The Septuplets: Happy Birthday!

The McCaughey septuplets of Carlisle, Iowa — Kenny, Brandon, Joel, Nathan, Alexis, Kelsey and Natalie — turn 2 on Friday. Kenny, the first septuplet born, has a naughty streak says his father Kenny, who calls him “wild man.” Brandon is moody and adventurous, climbing on tables and swinging from the chandelier. Natalie is sensitive. “You pretty much look at her the wrong way and she cries,” mother Bobbi told the Associated Press. And Alexis has a short temper. The toddlers like Legos and playing with 3-year-old sister Mikayla. And there’s a new addition to the family: a cat named Cattie. The children are talking, saying words such as “Mommy,” “Daddy,” “me” and “bye-bye.” All have taken their first steps, though Alexis and Nathan get around mostly with walkers.

  • On the down side: Alexis has hypotonic quadriplegia, which causes muscular weakness in all four limbs. Nathan has spastic diplegia, which causes uncontrolled muscle tightening in his legs. The conditions are forms of cerebral palsy. Both toddlers wear plastic leg braces, and therapists work with them twice a week. Bobbi McCaughey says that with therapy the children will appear to walk normally. Alexis and Natalie also suffer from digestive problems. They take some food orally but also rely on feedings of high-calorie formula through tubes in their stomachs. And Joel will undergo surgery soon to correct a condition that causes one of his eyes to drift and cross.
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