The First Septuplet Survivors, 20 Years Later!

Published on 05/25/2020
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On the 19th of November 1997, seven angels were welcomed by the couple, Kenny and Bobby McCaughey. They were kind of history because they were the first set of septuplets to survive – yes, there were already other cases of septuplets being born even before them but, the McCaughey septuplets were the ones who actually survived and lived. In fact, they are now in their 20s – Nathan, Brandon, Natalie, Alexis, Kelsey, Joel, and Kenny Jr. Keep on reading to know more about the lovely septuplets. Enjoy!

The First Septuplet Survivors, 20 Years Later!

Then, there were seven

Because they wanted another baby 21 months after giving birth to their eldest child, Mr. Kenny and Mrs. Bobbi McCaughey made a tough decision to put Bobbi on fertility drugs. These kinds of drugs are used to enhance a woman’s reproductive fertility which would make the chances of her getting pregnant much higher. The fertility drugs that Bobbi had taken was the reason how she was able to grow seven embryos in her womb. However, there were some complications and the septuplets were born way too early from the expected date or time of delivery. That was why all of them weighed from the range of 2.5 ounces to 4 ounces – if you would convert it to pounds, they weighed from the range of 0.15 lbs to 0.25 lbs. They were so small and light! 

Then, there were seven

Complications In Health

On November 19, 1997, the McCaughey’s made world history! All of the septuplets were safely born and delivered. However, most of them had a disease and were unhealthy. Well, that was already expected by the couple because carrying seven unborn babies in your womb for months was something very critical. They made sure to be by all of their children’s side and treat all of their illnesses. Alexis McCaughey was ill with hypotonic quadriplegia – it is a condition where a person’s muscles become so relaxed which makes any movement too tiring and difficult to do. Nathan McCaughey was diagnosed with spastic diplegia – a disease that makes a person’s lower body, especially his or her legs, very stiff and very tight. Others had suffered from a series of intense reflux when they were younger. 

Complications In Health

Support From All Over The World

After making a world history of giving birth to seven children, or septuplets, to the world, the McCaughey family were in different newspapers, tabloids, and other types of publications. They shared the experience of receiving thousands of letters coming from different countries to their lovely home in Carlisle, Iowa. Some of them were happy and some of them had negative reactions – most of the letters expressed how people supported them along the way and the others just contained negative comments. Some even said that they were taking advantage of people’s resources for raising a very huge family – well, you could not please everyone, not all the people would love and support you. What happened a few weeks later shook them to their cores. 

Support From All Over The World

A Call From President Clinton

They received a call from a very important person living in the United States of America – President Bill Clinton. All the way from the White House, the 42nd US president made time to call Kenny and Bobby McCaughey to express his support and to show how amazed he was by the fact that they managed to raise seven kids all together. He congratulated the couple and even invited the whole McCaughey family to visit the White House some time. 

A Call From President Clinton

They Were Granted Scholarship

People working in the private and public sectors, together with different organizations, donated some essential goods to the McCaughey family such as diapers and other things that the newborns needed. What made Kenny and Bobbi happier was the fact that various schools and universities were willingly offering full scholarships to the septuplets. The private four-year Christian liberal arts college in Missouri, Hannibal-LaGrange University gave Nathan, Brandon, Natalie, Alexis, Kelsey, Joel, and Kenny Jr. said that full scholarships were waiting for them when they would already study for college. Of course, Iowa also granted the septuplets a full scholarship to any state universities they would go to in the future as they reach college. 

They Were Granted Scholarship

A Massive Donation

Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey were moved by all the donations they received from different people, organizations, and companies. Gerber Products Company, an American provider of baby food and baby products, donated lots of packages containing baby food that would last for a year. Procter & Gamble, an American multinational consumer goods corporation, gave them access to a lifetime supply of diapers. They also donated grocery supplies that would last for a year, bank donations, and even a family van. Neighbors living near them and other families living in Carlisle, Iowa helped each other and worked hard to build fundraising activities for the benefit of the McCaughey family. 

A Massive Donation

The First Daughter

As mentioned earlier, Kenny and Bobbi already had their first child born before the birth of the septuplets. Their lovely and adorable daughter, Mikayla Marie McCaughey was just turning two years old as her seven other brothers and sisters were brought to the world. Even at just a very young age, Mikayla Marie did her best to be a great sister to her siblings and a very helpful daughter to her parents, especially to her mother. She assisted her mother by playing with them most of the time to entertain and pacify them and she also helped in feeding them – holding their baby bottles for them. Isn’t that very cute? As of 2017, Mikayla was already married and a mother to Becham, their first child. She is currently living in the state of Kansas.

The First Daughter

Their Album Was Released

Kenny and Bobbi thought of different ways on how to get extra income for them to raise all of their children. They came up with a decision. With the guidance of their spiritual and media advisor who was also the Ambassador Artist Agency president in Nashville that time, Wes Yoder, the couple decided to release an album full of lullabies which were titled “The McCaughey’s Septuplets’ Sweet Dreams”. Other artists and personalities sang most of the lullaby-themed songs in the album and gave half of their earnings to the McCaughey family. The American TV presenter, Kathie Lee Gifford, and other artists working in the Christian music industry sang a few songs. Kenny and Bobbi even sang one of the songs in the album. 

