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  1. #1
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    Anyone remember the Waltons?

    Where were you in 1984 and what were you doing?
    I was in Norway for 3 months learning how to ski downhill, langlauf and a few other related disciplines.

    Walton sextuplets ? I thought, hurrah - it?s twins! | Life and style | The Guardian

    Walton sextuplets – I thought, hurrah - it’s twins!

    Thirty years ago, Janet Walton made history when she gave birth to six baby girls – the first female sextuplets to survive. She tells Joanna Moorhead what it was like … once she and her husband had got over the shock




    Janet Walton, mother of the world’s first girl sextuplets born alive. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/Guardian Joanna Moorhead
    Saturday 14 February 2015 06.30




    The ultrasound scan seemed to be taking a long time, but Janet Walton wasn’t worried. She’d noticed a slight change in the sonographer’s expression and asked if there was a problem. “She said, well, it looks as though you might be carrying more than one. So I thought, hurrah! It’s twins.”
    Janet and her husband, Graham, couldn’t have been more thrilled: they had been trying to have a baby for five years, and were on their 13th round of drugs to stimulate her ovaries, which had never worked properly, into producing eggs. This would be their final attempt – and now, suddenly, they were having two.
    Then the sonographer called in a doctor and, recalls Janet, the mood in the room began to change. More people crowded in, there was lots of whispering and everything seemed to be taking a very long time. “Eventually I asked what was happening,” says Janet. “That’s when the doctor dropped a bombshell. He said, it’s definitely a multiple pregnancy. You’re having six babies.”
    The story of that moment is now 30 years old, and Janet has told it hundreds of times, but her eyes still light up with the excitement of it.
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    Janet and Graham Walton and their six babies outside their home on the Wirral in 1984. Photograph: PA The odds against this pregnancy working out were remote indeed: 104 billion to one against (that’s about 14 times the Earth’s population, versus one).
    Yet what she recalls in the centre of the maelstrom, was a profound sense of calm. “I knew, somewhere very deep inside myself, that these babies were going to be fine. I simply didn’t consider an alternative. I decided I was going to be the best patient the hospital had ever had and do whatever it took to keep these babies safe.”
    The following day, instead of going to her job at a bank, Janet was admitted to hospital and stayed there for the rest of her pregnancy. Sextuplets are rare – at that time, there were only two known sets in the world – and it was obvious that the obstetrics team were in uncharted waters.
    “They put me on a gynaecological ward because I didn’t fit in anywhere else,” she says. “But I didn’t really fit in there either: we’d just come back from holiday and I was tanned and healthy, and there I was in a room with mostly older women having hysterectomies. I’d hear people whispering: ‘There’s the lady who’s having six babies.’”
    Twenty three weeks later, Janet’s belly had grown until she didn’t think it could get any bigger. “I used to lie there staring at all these elbows and knees poking out of my tummy,” she says.
    “Remember those Beano cartoons of fights?” says Graham, 64. “That’s exactly what it looked like.”
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    Janet and Graham with the girls in 1988. Photograph: David Crump/Associated Newspaper At first, the goal was to get to 23 weeks’ gestation, when the babies might stand a chance of survival; then it was 25, then 28. Somehow, Janet made it to 31 weeks and counting. “The hospital staff were all really excited but I’m sure there were plenty of people around me who didn’t think I had much chance of taking six babies home,” she says.
    On the morning of her caesarean section, Janet’s room was peaceful: but outside it, hectic preparations were in full swing. “So many people were involved. There was a team for me and a team for each baby. All leave was cancelled – they even shut down a ward.” Janet had a general anaesthetic and the first question she asked when she came round, was: “Are they alive?”
    Amazingly, they were: six girls, weighing between 2lb 1oz and 3lb 8oz, the first recorded female sextuplets in history to survive. The first 48 hours were critical. The infants were referred to by the hospital – now having to feed a voracious worldwide appetite for news – as babies number one, two, three, four, five and six. At one point, the hospital put out a statement saying, “Baby Number Two is giving cause for concern.”
    “That’s still a family joke,” says Janet. “We say, she’s gone on giving cause for concern ever since!”
    Baby Number Two was Luci, who today works as an airline steward; Number One, Hannah, is a primary school teacher; Number Six, Jennie, runs a retro sweet shop in Leeds; Number Three, Ruth, is a receptionist. Number Five, Kate, works in HR; and Number Four, Sarah, is on maternity leave from her job at a medical centre: four months ago, she and her partner, Kieran, produced the first of the next Walton generation, a daughter (what else?) called Jorgie.
    Today, most of the sisters are gathered at their parents’ home in Wallasey: Hannah is the only one who still lives there, but four of her sisters live within a few minutes’ drive. “I suppose it’s a bit like having a party the whole time,” says Luci.
    “We all get on really well,” says Ruth. “And we’re all loving being aunties to Jorgie.”
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    Janet and Graham 30 years on, with four of their daughters and their new granddaughter, Jorgie. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/Guardian In a few months’ time, it will be the first sextuplet wedding when Ruth marries Rob: all her sisters are lined up as bridesmaids, and it’s a fair bet that the press will be out in force for the photographs.
    There have been plenty of photocalls for the Walton girls over the years. Their first birthday; their first day at school; their first day at secondary; their 18th, their 21st, their 30th birthdays. They have allowed TV cameras into their lives on many occasions, been the subject of documentaries, and agreed to various advertising deals to enable Graham, a painter and decorator, to take time off in the early months and years to help with the mammoth task of raising six children of the same age. But through it all, and despite at times intense media pressure, they have kept their feet firmly on the ground and focused on raising their daughters. “I was determined that no one was going to persuade us to dress them the same, because I wanted them to be individuals,” says Janet. “Even when they started school and wore a uniform, I kept a basket of different hair bands and socks so each one should have their own colour.”
    It has helped that Janet is organised. “I’ve always been a practical and sensible kind of person,” she says. “But, as for any mother, there were days when I wondered whether I could cope.” When the babies first came home, the local authority provided nursery nurses – but the strange thing was, she says, the time she and Graham most looked forward to was the four-hour window each evening when they were on their own. And they never let having six babies tie them to the house. “We’d each push a double buggy, and we’d each have a baby in a papoose,” she recalls. As the children got older, one of the hardest events to negotiate was parents’ evening at school. “I’d take a notebook to write everything down in, because we might be having as many as 36 conversations and it was impossible to remember everything,” she says. “The worst thing for the other parents was being stuck behind us in the queue to see the teacher,” says Graham.
    Hearing their parents’ story about how they coped clearly fascinates their daughters, who are now about the same age Janet was when they were born. And now Sarah has Jorgie, everyone is more impressed than ever at how Janet and Graham did it. “I’ve always admired my mum, but I admire her more than ever now,” says Sarah. “It’s tiring enough looking after one baby, and she had six of us.”
    Janet, meanwhile, says it’s hard to describe the joy she is getting from Jorgie. “Looking after just one baby,” she says, “seems amazing to me.”
    Six Little Miracles by Janet Walton with Robert Ettinger is published by Ebury, £6.99. To order a copy for £5.59, go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846

