We want to introduce you to the McCaughey septuplets: Alexis, Brandon, Joel, Kelsey, Kenny, Jr., Natalie, and Nathan. They were all born on the 19th of November 1997 to Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey. Perhaps the introduction is not necessary! After all, their birth two decades ago made headlines across the world since they became the world’s first surviving septuplets. There is more to their story…
They captivated the press, which reported their milestones as they grew into the fine adults that they are now. We are sure that it was not at all easy to raise so many kids! It is already hard to change diapers, potty train, and feed just a single kid, so it is much more difficult when there are seven of them. How is the family doing now?
Where Are They?
The kids have since grown up and developed their own unique personalities and interests. We think that it is lovely to hear that they consider their siblings their best of friends. Are you wondering what has happened to them over the years? What must they be like, now that they are all adults?
What’s The Update?
Luckily for you, we are here to give you the lowdown on how the McCaughey family is doing in case you have not kept up with this fascinating family. Are they still as close as they had been?
Welcoming Seven Children All At Once
Bobbi McCaughey gave birth to Alexis, Brandon, Joel, Kelsey, Kenny, Jr., Natalie, and Nathan in Des Moines, Iowa. The children were all born nine weeks premature through Caesarean section. Their mother fell pregnant while taking a fertility drug called Pergonal. It definitely did the trick because it helped her produce seven embryos!
Welcome To The World
The kids each weighed around 2.5 pounds to 3.4 pounds. Dr. Paula Mahone of the Iowa Methodist Medical Center was one of the physicians tasked to help with their delivery. Kenny, the firstborn, was dubbed Hercules since he “held all the others up” in the womb. However, the babies were not all born in perfect health.
Some Of Them Had Health Problems
It was miraculous that the kids all survived, although they were not all healthy and thriving. Alexis has hypotonic quadriplegia, which means that the muscle tone in her arms, legs, and torso was low and gave her trouble holding positions. She used to have a walker to support her.
More Health Issues
There was also Nathan, who has spastic diplegia that causes his legs to spasm. They had a special chair made to teach him how to rest his weight on his legs so that he can walk. They have tried different operations to improve their quality of life. But there was more…
Four Out Of Seven
Natalie and Alexis used to have severe reflux as kids and had to be fed through a pump connected to their stomachs. Considering how rare the circumstances were, we can see why the media paid the family so much attention. This meant four of the babies had health issues.
What The Public Had To Say
The story was even covered by publications such as Newsweek and Time. The public had mixed reactions about the birth. There were people who sent them letters of congratulations, although other strangers scolded them. “In the beginning, for every 10 letters we would get that were happy for us, we’d get one letter accusing us of exploiting the kids and being selfish to waste the world’s resources on a family this big,”
Well-Known Around Town
Bobbi informed the Baptist Bulletin back in 2007, “We had complete strangers come around to the back door, knock, and ask if they could hold a baby.” Naturally, people were curious about the kids. As a matter of fact, even the President of the United States felt that way!
A Call From The President
President Bill Clinton had been sworn into another term at the Oval Office when the septuplets were born. He was so touched by the story that he called the McCaughey family to personally offer them his congratulations. “Everybody up here at the White House has been sitting here widemouthed.”
The president told Bobbi during the phone call, “All of us who raised one or two kids, and three, are just amazed. But I admire you, and I think it’s great, and I hope it will be a great adventure for you the whole way through.”
Visit To The White House
Aside from that, he invited the McCaughey family to drop by the White House for a short visit. This was great news, but it was not the only form of generosity that the family received.
Scholarships From The Get-Go
The McCaughey family received generosity from both the public and private sectors. There were forces out that there that wanted to help with the education of the septuplets.
Gifts From Birth
The state of Iowa offered them full scholarships to any state university in the state. Hannibal-LaGrange University also offered them full scholarships upon their birth! Aside from these generous college rants, they also received help when it comes to essentials. In fact, a company even offered them a lifetime supply of something they needed!
The Generosity Of Strangers
Neighbors and corporations were there to help the family out. The family lived in a small town called Carlisle with 3,200 residents, many of whom organized fundraisers for the McCaughey’s. Proctor & Gamble Co. also gave them a lifetime supply of Pampers diapers.
