So, have you ever heard of a family raising sextuplets on a reality TV show? No, not that family. The network WE tv launched its new show Raising Sextuplets in June, which profiles the brood of Jenny and Bryan Masche, of Lake Havasu, Arizona and their six two-year-olds (predictably adorable Bailey, Savannah, Molli, Cole, Grant and Blake.) WE TV first started following the Masche family with cameras for a documentary on Jenny’s pregnancy (she did IUI after two-and-a-half years of trying to get pregnant.) So far the show has none of the drama of Jon and Kate (whew) but some of the fun and chaos: Jon tries to lose his “baby weight,” the kids whack each other in the tub. As if you needed any more reason to feel inferior, Jenny works nights as a physician’s assistant in the ER and runs marathons.
Babble talked to Jenny about what makes them different from the Gosselins, why they did the show in the first place, and what parents of just one or two kids can learn from a mom who had to manage six bottles at the same time. – Jennifer V. Hughes
There has been such an enormous amount of negative publicity and reaction to Jon and Kate Gosselin lately – why in the world would you want to do this TV program, especially now?
You know, all the stuff about them makes me very, very nervous, but our show started out so long before any negative publicity ever came out about them . . . we were filming our documentary when I was pregnant. But we are very different people. Just because we have a show doesn’t mean the same thing is going to happen to us. The only similarity I see between us is that we both have sextuplets.
Do you think there is something you can do with your situation to avoid the kind of media circus their lives have become?
Absolutely. It’s all about choices; they were not in the media until Jon got photographed at a bar with another woman, and then it snowballed and got crazy. Brian and I, we’re not perfect by any stretch, but we believe in Christ and we live our lives based on that, and a lot of the choices we make reflect on that. Hopefully we’re grounded in that reality with God, and that will keep us from things that will bring us negative attention. I mean, we still have our moments of being angry, but . . .
Why did you decide to do the show to begin with?
When we got pregnant with the sextuplets and they asked us to document the pregnancy, we thought this was a one-time shot for us. It was a documentary – we never thought of a show. We loved it, we just thought it was fun. It was positive, and hopefully it will continue to be positive. If it ever starts to add stress in our lives, it’s done.
Why do you think people are so fascinated by parents of multiples – the Jon and Kate thing, Octomom?
You know, I honestly don’t know. My life seems really boring to me. I don’t know anything different from sextuplets. But all my friends with one or two, their lives are so astronomically changed, people can’t even fathom having six or five or four. They think, “I’m overwhelmed with one child; how the heck does someone do this?” Sometimes it can be encouraging to see someone’s life that seems harder that yours. It helps to have perspective.
I’m sure you’ve heard about people making judgments about your decision to have so many babies, to do the show – what has bothered you the most and what did you do to deal with it?
You know, I don’t look at anything. I don’t read anything, because I want to guard my ears and my mind from negativity. As long as I please God and my husband and my family and the people around me can see that what we’re doing is a positive thing, I don’t care about what other people think.
What has been the most surprising thing you’ve experienced since having your children?
It’s surprising that it’s not as bad as we thought. I was so depressed when I delivered – I’m sure a lot of it was hormonal, I was sick, in the ICU. I had envisioned that this situation we got ourselves into was totally impossible. When you’re that depressed and negative, then when you actually have the kids come home and you realize what a joy they are . . . They fulfill me in a way I’ve never been fulfilled in my life.