On November 19, 1997, Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey, a devout couple from Carlisle, Iowa, found themselves thrust into the international spotlight when they became the parents of three girls and four boys who would forever be known as the first set of surviving septuplets in the history of humankind. Six days after their birth made international headlines, NBC News' Ann Curry introduced Kenny, Alexis, Natalie, Kelsey, Nathan, Brandon, and Joel to the world. More than 20 million viewers tuned into "Dateline's" most-watched broadcast of the year to see the very first pictures of the newborns.
Since Curry's first report a decade ago, she has had extraordinary access to the McCaughey family. "Dateline" has captured the septuplets' milestones from birth through age 10, chronicled daily life in their unique household, traveled with the family on vacation (most recently to Europe) and documented the medical challenges faced by some of the children, including major surgeries.
In an hour-long retrospective airing on Wednesday, Dec. 12 (10:00 p.m. ET), the septuplets, who have seven distinct personalities, cover many subjects with Curry. Now in fourth-grade, they have much to say about their family, school, friendship, and religion – even world events, including the significance of their birth. The children are so comfortable with Curry and her production team, (some of whom have been covering the story for a decade) that, for many years, the septuplets thought the "Dateline" reports were simply their home videos. Curry watched excerpts with the family on her most recent visit and even they were amazed at how they survived the "terrible two's" and "trying three's."
Parents Bobbi and Kenny reflect on the challenges they have faced since Bobbi's difficult pregnancy; how their faith has sustained them through tough times that, they say, have strengthened their 15-year marriage. Although they are reluctant celebrities, the McCaugheys also explain why they have allowed "Dateline" to closely document their family's life for a decade. Their daughter Mikayla, now in seventh grade, shares her thoughts on life as the first child to ever have seven brothers and sisters land in her lap all at once. Curry also reports on the progress of two children who have cerebral palsy.
Msnbc.com's coverage of the McCaughey septuplets includes special features on the family. Viewers can log on to dateline.msnbc.com to learn more about the lives of this unique family.
David Corvo is the executive producer of "Dateline NBC." Msnbc.com is NBC News' home on the Internet.