Courtney had her first child in 2008, however, she never imagined she would spend the next 12 years being pregnant. In March 2022, she gave birth to her latest baby, but she is unsure if this is where it ends. Discover how one woman fulfilled her calling to the extreme and did something that would make our heads explode only thinking about it.
Small Home Big Happiness
Sometimes, it is hard to believe that such small creatures can bring so much happiness. These mini creatures that grew inside of us and turn out to be full-grown people are, in fact, the greatest miracles of nature. Could you imagine having not one or two but 12 bundles of this happiness?
Courtney and Chris Rogers not only imagined this, but they also live it. With their great big hearts and sometimes with great difficulties too, the Rogers couple lives a unique life and sail on a challenging journey with their 12 children in a house full of joy and obstacles yet manage to maintain their serenity.
How Big Can You Go?
Courtney and Chris met in Georgia in 2007. They were both average people, who shared the same dream of having a big loving family, however, no one knew exactly how big this family would end up being. Only in her wildest dreams could Courtney imagine living on a farm, homeschooling a dozen kids, and running a monthly food bill of $1200.
Naturally, many people around them have something to say and are sometimes very judgmental about the way of life Courtney and Chris have chosen, however, Courtney and her family are very confident and assured about the choices they have made.
Cheaper by the Dozen, Live
When Courtney and Chris initially began planning on having a family, they never believed they would have such a large one. They've always dreamed of having more than one child, but they managed to even surprise themselves by bringing to life their own version of "Cheaper by the Dozen."
Cambria, baby number 12, has made the Rogers family complete. For now, anyway. Cambria has been described as the sunshine of the house. supermom Courtney, who never thought of taking a break between each child and had them one after the other, has not said her last word when it comes to the number of babies she plans on having.
Baby Number One
In 2010 Courtney had her first son, Clint. This followed an unfortunate miscarriage, and Courtney and Chris had no idea at the time how many children they would eventually be able to bring into this world.
Clint was born a little before Courtney turned 26. He brought so much happiness and joy and filled their household with magic. They instantly knew he was not going to be the last one.
It Came So Naturally
Courtney felt young and healthy and didn't know she would find it so easy to get pregnant. To so many women in her community, getting pregnant involved treatment and medication, and for some, it wasn't an easy ride at all. She was grateful.
She said to herself that as long as she could — she would. The Rogers parents thought ten would be the perfect number of children for their family, however, when this involved a set of twins, they rounded it up to twelve. It had to be an even number.
Little Farm on the Prairie
The beautiful family lives on a farm. Taking care of other living souls came naturally to them as they have over 200 animals on their land. They have chickens and pigs and sheep, and all twelve kids are brought up amongst these living creatures.
They are taught from day one to care for them, feed them and clean their habitats. The children are given responsibilities at an early age and are encouraged to always put their family, siblings, and livestock before anything else.
I Spy With My Little Eye
Not only do Courtney and Chris's names begin with the letter C, but also the children's. There's Clint, then Clay, Cade and Callie, Cash, then twins Colt and Case, then comes Calena, followed by Caydie, Coralee, and Caris. Cambria, the last in line, ties the family as a whole.
For families like ours, having two or three kids seems, at some hours, like the hardest job on earth. It's almost impossible to try and imagine what a typical day looks like in Rogers's household.
Six of Each
The order the kids were born is quite amazing. Courtney had six boys, one after the other, and they were followed by six beautiful girls. Now, how amazing is that? Courtney said, "It is amazing how it worked out, too, because we had all our boys at the beginning, and the last five have been girls, so it all evened out."
The first thing that pops into our mind is that God must have been involved. Having a boy after a boy for sure saved a lot of money over the years. Then having the girls one after the other meant buying each pink item only once and then passing it down.
They Did Not All Come Easy
Not all pregnancies and deliveries sailed smoothly, and one of her deliveries was a cesarean one. At first, they learned the baby swallowed too much fluid during birth and had to be given oxygen and put on a monitor. Courtney and Chris were worried and uneased.
This was not the hardest part, and the C-section was followed by an emergency C-section. While the baby was in the birth canal, the doctors felt she was under stress. There was no room for risk-taking, and Courtney was rushed into the operation room. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end.
Minding Their Own Business
Every now and then, Courtney is approached with very uncomfortable questions and inappropriate things people have said to her. Everyone has an opinion and not everyone is supportive, like the one who asked her if all children are from the same father.
Courtney recalls that she was once talking to someone, and when they realized she had seven children (this was when Courtney was only halfway through), that person said, "That’s terrible!'”.
A Table for Twelve
Breakfast is served at 08:00. It resembles more of a breakfast in a hotel dining room than in a typical farmhouse. Now, as if having 12 children isn't hard enough, all twelve children are home-schooled. This mother should get a Nobel prize. The huge breakfast is followed by art and math lessons.
Just before the clock strikes noon, a light lunch is served in the Rogers kitchen. The younger children take a nap while the older ones open a sandwich assembly line. What else will you call a kitchen that prepares so many sandwiches at once?
Everything by the Book
There are no discounts or bending rules when it comes to Courtney and Chris. After lunch, the kids have language lessons and reading time, and sometimes they have music lessons on Zoom. A little technology never hurts. When feeding so many mouths, there is no way Courtney can leave things for the last minute. At around 17:30, dinner is served and it is huge.
