'Octomom' Nadya Suleman tells Oprah she 'lives in guilt'
In the episode, which aired Tuesday, Suleman described the difficulty of raising so many children as a single mother. She acknowledged not being able to provide the children with enough attention and support, though she said "no couple could" either.
"I live with a tremendous amount of guilt...and I'll live with this forever," Suleman said. But she said she has never considered giving any of them up to foster care.
Winfrey flashed pictures of Suleman on magazine covers posing in a bikini. "Why are you doing that?" Winfrey asked.
"Let me tell you why: 14 hungry mouths," Suleman said. "I must feed my children."
The bikini shoot with Star Magazine left her with a $100,000 paycheck. She said she spends $1,000 a month on groceries, buying 20 gallons of milk, 21 dozen eggs and 35 loaves of bread -- all in one week. She also hires three nannies who share shifts throughout the day. Suleman is alone with her children at night.
Suleman described "octomom" as a fictional character, "the antithesis of who I am." She denied getting pregnant to seek fame, never imagining that the in-vitro fertilization would result in "a litter" of children. Octuplets, she said, was something she "never conceptualized."
"It was something based on a selfish, immature decision," Suleman told Winfrey, later explaining that she should have had fewer embryos transferred.
She said she has not dated since giving birth to the octuplets and that having more children is the "farthest thing" from her mind.
"I can't grow hands or eyes," Suleman said. "I'm not an octopus."
-- Kimi Yoshino
Photo: Nadya Suleman in 2009. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press