The births of all-girl quintuplets made headlines in 2015, as it was the first surviving set for an American couple. The public witnessed how amazing and challenging it was for the parents, Danielle and Adam Busby, to raise this many babies at the same time. It was chronicled first in their blog, “It’s A Buzz World,” and then in TLC’s reality television series, “OutDaughtered,” since it premiered on 10 May 2016. For eight seasons, people have come to know the Busby family well, and many have come to wonder about the real state of Danielle’s health.
Adam and Danielle Busby
Their love story began in 2003 at the Target store where they both worked; Danielle was 19 and Adam was 20. A few months after they first met, they started having lunch and taking their 15-minute breaks together. Adam asked her out for a date, only to cancel on her so he could hang out with his buddies instead; Danielle then thought she was done with him.
Danielle posted weekend in Charleston ❤#itsabuzzworld
They still went on their first official date, but she never thought it would be with his family for his sister’s birthday dinner; he officially asked her to be his girlfriend that night. After two and a half years, he asked her to marry him on Christmas Eve, which was the day after her birthday, and they tied the knot six months later. Shortly after that, they left their hometown of Lake Charles in Louisiana, and moved to Houston, Texas.
When the couple was ready to start a family in 2009, they discovered that they had infertility problems, with Danielle not ovulating regularly and Adam having a low sperm count and motility. They underwent a procedure called intrauterine insemination or IUI, a type of artificial insemination in which the sperm is placed directly into the uterus when the ovary is releasing eggs to be fertilized. After trying for two years, she finally became pregnant with Blayke Louise. This was the miracle they had been waiting for, and they couldn’t have been any happier.
When Blayke was born, Danielle couldn’t think of any other day that she felt more loved by her husband. Their lifestyle hadn’t changed much as they took Blayke with them when they traveled, and went on adventures.
The Busby couple love kids, so it was a given that they wouldn’t settle for just one, although it was some years before undergoing another IUI. It was still a struggle for them as a positive result didn’t come easily, but when it did come, they were shocked to learn that they were having five babies. There were so many risks associated with having multiple pregnancies that the doctor advised her to reduce the number, but they didn’t want to do that.
Many were wondering how Adam felt about not having a son to bond with, or to carry his family name. He admitted to being a bit disappointed, but he was more concerned about the babies’ health rather than their gender and said, ‘Coming home with my beautiful wife and 5 baby girls is all that I care about,’ but he did worry about being a good father to them all.
The reality show began with Danielle at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, waiting to give birth to quintuplets. A team of five was in charge of each baby, as her obstetrician-gynecologist delivered them one at a time via cesarean section; Danielle was awake the whole time, and Adam was there to support her. Her babies, Ava Lane, Riley Paige, Olivia Marie, Parker Kate and Hazel Grace were inevitably tiny, weighing from 2lbs to 2lbs 6oz or around just one kilogram, with most of their organs not fully developed, and with a hole in the heart causing an extra blood flow that made a whooshing sound (heart murmurs). As they were born at 28 weeks, it meant they had to stay at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for at least two months, or until they were able to maintain their temperature and begin to gain weight. The parents took turns visiting them at the NICU, and at the same time tried to make life as normal as possible for their eldest daughter, although four-year-old Blayke said that looking at her baby sisters made her happy.
The first one to come home was Parker, followed by Hazel then Olivia and Riley. Adam said it was still manageable, as each parent took care of two babies, but when Ava came home, things became chaotic – their house was like a big nursery, with wall-to-wall diapers, wipes, and bottles. They had to get five of everything, such as car seats and multi-motion baby swings. The couple spent $2,000 a month just on formula milk, as the babies were fed every three hours, then diapers were changed at a minimum of 40 per day.
Danielle’s twin sisters, Crystal and Ashley, are also her best friends. Ashley, who lived close by, and their mom Michelle or Mimi, took turns to help care for the babies, so that the couple could rest or sleep. The quins brought so much joy in their lives but the worry had also quintupled as Danielle said, ‘It’s a lot to handle. It’s gonna be difficult, but this is our lives and we’re gonna get used to it.’