The Donations Piled In
Corporate officials offered the family bank donations, groceries, and a van. They were offered a furnace by a heating company. The Los Angeles Times said that Gerber Products Co. promised to give the family baby food for a year. Even though the septuplets get a lot of media attention, there is actually another child in the family.
Do Not Forget The Eldest Child
It seems that not many people know that the septuplets had an older sister who was 21 months old their senior! Mikayla Marie, the eldest child, was born on the 3rd of January 1996. While she was only a toddler back then, she always lent her mother a hand. Where is she now?
Mikaela among other things also helped during playtime and bottle feeding sessions. She is now married to a pastor and lives in Kansas City. Together, they had a baby boy called Becham in 2017. Bobbi and Kenny had to turn to music to provide for their eight kids.
The McCaughey Septuplets’ Sweet Dreams
They had a media and spiritual advisor by the name of Wes Yoder, who was then the president of the Nashville-based Ambassador Artist Agency. He produced the lullaby album The McCaughey Septuplets’ Sweet Dreams for the family. Artists from London to Nashville gave their time and talent to this project.
Artists Who Wanted To Help
Many Christian musicians such as Kathie Lee Gifford worked on it! Kenny and Bobby sang in church and performed a song on the album. Half of the profit was given to the foundation they started to help out other families with multiple kids. Let us find out what other methods the family used to raise funds and spread the word about their situation.
A Book Deal As Well
The agency ran by Wes Yoder also landed Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey a book deal! The book Seven From Heaven narrates their story and places an emphasis on the courage that it took to raise the family.
The Amazon synopsis reads, “This story of simple faith recounts the events leading up to, during, and following the births of the only living septuplets in the world.” The family made a life-changing decision when the children were finally adults…
They Ended Up Selling The House
When the McCaughey parents were finally empty nesters, they sold the 5,500 sq. ft. home. The seven-bed five-bath home was a gift to them from the Clark Company in 1998. A nonprofit based in Des Moines called Ruth Harbor is the one to inherit the house afterward. The organization gives young mothers housing and support.
Bobbi explained, “We have been blessed to receive such a wonderful gift, and nothing would please us more than the idea of our home being used as a place of refuge to others in need.” The parents have since downsized to a three-bed house! But how are the septuplets doing?
Kenny “Class Clown” McCaughey, Jr.
We have already told you that Kenny Jr. is the oldest among the septuplets. His siblings say that he is the “class clown.” He lived at the family house in Iowa when he took up vocational studies at Des Moines Area Community College to take up construction trade.
A Big Family
He said, “Just having a big family with a lot of brothers and sisters to hang out with. you’re never alone, and there’s always someone to talk to,” he said when Today interviewed the family for their 18th birthday. “That’s what I think is best.”
Kelsey “The Singer” McCaughey
Kelsey McCaughey is the fourth oldest but smallest of the siblings at 2.4 lbs at the time of their birth. She wanted to go into music but decided to put her dreams on hold as she majored in public relations at Hannibal LaGrange University. “It was definitely a culture shock, for sure,” she informed Today in reference to her decision to attend a school far from home.
She continued to say, “It was a difficult transition to be away from our parents and be outside of Iowa, but I think that we all did welcome it, and just really created new friendships and met new people in a new environment.”
Natalie “Smarty Pants” McCaughey
There is also Natalie McCaughey, who has been nicknamed “smarty pants” thanks to her drive to succeed in her studies. “I’m the one who takes school very seriously and spend a lot of time with homework and studying,” she said in 2015.
A Married Lady
Even though we do not know what her GPA was when she attended Hannibal-LaGrange University, we do know that she has no problems in the love department! She and her college sweetheart Shawn Geralds walked down the aisle in May 2019.
Nathan Is A Computer Geek
Nathan McCaughey has been interested in computers since he was young, so it makes sense that he is now pursuing a career in the field. “I want to go into something with computers, probably into computer sciences,” he shared with KCCI TV in 2015.
All About Computers
He said, “I’ve just always liked to do computer stuff.” He took up computer information systems at Hannibal-LaGrange University. And at only 22 years old he plans to make a career out of it!
