Before 1997, The McCaugheys were an ordinary family living in Iowa. But the year 1997 changed everything, thrusting them into the national spotlight. Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey already had a daughter, Mikayla, and they wanted to have more kids. Bobbi was undergoing fertility treatment when she and her husband received the shocking news: she was pregnant with septuplets!
Pregnancy. Bobbi’s doctors warned that her pregnancy was risky and offered selective abortion. Being devout Christians, Bobbi and Kenny refused and trusted God to take care of the babies. On November 19, 1997, history was made. Bobbi gave birth to four boys and three girls at a hospital in Des Moines. The babies arrived nine weeks early, but all of them survived. The happy parents named them Kenny Jr., Nathan, Joel, Brandon, Alexis, Natalie, and Kelsey.
First surviving septuplets. The babies were the first surviving septuplets in the world. They attracted national attention and news outlets were vying to get an interview with their parents. Thanks to the publicity, hundreds of people and a number of organizations offered help. The McCaugheys, a family that more than tripled in size at once, got a bigger home, a van, and loads of baby products.
The septuplets made an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show shortly after their first birthday. When the audience saw the gorgeous babies, they oohed and aahed! Their parents admitted that they had a lot on their plates, but they had help from family, friends, and the community. Time flies, and Oprah finally tracked down the family 16 years later. They appeared to be so mature and yet so dissimilar to one another!
A year later, they appeared on TODAY just before their 18th birthday. They were in the senior high school year, almost ready to start adult life. And 21 years after their journey began, they appeared on the show again. Five of them – Kelsey, Natalie, Nathan, Joel, and Alexis – are students at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Missouri (the university granted scholarships to all seven when they were born).
Kenny Jr. stayed in Iowa and is learning building trade at a vocational school. Brandon is in the Army and deployed overseas. What about their older sister, Mikayla? She is happily married and had a baby son. All of the kids went their own way, but they remain close. Natalie told TODAY: We’re not only siblings, we’re also best friends. I know that we’re all just really thankful for the relationships and the bonds that we do have.
The McCaugheys really are an extraordinary family! Septuplets are so different, but they managed to preserve good relations and call each other best friends. How inspiring it is!