Is it exciting to have a baby? Of course it is! But what about having more than one at a time? The craziness of having twins or triplets is one thing, now imagine seven babies at once. It sounds unimaginable, but for Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey, this couple proved it can in fact happen.
The chances of their survival are quite low, but with medical centers and procedures in place to help mother and child, these miracles have the opportunity to live perfect lives. Find out how this couple prepared for the biggest adventure of their lives…
The Lucky Parents
In 1996, Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey had become parents for the first time. Unfortunately, Bobbi had some fertility issues due to the malfunctioning of her pituitary gland.
Their little girl was a like a blessing for them and they named her Mikayla Marie. Soon after that, they began looking at having another baby.
The couple had faced a lot of challenges when they were trying to conceive a baby. Fertility treatment was their last hope and the couple had decided to go for it.
They were prescribed Metrodin, which helps to stimulate ovulation which thus enables a female to conceive the pregnancy. The beginning was looking great, and they were hoping for another child to be a baby brother or sister to their shining star.
One Isn’t Enough
Apparently, it was a normal medical check-up for Bobbi until the results from her scan came in front of her. She didn’t have one baby on the way. It wasn’t twins, and even triplets would have seemed like no big deal. She had SEVEN!
Yes, she had seven eggs that had been fertilized. This was extremely overwhelming news, yet it had also become the cause of danger to Bobbi. Was she safe?
A Tough Pregnancy
Though fertility treatment enables a woman to conceive a pregnancy, it can also cause intricacies like in the case of the McCaugheys. The doctors clarified the danger of such a pregnancy to the couple and advised them to take “selective reduction”.
This procedure secures the embryo and increases the chances of its survival. It also decreases the dangers to the embryo caused by various factors.
A Risk Worth Taking
Even though Bobbi and Kenny had a child already and they totally aware of the dangers involved with proceeding with the pregnancy, they took the plunge.
They did not want to lose their babies, who they already considered their children. They thought it would be devastating for them to take the risk of losing any of their potential babies.
Lots of Attention
Once they took the risk to keep all the babies for the entire pregnancy, their story began to spread. People were eager to know about these amazing circumstances.
The public and media were keen on finding out about this family, their decision to take fertility treatment, and the choice to keep all the babies. Though everyone did not support their decision, they were still determined…
Getting The Help They Needed
As the news spread all around of the upcoming births of their seven kids, numerous individuals and associations ran in to help the family. Many people offered them a lot of things.
Kraft donated a year’s worth of mac n’ cheese, others donated diapers, offered nanny services and even – if you can believe it – a 5,000 square foot house! The couple was astonished by the generosity of the people around them.
The couple was very excited about the gifts. When they thought that all the donations had been done, they were amazed when they received a van!
And after a couple of days, they were informed that they would be given a year’s supply of groceries. Those were the true blessings for them. They couldn’t believe how blessed they were, and their children hadn’t been born yet!
Running on Nerves
As everyone can understand, the time leading to the birth of the babies was extremely stressful. Although both Bobbi and Kenny were excited, there was also something in their minds that was the cause of their stress about what could go wrong.
As the days had been passing and the date of the birth of babies had been coming closer, the time was becoming more stressful. They had no idea what would happen next…
Early To The Party!
Bobbi and Kenny were astounded when they had to go to the hospital for cesarean nine weeks earlier from the recommended date for birth. They were nervous as well as excited.
On November 19th, 1997, all the babies were born within six minutes after one another. She gave birth to all the seven babies at once. Now they had the family of 10 members.
Meet the Miracles
Bobbi gave birth to four boys and three girls. After the birth of the septuplets, the parents could finally see all their precious children at once.
It was a bizarre feeling, knowing that their family had grown from three to 10 in a matter of hours! The couple had to face another problem: naming all of the new cuties. However, they had prepared for it, and the names were given to each of them…
Naming The Family
How do you name seven babies? Luckily, Bobbi and Kenny were prepared. They laid out double names for each of their children:
Kenny (Kenneth) Robert, Alexis May, Natalie Sue, Kelsey Ann, Nathan Roy, Brandon James, and Joel Steven. The couple gave them all two name, because why not?
A tube had been used for the feeding of two babies in the beginning. Natalie experienced awful indigestion and had extreme pain when she ate. Lexi had another issue – she had a muscular disorder which made eating very difficult for her.
So, both the babies were on tube feed which was also not comfortable enough for the babies as well as for their parents.
The Birthing Team
The delivery of the septuplets was not a simple job. It was also the first experience for all the staff of the hospital serving at the time. So, it was also difficult for them and somewhat confusing.
