First glimpse of US octuplets

The octuplets born two weeks ago to an unemployed single mother in southern California have gained not just ounces but now also names as first pictures of the brood were released from inside the neonatal clinic where they were delivered.

The mother, Nadya Suleman, defended her decision to undergo the fertility treatment that resulted in the multiple births, even though she already had six children at home under the age of eight. "I was so fixated on wanting so many that I kept going," she said in an interview with NBC that aired yesterday.

Even as the controversy grows over the choices made by Ms Suleman, 33, and the fertility clinic that treated her, named yesterday as the West Coast IVF Clinic in Beverly Hills, attention was returned for a day at least to the children themselves. All eight – six boys and two girls – continue to do well, though they are expected to remain hospitalised for several weeks.

Video footage from NBC shows Ms Suleman introducing each of the babies, delivered by Caesarean section on 26 January, by name from their incubators. "Hi, Maliah, your eyes are open," she is heard to say at one of the incubators, putting her hand on the head of the baby before moving to the next child. "This is Noah and he's doing well. He's blond, the only one with blond hair." The other six are named Jonah, Nariah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, McCai and Josiah.

Ms Suleman also spoke of her frustration over having to shuttle between the hospital in Bellflower, California, to be with her newborns and the home of her mother, Angela Suleman, to visit her first six children. "Hi, Josiah, I wish I could stay all day long, but I can't," she says. "Your brothers and sisters at home want to see you ... I can't wait until they're all together. We are not a whole family."

If the successful birth of the eight babies has fed the mushy instincts of many Americans, the reaction to pictures of the home awaiting them may not be so warm. Photographs published on the gossip website Radar shows rooms overflowing with young children and clothes spilling out of cupboards. The photographer said there was food on the walls and called the house "filthy".

In an interview with Radar, Angela Suleman voiced for the first time a less charitable opinion of her daughter's actions, calling them "unconscionable". She is largely left to look after the six older children while her daughter is at the hospital with the octuplets. "She already has six beautiful children, why would she do this?" she says in the videotaped interview. "I'm struggling to look after six. We had to put in bunk beds, feed them in shifts and there's children's clothing piled all over the house."

Angela Suleman revealed that Nadya's boyfriend had donated the sperm that fathered the first six babies, who were also born following in vitro fertilisation, as well as the octuplets. "He was in love with her and wanted to marry her," she said. "But Nadya wanted to have children on her own."

The two women have given conflicting accounts of whether Ms Suleman used the same fertility doctors to establish both pregnancies. The identity of the doctors responsible for implanting the embryos that led to the delivery of the octuplets has not been released, but yesterday video footage from 2006 emerged that seems to show Dr Michael Kamrava, who works at the West Coast IVF Clinic, treating Ms Suleman and discussing the implantation process with her. State health regulators are believed to have begun an investigation into whether any laws or regulations were broken by the clinic.

In her interview, Ms Suleman mentions having grown up as an only child and feeling a lack of human connection, and suggests that this may have influenced her desire to have as big a family as possible. "All I wanted was children," she says. "I wanted to be a mom. That's all I ever wanted in my life."

But she firmly denied having sought such a dramatic number of children as a means to getting financial help from the government or anyone else. Nor, she says, was she seeking celebrity. "That's funny how untrue that is," she said. "Money? Money is necessary to raise children. But it's – it's paper. It is paper. To me, it is superfluous in contrast to the importance of my kids."

Money issues lurk behind some of the criticism of her, however. Medical experts have calculated that the care being given in the hospital to the babies, from delivery to the moment they are discharged, may cost $3m (£2m).

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all