Thank You--Intro, which got long — The Bump
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Thank You--Intro, which got long

TL;DR: the bold part is the most important bit.

I just wanted to say thank you to all the people who post on this board. I'm mainly a lurker, but the information I've read on this board has been invaluable. So many of my questions have been answered just by reading what has already been shared. It's also reassuring to hear that I'm not entering single motherhood alone.

I'm currently 16w5d along and am due around October 29th. At about 2 months I decided that I could no longer be in a relationship with my baby's father. We had been dating for about 3 months when I discovered I was pregnant. Things went much faster than I thought they would and there are some decisions I wish I had made differently, but I'm excited for the fall and all the new challenges and adventures it will bring. I had a bad feeling about the relationship and was not happy. He lives about forty minutes away and every time I faced driving to his town I would break down in tears, completely unhappy. I was going to try and deal with it for the baby's sake, but I decided early on that the baby would be better off with a happy mom than one who dreaded seeing its dad. 

BD hadn't done anything wrong exactly, but things did not sit right with me. He lived in a three room (living/kitchen, bathroom, 1 bedroom) apartment with his mother and slept on the couch. He is 38 years old and is perfectly content with this arrangement. If he wasn't sleeping there he was crashing on his best friend's couch--a house where drug use is common, but kept hidden from me (I would ask where he would disappear to and he wouldn't tell me or I would ask what was in the upstairs area where I had never been allowed to go and the subject would be changed or he would play dumb). His job is one that teenagers typically work and is part time only (2 pm to 5:30 pm during the week, only if school is in session). He has had three jobs in the last year and as soon as he started dating me he quit working with a catering company that supplemented his income. He only contributed to the cost of our dates if he had been paid that day or the day before. If I wasn't available to do something for him he waited for his mother to come home to do for him (buying groceries, getting medicine when sick, doing dishes, etc). We got a bad snow/ice storm while we were dating and he had the chance to go home, but decided to stay in my town, snowed in at a coworker's house where he hadn't asked or been invited to stay (an "oops I'm stuck" situation, even though he planned it). Before he got stuck at the coworker's his plan had been to get snowed in at work. His reason? He didn't want to be cut off "from the parties and fun". He would rather go out clubbing on the weekends (at almost 40) than spend time with me and in the process lost his (only) coat and wallet at a club. He gave out his social security number over the phone and had no worries that something could go wrong. His car is his only bill and is brand new when he doesn't have the finances to pay for it at all. This ridiculously long paragraph is only the tip of the iceberg of things that aren't 'bad' necessarily but put me off. I would have broken up with him no matter what the situation, it just came sooner because I began to think about the future and our child and not just myself. 

I'm not perfect. I would never admit to being so. I live with my parents because I teach high school in my hometown and they have an entire floor of their house that they were able to give me as my own apartment. I have my own entrance and I pay the bills that are in my name and contribute to the ones that are in theirs. I also buy my grandparents' groceries every month because they live on a fixed income. 

I know I am as complicit in this situation as he is and so I worry that others will think that I'm choosing to not be with him as punishment for me becoming pregnant unexpectedly. I know I shouldn't worry about what others think, but I live in a small town and people talk. When I broke up with him I told him that I would keep him updated and tell him about appointments. I've since told him that I am not comfortable with him being at the doctor's visits with me and that I will update him once a month (putting a firm line down because he was not respecting my wish of only communicating when I needed to give him an update; he was messaging me every Friday, not always about the pregnancy, and at odd hours and getting upset when I didn't respond right away). I don't plan to have him anywhere near me while giving birth and the baby will have my last name. He is in no position to give child support and I'm in no need of it. I don't want to shut him out of the child's life completely, but I dread having to deal with him in the future. Is there anything wrong with not putting him on the birth certificate and letting him pursue visitation and and all of that on his own? I won't stand in his way of what is reasonable, but I'm not going out of my way either, if that makes sense. I did enough going out of my way while we dated when I did all the driving to and from his house (even while pregnant and car rides made me sick, which he couldn't seem to understand).

Re: Thank You--Intro, which got long

  • First of all, congrats on your bun :)

    And it shouldn't matter what others think as long as what you're doing is for the health and benefit of your child.  That guy sounds like a danger to the child and if people think you're punishing BD by "keeping his child away from him" then they should really figure out what parenting is all about.

