How to Support the World’s First Surviving Septuplets


Sure thing! Imagine how much your life changes when a new family member comes along or when you become a parent. Now, think about having seven babies all at once! That’s what happened to Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey. Luckily, all seven of their sons and daughters were healthy and became the first septuplets ever to survive. Let’s dive into their journey from being born as babies to growing up into young adults.

Meet The Incredible Parents

Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey were overjoyed when their healthy baby girl was born in 1996. It was extra special because Bobbi had faced challenges with her pituitary gland that can make it hard to have babies. They saw their newborn daughter as a true miracle considering the difficulties they had experienced.

After Mikayla Marie’s arrival, they named her with lots of love. Even though they weren’t planning on having just one child, they began thinking about having another one.

Pursuing Fertility Treatment

Knowing the challenges they faced in conceiving Mikayla, Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey opted for fertility treatment while planning for their next child.

When they consulted a doctor, they were advised to use Metrodin, a medication aiding ovulation necessary for conception. In preparation for their second child, Bobbi began taking this prescribed medication as part of their plan.

Planned For One, Got Seven

Bobbi and her husband went for a scan, crossing their fingers for good news without any surprises. But, unexpectedly, the scan revealed something life-changing: Bobbi was pregnant not with one, but with seven babies.

This was enormous news for them, not just because they were facing the prospect of a family of ten, but also because the pregnancy posed a significant risk to both Bobbi and the babies’ health.

A Tough Decision

Because carrying multiple fetuses can be very risky for both the mother and the babies, Bobbi’s body was under immense strain with the pregnancy of seven. Due to the high risk, the doctor suggested that the couple think about a procedure called “selected reduction” to lower the number of fetuses for the safety of Bobbi and the unborn babies.

That’s correct. In selected reduction, the aim is to protect the fetuses that have the best chance of reaching full term. It involves a difficult decision to reduce the number of fetuses, essentially choosing to abort those with lower chances of survival to increase the likelihood of a safer pregnancy for both the mother and the remaining babies.

Taking The Risk

Bobbi and Kenny were aware of the risks this pregnancy held for both the mother and the babies’ health. They faced a tough choice about reducing the number of fetuses, but after careful consideration, they chose not to prioritize one baby over another. Despite the risks, they made the difficult decision to proceed with the pregnancy.

Absolutely, it was an incredibly tough decision considering that very few pregnancies worldwide have resulted in seven babies being born. The rarity of such births and the historical challenges septuplets faced might have weighed heavily on their minds. However, knowing that at least one other set of septuplets had survived beyond infancy possibly provided a glimmer of hope or confidence in their decision to move forward despite the odds.

Getting Lots of Attention from Everyone

Absolutely, when Bobbi and Kenny chose to continue with all seven babies and declined selective reduction, the news quickly became a sensation. People across the country were eager to learn more about their extraordinary story, and it captured widespread attention and interest.

Certainly, the story of septuplets captured the fascination of many, yet not everyone was supportive of their decision to keep all seven babies. Despite differing opinions, Bobbi and Kenny remained steadfast in their choice, believing that everything would turn out for the best. Their confidence in their decision helped them navigate through the varying reactions from people around them.

Getting Help

Absolutely, the birth of seven children at once was an extraordinary event that drew attention and support from both those who knew the McCaugheys personally and those who had just heard of their story. The sheer magnitude of such an event prompted an outpouring of offers to help from various people who were eager to assist the family in any way they could.

Indeed, the support was overwhelming. Kraft provided a year’s supply of macaroni and cheese, a much-needed gesture for a family of ten. Additionally, they received boxes of diapers, offers for babysitting and nanny assistance, and even a remarkable donation of a 5,000 square foot house, showcasing the incredible generosity and support that poured in for the McCaughey family during such a monumental time in their lives.

More Gifts

The generosity continued to shine through as someone donated a brand new van to the family, adding another incredible gesture to the outpouring of support they were receiving from the community. This kind of generosity truly showcased the compassion and care people had for the McCaughey family during this remarkable time in their lives.

The van provided ample space to comfortably accommodate all the babies. Additionally, another generous donation included a year’s worth of groceries for the family.

Exciting and Scary Times

In the weeks and months preceding the birth of seven babies, the family experienced a mix of fear, excitement, and stress. Doctors were worried that the stress from the deliveries could potentially trigger early labor for Bobbi.