Now, how much food does this family really consume? Well, a lot. More than you can even imagine, and when it comes to food, Courtney and Chris make sure their twelve children are well-fed and receive all of their nutrients. Most of all, they make sure it is delicious.
A Private Grocery Store
For the first meal of the day, a whole box of cereal is consumed. Twenty-four eggs are in the making, and you couldn't imagine the number of slices of bread that come along with that. It's like catering for an army brigade every single morning.
Courtney is a real superwoman. She feeds her children and teaches them, and she also keeps her house tidy and clean. She is for sure one of a kind, and not too many moms we know would be up for something like this. We must say that one thing concerns us most of all other things. What about the budget?
Management Management Management
Not only has Country been blessed with twelve children, but she has also been blessed with incredible budgeting skills. She is the queen of planning ahead, and she has even implemented a saving plan called No Buy January.
Only basics can be on the never-ending shopping list, and eating out is off the table. There is no option to go out for a movie or get some yummy treats during January. Doesn't seem like a very fun way to start the year, but this obviously follows a very generous budget during Christmas.
On Mondays, over the entire year, the family doesn't eat meat. This is called Meatless Monday. Courtney prepares a vegetarian meal, and although it's only once a week, it saves the family a fortune. It's an easy calculation. Just imagine the amount of meat you would eat in one serving, now multiply it by 52 and then again by 12. That's a lot of cows and chickens.
Saying that, although this amazing family has to stick to a tight budget, and although they cannot treat themselves to whatever they want whenever they want, they still manage to give to others in a very generous way.
There Are a Lot of Advantages
Courtney and Chris don't have it easy, however, they are able to project a bright light on the advantages they have, living the lifestyle they chose for themselves and their children.
The children enjoy a very open way of life. They experience new things while spending time in nature, they learn not only with books and blackboards but expand their horizons outside of a traditional classroom. The children gain so much by using so little.
She Is Social Too
After learning about Courtney's lifestyle, we feel we have no right to complain about not having enough time. We spend so many hours on social media, and do you know what? So does she. In her spare time, she manages her Instagram account, where she documents her family.
Her page has more than 30 thousand followers, and the number keeps growing by the day. With such a unique family, no wonder she has so many fans.
It Could Only Be This Way
Courtney lives in no La La Land, however, she cannot see herself doing anything else or living a traditional life that doesn't include the challenges she faces on a daily basis. She recalls that one of the biggest challenges she ever came across was having more than one child in a diaper.
Also, trying to find more than one available babysitter, having to book three hotel rooms at once, driving a 15-passenger seat car, and washing piles of clothes. These are the things in life she has learned to live with.
The Rogers Clan
The Rogers home is not very large. They have just four bedrooms that have to accommodate all 14 members of the family, however, they are planning on expanding the place. The ideal situation for them would be two children in a room.
They also want a spacious enough living room so they could all sit together and enjoy a movie night, something that they are lacking and wished they had.
Courtney and Christ are a real A-Team. They do almost everything together, and some of the chores are divided between the two. Courtney is responsible for the children's schooling, she is responsible for preparing most of the meals, and keeping the house tidy (as much as she can).
Chris works at the nearby church, he takes care of the farm and its animals, and he is the handyman around the house, taking care of home improvement and maintenance. The older children have their own animal chores too.
Homeschooling sounds like a difficult thing to do, and it is. We barely have the patience to sit with our kid and their homework — imagine what it is like to play teacher five days a week. In the Rogers household, the children are taught by Courtney only until the age of twelve.
Courtney teaches them reading, writing, and mathematics. However, there is a certain age that a child needs more than what homeschooling can provide, so more advanced teaching is done online.
Holiday for All
Believe it or not, Courtney and Chris even managed to take their entire tribe on a holiday. A real proper holiday. In October 2021, Courtney and Chris, together with (then) eleven children, packed their eleven suitcases and headed south to New Mexico.
Not only were Courtney and Chris free from everyday duties such as cooking and taking care of the animals, but the kids finally got a chance to step out of their daily routine, fool around, and be careless for a few days.
Don't think Courtney and Chris don't have time for themselves. Sure, they have a lot on their parental plates, but how do you think they manage to make all these babies? Due to Courtney's relatively strict ways, by 20:30, the household is quiet.
The smallest children are asleep, the older ones keep themselves entertained in their rooms, and Courtney and Chris are able to relax and enjoy their evening together.
Not What They Were Expecting
One of the funniest stories Courtney shares happened when she went out to the shopping mall with only two of her girls. A thing like that, going out with only two kids, didn't happen very often, so this was a day she remembered.
She was having a conversation with someone she knew who wasn't aware of the number of kids she had. Then that person asked her if she was planning on trying for a boy after having these two girls. Courtney gently had to break the news, explaining she already has six boys at home.
Blue & Pink
Twelve seems to be the magic number. Courtney and Chris feel that because they have six boys and six girls, they should give it a rest and start investing in family planning. Thankfully these days, these things can be controlled. Currently, they are not planning to expand, but you never know.
Courtney doesn't think they will have any more children, and twelve is a number that seems to work for them, however, if she accidentally fell pregnant, even without planning, the baby would obviously be blessed and welcomed, so...never say never.
What a Birthday Gift
Little baby Cambria, baby number twelve, was born just one week before Clint turned twelve. We find this pretty amazing. What better birthday present could Clint ask for?
