Michelle Theriot was thrust into the limelight with her appearance in “Outdaughtered”, as Grandma Mimi to the first ever American all-female quintuplets Ava Lane, Hazel Grace, Olivia Marie, Parker Kate and Riley Paige. The TLC show, which premiered on 10 May 2016, chronicled the quins’ births and growing-up years. Raising them along with their firstborn Blayke Louise was difficult but rewarding for their parents, Adam and Danielle Busby. The viewers had been part of that journey and had seen how they overcame challenges with the help of loved ones. They naturally became concerned when Grandma Mimi went missing from the show, following the news of her arrest that circulated on social media.
- 1 Get to know Adam and Danielle Busby
- 2 “Outdaughtered”
- 3 The Busby’s Grandma Mimi
- 4 Where is Grandma Mimi today?
Get to know Adam and Danielle Busby
Their love story
Working side by side at the big-box department store Target, in 2003, Adam and Danielle found themselves falling for each other. After weeks of taking their 15-minute breaks and having lunch together, he finally asked her out on a date, but later called her up to cancel, to hang out with his friends. She was naturally disappointed, but he charmed his way back into her good graces. He again asked her out, and to her surprise, on their first date, he brought her to meet his family at his sister’s birthday dinner and then before the night was through, proceeded to officially ask her to be his girlfriend, and she said yes. A couple of years later, he proposed to her on Christmas Eve, a day after her birthday. They were married six months later in July 2006 in their hometown, Lake Charles, Louisiana, soon after which they moved to Houston, Texas.
Getting pregnant with their firstborn and the quins
Both wanted to have kids, so after six months of trying without success, they consulted with doctors who specialized in fertility issues. It was found out that Adam had low testosterone levels as well as low sperm count and motility, while Danielle didn’t ovulate regularly. To address their problems, they had to take medication and undergo intrauterine insemination (IUI). Going through the whole process was time-consuming, exhausting, and stressful, especially when it initially yielded a negative result. Finally, after two years she became pregnant with their eldest, and Blayke Louise was born on 5 April 2011. Danielle was overcome with emotion as she held their daughter for the first time saying ‘How can one little amazing baby INSTANTLY make you fall in love. It is such an incredible feeling…having a baby is a complete miracle from God.’ She excitedly shared in her blog the pictures she took of Blayke every single day during her first year in this world.
They wanted to have more kids, despite knowing that they would go through the same challenges they had with their firstborn, if they still couldn’t conceive the natural way. As they struggled, they couldn’t help but question why this was happening to them, ‘Why must we go through all this again?! WHY does it have to be so hard for people who love children and who can raise them in a loving home?!?! WHY US!?!’ Still, they held on to their faith in God and were eventually rewarded with the news that they were pregnant again after two months of undergoing IUI. When a series of ultrasound tests revealed that they were having quintuplets, Danielle shared that her husband nearly passed out, while she just laughed hysterically because they could hardly believe it.
The reality TV series followed the lives of Adam and Danielle Busby as they became parents to all-female quintuplets. She actually gave birth at 28 weeks via cesarean section, on 8 April 2015 at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. Ava and Olivia were identical twins while the rest were fraternal. The quins had to stay at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for three months, as they were so fragile with most of their organs not yet fully developed and their weights ranging from 2lbs to 2lbs 6oz, not much over one kg. Going back and forth to the hospital to check on them, the couple also did their best to make time and a normal life for four-year-old Blayke, who had handled things well since the time her mom became pregnant with her future siblings.
The Busby girls take on chores! #OutDaughtered starts NOW.
They brought Parker home first and then Hazel, so it was like having twins. Riley and Olivia came next, but Adam said it was still manageable, as each parent could handle two at the same time. However, when Ava came home, they were quite overwhelmed. Fortunately, they had help from both sides of the family, including Danielle’s mom, Mimi. One could only imagine how difficult it was for them when the babies cried at the same time and they had to feed them every three hours or change their diapers; they used a minimum of 40 diapers a day. Parents will know how little sleep one gets when there’s a baby to take care of, much less when there were five of them going through the same thing at the same time. ‘What we’ve learned is that sometimes there’s nothing you can do but look at each other and laugh about it,’ Adam said.
