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Advice from Step-Moms who became Moms

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So looks like God decided it was time and all my worries will need to just work themselves out. lol

I just found out I'm pregnant! No wonder I've been sensitive! lol

Anyway... question for the Step-Mamas that had children with their new partners... When did you tell your step-kids that they were getting a new sibling? How did they take it? What advice do you have?

I have no idea when we are going to tell DSD... I'm thinking at least 2nd tri... but I'm scared with that too because that is actually when our wedding is... I don't want the poor thing to be dealing with so much at once... even though technically she will be anyway.

I think she will eventually be excited. She loves babies and she loves her cousins, so I think it would be the same for a sibling. I'm hoping anyway...
post #2 of 22
Congrats!!! I've seen you over on the TTC board and I'm really excited for you. I'm the mom versus the step but my best advice is to include your sd in event and make it something great for her too. I would tell her at the beginning of the 2nd trimester (I'm supersticious about the 1st 3 months) and tell her that WE are having a baby and she will be having a little brother and sister who will look up to her and love her. Basically make it something great for her. My kids would love to have a brother or sister from my partner.
post #3 of 22
Popping in to say Congratulations!
post #4 of 22
Oh my! Congratulations!! :

I haven't been there, but I would make sure that she finds out from you, not from anyone else. So if you are planning to keep it a secret for a couple of months, make sure if other people know that they don't share it with her.

So exciting. You have to believe that everything will work itself out.

Oh, and please come back to tell us how your SD takes the news when you tell her.
post #5 of 22
Oh: When my SD was that age, she could not fathom that a child I produced could be her sibling. She knew her mom could giver her a brother or sister, but as far as she knew, moms wished for babies and they magically appeared in their tummies. (She didn't really understand that Dads counted, too.) So you and your partner may need to be prepared to explain that, too.
post #6 of 22

When we got married, the first words out of DSS's mouth were: "Cool! Now I want a little brother!" He has repeated this since then, and DSD will chime in that she wants a baby sister, and they argue. It's terribly cute. So far not much luck, but maybe someday..

Personally, I think it would be best to wait until the second trimester, and maybe a little after the wedding so she can digest that a bit first.

Congrats again! Best of luck!
post #7 of 22
Is she excited about the wedding?
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone.

Yes, I am thinking DP and I will need to talk about a simplified birds and bees conversation too... I'm quite sure DSD has never asked nor wondered yet. She is just a little past the stage that boys are boys and girls are girls and doesn't seem to care where babies came from as long as they are there for her to play with. lol

Her and I get along more than we don't, so I don't think that will be an issue. She ADORES my parents and her new Aunts too.

I don't know if we can all keep it secret from her that long... lol Her cousin seems to pick up on EVERYTHING that goes on and will likely tell her, regardless of what we say to her. She doesn't miss a trick.

I'm just scared of telling her now with most other family in case miscarriage happens... I have no real reason to fear it except the 3 in 10 statistic. :/ I think she is far to young to deal with something like that.

I guess I'm very protective of her. lol
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Oriole... good question. I don't know. I don't think she understands it really. She knows I'm her Step-Mommy and that me and Daddy and her are becoming a family and we both love her very much, and she is lucky to have two families that love her so much...

But I don't think she grasps the big picture of it all... sort of over her head. It wouldn't change anything that is going on now. I have been living with DP since December-ish.
post #10 of 22

DF couldn't keep quiet (plus I was so shocked that I ran out of the bathroom yelling "Is this a second line? It can't be a second line!") for more than two seconds. DSD was with us at the time. So she knew right after we did. If it had been up to me, I would have waited until the second trimester to tell her, but it was really my decision.

DSD was only 3, so the implications of having a sibling didn't really set in right away. Once she figured out what was going on, she was excited. We really played up the big sister aspect of it, telling her how she would get to teach DS things and that he would look up to her. She was with us for one dr's appointment and several midwife appointments.

Once he was born, she didn't show any jealousy whatsoever. I was pretty shocked by that. She was a little cautious at first, but warmed up quickly. Today she is a great big sister. She really looks out for DS and loves to play with him.

Having a sibling has really made DSD enjoy being here.

Congratulations and good luck!
post #11 of 22
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Oriole... good question. I don't know. I don't think she understands it really. She knows I'm her Step-Mommy and that me and Daddy and her are becoming a family and we both love her very much, and she is lucky to have two families that love her so much...

