November 22, 1997 in Nation/World

Septuplet Mom Holds Baby For First Time

Associated Press Des

A weary Bobbi McCaughey cradled one of her septuplets for the first time Friday and told the world she pressed on with her risky pregnancy because “they were my children, and I wanted them.”

“I know that it’s extraordinary … to have this many babies and go this far, but it’s something I just did.”

The couple’s fertility doctor had given the McCaugheys the option of aborting some of the fetuses to give the others a better chance at survival. But “we just told her right from the beginning it’s not an option for us,” McCaughey said.

Later, at a packed hospital news conference, the mother of the only living septuplets in the world was overcome by emotion when she spoke of holding one of her newborns for the first time.

Kenneth Robert - nicknamed “Hercules” by doctors because he was lowest in the womb and held the six others up - was the strongest of the brood and the biggest at 3 pounds, 4 ounces. He was upgraded from serious to fair condition and removed from a ventilator after he began breathing on his own. His siblings remained in serious condition.

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