Adam and Danielle were a good team, and had each other’s back – when he had to leave for work, things became a lot tougher for her at home, especially when one of her little ones fell ill, and necessitated a visit to the doctor. It was a good thing that both sides of their family were very supportive, and willing to come whenever there was such an emergency.
Having another baby was out of the question, so Danielle urged Adam to have a vasectomy, and he did. He was nervous about having to undergo the procedure, but as his brother-in-law had said, it was scarier to have another kid than not having another one. Danielle went on a spa day with her mom and twin sisters to prepare for her date night with her husband – Adam missed spending time alone with his wife, as it had been eight months since the last time they did that. When they had Blayke, they still went on dates as getting a babysitter was easier, and not that expensive. With five more babies to attend to, date nights were much more difficult to plan.
Will Danielle get some answers?! #OutDaughtered starts NOW.
The first season ended with the babies having a dedication day in the couple’s hometown.
Moving to a new house
A three-bedroom apartment had become too small for the Busby family. The babies were stationed in the living room when they first came home, so it was easy to monitor all of them. As they grew bigger, things became cramped, so another residence became essential, however, they discovered that it had a serious mold problem causing the kids to get sick. They subsequently rented a house, fell in love with it, and eventually bought it.
Danielle was naturally stressed when her menstrual period was late, and was shocked to learn that Adam hadn’t returned to the doctor after his vasectomy to make sure that it was successful; fortunately, she wasn’t pregnant again. However, it didn’t necessarily mean that they were entirely opposed to having more kids, just giving birth to them – as she said, ‘there won’t be any more children unless one day God put it in our hearts to adopt.’
Adam had postpartum depression after his wife gave birth to the quins – he was overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for a family of eight, and dealing with five babies. It was such a lot of regular work, that they hardly found time to do anything else. He didn’t feel like himself and said, ‘It’s caused some issues between me and Danielle, just because sometimes I want to check out.’ It took him a couple of years before he could tell his wife about it; even then Danielle didn’t realise that it could happen to men, and felt bad that Adam had to hide it from her. However, he received help, and was able to overcome the problem.
The Busbys under quarantine
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the family was under quarantine for several months, which took a toll on everyone. Riley wasn’t getting enough stimulation being cooped up at home, so she became whiny. Ava had become very sensitive and started acting out against her sisters, as she developed a mentality of ‘everyone’s against me.’
Olivia, who’s the comedian among the siblings, had missed socializing with other people, and having an audience for her antics. Parker lost her confidence, and was no longer outspoken.
Adam and Danielle could hardly wait for the kids to return to school as they admitted not being able to provide them with the best education through home-schooling, especially at this crucial early age.
Danielle had worked full-time at AP Networks as a Project Coordinator Team Leader, but had to quit when she got pregnant with the quins, as they were her priority. Despite caring for six children being a full-time job in itself, she still received flak from some online users or netizens for not working. However, Danielle worked for Rodan + Fields, an American multi-level marketing company that specializes in skincare products.
When the couple along with their friends opened a fitness studio in 2017 called Rush Cycle in League City, she said, ‘Getting back in the work atmosphere and finding that rhythm of Mom-Wife Life/Working Mom-Wife Life has made me feel like ME again.’ She and her sisters also co-owned a workout clothing line, CADi Fitness. On the side – if such could exist – she manages the Buzzworld Shop which sells apparel with religious or positive phrases printed on it.
In 2019, she established her online business called Graeson Bee Boutique. They were struck with the name Graeson for a boy when she was expecting, but since their children were all girls, they used the name instead on their one-stop-shop. It offers affordable co-ordinating head-to-toe looks for the whole family, from babies to adults, boys and girls; the clothes were mostly modeled by Danielle and her kids.
Adam had worked for about 12 years at Intrinsic Solutions and Sprint Safety as a Key Account Manager.
