When I was a kid, I saw the movie Cheaper by the Dozen in theaters. The remake of the 1950 classic starred Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt as the parents of 12 children, and, as you would expect, raising 12 rambunctious kids led to all sorts of hilarious and heartfelt moments. I remember thinking that having 12 children seemed like the most preposterous idea - something that only happened in the movies. It wasn't too long before I learned that families in the real world had as many as 12, or more, children. Needless to say, this blew my mind.
Nowadays, thanks to the internet and reality television, big families seem more common than ever. Shows like 19 Kids and Counting give us an inside look at all of the hard work that goes into raising a clan of that size. So, how do parents go from being a couple all on their own to the proud parents of more children than you can count on both hands? Oftentimes, the mother simply keeps having kids, giving birth to one at a time until she and her spouse no longer want to have any more. Other families might adopt several children in addition to ones they've had themselves. Finally, in some extremely rare cases, a mother will give birth to multiple babies at once.
This was the case with the Fischer family of 1963. Instead of giving birth to twins or triplets, however, Mary Ann Fischer made history by giving birth to five healthy babies at the same time! This would be a huge undertaking for any couple, but the Fischers already had five babies waiting for them back home! So, what makes the birth of these quintuplets so special? Check out the photos below to find out the incredible story of this huge family ...
The year was 1963, and one North Dakota family found out they were expecting. The Fischers already had five children at this point, but were certainly ready to welcome another.
As Mary Ann's stomach quickly grew larger, they realized that this was no ordinary pregnancy. Then, on September 14, 1963, she gave birth to quintuplets! That's right, the shocked couple welcomed four girls and one boy into the world.
The Fischer quintuplets are so special because they're the first set of quints born in the U.S. to survive past infancy.
Their names were Mary Ann, Mary Catherine, Mary Margaret, Mary Magdalene, and James Andrew.
Understandably, news stations and papers from across the country wanted to learn everything they could about these rare babies.
"They came into the world as tiny, premature babies, so small that any one of them could be held in a hand," said Mary Ann Fischer in a piece from the Saturday Evening Post. "The odds were very much against their survival, and we know that around the world thousands of good-hearted people prayed for them."
Raising 10 children isn't cheap, but the world came to their aid by mailing in diapers and clothes, with some even going so far as to open savings accounts in the babies' names!
The Fischer quints became an international phenomenon and even heard from the Vatican and the White House.
Mary Ann gave birth to one more baby a year later, making it 11 children total.
Here they are taking a ride in dad's old Model T Ford, which he used to fix up for fun.
Neither the parents nor the children asked for all this fame, however, and they dropped out of the public eye around 1967.
Even though the media still bothered them sometimes as they got older, the Fischer quintuplets grew incredibly close as a result. After all, they didn't really meet anyone else who knew what it was like to be a quintuplet. This photo of the quints was taken in 2012.
And this is Mary Ann, the strong matriarch behind the quints. She passed away in 2012, but her legacy will live on through the 11 children she raised with love and affection.
For more info on the Fischer clan, check out this footage from 1963 that was recorded shortly after the birth:
Don't forget to SHARE this miraculous birth with your friends and family!