Courtney says that her eldest was thrilled to have a sibling who almost shared the same birthday. Chris has a birthday just one week before as well, so the three of them will be able to celebrate together. A threefold party for the youngest, the oldest, and their father!
The biggest gap between the children is 20 months, just a little under two years. This means that the longest Courtney has gone without being pregnant is only seven months. As no more babies are planned, this new situation will feel a bit weird for Courtney. She is used to having something growing inside of her for more than a decade, so quite a bit of adaptation will be in need here.
She said, "It is going to be strange not to have another baby. Pregnancy mostly treated me well, I didn't get sick and was never on bedrest, so I could always look after the kids. I have enjoyed having babies."
One on Twelve
People ask her how she manages to give all of her kids the attention each one needs. How does she manage to give each one those few precious one-of-one hours that every child must have with their parents? Courtney finds this funny and even gives a great argument.
She says that those parents who ask how she divides herself between so many little souls are the same ones who send their kids to school every morning and don't see them until the late hours of the afternoon. Courtney homeschools, and her kids are with her all day long.
A Look to the Future
One of the greatest things that keep Courtney and Chris going is the future. They are looking forward to seeing these twelve babies, toddlers, and children grow into individuals. They look forward to seeing them become adults with different beliefs and different ways.
Courtney and Chris know that their investment in the present will turn into a gift in the future, as they hope these precious siblings will grow as unique individuals within one big, embracing, and loving unit.
With 12 kids, Courtney spent a lot of time being pregnant. However, the mother in this next story had all six of her children in one single go! Here is her journey.
After years of trying to conceive naturally, and after a first pregnancy which ended tragically, Rozonno and Mia McGhee were about to be blessed, not only with one child but with a magnificent set of six.
After almost giving up on their dream, and after embracing the fact that they will never be parents, the McGhees became one of the most famous ones in Columbus, Ohio, as no other sextuplet family has ever been recorded there before.
Mia's and Rozonno's Story
Mia and Rozonno had their fair share of bad luck when it came to building their own family. The most private moments of Mia's life had to be exposed to doctors and she was almost deprived of her biggest purpose in life.
We want to take you back to the early days of this astonishing story, where it all began and weaved its shape. Even today, more than a decade later, these six children (and parents) continue to amaze us. This is their story.
At the Begining
Rozonno and Mia McGhee go back many years. They met when they were both in their teens. It was love at first sight and Mia knew straight away that Rozonno was the one with whom she would fulfill her biggest dream — becoming a mother.
Forming a strong and happy family was her biggest wish in life, as she herself came from a single-parent household. She knew early in life that she would be the best mother there is, and knew Rozonno would complete her. Together they would bring new lives into this world.
A Single Parent House Hold
Mia grew up only with her mother. She can recall being a little girl, fantasizing about her big day and about the family she would eventually have.
She knew deep inside that the man she marries would have to be a strong and supportive person, and that her partner for the journey of life, would share the same dream as her and want a big family, more than anything else in the world.
Going by the Book
Mia was the love of Rozonno's life. She first wanted to graduate school and do her years in college before taking the path of parenthood in life, and so it was. The couple married not long before Mia's 20th birthday and the next chapter of their lives was about to begin.
Becoming a mother was not as easy as Mia initially thought, and falling naturally pregnant was a challenge. Years flew by and Mia and Rozonno were desperately eager of becoming parents. Things were not going as planned.
Thank You Modern Technology
In 2010, the technology of IVF treatments was well developed and many couples who were unable to go the natural way turned this to this alternative. The IVF treatment was expensive and the McGhees found it difficult to afford.
Every penny Mia and Rozonno earned was used for making their dream come true. The price was high and painful, both financially and mentally, but when Mia got pregnant for the first time, the pain wasn't felt anymore.
When There’s a Will, There’s a Way
After several trials, Mia did eventually become pregnant with twins, which is very common in treatment. Frustration turned into joy and there wasn't a happier couple around. It was a hard start in life for the two, but when there's a will, there's a way, and they had no plans in giving up on their dream.
The nursery was all set up and well designed, all the necessary baby stuff was ordered, and all they had to do was wait patiently for the due date. What the couple didn't know, was that the pregnancy wasn't going to end as they wished.
A Sad End, or a New Beginning?
The pregnancy ended tragically with both babies not surviving. The couple found themselves heartbroken and devastated. Mia sank deep into herself finding it difficult to rise back up again. Not long after, Mia gradually comprehended that life must go on.
If the most important thing in her life was to become a mother, she has no choice but to get on her feet and look out for a brighter day. She wasn't about to waste any more precious time, and with the support of her loving husband, she went back on track.
Mia was about to find out she was pregnant again. It all happened very quickly and this time Mia was cautious and didn't want to get her hopes up. Both Mia and Rozonno were thrilled by the news, and never in a million years could they prepare themselves for what the doctor was about to announce.
Mia wasn't prepared to go through what she had already tasted in life and did everything in her power to protect and assure the babies are born healthy and in time.
It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn
We all know that when it rains, it pours. And, as it sometimes happens, when there is good news down the line...there is more good news to follow. God blessed Mia and Rozonno not only with a new pregnancy but with a number of fetuses that were about to keep the couple very busy.
During one of Mia's first checkups, her doctor announced that indeed they were about to become parents but that wasn't all. Mia was carrying six babies, all healthy and strong.
