Get an up-close-and-personal look into the life of Bobbi McCaughey, mother of septuplets!

October 03, 2005

Meet the McCaugheys

Imagine finding out you're pregnant -- with seven babies! How would you handle 120 (or more) dirty diapers a week? How do you juggle 40 bottle feedings a day? And what happens when it's time to potty train? Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey know the answers to these questions firsthand -- and you can read about their parenting adventures during a year of their children's lives.

On November 19, 1997, Bobbi and Kenny became two of the most famous parents on the planet when Bobbi gave birth to the world's first living, healthy septuplets -- four boys and three girls. followed Bobbi's life for a year in her online journal where she shared the joys -- and challenges -- of raising their eight children (the septuplets and an elder daughter).

Fast Facts About the Kids

  • The McCaugheys' septuplets: Brandon, Joel, Kelsey, Kenny, Natalie, Alexis, Nathan, all born November 19, 1997
  • The McCaugheys' eldest daughter: Mikayla, born January 3, 1996
  • Alexis was diagnosed with hypotonic quadriplegia, which causes muscular weakness in all four limbs.
  • Nathan has spastic diplegia, a condition that causes spasms in the legs.
  • Alexis and Natalie had feeding problems (severe reflux) when they were younger, which often required tube feedings from a pump that would drip a high-calorie liquid directly into their stomachs.
  • Brandon, Joel, Kelsey, Kenny, Natalie are thriving and healthy.

A Snapshot of Life Raising Eight Kids

  • The septuplets were hospitalized for several weeks after their birth at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines. The last child released from the hospital was Alexis, who came home March 12, 1998.
  • Bobbi pumped breast milk for all seven babies until they were 3 months old.
  • The family now consumes four to five gallons of milk each week.
  • Today the septuplets are in various stages of potty training. Kelsey is finished but still wears pull-up diapers at night.
  • Bobbi thinks it could take several months to toilet train all seven children. By comparison, Mikayla was potty trained in less than four days!
  • The septuplets used about 150-170 diapers each week.
  • All the girls wear identical outfits, as do the boys. The children's shoe sizes, however, differ. Joel wears a larger size than the others.
  • Carter's, a children's clothing manufacturer, is providing clothing for the McCaughey seven until the kids turn 5 years old.
  • In November 1998, the McCaugheys moved from their compact 800-square-foot home into a spacious new house with five bedrooms and five baths, built for them and donated by the state of Iowa.
  • For the first eight months of the children's lives, Bobbi and Kenny had child care 22 out of the 24 hours in the day.
  • Seventy volunteers (usually eight or nine each day) helped the family with feeding, changing, and caring for the septuplets until they began to sleep through the night.
  • Today the family has child care only one to two days a week.
  • Bobbi and Kenny have a regular "date night" every Friday.
  • The septuplets' favorite meal is breakfast.

Fast Facts About Bobbi

  • Born July 18, 1968 in Alberta, Canada
  • Currently lives in Carlisle, Iowa (population: 3,500)
  • A devout Christian and preacher's daughter (her dad, Bob Hepworth, is a Baptist minister)
  • Met Kenny on a blind date arranged by her sister, Barbara, and brother-in-law, Neil
  • Married Kenny on December 5, 1992
  • Bobbi is a professional seamstress, but she once considered a career as a nurse or secretary.
  • When President Bill Clinton called the McCaugheys after the birth of the septuplets, he told Bobbi, "When those kids all go off to school you will be able to get a job running any major corporation in America. You will be the best-organized manager in the United States."
  • Recent accomplishments: In between the children's naps, she sewed all the attendants' dresses for her sister's April 7, 2001 wedding.
  • She and Kenny took all eight of the children to Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Healthy Kid