Despite their concerns and worries about things potentially not going as planned, Bobbi made a concerted effort to stay calm. The couple recognized that maintaining a positive mindset was crucial during this time of uncertainty. They did their utmost to stay optimistic and hopeful amidst the challenging circumstances.

A Family of TEN

The couple joyfully welcomed four boys and three girls into the world, relieved and grateful that the septuplets were healthy. With the babies doing well, the next step for the parents was choosing names for their new arrivals.

Robert was the heaviest among the babies, and the other boys were named Kenny Robert, Brandon James, Nathan Roy, and Joel Steven. The lovely girls received the names Alexis Mary, Natalie Sue, and Kelsey Ann. Remembering the names of all seven babies might seem like a lot. How about a challenge? Try recalling all their names by the end of this article!

A Team Effort

Bringing seven babies into the world wasn’t just the result of Bobbi and Kenny’s efforts; it also involved the dedicated work of the hospital staff, whose hard work and dedication played a crucial role in this extraordinary event.

The doctors, nurses, and maternity staff felt a sense of pride in being a part of American history. A few days following the septuplets’ birth, the entire team gathered to capture a memorable moment with a group photo, commemorating their significant contribution to this extraordinary event.

Spending Extra Time Under Observation

The hospital’s doctors prioritized the health of both the babies and the mother before discharging them. As a result, Bobbie and her seven babies needed to stay in the hospital for three months and ten days after the delivery to ensure they were all healthy before going home.

As the news spread that the couple and their septuplets were leaving the hospital, cameramen and journalists gathered to capture a snapshot of the momentous occasion. As the McCaugheys made their way home, there were plenty of smiles, cheers, and even a few tears, marking this departure as an emotional and celebratory moment for everyone involved.

Getting Police Security

Due to the attention and excitement surrounding their return home, the police set up a security post outside the McCaugheys’ residence. Their presence aimed to ensure the couple’s safe arrival without any disturbances or issues.

Initially, the babies were taken back to the couple’s previous home, but they were scheduled to move into their new home shortly after.

Exciting Times

As the couple tended to their seven babies in their former home, preparations were underway at their new residence. Once everything was arranged, a ceremony was held where they were presented with the keys to their new home, marking the official transition to their new living space.

During the ceremony, Lloyd Clarke, the chairman of Clarke Companies, presented the keys to the couple inside the house’s garage. The atmosphere was filled with excitement as the couple stepped into their new home, marking a momentous and joyous occasion for them.

Getting Countrywide Media Attention

The couple was surprised when big magazines showed interest in covering their story about their septuplets, in addition to local reporters.

That’s incredible! Being on the front cover of Time Magazine just a month after the septuplets’ birth is quite the honor and an immense spotlight for Bobbi and Kenny.

A Complete Interview

That’s a significant moment for the family. ABC News PrimeTime securing full access for an in-depth interview and news feature likely provided an opportunity for the family to share their unique story on a broader platform.

While much of the coverage repeated existing information, ABC’s interview delved into additional aspects beyond what had already been reported by others.

There Was Also Criticism

Despite the predominantly positive news coverage, there were also negative reports. Criticism emerged, labeling the family as irresponsible due to the size of their children.

Critics pointed out concerns about the environmental impact of raising multiple babies, citing the potential waste generated. However, the couple remained undeterred by these opinions, finding joy and feeling blessed by the arrival of their seven babies.

Trying to Keep Things Private

As the initial excitement surrounding the septuplets waned, the McCaugheys found a chance to focus on raising their eight children. Drawing advice from the Dionne family, who had quintuplets, they learned the importance of maintaining privacy in their family life.

The McCaugheys heeded the counsel of the Dionne family, choosing to keep their family life private, except for an annual public appearance on their septuplets’ birthday.

Managing a Lot of Work

Managing the chaos and dirty laundry from eight children was undoubtedly a monumental task for the couple. Reports indicated that the McCaugheys handled an average of 17 loads of laundry per week, highlighting the immense workload they faced.

As they aimed to maintain privacy, they took on numerous household chores themselves. Fortunately, having two washing machines and two dryers proved beneficial in managing their laundry loads.

