Sooooo I haven't wanted to mention this to anyone, but we found the baby's mom on Facebook. Naturally, nothing is private, so we have learned ALL SORTS of awesome things about her.
Perhaps most important is that she was at least initially proud of the baby, and that she has recently started taking pictures of the baby at visits and posting them. So at least she wants people to think she has a relationship with her daughter. That's cool, I guess.
We also have learned that she goes out partying, that she and the baby's dad have an on-again/off-again relationship (which is currently "on"), and that she really, really likes taking cell phone pictures of herself and posting them.
I can't decide if it's a good thing or a bad thing that we have this bizarre window into her life. I know that who you are online is not a true reflection of who you really are. Maybe she goes out partying to numb how she feels about losing her kids. Maybe she goes home and cries herself to sleep. But what she posts doesn't reflect a person who puts anyone but herself at the forefront.
We send a notebook to each visit, and we usually update it with little bits of information about the baby (like today's note about how I think she's hitting her two-month growth spurt, because she had been sleeping seven hours in a row at night and now is getting up to eat after four or five). The mom hasn't ever written back, so today I put a note in with the baby's bottle (where I knew she'd look) that said, "Happy Valentine's Day! Feel free to read the green notebook and write to us." And she did! Her whole note: "Please try tummy time. - [Name]"
Again I got defensive. We do tummy time. She lies on my chest when I'm lying down all the time. We hold her so she's on her belly. She gets massaged every morning and evening, and part of that is on her belly. On top of that, sometimes we just plop her on a blanket on her stomach. However, we only do this if she's not starving (and therefore likely to be grumpy) or full right after eating (and therefore likely to spit up all over). And if the mom tried tummy time at the visit today, one of those two conditions applied, because I know the mom will feed her even if we send her full, so I always work it out that she needs to eat during the visits. So I have to remind myself that it's okay if the mom makes weird requests, because it means she's at least trying to take an interest. Obviously it would be cool if she had phrased it "Have you been doing tummy time?" but that's not likely to happen.
And now about the grandma: The worker told me that the county is going to suggest at court that the baby stay in foster care. This was somewhat of a surprise, as last we talked she said the baby is very likely going to the grandma after court on Friday. Apparently they're not 100% confident in the grandma's ability to care for this child and the brother she already has, but they don't have specific evidence to preclude the baby going to her. The judge (who is the same judge who worked with this family when the brother was removed) may or may not take what the county says into account. We will obviously still proceed as if the baby is going to leave on Friday. We hadn't allowed ourselves to hope that we'd have her any longer. It will be so much more painful if this drags out for months and then she goes to the grandma anyway. Every time I think about court, I feel like my heart is wrapped in plastic wrap and it's being crinkled.
What's your vote - is it a good thing or a bad thing that I regularly check on the mom on Facebook? Should I block her, or should I keep keeping tabs?