Way Over the Moon
Could you imagine the thrill Mia was under? Expecting a baby is exciting enough, but expecting six babies is overwhelming. At first, this was too much to handle, but then, after the news sank in, Mia realized yet again that life's ways are not always clear or understandable. Mysteries lie within!
She was determined to bring these six little babies into the world, no matter what price she had to pay.
The History of Sextuples
Having six children in one pregnancy, and having all babies survive, is very rare and unheard of. Very few families have told their stories or had their stories documented. One of those families is Winnie and James Bushnell.
This was in 1866 in Chicago. Winnie Bushnell carried six babies through the full nine months, however, only four survived. Two of the babies didn't survive their first year. Throughout history, only 35 sets of sextuplets survived and reached adulthood, so the odds for Mia were not in her favor.
An Optimistic Mother of Six
Mia remained optimistic. She held on to her beliefs and knew that the day would come and she will become a mother. A mother of six. The doctors, on the other hand, were not as assured.
In medical history, it was common that at least one baby didn't survive, and the doctors didn't want to be responsible for the outcome. Mia and Rozonno knew deep inside that this was meant to be and prepared themselves for embracing six babies as the due date was approaching.
The Miracle of life
In 2010, magic was made. Madison, Olivia, Isaac, Josiah, Elijah, and Rozonno Jr. were born. Six healthy and strong babies came into this world, making Mia and Rozonno's dreams come true. Four boys and two girls filled their lives (and their days) with such joy and happiness.
It was later discovered that Mia was carrying seven fetuses. This was something that was missed during examination throughout her pregnancy. When the big day arrived, she learned that one baby didn't make it, and she was left with her six precious gems.
History was about to be made as all six babies survived and all were about to turn into reality superstars. The future was holding moments of joy and recognition, as Mia and Ronzonno were about to shuffle their life cards once again.
Instead of grieving their loss of the seventh baby, they decided to celebrate the lives of the remaining six, and of course, their own lives as new parents.
The new parents wanted to freeze their memories. They wanted to documents those precious days and hired a professional photographer to snap the moment.
When it comes to babies, no one can stage a frame, and the babies, as if someone was directing them, created a photo that instantly became the talk of the day.
A Photo of a Lifetime
All six babies were comfortably scattered around Rozonno, and one fell asleep on his back. Mia, the loving mother, pleasantly looked at her husband (and at one of the babies), all forming together, a masterpiece of photography.
Yet again, life was about to bring on its least expected moments, and one of the most famous women alive was not going to stay oblivious to that photo.
It's Oprah Time
When Oprah Winfrey came across the photo of the six babies and their sleeping father, she knew the McGhee family had to be on her show. The main intention was not to drive more audience, but to financially help the family, as the new addition to the couple was costing them an arm and a leg.
For appearing on the show, they received a check worth a quarter of a million dollars. Now, if that wasn't enough, the Oprah Winfrey production granted the couple an all-paid honeymoon as the two never had a chance to go on one.
Americans Do It Best
With Americans being Americans, the number of donations the family received after the show was astonishing. The family's story moved people's hearts and they received boxes of diapers, baby bottles, car seats, clothing, and more.
Do you think this was the end of their fortune? The McGhees' story was just about start and there was more to come. They were about to make it big. Really big.
Reality Bites the Dust
After their grand appearance on the Oprah show, Mia and Rozonno were about to receive an offer they couldn't refuse. The Oprah Winfrey production offered them their own reality show, where the six babies would be filmed and followed for the first years.
Bringing up such a unique family was so unheard of, they knew the reality show would be a huge success. And it was. It was the first of its kind.
Six Little McGhees
The reality show, called 'Six Little McGhees', aired between 2012-2014 and documented the first two years of the sextuplets. It filmed the day-to-day lives of the busy schedules the parents had, learning every day how to juggle between six little souls that had to be fed, changed, and most of all, loved.
The show 'Six Little McGhees' wasn't where this journey would end, as when the first two years were over, 'Growing Up McGhees' was created, following the next six years of the family.
It's Show Time
Having such a large family made it impossible for Mia to hold a job, so she immediately became a stay-at-home mom, dedicating 100% of her time to raising her children. Life was challenging and not always easy. Mia and Rozonno hired help to assist with the simple daily chores.
Could you imagine feeding two babies, and when they were done, having to feed another two? And when the sixth one was done eating it was time to feed the first yet again.
The Camera Follows
The reality shows the kids starred on, made the children no strangers to the camera and they all felt comfortable having their pictures taken every now and then. Eventually, everyone ignored the cameras, as they became part of their household. The days were tough and the nights were even tougher, and Mia found herself exhausted.
She had to form a tight schedule. She had help, and people would come to give baths and put the children to sleep, but the regime and the schedule she kept was what helped her through the day.
Everything According to Schedule
If the bottles weren't cleaned as soon as she was done feeding, they were never cleaned at all. If she missed the bathing hour the children would become cranky which would then affect the rest of the evening. She was on top of it all.
As the days went by, Mia brought up six beautiful babies, each with their own special personality and unique ways. One was the sleepy one, the other a bouncy baby, and all were contributing their presence to one of the soon-to-be-famous families in America.
A Photo of a Lifetime Take 2
Remember the famous photo of the six sleeping babies laying on their father? Well, in 2016 Mia wanted to restore the photo once again, with their now grown-up six-year-old children.
The photoshoot resulted in a magnificent image of the parents and their children and reflected a spectacular moment to cherish for life.
