The World’s First Surviving Septuplets Are All Grown Up

May 24, 2019 Updated: June 18, 2019

Septuplets who captured the nation’s attention in the late 1990s are now in their early 20s.

A few years ago, Alexis, Brandon, Joel, Kelsey, Kenny, Natalie, and Nathan McCaughey graduated from Carlisle High School.

In 2018, they turned 21. “I think that we’re all becoming very independent and finding our different talents and different skill sets,” Kelsey McCaughey, the fourth-oldest of the siblings, told “It’s cool to celebrate this different milestone.”

After high school, they took different paths, including the military, working, and college.

“Since they were very young they’ve had varied interests,” Bobbi, their mother, told “They still have a very close bond to one another, but they also enjoy doing things with their friends and also exploring those different activities and different classes.”

Kelsey, Natalie, Nathan, Joel, and Alexis are currently going to Hannibal-LaGrange University in Missouri, Today noted.  Kenny Jr. is going to vocational classes for a building trade, and Brandon is deployed overseas as part of the U.S. Army.

“It was definitely a culture shock for sure,” Kelsey said when she went to college.  “Growing up in Iowa for 18 years, we didn’t really know any different. 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.”

The McCaughey family made headlines in 1997 for having the world’s first surviving set of septuplets. They were born nine weeks premature and weighed approximately 3 pounds each.

“It will definitely be different and weird, but I feel that it will be good for us to get out of our comfort zone and meet new people,” Kelsey said of her new life, NBC News reported.

Now, the home is much quieter, their parents said.

“I honestly think it will be good for all of us to be on our separate ways,” Kenny said. “I am not worried about not seeing everyone that much. We have been around each other the past 18 years. I am ready to be on my way, and I think everyone else is, too.”

Brandon first went to Fort Benning, Georgia, for basic training before going overseas.

“It will be a little different being without all my siblings,” he said. “But it won’t be bad since I’ll have contact with them. I think I will have a good experience being on my own, with my new military family. I have been taught to work for the things I want, and to not expect others to do anything for me. That helps with military life because I will need to do everything on my own, with no help at all from others.”

The New York Times reported in 1997 that mother Bobbi McCaughey took a fertility drug after she and her husband had problems in conceiving their first child.

“The pregnancy has captured worldwide attention as both a symbol of the ultimate scientific miracle and a cautionary example of the unwanted consequences of fertility treatments,” the Times said at the time.

The family has credited their faith, as Kenny Sr. and Bobbi decided to sell their seven-bedroom home to a Christian ministry.

“I think it’s such an amazing opportunity that our family has gotten to have,” Kelsey added to Today. “I think the Lord just really put that in my parents’ lives and just really orchestrated that so perfectly.”

The parents also had another daughter, Mikayla, before having the septuplets. She recently gave birth to a child, named Becham.