36 weeks through the Unicorn’s eyes

It’s usually around this time that pregnant women start feeling like they are done. That it’s time to meet their baby. I am, once again, no exception to this. The last week or two I have answered the same to questions of how I am feeling. I’m ready to be done. I’m slowing down. It’s harder to do the daily things like getting dressed, taking a shower, shaving (yeah, not happening), doing the dishes (as they still sit on the counter). And sleep seems like a thing of the past.

Today’s appointment confirmed why I’m feeling so sore and more tired and more swollen than I remember feeling at this stage in my other 4 pregnancies. At 36 weeks 3 days, Tommy is measuring 39 weeks!!!! Holy buckets is right! He’s healthy and still active, which is the most important part. But boy oh boy is he big! And the pressure he’s putting on my southern hemisphere makes total sense now!

So you readers may be thinking the same thing: Brandi still has 3 ½ more weeks left. Tommy is NOT done growing! Yep. And cue some unicorn tears. Where else is he going to grow? And him growing AND continuing to move south means there’s more pain and pressure to come. Oh boy! Lol. And now we’re talking a potential 10# baby! My biggest was 9#2oz. And I don’t have gestational diabetes. And my blood pressure is great – 114/68! Stay tuned I guess.

Tonight my hubby and I went on a walk. We try to do that as often as our schedule allows to help things keep movin’ right along. Between Tommy being big and Tory researching that IVF/surro babies tend to come a little early, I’m thinking there’s hope I can lovingly return this little (big) miracle back to his parents sooner rather than later. I’m just concerned now at the potential of a c-section. Although after having lunch with a friend today, she assured me it’s not bad. There’s pain, just in a different area than if it was a vaginal birth.

And I have to give my hubby and family props! They are so supportive and understanding when I have to go sit and not clear the table after supper. Or when I come home from picking up the kids from school and have to lay down and take a nap bc I’m exhausted. They are as much a part of this journey as I am! And for that I am thankful and blessed!!!

Oh, and I haven’t mentioned yet that we are moving in a week and a half!! Closer to where we will deliver which will be nice. A friend I chatted with tonight said calling this “ambitious “is an understatement. It sure sounds better than the term I use…CRAZY!!! But with the help of friends and family we will get ‘er done!

So as I am coming to a close on this heart dream I feel so blessed to be called to do this. I am so thankful for Tory, Travis and Teagan. And even though I feel as I do, there are NO regrets! I have seen God work throughout this journey. And I know He’s not done moving through us or our story.

 

 

 

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Our 36 Week Ultrasound: Our Little Boy Is NOT So Little After All…

Tory here!

This week we are 36 weeks!!! Tommy is healthy and doing wonderfully! Normally I would tell you at week 36 Tommy is the size of a honeydew melon. However, Tommy is actually the size of a pumpkin. Yup. A pumpkin. He is measuring 39 weeks on all fronts – his brain, stomach, down to his legs. He is measuring 3 weeks ahead.  He is estimated to weigh 8.5 pounds already.

I can attest that none of us were expecting that news. To put this in perspective, Teagan was late and weighed 6 pounds 14 oz. Although Brandi’s kids were bigger than Teagan – they weren’t this big.

So what does that mean? Honestly not a whole lot.  (Just that we have a big baby on our hands! Dad is 6 feet 4 inches so I am not in total shock I guess…)

It does not mean he will necessarily come early. It DOES mean that all the newborn clothes I JUST took the tags off of and washed are probably going to be replaced with 0-3 in his hospital bag….because of course LOL.

This week marked tons of preparation for Tommy from putting the car seat in the car, packing hospital bags to sterilizing bottles! The Daudelin household is prepped and ready!

On some crazy cool notes some really exciting things happened this week regarding the blog. Our story was published by Love What Matters and we have a bunch of new followers this week – welcome to all of you by the way! And for the first time ever we were recognized out in public together!!! A woman who follows the blog recognized us leaving the hospital and introduced herself. UM, COOL.What a fun moment!!! (If you are reading you made our day!)

