First sextuplet birth in the world: Family continues to grow
Janet and Graham Walton wanted nothing more than to become parents. But what started as a natural wish to have children soon turned into torture for the young couple, as Janet was having trouble becoming pregnant. In the end, the two opted for fertility treatment. Unfortunately, none of the therapies worked and Janet still wasn't pregnant even after 12 attempts. But just as the couple was beginning to give up on the dream of becoming parents, a miracle occurred: Janet was finally pregnant after the 13th course of fertility treatment.
Janet and Graham were on cloud nine when they heard the news. With the drama of trying to conceive now behind them, the couple could now focus on attending to their unborn child. Yet when the young woman went for a check up in the eighth week of her term, the doctors made an incredible discovery: Janet was expecting six babies! This latest development had Janet and Graham crashing back down to earth — they could never imagine caring for so many children. Janet was sent to hospital and had to stay there until the children were born; pregnancies involving multiple births require constant monitoring from medical staff as there's an increased mortality rate.
On 18 November, 1983, six healthy baby girls were delivered by C-section during Janet's 32nd week of pregnancy in Liverpool, England — the first all-female sextuplets in the world. Once all six girls were sufficiently developed, the Waltons could finally leave the hospital in January 1984. From this moment on, Hannah, Ruth, Luci, Kate, Jennie, and Sarah turned their parents' lives upside down.
The couple's entire time was devoted to their children's needs. On average, Janet and Graham went through 11,000 diapers every year and only had around several hours of sleep per night over the first two years. Their life was a never-ending cycle of feeding, changing diapers, and sleeping.
And it wasn't just those early years that were stressful for the Liverpudlian couple. As the girls grew up, Janet and Graham had to deal with piles of schoolwork, endless arguments, problems with friends, untidy rooms, and finally puberty. There was certainly never a dull moment at the Waltons' household.
"Looking back, I don't know how we managed; honestly I don't," said Janet. "We lived through those early years in a blur. And the only regret is that there wasn't enough time to enjoy them as much we'd have liked." Though they could've done with more time to reflect on their experiences with their children, Janet and Graham are extremely proud of their six daughters.
The sextuplets are now in their 30s and have carved out successful careers. Some of them would now like to marry and start their own families; the youngest sibling, Sarah, gave birth to her first child in 2014.
As well as adding another member to the family, the arrival of Jorgie made Janet and Graham grandparents for the first time. Both can now watch their beloved granddaughter grow up in relative peace. Always happy to babysit, Janet is particularly fond of little Jorgie. "I loved those early years so much. I couldn't say one phase was better than the others. But there was always so much to do, we didn't enjoy it as much as we would if we'd have had one at a time. With grandchildren, you have time," Janet said.
Young Jorgie will certainly have a wonderful childhood growing up in such a large and loving family, while Graham and Janet can now enjoy the pleasures of being grandparents without the stress. Who knows — there may be further additions to the family in years to come. We wish the Waltons all the best for the future!