A Siblings' Way of Life
Like all normal functioning families, the McGhees children fight. According to Mia, they fight a lot, but alongside their fighting moments, they love each other dearly. They are growing up with strong family values.
Mia and Rozonno's dream has come true and they have provided six little children with the family they never had while growing up.
Now I'm a Believer
Everyday challenges can be difficult on any family, however, when there are six children involved, small issues can become big monsters. Mia says that her strong beliefs kept her going, and she had made an effort into passing her beliefs to her children.
They admit that the parenting school never closes and that they both keep on learning how to be the best parent they can be every day.
The end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 were just around the corner for the McGhees, bringing to them a reality no one expected. The six children were homeschooled for a few months, making life more difficult than it was.
Overnight, Mia and Rozonno found themselves at home for most hours of the day, with six energetic kids. Having one or two kids at home every day, for all hours of the day was difficult, so having six kids in could turn into a nightmare.
The Benefits of Siblings
The McGhee home had become a small school, with six computers and the couple playing private tutors. Their strong bonds kept them going and although times could get difficult, they had learned how to lean on one another and enjoy the benefits of having a large and close family.
Besides the education responsibilities each child has, they all take part in the household chores — taking their turn in doing the dishes, taking out the garbage, and keeping their home clean.
Life Time Friendship
Alongside the downfalls, you've got to look at the benefits of having five siblings. While other children are at home alone for many hours of the day, the McGhee kids have their friends right beside them.
They always have someone to play with, someone to consult with and someone to complain to about the difficult days they were going through. Having five siblings is far better than having none at all.
It's Not Becoming Easier
Mia has been asked on several occasions if it gets any easier. If the fact that the children are growing up and becoming young teenagers makes her day to day more bearable. Well, the answer, apparently, is a clear no.
Mia explained that the children might know how to feed and dress themselves, but we are talking about six different opinions, six different needs, six different hobbies, and six different individuals to satisfy.
Family Is All That Matters
When the family goes out, they all pile into their family minivan and love exploring nature together. Going out is always easier than staying in, Mia said. The challenges of life have not spared the McGhee family, but Mia and Rozonno feel that with all difficulties, they have been blessed.
At the end of the day, the love, respect, and beliefs they have for one another keep them going, and no matter what challenges surprise them in life, anything is possible. They never forget that dreams can come true.
World’s First Surviving Septuplets
Having a baby is probably one of the most life-changing experiences. Most new parents find the arrival of just one new baby an overwhelming experience. Can you imagine what it must be like being a parent of a multiple birth? We're not talking about twins or even triplets but septuplets. That's right, seven babies on one pregnancy.
It sounds far-fetched, and the chances of the babies even making it through the pregnancy are extremely low, but on occasion women with the help of medical professionals and close care are able to bring these babies to term and into the world. Often times, fertility treatments play a role in helping women conceive their babies so let's take a closer look at this story.
Meet The Parents
In 1996 Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey were blessed with the arrival of a healthy baby girl.
They believed their new daughter to be a miracle as Bobbi suffered from issues with her pituitary gland which can cause problems with fertility. They gave their beautiful daughter the name of Mikayla Marie and thought ahead to their next child.
Having had difficulties conceiving Mikayla they decided for their next child they would pursue some fertility treatment.
Their doctor prescribed a medication called Metrodin which is known to help with ovulation, which is required for a woman to conceive a child. Bobbi started to take the medication, and they made plans for their second baby.
One Isn't Enough
Bobbi went in for a scan at her doctors practice but the day turned out to be totally life-changing. The scan revealed that she was, in fact, pregnant with seven babies.
This was not only massive news that they would be growing from a family of 3 to a family of 10, but this pregnancy also posed a level of danger to Bobbi.
Taking The Risk
Despite fully understanding the risks involved in such a complicated pregnancy, and having a healthy daughter in Mikayla, Bobby and Kenny decided they didn't want to choose one of their babies above another and wanted to proceed with the pregnancy as naturally as possible.
There have been only around 40-50 births in the world that have resulted from a pregnancy involving 7 babies. Although many septuplets have not survived birth or infancy, at least 3 sets of septuplets, and survived beyond infancy.
Lots Of Attention
Once their decision had been made, to keep all seven babies, news started to spread of this unusual pregnancy. People in the media and across the country found the story of this small family and their septuplets fascinating.
Not all people who heard the news were supportive of keeping all seven babies, but Bobby and Kenny were confident in their decision that everything would work out for the best.
People who knew the family, and those who didn't decided to offer help to the McCaugheys. After all, the birth of seven children at once is an extraordinary event in any family.
Kraft gave the family a years supply of "man n cheese," they were given boxes and boxes of diapers, some offered themselves to help around the house as a nanny or a babysitter, and amazingly enough, a 5,000 square foot house was donated to the family. The family was amazed at the kindness and generosity of people they knew and even more so from those that were complete strangers.
Running On Nerves
The months and weeks that led up to the birth were not only thrilling but scary and unsurprisingly stressful!
Bobbi had to do her best to keep calm and relaxed as the doctors were concerned that the stress of the upcoming births might lead her to early labor. In the back of their mind, Bobbi and Kenny knew things might not work out, but they tried to stay positive and believe everything would work out.
Meet The Babies
The McCaughey's welcomed three girls and four boys, making up the septuplets. With seven healthy babies, their parents now needed to name their brood.