    My ex was (is) a drug peddler. Mostly just weed and pills, nothing horribly bad (although, I guess that is debatable).  If his parents still lived in the area, I'm about 98% positive he'd be living with them.  Last I heard, he was homeless, but, also, that was 2 years ago.

    Your situation sounds close to what mine was like, except I was in a relationship with the dude for about 4 years, although we both saw the relationship ending right before I found out.  He lived in a small apartment alone, though, but instead of rent, he worked maintenance on the building.  He also stole bikes and sold them to make extra cash on top of the little money he was making selling weed/pills.  But towards the end, I hated going to see him, but I was also starting to think he was cheating, which he was. With a girl who had previously had a restraining order on him.  That's a whole other story!

    For me, I did not have him at the hospital when I gave birth, I gave security his picture so that he'd be barred from the premises. He's not on the birth certificate and I also did not seek child support.  I was/am able to provide for my DD without his help.  And, where I live, if he got $X behind, he'd go to jail which wouldn't help us anyway. 

     I only changed my mind about visits and stuff when he was a passenger in a pretty bad car accident where he was badly hurt and he reached out to me to tell me what happened, and we came to an agreement about visitation that would work out for both of us without having to go to court.  But he disappeared after 3 visits, his last text to me was to ask me about buying her a bond for her birthday and that was it. Haven't heard from him since.  Everyone who knows the both of us knows the situation and they know I'm not hiding my DD from him, but maybe things are different in smaller towns?  I live about 30-40 min away from a big city, so my town isn't small at all, but I know a lot of people in it.

    jek2016 said:
    Is there anything wrong with not putting him on the birth certificate and letting him pursue visitation and and all of that on his own? I won't stand in his way of what is reasonable, but I'm not going out of my way either, if that makes sense. I did enough going out of my way while we dated when I did all the driving to and from his house (even while pregnant and car rides made me sick, which he couldn't seem to understand).
    No.  My BD didn't try to see DD until she was 2 months anyway, even though I had told him that if he wanted to see her, we'd have to schedule a time.

    I was also the Chauffeur while we dated, and he lived a good 45 min from me.  Getting him to come to my house was like pulling teeth.  He also didn't understand why I wasn't making him the center of my universe.

    I hope I wasn't too rambly! 
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    crsanchez87
  • I agree with the pp. She actually always has really good advice. I think you need to do what's best for you and your baby and if you already have a bad feeling about him I wouldn't go out of my way to contact him anymore than you should. I've never been in a situation similar to yours but there is nothing wrong with the decision of not putting him on the birth certificate or visitation rights. There will always be someone who judges your parenting. Whether about how you feed them to what you name them to the way you hold them.  I've learned to just ignore them and do my best with what I know. 
    crsanchez87
  • Sounds like his situation would not be an ideal situation for sharing custody with, so do not put him on the birth certificate. If he wants visitation, he'll have to go through court. 
  • jek2016jek2016
    100 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    member
    Thank you all for your words and advice. Things have been rough today, but I'll get through it. BD is hearing rumors that I've told people he doesn't want anything to do with his child (which I haven't said anything of the sort, not even to my parents; I've always acknowledged that he wants to be involved and I can agree with that I just want it to be on my terms while I'm pregnant). He's opened a whole can of worms today that has made me realize that most of my coworkers know about my pregnancy but none have had the courage to come to me to ask me about it directly. 

  • Oh, something else I just remembered. If you don't have him on the BC, you won't have to worry about any need for him to terminate rights as he doesn't have any without going to court to be put on the BC. I couldn't sit and read my whole ramble (I'm at work, lol) but I eyeballed and didn't see that I mentioned that. If you agree to visits and stuff, have everything in writing.  No more phone calls, stick to texts and emails.  If he wants to call, let him leave a voicemail. Document, document, document.  Especially when it comes to agreements.  If he takes you to court, you have proof to back up whatever you say.
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    victoria98
  • Hello! Sorry, I just read the bolded part but what you described was my situation to a tee, 13 years ago! I did exactly what you were planning to do: gave the baby my own last name, didn't put dad's name on the birth certificate, didn't pressure for child support or campaign for any kind if involvement from him whatsoever. At the time, I was hoping he would just fade out of the picture, but instead he actually did jump through all the hoops to establish paternity and get court-ordered visitation and child support. We had a lot of rocky years but things have slowly mellowed over time and I have to say I am so grateful to my past self for doing things the way I did. My daughter has a decent relationship with her dad, I've gotten a little bit of child support here and there, and when I got married to a great guy 6 years ago, I was able to change both my own and my daughter's last names so we all share a common family name. It's nice. Life is sweet. Good luck to you!
  • jek2016jek2016
    100 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    member
    Thank you both! I cannot tell you how much your responses have helped me to feel better about my situation and the decisions I'm making. 

