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Nicole loses the baby and is heartbroken. Brady, who was there because Nicole called him when she couldn't get a hold of EJ, is told by the doctors, who assume that he is the baby's father. Brady comforts Nicole and offers his support through this tragic time. Nicole dreads having to tell EJ the truth when he returns from his business trip with Stefano. Upon the DiMeras return, they shower Nicole with gifts they picked up on their trip for the baby. EJ is showing Nicole so much love and even proposes to her so they can be an official family when the baby arrives. Nicole can't find it in herself to tell EJ the truth, and makes Brady promise to keep it a secret as well. When Brady asks Nicole how she's going to continue the charade, Nicole reveals a pregnancy pad that she's going to use until she figures out what to do next. She isn't going to lose EJ and she needs a baby to ensure that happens.

EJ and Nicole marry over the holidays in a small ceremony at the DiMera mansion. Tony is EJ's best man, while Chloe is Nicole's maid of honor. Brandon Walker returns to town to walk Nicole down the aisle. While getting ready for the wedding, Nicole raises Chloe's suspicions when Chloe offers to help Nicole with her dress, but Nicole pushes her away. EJ and Nicole recite their vows and are married in front of their family and friends. EJ has a honeymoon planned for the two of them, but Nicole fears that EJ will want to make love on the honeymoon and she won't be able to excuse herself, so she makes up an excuse to get out of going on the honeymoon, one that EJ believes. Instead, EJ gives the honeymoon package to Tony and Anna, and the two leave for their second honeymoon (and they won't be back).

Time is ticking and Nicole must get herself a bigger pregnancy pad to make the growth believable. Brady learns Nicole has been researching the purchase of babies on the black market and realizes how desperate she really is. Brady gets an idea and tells Nicole that he may have a solution to her problem. Brady introduces Nicole to Randi, a pregnant woman that Brady used to do drugs with years ago. Randi has been clean for months now, before she became pregnant, but she got pregnant and wants to give the baby up for adoption...for a price. Nicole assures Randi that money isn't an option and offers her a fortune, on the agreement that Nicole goes along with Randi to all of her appointments to insure that the baby is healthy. The ladies agree to the agreement, and while Brady still doesn't agree with Nicole's decision to lie, he wants to see Nicole happy and with a healthy baby, and he would be helping out Randi as well.

Throughout Randi's pregnancy, Nicole goes with her to appointments and the two become somewhat friends. One day, Chloe spots Nicole and Randi at the hospital together, and Chloe recognizes Randi as one of Brady's old junkie friends. Chloe confronts Nicole, and while Nicole tries to lie, Chloe lifts Nicole's shirt up and pulls out her pregnancy pad. Nicole asks Chloe to keep this a secret and explains everything that happend. Chloe is hurt that Nicole didn't confide the secret in her since they're friends, but agrees to keep the truth a secret.

Randi's due date is quickly approaching and Nicole notices that Randi is starting to enjoy the pregnancy, and notices that Randi is caressing her stomach more often, as well as talking to the baby. Nicole doesn't like this and asks Randi if she plans on flaking out. Randi admits that she has second thoughts, but she needs the money and can't give the baby the life it needs on her own. She agrees to keep her promise and give the baby to Nicole. To keep the birth a secret, Nicole hires a midwife that will come to a secluded house where she will deliver Randi's baby. Nicole will also happen to be at this house, on business, which will explain why she ddin't go to the hospital and had to give birth at this house, away from EJ. The midwife delivers a healthy baby girl. When the midwife offers to let Randi hold the baby, Nicole protests and tells Randi that it won't be wise because she will then become connected to the baby. Nicole takes the baby and rocks her in her arms, proud that her plan was a success. After the midwife and Randi are paid their dues and away from the house, Nicole calls Brady, who arrives and is surprised to see Nicole with a baby. Nicole asks Brady to lie one last time and say he delivered the baby because they were stuck in this house together and couldn't get to the hospital. Nicole sets up the scene and places herself in the position that Randi was in while giving birth, and tells Brady to call EJ and the ambulance. EJ arrives and shares this special moment with Nicole and "their" baby.

Weeks and even months pass, and EJ and Nicole are enjoying their time as new parents with their daughter, Deanna. Just when Nicole thinks her life couldn't get any better, a man and wife show up at the DiMera mansion, claiming to be Randi's parents and they want Randi's baby. Nicole learns that Randi took the money she gave her and bought drugs and became an addict again. Not caring about what happens, Randi told her parents where the baby was, despite not wanting anything to do with the baby. Nicole denies the couple's claim and refuses to let them see the baby. She tells them that the baby is hers and she claims to not know who Randi is. The couple spot Brady coming to the mansion, and realize that he's involved and that Nicole is lying. While they can't do anything, and it'll be hard to get custody of the baby on their own, they track down the baby's father, who wants to be a part of the baby's life and they bring him to Salem to reclaim his daughter.

The baby's father and Randi's parents arrive at the mansion with officers and EJ and Nicole are forced to allow a doctor to get a DNA sample from the baby because she might not be theirs. EJ confronts Nicole, and while she tries to lie, he can see right through her and she breaks down and confesses that the baby is not theirs. Their baby died and Nicole found a mother that didn't want her baby so she agreed to give it to Nicole. Legally, the baby is theirs. EJ is very hurt by Nicole's lies, but has grown connected to the little girl and vows to fight to keep Deanna.

A long custody battle is drawn out and when Nicole's shady dealings of how she kept the truth of the switch a secret are revealed, the judge grants Deanna's biological father custody. EJ is devestated to lose his daughter and really lashes out on Nicole for all of her lies. EJ kicks Nicole out of the mansion and files for divorce, vowing to never want to see her pathetic face again.

Feeling alone and like there is nothing else in the world, Nicole turns to the bottle and hard. It'll be Brady that helps her through this downward spiral and the two reconnect and realize that they're in love with each other. That is why Brady agreed to help her through all of this. He just wants to see her happy. Nicole realizes that she can be happy with Brady.
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