In 1997, the first septuplets were born in Iowa, United States, to Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey.
The birth of these special babies, who were born 9 weeks prematurely, made international headlines, and the new parents were inundated with interview requests.
They ultimately appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to celebrate their first birthdays, and each received a birthday cake. Additionally, they met former president Bill Clinton.
Kenny Jr., Alexis, Natalie, Kelsey, Nathan, Brandon, and Joel, the world’s first surviving septuplets, kept their parents, who already had a daughter, extremely busy.
According to Obsev.com, babies required 52 diapers and 42 bottles of milk per day on average.
According to the Daily Mail, the couple received a 5,500-square-foot home, a van, a year’s worth of Kraft’s macaroni and cheese, diapers for the first two years, and full scholarships to any Iowa state university.
Their parents continued to work hard to reduce the cost of caring for their eight children and began growing their own vegetables.
Alexis and Nathan, two of the septuplets, were diagnosed with cerebral palsy and required the use of walkers. Nathan underwent back surgery in 2005 to improve his ability to walk, and he has since taught himself how to get around without a walker.
Natalie, Kelsey, Nathan, and Joel all received scholarships to attend the private Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri, after completing high school.
Brandon enlisted in the United States Army, while Kenny and Alexis opted to stay close to home and attend Des Moines Area Community College.
College, according to the siblings who graduated this spring, was their first taste of independence.
Kelsey remarked that attending college has been a formative experience for the siblings, as all five are experiencing true independence for the first time.
“Growing up, we were always together,” Kelsey told the Herald-Whig.
Kelsey, who majored in public relations and now aspires to work in the media, said, “Whatever we did, wherever we went, we were always together,”
“I think that being able to come to HLGU gave us our own experience to be independent and to showcase our different talents and be able to dive deep into what we want to learn and what we want our professions to be. We’re not just the seven septuplets. We’re becoming our own people.”
The septuplets became aunts and uncles for the first time with the birth of Mikayla’s son in 2015, the same year her older sister, Mikayla, wed. In May of 2019, Natalie was the first of the septuplets to get married, followed four months later by brother Brandon.
Natalie told the Today show that she hopes to attend graduate school to become an athletic trainer.
Alexis majored in early childhood education and aspires to work in a primary school. She has won a number of beauty contests for children with special needs, including Teen Miss Dreams Made True in 2013.
Nathan and his brother Joel are both majoring in computer information systems. Joel hopes to work for Google’s cyber security division in the future, whereas Nathan enjoys putting computers together.
“Having six siblings, we’re not only the same age but we’re all best friends,” Natalie told Today. “We’re really thankful for the friendship we have.”