The heaviest baby was named Robert, the other boys were named Kenny (Kenneth), Nathan Roy, Brandon James, and Joel Steven. The girls were named Alexis May, Natalie Sue and Kelsey Ann who was the lightest baby. That's a lot of names to remember!
The Birthing Staff
Of course, the babies were delivered with the help of the hospital staff. All of the doctors, nurses and maternity staff knew that they were part of making American history by helping deliver the first healthy set of septuplets.
A few days after the births, all the team involved in their delivery gathered together for a group photo.
Since Bobbi and Kenny were asked to come to the hospital nine weeks before Bobbi's due date to deliver the babies, the news channels were unaware that the births were taking place a the Iowa Methodist Hospital Center in Des Moines.
Every channel wanted to get the first picture of the newborns. However, as they would find out, they would have to wait for some time for them to get a glimpse at the septuplets.
Leaving The Hospital
The babies needed a lot of care in their early days, and eventually, after three months and ten days, all seven babies were healthy enough to be allowed home.
Finally, the news crews would get that picture they had been waiting for. As Bobbi and Kenny loaded all seven babies into their new family van, the cameramen and journalists got a snap of the septuplets with their parents. There were lots of smiles, and a few tears as the McCaughey's headed for home.
To ensure that the family would be able to return home safely the police set up a security post outside their house so that the McCaughey's would be able to arrive and enter their home without disturbance.
The babies were brought back to Bobbi and Kenny's old home at first, but soon enough they would be moving into their brand-new house.
There was much interest in the McCaughey family, and at first, Bobbi and Kenny thought it was just local reporters who were reporting on their story.
As news spread, more and more people became interested in the news of the septuplets, and in December of 1997, just a month after the babies were born, Bobbi and Kenny were featured on the front cover of Time Magazine.
It was ABC News Prime Time who was the first to gain full access to the family in a thorough interview and news feature.
There had been a lot of coverage of the septuplets births, but much of this had been reporters retelling what others had already written on the McCaughey family. ABC was the first to get an interview with the family.
Roses Come With Thorns
While the majority of the coverage of the septuplets was positive and supportive of the family, there were inevitable some negative reports.
Some called the family irresponsible for having too many children and that the amount of waste generated by so many babies could be damaging to the environment. It didn't matter to the McCaughey's though. Nothing could detract from the happiness of having seven new babies.
In 1934 the Dionne quintuplets were born in Ontario, Canada. They were born to Elzire Dionne who came under much criticism for the way her babies were raised.
The children were the subject of much press attention which was sometimes described to be like a circus. The quintuplets who were grown adults by the time the septuplets were born warned the McCaughey's about having the press too involved in the children's lives and urged Kenny and Bobbi to try and be as private as possible.
Load After Load
As you can imagine, one newborn generates a lot of dirty clothes. Now think about how much mess seven babies can make.
The McCaughey's were reported to do an average of 17 loads of laundry a week, and since they had tried to keep their lives as private as possible, it meant many of the house chores, had been done by themselves. Luckily they had two washing machines and two dryers to help with the mountains of laundry.
Babies In Bulk
Seven babies don't just generate a lot of laundry but were using on average 52 diapers a day between them, and guzzling through around 42 bottles as well.
This was costing the McCaughey's a lot of money, and eventually Bobbi and Kenny decided they needed to come up with a strategy for managing their large family.
Potty training was also going to be a lengthy challenge. With their first daughter Mikayla, they managed to potty train her within four days successfully.
With the septuplets, they knew it would take them a lot longer, perhaps even a few months to get them all properly potty trained.
They say it takes a village to raise a child and this was certainly the case with the septuplets. The McCaughey's would have around seventy volunteers helping with tasks around the house as well as caring for the little ones.
There would be approximately eight or nine people changing diapers, feeding, and generally making sure the babies were happy and cared for.
It wasn't just help from volunteers and those in the community. The McCaughey's also relied on a lot of help from their families.
Here we can see a picture Bobbi's sister, Michelle having a special moment with one of the babies. The help Bobbi and Kenny received from their loved ones was of great value to them, and they couldn't have done it without them.
The Big Sister
There was one family member in particular who wanted to help out wherever possible.
Big sister Mikayla always tried to be on hand to play with the babies, help at feeding times and generally assist her parents whenever and wherever she could with her seven younger siblings.
We mentioned earlier that the McCaughey's decided they needed a good strategy to keep their expenses to a minimum. They started with a couple of simple tricks. The first was that they bought in bulk, as with so many babies they knew they would need it eventually.
They also started researching what products were on special offer at their local supermarkets. On one occasion, Bobbi went and bought 60lb's of hamburgers. They manage to bring their monthly spending down to around $300 a month, which was a good reduction from their previous bills.
The McCaughey's had another idea for helping reduce their monthly expenditure. The family started to grow their own fruits and vegetables which were not only organic but free! Much cheaper than the supermarket equivalent.
These fresh fruits and vegetables were also available in their backyard it was so natural for them to pick and tend to. It helped reduce the cost of grocery shopping and was great for the environment. It's just a shame they could have a cow too.
Having just one baby takes a lot of care and attention, making sure they that all seven babies are getting enough food and sleep as well as cleaning and changing the babies is a lot of work.
The babies also needed to go for regular check-ups to the doctor. Having seven babies checked at once takes a good chunk of time.
Most Important Meal
The babies all loved their breakfast, which is good to hear because as we know, it is the most important meal of the day.
They must have required massive quantities of whatever it was that they ate.
