An Incredible Event
Over 20 years ago a family welcomed the worlds first surviving septuplets, an anomaly that would capture the attention of everyone all around the globe. Although it wasn’t going to be easy, the McCaughey family felt blessed beyond belief. Now, 20 years later, we get the results of Bobby and Kenny’s hard work.
A Big Family Dream
Bobbi and Kenny always knew they wanted to have a family of their own, and they knew they wanted a big one. They decided to get married, and soon after, they were seriously thinking about getting the process started. They kept trying, but they weren’t getting pregnant. Filled with devastation, they decided it was time to see a doctor.
Jittery with anticipation at what the doctor was going to say, they headed to their appointment. They were greeted with the upsetting news that Bobby was born with a genetic condition that would make it extremely difficult to conceive a child. Although they were discouraged, they weren’t going to give up. They kept up a positive attitude and before they knew it, they had something to celebrate.
A Baby Girl
In 1996 their prayers were answered and Bobbi gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Mikayla Marie. Overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, the couple was in heaven. Soon, they wanted to expand their family so they decided to try for more babies. This time, they wanted to consult a fertility doctor so their children could be close in age and grow up best friends.
It was this decision that would drastically change their lives forever.
A Surprise of a Lifetime
Bobbi’s doctor had prescribed her Metrodin, a medication that would stimulate her ovaries into overdrive to help the process along. The medication would make her ovaries produce multiple eggs at once to enhance the chance of a viable pregnancy. By the time Mikayla was celebrating her first birthday, the family was able to celebrate the expansion of their family–Bobby was pregnant.
When it was time for their first ultrasound, they got the surprise of their life.
Not only was Bobbi pregnant, but she was pregnant with seven babies! That’s right SEVEN BABIES. It was a miracle because up until this point, no other pregnancies like this had made it to term. With joy came the overwhelming feeling that this was going to be the hardest thing they had ever done, and they were right.
Not only was this going to be financially and emotionally hard, but the pregnancy was extremely high risk for both Bobbi and the babies. The doctors even suggested that they consider terminating some of the embryos, which is called selective reduction. It seemed like an impossible decision to make, especially considering they had taken many steps to get to this point, but they had to think about it in regards to Bobbi’s health.
Not Going to Happen
They decided there was no chance they were going to move forward with selective reduction, and so the pregnancy progressed. They had strong faith in God and figured they would take the chance with the miracle they were given. All that being said, they knew they were up against some major hurdles.
They weren’t sure how they were going to manage to raise eight kids, especially with all the needs of newborns. Luckily, local organizations and many people stepped up to help after hearing about their unique situation. Donations started to flood in, including a new van to help transport all the kids at once, and enough food for an entire year. It seemed like everyone wanted to get to know Bobbi, Kenny, and the babies before they had even made an appearance.
Nine weeks before their scheduled due date, on November 19th, 1997 all seven babies were delivered happy and healthy. Due to the high risk of the pregnancy, doctors determined that a c-section was necessary and determined that they needed to come early. They didn’t get to go home right away because they were so premature, so they ended up spending three months in the neonatal unit to build up their strength.
This family had more surprises in store, too.
Talk of the Town
By the time Bobbi was being wheeled into the operating room, numerous reporters were camped outside the hospital waiting for the first news of the babies. The scene was so intense, that the cops had to stay around the clock at the hospital to make sure everything was under control. When it was time to go home, they also had a police escort to ensure no one got to close.
Everything was about to get way more intense.
Donations continued to pour in and the family was overwhelmed with kindness. Kraft sent them a year supply of Mac and Cheese, and a diaper company sent them a sea of diapers to help keep up with their newest additions. It was another donation that really changed their situation though.
A New House
Thanks to the Iowa Chamber of Commerce, the McCaughey family received a brand new 5,000 square foot house! Complete with seven bedrooms, and five bathrooms, this house was big enough for their entire family to grow up in no problem. They couldn’t believe the generosity of the entire community. The media didn’t get bored with this family, either. Every time a birthday came up, they came knocking wanting photos and updates.
In 2016 the septuplets were ready for the next big step of their lives, turning 18 and getting ready for college. Kenny and Bobbi both couldn’t believe that their miracle babies had grown up and were now ready to leave the nest. However, two of their children had a harder time at life than the rest.
Both Alexis and Nathan suffer from cerebral palsy, which came with a myriad of difficulties. Both have trouble walking, involuntary motions, and weakened limbs. Fortunately, Nathan’s case wasn’t too severe, and he was able to have spinal surgery in 2005 to help stabilize him, and he was able to walk without any aid.
However, Alexis wasn’t so lucky.
Alexis’ case was more severe, and she has to use the assistance of a walker to properly move about. For years people questioned if the family did the right thing, as they knew the pregnancy could cause many complications for the children.
bobbi and Kevin were criticized for their decision to keep all seven babies, as the risk for serious issues was high. However, she had a response that would silence them all, “Come to our house, and tell me which four I shouldn’t have had!” She couldn’t understand how people could say such things, especially since Alexis and Nathan’s condition hadn’t prevented them from accomplishing what they wanted to in life.
All seven children were extremely successful, in both school and regular life. They were all highly intelligent, especially Nathan and Alexis. Both had nearly perfect grades throughout high school and were embarking on a new journey to college. Nathan decided to go to Hannibal-LaGrange in Missouri to pursue a career as a scientist, and Alexis enrolled to attend to local Community College to start her career in early childhood development.
The rest of the kids had career goals, too.
Achieving Their Dreams
In fact, Hannibal-LaGrange University offered all of the kid’s scholarships to study there, helping out the family tremendously. Nathan, Natalie, Kelsey, and Joel all accepted, and began pursuing their dreams. Kenny found passion in carpentry, and Brandon found a lucrative career as a pistol and carbine expert in the US army.
By most standards, the children went on to have normal lives. They earned everything they achieved and were all leading happy lives. After they all moved out, Bobbi and Kenny decided to sell their house and downsize. They sold it to an organization that helps underprivileged women with unplanned pregnancies. Bobbi noted that “Nothing would please us more than the idea of our home being used as a place of refuge to others in need.”