We bet mum-of-sextuplets Janet Walton wished she had access to inexpensive maternity clothes for sale online when pregnant in 1983. We look at the girls’ lives.
For Janet Walton, the thirteenth time was the charm! For three decades, she’s been the famous mum of the world’s first all-girl surviving sextuplets. She and husband Graham tried unsuccessfully to have children. Twelve unsuccessful fertility tries and the Waltons’ were accepted as potential adoptive parents, when 13 became lucky for the Wallasey, Merseyside couple – not just regular lucky, but six-time lucky! Janet became pregnant with sextuplets.
She couldn’t have predicted it in 1983, but Janet sure would have appreciated the possibility of inexpensive maternity clothes for sale online. What a big help it would have been for her to get all her clothes online, sigh… If only technology back then were like today.
Born via caesarean at 31 weeks on 18 November 1983:
- Hannah (0.94 kg)
- Lucie (1.3 kg)
- Ruth (1.2 kg)
- Sarah (1.0 kg)
- Kate (1.3 kg)
- Jennifer (1.6 kg)
Graham told BBC News: “We went from nothing to six babies. We had to work our plan, what we were going to do to look after the babies, how we were going to get money to keep and we did our best.”
From all observations, the sextuplets grew up surprisingly normal in their eight-bedroom home. In November 2014, Janet retired, after nearly two decades, as fundraising manager for the hospital where the girls were born. Janet raised an impressive $4.7 (AUD) during her tenure.
Graham once remarked, “There’s no manual how to do these things. I used to have fun getting into the bathroom. The hardest time was when they started getting boyfriends. No one’s ever good enough for your daughter, but the girls were always good at vetting each other’s boyfriends. If they all moved out tomorrow it would be dreadful. Even if they all go out of an evening, I find it strange. I love the noise and the shouting and have loved every minute of them growing up. Janet and I will miss them like mad when they finally all go. I’d do it all again tomorrow.”
Eight Was Enough
Janet said, “It would have been easy to lump them all together, but we didn’t.” And, while it may not always have been easy to travel as a family of eight, the Waltons went on holiday in Majorca when the sextuplets turned 18, and the family visited New York in 1993 and 2013.
Graham and Janet miss “the days of nappies and endless feeding…they were such happy times and we can’t wait until the girls start having kids of their own and we can step in and take them off their hands for the day.”
Live in Sin
The prospect of footing the bill for six weddings was daunting. Graham told The Mirror UK he hoped they’d skip weddings, and live with their boyfriends. “They don’t want joint weddings, but I try to talk them out of it anyway and say people don’t get married these days, it’s old-fashioned. I tell them [to] live in sin with my blessing – it’ll save me a few bob!”
By 2011, four-of-six lived at home. Says Janet: “Jennie was a bit of a leader, Luci was shy as a toddler, Sarah was quietest, although not now, Ruth is bossy, Kate is academic and Hannah is very articulate and organised. They’ve always been close and talk all the time. And we still have meetings …for any big decision.”
Ruth said, “It’s normal for me and not a big thing at all… I just have five sisters who are all the same age.” Kate’s closest to Jennie. Kate said Jennie, Luci and Ruth share a similar sense of humor and are “loud,” while she, Sarah and Hannah “are quieter.” Sarah says they always got on well as youngsters, and are closer now as adults.
What Are They Doing Now?
Early last year, Parentdish.co.uk spoke to the Waltons. The update?
Ruth, Kate and Sarah live in Wallasey. Kate and still-at-home Hannah are single. Ruth, Luci and Sarah are engaged.
- Hannah – credentialed teacher, manages an opticians
- Ruth – works at a call center
- Luci – works for Thomas Cook
- Kate – works in HR at John Moores University
- Sarah – works in admin at a local medical centre
- Jennie – lives in Leeds with her long-time boyfriend, owns Leeds retro shop Sweet Things.
- Janet and Graham – happily awaiting grandchildren.