There was an unmistakable bond between all of the babies, and as they grew into toddlers, they started to create their own language.
This phenomenon is not unique to the McCaughey's and often happens between twins and triplets, or even siblings who are close in age. It is called cryptophasia, but the children also spoke English.
With each year as they reached another birthday, the family used it as an opportunity to celebrate the milestones of the septuplets.
It was also an opportunity to thank god for helping their babies and helped instill in the McCaughey's that they had made the right decision with keeping all of their babies. After all, looked at their amazing family.
As the children grew older, they grew at differing rates. Some were stronger, some shorter, but we should always remember- never compare one child to another.
Despite this Bobbi and Kenny decided to dress the dour boys alike and the three girls in the same outfit. However, the children did not all have the same size feet, so they all needed the correct shoe sizes.
Clothing For Septuplets
Seven babies require a lot of clothes, and paying for all of the clothes was costing the McCaughey's huge sums of money. Then something amazing happened.
Carters, the children's clothing brand said that they would supply clothes for all of the babies until the age of five. This was just another example of the amazing generosity showed to Bobbi, Kenny and their family.
News of the babies reached the highest heights. When the septuplets were born, the President of the United States at the time, Bill Clinton called to congratulate the family.
Years later, the children would meet the next President, George W. Bush.
Upon the birth of the septuplets, when Bill Clinton called to congratulate Bobbi and Kenny, he said to her that when the seven children finally go off to school, she will be able to get a job running a major corporation in America.
"You will be one of the best-organized managers in the United States," said President Clinton to Bobbi.
As the septuplets began to grow up, they developed their own unique personalities that differentiated one from the next. Brandon is considered brave, and even a little bit stubborn.
Kenny Junior is the joker among the group, whereas Joel and Natalie prefer to sit quietly and read.
The Naughty One
Kenny Junior isn't just the funny one but also likes to cause mischief. So much so, that Bobbi calls him the "pint-sized explorer."
It's wonderful to see that each child is allowed to grow and develop into whatever person they want to be.
With a house full of eight children it can be easy to take care of yourselves and your relationship.
Bobbi and Kenny thought it was imperative to keep one night free for them to spend some much needed alone time together. Friday night was set aside as their date night.
Each of the children had their own characteristics, and their parents picked up on each of their personality traits.
Nathan is "determined" whereas Kelsey is a "sporty fashionista." Joel is "quiet and reflective" which is similar to Alexis who is "sweet and perceptive." Brandon is "outgoing and athletic," Natalie is a "high achieving perfectionist," and Kenny Jr, who was mentioned as a mischief-maker is described by his parents as a "go-getter."
A Special Trip
Families are hectic, and perhaps the McCaugheys were more hectic than most. Despite that, it's still important to take time out as a family and have a break.
The whole family, including Mikayla, were taken to Disney World in Orlando.
On The Cover
For their eighth birthday, the children appeared on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal.
The magazine also featured an article on the family where Bobbi and Kenny answered questions which they hoped would help new parents like they once were.
George W. Bush
In 2001 the McCaughey's were invited to meet with President George W. Bush. This was a big deal for Bobbi and Kenny, so they ensured that they and all the children were appropriately dressed.
Such is the way with young children that some were more interested than others, though we doubt they really grasped who they were meeting with at the time.
Too Much Attention
There was a lot of media attention when the children were born, and Bobbi and Kenny could have decided to have allowed a reality TV show to be made about their lives, as is the case in other families with lots of children, or unusual sets of children.
But the McCaughey's decided against that. There were, however, times when the children were featured in the press and on TV.
The Today Show
To every rule there are exceptions, and while in general the McCaughey's did not want cameras in their home, the exception was on the children's birthday.
For their 13th birthday, Bobbi and Kenny allowed Ann Curry from the Today show to come a meet the children for a special birthday feature. Every child got their own cake with 13 candles. As a journalist, this was a very exciting moment, Ann said at the time.
High School Days
In 2012 the septuplets started high school and were enrolled into the Carlisle High School in Carlisle Iowa.
As with most things that they do, they received a lot of attention on their first day, but as time went on and each one of them settled in, they started to be successful in their studies.
Feeding seven mouths takes a lot of work, especially when it's no longer just milk. Bobbi and Kenny started to serve the meals as buffets.
The spread was pretty impressive. Even more so, was that as the children got older, they too helped prepare the meals. So perhaps you can't have too many cooks in the kitchen!
Nathan, however, was determined to walk without an aid, which until this point he was forced to do. He felt that he didn't want to be restricted by his condition and taught himself how to walk without the help of his walker.
Each day he got a little bit further, and with this level of determination, he was destined to succeed. Speaking on the matter, he said, "I taught myself how to walk because I really wanted to learn. It's just been getting better and better."
Alexis was also not confined by her condition. She may still suffer from her walking, but she is not defined by it and is a child with many talents.
In 2013, Alexis won the "Teens Miss Dreams Come True" award proving just how gifted she was. In addition, Alexis showed her gift was also academic as she completed the year in the top 15% of her class.
Coming Full Circle
Seeing seven of her children graduate from high school simultaneously must have been highly emotional for Bobbi.
She can remember seeing them all dressed in their graduation regalia, with cap and gown and saying, "It's sad to see things end, but there will be lots of firsts coming." So what was next for the septuplets?
