Octomom Shares Rare Photo of Her Children

Octomom Natalie Suleman has shared a rare photo of her octuplets.

The California-native became a tabloid sensation in 2009 after giving birth to eight children, but has since retreated from the public eye. Suleman was already a single mother to four sons and two daughters when she hit the headlines, with all 14 of her children conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

To celebrate Mother’s Day, the 48-year-old shared a throwback snap to Instagram on Sunday.

The old photo shows the full-time mom lying in bed surrounded by all of her children. Suleman has her arms around two toddlers, while another pair cuddle up to her. The octuplets are lying across the center of the mattress, while her two oldest children lounge on the end of the bed.

“Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmothers, and great grandmothers!” Suleman wrote alongside the photo. “Wishing you health, happiness, and a blessed day with your loved ones.”

Newsweek has reached out to Natalie Suleman for comment via Instagram.

The media labeled Natalie “Octomom” after her amazing birth story hit headlines. She was born Nadya Doud-Suleman.

Suleman had always dreamed of having a large family. She began IVF treatments in 1999, at the age of 23, after she and her ex-husband failed to conceive naturally. Her oldest son, Elijah, was born in 2001 using a sperm donor.

Within months of Elijah’s birth, Suleman began IVF treatment once again and gave birth to her second child, Amerah, in 2002. Further IVF treatments resulted in her sons Joshua, 21, and Aidan, 19, followed by fraternal twins, Calyssa and Caleb, 15.

Her physician, Dr. Michael Kamrava, has since lost his license for gross negligence after California’s state medical board determined he had made “an excessive number of embryo transfers” into Suleman.

After news of the octuplets’ arrival broke, Suleman was swamped by the press. Fox aired a two-hour special on the family, and Suleman did several interviews, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dateline with former anchor Ann Curry.

During the interview with Curry, Suleman denied media claims that she was selfish and irresponsible for having so many children as a single mother.

Natalie Suleman, also known as "Octomom," 2012
Natalie Suleman, also known as the “Octomom,” poses at the Celebrity Pillow Fight Press Conference on June 22, 2012 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The former psychiatric technician hit headlines in 2009 after giving birth…

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images Entertainment

“Everything I do revolves around my children,” she told Curry. Describing the press intrusion as an explosion, Suleman said she dreamed about “going back to my [old] life.”

Growing up as only child, Suleman described her relationship with her own mother as pretty dysfunctional, although she felt unconditionally loved and accepted by her father. She longed for siblings to make up for the emotional connection she felt was lacking in her home life.

“I wanted that huge family, just to surround me, be surrounded by,” Suleman said. “Those connections, the bond I lacked.”

Suleman and her ex-husband tried for about seven years before moving on to IVF. She worked double-shifts as a technician at a psychiatric hospital to pay for treatment, but was forced to give up her job and rely on disability payments following a back injury. Suleman split with her husband shortly after the incident. The same friend donated sperm for all of Suleman’s 14 children.

In 2013, Suleman revealed that she had been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the criticism she had received from the media and the public. She had spent 28 days in the Chapman House treatment center in California for anxiety and exhaustion the year before.

Suleman has since withdrawn from the spotlight, but was interviewed in 2019 for Australian news show Sunday Night for the octuplets’ 10th birthday.