They were highly involved in making American history. Two days after the children came into the world, all the staff individuals who helped that day met up for a photograph.
The Press Waited
As Bobbi went to the hospital earlier due to labor, the media that were holding up to cover her story were caught off guard. Since each outlet wanted to get the first coverage of the septuplets and become the first one to broadcast their story, they rushed to the Iowa Methodist Hospital Center in Des Moines.
Unfortunately, it would take somewhat longer than they thought for them to get a story. How did the couple manage to get home without being seen? They did this…
It took three months and 10 days for every one of the children to be healthy enough to go home. It was a day full of smiles and tears as Bobbi and Kenny finally packed their luggage along with the babies to go home.
Cameras and journalists were all around when they left the hospital for their home. Everybody wanted to see the seven blessed children.
After the family’s arrival, and the children’s landing home, security measures had to be taken to ensure that the babies would be secure. After their birth and growth, their security had to be measured.
So, police set up a post outside of their home to guarantee that they would be able to go into their home with no inconvenience. But it wouldn’t be long before they moved to their new house.
Getting the Keys
After the arrival of the family at their old home, when everything settled down, a great ceremony was held for the new family of 10 to get their new 5500 ft² (1676m²) house.
Lloyd Clarke, the Chairman of Clarke Companies, gave the keys of their new house to Kenny in the garage of the house. On that day, everyone was happy and sharing their excitements with each other.
Initially, Bobbi and Kenny were of the view that only reporters were the ones who needed to meet them and hear their story, however, then their story exploded.
They were in the newspapers and magazines. In December 1997, Time Magazine featured them on their front page, as well as many others. That was also one of the happiest days of their lives.
Their TV Debut
ABC News Prime Time was the first TV station that figured out to get an unhindered story and interview with the family. Although there was a great deal of coverage of their birth to the world.
In most of the cases, journalists gave their own version of writing about the story and it diminished after some time. But their story was explored for a long time.
Quite the Mess!
Each day, the septuplets would go through 52 diapers and drink 42 bottles of milk – that’s 5 gallons! – causing quite the financial strain. Though numerous media channels wanted to cover their stories, regardless they got some negative reactions as well.
Some blamed the couple for having “too many kids” and that it could “hurt the environment”. Yet, none of the negative comments would or could take away the wonder they were encountering.
Help From Outside
Thankfully, the Iowa community was there to help in any way they could to help the couple. Sometimes they would babysit, and even donate diapers, food, clothing, and toys.
This helped Bobbi and Kenny as they worked on how to sustain this new lifestyle. There was one extra cute volunteer who helped out, too…
A Caring Sister
It wasn’t just members of the community who lent a hand.
The firstborn, Mikayla, just gained seven younger brothers and sisters and was quick to jump at the opportunity to help her parents and care for her siblings. Cute!
The family appeared on Oprah where the world could catch up on their progress. Audiences were wowed as the famous talk show host interviewed Bobbi and Kenny about the ups and downs of caring for so many children at once.
Even though they weren’t sleeping much, they said they wouldn’t change a thing.
Birthdays and Parties
Each year on their birthday, the septuplets are sure to party in style!
However, the parents wanted to teach the kids an important lesson in sharing, so they always shared one cake between them.
All Grown Up!
Today, the septuplets have all grown up – making for one of the most extraordinary cases in history.
They are known to speak their own language from time to time, something not uncommon among twins or triplets. Now they were old enough to travel, Bobbi and Kenny took them to every child’s dream location…
Meeting The Mouse
The family was lucky enough to visit Disneyworld – the happiest place on Earth – and meet all their favorite cartoon characters.
It must have been so amazing for everyone involved to see the family so happy and relaxed as they spent time together outside the house.
All The President’s Babies
This amazing story captured the attention of the White House, and they even managed to meet then-President Bush in 2001. Shame, they didn’t quite realize who they were meeting at the time, and the president seemed more shocked than they did!
One day, they will understand just how amazing their meeting was! Soon enough the kids were preparing for school, and high school…
A Family of Good Grades
In 2016, all seven of the septuplets attended and graduated from high school, making the parents so proud of everything they had achieved.
This major milestone came and represented the start of their journey into adulthood, would they cope on their own?
The Occasional Update
Every now and then, the group of young adults appear on television and update audiences on their lives. When they all started to go their separate ways for college, of course, separation-anxiety was a question.
They laughed it off and all said they were excited to face some life challenges on their own. What would the parents do now that all their children moved out?
A New Book
After all the children moved out, Bobbi and Kenny found themselves with a lot more free time!
They decided to write a book, ‘Seven From Heaven’, which discusses their amazing journey and how they raised so many children at once.