“Octomom” Nadya Suleman, who has a total of 14 children, took to Instagram on Jan. 27 to celebrate the 13th birthday of her octuplets in a sweet tribute. “Happy 13th birthday to Nariyah, Isaiah, Maliyah, Jeremiah, Noah, Josiah, Jonah, and Makai,” she captioned the post.
“You are all growing into some of the most kind, humble, grateful and loving human beings I have ever known,” the 46-year-old praised her kids. “Each of you possess rare and unique characteristics, and are unlike any other child of your age, particularly in our society today. You are selfless, altruistic, nonmaterialistic, and loving, ꜰᴇᴀʀɪɴɢ, followers of God.”
Suleman famously gave birth to her eight children in 2009 via in vitro ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, earning her the nickname “Octomom”. While the birth of the octuplets 13 years ago made the family famous, it was the fact that Suleman already had six kids at home that really raised eyebrows. Suleman was 21-years-old and ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇᴅ when she began ⒾⓋⒻ in 1997, using money from a $165,000 settlement she got from sᴜFFᴇʀɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ɪɴᴊᴜʀʏ at work.
She got ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ five times, once with fraternal twins, before Bᴇᴠᴇʀʟʏ Hɪʟʟs Fᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ specialist Dr. Michael Kamrava ᴛʀᴀɴsFᴇʀʀᴇᴅ 12 ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏs into her ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs in one go. Nonetheless, Suleman gave birth to the octuplets at 31 weeks in 2009, with 46 doctors and nurses on hand to perform ᴛʜᴇ C-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. Six boys and two girls weighing between 1 lb. 8 oz. and 3 lbs. 4 oz were ᴅᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ. The siblings became the longest sᴜʀᴠɪᴠɪɴɢ set of octuplets to be born in the US.
The California State University Fullerton grad noted at the time that her kids are vegan, eat in shifts and take turns sleeping on the couch. “My back is ʙʀᴏᴋᴇɴ because of the last ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ,” Suleman went on to say, adding that years of running half-marathons worsened her ɪɴᴊᴜʀʏ. “I have irreparable sacral ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢᴇ. And I have ᴘᴇʀɪᴘʜᴇʀᴀʟ ɴᴇᴜʀᴏᴘᴀᴛʜʏ. I haven’t felt my toes on my foot on the right side for many years, and my fingers are ɴᴜᴍʙ all the time every day. The ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ ᴄᴀᴜsᴇᴅ it.”
Now, she has celebrated her octuplets 13th birthday with an adorable snap. These days, she enjoys cooking with her kids in the kitchen. For Christmas, two of her octuplets—Noah and Nariyah—earned the title of head chefs and served up “the most delicious Christmas dinner,” mom raved. On the menu was vegan meatloaf and meatballs; mac and cheese; mashed potatoes and gravy; several veggie dishes; vegan croissant balls and more treats. At the time, Suleman wrote that she was “#BeyondGrateful” for the holiday celebration.