See What The World’s First Surviving Septuplets Are Doing Now!
- April 30, 2023
In 1997, a family in Iowa made history when they welcomed the world’s first surviving set of septuplets. The McCaughey septuplets quickly became a media sensation, with everyone wanting to know their story. Now, more than two decades later, the McCaughey siblings are all grown up and making their own way in the world. But what are they doing now? Read on to find out more about the amazing lives of the world’s first surviving septuplets.
Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey felt overjoyed with the arrival of their first child, a healthy baby girl named Mikayla Marie, in 1996. The couple had difficulty conceiving due to Bobbi’s complications with her pituitary gland, which can affect fertility. Mikayla’s birth was a miracle for the McCaugheys, inspiring them to consider having more children.
Bobbi and Kenny’s journey to having more kids was not an easy one. They had to seek medical intervention to conceive. They turned to Metrodin, a drug used to stimulate ovulation. But they had never anticipated what would happen next. The news took the world by storm, with the media positioning the McCaughey family as a symbol of hope for couples facing reproductive challenges.
Bobbi and her husband never expected to hear the news that they did during a routine scan with their doctor – they were expecting just one child, but instead, Bobbi was pregnant with seven. The news was life-changing and came with both excitement and fear as the couple was now looking at a family of ten. Complications with high-order multiples meant that the pregnancy could potentially be dangerous for both Bobbi and her babies.
The health risks associated with carrying high-order multiples took a toll on Bobbi and her unborn babies. The doctor advised the couple to consider a difficult decision – selective reduction. This process involves protecting the fetuses with the best chances of survival by reducing the number of fetuses in the womb. Essentially, it involves terminating the fetuses with lower chances of survival. Though it was a heartbreaking decision, Bobbi and her husband ultimately decided against selective reduction, viewing all seven of their babies as precious blessings deserving of life.
Despite the significant health risks associated with carrying seven babies, Bobbi and Kenny were determined to continue with the pregnancy, refusing to choose any of their babies over another. Though they understood the challenges that lay ahead, their love for their children drove them forward. With only about 40-50 successful births of septuplets worldwide, it was a decision that required a great deal of courage and faith.
Following the birth of the world’s first surviving septuplets, the McCaugheys received an outpouring of support from people across the world, many of whom didn’t even know the family personally. The extraordinary event captured the imagination of people worldwide, prompting donations of essential items such as diapers and food. Kraft responded with a year’s supply of mac and cheese, while others offered babysitting and nanny services. The family’s need for space to accommodate their large family was also met when a 5,000-square-foot house was donated to them.
The countdown to the birth of the septuplets was an exhilarating yet nerve-wracking time for the McCaugheys. The doctors warned Bobbi that the stress of the deliveries could potentially result in an early labor, adding to the family’s anxiety. Despite the challenges, they remained positive and tried their best to manage their stress levels. While they were worried that things might not go as planned, the couple knew that staying calm and optimistic was crucial.
Bobbi and Kenny received a life-changing message that they needed to be at the hospital at just 31 weeks, and the babies would have to be delivered by Caesarean section. Though the couple was a bit taken aback, they had full trust in their medical team. On November 19th, 1997, in a miraculous event that lasted just SIX minutes, Bobbi gave birth to seven babies.
Bobbi and Kenny were overjoyed to welcome their seven healthy babies, comprising of four boys and three girls. The couple excitedly began the process of choosing names for their little ones. The heaviest of the septuplets was named Robert, while the other boys were given the names Kenny Robert, Brandon James, Nathan Roy, and Joel Steven. The girls’ names were equally beautiful, with Alexis Mary, Natalie Sue, and Kelsey Ann. With seven new additions to the family, remembering all their names could be quite a challenge.
The successful delivery of the septuplets was a result of not only Bobbi and Kenny’s effort but also the dedication and hard work of the hospital staff. The doctors, nurses, and maternity staff were proud to have been a part of making American history. Following the birth, the hospital team came together to capture a memorable group photo, commemorating their collective efforts and the miracle of life.
As a precaution, the hospital doctors wanted to make sure both the babies and the mother were healthy before discharging them. As a result, Bobbi and her seven newborns spent three months and ten days under observation at the hospital. When news of their impending release spread, eager journalists and news crews gathered outside to capture a glimpse of the septuplets. As the McCaugheys left the hospital and headed home, they were met with a cascade of cheers, tears, and smiles, signaling the start of their new journey as a family of ten.
