So we told my stepdaughter I was pregnant this morning... - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-09-2010, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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...and it went spectacularly!

We just let her know over cereal this morning.

She's so excited. She did ask about whether she would get any attention once the baby was here, but she also started brainstorming names, asking if she could share a room(!), and if it was OK if she taught the baby all the big words she knows. She wants to read the baby a bedtime story tonight, and has decided its in-utero nickname will be "Newbie."

I'm past 12 weeks, have heard a heartbeat--so while we're not in the super-safe zone, we felt more like we were lying (she has noticed my exhaustion and moodiness, and was starting to worry something was REALLY wrong) than we were being prudent by waiting. So we told.

Now...onward to telling her mom (eek!), which my husband will do tonight. The timing isn't great, but we thought we owed a greater duty to reassuring my stepdaughter that I was not deathly ill, nor did I suddenly change from a nice, active person to her evil stepmother right after getting married, than to protecting a grown woman's feelings.


So...yay!

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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((((yay! and hugs)))) for you - I'm so hoping it goes well with stepdaughter's Mom

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Old 01-09-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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Yay! Congratulations for the smooth news-giving for your step-daughter. Hopefully it will go smoothly with her mom.

Is he planning on telling her in person, on the phone, by email? We did it by email when my step-daughter was at our house so that mom would have a chance to react however she reacted and have a couple days to process it with other adults, then compose herself in time for my step-daughter to share the news and excitement.

At the very least, you are at least practiced enough with dealing with the shenanigans that if there is any reaction you will know it is about her and nothing to take too seriously or at all personally.

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Old 01-09-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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what a lucky girl to have you for a step mom.

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Old 01-09-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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Aww! So happy for you! Congrats! That would be one of my fears with dsd, but I am so excited that it went this well for you.

Enjoy!

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by aricha View Post
Yay! Congratulations for the smooth news-giving for your step-daughter. Hopefully it will go smoothly with her mom.

Is he planning on telling her in person, on the phone, by email? We did it by email when my step-daughter was at our house so that mom would have a chance to react however she reacted and have a couple days to process it with other adults, then compose herself in time for my step-daughter to share the news and excitement.

At the very least, you are at least practiced enough with dealing with the shenanigans that if there is any reaction you will know it is about her and nothing to take too seriously or at all personally.
He's doing phone--we weighed the options and discovered this one would be the best.

If he did it in person, chances are, my stepdaughter would be newly finding out the same time, and that's no good (we wanted to tell her first, and I also wanted to participate, whereas I have enough sense to not be in the same county as her mom when she finds out).

E-mail just seems to impersonal. So, phone it is--he's going to call her tonight BEFORE she has a chance to call and talk to SD (because that's the first thing that will come out of her mouth). That also gives her a day to process it.

Thanks, everyone!

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:33 PM
 
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Glad to hear it went well! Here's hoping things go smoothly tonight.

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Old 01-09-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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Glad it went well!

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Old 01-09-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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I am so happy it went well
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, now she's been sobbing in her room for the last hour and a half (her dad's been with her--I've been too knocked out/headachy/nauseous in the evenings to do much). My husband actually predicted this (if you search my posts, you'll see a LOT of sleep regression preceding or following transitions--it's how stress manifests with her).

She's overtired (they went sledding) and I think all of her fears/anxieties are coming out now ("I'm not going to live here once the baby comes because nobody will give me any attention"/"If my mommy also has a baby I'm going to be the saddest most ignored girl in the world"/"ProtoLawyer must really hate me because she decided to have a baby"/"I can't handle anything.").

Today was good, overall, though--she kept making sure I was warm enough, and wanted to hold my hand in the Target parking lot so I wouldn't fall on the ice...she also wanted to Google pictures of fetal development, so we did. But, yeah, nighttime is vulnerable time (for both of us!).

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Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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I'm sorry that she was having a tough time last night. My DSC usually show their stress through aggression towards each other. Not sure which is worse!

You should make a point to find plenty of new baby books at the library for her. Don't make a big deal out of it but just have them in her room so she can read them when she's ready. Especially if you can find some where the older sibling is not so sure about this new thing being in their house. We did that when my kids' mom announced her first pregnancy. Well, technically it was not right after because we were not told by her but by the kids a few months later after DH and I had been at a loss trying to figure out what was bothering the kids. Once we found out, I picked up different books and they all looked at them at some point. We also went out once the baby was born and let them pick out a small gift or toy so they could each give the baby something. Maybe your DH could take your DSD out in a few months to do something like that? Or maybe she could make a picture that is framed and put in the baby's area/room? Get her a big sister shirt?


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Old 01-10-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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Ha! I just have to share that I saw this topic this morning and (sleep deprivation, maybe?) read it as "We were told my stepdaughter is pregnant this morning"... which was a shocker, but then I saw it was ProtoLawyer posting, who I know has a 7 yr old step-daughter and I was like What the Heck?? Luckily it didn't take my brain too long to make sense of the whole thing...

So thanks to ProtoL and my faulty reading skills for helping me wake up with a jolt

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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Let your DSD have her feelings, don't pooh-pooh them (it doesn't at all sound like you are, it just warrants saying), but try to reassure through actions as well as words that she'll still be loved and paid attention to.