    20thirteen
  • Keep us posted :)
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  • An update: I spoke to an attorney today (a little awkward because the one I could get a consult with most quickly is the father of a student who is graduating Saturday :| ). I told him about dreading sending BD the next update and the stress I feel at the very thought. His first response was, "Well, then why are you contacting him?" I responded that I thought I had to and he said I don't have to contact him at all; if he wants an update then he should contact me and I should respond as I feel needed. When I told the attorney that I had asked that BD let me update him and why (contacting me every week, even about things non-child related), the attorney said that if BD cares enough as he says he does then he will contact me when he hasn't heard from me in a month or two and if he contacts me about anything but the health of the baby then I can tell him plainly that we will only be speaking about the baby. 

    So my game plan for now is to not worry about contacting BD anymore and only worry/think about him if he reaches out to me. Thanks again for all of your thoughts and advice!

    20thirteenvictoria98
  • I'm glad you spoke to that attorney! My attorney told me it would look good on my behalf if I contacted BD even though I didn't (since I knew BD wouldn't fight me about anything or take me to court).  I've been giving other pregnant single moms the same advice that my attorney gave me, so perhaps I'll stop giving that advice. :smile: 

    And yes, prop up your feet and relax! The less stress the better :) If he's as big a dirtbag as he sounds, you may not have to worry about him for long.  He sounds a lot like my ex, and if that's the case, he may disappear from your radar.  We can only hope, right?

    Sending you love!
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    victoria98
  • @jek2016  hello mama!  Just seeing how things are going with you :)
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  • @20thirteen thanks for checking on me. Things have been a lot of up and some down lately. The baby's father keeps forcing himself into my life, even when I try to keep him at an arm's length for my own sanity. I saw him from across a department store and he saw me but I was on a phone call and panicked and turned my back. He later texted to ask what the point of pretending I don't know him is. I told him I was merely caught off guard but that was enough of an answer so he proceeded to tell me he wanted to be there to hold my hand and have me hold his. All that told me is that he has not accepted the fact that we are not and will not be in a relationship beyond our mutual responsibility to this child.

    I told him I would (against the lawyer's advise, but he doesn't know that) continue to give him monthly updates and that's as often as he should hope to hear from me because any sooner would mean something wasn't going right. I also made it clear that I was not comfortable with anyone being at my appointments. Of course he can't leave well enough alone and has to go and text me today asking when my appointment is to find out the baby's sex. I told him that my next general checkup appointment is the middle of this month (true) and didn't address the baby's sex. I don't see any need for him to know the exact date of the appointment because he isn't welcome there. 

    Every time he messages me is either on a Friday or Saturday when I know he's been around his friends (99% of his texts) or on a holiday (today, July 4th). They throw me for a tail spin because he takes away the little control I feel like I'm able to have. He ruins my mood for days at a time and I sink into feelings that I know are not good for me or the baby. I can't get him to understand that, though. 

    Add to all of that that I was getting strange, almost threatening messages from fake Facebook accounts for a while (that have stopped since I blocked him, his family, and his closest friends--not a coincidence, I'm sure), lawn decorations have been broken at my house, fireworks have been set off in my yard (weeks ago, not 4th of July related), and I found a shot up Mountain Dew can in the yard. I'm a little on edge. I'd like to think all of that is just coincidence or to the credit of some bad neighbors, but I have a feeling he's involved somehow. I know he hangs around my neighborhood some weekends. 

    Other than that I've been happy to decorate the baby's nursery and start buying a few things. Some former students are throwing me a shower this month and I'm looking forward to that. I'm just trying to keep my thoughts on the baby and how happy I'll be when October gets here and how lucky I am to have her despite the stress the father brings. Oh! And I'm enjoying all the kicks I'm finally being given!