The couple’s miracle babies caught the attention of then-US President Bill Clinton, who personally called to congratulate them. Adding to the excitement was the unexpected visit from Iowa’s Governor Terry Brandstad, who paid the family a visit while embracing one of the septuplets, baby Kenny, and planting a kiss on his cheek. The display of attention and affection for the family from these prominent figures only added to the joy and excitement of their multiple blessings.
In order to ensure the safety of the McCaughey family, the police set up a security post outside their home to guarantee that the couple would reach their new home safely without facing any troubles. Upon their release from the hospital, the babies were temporarily housed in the McCaughey’s old home until they could move into a more suitable arrangement.
As Bobbi and Kenny tended to their newborn babies at their old home, preparations for their new home were in full swing. Soon enough, the couple’s new home was ready for them, and a special ceremony was held to hand over the keys. The chairman of Clarke Companies, Lloyd Clarke, presented the keys to the couple in the garage of the house. The moment was filled with excitement and anticipation as the couple finally entered their new home, ready to start their new life together as a family of ten.
The McCaugheys initially believed that only local reporters were interested in their incredible story, but to their surprise, news of their septuplets had captured the attention of prominent magazines and news outlets nationwide. A mere month after the babies were born, Bobbi and Kenny were featured on the front cover of Time Magazine, solidifying their place in history and inspiring people worldwide.
ABC News PrimeTime scored an exclusive interview with the McCaughey family, offering a complete and comprehensive feature on their incredible journey. Unlike other news outlets that simply recounted the story, ABC delved into additional aspects of their lives and experiences beyond the septuplets’ birth, making for a unique and informative segment.
Despite much of the news coverage being positive, there was also a fair share of criticism. Some people labeled the McCaugheys as irresponsible for having what they viewed as too many children, and others expressed concern over the potential environmental impact of raising a large family. However, Bobbi and Kenny were unfazed by the criticism and found immense joy and gratitude in their seven little blessings.
As the initial excitement around the septuplets subsided, the McCaugheys focused on the task of raising their eight children. The Dionne family, who had previously raised quintuplets, offered a valuable piece of advice to the McCaugheys, emphasizing the importance of keeping their family life as private as possible. While they heeded this advice, the McCaugheys made one exception- to make a yearly public appearance on their septuplets’ birthday, to express their gratitude for the support they had received.
Raising one baby requires an enormous amount of attention; imagine having to take care of seven babies simultaneously. Understandably, the McCaugheys recognized the sheer amount of attention and care that their septuplets would require. Thus, they made sure that all seven babies received regular check-ups with their doctor to ensure their health and well-being.
Raising seven growing babies was undoubtedly an expense, particularly when it came to necessities like diapers and formula- with reports suggesting that the couple used an average of 52 diapers and 42 bottles of milk per day. As a result, Bobbi and Kenny made a conscious decision to develop a strategy to manage their large family effectively and control their expenses.
As a mother of seven newborns, it would have been justifiable for Bobbi to turn to formula feeding. Instead, she made the admirable decision of exclusively breastfeeding her septuplets for the first three months of their lives. Providing seven infants with breast milk meant that four to five gallons of pumped milk were required each week, a staggering volume that Bobbi graciously stepped up to produce.
As expected with raising septuplets, every task, from feeding to diaper changing, took a significant amount of time. Potty training proved to be particularly challenging and time-consuming, despite the McCaughey’s success in potty-training their first daughter, Mikayla, within four days. With the septuplets, it took much longer to achieve full potty training.
With the significant effort and time needed to raise eight children, volunteers proved to be nothing short of a blessing for the McCaughey family. While they would have required around seventy volunteers to assist with daily tasks, a dedicated team of eight or nine people ensured that they received the necessary help, such as changing diapers, feeding the babies, and ensuring all-around care.
In addition to the volunteers who offered their services, the McCaughey family also received immense support from within their own family. This included Bobbi’s sister, who can be seen in a heartwarming photo holding one of the septuplets. The couple acknowledged that they wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.
While the entire family was eager to pitch in and help the McCaugheys, there was one family member who went above and beyond. Mikayla, the eldest of the siblings, took charge of feeding and caring for her younger brothers and sisters. She embraced her role as big sister and felt compelled to help alleviate some of the pressure on her parents.