He and Danielle described their little ones: ‘Olivia is very expressive with her eyes. Ava is very content with just looking around. Riley loves to cuddle. Hazel has got that fiery personality. Parker is super easygoing.’ Their personalities changed as they grew older, and some said that being quins could have impacted each child differently. They all vied for attention from their loved ones, particularly their parents, and observing how the people around them treated each one would certainly have an effect.
— Danielle Busby (@DanieBuzz) May 5, 2021
One of Adam’s biggest fears with having this many kids was how he could ensure that each one would feel the same amount of love and attention – ‘Am I going to be a good enough dad?’ Danielle said that as much joy as the quins had brought into their lives, their worry was also multiplied five times. The road was not going to be easy, but she knew that they just had to get a handle on things, and get used to their new normal.
Season One began with the births of the quintuplets, and ended with a dedication service at a church in Lake Charles, where their family and friends came to witness the event and celebrate with them. It was a tradition in Adam’s family that was similar to baptism, in which the babies were welcomed into the church and dedicated to God, the parents making a promise to raise their children as Christians. The seasons that followed showed what life was like for the Busby couple with six girls, including moving to a bigger house to better accommodate them all. Next a pregnancy scare, when Adam revealed that he didn’t undergo a vasectomy as promised, notwithstanding his previously identified problems, his postpartum depression, and Danielle’s health scares.
Keeping their marriage strong
After they married, they partied and had adventures as they traveled to London, Australia, Paris, and Tokyo. Their lifestyle remained the same when Blayke came along, as they just took her along with them wherever they went. All that changed with the arrival of the quins, as they became too busy taking care of them; they could no longer do many of the things they used to do, as their lives revolved around their children.
It took some time, but the couple worked on their relationship to keep the marriage strong. They kept their communications open, so each knew what the other one was feeling, and could address any issue that cropped up. They had their date nights as well, but were harshly criticized by some viewers for having too many of them. However, they weren’t bothered by the criticism, as they said, ‘We whole-heartedly feel like by taking care of our marriage first, we are doing what is best for our kids,’ and that was to provide them with a loving home. It was important for them to prioritize their marriage, and not wait until the kids were all grown up and had their own lives to live before becoming just a couple again – they adopted and adapted to their changed way of life.
The Busby’s Grandma Mimi
Mimi said that people described her as zany, that she was like Lucille Ball, who was known for her comedic skills – Adam said that one would never know what Mimi was going to say. She would talk about five different things, and none of them would make sense, but she believed that the people listening would know what she was talking about.
She lived in Lake Charles, but would go to the Busby house in League City, Houston, Texas, and help with the bathing, changing of clothes, feeding, and lulling the babies to sleep, as well as cleaning and putting the house to order. After an exhausting time with the Busbys, she needed to chill and regroup. She reached her breaking point as days passed, started to cry, and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore…Oh my God. I’m too old for this. I gotta go and get some sleep.’
Mimi had three daughters, twins Ashley and Crystal as well as Danielle; the father was never mentioned, so it wasn’t known how long he was part of their lives, or how much help she had with her children. However, the quins plus Blayke were far more challenging to manage than three kids. Mimi admired how calm the couple was in taking care of their children, but she knew that it would take a toll on them, especially on Danielle when Adam was busy with work.
Moved in with the Busby family
Mimi was usually the life of the party, so when she was sitting all by herself and not being sociable, Danielle knew that something was up. It turned out that Mimi was jobless, and didn’t know what she was going to do with her life after teaching for 25 years. She didn’t want to be a burden, so she didn’t disclose what was happening with her until she had to. She was struggling financially, so planned to have a garage sale.
