New TLC Documentary Checks in On McCaughey Septuplets, Now 13
Thirteen candles? Try 91.
The world's first surviving septuplets celebrated their entrance into the world of teendom when they turned 13 last month, and in a TLC special the McCaugheys talk about their struggles, challenges and triumphs.
In her ongoing exclusive series of TV reports, "Today" co-host Ann Curry looks back on the family's historic journey.
It all began on Nov. 19, 1997, when Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey, a devout couple from Carlisle, Iowa, found themselves thrust into the national spotlight when they gave birth to three girls and four boys -- the first set of surviving septuplets in the history of humankind, according to WLYC.com. They already had a daughter, Mikayla, who was nearly 2 when the multiples were born.
The septuplets, who were conceived while Bobbi McCaughey was taking a fertility drug, were initially given almost no chance of survival, People.com reports.
In the "America's Septuplets Turn 13" documentary, Curry once again meets with the McCaughey parents and the seven 13-year-olds -- Kenny, Alexis, Natalie, Kelsey, Nathan, Brandon and Joel.
"It isn't a joke when people say enjoy them, because it happens so quickly," Bobbi McCaughey says during a "Today" preview. "Sometimes you think it will last forever and that there will be another tomorrow just like this, but it is not. It changes so fast."
The idea of raising children is daunting for any parent, Curry says on "Today," but she points to the particular strengths of the parents, saying, "It is a journey that boggles the mind."
During the early months, the septuplets drank 42 bottles a day and went through 52 diapers.
These days, the family spends $300 a month on groceries, shopping at food warehouses and growing their own produce, Curry reports. The also do 10 loads of laundry per week and they have two refrigerators, two dishwashers and two freezers, People.com reports.
Now that they're 13, Brandon tells KETV that he's hoping to be taken more seriously. "Hopefully people at school will respect us more, because everybody makes fun of us because we are the McCaugheys," he says.
Today, the teens are quite the taskmasters. The family puts the power of numbers to good use doing chores.
"They've gotten to be such good helpers," Bobbi McCaughey says. "They all do their own laundry."
The parents of the septuplets are also enjoying another benefit of their kids growin up: Free time. "It's so nice to just say, 'Kids, we're going out for a while. Don't kill each other. Find supper,'" Bobbie and Kenny McCaugher tell KETV.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.