But I don't think she grasps the big picture of it all... sort of over her head. It wouldn't change anything that is going on now. I have been living with DP since December-ish.
My DSD is close to yours in age, and, yes, it was a bit over her head. She did figure out we got rings, and she said "I want a ring too." We asked why, and she said she wanted to be married, too. We ask who she wanted to marry and she said "Daddy and [Violet]." Very cute. Oh, so anyway, I gave her a ring, which she promptly lost.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Great advice, pinksprklybarefoot! That is what DP had said before too... that he thinks she is really going to love being a big sister. *nods*

That is so cute Violet!! lol

I was thinking of getting a locket or something like that for DSD, but she really hates wearing anything. She will put a necklace or ring on for about oh... 30 seconds then take it off. lol

When do we tell her Mom? She is actually really cool about the wedding. Maybe we could all tell her she is going to be a big sister? That way if she has any "where do babies come from" questions her Mommy and Daddy could answer them?
post #13 of 22
When I was a step-mom only, expecting our first, we didn't tell my step-daughter until I was beginning to show... I think around 5-6 months pregnant. We figured 1- my belly would be getting noticeably bigger soon, so the whole "there's a baby growing in my belly would make more sense to her at age two... 2- nine months is a lifetime to a little one, so we wanted to make the wait shorter... 3- we waited to tell her until I was ready for her mother to know about it.

We arranged to tell her right before I had a midwife appointment so she could go hear the heartbeat and get a little more of an idea about what was going on. We had an AWESOME midwife who is really fabulous at talking to kids about pregnancy and childbirth, so that helped, too.

We didn't involve her mom in the telling of it, but that is based strictly on our relationship with her mother... it's something I wanted all to myself, one of the few aspects of my life that she didn't get any say in or control over. We emailed her mother right before we told our step-daughter, at a time when she would get the email before my step-daughter saw her again... that way mom heard it from us first, (which we thought was respectful and what we would want if the situation was reversed), she would be able to answer questions if they came up at her house, and she got the news where she didn't have to guard her reaction in front of us or her daughter. BUT we also didn't have to worry that she would tell her daughter before we got the chance to. And, again, I just waited until I felt ready to let her into that aspect of my life... it would be very different for people with a different relationship, but that is where we were at that point.

Congratulations, and the very best as you start the next stage of family-hood!
post #14 of 22
I was pretty adamant that DF tell DSD's mom - I didn't want her to hear it from DSD.

It was a little weird. A few months before that, I had thought that I might me pregnant (unplanned). DSD's mom was working with DF at the time, and he mentioned it to her. She broke down crying. Apparently she thought that DF wouldn't have any children other than DSD. I got the feeling that she wasn't quite over the relationship, which made me suspicious of her motives for a long time. So I was worried about her reaction to the impending birth. But she took it pretty well. She said that she wasn't surprised.

Here are a few things that I experienced that you didn't specifically ask about, but they aren't things that you would know to ask about, kwim? Having a baby with someone who has already had a baby is a strange proposition. I think that it is different when neither of you know what to expect. DF had not only been with DSD's mom, but he had another girlfriend that he met when she was pregnant (she was a rape victim). So he had been present for two births and was around for two infancies.

One of the strange things about being pregnant is that everyone who you meet that has been pregnant will offer advice and relate their stories to you. DSD's mom was no exception. Granted, the woman had given birth four times, so she was experienced in the matter. But I just wasn't in a place where I wanted to hear stories of her pregnancy with DSD.

Before I was in the picture (and even for some time after) DF and DSD's mom's lives were very intertwined. She lived in the house that he owned. She often borrowed money from him. She called him to help her out a lot. I just couldn't deal with that once I became pregnant. The mama bear protect-your-family instincts kicked in. DSD's mom was not DF's responsibility anymore. I felt that he needed to focus on the family that we were building, not DSD's mom's family. We wound up in counseling over this point. Things are different now, but probably in part due to the stink I made when I was pregnant with DS. I felt that DF had to decide where his priority was - our family (including DSD), or DSD's mom's family. At one point I told him that she was only entitled to one emergency favor per month. The fact that he thought (at the time) that this was unreasonable says something.

I remember being afraid that DF would compare me to DSD's mom. She had given birth three times before having DSD, so I figured she was probably experienced and had been a model birther. She had a homebirth with DSD, and DF wanted to use the same midwife. Luckily, she was in school and unavailable. I'm sure she is a good midwife, I just wanted things to be different for us.

Since DSD's mom was an experienced mother before having DSD, I was worried that I would look like an absolute idiot when I had DS. I didn't know how to give birth, I didn't know how to breastfeed. I will probably never forgive myself for this, but I remember being hesitant to try breastfeeding DS right after giving birth because I was afraid that I would do it wrong. And DF would compare me to DSD's mom, who had done it before. Luckily, the midwife that was supposed to attend my homebirth (I had to transfer care a few weeks before my due date for PIH) was my labor support, and she encouraged me to feed DS while we were still in the delivery room. I was able to focus on DS and her instructions and ignore DF.

The weird part about the whole thing was that everyone said that I didn't act like a first time mom. They said I looked like I had already had several babies. DS was having heart decels and I wound up pushing him out in 15 minutes - I didn't have time to think about being nervous or DF's opinion on my birthing style (Or anyone's opinion, for that matter). So I was worrying for nothing.

Then, after we were home, DSD's mom brought DSD and her sister over to meet DS. We have a picture of DSD's mom holding DS with DSD in her lap. It squicks me out completely. Maybe that is wrong, but my post-partum hormonal self wanted to rip my baby out of her arms and beat DF over the head for making me endure a visit with DSD's mom less than 48 hours after giving birth. I wound up telling him my feelings on this many months later. He had no idea how I felt.