  2. #2
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    G'night John Boy.

  3. #3
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    Good night Mary Ellen.

  4. #4
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^^ & ^: Somewhat disturbing that you know these things.....I shall endeavor not to think of it further.

  5. #5
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    Nice story, for a change.

  6. #6
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    The only Waltons I remember are from the TV series.








  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    ^^ & ^: Somewhat disturbing that you know these things.....I shall endeavor not to think of it further.
    What? It was good, wholesome family TV.


  8. #8
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    ^
    That's right.

    Much the same as 'Leave it to Beaver' & 'Little House on the Praire' etc

  9. #9
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    Nice to see Pa with the latest Sony Walkman, and all kids with no shoes on. 55555

  10. #10
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    It was always a show you watched if nothing else was on.

  11. #11
    splendid and tremendous
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    I remember the Sullivans; it was on either directly after or directly before another better program. Probably Neighbours.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat klong toey's Avatar
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    I remember the Richardson gang they ran a dodgy motel in the Midlands or Badlands can't remember where exactly.

    Our neighbour just had twins she struggles to cope mum and sister around everyday helping with feeding and the likes.
    Also help with their other child about 4 years old hate to think what it would be like coping with six.
    Fascists dress in black and go around telling people what to do, whereas priests... more drink!

  13. #13
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    ^
    That's right.

    Much the same as 'Leave it to Beaver' & 'Little House on the Praire' etc
    Beaver was at an entirely different level. Ward, June, Wally, The Beav, Lumpy Rutherford, Eddie Haskall, Whitey, Miss Landers. Fireman Gus - now that was a show!

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    ^
    That's right.

    Much the same as 'Leave it to Beaver' & 'Little House on the Praire' etc
    Beaver was at an entirely different level. Ward, June, Wally, The Beav, Lumpy Rutherford, Eddie Haskall, Whitey, Miss Landers. Fireman Gus - now that was a show!
    Another one was "Father Knows Best" best starring Shelly Fabrese.

    Shelly gave me adolecent Wood!

  15. #15
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    youtube.com/watch?v=F7AQkui_fcA

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    ^
    That's right.

    Much the same as 'Leave it to Beaver' & 'Little House on the Praire' etc
    Beaver was at an entirely different level. Ward, June, Wally, The Beav, Lumpy Rutherford, Eddie Haskall, Whitey, Miss Landers. Fireman Gus - now that was a show!

    Jon Boy Walton is the head FBI honcho on The Americans...

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Some how I missed out on the birth of Walton sextuplets and have never seen an episode of The Waltons. Don't know who any of them peoples are.

    Leave it to Beaver was a favorite. Eddie Haskell.....hehehe.

  18. #18
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    ^
    That's right.

    Much the same as 'Leave it to Beaver' & 'Little House on the Praire' etc
    Beaver was at an entirely different level. Ward, June, Wally, The Beav, Lumpy Rutherford, Eddie Haskall, Whitey, Miss Landers. Fireman Gus - now that was a show!

    Jon Boy Walton is the head FBI honcho on The Americans...
    And, for a squeaky-voiced little dweeb, fairly believable in the role.

  19. #19
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    I was always a big fan of the Beaver. He's seven months older than I am, and we were both nine when the show started. Always in the shit....easy for kids like me to relate to...

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    She was hot in her day





    Shelley Fabares

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    I was always a big fan of the Beaver.
    Me too. Still am...

  22. #22
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  23. #23
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Blasphemy! You Will Burn For That!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    ^^ & ^: Somewhat disturbing that you know these things.....I shall endeavor not to think of it further.
    What? It was good, wholesome family TV.

    Yup. The Waltons were poor, but happy due their strong Christian beliefs and family loyalty.
    Nowadays, they'd probably have to be cooking meth or shooting each other to get any ratings.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    The only Waltons I remember are from the TV series.








    Are we talking about batches of fugly children here....?

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