Birth dates send Rockford woman’s story around the world

The Soper family, Barbie, Chad, Cearra, Cameron, and Chloe have been in the media spotlight with global coverage of the unusual birth dates of the three children. Photo by CINDY CORSTANGE

Story published in 20 different languages


Barbie Soper said she is glad no one reads Albanian, because she was misquoted in that article. The world-famous Rockford mother of three who had her children on 8/8/08, 9/9/09 and 10/10/10 said the publicity she is receiving is far beyond anything that she could have imagined.

“When I had her [10-10 baby Ciera] the nurse told me ‘You’re going to get some media attention, you need to be ready for it.” Soper said. She thought maybe there would be a little blurb about her third remarkable birth, but what happened next was beyond her imagination.

“The story is in 20 different languages,” Soper said. She is surprised to be quoted by media sources to which she never talked, including one in Michigan who said she called baby Ciera “a perfect ten.” “She is a baby, not a model. I wouldn’t have said that,” she said.

Soper was interviewed, however, by other news sources, including a radio station in Australia, K-Lite in Santa Barbara, Calif., the Associated Press, the Grand Rapids Press, USA Today and “Inside Edition.” She said the “Ellen” show staff called and asked her to stop doing interviews, because they wanted her on the show. Soper said the show’s producers never called her back, a disappointment (Ellen, you should call and apologize).

Soper said she didn’t know worldwide media could act so fast, and the unexpected excitement over her children’s birthdates has been fun. “It’s kind of funny,” she said.

The Australian radio talkshow host wished her a good morning for her interview, although the time here in Rockford was 5:30 p.m. She was amused to be interviewed by a show she used to listen to, “Mojo in the Morning” on a Detroit radio station. She has a bumper sticker advertising the show, and never expected to be on it.

The family had to close off their Facebook page to just friends because they were getting messages from around the world and in many different languages. That part was fine, but they were worried about their ability to keep up with the incoming information and no longer felt the site was safe to have open to the public.

“It’s crazy how many articles come up when you Google my name,” Soper stated.

The fact of her children’s birthdates, however, is pretty remarkable. Soper and her husband, Chad, who met while both students at Rockford High School and married in 2000, had been trying to start a family when they were given a due date for Cloe of 8/8/08. To their surprise, the baby came out exactly on schedule, a one in 10,000 coincidence.

“When I first saw the due date, I thought it would be neat if she was born then, and she was,” Soper shared.

The second baby was an unplanned surprise and was due September 20, 2009. Soper suffered complications late in that pregnancy and had an induced labor that resulted in her son’s arrival on 9/9/09. She said family and friends were pretty amazed by the second highly unlikely birth date.

When she discovered a third child was on the way, the due date was 11/4/10, so the couple knew this child would not continue the unusual string of birth dates.

“That was just too early, just 34 weeks,” said Soper.

However, she again suffered complications and doctors induced her labor at Spectrum Health in downtown Grand Rapids on October 9.

“It could have gone fast,” Soper said.

She gave birth to baby Ciera the next day, 10/10/10 at 6:53 p.m.

“She was perfect,” Soper said of her child’s health after arriving nearly a month early.

Soper said one interview said they had staff researchers figure out the odds of her three children’s dates, and said chances were one in 50 million. No other woman has ever been reported as having a similar triple string of births. As far as she is concerned, Soper said this is the end of this particular set of miracles.

“I need to be here for these three little miracles,” she said.

Friends have suggested for 11/11/11 the couple might head to Vegas or play the lottery. “I might, but I don’t know what numbers I’d pick,” she said.

Soper said everyone has been very nice during the media blitz, and said at one point hers was identified as the fourth biggest story worldwide. She’s had friends call from around the country saying her story made their local papers.

“My friend in Baton Rouge saw it in the paper, another from Denver, Colorado, read about me in their paper,” Soper explained.

Soper said it will likely be a long time before her children recognize the significance of their unique birth dates, and that’s fine with her. “I love them and I look forward to watching them grow up,” she said. “I haven’t ever been lucky as in winning things, but I have had a very fortunate life with so many good things coming into my life. I am very grateful.”

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