"Octomom" or "Octo-moron"—Nurses' Blogs Weigh In

March 3, 2009

The "octomom" is the center of attention on nurses' blogs.

On Mardi Gras day, it's tradition in New Orleans to wear a costume and walk the streets prior to the start of the parades. This year, many people dressed up as the "octomom." Some attached eight baby dolls to the front of their costumes while others hung them from fishing poles or attached them to a ball and chain that they dragged along the street. People along the parade route pointed and laughed.

The "octomom" is receiving considerable attention on nurses' blogs as well. While most nurses like to think of themselves as nonjudgmental and accepting, the posts and responses on nurses' blogs are anything but. A common sentiment is that the "octomom" is really an "octo-moron." More than one nurse has written that the "octomom" needs her head examined. Particularly amusing are the ways that the babies' birth have been described. One nurse wrote that it's not right to "pump out a litter" while another wrote that the uterus is not a clown car at the circus.

The financial implications of raising eight children (and their six siblings) have been discussed on nurses' blogs. One nurse wrote that adoption is the only rational decision. On nurses' and other blogs, writers express resentment that they (as taxpayers) will ultimately be supporting these children. A new round of resentment arose when the "octomom" told the media that the hospital may not release the babies. Many news outlets appropriately reported that child protective services, not hospitals, have the authority to decide if they babies can go home. And as one nurse blogger wrote, the emphasis should be shifted from the "octomom" keeping the babies ("as if they were toys that she found in the woods") to how she is obligated to support them.

A number of nurse bloggers point the finger to the fertility specialist who implanted six embryos (two of the embryos split, so eight babies were born). Several bloggers support the creation of laws and/or regulations that limit the number of implants. Other bloggers also suggest that the media should stop giving the "octomom" the attention she has been receiving, and "let her fade into the sunset, where the reality of caring for 14 children will set in." In any event, the "octomom" was the center of attention on nurses' blogs this past week and will likely to continue to garner attention until the next sensational story comes along.