The McCaugheys were determined to reduce their monthly expenses even further. So, they decided to grow their own fruits and vegetables, not only for organic purposes but also to save money on grocery shopping. With fresh produce available in their backyard, they managed to cut down their expenses significantly. Their only desire was to include cow milk in their diet.
As the septuplets continued to mature, they naturally began to develop distinct personalities. Brandon, for example, is renowned for his bravery and stubbornness, while Kenny Jr is often seen as the comedian of the group. In contrast, Natalie and Joel prefer to spend their time reading books, showcasing their more studious personalities.
By spending a considerable amount of time with their children, Kenny and Bobbi were able to observe and identify the distinct personality traits of each of their eight children. For example, Kelsey is often described as a “sporty fashionista,” while Nathan is known for his unwavering determination. Likewise, Alexis is recognized for her sweet and perceptive nature.
Kenny Junior may have inherited his father’s good manners. But his playful and mischievous ways have earned him a reputation for being a pint-sized explorer. Bobbi affectionately refers to her son as such, a fitting moniker for a child with an insatiable curiosity and a thirst for adventure. He sure brings joy to those around him with his infectious personality.
As the septuplets grew from infants to toddlers, they formed an unbreakable bond and created a language all their own. This intriguing occurrence is commonly referred to as “cryptophasia” and is typically observed in twins, triplets, and other siblings who share an incredibly close bond.
As the years flew by, the septuplets grew older, and the McCaughey family celebrated each birthday milestone together, creating cherished memories that they would forever hold close to their hearts. For the McCaugheys, each birthday represented not only an opportunity to celebrate their septuplets’ growth but also a chance to express their gratitude to God for guiding them through their journey and helping them make the decision to keep all seven babies.
In this photograph, there are only four candles for the septuplets, despite there being seven children. This was a deliberate act by the McCaughey parents to teach their children the value and significance of sharing. By being both practical and innovative, the McCaugheys used this opportunity to impart a valuable lesson to their little ones. The septuplets, however, didn’t seem to mind sharing the candles one bit.
Video games have captured the hearts of many young children, and the septuplets were no different. As they grew, some of the boys showed a keen interest in video games and found joy in playing them for hours on end. Although Bobbi and Kenny hoped that their children would eventually grow out of their fascination with video games, their love for them prevailed. The parents have found a way to make the most out of this shared interest by bonding with their children over their favorite games.
As the septuplets continued to mature, it was evident that each child developed at a different rate – some stronger while others are more fragile. However, such factors did not deter the McCaughey parents from exerting equal attention and love on each of their children. To make things easier, Bobbi and Kenny decided to dress their four boys identically and their three girls in the same outfits.
Buying clothes for one child can already be a challenge, let alone for seven growing children. The McCaughey family felt the pinch of this burden until the renowned children’s clothing company, Carter’s, stepped in. The company announced that they would provide clothes for all of the septuplets until they turned five, resulting in a massive relief for the McCaughey family. This kind gesture greatly lightened the burden on the family. It also provided the septuplets with high-quality clothes that kept them looking stylish as they matured.
Years after President Clinton congratulated the parents, another U.S. president had the fortunate opportunity of meeting the septuplets in person. George W. Bush not only met the septuplets, but also had the chance to spend time with them and their family. The attention and recognition from these powerful figures serve as a testament to the magnitude of the septuplets’ birth and the impact it had on the world around them.
During the family’s celebration of the children’s eighth birthday, it brought a unique opportunity for them to be featured on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal. The children’s photo spread was accompanied by an article that featured Bobbi and Kenny responding to a series of intriguing questions. It was a significant moment for the family as they reflected on the challenges they had overcome and the milestones they had achieved.
Despite the considerable media attention both before and after the birth of their children, the McCaugheys could have easily agreed to a reality TV show based on their unique story. However, they were cautious about their family’s privacy and made sure to refrain from such a public arrangement. Granted, there were occasional moments when the children were featured on TV or in the press.
In 2001, mindful of shielding their children from public scrutiny, the McCaughey family struck a deal with Gamma Press. It permitted the company to capture a single photo of the septuplets on their birthday each year. In doing so, the family could document their progress while keeping them away from the media spotlight. Settling for an annual photo shoot was a carefully thought-out decision, as the family felt it struck a balance between sharing their story with the world and preserving their privacy.
