Octuplet Mom Nadya Suleman Says She's Struggling But Kids are Healthy

Nadya Suleman, 'Octomom,' calls their struggles 'the usual problems – times 14.'

July 13, 2010— -- Eighteen months ago, when Nadya Suleman and her octuplets first made headlines around the globe, many wondered how this unemployed single mother -- already raising six kids -- could manage on her own with a brood of 14.

Questions swirled about how she could afford to care for them, financially and otherwise.

Nowadays, the family is struggling but getting by, negotiating some bumps along the way but doing fine, according to Suleman, who answered some questions from ABCNews through Attorney Jeff Czech.

The babies, born January 26, 2009, are the world's longest-surviving octuplets. Today they're all pinchable, healthy toddlers, walking and trying out their first words for mom and their big brothers and sisters, Elijah, 9; Amerah, 8; J.J., 6; Aidan, 5; and twins Caleb and Calyssa, 3.

Soon after Suleman, now 35, first topped the headlines, she became a lightning rod for criticism from every imaginable direction. She already had six children and their expenses were heavily underwritten by Suleman's parents.

But Suleman had plans to return to school after having the babies and wanted to complete her master's degree and work to support her family.

These days her dream of completing her education is on hold. She has no steady income. But she is shopping a book to publishers. She won't say what it is about or what the working title is.

She has been able to live off money earned selling access to herself and her family. Reportedly she banked $100,000 for a Star magazine February cover story and photos, "My New Bikini Body: No Nips, No Tucks, No Lipo."

As she grapples with the daily realities of raising 14 children who crave attention from their mommy, Suleman reports that all of them are "generally happy."

The oldest ones are not without some stress, she acknowledged. It's difficult to give any of them enough of the attention they need and want, she said.

This may be why she occasionally finds herself in a parental wrestling match with Elijah, her eldest. Amerah, her second-born, age 8, is already a "teenager."

Octuplet Mom Frets Over Finances

So far, though, they are staying out of trouble at school and getting decent grades.

Suleman characterizes their struggles as "the usual problems – times 14."

Still, she worries a lot about how she will support her family without a steady income. Thanks in part to "one to two" nannies she employs to help with the children, she is able to exercise often to deal with the stress. She also has some help from friends and neighbors on a part-time, as-needed basis.

But she is struggling, she said. She staved off having to pay a balloon note on her La Habra, Calif. house, convincing the seller to accept monthly payments instead, her lawyer said.

Suleman continues to be dogged by tabloid photographers and complains that she cannot go anywhere without people staring or taking pictures of her and her children.

She has said she feels like she's been made into a "carnival attraction" and she doesn't like it. In April, she told Oprah Winfrey that the public's image of "Octomom" is "the antithesis of who I am as a person."

As for the fertility doctor who implanted all of her 14 children, he is facing the possible revocation of his medical license. Dr. Michael Kamrava says he is confident that he will retain his license. Suleman continues to defend him; She says he was doing what she had asked of him. And, she said, the octuplets were conceived from the same procedure as the prior singletons.

"Maybe the doctor did not believe me or expect me to keep all 8 (7) once I learned how many took and he wanted me to terminate some of them after we knew they were surviving," she said.

"But which one was I supposed to kill?"

"Watch the full story tonight on "Nightline" at 11:35 p.m. ET"