Keeping It Local
Two of the septuplets, Alexis and Kenny, enrolled into their local college, Des Moines which was nice for Bobbi and Kenny as it meant they were close by.
Alexis dreams of being a teacher so worked exceptionally hard during her college degree and graduated at the top of her class. The sky is the limit!
For Brandon, his path led him to enroll in the U.S. Army. This was something he had been dreaming about since he was a small boy, even as young as three years old.
Brandon will succeed in whatever he chooses as he is clearly gifted, having been offered a scholarship to study at his local college. Brandon decided instead to pursue a career in the army and is now an expert in pistol and carbon shooting.
Work For Family
For Kenny Jr, there was a different path. As with all of the septuplets they all have their own personalities and identities.
For Kenny he wanted to pursue a career as a carpenter and so far, has been pretty successful at it. However, his passion for carpentry went alongside his generosity.
When big sister Mikayla had her first child, Kenny Jr. took it upon himself to create a gift for her family which she would be able to keep forever.
This wasn't some little memento but was, in fact, a bespoke designed kitchen table with benches to go alongside it. Quite the gift from a little brother.
When the septuplets first arrived one of the acts of generosity was from the State of Iowa promising each child a college education at any state university of their choice.
Four of the seven decided to take the state up on the offer and Natalie, Nathan, Kelsey, and Joel all enrolled at the Hannibal-LaGrange University in Missouri where they are studying right now. Even though they were far from home, Bobbi and Kenny could be comforted that they were at least together at the same school.
Kelsey, who we said is enrolled at Hannibal-LaGrange University chose to focus on music as her major. She is a bright young talent, and we can't wait to see what she achieves.
The music felt like her calling, and if she's passionate about it, we believe that everyone will be able to see that in her performances.
Too Close To Separate
After graduation, the septuplets were interviewed for television. Quite used to the media and the questions, they were asked if they were worried about losing their closeness now they will no longer be under the same roof.
They responded by saying that as septuplets they have an unbreakable bond and will always be close, no matter the distance.
Empty Nest Syndrome
Once all the children had left the house to pursue whatever it is they had decided they wanted to do, Bobbi and Kenny looked around their empty house and felt how different things would be from now on.
They wouldn't have dreamt of holding any of their children back from pursuing their dreams, but the quiet was a new feeling they would need to get used to.
The Older Sister
Let's not forget about big sister Mikayla, who was also loved and encouraged like her seven younger siblings to pursue her dreams.
Mikayla studied at Des Moines college and then continued on to Arizona State University. Mikayla is also married and has a child of her own. We're hoping septuplets don't run in the family.
What About Dad?
With an empty house and lots of spare time, some parents find this transition depressing. Kenny McCaughey refused to and decided this was an excellent opportunity to take up a new hobby in motorcycles.
Kenny would scrap them and then meticulously rebuild them. He also took the chance to ride around the country and looks forward to exploring more in the future.
The house which was donated to them when the septuplets were born is now far too big for just Kenny and Bobbi so it looks like they may decide to sell and downsize to something smaller.
We do wonder what will happen if they all want to come and stay for a reunion, but we are sure they will figure out a solution.
Finding A Buyer
It took until February of this year for the McCaughey's to find a buyer for their huge seven bedroom, five bathroom family home. The new lucky owners will be receiving a house that was filled with love and happiness.
Now Bobbi and Kenny can settle into their new home too. But there is a twist.
Dodging A Bullet
When Bobbi and Kenny look back at that difficult decision, they had to make regarding selective reduction they can't help but feel so blessed at having seven beautiful children who have all grown up to be amazing young adults.
After all, they sought fertility treatment for a reason, and look what they have been given as a result.
It would be a hard decision for any parent to make and it was a minor miracle that they were all born at all, but you can't deny it was brave of Bobbi and Kenny to proceed with all seven babies.
That being said, if you ask Kenny what he thinks about it, and he'll say, "Well, come to our house and tell us which four I shouldn't have had."
Their Own Book
Shortly after the septuplets were born, the McCaughey's decided they wanted to write and release a book chronicling their experiences.
The book was entitled, "Seven from Heaven" and a major theme that is evident throughout is Bobbi and Kenny's faith and belief in God. You get the feeling that religion has played a significant role in bringing them hope and happiness when the odds were stacked against them.
It was decided early on that the children should not be in the public eye too much. That being said, they struck a deal with Gamma Press in 2001 that they could photograph the children once a year on their birthdays as a way to chronicle their progress.
This was a smart agreement as the family can look back on each year's birthday image. The honor was then given to Polaris Images.
Being a septuplet is not a normal occurrence, so many people often asked if they had a typical childhood. Well, they played and were able to be creative, had a loving family home and played together.
Sometimes they'd just want to play in the garden or take their toys outside, but that's normal for any child.
Through The Years
We bet you're wondering if multiple births will run in the family. The answer is that it is probably unlikely as Bobbi and Kenny received their miracle septuplets as a result of undergoing fertility treatment.
This, therefore, won't have an influence on the genetic makeup of each child, and they will most likely go on to have straightforward pregnancies without twins, triplets, or dare we say, septuplets.
Will They Have Twins?
There is a valuable lesson to learn in all of this. If you were to ask the McCaughey's if they would change anything about having septuplets the simple answer would be, no. They feel like they were blessed and even though at times things may have been hard they never shied away from their duties or responsibilities.
They would tell you, if you want something then you should just go for it, and you never know, you may end up getting more than you bargained for.