After that, he opened his own company called Adam Busby Media, but still wasn’t spared from being bashed by one netizen, who left a comment on his Instagram page telling him to get a job. He fired back, saying, ‘Then, I’d have to hire people to do mine at all (the businesses) that we own … Nice try though.’
What’s wrong with Danielle?
Viewers had seen the joy and struggles of Danielle and Adam in raising their kids through the years. In the eighth season of the reality TV series, the pandemic restrictions were finally lifted, but they were still careful and stayed inside their family bubble. The Busby kids spent time outdoors with their cousins along with their aunts, uncles and maternal grandmother. They were really close, and normally spent time together on weekends or special occasions.
Everything was fine, and business as usual at the Busby household, until Danielle started having health issues. Over the years, she experienced extreme migraine and neck pain but it became worse as it had become constant all day, and was accompanied by tingling or numbness in her arms.
She said, ‘There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not feeling some form of pain,’ but had somehow learned to deal with it. Danielle didn’t know what was wrong with her, so became short-tempered and sometimes yelled at her kids out of frustration, and she didn’t like that.
Adam wasn’t aware of how bad it wa,s as she didn’t want him to worry. However, when she couldn’t hide it from him any longer, he immediately took her to the hospital. That day, she didn’t know if she was having a heart attack; she said her arm was tingling and it felt like it was literally going to explode. She had never felt like this in her life, and knew that it was serious and wasn’t something that she should ignore hoping it would go away someday.
In the emergency room, the doctors didn’t give her an explanation as to what was wrong with her, only that she was well enough to go home after conducting tests and giving her some fluids. Unfortunately, she’s still having migraine, numbness, and pain every day. Danielle said she had to figure things out so she could get better. As much as possible, she wanted normalcy for her kids, and just powered through her day.
Celebrating milestones such as the kids learning to ride a bicycle without training wheels for the first time was important to her, and she didn’t want to miss that. Their plans hadn’t changed, as they pushed through with the pop-up store for the Graeson Bee Boutique, brought the kids to meet Santa Claus, watched “The Nutcracker” ballet performance, and launched a charity drive for those affected by the hurricane that devastated their hometown, particularly the school.
After seeing a cardiologist for the numbness she was experiencing, she went home wearing a heart monitor, and had to explain to her kids what it was for without scaring them. The doctor would analyze the results of the tests they conducted on her, to make a proper diagnosis. What made things more difficult was that due to the pandemic safety protocols, Adam wasn’t allowed to accompany her at that time, and he naturally felt bad about that.
She tried to avoid thinking about the worst-case scenario and was hoping it was something manageable so she could continue to care for her family. Despite Adam telling her to relax, she said a mom of six couldn’t do that.
When the results came back, everything was fine except for the echocardiogram or ultrasound of the heart, as it showed abnormal bubbles in the left chamber. According to the cardiologist, there could be a hole or three in her heart, that could either be Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) or Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). If it was the former, they didn’t necessarily have to fix it, but if it was the latter, they would need to close it as it could lead to more serious problems. Based on the Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) that assessed the function and structure of her heart, she was found to have a very small hole – PFO – but otherwise a normal, healthy heart, with no long-term clinical implications. However, the cardiologist said that this had nothing to do with her symptoms.
Danielle was back to square one in finding out the real problem, which meant more doctors and more tests. Her rheumatologist said her nerve conduction study (NCS) and blood work came back normal, which meant that she had no nerve damage or anything like that. Her doctor’s advice was to come back every six months to conduct tests again, and monitor her condition.
It was unfortunate that as she went through all the pain and worry, some people think that Danielle was making things up, because it was a mystery illness that even the doctors couldn’t figure out. Others felt it was an unfair assumption as they were still ruling out all the possible causes, and doing that takes time. As of early 2022, there is still no diagnosis of Danielle’s problem, so she’s bravely soldiering on , particularly caring for her six daughters, along with life and soul partner Adam. We can only hope and pray for a positive solution….