Joel “The Bookworm” McCaughey
We also have Joel McCaughey, who is called “the bookworm” by the other children thanks to his love of reading. He also likes computers. “I’ve always thought computers were really weird, but in a good way,” he informed KCCI TV in 2015. Just like Nathan, he also majored in computer information systems at Hannibal-LaGrange University. We are glad that they have someone who understands his passions!
Alexis Made It To The Cheerleading Squad
Alexis McCaughey made her dream come true when she made it to the cheerleading squad at her high school. It was a huge accomplishment for her. After all, she had to undergo various surgeries to strengthen the muscles in her legs.
She decided to major in early childhood education also at Hannibal-LaGrange University, which is pretty amazing. This has to be one of the most admirable career paths out there! So naturally, we’re quite impressed!
Brandon Joined The Army
One of the children took a different career path. For Brandon McCaughey, his calling was to serve in the military. He got deployed overseas as part of the U.S. Army Infantry. He got married to Alana Hale when he returned home in August 2019.
It was pleasing to see what kinds of items they had on their wedding registry wish list: cookware, storage, and gadgets. It probably means that they want to stay at home for dinner a lot! We hope that the rest of the family is invited.
What Bobbi Had To Say About The Kids
Bobbi McCaughey had a lot on her plate, so it was a good thing that she could always turn to her faith when things got crazy. “That has been the rock that we have had to stand on,” she let Today know when the kids celebrated their 18th birthday.
Now, empty nesters, she and Kenny have chosen to focus on their relationship and the task of looking after Becham, their grandson. Having no children living at home with them was a huge adjustment but they’re getting used to it.
Bobbi said, “It’s been very different in some respects it’s been fun because Kenny and I have managed to do a lot more things, just the two of us, but obviously I kind of miss the business of having everyone at home. When they are home, it’s really enjoyable and something we look forward to a lot.”
Now A Grandmother
“The love for them is the same, but the responsibility is so different,” she told Today on their 21st birthday. “It’s just been fun to be able to visit and see the milestones, and get to do all the fun things with (Becham), but I don’t have to raise him.”
What Kenny Is Doing Now
Kenny McCaughey decided to leave his billing clerk position at Chevrolet to pursue a public speaking career. He talks to pro-life groups all over the country and even held a press conference to discuss the “miracle of birth.” The event took place at the same Iowa church where he got married to Bobbi.
On the 18th birthday of the septuplets, he talked about what it was like to see the children born. “For me, it was seeing them each come out of the womb,” he shared with Today. “It was quite a sight to see that.” He is now a deacon at church who visits older church members and manages a benevolence fund.
Helping Families With Multiples
It is heartwarming to learn that Kenny and Bobbi are now helping families who have been blessed with multiple births. We are sure that they know better than anyone how hard it is to raise so many kids all at the same time.
Learning From The Professionals
They extended help to Mark and Jeannette Zimlich of Mobile, Alabama. When the younger couple had quintuplets, the McCaughey’s offered scheduling help and words of wisdom.
Ensuring They Were Set
They also helped them get donations in the form of baby food, clothing, diapers, and toys. We are very happy to hear that they continue to help people in need! No one knows the difficulties of raising multiples as much as they do.
Last November the septuplets celebrated their big 21st birthday! Now they are legally old enough to drink champagne and toast this huge accomplishment. They all celebrated in different locations before having a huge party for the whole family.
They thought it was a huge accomplishment and worldwide phenomenon when they were born back in 1997. But now they are all becoming hugely independent in their own unique ways, and it’s amazing to see.
Own Interests & Hobbies
As we’ve mentioned before, from a young age each child has had their own interests and hobbies. But this never stopped them from having an amazing, close bond with each other. Even so they still enjoyed exploring activities with their friends.
Not So Highly Publicized Any Longer
When the McCaughey septuplets were younger they were often center of attention and were highly publicized all over the world. But, as they’ve grown older its become less and less. Perhaps because not many people actually recognize famous kids as adults.
While recently being interviewed, Nathalie told Today, “we’re not just siblings but we’re all best friends, I know that we’re all just really thankful for the relationships and the bonds that we have together”.