One thing that I want to be clear about is that DSD's mom tried to be very nice to me while I was pregnant. When she picked up DSD when I went into labor, she brought me tea. She wanted us to have a lot of things from DSD's babyhood, which was another thing that I just could not deal with. I wanted my own baby things. It was nice of her to offer, but I wanted my own nursing pillow, ykwim? I didn't want DF reliving DSD's babyhood surrounded by the same things with a different partner. Luckily, we moved a few times while I was pregnant, and pretty much everything that DSD''s mom bestowed on us (I said "no" to most everything, but a few things slipped through) was "lost in the move."

Well. This is WAY longer than I intended it to be. Once I started typing, It all seemed to come back.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

I totally hear you. I had already gone through a lot of this fear/wanting to be differe/whatever you would call the feeling with DP when we first began to talk about getting pregnant.

He kept bringing up how he knew things because of whatever with his ex and DSD. I flipped the one day and said I will not tolerate being compared to her and I don't want to hear it. He said he understood and he wasn't comparing and he understood each pregnancy was different.

I don't feel worried about that so much anymore. He showed in the last several months how excited he was to have a child with me. DSD wasn't planned at all... so I don't know... it sort of put me at ease with how on board and supportive he has been the last few months. He does want to go to the same hospital as he did before ad brought up the same doctor and I said no way in hell that I was looking at midwives.

I'm not sure how DSD's Mom will take it. She has been happy for us with the wedding and stuff and none of that she took as weird or awkward. We get along for the most part. In fact I was telling DP last night I hope that the news doesn't suddenly make our relationship awkward as we are finally on friendly terms. I feel comfortable with our dynamic.

We decided to tell DSD Friday. I'd prefer to wait longer for some of the reasons a PP listed... 9 months is FOREVER to a child...

But we didn't want DSD hearing it from anyone but us, and there is a big family party this weekend that she will be at, and I know my Mom has started the wildfire chain already and people will be hounding us there... DSD will definitely hear it and I don't want her to feel like we didn't think she was important enough to be told to or something.

We went to the book store last night and got two different Big Sister books and I'll be changing all the Mommy's to Jen. Hopefully this goes over well...
post #16 of 22
Congratulations to you & your DP! I hope you have a happy healthy 9 months. You'll have to keep us posted on what you decide about your birth, names, etc.

Now, to your question: Both DH & I brought one child into our marriage, but we knew we wanted children together as well. My SS was 9 when I got pregnant with our first. DH was excited, so he pretty much told everyone the minute the test came back positive. He told my SS in the car on the way back to our house the first time he picked him up after we found out. He did not talk to his mom first.

I had suggested that he speak with her first, but frankly he just was not comfortable going there. He was hoping to avoid a confrontation with her, but once she found out, she sent a less than congratulatory email to him. We now have a second child together, which I am sure she knows about, but has never acknowledged.

Adding a child that biologically belongs to you & your DP can stir up a lot of emotions in a former partner. I hope that since you have reached an amicable place in your relationship with your DSD's mom that things go well. But even if they don't, try not to let it take away from your ability to enjoy this special time.
post #17 of 22
I haven't BTDT, but I would suggest that you tell your DSD's mom before or on the same day that you tell DSD. That will save her the embarrassment of finding out from her child, and possibly go a long way towards a good relationship. Plus, it will give her time to prepare for any questions she might get.

I just think that if it's a shock to her, she might make negative comments to her daughter without thinking. Or that she might be upset, and that might show even if she tries to be positive. After the initial shock its easier to put on a happy face. Also it doesn't hurt to be prepared for any out of the blue 'birds and bees' questions.

I would consider calling her the morning of your DSD's visitation with you.

PS Congratulations!
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
We told DSD and it went really well. She came downstairs and told the neighbor friend that she is going to be a big sister and have a baby. It was really cute.

She is excited too because her cousing that she looks up to very much is also a big sister and she is going to ask her to teach her to be a big sister.

DP told DSD's Mom last night and she told him to tell me Congratulations and that she is very happy for us. And she knew DSD would be really excited about it. So it went well.
post #19 of 22
How great to hear that...
post #20 of 22
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
She is excited too because her cousing that she looks up to very much is also a big sister and she is going to ask her to teach her to be a big sister.
This is so cute! I'm so glad it all went well.

Last night, DSD crawled into our bed because it was thundering outside. DF left at 2 am for his first job, and I got up to make her lunch and breakfast at about 6:30. Around 7:00, I heard noises coming from our room. DSD and DS were all covered up to their necks, and they were giggling to each other. It was so adorable. Moments like that make my heart melt.

Seeing DSD and DS bond as sister and brother (or get frustrated with each other as they did later in the morning) really gives me a nice feeling of family. I'm so excited that you will have that feeling in a few long months.
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