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Old 09-18-2013, 08:07 AM
 
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Can they do that? IDK, I imagine that it has to be done through a lab?

One great thing is that she DOES seem to take court seriously, like apparently she plans to show up, if OP won't withdraw his petition. A mama who was a real b*d a$$ would just not show up . . .
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:11 AM
 
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Is it possible that she doesn't want to bring the baby because she's afraid the judge will order DNA testing on the spot?

 

It's unlikely that any court would be equipped to take DNA samples on the spot, and process them to anyone's satisfaction, but it's possible that the mother thinks they would.  If that's the case, not bringing the baby could be an additional delaying tactic, but it doesn't get her much - a few days at most.

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Old 09-18-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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Can they do that? IDK, I imagine that it has to be done through a lab?

One great thing is that she DOES seem to take court seriously, like apparently she plans to show up, if OP won't withdraw his petition. A mama who was a real b*d a$$ would just not show up . . .

Oh I'm certain that a court isn't equipped to take a DNA sample on site, but does she know that.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think she is that uninformed. There's a reason she tried so hard to make me withdraw the petition- because she knows she would look bad if she tried delaying it after I filed. I got her petition for her county in the mail today, so she wasn't completely lying about filing it. I hope I'm making the right choice by sticking to the date tomorrow. I have to just remind myself that she would have found a reason to demonize and blame me for all of this no matter how much I appeased her.

 

I have to admit though, I'm really nervous about tomorrow. I've never been to court before and have no idea what to expect. She said "we aren't going to make it easy for you" so I wonder who "we" is... her and her boyfriend? her mom? a lawyer?

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Old 09-18-2013, 12:46 PM
 
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I read 'we' to be her and her BF or her and the baby. You won't probably need a lawyer for them to just order a paternity test, which is likely all that will happen tomorrow, the court really can't proceed without that, altho if I were you I would gather all the proof you can that she initially told you you were the father.

 

After that, you won't have to worry, because YOU will be getting a lawyer.

 

Expect tons of other people to be there with their cases too. And remember, we are all rooting for you!

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Old 09-18-2013, 12:48 PM
 
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Just food for thought: she would HAVE to file for paternity if she wants any social services for her and the baby. And unless she wants to put BF on the hook for Child Support (which I am sure he wouldn't agree to), she would have to file as part of her application. So it could be not entirely out of the goodness of her heart that she actually filed.

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Old 09-18-2013, 01:27 PM
 
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Don't be too nervous about court.  Go in with any record you can of her telling you that she was pregnant, and that you were the dad.  So the text she sent you, any emails about the issue, whatever you have.  All you're asking for right now is a paternity test.

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Old 09-18-2013, 05:42 PM
 
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I don't think she is that uninformed. There's a reason she tried so hard to make me withdraw the petition- because she knows she would look bad if she tried delaying it after I filed. I got her petition for her county in the mail today, so she wasn't completely lying about filing it. I hope I'm making the right choice by sticking to the date tomorrow. I have to just remind myself that she would have found a reason to demonize and blame me for all of this no matter how much I appeased her.

 

I have to admit though, I'm really nervous about tomorrow. I've never been to court before and have no idea what to expect. She said "we aren't going to make it easy for you" so I wonder who "we" is... her and her boyfriend? her mom? a lawyer?

I just want to comment: Talk to a lawyer about the other court date. You may want to show up to both (And show that you appeared at both, bring recorsd of the first one/etc so you can explain to the judge that you already did all this in the other county) just to make sure that it doesn't show up that you were summoned and failed to show.

 

Good luck!


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Old 09-19-2013, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So here's what happened:

 

I showed up this morning with my father. She was already there with her father, who I've never met before. It was kind of surreal seeing her, since the last time I did was early March. It was also very awkward and uncomfortable in general, but I guess that's the nature of family court. We spoke to the magistrate and she was about to order the paternity test. Baby Mama interrupted and asked if she would have to bring the baby all the way back to my county for the test, saying she's too young to travel this far. The magistrate didn't really have an answer, and at that point I mentioned my summons that I got for her county. The magistrate said that honestly, because it will eventually have to be transferred to her county anyways, just withdrawing my own and showing up at hers next week would actually be fastest. Also, since I live in an urban area and her county is much more "country", things should get processed faster. I guess I run the risk of her "knowing someone" in her county but at this point I had to listen to what the magistrate said, so I withdrew.

