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LOVE AND CHAOS

one, two, three, four.

 

Courtney always wanted to be a mother. When told at 25 the devastating news that she may not be able to conceive, she didn’t waste time. She and her husband, Cameron, started fertility treatments right away. On her third round of IUI, Courtney conceived.

Courtney and Cameron were in the sonogram room, and the ultrasound tech introduced baby A and baby B. The couple was ecstatic to have twins, something they had secretly hoped for during IUI treatments as their efforts to conceive were so difficult. Then, after a burst of brief celebration, the tech asked Cameron to sit down, and then “introduced” baby C and D. “We left the office and Cameron and I just sat in the car in silence for about five minutes trying to digest it. When you’re told you’re having four, it’s such a shock that you don’t know how to react, you don’t even know how to feel,” Courtney explained. 

Life since then has been a story of love and chaos; the quadruplets were born prematurely and needed to be in the NICU for over three months after birth. That they were born at 25 weeks and four days and survived is a medical miracle that was only made possible, like their conception, by modern medicine. The children have had other medical challenges along the way, including a brain bleed, multiple eye surgeries for one, a small heart surgery for all of the children, and other developmental therapies. Like many prematurely-born babies, the children have been developmentally delayed in some areas, and so Courtney and Cameron have had to work diligently to help the children catch up to milestones. The biggest yet, getting them all to kindergarten, which they accomplished this past fall.

The family’s life is like the lives of many families who have multiple children born at the same time--there’s a lot going on all the time, but at the heart, the commitment of building a family.

 
 The Larson quadruplets (from left to right) Ashlyn, Brody, Cooper, and Kylie all watch television as their mother Courtney Larson prepares a snack for them in the kitchen on Nov. 16, 2014. Courtney often puts on the television to distract the children while she prepares food or does chores around the house. 

The Larson quadruplets (from left to right) Ashlyn, Brody, Cooper, and Kylie all watch television as their mother Courtney Larson prepares a snack for them in the kitchen on Nov. 16, 2014. Courtney often puts on the television to distract the children while she prepares food or does chores around the house. 

 Cameron and Courtney dress the quads for school on Nov. 14, 2014. To get them ready, it's all hands on deck.   

Cameron and Courtney dress the quads for school on Nov. 14, 2014. To get them ready, it's all hands on deck.   

 Courtney strokes Kylie's head as she has one of her "daily temper-tantrums" on Nov. 16, 2014. Kylie can go from smiling and having fun to screaming in a second.

Courtney strokes Kylie's head as she has one of her "daily temper-tantrums" on Nov. 16, 2014. Kylie can go from smiling and having fun to screaming in a second.

 Courtney sits with Ashlyn after waking her up from a nap on Oct. 23, 2016. Courtney walked in to Ashlyn sleeping on the floor covered in blankets and cried when her mom woke her up.

Courtney sits with Ashlyn after waking her up from a nap on Oct. 23, 2016. Courtney walked in to Ashlyn sleeping on the floor covered in blankets and cried when her mom woke her up.

 Courtney Larson leans in to grab Kylie Larson as their dog, Isabel heads toward the street on one of their walks on Nov. 10, 2015. Courtney tries to get them out of the house as much as possible, walks before bed help to tire them out. 

Courtney Larson leans in to grab Kylie Larson as their dog, Isabel heads toward the street on one of their walks on Nov. 10, 2015. Courtney tries to get them out of the house as much as possible, walks before bed help to tire them out. 

 Kylie, Ashlyn, and Cooper sit in the bathtub together on Nov. 10, 2014 in Lima, New York. Courtney and Cameron bathe the kids all at once so they can play and get them clean in an efficient amount of time.

Kylie, Ashlyn, and Cooper sit in the bathtub together on Nov. 10, 2014 in Lima, New York. Courtney and Cameron bathe the kids all at once so they can play and get them clean in an efficient amount of time.

 Cameron and Courtney play piggy back with their two-year old, quadruplets before bedtime on Nov. 21, 2014. Cameron loves to spend time with the kids once he is home from work since he doesn't get to see them all day. 

Cameron and Courtney play piggy back with their two-year old, quadruplets before bedtime on Nov. 21, 2014. Cameron loves to spend time with the kids once he is home from work since he doesn't get to see them all day. 

 Cameron and Courtney watch a movie to unwind after a long day on Nov. 21, 2014. Most nights they fall asleep on the couch or go to bed early because they are so exhausted and drained.

Cameron and Courtney watch a movie to unwind after a long day on Nov. 21, 2014. Most nights they fall asleep on the couch or go to bed early because they are so exhausted and drained.

 Courtney  feeds her son Brody though his feeding tube before they go to Sunday mass on Nov. 9, 2014. Brody has developmetnal problems  with his esophagus making it so that he doesn't eat as much so Courtney has to feed him Pediasure through a feeding tube for extra nutrients. 

Courtney  feeds her son Brody though his feeding tube before they go to Sunday mass on Nov. 9, 2014. Brody has developmetnal problems  with his esophagus making it so that he doesn't eat as much so Courtney has to feed him Pediasure through a feeding tube for extra nutrients. 

 Courtney receives a haircut in the Marketplace Mall  as her mother, Jodi entertains the quadruplets  on Nov. 17, 2015. It is rare that Courtney has time for herself and often needs to bring someone along to help occupy the kids when she does. 

Courtney receives a haircut in the Marketplace Mall  as her mother, Jodi entertains the quadruplets  on Nov. 17, 2015. It is rare that Courtney has time for herself and often needs to bring someone along to help occupy the kids when she does. 

 Courtney looks through shirts at a house party-clothing sale at a new neighbors house on her block on Oct. 23, 2016. It is hard for Courtney to do things for herself when she constantly is looking after the quads.

Courtney looks through shirts at a house party-clothing sale at a new neighbors house on her block on Oct. 23, 2016. It is hard for Courtney to do things for herself when she constantly is looking after the quads.

 Cameron and Courtney help the quads get ready in the bathroom by giving them their medicine and helping them brush their teeth on Oct. 24, 2016 in Lima, New York.

Cameron and Courtney help the quads get ready in the bathroom by giving them their medicine and helping them brush their teeth on Oct. 24, 2016 in Lima, New York.

 Ashlyn, Kylie, and Cooper jump on the boys' beds as their mother Courtney sings, "Five little monkeys jumping on the bed" on Oct. 23, 2016 in Lima, New Yo

Ashlyn, Kylie, and Cooper jump on the boys' beds as their mother Courtney sings, "Five little monkeys jumping on the bed" on Oct. 23, 2016 in Lima, New Yo

 Courtney, Ashlyn, and Cooper look through a song book before the sacrament meeting begins on Oct. 23, 2016 at The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Geneseo ward, Rochester Stake. The Larson's are Mormon instilling the word of God, good faith, and importance of family into their children. 

Courtney, Ashlyn, and Cooper look through a song book before the sacrament meeting begins on Oct. 23, 2016 at The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Geneseo ward, Rochester Stake. The Larson's are Mormon instilling the word of God, good faith, and importance of family into their children. 

 The quadruplets color during religion class on Oct. 23, 2016 at The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Geneseo ward, Rochester Stake. 

The quadruplets color during religion class on Oct. 23, 2016 at The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Geneseo ward, Rochester Stake. 

 The Larson family practices the Mormon religion. The Family Home Evening is held every Monday night starting with prayer, singing a church song, reading a scripture, a church related lesson, followed by a game and treat in order to create bonding time for the family while learning about their religion. 

The Larson family practices the Mormon religion. The Family Home Evening is held every Monday night starting with prayer, singing a church song, reading a scripture, a church related lesson, followed by a game and treat in order to create bonding time for the family while learning about their religion. 

 Courtney holds Kylie in an embrace as they wait for the bus on Oct. 24, 2016 in Lima, New York. The kids have been going to school at Kid Start since they were 2.5 because they were behind in speech in development.

Courtney holds Kylie in an embrace as they wait for the bus on Oct. 24, 2016 in Lima, New York. The kids have been going to school at Kid Start since they were 2.5 because they were behind in speech in development.

 The quadruplets line up to use the potty and brush their teeth before school on Oct. 24, 2016 in Lima, New York. The quads mimic each other, once one of them does something, they all need to.

The quadruplets line up to use the potty and brush their teeth before school on Oct. 24, 2016 in Lima, New York. The quads mimic each other, once one of them does something, they all need to.

 Cameron and Courtney prepare to go to bed on Oct. 23, 2016 in Lima, New York. " We only have one full bathroom up stairs for six people, it's never big enough," says Courtney.

Cameron and Courtney prepare to go to bed on Oct. 23, 2016 in Lima, New York. " We only have one full bathroom up stairs for six people, it's never big enough," says Courtney.

 Courtney checks on the girls before she goes to sleep on Oct. 23, 2016 in Lima, New York. Ashlyn and Kylie share a bed together in their room while the boys have two twin size beds in their room.

Courtney checks on the girls before she goes to sleep on Oct. 23, 2016 in Lima, New York. Ashlyn and Kylie share a bed together in their room while the boys have two twin size beds in their room.