Their Album Was Released

Launched A Book

They also found a way to gain some more money. With the help of their spiritual and media advisor, Kenny and Bobbi managed to launch a book all about their journey as a family. The book told how their family started and focused on the birth of Nathan, Brandon, Natalie, Alexis, Kelsey, Joel, and Kenny Jr. The book got a lot of sales and the McCaughey family, especially Kenny and Bobbi, hoped that they inspired other families through their book. 

Launched A Book

House for Sale

As all of their children grew up into young adults already, Kenny and Bobbi decided to move into a much smaller home compared to their previous home that had seven bedrooms and five bathrooms which measured in a total of 5,500 square feet. However, their home would be transformed into a home that would provide support and shelter to young women that experienced an unplanned pregnancy. This was successfully done by the non-profit organization, Ruth Harbor Ministries. Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey are now living in a simple house with three bedrooms. 

House for Sale

The Funniest

Here comes the oldest of the McCaughey septuplets, Kenny McCaughey Jr. All of Kenny and Bobbi’s children said that Kenny Jr. had always been the funniest and craziest one. During his 18th birthday, he shared his experiences of having a very big family. He said that with a large number of siblings, he was never alone and he always had someone to talk to whenever he needed. He used to live with his parents as he was going to Des Moines Area Community College. He took a course related to building trades. 

The Funniest

Musically-Inclined

Kelsey McCaughey had always been musically-inclined since birth. She liked everything affiliated with music. In college, she was one of the septuplets who accepted the offer of Hannibal-LaGrange University that gave all of them a full scholarship. She decided to study the course of public relations – the communication science that deals with delivering information from an organization or public figure to a specific audience. In an interview, she was asked about her feelings as she moved into a dorm and did not live with her parents for college. She said that even though it was hard, she had to adjust to the new environment college had brought to her – she successfully did!.

Musically-Inclined

The Most Studious

The next one is said to be the most serious ones when it comes to studying, Natalie McCaughey. She said that even her siblings and parents knew that she was the one who had always been the most serious when going to school was the topic. Ever since she started going to a school up to her college days, she spent most of her days studying and doing assignments. Along with Kelsey and other siblings, she accepted the scholarship offered by Hannibal-LaGrange University where she studied the course of exercise science. It was also the place where she met the love of her life whom she married in May 2019, Shawn Geralds. 

The Most Studious

Computer Guru

Another McCaughey who accepted the full scholarship granted by Hannibal-LaGrange University is Nathan McCaughey. In an interview, he shared that ever since he started to be conscious of everything in this world, computers had always fascinated him. His love for everything related to computers motivated and led him in taking Computer Information Systems as his course at the mentioned university. 

Computer Guru

The Bibliophile

Just like his brother, Nathan, this McCaughey kid has always loved computers. The only difference Joel McCaughey had with his brother was that he also loves reading books. As he faced his college life, he decided to study at Hannibal-LaGrange University and take the full scholarship that they offered long ago when they were still babies. He also chose Computer Information Systems as his major. 

The Bibliophile

The Cheerleader

The next one we would talk about is Alexis McCaughey. Knowing the disease she had suffered from as she was born – hypotonic quadriplegia – Alexis felt so happy that she had been accepted to the cheerleading squad in her high school. The whole McCaughey family, especially the parents, were surely very proud of cheerleading Alexis after all the improvements they had seen along the way of her treatment. She also accepted Hannibal-LaGrange University’s full scholarship offer. She studied there and took Education as her major. 

The Cheerleader

Vicious and Defiant

Unlike his brothers and sisters, Brandon McCaughey spent his time serving the country. As soon as he completed high school, he enlisted and served in the U.S. Army Infantry. Because of his chosen path, he traveled in different parts of the world as he kept on being relocated and deployed in other countries from time to time. He is now a husband to Alana Hale. They got married last year, August 2019. 

Vicious and Defiant

The Phenomenal Mother

Now, let us talk about the mother who made world history as she gave birth to septuplets. Bobbi McCaughey was interviewed about the adjustments that she and her husband, Kenny, made after most of their children moved out since reaching college. She said that the environment inside their house changed and that was not only because they moved into a much smaller house – there was no time when they did not miss their kids. She admitted that there were really a lot of adjustments which was kind of difficult to make, but seeing their children study and excel in the industry that they had chosen made it easier and it made them happy. Besides, she had more time to spend and reconnect with her husband after a lot of years focusing on the children. She is now a grandmother to Mikayla’s son, Beckham. 

The Phenomenal Mother

The Committed Dad

Even though several blessings came to them as the septuplets were born, Kenny had made a few, yet huge sacrifices. One of those was leaving his job as a Billing Clerk in Chevrolet. It was difficult to quit because he had been working there for years already, but he needed a job that would give him more time to focus on his children and all the media exposure the McCaughey family had been receiving. That was why he chose to become a Public Speaker. He was invited to several inspirational events, press cons, and interviews. In one of his interviews, he shared how emotional he had been when he saw all of his children being delivered and born in this world. Now, he is already a deacon at a church in Iowa where he and Bobbi got married. 

The Committed Dad

Support For Other Multiples

After experiencing all the hardships of being a parent, especially to septuplets, Kevin and Bobbi spend most of their free time helping other parents who had a situation just like them – having multiple children. Mark and Jeannette Zimlich are one of the couples Kevin and Bobbi helped. They currently live in Mobile, Alabama and they were pregnant with quintuplets before. That time, Kevin and Bobbi did everything they could to reach out to people and give them donations in various forms – money, baby essentials, and the like. Until now, Mr. and Mrs. McCaughey has been helping lots of couples who are in need of their assistance. 

Support For Other Multiples

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