The Need of A Strategy

The presence of seven growing babies meant an inevitable increase in laundry, but there were other substantial expenses too. On average, they were using 52 diapers a day and going through 42 bottles of milk to meet their needs.

Given the significant daily expenses, Bobbi and Kenny recognized the need to devise a strategy to effectively manage their large family and control their expenditures.

Not Opting for Formula Milk

It might have been expected for Bobbi to opt for formula milk, but she made the choice to exclusively provide her babies with pumped breast milk for the initial three months.

They were using around four to five gallons of pumped breast milk per week to meet the feeding needs of all seven babies.

Everything Took Time

Managing the septuplets meant every task, from feeding to changing diapers, demanded a considerable amount of time. Potty training, in particular, was an especially time-consuming and challenging endeavor for the family.

Potty training Mikayla within four days was a success, but with the septuplets, achieving full potty training took a significant amount of time and effort. It wasn’t as swift or straightforward a process.

Everyone Was Trying to Help

It was heartwarming to witness the outpouring of support; everyone who crossed paths with the family felt compelled to offer assistance in any way they could.

It’s touching to hear that even the construction workers involved in building their new house took the time to care for the babies. It shows a real sense of connection and support within the community.

Family Stepped In As Well

The support for the McCaugheys extended beyond volunteers; their own family members also stepped in significantly to lend a hand during that time.

It’s truly touching to see Bobbi’s sister supporting them by holding one of the septuplets. The assistance they received meant the world to Bobbi and Kenny, acknowledging they couldn’t have managed without such incredible support.

The Big Sister Being A Big Sister

Amidst the eagerness of the entire family to assist the McCaugheys, there was one member who stood out for their unwavering dedication, always striving to offer help in every possible way.

Mikayla, as the big sister, took on an active role during feeding times and in looking after her siblings. She understood her responsibility in supporting her parents and lightening their load by caring for her younger siblings.

Implementing Their Strategy

Indeed, the McCaugheys devised a strategy to manage their expenses, and they executed it remarkably well, showcasing impressive financial management skills.

Their savvy approach included buying items in bulk to save money and taking advantage of special offers. Through these tactics, they successfully reduced their monthly expenses to an impressive $300.

Futuristic Strollers

It’s true, seeing twin strollers is pretty standard, but the McCaugheys needed something unique: two sets of four-seater strollers to transport their babies around town, a sight that had never been seen before.

Absolutely! Whenever they took a stroll through the neighborhood, their unique four-seater strollers would inevitably attract a lot of attention and curiosity from onlookers.

Going Green

The McCaugheys, already adept at cutting their monthly expenses, realized the need for further savings. They began cultivating their fruits and vegetables, not just as an organic choice but also as a cost-free option to supplement their needs.

By relying on homegrown fruits and vegetables, the McCaugheys significantly cut down on grocery expenses. The only thing missing from their self-sufficiency was a cow for fresh dairy products, completing their homegrown provisions.

Regular Check-ups

Absolutely, caring for one baby demands a significant amount of attention. When multiplied by seven for septuplets, the attention and care needed increase sevenfold, making it an extraordinary challenge for the parents.

Absolutely, the couple prioritized regular check-ups for all seven babies with the doctor to ensure their health and well-being were constantly monitored and cared for.

Eating Healthy Breakfast Each Day

It’s wonderful that all the babies enjoyed their breakfast—it’s such a crucial meal for their healthy growth and development. It’s essential for them to have nutritious food to thrive.

Indeed, considering the number of babies, the quantity of food they consumed for breakfast each day was quite substantial. Meeting their nutritional needs required a significant amount of food.


It’s fascinating how as the babies grew into toddlers, they formed a special bond among themselves and even developed a unique way of communicating, almost like their own language.

Absolutely, that phenomenon is often termed as cryptophasia, where twins, triplets, or siblings create their own language or way of communicating, something quite common in such close-knit groups.

The Pinnacle of Correct Shoe Sizes

The parents embraced the individual growth rates of each child, understanding that some grew stronger while others remained more delicate. Regardless of these differences, they cherished and supported each child equally.

Bobbi and Kenny opted to dress their four boys in similar attire and had matching outfits for the three girls. Yet, they encountered difficulties in finding the right shoe sizes for all the children due to their varying rates of growth.

