Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

In the news: octuplets; surrogacy;

Posted on: January 27, 2009

A woman in America has given birth to eight babies, and although born nine weeks prematurely, at present doctors say all of them are doing well.  The babies weighed between 1lb 8 ounces (820g) and 3lb 4oz (1.47kg) and will need to stay in Neonatal Intensive Care for some time.  It’s only the second time in the world that someone has given birth to eight babies at once, and doctors were only expecting her to have seven!

Also in the news is the story of surrogate mother Carol Horlock who has had eleven babies for other couples and also has two children of her own. I am sure surrogacy takes place in most cultures, often with the surrogate mother being a family member, of course this raises huge ethical issues not to mention the emotional issues for all concerned, but wow … this is something that I personally could never have considered, I couldn’t even have parted with my eggs, but I know many couples are eternally grateful for those that are able to help them have a family.

Today I was twice invited to speak on BBC 3 Counties Radio, partly in response to this news story and also to speak about my work as an Independent Midwife –

I had hoped to have the opportunity to discuss my new website but the interviewer was keen to discuss my blog. was launched only three months ago has already proved popular.  The site currently covers Bedford, Milton Keynes and Northampton and aims to be THE information site for all things Pregnancy, Birth and Baby.  For example on the site you can find therapists who specialise in Pre-conceptual support, pregnancy ultrasound, swimming classes for babies and even photographers to photograph your little one!  The site has a comprehensive Links section and an interesting selection of articles and the opportunity to sign up for a regular newsletter.

6 Responses to "In the news: octuplets; surrogacy;"

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Oooo… I was awake when they were airing the Octuplet story on BBC News 24 in the early hours of the morning. How scary but wonderful that so many babies were born alive! May they continue to thrive… I know they were saying on the news that the mother intends to breastfeed all eight babies if possible. I have a hard enough time breastfeeding one, so my hat certainely goes off to her!

I could never consider surrogacy either. For me it was a combination of how bad my health was during pregnancy and the emotional side of handing over a baby I had spent 9+ months nurturing. I have a close family friend who was a surrogate though and she had none of those issues. I really was amazed that she wasn’t in the slightest bit upset or sad, but she just explained that in her mind the babies had never been hers to begin with. She was just incubating them for awhile – and it was actually a relief to hand them over and be done with it and have a happy ending.

I have been spreading the word about your new website! It looks fantastic!

it’s pretty amazing that all eight of those babies survived the birthing process

I agree and hope that they will all do well, it seems that so far they are. Isn’t it absolutely staggering to think of eight babies in one woman’s belly!

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