Radical turnaround: Mother of octuplets leaves the porn industry

For some women, artificial insemination is the only way to have children. In 2009, Natalie Suleman of California made the decision to undergo fertility treatment. But in contrast to other women in a similar situation, she was already the mother of six children, all conceived with the help of IVF (in-vitro fertilization). Furthermore, she was unemployed at the time. 

Instagram/ nataliesuleman

Because doctors wanted to be sure that the implantation was successful, they had introduced 12 fertilized eggs. Not only did she become pregnant, but against all expectations — with octuplets! Because of this unusual number as well as her less than ideal financial circumstances, images of the woman soon known as "Octomom" stirred up strong reactions from the media and public. 

Altogether, the single, unemployed mother would now have to raise 14 children. That it turned out to be too much for the then 34-year-old to cope with shouldn't be a surprise. In order to provide for her now substantial family, she took dramatic measures, performing in the porn industry with stripping as a side job. Like a lot of women who find themselves in these kinds of demeaning jobs, Natalie began abusing sedatives in order to numb herself from the grim reality.

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But in March of 2013, she decided to change her life radically. She had caught one of her daughters, only 10 years old, modelling some of her clothes and traipsing through the house in high heels. It was a wake up call.

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Natalie is so embarrassed about her past that she wants nothing to do with her old, tarnished image as the "Octomom." She had to take steps to save herself and to give her children a better life. 

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Today Natalie works as a family therapist in Orange County. She's still single and doesn't see that changing. "I'm married to my family and kids, I don't have time to take that away from my kids and give it to some stranger," she said. This mother of 14 has hopefully put the last of the truly difficult times behind her. She wants to try and set a good example for her children and show them that, regardless of past mistakes, it's possible to build a new future.

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