Clothing for Septuplets

Buying clothes for seven growing kids certainly came with significant expenses for the McCaugheys. However, something incredible unfolded that changed the situation.

That’s truly heartwarming! Carter’s, a renowned children’s clothing brand, pledged to provide clothes for all the babies until they reached the age of five. It was just one of the many instances showcasing the incredible generosity extended to Bobbi, Kenny, and their adorable family.

Getting Attention of Two Presidents

Yes, it was quite a momentous occasion! The President of the United States at that time, Bill Clinton, reached out to the couple to personally extend his congratulations when the septuplets were born.

In the following years, the opportunity arose for the next President, George W. Bush, to meet the children. He was fortunate to have that chance!

Clinton’s Call

When the septuplets arrived, Bill Clinton called the McCaugheys to offer congratulations. During the conversation, he humorously remarked to Bobbi that when the seven children eventually headed off to school, she’d be more than capable of running a major corporation in America.

President Clinton expressed to Bobbi, “You’ll be one of the most well-organized managers in the United States.”

Everyone Wanted to Meet Them

The septuplets became famous even before their birth, captivating everyone’s fascination and becoming a favored topic of discussion for many people.

Consider this picture as an illustration: Baby Kenny receiving a kiss on the cheek from Iowa’s Governor, Terry Branstad.

Learning How to Share

In this photo, you’ll notice only four candles for seven children. This intentional choice by the parents was a lesson in teaching them the value of sharing.

The McCaugheys weren’t just focused on being economical; they also managed to impart a valuable lesson about sharing to their children. It seems the children weren’t overly concerned about the arrangement.

Different Personalities

As the septuplets grew, they began to display distinct personalities. Brandon, for instance, showed traits of bravery alongside a touch of stubbornness in his character.

Kenny junior stands out as the joker within the group, while Natalie and Joel are known for their love of reading books. Each of the septuplets has their own unique interests and personalities!

Kenny Junior

Despite Kenny’s own well-mannered nature, his son, Kenny Junior, is recognized for occasionally getting into mischief. That’s why Bobbi affectionately refers to him as her “pint-sized explorer.”

It’s a beautiful thing to witness siblings from the same parents develop distinct personalities. It’s an unexplainable phenomenon, and that’s where its beauty lies.

Different Personality Traits

Every one of the eight children possesses distinct characteristics. Kenny and Bobbie, having spent significant time with their kids, keenly observed and understood the individual personality traits of each child.

Kelsey embodies a “sporty fashionista” style, Nathan is known for his determination, and Alexis is recognized for being both sweet and perceptive in her nature. Each child showcases their unique qualities within the family.

Taking Time Out for Family

Managing kids and running a household can be incredibly busy, but it’s crucial to carve out time for quality moments together as a family.

Despite the challenges of having eight children, the McCaugheys made an effort to set aside time for family outings. One memorable occasion was when the entire family visited Disney World in Orlando.

Meeting George W. Bush

In 2001, the McCaugheys received an invitation to meet President George W. Bush. Recognizing the significance of the occasion, the parents ensured that all the kids were impeccably dressed for the occasion.

It was a fantastic meeting, and the kids’ attire immediately drew everyone’s attention the moment they arrived. Their appearance certainly made quite an impression!

One Exception

As mentioned earlier, the McCaugheys opted against a reality TV show centered on their lives, prohibiting cameras in their house—except on the children’s birthdays, where they made an exception.

On their 13th birthday, the couple permitted Ann Curry from the Today Show to meet the children. It was a special occasion where each child had their own cake adorned with 13 candles.

Starting High School

The septuplets embarked on their high school journey in 2012 by enrolling at Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Iowa.

As anticipated, they garnered a lot of attention, but they handled it remarkably well, likely due to their lifelong experience with being in the spotlight.

Siblings with Different Interests and Talents

Indeed, the septuplets didn’t merely captivate everyone by being part of a school band; each of them showcased their unique talents and pursued their individual interests.

Several of the septuplets participated in the cross-country and wrestling teams, while others, less inclined towards sports, joined the choir and speech society, exploring their diverse interests and talents.

Buffet Everyday

Feeding eight growing kids indeed requires a lot of preparation, even for a single meal. To streamline the process, Bobbi and Kenny opted to serve meals in their home as buffets, making it easier to cater to everyone’s needs.