The big day is fast approaching and to everyone that is new and to everyone who has been here for the whole thing we cant thank you enough for your joy and excitement leading up to our little, I mean NOT so little, man’s arrival!

xoxoxo

 

Our Maternity Pictures: It Takes a Village

When I was pregnant with Teagan I had done a maternity photo shoot around 30 weeks pregnant. In her room, to this day, is the collage of her maternity pictures and she asks me about them all the time.

I wanted Tommy to have the same. Yes, his may look a bit different. And yes he may have a bit more people in his. But that’s what makes them so beautiful. I wanted to document his village. His literal “unicorn squad”. Please note the shirts 😉 Not to mention Brandi’s rock and support system in her hubby Bryan whose support made this journey possible.

I want to be able to point to these when he has questions. I want him to SEE the love and excitement leading up to his arrival.  All the credit in the world to Katy from Captured Glory Photography! She not only captured our families beautifully, but our story too…

View More: http://capturedgloryphotography.pass.us/daudelin-maternityView More: http://capturedgloryphotography.pass.us/daudelin-maternity

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Happy Mother’s Day…at the 35 week mark!

Yesterday was a big day!  We made it to 35 weeks…which means anytime Tommy wants to meet his family, he can be born in Owatonna, not Rochester.  Much closer!  Although we want him to gain another pound or so!

It was also a big day in that it was Mother’s Day!  It’s a day that brings this journey around full circle for me.  I got to celebrate a day set aside for being a mom.  I have been blessed with four beautiful kiddos!  And with my husband by my side all day who helped make this day possible, I feel even more blessed and thankful for their support.  And on this Mother’s day, I am thankful that I can help in giving Tory another reason to celebrate this beautiful day!!

So how has the unicorn been?  Tired, sore, feeling like a whale…but so thankful that Tommy and I are healthy.  At 35 weeks he’s starting to run out of room.  He’s around 18″ and over 5 lbs.  However, it would be interesting to know exactly how big Tommy is…being that he’s measuring a week ahead!  But let me tell you, his kicks and butt movements are SO strong! And he still gets hiccups 4 or more times a day.

At this point in the pregnancy many people are asking me how I am feeling emotionally.  As far as handing Tommy back to Travis and Tory, I can’t wait to see that new bond begin!!!  When it comes to knowing the pain of labor is coming, I’ve decided to take the perspective that it comes with the journey, but the moments right after will make the pain so worth it!!

Physically, at this far along, there are things that I used to be able to do that I have seriously taken for granted.  A few examples (that you moms out there will totally understand) include, but are not limited to… Showering, doing dishes, sneezing (lol), folding laundry (with no lap), simply rolling over in bed, and more!  But once again, it’s all part of the journey.

I’m so thankful for the support we continue to receive from so many people!  It makes this journey so much more meaningful.  I love the questions many of you have been asking me lately. And if you have questions that you aren’t sure if you can or should ask, please ask away!!  I’m a pretty open book. 😊

Until next time…

The Unicorn

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34.5 weeks!

Yesterday was Tommy’s 34 week appointment. He is doing great and is measuring long and strong. At 34 weeks, his bump is measuring 36!

He sucker punched mom during the appointment. I literally leaped back it was so strong and was like omg Brandi are you okay?? I can’t imagine what that would feel like on the inside. 😲

This week tons of paperwork is getting prepped as we get ready for this little man’s big day NEXT MONTH!!!

Our doctors have signed affadavids and we all have signed the pre birth order. Now our attorney is filing it with a court in hopes a judge signs off and we can be done with legal stuff.

The social worker at the hospital also was in touch with us regarding how everything will work with legal and insurance. How we will hopefully get 2 rooms next door to one another assuming the matnerity ward isn’t full.

In super fun news…This past weekend we took our maternity pics. Both families met up at a park. V6 donned Unicorn Squad t shirts and all!

Next big to do is Tommy’s 36 week appointment. They will do one last ultrasound before the big day to ensure he and his placenta continue to be in a good location for birth.

The excitement is most definitely mounting!!!

