1997 was a special year for the McCaughey family from Iowa — it was the year that Bobbi McCaugney managed to do something that had never been done before. Already blessed with a daughter called Mikayla, Bobbi and her husband Kenny decided to try for another child.
Bobbi started taking the fertility drug Metrodin when she found out she had a malfunctioning pituitary gland — an endocrine gland in the brain that stimulates ovulation. With the treatment working extremely well, the couple were soon expecting septuplets! However, the pregnancy carried many risks, which was why doctors recommended they opt for selective reduction. Bobbi and Kenny declined.
After nine weeks, Bobbi was no longer allowed to leave her bed, as any sudden movements could’ve resulted in her going into labor. One month before the due date, her seven children were delivered by C-section. Despite all the dangers, Kenny, Kelsey, Natalie, Brandon, and Joel were born healthy. Only Alexis and Nathan had disabilities that restricted their movement.
This was the first set of septuplets to survive the birth and their story immediately caused a sensation. Thanks to media coverage that prompted generous donations, Bobbi and Kenny were able to provide for their large brood. The McCaughys received their own house, a minivan, a year’s supply of Mac & Cheese, two years’ worth of diapers as well as other wonderful gestures such as a free trip to Disneyland.
The donations were much appreciated — raising eight children at the same time was no easy task. In infancy, the little ones used up 150-170 diapers every week; potty training all seven also proved to be a huge challenge. In the first few months, there were 60 volunteers — usually eight or nine people per day — helping the family out with feeding, clothing, and keeping an eye on the children at night.
Twenty years later, the seven little miracles — four boys and three girls — are now grown up and are making their way in the world.
“The memories, the joy, the heartaches… It’s what has guided us to where we are today, and it’s very special,” said Bobbi. “It will be pretty drastic. Everyone gone all at once.”
Kenny Jr. wants to pursue a career in construction, Joel is studying computer science, and Nathan wants to become a scientist. Brandon will be joining the army.
The daughters are looking to take slightly different paths. While Kelsey wants to study music, Alexis and Natalie are pursuing careers in teaching.
The septuplets are very thankful that they have each other. Though the seven are all now going in different directions, they’ll always be there for one another. A truly unique family!