Jon and Kate Gosselin's Sextuplets: A Look Back at Their Most Memorable Birthdays
By Jackie Willis
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Aaden, Collin, Joel, Alexis, Hannah and Leah Gosselin will never forget their sweet 16 birthday amid a coronavirus pandemic, but they've had plenty of other memorable celebrations.
Jon and Kate Gosselin welcomed their sextuplets into the world on May 10, 2004, and since then, the entire family has become TV stars thanks to their multiple reality shows, starting with Jon and Kate Plus 8 that premiered in 2007.
The sextuplets' third birthday was the first one they celebrated on television and it included matching T-shirts with their names on them. The over-the-top party was carnival-themed, and included pony rides, clowns, cotton candy, a bouncy house and only some crying.
During the sextuplets' fifth birthday party in 2009, which also aired on TLC, it was clear that Jon and Kate, who are also parents to 19-year-old twins Mady and Cara, were having marital trouble.
"That birthday party last year was the beginning of me really realizing that there was no going back,” Kate told People a year later. “It was pretty obvious at that party."
In 2010, on the family's new show, Kate Plus 8, the brothers and sisters had a very different birthday party, celebrating turning six in Orlando, Florida, by swimming with the dolphins at Discovery Cove.
On their actual birthday, they split their time between Jon and Kate. "That hit me hard,” Kate told People at the time. “Sitting there, thinking, ‘Six years ago I gave birth to these babies. I was probably in the NICU right now. And where are they?’ That was so hard. ...I was glad that Jon made himself available. I would never want them to not have that relationship. I would hope that it would never come to that.”
The siblings' birthdays only got bigger as the years went on and by the time they were 10, TLC aired a special titled Kate Plus Eight: Sextuplets Turn 10.
Again, the party was carnival-themed and Kate quipped that she left the event with more pets than she came with. “I think I have four or five of the fish, and I don’t need any other pets!” she said during a confessional for the special. “I have eight children and now I have a zoo of animals and I do not know how this occurred."
"At this moment (7:51-7:53 am) 13 years ago, my life and heart were completed with your births!" Kate recalled. "I love you all and NO MATTER WHAT it requires of me, I will ALWAYS be there for you."
"I'll always be your biggest cheerleader, your role model by example, your shoulder to cry on, the hug and laugh you need, and your mommy and friend!," she continued. "I love you guys! I got six times what I planned on, but I'd NEVER EVER go back! You're the six final pieces of my heart that I never knew I was looking for."
He also posted a photo of all the sextuplets, writing: "Happy 14th Birthday to Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Joel, Aaden and Collin!!! I can’t believe it’s been this long!!! Whew that when fast!!! Daddy loves you all very much!!!"
Meanwhile, Kate shared a pic of just their daughters, Alexis, Hannah and Leah, writing: "My beautiful 'little girls' .... they keep reminding me how many days until they turn 14. Today it was '12 days til we turn 14, Mom.' HOW'S THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?! I told Leah that she's too small to turn 14. She said 'Yeah, true. Are you sure I'm not turning 11 or 12?' ??I'm positive. I gave birth to you. They'll always be my babies....I love them so very much! ♥️♥️♥️"
That very next year, it appeared Hannah and Collin celebrated their 15th birthday with their dad as he posted a photo of his son and daughter all grown up.
"Happy 15th Birthday Hannah, Collin, Alexis, Aaden, Joel and Leah!!!! Wow I can’t believe you are 15!!!" he wrote. "Time is flying by!!! I love you all very much. I wish you the best day ever and I hope you enjoy your birthday celebrations today and this weekend!!! Love always, Dad," he wrote.
On Sunday, Mother's Day, the sextuplets turned 16 and once again, Jon and Kate made sure they felt the love on Instagram, though neither shared pics of their kids.
Kate posted a photo of Hershey's Kisses cereal, writing: "Happy 16th Birthday to my half a dozen ‘Hershey Kisses’, as they were called at birth! I love you so much! You’re 6 of the sweetest things to happen to my life! Thanks for making every Mother’s Day extra memorable! (They requested ‘junk cereals’ for their birthday lunch (?!) so I got a bit carried away, as usual, and got them 21 different kinds! ??? #Teenagers #AreFun #Sweet16 #HappyBirthdayMyBabies"