Janet and Graham Walton wanted children more than anything in the world. They were having issues conceiving, but they didn't want to give up. They turned to fertility treatments, but even after twelve attempts they were still having no luck.
They decided to give it one more shot, and they were granted a miracle. Janet became pregnant with the child she had wanted for so long. They were so thrilled, but at one of their doctor's appointments they found out they were getting a lot more than they bargained for.
The doctor revealed to them that they were expecting not just one child, but sextuplets! That's six babies! After they realized that she was carrying so many children, they admitted her to the hospital so she could be medically supervised. They were worried that she would miscarry the children, so having her remain in the hospital made the most sense.
The pregnancy went as smoothly as you could hope, and in the 31st week of pregnancy the babies were born.On November 18th, 1983, the Walton's welcomed their six daughters, Hannah, Ruth, Luci, Kate, Jennie and Sarah, making them the World's only known set of all-girl sextuplets.
The happy parents went through more than 10,000 diapers a year and could hardly find time to sleep. With six kids, there was always another baby to feed or diaper to change. As the girls grew up, there were six schedules to maintain but it was still everything the Waltons' wanted.
"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 as we'd have liked," Janet said.
This year the sextuplets will be 34, and they are still as close as ever. Here's what they look like now...
The woman have remained incredibly close over the years, and were all ecstatic to support their sister when she had he own daughter. Sarah had her first child in 2014 and her parents were thrilled to become grandparents.
It's an entirely different experience for Sarah compared to her parents. Janet said, "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. 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."
Graham remembered the time fondly but is excited to be able to take it a little slower with his grandchildren. He said, "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 had one at a time. With grandchildren, you have time."
Janet is proud to be a grandmother, saying that "I felt a tremendous surge of protective love. It flooded into me the moment I saw the pictures from her first scan."
What are the girls doing now? Hannah has multiple degrees and is a primary school teacher. Kate works in human resources, while Luci works with an airline as a crew member. Jennie owns a retro sweet shop and Ruth is engaged and works at a call center. Sarah is the first to have a baby but also works in a medical center.
As for the happy grandparents, they are relieved that their stressful days are long behind them, and getting to focus on their grand daughter. "I'm looking forward to her being part of my future, to noticing all the tiny changes that happen every day; to having time to savor and enjoy every minute I spend with her. I wish her happiness, health and a long, fruitful life. And who knows? Perhaps six little brothers as well."
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