Septuplets Making Progress
by Jan Baughman

Des Moines, December 6, 2034

It has been 13,522 days since an Iowa woman made medical history by giving birth to seven live babies, and doctors say the septuplets are continuing to make remarkable progress. Only one set of live septuplets has been born since this breakthrough event, and three of the seven infants were carried to term by their grandmother, therefore the birth was not qualified for the record books.

The McCaughey septuplets, delivered by Caesarean section about nine weeks premature thiry-seven years ago are being carefully monitored at the outpatient clinic of Des Moines Memorial Hospital. So far, they do not appear to have suffered physical or developmental complications. Their mental status has not been disclosed by the attending psychiatrists, though an anonymous report says that "they are doing as well as can be expected".

The male septuplets have gained an average of 5900% of their body weight since birth, a common condition among developing adults. "This would indicate that they are eating normally", quoted the Family Practitioner overseeing their progress. The first-born and largest, Kenneth Robert, has intentionally lost weight at the recommendation of his doctor. By consuming only liquids through a tube in his nose, he has shed 12 pounds since March. The female septuplets have gained an average of 4733%, and all say that they would like to see that figure drop to about 4233 with diet and exercise. Overall, with the exception of Kenneth Robert, each septuplet is eating well, although the two youngest are alleged to have become vegetarians. Whether this is a result of their condition at birth is not certain.

The proud parents of the McCaughey septuplets retired to Des Moines, which was donated to them by the Mayor, shortly after the birth. All seven of their children hold life-time public offices, though the Mayor remains an elected official. "If they're poked or prodded or have an occasional accident, they try to let us know", said the Mayor. Each septuplet has a unique personality, yet they are currently joined in a fight against urban overcrowding. It is rumored that they and their seven spouses, sixteen children and fifty-six in-laws are plotting to privatize Des Moines and drive the un-McCaugheys to the suburbs.

Mrs. McCaughey, a 66 year-old retired seamstress, says that she intends to keep her children out of the press so that they may lead normal lives. Her husband Kenny, a retired billing clerk at a Chevrolet dealership, is a volunteer curator at the McCaughey Septuplet Des Moines City Archive. Neither could be reached for comment.

Published December 6, 1997
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