My, how they’ve grown! Former Jon & Kate Plus 8 stars Kate Gosselin and Jon Gosselin welcomed their sextuplets on May 10, 2004. The exes are also parents to twins Cara and Mady, whom they welcomed in October 2000. With the arrival of their sextuplets — Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Joel, Aaden and Collin — four years later, the famous family was complete with their eight kids.
Jon and Kate met in October 1997. At the time, Jon was living with his mother and working at a hotel while Kate had just graduated from nursing school. The hotel Jon worked for would regularly have company picnics, and Kate attended the event with a friend who also worked at the same hotel.
“There was this guy [who] walked across the grass and I wasn’t really looking for anybody because I was very self-sufficient. But he caught my attention, he had sunglasses on so I couldn’t see his eyes, but he looked cute. And I was like, ‘I’m not leaving here today until I meet him,’ I declared that, in fact,” Kate said in a joint interview with Jon for TLC. Although Jon had a girlfriend at the time, Kate said “she was gone the next day.”
The early years of their relationship seemed strong. “We were the couple that people always said we ‘were sickening sweet,’ can you believe that?” Kate asked Jon. “Yes, I don’t know what happened,” he said, and they both laughed.
Jon proposed to Kate just over one year later on Christmas Day 1998. They tied the knot on June 12, 1999, and honeymooned at Disney World.
The couple struggled to conceive because of Kate’s polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), they revealed in their 2008 book, Multiple Bles8ings. She underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments for both of her pregnancies. After conceiving twins, the couple wanted one more child — but the procedure yielded their sextuplets.
The size of their brood led to two one-hour specials on the Discovery Health Channel: Surviving Sextuplets and Twins and One Year Later. Following the success of the episodes, Discovery gave the family their own show, which ran from 2007 to 2009. The first two seasons aired on Discovery and the rest aired on TLC.
Unfortunately, Jon and Kate could not make their relationship work. They announced their split on an episode that aired on June 22, 2009. Their divorce was finalized that December. Kate was awarded full custody of their eight children, but in 2018, Jon won custody of Hannah and Collin.
Despite their family’s ups and downs, the sextuplets have changed so much over the years. We’ve rounded up photos showing their transformation from cute kids to trendy teens. Ready for some serious nostalgia? Scroll through the gallery below for photos of the Gosselin sextuplets then and now.