One can only imagine what a shock Bobbie McCoy from Iowa (USA) experienced when an ultrasound showed that she was pregnant with septuplets. Yes, that’s right: as many as seven kids. True, few believed that all the crumbs would live to see the birth. And they not only survived, but grew up and learned, much to the delight of mom and dad. Now that the McCoy septuplets are adults, it’s time to remember the story of their amazing birth.
Kenny and Bobby McCoy met at a meeting of the Baptist congregation to which they both belonged. Six months later, they got married, and a year later, in January 1996, their daughter Michaela Marie was born. As Bobbie later said, she and her husband always dreamed of two children of the same age. Therefore, without delay, we decided to give Mikaela a brother or sister.
And then an unexpected obstacle arose. It turned out that the first pregnancy provoked a hormonal disorder in Bobby, which prevented conception. But the woman was not going to give up the idea of becoming a mother of two children and, on the advice of doctors, began ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ for ɪɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ. And, oh miracle! Already after the first course of procedures, the test showed two stripes – Bobby managed to get pregnant.
But when the happy Bobby and Kenny came to the ultrasound, a very unexpected message awaited them. “The doctor said: “I see a fetus,” then after a while: “So, here’s another one.” And then he began to count – the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh. “Congratulations, you have seven children in your stomach.” Hearing his words, I almost fell out of bed,” recalls Bobby McCoy with a smile.
According to Bobby, she and her husband were able to recover from shock only after a few days. And when they finally realized that instead of two they would have eight children, they asked themselves the question: where and how will they live with such a large family?
But, first of all, it was necessary to endure and give birth to children, and with this everything was also very difficult. The fact is that it was hard for a short and thin Bobby to bear even one child, and then seven at once! “My belly was growing at a catastrophic rate. It was very difficult for me to walk. And when I sat down, the edge of my stomach touched my knees. I became scared, and I thought: “How long will it increase,” recalls a mother of many children.
The news of the unusual pregnant woman was leaked to the media, and journalists became frequent guests at McCoy’s house. Therefore, it is not surprising that the whole country soon learned about the mother, who was expecting seven babies.
Kenny and Bobby were bombarded with a flurry of letters. Most people wrote that they were happy for their spouses, wished them happiness and hoped that all the children would be alive and well. True, there were also ill-wishers who did not understand why it was necessary to leave all the children.
“Evil people reproached us for wanting to use children to get help from the state. They wrote to us that we are selfish and “spend the resources of the world on our big family.” It was embarrassing, but we tried not to pay attention,” says Kenny.
By the way, the question “should all children be left behind” was asked not only by ordinary people, but also by doctors. Seeing how difficult the pregnancy is, they repeatedly suggested that Bobby remove some of the embryos so that the rest could develop normally. “Kenny and I thought it over and decided to disagree. We are both very devout and decided: “Since God has decided to give us seven children, we have no right to go against his will. Come what may,” says Bobby.
When the pregnancy passed 30 weeks, the doctors decided not to take any more ʀɪsᴋs and began to prepare Bobby for an emergency ᴄᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. Interestingly, the circumference of the belly of the expectant mother at that time was already 140 cm, which is almost twice the average size of a normal pregnant woman at 40 weeks.
The delivery, which was scheduled for November 19, 1997, was attended by a team of 40 doctors. All seven babies appeared one after another with a break of about 6 minutes. There were 4 boys and 3 girls. The parents chose the names for them in advance and agreed that they would give them in the order of birth. So, the McCoy family arrived: Kenny Jr., Alexis, Natalie, Kelsey, Nathan, Brandon and Joel. By the way, the kids weighed not so little – from 1 to 1.5 kg, which is pretty good for such a crowd.
Only after 3 months and 10 days, the McCoys were finally able to take their babies home. And the hard days began. “Caring for such a crowd was very difficult. For feeding per day, 42 bottles of milk were needed. And it took more than 50 diapers a day,” recalls Bobby. Of course, Bobby and Kenny would never have made it if it wasn’t for the help of volunteers. During the first year, the McCoy family had 35 assistants. And thanks to the attention of the media, the flow of gifts arriving from all over the country has not dried up.
Immediately after the birth of the septuplets and their parents, then US President Bill Clinton congratulated them. Photos of the happy family appeared on the covers of such well-known publications as Time and Newsweek. Several well-known universities in the country assured that they would be happy to provide free education to children. Later, the next President, George W. Bush, also congratulated the family.
Calls asking for a report or an interview came in almost daily. And once young parents were even offered to shoot a reality show about their family. But Bobby and Connie didn’t want their kids to grow up in front of the cameras. They made an exception only once: when the kids were one year old, they became participants in the famous Oprah Winfrey show.
Years passed, and the septuplets grew up. They successfully graduated from high school and began to prepare for adulthood. Natalie, Nathan, Kelsey, and Joel went to Hannibal-Lagrange University in Missouri, while Kenny Jr. and Alexis stayed closer to home and decided to continue their education at the University of Des Moines. The only one who chose not to pursue higher education was Brandon. Since childhood, dreaming of a military career, he joined the US Army. By the way, he even managed to get married – the only one of the septuplets.
Each of the brothers and sisters has their own hobbies and passions. Alexis wants to become a preschool worker, Joel and Nathan are interested in computers, Kelsey dreams of becoming an actress, Natalie is preparing to become a teacher, Kenneth Jr. wants to open his own construction business.
Now that all the children are firmly on their feet (the eldest daughter Michaela is also married and has already given birth to a child), Kenny and Bobby decided to open a new chapter in their lives.
“We have long dreamed of buying a motorcycle and driving around the whole country on it. Now it’s time to fulfill our dream, ”says Kenny.
In addition, according to the McCoys, the two of them do not need such a big house. Therefore, they decided to organize a shelter for disadvantaged children.
“We received this wonderful home as a gift, and nothing will make us happier than using it to provide shelter to others in need,” says Bobby.
And when Bobby and Kenny are asked to talk about the children, they invariably answer: “This is the best thing that could happen in our lives.”