Every year, the McCaughey septuplets were captured in a group photo, but that wasn’t all. Each of the septuplets was also given an individual portrait, capturing memorable moments and significant milestones. These yearly portraits became invaluable keepsakes for the entire family, documenting the growth and evolution of each child as they developed their personalities and unique traits.
For the most part, the McCaugheys were not interested in having cameras follow their every move for a reality TV show. However, they made an exception when Ann Curry from the Today Show was invited to film the septuplets on their 13th birthday. On this occasion, the family allowed the cameras into their home to capture the special moment when each child blew out their own set of 13 candles.
Despite the remarkable achievements and milestones of the septuplets, their journey was not without its challenges. Premature birth can have a negative impact on a child’s development, and it was no different for the McCaughey septuplets. As a result, two of the children were born with cerebral palsy – a condition that affects movement and coordination. Nathan and Alexis continue to face significant challenges due to their condition.
Despite suffering from cerebral palsy, both Alexis and Nathan require assistive walking devices due to their mobility difficulties. However, Nathan was determined to walk independently and didn’t want to rely on his walker anymore. With an unwavering spirit, Nathan taught himself how to walk without the aid of his walking device. “I wanted to learn to walk without my walker, so I taught myself. It’s still getting better every day,” he shared.
After years of homeschooling, the septuplets entered a new chapter of their lives by enrolling in Carlisle High School in Iowa. As expected, their arrival was met with widespread attention. They quickly became the talk of the town. Despite the magnitude of the attention drawn to them, the septuplets took everything in stride. Along with joining a new school, some of the septuplets pursued passions in music and joined the school band.
The septuplets not only captured attention by joining the school band, but they also showed their distinct talents and interests. Some of them took up cross-country and wrestling, while others pursued their interests in the choir and speech society. Despite their shared upbringing, each of the septuplets had their own unique passions and skills.
Alexis, like her brother, didn’t let her condition limit her potential. Despite requiring assistance to walk, she showcased her remarkable skills and talent in various areas, establishing herself as an exceptional individual. In 2013, she won the prestigious “Teens Miss Dreams Come True” award, which is a testament to her impressive accomplishments. Besides, she also excelled in academics, finishing in the top 15% of her class.
As the septuplets approached the landmark age of eighteen, the media was eager to capture yet another milestone. It was a significant year for them as they also graduated from high school, marking the end of their adolescence. Despite their unique upbringing as septuplets, they continued to engage in typical teenage activities.
The McCaughey septuplets brought immense pride to their parents and themselves by graduating in May 2016. This remarkable achievement serves as a powerful message for anyone who ever doubted their academic capabilities. It was indeed a testament to the unwavering dedication and hard work of Bobbi and Kenny.
Bobbi McCaughey was overcome with emotion as she watched her beautiful children grow up and graduate from high school. For her, the most precious aspect was the strong bond that they all shared with each other. “It’s bittersweet to see things end, but there will be many firsts to come,” she said.
Upon the birth of the septuplets, the state of Iowa committed to supporting their college education at any university of their choice. Natalie, Nathan, Joel, and Kelsey chose to take up this offer, and they are currently studying at the Hannibal-LaGrange University in Missouri. Even though they are away from their family, they find solace in the fact that they are together. On the other hand, Alexis and Kenny enrolled in a local college as it kept them close to their parents.
Alexis’s unwavering passion for teaching has fueled her pursuit of this profession, one she has always longed for. Her social media channels are a testament to the effort she puts into achieving her dream, and it’s clear that she has the makings of an inspiring educator. Currently, Alexis resides with her parents in Runnells, Iowa. She earned a liberal arts degree from Hannibal-LaGrange and now works at Altoona Kids World.
Natalie is committed to continuing her sister Alexis’s legacy and is pursuing a career in early-childhood education. She is passionate about teaching and is particularly interested in elementary school education. Natalie currently resides in Hannibal, Missouri, with her husband, Shawn Geralds. At present, she is focused on pursuing a master’s degree in athletic training from Culver-Stockton College.