😊😊😊😊😍😍😍😍

The Legal Side to Surrogacy: Becoming Recognized by the State of Minnesota as Tommy’s Parents

As we approach Tommy’s due date the legal side to our surrogacy journey is very much ramping up. If you have been following from the beginning you know that Brandi, Bryan and us have a 38 page Gestational Carrier Contract. Brandi and Bryan have an attorney and Travis and I have an attorney. This contract declared that we are in fact Tommy’s biological parents and Brandi and Bryan are not his parents, amongst many other things that protected both parties.

You would think this would be enough legally to declare Tommy as ours at birth…

But no it isn’t.

Surrogacy law’s differ wildly in every state. Some states are very progressive and it’s more easily done. In others it’s straight out illegal. In most states, including Minnesota, it’s a huge gray area.

Parentage, aka who are the parents, is defined in many states by who births the baby and then who that woman is married to. So you can see the confusion by the state.

In states like Minnesota you file something called a PBO, a pre birth order. Basically all parties sign it and a judge signs off ahead of the birth that Tommy is our child. This means at birth Tommy would be ours in the eyes of the state and we would be done with the legal hoops. We would have legal right to be there during his birth, could bring him home and have our names on his birth certificate.

However in the state of Minnesota it is becoming more and more common that the judge will NOT sign off on a PBO. If the judge doesn’t sign off ahead of Tommy’s birth then we have to file a post birth order.

A post birth order means that we all have to go to court, yes a woman that just gave birth and a newborn included, (can you sense my frustration with the state?) and go before a judge to be declared Tommy’s parents. We would also have to file for temporary custody of Tommy in the interim between his birth and our court hearing to legally be able to leave with him from the hospital and and to keep his birth certificate blank until the hearing. (You can see why having such an amazing team and partnership in Brandi and Bryan is so crucial. We are so lucky and beyond grateful to get to do this with them.)

The pre birth order is currently in draft form. We will know in the next couple of weeks if the judge signed off so we don’t have to go through the hoops of the post birth order.

One of my biggest hopes about trying to bring awareness to surrogacy is that stuff like this STOPS. States need to be more progressive and evolve in their definition of what makes a family.

We will be Tommy’s legal parents one way or another (if the pre order doesn’t work, then you do a post order and if that doesn’t work you do an adoption), but our attorney has NEVER had a post order NOT work so I have zero concerns there. In the end it know it will all be fine.  But the hoops you have to jump through…man.

Source: Google Images

Teagan’s Toddlermoon and Tommy’s 32 Week OB Appointment!

This week was big for both kiddos! Teagan went on her toddlermoon (think babymoon but for an only child before a new baby comes) and Tommy hiccuped and kicked his way to 32.5 weeks along as of today! 😉

Travis was sent to Seattle for 10 days for work, so we bummed 5 nights of his 10 day trip and joined him for a fun trip to Seattle and made it Teagan’s toddlermoon!

We used to live in Seattle for 4 years and Teagan was born there. She hadn’t been back since she was 18 months old. My husband regularly travels there for work and I have been back to visit a couple times in the last 2 years since we moved, but Teags has never been back since the day we moved away…

So we took advantage of the opportunity and took her while it was still easy enough to do 😉 Well okay with a three year old it was still a lot of hard work but you get where I am going…

We spent our first day running around Downtown with her friend Zoe from babyhood. The girls especially loved throwing rocks in the sound.

The second day we drove to Portland and Teagan got a tour of the city from her buddy Noah on the back of his red trike.

The third day we showed her her old house, park and the mountains we used to live in. Then that night we took her on a street car to Amazon’s campus and showed her where daddy works!

The forth day we spent picking flowers on the top of a mountain with old buddies Luca and Sophia and having a picnic with Ellie.

And on the last and final day we spent it with Ava, Luca and Sophia at a farm.

Tommy had a big week too.

He is officially head down and squirmed for mom during his OB appointment today! The end is getting so close and Brandi and I are so excited for all that is to come. The reward after so much work to get him here!

She showed up to the appointment with the sweetest gifts for both kiddos.

And on another HUGE note, Tommy’s future best friend was born this week. Remember my twin sister was expecting a boy, her first, only 9 weeks apart from when we are due? Well she had him this week. Presenting Baby Ben! The boys will grow up together and the whole family is just over the moon.