Thursday, February 12, 2009

It Takes a Village...

Currently Reading: I'm up to chapter 17 on Captive Heart!! And very close to finishing First Patient...

And a whole lot of money/resources/help/strength/etc....

I forgot about the Dr. Phil show until 20 minutes into it. But when I DID tune in (unleashing a flood of complaints from the toddler about how it 'wasn't fair Mommy turned off SpongeBob!'), DP was speaking to a pediatrician about the potential medical costs the mother with the octuplets was now facing. They break down to:

Birth/Hospital care: $1.7 Million
Formula: $16,640 per year (not counting should she apply for WIC)
Vaccines: $28,000
College: (The dr told DP to 'forget college'!) $1 Million
Diapers: $29,200/yr

And if she chooses to breastfeed? She'll spend 30 HOURS A DAY doing nothing but nourishing all eight. Yes, you saw that right. And given there's only 24 hours in a day...

My daughter was watching with me, and even her ears caught that! She asked me how they came up with that last total, and I reminded her of when W was born. I spent 20-30 minutes a day, every 2-4 hours as needed feeding her little brother. And supplimented at night with formula. I did this for nearly 4 months. And I don't believe wet nurses exist anymore...correct me if I'm wrong. So she'll HAVE to have formula, because I don't think little babies are going to understand they need to wait their turn.

Next, DP interviewed Kate Gosselin, who has eight children; a set of twins and sextuplits. She's also in a show called Tom and Kate Plus Eight, showing on some network, about life with eight children. And written a book titled Multiple Blessings. Kate claimed that in addition to having a supportive spouse, it took about 50-plus volunteers in that first year in order to cope with the responsibility. She said she literally did not sit down that first year, except for when the volunteer of the day forced her to sleep or go sit on the patio for fifteen minutes while they changed diapers, made meals, fixed bottles...anything which needed to be done. On top of that, Kate prepared herself ahead of time to recognize the signs of post-partum depression, and to ask for help.

Kate broke down the cost of caring for 14 children in this manner:
Food: $22,000+
Housing: $500,000+
Transportation: $225,000+
Clothing: $90,000+
Health Care: $125,000
Day Care: $150,000
Estimated Total: $1.5 Million

I agree with Dr. Phil that the doctor needs to be held accountable for his actions. Clearly, he ignored the ethics of allowing an unemployed mother to use IVF so many times. And I also agree CPS needs to keep a close eye on this family. We can't blame the children for the choices their mother and doctor made; they are innocent victims. But what we CAN do is make resources available to the mother so the appropriate care can be given.

The thirty minutes I saw did not address the issue of should the mother be allowed to keep the children. And they did not have time to get into the issue of people thinking she's trying to be like Brangelina. As one friend put it in the preview..."If she's hoping Brad Pitt will swoop in and rescue her, then she needs to wake up and get a clue!"

If you want to join the discussion on DP's message board (and I'm sure it overloaded the system after the show aired, imho!), go to and voice your own concerns.

Yes, it is not fair to the taxpayers to foot the bill for this irresponsible act; it isn't fair to the millions of infertile couples out there who would dearly love one shot at IVF. But is it fair to let these kids slip through the cracks? Let's hope the state of California takes notice and helps these kids out in any way, shape or form. And that a support system is set up in case Mom does go off the deep end. I know Grandma is feeling overwhelmed...what happens after all eight babies arrive home?

Okay; I'm done ranting.

Hubby's still getting his sugar under control. It was down this morning to 340, so that's an improvement! Just for fun, I tested mine: 104.

I also have finally heard from an editor:) My first edits will be on the way within a week. I know...crazy that I'm looking forward to this, after reading my blogmates woes about edits and FLE's...but come on, 'fess up. Weren't you just a little excited when your first book was going through this process?

No comments: