Tommy’s Arrival Journey by Brandi

It’s been a week since Tommy was a bun in my oven.  The journey ended in the most unpredictable way we could have imagined.  And honestly, a little scary.  It’s taken me this last week to really process what exactly happened.  And for me it’s deepened my faith! There is no way that what happened is anything short of what God had planned according to His perfect will!

So this is the last picture I took at exactly 39 weeks, just before heading into the hospital to get checked and start the induction process.


We knew Tommy was pretty big. We knew this since our 20 week ultrasound.  But I don’t think we knew just how big until the end.

Once I got checked in around 1:00 we started on cytotec.  This was given about every two hours, for up to six doses, to start the softening of my cervix and begin contracting.  The doctor and nurses, based on their experience, told us it may take 2-3 doses, then we would start the pitocin.  This is where the long journey began.  I had all six doses. 😕

My body was responding, but quite slowly.  Our original plan was for Tory and Travis to come down to the hospital  when I started the pit.   But they were too excited so they came down around 8:30!  At that point I was getting my fifth dose of cytotec.  I was 50-60% effaced but still only 1.5 cm.

At 12:30 am on Monday I got my last dose of cytotec and went back to sleep. At 2:00 a doctor check showed my cervix was still unchanged.  Around 2:30 our doctor started cervidil, which could be in for up to 12 hours. This would help soften the cervix.  I was checked again at 9:30 (Monday morning…) but had not dilated any more.

Fast-forward to 1:00 pm (now 24 hours in). We started yet another man-made solution to bring Tommy into this world. A foley balloon catheter.  This would be to dilate my cervix manually.  It did help to bring on some pretty strong contractions, and close together, too!  So we started the pitocin.  I was having some pretty good pain but wasn’t ready for the epidural yet so the nurse gave me a dose of fentanyl.  With fentanyl, pain relief only lasts one to two hours.  But with the contractions I was experiencing we thought that may be ok.  Maybe things were actually progressing!  But of course, just as my body had been showing throughout the last 24 hours, it was not ready to respond fast enough.  So in goes a 2nd dose of fentanyl.  Most common side effect – nauseau and vomiting.  So now I was given zofran to help with the nauseau.  I was checked at 3:30 pm only to be dilated to a 2-3.  But my pain was strong enough that we decided to start the epidural.  It was working enough to help me calm my body that I was now at a 3 at 5:30!

Maybe things were finally starting to progress and we were going to go quicker.  This is what my body had done four times before with my kids; once I got the epidural my body steadily moved right along!

But just kidding.  A 7:45 pm check still had me at a 3.😢. Our doctor continued to up the pitocin.

11:30 pm, still only 3 cm dilated.

It was at this point where my emotions started getting real.  I was exhausted at this point.  Almost 36 hours into forcing labor on my body, with very little sleep, and nothing to show for it. Our doctor decided to gather Travis and Tory into our room for a conference about where to go from here.  We had a few options yet to explore.  We could

1) stop everything and send me home.                                     2) break my water and continue to up pitocin, committing us to being there for another 24 hours, ending with a baby somehow.                                                                                            3) c-section now.

So let me interject here.  From about 34/36 weeks on, the one thing I kept saying to others, my doctor, God, was that I did not want to labor for a long time, have Tommy get stuck because of how big he was, THEN have to have a c-section.  In fact, I pleaded with God and asked whole-heartedly to NOT have a c-section. Now it was on the table as a real option.

I cried.  My one fear was staring at me.  I had to be able to bounce back after having Tommy.  I wasn’t going to have a baby to “force” me to sit and heal.  I had four kids at home whose lives didn’t stop just because I had to heal.   Other than a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, I had never had a surgery.  I was scared of the actual procedure as well as the recovery time.

We decided to break my water and continue pitocin.  We got to the highest dose of 20 units (probably not the right term, but whatever…lol).  That took us to 2:00 am, where there was still no significant change.  I was very nauseous, experiencing chills and still having contractions.  So signs of active labor!  But nothing actually happening.  So at 2:30 am our doctor had one more thing to try – an intrauterine contraction pressure monitor.  See, the monitor could tell us when I was having contractions.  And they looked like pretty mountains, and I could feel them even with the epidural.  So you would think strong enough to produce a baby!  But the IUCP would give more information on the strength the contractions actually had in dilating my cervix.