Despite the short notice and the logistics involved in bringing the kids with them, they all still went to help Mimi out. Whenever they went to Lake Charles, they stayed with Adam’s family as they had room for them. Adam would be with the kids at his parents’ place while Danielle would head over to her mother’s house. Mimi was selling almost all of her belongings, as she needed to make as much money as she could. Also, she was selling her house, saying that she couldn’t live there anymore. Her children were shocked, as they had so many memories there, while Mimi said that she wanted to stay at each of her daughters’ homes.
As much as Adam wanted to help Mimi, he said that no man would want his mother-in-law to stay with them indefinitely. However, it was an ideal setup because she could help Danielle with the kids, while figuring out what her next move would be. She finally moved in, and was a big help to the family. Although there was a bit of tension at times between her and Adam, they mostly got along just fine.
Found work as a realtor
Having a place to stay was great, but helping take care of the kids was also taking a toll on Mimi. She was very excited when she found a job, and when the Busby couple heard the news, they were happy for her, and helped her to start apartment-hunting. However, not much time passed before she quit, as it wasn’t the right fit for her. She then earned her real estate license, and became a realtor for Keller Williams. It was said that her father worked on developing properties and would take her along with him on the job when she was young, so her interest in real estate went way back.
Lost everything due to Hurricane Harvey
Mimi somewhat reluctantly moved into her new home, and her daughters fixed the place and unpacked her things to make her transition easy. They threw a surprise party for her, with her family and close friends in attendance. However, tragedy struck, as her house was destroyed when Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and Louisiana in 2017. As a result, she moved back in with the Busbys.
It took about four days before the flood subsided, and the family could check the state of the house. Danielle said, ‘We had to throw away pretty much EVERYTHING. It has been very emotional…having to throw away family heirlooms, photos from when we were all kids…just… all around our memories.’ She said that a lot of people contacted them about wanting to help Mimi, and although they were not the type to ask for anything, she said that Mimi would graciously accept help in the form of gift checks to stores such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes, to rebuild her house and replace most of what was destroyed or lost. Mimi was quite distraught with what happened, and Danielle advised her to seek counseling from a therapist, which she did. It helped her a lot in going through the grieving process after losing almost everything, and she began to move forward with her life.
Where is Grandma Mimi today?
Mimi appeared on “Outdaughtered” from time to time as the family was close. Viewers of the TLC series became concerned when she became noticeably absent, and wondered if the Busby couple had been shunning her following her arrest.
Based on police reports, sometime in mid-October 2020 around midnight, Mimi was on her way home when her black Ford SUV was pulled over by cops in League City, after it was seen swerving and straddling the shoulder’s white line. She was slow to stop, and the police said that a huge dose of perfume emanated from the four-wheel drive, which they said was an indication of one trying to mask certain odors. Mimi was clearly lethargic, unsteady on her feet, had bloodshot eyes, and her speech was slurred when interviewed by the cops. She initially said that she’d had two glasses of wine, but then changed it to two beers. After failing field sobriety tests, she was arrested, handcuffed, and taken to jail.
— d-rock trot (@drocktrot) October 17, 2020
It was reported in 2021 that Mimi entered into a diversion program, as she was ordered by the court to one year of community supervision for first-time offenders. During this time, she should abstain from using controlled substances or drinking alcohol, submit to random drug testing, avoid breaking laws, attend a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) education program, and complete one day of community service. Her case would be dismissed if she followed all this to the letter.
After news of her arrest spread, Mimi’s Instagram account was deactivated, but was later reactivated and made private, while none of her daughters mentioned her on any of their social media accounts. After not updating her own account for a year, Mimi’s followers noticed in late 2021 that she posted a photo of herself donning a pair of silly eyeglasses.
Due to the illegal nature of her action, most fans said that it was understandable that she wasn’t seen in a show that was family-oriented, with children at its core. Throughout the series, the viewers had seen how Mimi and her daughters along with their husbands had been supportive of each other. One could only guess how her loved ones reacted to her arrest, but there was obviously help in abundance from a loving, close-knit family.