In 1997, seven adorable babies were born to Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey of Iowa.
The couple already had one daughter and wanted to give her a sibling. They tried desperately to get pregnant, and when they couldn’t, they decided to see if fertility treatments could help.
They were in luck; Bobbi soon found out she was pregnant. At her first appointment, the doctor had some surprising news for the McCaugheys: They were about to become a family of 10! Bobbi was pregnant with septuplets. The couple decided to carry all the babies to term and prayed that they would all be healthy.
The family was blessed with three girls and four boys.
The babies were born on Nov. 19, 1997, and although they came nine weeks early, they were all relatively healthy. Each baby weighed between 2 and 3 pounds. Of course, the family was immediately thrust into the spotlight. They did numerous interviews and appeared on several television shows during the first few years of the septuplets’ lives. As the children got older, the family shied away from the public and attempted to live a normal life.
Raising one baby is hard enough; caring for seven is a lot harder. Still, the McCaugheys pulled through, with a lot of help, that is. During an appearance on the Today Show, Bobbi said:
“I think early on we had so much help from family and friends. If there was anything we needed, there was always someone there who was willing to help us. We have a super strong support system. We have a super strong faith that has been the rock that we have had to stand on.”
The McCaughey family received many donations after bringing home their babies, including a large van and a new home.
The babies were offered college scholarships while they were still in diapers. These scholarships are something the septuplets have taken full advantage of. Four of the septuplets, Natalie, Kelsey, Nathan, and Joel, accepted scholarships offered by private Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri. Kenny Jr. and Alexis attend Des Moines Area Community College, and Brandon enlisted in the United States Army.
They are now on the verge of turning 20 and venturing out into the world to start lives of their own. Luckily, they learned the importance of hard work at an early age. Their father, Kenny, always made it a point to keep his children motivated and to make sure they earned the things they wanted by pushing them to get jobs when they were old enough to work.
Kenny Jr. once told NBC News:
“We were taught if we want something, we have to work for it.”
Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey may say that the only thing harder than raising septuplets is sending them out into the world.
The couple admits that life is a lot easier in some respects now that the septuplets have gone off the college. However, they also say that they now have a lot more worries and concerns while their children are on their own. They have listed their home for sale and are attempting to settle down and enjoy life at a little slower pace. They are also focusing a lot of time on their new grandchild, who belongs to their oldest daughter and the sibling of the septuplets, Mikayla.
Things have definitely changed in 20 years, but it seems like everyone in the McCaughey family is focused on moving forward. All of them also seem to be living surprisingly normal lives. What’s next for the world’s first surviving septuplets? Only time will tell.
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