It’s hard to believe, but it’s been eight years since Nadya Suleman — who now goes by the name Natalie — made headlines as “Octomom,” a single mother-of-six who was pregnant with eight babies at once after going through IVF. In the years that followed the birth of her kids — daughters Maliyah and Nariyah and sons Noah, Isaiah, Jonah, Makai, Josiah, and Jeremiah — life was anything but ordinary for Natalie.
She made headlines for pretty much everything; in 2012, she was criticized by the public when she admitted that she relied on public assistance. The same year, she made the decision to star in an adult film, Octomom Home Alone, but ultimately abandoned her pornography career and ended that year by checking into rehab.
Since getting help, however, Natalie’s life — along with her 14 kids — is surprisingly normal. In a recent interview, she admitted that seeing her daughter put on stripper heels motivated her to turn her life around — and she never looked back.
“She put on these heels and she started strutting in them,” Natalie told Inside Edition of her daughter, who was 10 at the time. “That was it. That was the moment when I said I’d rather be homeless in a van with all my kids than allow any of my girls to feel that they are not worthy enough, and they have to go down that path.”
In 2013, she made the decision to “abandon” Octomom — a character, she has said, that was created by the media and a nickname that she never liked — and she clearly never looked back. “I was alive again. As ‘Octomom,’ I was the walking dead. When I woke up and I went back to my rooms, my helping profession, and my kids, we were struggling financially but it didn’t matter. I never felt so free and so happy in my life,” she said. “I have embraced every day with gratitude.”