah and Maliah do the laundry, while Jonah does the dishes and Jeremiah does the drying. She also divides the chores like wiping down appliances, setting the table, and vacuuming between the other kids.
56. Work Hard, Play Hard
Natalie is extremely proud of her kids and how supportive they are. Besides for dividing up house chores, she encourages them to have fun and to embrace their talents. This siblings spend their time quizzing each other in Math. They also practice musical instruments, such as the violin and the recorder.
Noah really has a love for playing the violin, and she shares this on Instagram with a proud picture of him and a caption congratulating him for performing his first strings performance. Everything about Natalie’s children makes her proud, even the way they spoil her, like on her birthday and Mother’s Day.
57. Blessed With The Best
Natalie always takes to her Instagram to share how blessed she feels to have such wonderful and healthy children. “I couldn’t do it without my kids. They are literal angels,” she proudly told Inside Edition. One such example is when she shared a sweet family picture marking Mother’s Day celebrations in May, 2019.
She gave a heartwarming shout out to all her 14 kids for making her feel loved and special every day. The photo captures 10 of her children smiling at the camera while gathered around a table covered in flowers and cards. She signed off the lengthy post with, “You are my life. My heart. I love you.”
58. Nostalgic Moments
It might sound impossible to shower 14 kids with an equal amount of love, care, and affection, but Natalie Suleman surely knows how to do it. In May, 2019, she got all nostalgic and shared a post of her first born, Elijah, who celebrated his 18th birthday.
She shared their rough start when he kept her up for hours on end as a baby with colic, but emphasized how it only made them stronger and how he taught her the meaning and value of perseverance, patience, acceptance, and unconditional love. Moments like these are really worth treasuring for a lifetime.
59. To The Next Decade
With all of her 14 kids growing bigger and developing their own sense of identity and paths in life, Natalie has shared some of her thoughts about the future. She told Inside Edition that she isn’t in touch with her sperm donor who fathered the octuplets, but she suggested that “maybe” they will meet up with him when they all turn 18.
Her six older kids come from another donor. She made a promise to him 25 years ago to protect his privacy, and she kept to that promise even when she was offered one million dollars by the media to divulge his name and details.