I think it's safe to say world has fallen in love with Adam and Danielle Busby of TLC's OutDaughtered — along with their brood of half a dozen daughters — over the past couple of years. In itself, the idea of having six young daughters seems overwhelming. But it's nothing too extraordinary. (Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar had a whopping 19 children, after all.) However, throw into the equation that five of these little girls share the same birthdate — and suddenly that's a whole new level if "holy crap." That's because the Busbys are parents to 7-year-old Blayke and 3-year-old quints: Ava, Olivia, Hazel, Riley, and Parker. But even longtime fans might be wondering: Are the Busby quints identical?
To answer this question, let's first establish what it means to be identical versus fraternal. According to HealthyChildren.org, fraternal twins happen when two separate eggs are fertilized at the same time — resulting in embryos that are no more genetically alike than siblings born at different times. Identical twins, by comparison, occur when a single fertilized egg splits into two — meaning they share the same DNA. So in the hypothetical case of identical quintuplets, a single fertilized egg would have to split into five embryos for them all to be identical. (Which would be incredibly rare.) Now that we have that established, let's take a look at the Busby quints.
Out of the five sisters, there is actually a set of identical twins: Ava and Oliva, according to Country Living. (This means the other three are fraternal.) If you take a look at the photo below, the little girls all the way to left on the swing and all the way on the right of the swing are Olivia and Ava. Just don't ask me to tell you which one is which!
As Danielle detailed in a blog post about their infertility struggles, the Busbys spent months trying to conceive on their own, before resorting to fertility medication and then undergoing several rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) before they were finally able to conceive their first daughter, Blayke. Another couple of rounds of fertility drugs and IUI led to Danielle's pregnancy with the quints — although it wasn't initially clear how many babies she was carrying. See initially, an ultrasound detected only one baby. However, at the next ultrasound there were clearly four babies and four heartbeats. And no one expected what they found after that. Danielle explained:
We were told by the doctor to come back in two weeks for another ultrasound and to prepare ourselves for what could possibly happen…we may not see this many babies next time. We go back and what do you know…God had more in store for us. We immediately saw 2 babies in one sac…AND that was NOT there last time, lol.
Spoiler alert: Those two babies sharing one sac were their identical twins, Ava and Olivia.
In March 2017, Adam Busby posted a video on the family's YouTube channel to help fans tell the identical twins apart. "As you can see, Olivia's face is a little bit more narrow than Ava. And Ava's face — Ava's the big one. I'm sorry, Ava, I don't want to give you a complex. But Ava's our big girl," Adam said from behind the camera. "But her cheeks are a little fuller and her head is a little rounder. Right now, Olivia's hair is a little bit curlier, also." If you want to test your knowledge of the quints, Adam posted an updated version in March 2018, explaining how to tell them apart — just ahead of the quints celebrating their third birthday, according to People. (Sorry, Adam; I still can't tell who is Olivia and who is Ava!)
It's also pretty neat that not only are Adam and Danielle the parents of the only surviving set of all-girl quintuplets — but they have a set of identical twins in the mix, too. As busy as the Busbys lives are with six young daughters, it's clear from watching OutDaughtered that they wouldn't trade their loud and crazy girls for the world. Hopefully, they will continue to share their adorable daughters with viewers for years to come. So maybe one day, I'll finally be able to tell Olivia and Ava apart ...