America’s first surviving set of black sextuplets graduate from high school together

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The first-ever surviving set of African American sextuplets have graduated from high school, with all six gearing up to continue their education in the fall.

Chris and Diamond Harris from Birmingham, Alabama welcomed their six babies in 2002, with Diamond delivering via C-section at 26.5 weeks.

Nearly 18 years later, the odds-defying children are all grown up and officially high school graduates, and achievement they celebrated together last week.

In photos from the special day, the four boys and two girls don matching blue caps and gowns and smile proudly on their front steps.

‘The morning of the ceremony, I sat in bed looking at their baby pictures and felt depressed,’ Diamond, 45, told Today. ‘It’s going to be too quiet.’

‘These kids have been my life for almost 18 years. They have been my reason,’ added Chris, 46. ‘I keep reminding myself it’s just going to be different, but everything will be OK.’

The sextuplets turn 18 on July 8, and the next month, they’ll pack for the next stages in their lives.

Next up: The Harris sextuplets are gearing up to continue their education in the fall

  • Chris and Diamond Harris from Birmingham, Alabama welcomed their six babies in 2002, with Diamond delivering via C-section at 26.5 weeks
  • The six children will turn 18 in July before continuing their education
  • Kiera and Kobe will attend Lawson State Community College, with Kiera studying cosmetology
  • Kaleb and Kieran will attend Alabama A&M, with Kaleb majoring in computer science and Kieran pursuing art
  • Kaylynne will go to Alabama State University for its physical therapy program, and Kyle, who has autism, will do a life skills program
Special delivery: Chris and Diamond Harris from Birmingham, Alabama welcomed their six babies in 2002, with Diamond delivering via C-section at 26.5 weeks

Special delivery: Chris and Diamond Harris from Birmingham, Alabama welcomed their six babies in 2002, with Diamond delivering via C-section at 26.5 weeks

Numbers going up! When she first got the news that she was pregnant, she was told she was having twins. But a sonogram later showed them they were actually having five children

Numbers going up! When she first got the news that she was pregnant, she was told she was having twins. But a sonogram later showed them they were actually having five children

Little: At birth, each weighed between 1 lb. 3 oz. and 1 lb. 12 oz. - and the children remained in hospital for about about three months and were finally released at the end of October

Little: At birth, each weighed between 1 lb. 3 oz. and 1 lb. 12 oz. – and the children remained in hospital for about about three months and were finally released at the end of October.

Kaylynne will go to Alabama State University for its physical therapy program.

Kaleb and Kieran will attend Alabama A&M, with Kaleb majoring in computer science and Kieran pursuing art.

Kyle, who has autism, will do a life skills program.

The Harris sextuplets have been followed by the media since their birth in 2002. Diamond, a nurse, already had a five-year-old from her first marriage when she was prescribed fertility drugs by her doctor.

When she first got the news that she was pregnant, she was told she was having twins. But a sonogram later showed them they were actually having five children.

Then Diamond developed a blood clot on her lung. She went to stay at University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham, and at just 26.5 weeks along, she had to undergo a C-section.

Big group: In 2003, Diamond said that she went through 60 disposable diapers and two cases of formula every day

Big group: In 2003, Diamond said that she went through 60 disposable diapers and two cases of formula every day

Full house: The six Harris children and mom Diamond are pictured here having lunch at their home in Birmingham in March 2005. They are aged two in this photo

Full house: The six Harris children and mom Diamond are pictured here having lunch at their home in Birmingham in March 2005. They are aged two in this photo

Pricey: Diamond said that the family spent about $1,100 a week in groceries, did 20 loads of laundry a week, and took out the trash five times a day

Pricey: Diamond said that the family spent about $1,100 a week in groceries, did 20 loads of laundry a week, and took out the trash five times a day

It was only during delivery that doctors found out that they were actually sextuplets.

At birth, each weighed between 1 lb. 3 oz. and 1 lb. 12 oz., which is normal premature babies, but doctors warned the parents that the first few days were the most dangerous.

‘Kaleb worried me,’ Diamond told NBC. ‘Because he was like transparent almost. I could see his organs. I could see his veins and I was really, really worried.’

The children remained in hospital for about about three months and were finally released at the end of October. 

During a Dateline interview in 2003, Diamond said that she went through 60 disposable diapers and two cases of formula every day. 

Celebrities: For years the Harris children were somewhat famous, and in 2007 the family appeared on Oprah

Celebrities: For years the Harris children were somewhat famous, and in 2007 the family appeared on Oprah

Teenage years: (L-R) Kieran, Kobe, Kaylynne, Kiera, Kaleb,and Kyle Harris celebrated their 13th birthday five years ago

Teenage years: (L-R) Kieran, Kobe, Kaylynne, Kiera, Kaleb,and Kyle Harris celebrated their 13th birthday five years ago

Cute: Diamond told Today that the kids even seem to have their own way of speaking

At the time, she said that the family spent about $1,100 a week in groceries, did 20 loads of laundry a week, and took out the trash five times a day.

In April 2007 they even appeared on Oprah.

In 2012, Chris and Diamond divorced, though the formal couple still gets along well — and both will miss time with all six of the sextuplets around.

Diamond told Today that the kids even seem to have their own way of speaking.

‘No one else can understand what they’re saying,’ she said. ‘I’ll be like “Slow down, annunciate.” And they look at me all confused, like, “How did you not catch that?” It’s been that way since they started talking.”