Image: Octuplets grandfather
Damian Dovarganes  /  AP
Ed Suleman carries one of his grandsons back home, as members of the media gather outside his residence in Whittier, Calif. His daughter Nadya Suleman, 33, who already has six young children, was released earlier from a hospital in in Bellflower, Calif., on Feb. 5, after giving birth to octuplets on Jan. 26.
updated 2/5/2009 8:31:56 PM ET 2009-02-06T01:31:56

The Southern California woman who gave birth to octuplets last week has been discharged from the hospital.

Hospital spokeswoman Nancy Tovar-Huxen says 33-year-old Nadya Suleman left Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center early Thursday. The spokeswoman provided no further details, citing the mother’s request for privacy. Suleman gave birth to six boys and two girls on Jan. 26.

One of Suleman's hastily hired publicists said she is considering offers including possible book and TV deals.

Public records shed little light on Suleman. The 33-year-old single mother, who now has 14 children under the age of 8, has used different names over the years and has been married and divorced once.

Octuplets' mother's past
State documents disclosed Thursday to The Associated Press show that she received more than $165,000 in disability payments for an on-the-job back injury. The payments were made between 2002 and 2008, during which time Suleman gave birth to most of her six other children.

Suleman was employed at a state mental health hospital from 1997 until December, when she resigned the position. Records provided to the AP following a public records request to the Department of Mental Health show that for much of that time, however, she was unable to work.

Neighbors say that while Suleman is quick to smile and wave to them, she generally keeps to herself.

"She's a very pretty woman and, yes, she's very friendly when I see her," said Thelma Steinweg, who said Suleman moved next door on the quiet, narrow cul-de-sac about three years ago.

"But I usually only see her going in or out of her house or on the steps, shouting at the kids when they're playing in the yard," Steinweg added.

As she spoke she glanced at Suleman's small front yard, littered with children's toys. A child's car seat sat propped up near the front door. From the front porch, Suleman's mother could be heard inside, singing to a crying child.

Octuplets' birth sparks controversy
While Suleman, whose 14 children were conceived by in vitro fertilization, declined to speak publicly for days, she has come under criticism from TV and radio commentators, bloggers and others who have accused her of irresponsibly having more children than she appears prepared to care for. Some have accused her of having the octuplets in an effort to cash in with a TV or book deal.

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Although her publicists acknowledge she is reviewing such offers, one of her friends said she simply loves children and didn't get pregnant for profit.

"She's not even interested in that right now," said Jessica Zepeda, who lives down the street. "It's funny and sad in a way, there's a lot of people saying really negative things and they don't know her."

Slideshow: Famous multiples

Suleman's mother said she expects people's opinions to change when her daughter goes public with her story.

"She's a very likable person," said Angela Suleman, who spoke briefly with a reporter on her doorstep Wednesday. "She's basically normal except for this obsession she's always had with children."

Nadya Suleman, who public records show has held a license as a mental health technician, was listed on the payroll of Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk from 1997 until last year.

Her mother said her daughter hasn't worked since soon after becoming pregnant with her octuplets. She has also had to discontinue her pursuit of a master's degree at California State University, Fullerton, where she earned a bachelor's degree in child care development.

"She may not be able to finish her master's degree now and she was so close to wrapping it up," her mother said Wednesday.

Nadya Suleman's publicist Mike Furtney said she has told him it's her dream to eventually earn a Ph.D. in some field involving counseling.

Furtney said Suleman is "feeling great" and looking forward to being reunited with her octuplets, who are expected to remain in the hospital for several more weeks.

"She's happy to be out of the hospital, although she misses her children," he said. "She can't wait until they join her."

The octuplets were born nine weeks prematurely and will be released from the hospital individually as they hit a near-normal newborn weight.

"At this point in their development, they are not mature enough to coordinate the suckling and swallowing at the same time to be bottle-fed," said Dr. Mandhir Gupta, the hospital's neonatologist.

Paternity unclear
According to Steinweg, Suleman initially thought only six of the eight embryos she had implanted in her womb last year had survived. She learned later in her pregnancy that seven had. She was surprised again on the day she gave birth to learn there were actually eight. Born Jan. 26, the children are now the longest known surviving octuplets in history.

It still isn't clear who their father is, or who fathered Suleman's other six children, who range in age from 2 to 7.

Suleman listed a David Solomon as the father on the birth certificates for her first four children but gave a different birthday for him on each certificate and listed both Israel and California as his place of birth. He could not be located for comment.

She listed no father on the birth certificates for her fifth and sixth children, twins born in 2006.

Suleman herself has been known by different names over the years, including Natalie Suleman, Natalie Gutierrez, Nadya Gutierrez and Nadya Doud.

Suleman was married to Marcos Gutierrez in 1996 and was divorced last year, according to public records. Gutierrez did not return calls to numbers listed for him, and his divorce lawyer, Roberto Gil, declined to comment.

Divorce papers state the couple split up in 2000 and had no children, although Suleman had given birth to her first six children by the time the divorce was finalized.

Public records show Suleman's father has used the last names Doud and Suleman. Her parents married in Las Vegas in 1974 and divorced in 1999. Suleman was their only child.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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