“I will always remember the day we found out there were so many,” Bobbi told the Des Moines Register in 2013. “It wasn’t like, ‘Yoohoo!’ There were so many doubts. To a lot of people this might sound trite, but God determined the outcome.”
And while a lot of people had their opinions as to what expectant parents of so many children should do, the McCaugheys decided to let their faith guide them. That choice led them to make one decision that may have proved controversial for some. Specifically, the couple declined selective reduction during the pregnancy. This procedure aims to eliminate the strain on the health of the developing babies by aborting some of the fetuses.
There was still a major risk in the attempt to carry seven healthy babies to term, though. In fact, there had never been a set of septuplets that had survived childbirth. Obstetricians Karen Drake and Paula Mahone were subsequently charged with the babies’ care, and they and the other doctors involved worried that the newborns would struggle to make it through their first few days out of the womb.