Brooke Butterbow Larson, 30, a nurse from Mansfield, Ohio, recently became a new mother to three babies at once with her husband, Chris Larson. Brooke and her husband welcome triplets, daughter Dixie, and two sons, Barrett and Crewe.
Having three babies at once wasn’t the only surprise in Brooke’s life. She also struggled to conceive on her own, and after learning that she and her husband needed some help starting her family, her travel nursing became a tool to help her on that journey. She was surprised to find out
it starts with family
Brooke’s new family being helped by nursing is a moment that comes a little full circle. Her own journey into nursing was inspired by her nurse who cared for her own family when her grandfather was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was in fifth grade.
After attending Ohio State University and graduating from Ashland College, Brooke and her husband got married in 2018, and she decided to try travel nursing in 2019 after her friends appreciated it. “I wanted to expand my nursing knowledge and experience. Because not every hospital or every floor does things the same way,” she explains.
She worked as a traveling nurse, so Brooke and her husband also tried to start a family of their own for two years, but were unable to conceive naturally. I tried fertility assistance including clomid and IUI before being advised that it was a good idea. That said. But she had her first surprise when she went to pay for the medication needed to start the process.
“My husband was like, ‘Brooke, wait a minute,'” she recalls. “It was $4,500 for the medicine alone.”
The couple discussed in vitro fertilization, but were worried it would be too risky to spend the money without guaranteeing the baby. Decided to spend the same amount as the medicine it would take for the cycle (3 more). A third, a chemical miscarriage, and a fourth, after enduring her failed IUI, made her fifth and final attempt. At that time, Brooke remembered, she felt “different.”
“Usually I have 800,000 pregnancy tests,” she laughs. But after her fifth try, she had a “whatever happens” attitude and didn’t test at all until she felt “weird.” She went to her store to pick up a pregnancy test, but she decided to wait until morning. (And if you’ve ever tried to get pregnant, you know the level of restraint you need).
The next morning there was a faint line on your test, but she didn’t want to get hopeful. However, it wasn’t until a few days later, when she was finally able to take the digital test and got the long-awaited positive results, that she accepted that her journey was finally over. ‘ says Brooke.
pay for in vitro fertilization
The cost of raising a family came as a bit of a surprise to Brooke and her husband, but she combined travel with nursing staff to make it work. However, as I started my fertility journey in October 2020, I decided to return to staff nursing due to insurance.
But when she began researching the actual costs of that journey, including the possibility of IVF, she soon realized that her staff nurse’s salary would not cover the necessary financial aspects. For example, although costs vary, she knew that if she had to go the IVF route, she would need about $15-20,000 upfront, plus another $4,000 for genetic embryo testing. Add in the time spent driving to and from the fertility clinic several times a month, and the costs of other related tests, medications, and pregnancy tests, and Brooke decided to return to her traveling nursing.
Brooke told Nurse.org that she was lucky to have an “amazing” recruiter who understood her goals. She needs to be honest with herself and the manager she eventually met at her clinic in Cleveland, she also needs to do staff work for insurance, and all she needs is her 13-week part-time travel contract. I told him that I was the only one.
“If it weren’t for her and my recruiter,[I] You wouldn’t have had my baby,” Brooke says.
Her experience has been very positive. Her nurse manager was able to work around her schedule at both of her jobs and take time off with her miscarriage, so she eventually extended her 13-week contract to her one-year contract. summarized in “It was definitely the best place to work,” she adds.
Brooke was scheduled for her first transvaginal ultrasound after a positive pregnancy test. Her husband had no medical knowledge, so she remembers explaining to her husband what she saw on the screen.
“I said to him, ‘I see a little black circle and a little white circle, and that little white circle is going to be a baby,'” she recalls.
But while she was prepared for what her husband might see during the actual ultrasound, she could not prepare him for what she actually saw. The screen was facing away from her. She heard her doctor and her husband talking. When she finally couldn’t stand it anymore, she grabbed the screen.
“I turned it towards myself and there were three babies on the screen and I was like, ‘Shut up! You’re lying to me! Luckily,'” she added with a laugh. “We were completely shocked.”
The news was shocking, but it didn’t take long for Brooke to fully embrace the idea of becoming a mother to three babies at once. “Throughout her pregnancy, I don’t think she can undo what she’s already done,” she says. “So we just laughed about it. How are you going to take care of three babies? Crazy.”
The physical demands of raising three humans in her body immediately took its toll on Brooke, but she worried she would lose her FMLA eligibility. Luckily, her nurse manager worked with her again and allowed her to cut her shifts but keep her work hours so she could take maternity leave. Did. She worked 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, until her mobile nursing contract expired. She tried to go home to her, but soon went into labor.
Brooke was flown to a larger facility where doctors tried to stop labor and put steroids for the baby, but her medical team decided it was time to give birth to her baby into the world. Her three children were born in December 2022 at 30 weeks and 2 days by emergency caesarean section.
Brooke and Chris are enjoying their new family, their daughter is “growing like weeds,” and they are adjusting to navigating the healthcare system again for their son, who is facing medical diagnoses and challenges. For example, Barrett is deaf and Crew has additional medical issues that we continue to work with the medical team to address. Brooke admits she has a hard time coming to terms with the idea of becoming a mother to a child.
“I don’t have kids at home, so it’s hard to imagine having three,” she says. “They’re in the hospital. It looks like they have very expensive babysitters.”
As the baby grew stronger, Brooke stayed at the nearby Ronald McDonald House and expressed her milk at midnight, 4am and 8am before returning to the hospital to spend time with him and care for him. head to “It’s a bit difficult to juggle these three things for her, but the nurses have been very kind in helping me and seeing what works and what needs to be changed. she says.
There are still many questions, but Brooke says she’d like to return to travel nursing in the future, but for now, she’ll be working part-time at a staff job to make sure she has time to care for her baby. . Needs, medical appointments, doctor visits. However, she is still a huge proponent of travel nursing, especially for those who need financial support to raise her family.
“No matter what, I would recommend travel nursing, but if you want to have a family and can’t afford it, travel nursing is definitely easier than getting a second mortgage. It was a way… either our house or a high-interest personal loan,” she points out. “It was definitely her one of the ways to make quick money doing what you love… I would recommend it to anyone.”
Although welcoming three babies at once comes with additional challenges, such as facing medical diagnoses, Brooke is grateful for a career in nursing that has helped welcome her family. like she always dreamed of. Motherhood can be a challenge for her, but Brooke has embraced being her mother and is excited about the future that lies ahead of her.
“We only wanted one, but God gave us three,” she says.
All photos provided by Brooke Larson.