That approach made mealtime the best part of the day in the house, and the kids even pitched in to help with meal preparation, making it a collaborative and enjoyable experience for the whole family.

It Wasn’t All Sunshine and Rainbows

Indeed, in the case of the septuplets, some premature births occurred, leading to two children being born with cerebral palsy. Premature birth can indeed impact a child’s development and health outcomes.

Nathan and Alexis both grapple with cerebral palsy, a condition impacting their movement and coordination abilities.

Alexis Making Waves As Well

Similar to her brother, Alexis refused to let her condition limit her. While she still requires assistance to walk, she has showcased remarkable talent in various areas, illustrating her exceptional abilities and resilience as a person.

That’s amazing! In 2013, she won the “Teens Miss Dreams Come True” award. Not just that, she excels academically too, ranking in the top 15% of her class—an impressive achievement!

Work to Make Your Wishes Comes True

Kenny Sr. strongly values hard work and has actively instilled this belief in all of his children. During an interview with NBC, he emphasized, “We were taught that if you want something, you have to work for it.”

The parents were deliberate about imparting a valuable lesson to their children: if they desired something beyond the ordinary, they should be willing to put in the effort and work for it.

Entering A New Phase of Life

Turning 18 brought a sense of relief not just to the septuplets but also to their parents. It marked a significant milestone for everyone involved.

Absolutely, while their parents are there to offer guidance and support, advising each of the eight children considering their unique personalities and needs could indeed pose a challenging task.

A Proud Moment

What an accomplishment! The septuplets brought immense pride to both themselves and their parents by graduating in May 2016. Congratulations were certainly in order!

Their graduation stood as a fantastic achievement, a powerful message to anyone who may have doubted their potential. It was a testament to the unwavering efforts of Bobbi and Kenny throughout their journey.

Staying Close to Parents

That must have been reassuring news for Kenny and Bobbi—Alexis and Kenny’s decision to enroll in their local college meant they would be close by, fostering a sense of proximity and connection for the family.

Absolutely, Alexis’s aspirations to become a teacher hold promise. Her academic excellence and graduating at the top of her class are strong indicators that she’ll make a fantastic educator someday.

Soldier Boy

Brandon’s achievement in joining the army and becoming part of the 75th Ranger Regiment is a source of immense pride for his parents. He’s fulfilled his dream and made remarkable strides in his chosen path.

He’s stayed true to his passions, never wavering from his path. With his dedication, we hope he continues to pursue his aspirations, serving his country admirably and fulfilling all his ambitions.

Gift from Little Brother

When big sister Mikayla welcomed her first child, Kenny Jr. took it upon himself to craft a meaningful and enduring gift for his sister, aiming to create a lasting memory.

That’s incredibly thoughtful! Kenny Jr.’s creation of a classic kitchen table with benches for his sister left her feeling incredibly blessed and joyful. Having a brother like Kenny Jr. is surely a wish many sisters might have!

Meet the Next Elementary School Teacher

Natalie is carving her path in the field of education, much like her sister Alexis, although she’s choosing a different approach to pursue her career goals.

Natalie is concentrating on early childhood education, showing a keen interest in elementary school education as her chosen focus within the field.

Big Sister Mikayla

Of course, big sister Mikayla is an integral part of their story! She, too, embarked on pursuing her dream, receiving unwavering support and love from her younger siblings throughout her journey.

It’s wonderful to hear about Mikayla’s educational journey, from Des Moines College to Arizona State University. Her happiness in marriage and the joy of having a beautiful child have brought immense happiness to Bobbi and Kenny, who now relish their roles as happy grandparents.

Dad Keeping Himself Busy

Absolutely, having children living in different cities can sometimes bring a sense of emptiness or loneliness in the home for parents.

It’s fantastic to hear how Kenny McCaughey found a fulfilling way to spend his spare time. His passion for motorcycles has led him to meticulously rebuild scrapped bikes, and he even enjoys taking rides across the country on one of his motorcycles.

Buyer Found

That’s a significant step! The McCaugheys managed to find a buyer for their house in February of this year.

It’s wonderful that the new owners inherited a home filled with love and happiness from Bobbi and Kenny. However, it seems there might be a surprise or unexpected development in Bobbi and Kenny’s move to their new home.

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