During these last several hours is when I went into prayer.  Complete prayer.  Bryan was sleeping so it was the perfect time to converse with God.  At this point I knew He had a different plan for how this all was going to play out.  My prayer at this point was for safety for me and Tommy, as well as peace about whatever He was planning.

At 4:30 am Tuesday morning, our second day on this delivery journey, our doctor came in to share the news that the IUCP wasn’t giving accurate information. And the next decision to be made was to have the c-section.  The crazy part was, I had totally surrendered to God’s plan and was at total peace.  I knew He had this!  (I’m crying as I type this…even a week out it’s still so fresh in my heart.)

And what followed was, in my opinion, nothing short of God’s amazing grace and provision!!  We went into surgery after switching my epidural out for a spinal.  (Can I say, being a control freak, this was NOT something I liked…not having ANY control of my lower body.)  They started another IV line for me in case anything was needed.  Then they started the surgery.  I could feel the pressure but no pain, just as they had told me.  And all of a sudden I hear the whole room gasp and comment about the size of Tommy’s head!!!  Saying there was no way that head was coming out vaginally!  Lol.  And then another gasp and more comments when the doctor pulled out his shoulders!  Tommy was here!!!  And he was healthy!!!!

And then things changed.  I had what is called placenta accreta. 1 in 2,500 pregnancies experience this. It’s where my placenta was growing into the uterine wall.  Another doctor was called in.  And the scraping began.  They had to scrape away my placenta from the muscle of the uterus.  I could start feeling pain, not just pressure.  So they put more of the spinal medicine in.  I lost a fair amount of blood due to this – 900 ml.  But once again God’s grace was shown.  Out of the 2,500 women who go through this, only 10% of them do not have to have a blood transfusion.  I was one of the 10%!

A surgery that should have taken about 30 minutes took almost an hour and forty minutes.  My older daughter later told me she was concerned.  Bryan, my rock through all of this, was scared he was going to have to make the decision for me to have a hysterectomy…something we had not discussed.  It was a scary moment in this journey.

Once I was in recovery and was told what happened I knew the exact reason why God grew Tommy too big to birth vaginally.  Why He gave me peace about having a c-section, even though it was the ONE thing I asked not to have.  He knew better.  He knew what the doctor couldn’t have found on any ultrasound.  God knew that if I were to try to fight like hell to push Tommy out vaginally (although it kind of feels like we tried) and the doctors found the placenta accreta blindly, that there would have been a lot more blood loss, and I would have been rushed back in for emergency surgery anyways.

God is good.  His provision is full of grace.  And His ways are higher than our ways.  Always.

The recovery has been good.  And the pain I experience through the healing is worth every second now that I get to see the family I helped create.  I am healthy.  Tommy is healthy. And he is beautiful.  My heart is full!

As far as another surrogacy journey (which many of you have asked me about along the way), I was told I cannot.  A c-section with placenta accreta increases the likelihood that I would have it again.  In this case it would be too dangerous for me to be pregnant again, mine and Bryan’s or a surrogate baby.  So after a heart dream that has been stirring in my heart since 1998, I have been blessed to achieve that heart dream.  To bless another family.  And for that I am beyond grateful!!



38 weeks and Tommy’s LAST ultrasound!

Tory here!

We are a whopping 38 weeks this week! His due date is June 17! Today we had his 38 week appointment and his final ultrasound.

The next time we all see him, he will be on the outside 😱😍!!!

The ultrasound tech referred to him as a sumo baby, I call him Hercules! This kid’s head is measuring in at 41 weeks, 3 weeks ahead of schedule. His legs and stomach meaure in at 40 weeks. Overall he is measuring exactly 2 weeks ahead in size!

Over at the Daudelin household, cellphones are on constantly waiting for “the call”.  The dog days of pregnancy, as our OBGYN put it, are well under way for all involved. Brandi in discomfort and us in anxiety for that call!

His last ultrasound pics! A very squished little Tommy!

Tommy you have been in the works for 18 months. Yup, a year and a half. You can choose to come any time now… 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

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.




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!



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…

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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


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!!!