 

So essentially, Baby Mama was right all along. I apologized to her for making her drive and told her I would pay for whatever costs she incurred having the baby watched while she came. Actually though, it wasn't really a waste of time. I think her physically seeing me softened her a bit. She isn't really the confrontational type. She told me it was fine and she was sorry for getting angry with me, and that she's not a crazy liar or anything. She said she only wants to resolve this just as quickly as I do. It wasn't the time for a war of words, so I agreed with her, introduced myself to her father and shook his hand, and was on my way. The new court date is a week from tomorrow, and she said that afterwards we can go for lunch and she'll bring the baby. So, I actually feel better even though I know I still have to be on guard for her tricks and manipulation. All things considered, I think I made the right move by sticking to my guns and making her show up today, even if in hindsight I should have just listened to her and withdrew.

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Old 09-19-2013, 10:04 PM
 
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You definitely did the right thing. I get that she's a good person and is just probably scared, but she needs to know that she can't play around with you. It's a good thing that you stuck with your guns. These things almost never go totally amicably and sometimes you really have to stand your ground, even if it causes some discord. Good for you for working so hard to see your baby girl. I think it's awesome. Trust me, as a single mom, the world needs more dads like you.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:05 PM
 
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Oh and please keep us updated! You've got a whole team of support here who wants to see that you get to have a relationship with your little one.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:12 AM
 
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I'm glad it wasn't too scary for you.  Good luck at the future court date!


V + E=baby G in 2012.  Rural Midwestern homesteaders going back to their roots.

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” -Paulo Coelho 

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Old 09-20-2013, 12:36 PM
 
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It sounds like the experience was positive overall, mostly because of the "humanizing"aspect of it. And you'll meet the baby soon! Assuming she sticks with the plan. You are doing the right thing. Sending you all my support!

Queer parent on the adventure of a lifetime raising my sweet little guy, born at home in September 2012, with the love of my life by my side!
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:02 PM
 
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:26 PM
 
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It is important for you to realize that if you ARE the father, you are still being wronged by meeting the baby 6 weeks in, @ a location & time she decides. You should have access to YOUR child on your own terms, not on her terms. Even if it seems amicable now, the possible outcome here is that you send 17% of your income weekly, for 18 years & get little to no access. You have to be the strongest advocate for yourself to get a better deal than that, the deal you deserve. The fact still stands that if you had not initiated this legal proceeding, you would just be some dude she blocked on FB.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:13 PM
 
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It is important for you to realize that if you ARE the father, you are still being wronged by meeting the baby 6 weeks in, @ a location & time she decides. You should have access to YOUR child on your own terms, not on her terms.

 

The attitude of MY child on MY terms is really not helpful in shared custody situations though.

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Old 09-20-2013, 04:00 PM
 
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I get that, but that is exactly the additude that results in a father not meeting his baby for 6 weeks & only then, across a table, over lunch with the custodial parent.

My read here is that OP is the BioDad, OP Baby Mama knows it, & is using the paternity test as a way to hold onto sole custody for as long as possible . . . We'll see what the test says, but I anticipate that even when (IMO) it comes back positive, it will be a real paradigm shift for her to allow anything beyond supervised visitation @ her spot for the OP & I am just sayin', I see the OP really needing to be legally assertive to accomplish that paradigm shift.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:15 PM
 
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I really am not able to say with any certainty what the situation is, but the following things are true:

Family courts are most interested in children's rights, not parent's rights.
Verifying paternity is a reasonable first step before signing a child up for an emotionally intense, ongoing relationship with a comparative stranger. It saves all kinds of shocks later.
It will not help the OP to harass his child's mother.
In situations where parents aren't sharing living space, they will both, at various times, have to compromise in terms of access to the children.
There is a legitimate argument to be made that the OP's daughter is too young to leave her mother at this time, so the OP's access is likely to involve her.
In the long term, the best results, will come from adults being reasonable.

The mom in this situation has pitched some drama, but she's also had some drama pitched at her. It's to be hoped that she'll come around. Grandstanding about rights the OP doesn't have won't make that happen.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:10 PM
 
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Everything MeepyCat said. Exactly.

jamie. crinkly (not quite crunchy) mama to 3 amazing little girls, an awesome little boy, and a baby girl making her debut at the end of this summer.

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Old 09-20-2013, 09:52 PM
 
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I so strongly disagree that the mother has had 'drama pitched at her' ... how? Because the father is fighting for the right to know his child? By taking it through the courts? I agree that a 'screw you, I'll do what I want' attitude doesn't help anyone, but OP definitely needs to stand up strongly for his parental rights, because truly, she has not shown any conciliatory efforts towards involving him in the child's life. Either because she knows he is not the biological parent and this is all soon to end, or because she knows he is and she doesn't want to be involved with him. Unfortunately (for all) the reality is that if a biological mother wishes to have a say in a relationship with the biological father, she should either choose to conceive the child within a committed relationship, or choose not to keep the child. I can't even imagine the pain and fear and challenge of trying to negotiate a child-rearing relationship with someone you barely know, but that is what you sign up for when you choose to give birth to a child with someone you barely know. You have to embrace the challenge that is, and this woman seems to want to ignore the reality that this child has a father, with ethical and legal rights to a relationship with the baby. 