Bobbi and Kenny felt immense pride as their son, Brandon, achieved his dream of serving in the US Army. Having completed his training with exceptional skills in pistol and carbon shooting, Brandon is now a part of the 75th Ranger Regiment. His parents are hopeful that he’ll make a positive impact while serving his country with honor and distinction. Brandon is now married to Alana, and they have a daughter named Ellie. Due to security concerns related to his military career, the family has chosen not to disclose their current whereabouts.
Just like every human being, each of the McCaughey septuplets has their own set of unique characteristics and preferences that shape their aspirations and life goals. Kenny Jr., in particular, found joy in the art of carpentry and is now employed at Waukee Cabinet Works. Currently, Kenny resides in Dallas Center with his wife, Synthia, and they are expecting their first child in late November.
Kenny Jr. proved to be a thoughtful and skilled craftsman when his big sister Mikayla welcomed her first child. In an effort to create a cherished and timeless gift for his sibling, Kenny Jr. crafted a beautiful kitchen table complete with benches. Mikayla was deeply touched by the meaningful present and felt incredibly blessed and grateful to have such a wonderful brother.
Kelsey has a natural gift for music and is passionate about singing. Currently, she resides in Hannibal, Missouri, with her husband Kevin Morrison. Pursuing a career in public relations, Kelsey earned her degree in the same field from Hannibal-LaGrange University. Although she worked for some time in public relations, she has since taken up a role as a receptionist in a medical office.
Ever since his childhood days, Nathan had a remarkable penchant for science. Currently, he resides in Des Moines, Iowa. Nathan works at Wellmark, where he plays a crucial role in their IT department. Despite facing challenges caused by his cerebral palsy, he is known for his unyielding determination to forge ahead and succeed.
Joel’s interest in technology led him to choose computer science as his field of focus. Residing with his parents in Runnells, Joel has established a career in IT with Emerson Electric located in Marshalltown, Iowa. His natural talent for working with computers has earned him a reputation for being incredibly intelligent. Moreover, he is known for his quiet, introspective nature.
We can’t forget to include big sister Mikayla, who also pursued her dreams and received constant love and support from her younger siblings. She completed her education at Des Moines College and then graduated from Arizona State University. She is now happily married and the proud mother of a beautiful child, making Bobbi and Kenny happy grandparents.
During a TV interview after their graduation, the septuplets showed no sign of nervousness as they are accustomed to being in front of the media. When asked about their closeness, they emphasized their unbreakable bond, and we hope they will support each other through all of life’s challenges.
As the septuplets crossed the threshold into adulthood, there was a palpable sense of relief for both the children and their parents. While their parents were always there to offer guidance and support, it couldn’t have been easy to navigate the complexities of parenting eight children with unique personalities and needs.
As all of Bobbi and Kenny’s children have embarked upon their respective careers, their empty house reminds the couple of their absence. Nevertheless, they are gradually adjusting to their new normal and take solace in the fact that their children will always be with them in spirit.
Once the children left for college and started their careers, their home felt too large for Bobbi and Kenny. They eventually made the tough decision to downsize to a smaller home, which felt more manageable for them. Bobbi and Kenny made a selfless decision to donate their home to the non-profit organization named Ruth Harbor, which helps young women with unplanned pregnancies. The couple felt a sense of satisfaction knowing that their home would now serve as a meaningful sanctuary for someone who needed it the most.
Choosing selective reduction would have meant sacrificing the chance to parent some of their septuplets. Yet, reflecting on their difficult decision, Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey express gratitude and appreciation for their choice. They consider themselves blessed to have had all their children in their lives and cherish each one of them immensely. Despite the challenges, the McCaugheys remain committed to providing the best for their children and living up to the immense responsibility of parenthood.
The couple decided to pen their experiences in a book, with a significant emphasis on how their unwavering faith brought them comfort and helped them raise their children. Titled “Seven From Heaven,” the book chronicles the joys and challenges of parenting seven children born simultaneously.
Having a large family can come with multiple challenges, but Bobbi and Kenny successfully raised eight children with abundant love and care. By setting an inspiring example, they hope to create more awareness about the joys and rewards of nurturing a big family.
The McCaughey family’s story is one of hope, perseverance, and determination. Despite the odds, all seven of the septuplets have gone on to live successful, fulfilling lives. Their parents’ commitment to their well-being and their own hard work and dedication have propelled them to achieve great things. The McCaughey siblings are an inspiration to us all, and we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.