When Danielle and Adam Busby welcomed the only all-female set of quintuplets in the country last year, the phrase “the new normal” took on a whole new meaning.
Already parents to daughter Blayke, 5, and with the quints now just over a year old, Danielle and Adam are poised to share their story on TLC’s upcoming show OutDaughtered, which chronicles how the family of three became a family of eight overnight.
“When we found out that we were having quintuplets … I mean, Adam just about passed out,” Danielle, 32, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I just started laughing hysterically. I was like, ‘We’re just these normal people, how on earth is this happening to us?’ ”
Indeed, learning that they were about to have not just one but five baby girls was huge news for the couple, who had being dealing with infertility issues.
“We had struggled so much and yet here we were, having five kids at the same time,” Danielle recalls. “It was a very scary but amazing experience.”
“At the very beginning when we first got them all home, that was very hard,” says Adam, 33. “I mean, just keeping up with the feedings every three hours – I remember so many times where I would be laying in bed feeding a baby in the middle of the night and I would be woken up by the sound of a bottle hitting the floor because I just completely fell asleep and dropped the baby’s bottle. You’re just running on empty, on no sleep, all the time. It’s just crazy.”
And as the babies are becoming more mobile, Danielle and Adam are quickly learning that with every milestone comes a whole new set of challenges.
“We went through the phase where there was no sleep, and then it got a little easier when they started holding their own bottles and sleeping better,” Danielle says. “But then it’s like, now we’ve got five teething babies. This week, one gets a tooth in. The next week another one gets a tooth in. And then another one. It’s nonstop.”
Indeed, everyday parenting struggles become exponentially more challenging because it’s happening with “five babies, all at the exact same age, going through all the same stuff,” Adam explains.
“Everything has to be planned out – even something as simple as going for a walk, taking a bath, changing diapers,” adds Danielle. “I mean, every single thing has its challenges.”
And of course, they do their best to make sure “each child individually feels just as much love as the other,” which Danielle says has been the biggest challenge since day one.
When it comes to their eldest daughter Blayke, they make a conscious effort to make sure she feels just as special – and she’s handled the whole transition amazingly.
“I mean, I don’t think we could have asked for anything better as far as the adjustment went,” Danielle says of Blayke, who is already their little helper at home.
“From the day that she found out that she was going to have five sisters she played with five baby dolls at a time,” adds Danielle. “She has been so hands on. She’ll say: ‘Oh, let me get you the wipes.’ She’s so smart.”
As for what the experience has taught the couple? Well, it’s that sometimes you have to sit back and enjoy the ride.
“You can only do as much as you can at that moment in time. Just being able to laugh about a situation, like when all five babies are screaming, is one of the things we’ve learned how to do,” Danielle says.
Audra McDonald On What She Got From Her Mom (Her Strong Arms!)
“People will ask us like: ‘How do you still have a smile on your face?’ ” Adam says of guests who get to witness the feeding directly before bedtime at night, which Danielle and Adam have nicknamed “the witching hour.”
“But what we’ve learned is that sometimes there’s nothing you can do but look at each other and laugh about it,” he adds. “This is what it is now. This is our new normal.”
For a sneak peek at Danielle and Adam’s first time meeting the babies in the hospital, check out the exclusive clip above and catch the OutDaughtered premiere Tuesday (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.