 

For what it's worth, OP, I've been through an unbelievably similar situation (although from different angles...) ... and I am supporting you like everyone else here. I think you are doing everything right. Being respectful is so important, but you do NOT need to accommodate or bend over backwards for this woman. The relationship you are building (or will be) is with your CHILD... and that can be negotiated mainly through the courts, and with professional, respectful, business relationship with her. She is the one who decided things couldn't be more casual and familial than that. Respect her, be kind to her, but you are NOT making drama by taking her through the court and fighting for your rights as a father. Believe me, you will not get any if you don't FIGHT for those rights. 

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Old 09-20-2013, 10:42 PM
 
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Well said. If this woman hadn't tried to block him out of her life then he probably would never have taken it to the courts.

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Old 09-21-2013, 05:43 AM
 
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I'm not saying the OP shouldn't take it through th court system - he should. And I'm certainly not defending some of the mother's attempts to not have it go there, or to yank the OP around.

But if the baby's mother had shown up asking for advice, we might well be advising her to do some of the things she's doing. We'd tell her to make the dad petition the court for a paternity test. We'd tell her to argue that the child couldn't have independent visitation with dad so young. We'd argue the needs of the breastfeeding infant. We might point out that dads in this situation sometimes lose interest if contact is not easy, and a little legal stonewalling might make him go away if he doesnt care all that much, because that's reality for loads of families, and better to never have him meet the baby then have him break your kid's heart later.

So I understand the OP's frustration, but I think it would be wise to keep an open mind about the other side.

While initial arrangements are going to have to involve the courts, in the long term, it will be better if not everything goes to court. That's time consuming, slow, and expensive. Years from now, the OP won't be able to bring in a judge to figure out how to cope with school plays and sleepaway camp and the way shared custody affects them. He's going to have to work with her mom, and keep his child's beat interests in mind.

Establish paternity. Get an agreement in place about custody and support. Remember it's not about the adults.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:31 AM
 
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I'm not saying the OP shouldn't take it through th court system - he should. And I'm certainly not defending some of the mother's attempts to not have it go there, or to yank the OP around.

But if the baby's mother had shown up asking for advice, we might well be advising her to do some of the things she's doing. We'd tell her to make the dad petition the court for a paternity test. We'd tell her to argue that the child couldn't have independent visitation with dad so young. We'd argue the needs of the breastfeeding infant. We might point out that dads in this situation sometimes lose interest if contact is not easy, and a little legal stonewalling might make him go away if he doesnt care all that much, because that's reality for loads of families, and better to never have him meet the baby then have him break your kid's heart later.

So I understand the OP's frustration, but I think it would be wise to keep an open mind about the other side.

While initial arrangements are going to have to involve the courts, in the long term, it will be better if not everything goes to court. That's time consuming, slow, and expensive. Years from now, the OP won't be able to bring in a judge to figure out how to cope with school plays and sleepaway camp and the way shared custody affects them. He's going to have to work with her mom, and keep his child's beat interests in mind.

Establish paternity. Get an agreement in place about custody and support. Remember it's not about the adults.

YOU might be. That doesn't mean we ALL would be.  If she was 100% forthcoming with the entire situation- ESPECIALLY the part about saying "It's definitely yours" and including him, then when she gets a new boyfriend dropping him despite numerous attempts to politely keep contact- I certainly would not be as sympathetic. I'd be telling her to grow up, accept her mistake, and be honest with the poor guy.

 

 

I would certainly point out that it's better for everyone if they can get along with each other and not have to go through the courts for every damn thing. A lot of people on the single parenting forums point out the same thing- it saves everyone a ton of money and heartache. My partner and I are both children of divorced parents who worked out custody/visitation/child support OUTSIDE the courts and changed the rules to fit their growing family's needs without having to get lawyer'd up. This is the best thing for the children, as far as I'm concerned. It's far less stressful for the parents than having to get lawyers and fight. The best situation for the children is for the parents to be able to get along enough to be the co-parents that they ARE.

 

This woman's actions? That is NOT setting up a mutually respectful, civil co-parenting relationship.

 

Why couldn't she file for the paternity test? Especially after the message to the mother making it clear he wasn't just letting this go. If she had filed first, it would have been in her county in the first place and she wouldn't have traveled so far. It would have been on her terms and she wouldn't have had that unpleasant episode over text.

