LA HABRA, Calif. — Octuplet mom Nadya Suleman's newfound celebrity reached a fever pitch as she brought home the first two of her eight babies.
Scores of photographers, reporters and gawkers who had staked out her new house for hours clung to her vehicle as she arrived home late Tuesday in a homecoming reminiscent of the scenes that have surrounded Hollywood's infamous celebutantes.
Suleman was sitting with her babies in the back seat of the SUV as it went straight into the garage of her new four-bedroom, three-bath home in La Habra, about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles, where she will raise her 14 children.
The media mob shoved and pushed, with some grabbing and riding the vehicle until the garage door closed despite being dented and nearly pulled off its tracks.
Video posted on Radaronline.com, where Suleman has been publishing a video diary, showed the SUV pulling into the garage from the inside, and screams can be heard for the photographers to get out. Laughter was audible from inside the vehicle after the garage door closed.
Suleman said on the video that she called police when she was driven into the garage.
"This was beyond anything I expected, they were completely swarming the car," she said of the paparazzi. "I was really, really worried about the safety of everybody."
Two caretakers in scrubs could be seen helping Suleman take the babies into the house after she showed them off to the camera, and Suleman's older children were shown kneeling and fawning over their baby brothers.
The unemployed, divorced mother gave birth to the octuplets nine weeks premature on Jan. 26 in Bellflower. She already had six children, ages 2 to 7.
The octuplets _ whose birth weights ranged from 1 pound, 8 ounces to 3 pounds, 4 ounces _ spent their first seven weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center. The first two babies to be discharged _ Noah and Isaiah _ are each about 5 pounds and can be bottle feed, the hospital said.
The other two girls and four boys continue gaining weight and will be released in the coming days, the hospital said.
"This is a happy moment for everyone _ the family, physicians, nurses and entire NICU staff," said Dr. Mandhir Gupta, a neonatologist at the medical center. "It is always rewarding whenever a premature infant goes home as a healthy baby."
The babies' historic births were initially met with curiosity and celebration, but a backlash against Suleman grew as the public learned that the 33-year-old mother had few means to support her brood.
In recent weeks, Suleman has been seen squabbling with her mother on Internet videos, and led tours of her new home for paparazzi. Last week, she had a televised baby shower on the "Dr. Phil" show.
Suleman said she is paying for the house _ listed for $564,900 _ with money from "opportunities" she has selected, but did not elaborate.