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Octuplets' mother wanted 'huge family' for feeling of connection [UPDATED]

February 5, 2009 |  3:57 pm

Nadya Suleman tells Ann Curry of NBC she wanted many children because of a dysfunctional childhood

Updated at 4:14 p.m.: State workers compensation records reviewed by The Times show that Suleman had three miscarriages before finally giving birth. In 2001, she reported being depressed "with recurrent thoughts of death," according to the records.

She told a doctor that the depression was related to "the powerful and uncontrollable emotions associated with her pregnancy: both the fear that it would end and her elation that it might be brought to fruition and she would realize her dream of having a child."

In 1999, she was injured during a riot at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk when she was hit in the back with a desk. She went on temporary disability and was paid nearly $170,000 in disability benefits between 2000 and 2008 for injuries to her back, neck and shoulder, the records show.

The mother of octuplets born last week in Bellflower told NBC News she wanted to have a "huge family" because she longed for personal connections she felt she lacked in her childhood.

"I just longed for certain connections and attachments with another person that I -- I really lacked, I believe, growing up," Nadya Suleman said in an interview today with NBC's Ann Curry. "Reflecting back on my childhood, I know it wasn't functional. It was pretty -- pretty dysfunctional, and whose isn't?"

Suleman said she had tried to become pregnant for seven years, including though artificial insemination, before going to an unnamed fertilization facility where she finally became pregnant. She had six other children before becoming pregnant with octuplets.

The full excerpt of the interview follows: