If you read the newspapers back in 1983, it would have been hard to miss hearing about the Walton sextuplets. These six babies were all born together and were the fourth ever recorded surviving set of sextuplets. But they made a record for being the first ever all-female set of sextuplets to be birthed in recorded history. And because they were extraordinary little girls, they became worldwide sensations overnight. But as you can imagine, it was not easy for these six beautiful babies to come into the world. Carrying one child is hard enough let alone six babies at once.
Janet and Graham Walton who were from Liverpool, England were blessed to have gotten pregnant with the six baby girls. They had been trying for years to start a family. The couple decided to try fertility treatments because they were eager to get the ball rolling on their dream. And they endured twelve failed rounds of fertility treatments.
Then the couple heard the news that Janet had six lives thriving inside her. The miracle happened after the Waltons decided to try one more time. And the miracle happened. But they knew from the beginning that they were getting a lot more than they had bargained for.
Because the doctors were worried that something could go wrong, Janet was admitted to the hospital so she and her six unborn babies could stay under medical supervision. They were worried and wanted to make sure that she was healthy, and they could act quickly if something went wrong with the rare pregnancy.
Despite the doctor’s fear, Janet carried all six babies until her 31st week of pregnancy. Then she successfully gave birth to six healthy baby girls on the fateful day of November 18, 1983.
The Walton sextuplets were Hannah, Ruth, Luci, Kate, Jennie, and Sarah. They became overnight celebrities because they were the first ever all-girl sextuplets.
During the first two years of life, the family used 10,000 diapers and hardly slept.
“We lived through those early years in a blur,” Janet said. “The only regret is that there wasn’t enough time to enjoy them as much as we’d have liked.”
But now that the girls are all grown up, the family is in a much more relaxed space. The girls are all 34 years old now.
Sarah was the first to give birth to Janet and Graham’s first grandchild. And they were eager to pass along some parenting wisdom:
“When Sarah says: ‘Jorgie was awake in the night. I’m so tired!’ I don’t say anything, but I remember back to our girls’ early years,” Janet said. “For two years, Graham and I only slept for a couple of hours a night. It was very difficult, a constant round of nappy-changing and feeding. And we couldn’t learn from our mistakes because we experienced everything at once: the weaning, the potty-training, the first steps. It was a constant onslaught.”
Do you remember hearing about the Walton sextuplets? Are you happy to see them all grown up and living life as adults now?