Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey of Des Moines, Iowa, United States already had a daughter when they decided to have more babies. After undergoing ovulation-stimulating fertility treatment, Bobbi became pregnant with seven babies.
Considering the risks involved in carrying multiple babies, she was told to abort four of the seven in what is called as ‘selective termination’ which is believed to make the pregnancy more viable and for the babies to have a better chance at survival.
The couple refused the doctors’ advice; instead, they chose to keep all the babies and “put it in God’s hands”. When they were born, most of the septuplets were just a little over 2 lbs; although two managed to surpass the 3-lb mark. Still, those weights are deemed too low but the premature babies fought hard for their lives – and everyone survived!
Just as the doctors had predicted, there were complications in the pregnancy. Two of the children had cerebral palsy and had difficulty in walking unaided; one of these two, plus another child, had severe acid reflux that required them to have a feeding tube for several years.
Life certainly wasn’t easy for the family, what with all the kids to care for and having three with special needs yet they managed to make it through, thanks to the help of the public who donated to them.
Of course, with all the media attention on the family, things weren’t always smooth. While they received plenty of donations, including scholarships to college and a family van, they also received a lot of hate mail for deciding on having a huge family. Several people accused them of “wasting the world’s resources” on their large family.
Many called them “selfish” for refusing the doctors’ advice to reduce the seven babies to three! But Bobbi countered these people by saying, “Well, come to my house, and tell me which four I shouldn’t have!” And this often silences the critics.
Today, after seeing them all graduate from high school, Bobbi has been vindicated! She feels all the more thankful that they didn’t terminate any of the babies.
After graduation, two opted to stay in their town and go to Des Moines Area Community College while four accepted the scholarships to the private Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri. And one of them enlisted in the United States Army!
Kenny and Bobbi made the right decision after all!