    20thirteen
  • If he is texting you outside of your updates to him, I'd just ignore it.  Maybe shoot him a message next time saying "I agreed to give you monthly updates and I would prefer we keep any conversations around those updates.  If you continue to message me outside of those updates, I'm just going to ignore those messages."  or something along those lines.  If he doesn't get it, then ignore him.  He'll (hopefully) learn that you're serious.

    And, damn, the butthurt of this one.  Did you save those messages?  Is it possible to take them to the police?  Even if they're fake, they can figure out the IP address and see who it is (I believe). And as for the things happening around your house, is that still going on?  You may want to invest in some cameras, there are some good quality ones that are relatively cheap.

    High five on the nursery!  I didn't start working on my DD's room until I was almost ready to pop! Hahaha, about 7mo along I was like "maybe I should get started..."
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  • jek2016jek2016
    100 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    member
    edited December 2016
    Somebody please tell me I'm not being unreasonable...

    my my daughter was born in early November. Her dad visits three times a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for about 2 hours each time (though I've never put a time limit on his visits). She'll be seven weeks old on Thursday. After tonight's visit, which ended with her screaming (she hardly ever cries, much less screams) because she was hungry since she only got 2 ounces to eat and I didn't know that (he fed her but didn't say that she didn't finish her whole bottle so I denied that she would be hungry after only an hour, as she never is, I thought she drank the whole thing), he texted wanting to know if he could take her Friday for some pictures to be made and her to spend the night. 

    Of of course I said no to both and explained that she was too young to spend the night and I wasn't comfortable with her being away from me for extended lengths of time yet. I did offer to take her to his picture location and be there while he had pictures made (or his sister does...he said he'll have to get the plans to me as soon as he can, which implies he doesn't know them at all). He said "well that's a start I guess". 

    Was I wrong to refuse an overnight at this young? She's been upset for the entire evening until she finally cried herself to sleep since the bottle fiasco. I can't even trust him to feed her enough. And I feel like a shit mom for not realizing she hadn't eaten enough and insisting he finish the bottle with her. 

  • Nope, no, not at all. She is so young, and you still don't trust him.  I haven't had my daughter overnight anywhere yet and she's 3.5 (but mostly because I have no reason to be out past 9pm).  If my daughter were to spend an overnight anywhere, I have limited options of who I can trust with her.  Basically just my mom or my boyfriend's mom (my boyfriend, too, of course, we don't live together yet.  But if I'm going to be out overnight, I assume he'd be with me).  

    Congrats on your bundle, btw. :)

    Tell him you're unwilling to do overnights so early.  That at least he will have to wait until she's about a year or a year and a half (maybe that time will help him to clean up his act and start gaining some semblance of trust with you).  It is not an unreasonable request, and if he tries to make you feel guilty, shut him down.  He doesn't get to guilt trip you over what you know to be right and safe for your daughter. 

    Sorry it took so long to respond! I take a lot of time off work in December so I haven't been able to check this board. Happy New Year! 
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  • Thanks for the confirmation that I'm not crazy! Since I posted that he cancelled one visit because he got a job with caterer that afternoon, even though he knew he was supposed to visit with her that night and he rescheduled another two hours before he was supposed to show up because "it [was] kinda messy out and [he] didn't have to go to work that day" (his main job is in my town and he drives from 40 minutes away to work here; other times he hasn't had to go to work on a visit day he's changed the time of the visit from morning to night so he "could sleep in for once"). 


    On Tuesday of this week (not his scheduled day, but the day I said he could reschedule to since Monday was too messy) he came for about 45 minutes and then left to go to his nephew's (7 years old) basketball game. I've told my mom he better never try to tell me three visits a week isn't enough (as he has done once before) considering his current behavior where his visits are concerned. And I think I've decided no more rescheduling; if he can't make our scheduled times then that's that, unless he's in the hospital or something serious like that.

    I hope you've had a good start to your new year!

    20thirteen
  • Thank you for sharing your struggles. I have been crying the past few days. My situation is slightly different but I can empathize with how hard it is for you. 
    jek2016
  • @jek2016 I would stop rescheduling too.  If he can't stick to agreed times, tell him you're not going to cater to him.  You have to cater to your LO and it's too much to have to reschedule.  He needs to follow and keep the routine.  

    @Dappledthing - if you would like to open up, we're here for you.  If you're not ready to, I understand.  But we're always here and if you would be more comfortable PMing, you can always PM me.
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