These Are Septuplets Whose Parents Didn’t Listen To Doctors 20 Years Ago And Decided To Have Them

Bobbi McCaughey never thought that she was going to have this many kids. Upon discovering that she is going to have septuplets, the doctor suggests that she removes at least one of them to increase the survival of the rest of the kids and herself. She was adamant to have all of them.

That was 22 years ago.

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Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey are a pair with one daughter and were the typical American family who wouldn’t have made it to the TV screen otherwise. Kenny, 27, and Bobbi, 29, already had a daughter, Mikayla. The family wanted to have more kids, so they went for help. During the fertilization process, the doctor reminds her that it’s very likely she will have 2 or more kids.

She was ready for 2 or more. She just didn’t think that 7 was the number of babies that appear in her ultrasound scan. Discovering the fact that she was going to have a really big family didn’t come as exactly as a happy thing, “It wasn’t like ‘Woohoo!’ There were so many doubts.”

McCaugheys attended a press conference two days after the babies were born on November 21, 1997. © JOHN RUTHROFF / AFP / EAST NEWS

Doctors were confused because it was the first to see such a big pregnancy. They fear of the complications that may impact the mother and the babies. And up until the last moments, doctors were convinced something will go wrong. Her belly alone weighed 15 lbs and aside from that, she had a rather normal pregnancy.

Experts predicted that mothers with triplets have only a 50% chance to give birth to mentally and physically healthy babies. Half of them ended up in miscarriage.

THE MOTHER OF THE MCCAUGHEY SEPTUPLETS AND HER SISTER (Photo by Ambassador/Sygma/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

She had a C-section and over 40 experts from breathing therapists, nurses to perinatologists were involved. They were all 9 weeks early but all of them survived. There were 4 boys and 3 girls in total and they stayed in the hospital for the next two months.

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Of course, the care was a load of work: the babies needed 42 bottles and 52 diapers every day. But her relatives were helpful in giving her a hand. The current US president then, Bill Clinton, congratulated them and an NGO sent them 2-year supply of diapers, food, house for the big family and free education in any college in Iowa.

Two of the babies had cerebral palsy, but growing up, they can now walk by themselves without external help. Bobbi even managed to do part-time jobs once the babies grow out of their diapers. Meanwhile, Kenny works in a factory that paints metal constructions.

U.S. President George W. Bush greets two of the seven members of the septuplets born to Kenneth and Bobbi McCaughey after arriving at Des Moines International Airport in Iowa, August 14, 2002. The president will spend the night in Iowa after a GOP fundraiser. REUTERS/Larry Downing LSD – RP3DRICNIAAA
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Bobbi with her children when they are six years old: Alexis May, Natalie Sue, Kelsey Ann, Nathan Roy, Brandon James, and Joel Steven. The older girl is Mikayla.

© Dave Peterson / Polaris Images / EAST NEWS

Once the children were old enough, Bobbi and Kenny taught them how to do house chores and work.

“The girls help a lot in the kitchen. They like to do the cooking — and it’s mostly edible! And their dad’s really keen for the boys to know that you can’t go through life being given everything. Even if it’s just raking leaves or washing the car, there’s always something they can be doing.”

© Jay L. Clendenin / Polaris Images / EAST NEWS

The family had two of every electric appliance: ovens, dishwashers, microwaves, washing machine, dryer, and the family ever grow their own vegetables. Bobbi also makes sure that she purchases food in advance to save cost.

© OWN / youtube   © OWN / youtube   © OWN / youtube

Kelsey, Natalie, Alexis, Nathan, and Joel studies at Hannibal-Lagrange University, Kenny went to college, Brandon is in the military and is getting married soon. Kelsey studies public relations, Alexis preschool education, Natalie sports, while Joel and Nathan love computer science.

© USA TODAY / youtube   © USA TODAY / youtube

She decided to have all of them despite scary predictions from experts and doctors. She spent a number of sleepless nights, work tirelessly to feed their kids and learn to adapt while she has no one to learn from. But all of them are now close to graduating and the family has given up their big home to an NGO for other young mothers. They moved to a smaller apartment.

The pressure and attention have finally toned down, but this story will remain as a brave story of a young couple and how family won’t stop at helping each other out.

Layla Collins

Smartphone and nature enthusiasts.

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