Nadya Suleman, the mother of octuplets and six other children, says she spent at least $24,000 on the in vitro fertilization procedures that led to her first four babies.
Suleman told celebrity magazine Life & Style Weekly that she saved money for the procedures that cost about $6,000 each by working 16-hour days as a psychiatric technician.
When her aunt died, Suleman said she used an undisclosed portion of her $30,000 inheritance to conceive twins. Leftover eggs from that in vitro pregnancy were frozen until she used them to give birth to the octuplets.
Suleman did not give financial details about the octuplets, though in vitro fertilization using frozen eggs is generally cheaper.
"Maybe it was selfish; I'm the first to admit that. Maybe putting in all the eggs was a mistake, but all I've ever wanted is a huge family," said Suleman, according to a transcript of the interview provided by the magazine.
After an on-the-job injury, Suleman collected more than $165,000 in state disability payments.
Suleman, 33, an unemployed single mother, has been trailed by the paparazzi and endured much public scorn in the weeks since the octuplets were born prematurely on Jan. 26.
In the interview, Suleman vowed to protect the identity of the sperm donor but said she would like him to be part of the children's lives. She approached the donor several years ago to help her have children and "year after year, he kept helping me."
She would not say whether they were lovers in the past but acknowledged the donor was upset when he found out she wanted more children after already having six.
"He was upset when I did it again. He said the same thing everyone else did: "You have six beautiful children -- why do you want more?'" she recalled.
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Life and Style Weekly did not pay for the interview, said Letena Lindsay, vice president of corporate communications of Bauer Publishing Group, which publishes the magazine.
Suleman said the octuplet births were painful.
"With that many babies, it feels like your insides are being torn apart," she said.
Seven of the eight babies have been discharged from the hospital. The last baby, Jonah, who was born with a small cleft on his lip, has to gain more weight before he can go home.