 

And where does it say that she's breastfeeding, exactly? I can't remember him saying she's breastfed, much less exclusively breastfed. I doubt the OP knows enough to know if she is or not- for all we know, this baby is formula fed or fed by donor breast milk. 

Where does it say that a breastfeeding child doesn't get to spend alone time with her own father? Especially after the first month, when breastfeeding has been established. He mentioned she has a good job- which I imagine she will be returning to, so sooner or later she will be leaving her child with someone else, having to pump milk to feed to the baby.  Why not with the baby's own father?  I doubt this will be resolved in 2 weeks and some people DO go back to work after 8 weeks- babies have to deal with being away from their mothers that soon all the time.

 

I can agree that it's too soon for overnights- but letting him take the child to the park for an hour or two?  CLEARLY she is able to be away from that child- or else the baby would have been brought to court. Why can't the baby be away from her mother by being with her father, but it's okay for the baby to be away from her mother with other people?

 

I had FINALS when my baby was 2 weeks old- yeah, I had to have someone else watch him so I could take tests. We actually just left him with my dad for an entire day so we could get all of our tests done. It was heartwrenching, but it had to be done. By the time this is all done and the paternity results are in, the child will probably be 2 months old. The child can spend a few hours with her father ALONE.


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Old 09-21-2013, 11:16 AM
 
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YOU might be. That doesn't mean we ALL would be.  If she was 100% forthcoming with the entire situation- ESPECIALLY the part about saying "It's definitely yours" and including him, then when she gets a new boyfriend dropping him despite numerous attempts to politely keep contact- I certainly would not be as sympathetic. I'd be telling her to grow up, accept her mistake, and be honest with the poor guy.

Exactly what I was thinking. I would not have advised her to do any of the things she's done.

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Old 09-26-2013, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, in about seven hours I will be journeying to court down in her county. It's about a two hour drive but I probably should get used to it at this point. After the court, we are going to meet for lunch and she is bringing the baby for me to meet. All of the negative feelings I have towards baby mama are on hold for now... I feel like this is going to be the most meaningful day of my life thus far.

 

I don't know if I mentioned this, but I actually work at a very popular baby retailer (I won't say where but I'm sure you can figure it out). I've been there for five years now and regularly do car seat safety seminars, set up new registries with mommies-to-be, and inform people on different types of bottles and breast pumps. Considering also I've also worked at a daycare and my grandparents run a very high-esteemed in home daycare, being around babies is a lot less foreign to me than most guys my age. It doesn't make me any less nervous, though.

 

At work tonight I got a little gift basket together for her. I wasn't sure if it was going too far or whatnot, but in the grand scheme of things I think a nice gesture like this could go a long way. I got little toys to hang on her infant car seat (which I'm sure won't be one of the brands I typically recommend :irked ), some swaddling blankets, a security blanket, the ever popular "Sophie The Giraffe" and a ton of the free samples of wipes, pads, and butt paste.

 

I don't know what to expect or how the dynamic is going to be. I don't know how I will react to meeting this little girl face to face... I decided it's best that I go alone however. My mother is angry that I won't bring her along, but I think that the first time should just involve myself. Maybe that seems trivial, but I'm sticking to it.

 

As always, thanks for your continued efforts to help me through this. I'll be sure to let you all know how I make out tomorrow. After all of this misery and gloom, I can't help but feel slightly optimistic for what's in store. Hopefully I'm not being naive!

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Old 09-26-2013, 11:14 PM
 
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Best wishes tomorrow. I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:22 PM
 
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I think the gift basket is a fantastic idea! Good luck tomorrow!

Married 12/08 to Chilean DH and mama to DD 2/2/10. We're a bilingual home and we familybed1.gif and toddler.gif

 

Expecting #2 in late June!

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Old 09-27-2013, 01:57 AM
 
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OP would you like me to move this to Single Parenting, I'm thinking it's probably the better forum for it now smile.gif however I don't want to move it without your knowledge smile.gif

PS: I have just stayed up waaaay too late reading the entire thread! I am sending lots of positive thoughts and well wishes for tomorrow. Hoping to hear a good update smile.gif

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Old 09-27-2013, 04:46 AM
 
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Best of luck for tomorrow! And that is a very lovely gesture with the gift basket.


Mama to my little Lily luxlove.gif (09/2010), and a sweet baby boy joy.gif (12/2012)

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Old 09-27-2013, 10:59 AM
 
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Good luck! Thinking of you and hoping for the best.

Queer parent on the adventure of a lifetime raising my sweet little guy, born at home in September 2012, with the love of my life by my side!
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