Can you make plans for something you two can do, just the two of you? And the same with her and your DH? This will reassure her that BOTH of you still cherish her and will still make her a priority.

I'd be wary of putting too much baby stuff on her. Let her take the lead on what role she wants to take with the baby, and make sure she understands that she will still have seven year old stuff to do while with you guys that doesn't have anything to do with the baby.

Sounds like you are doing a great job. And let us know how it goes with your husband's ex!

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Old 01-10-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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I'm sure she is scared of the big change.

Maybe you could play up "the big sister part"? Maybe that would help her seeing herself in a new role, rather than removed from the picture?

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Let your DSD have her feelings, don't pooh-pooh them (it doesn't at all sound like you are, it just warrants saying), but try to reassure through actions as well as words that she'll still be loved and paid attention to.

Can you make plans for something you two can do, just the two of you? And the same with her and your DH? This will reassure her that BOTH of you still cherish her and will still make her a priority.

I'd be wary of putting too much baby stuff on her. Let her take the lead on what role she wants to take with the baby, and make sure she understands that she will still have seven year old stuff to do while with you guys that doesn't have anything to do with the baby.

Sounds like you are doing a great job. And let us know how it goes with your husband's ex!
Thanks! We're basically doing all of that--she wants to help decorate the nursery (she's an artist) and wants to teach the baby to plant things in the garden, but doesn't want to learn to change diapers (not that I expected her to, but she made that point very clear).

She seems better this morning....

AND....as for how Mom took it...

It was anticlimactic. She "knew"--she'd heard from her daughter that I'd been sick and tired for the last several weeks, and the one time she saw me when I was feeling horrid, she kind of suspected things. But she was upbeat on the phone. We'll see if this lasts, or if it manifests in some other way.

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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But she was upbeat on the phone. We'll see if this lasts, or if it manifests in some other way.
Glad to hear things went well, both with your daughter & her mom.

And it just might last - I know I was genuinely, sincerely thrilled when I found out my ex & his wife were finally going to become parents together. Still am, almost 6 years later.

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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Glad the news seems to have been taken fairly well by all. Enjoy this time!!

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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Old 01-11-2010, 01:31 AM
 
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hey protolawyer,

I'm just a lurker on this forum but wanted to say congrats on your pregnancy! That's great! And I'm excited for all of the growing your dsd will do this year also! Some hard days ahead, but some beautiful ones also...Very cool!
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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Oh I'm so glad to see this! I agree with PPs about reassuring her and playing up the big sister role. Some things just take time and a boat load of reassurance. My DSD is pretty excited too, but a couple of years older, so maybe a little more able to deal? Though she was quite the pre-adolescent snot this weekend!

Funny that her mom 'knew'! And a good sign that she didn't say anything, I think? Last night when DSD was picked up her mom even said she'd look for DSD's old things for us if it was a girl (this was volunteered)! I am truly blessed, and I think you may be too

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Old 01-12-2010, 03:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
Well, now she's been sobbing in her room for the last hour and a half (her dad's been with her--I've been too knocked out/headachy/nauseous in the evenings to do much). My husband actually predicted this (if you search my posts, you'll see a LOT of sleep regression preceding or following transitions--it's how stress manifests with her).

She's overtired (they went sledding) and I think all of her fears/anxieties are coming out now ("I'm not going to live here once the baby comes because nobody will give me any attention"/"If my mommy also has a baby I'm going to be the saddest most ignored girl in the world"/"ProtoLawyer must really hate me because she decided to have a baby"/"I can't handle anything.").

Today was good, overall, though--she kept making sure I was warm enough, and wanted to hold my hand in the Target parking lot so I wouldn't fall on the ice...she also wanted to Google pictures of fetal development, so we did. But, yeah, nighttime is vulnerable time (for both of us!).
I just wanted to butt in and say that the more you describe your dsd, the more she sounds like my own daughter: very precocious, verbal and dramatic with sleep issues. Pretty much my 10 year old to a tee. I will say that my daughter LOVES her baby brother and it's been the most wonderful thing for our family. It's a little different for you guys because my daughter spends most of her time here - though she's just started spending 3 days week at her dad's and away from her baby brother. That's been a little tough but they still have an incredible bond. One thing that really helped is my partner suppressing any feelings of jealousy and really letting her be a full participant. Your dsd is at a great age to be a big sister. Congratulations to you all!
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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So happy for you all that it went smoother than everyone thought. There will be bumps along the way and you will work through them together, you have been great at handling all the different bumps so far

As for DSD's emotional reaction in the evening, I think most kids of her age, regardless of if it is the expecting of a new baby in a "necular, non-blended" family, or if that baby is on one side of the "blended" family, will go through the emotional highs and lows of wondering how the baby will change their place in the family. Those of us with the uniqueness of blended families just have to remember that our kids may have a bit more adjusting to deal with, and also have more "ammo" to throw at us when they are upset. Just like my brother and I did during rough times, my parents are still married (39 years) but my brother and I are adopted (both at 6 weeks old, so no major traumas in our past or anything) but I think we both (brother more than once) pulled the "You're not my real mom/dad. She/He would let me do that/love me more/whatever drama is going through their heads.
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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Congratulations again!! So glad that it is going well with the "cat finally out fo the bag" so to speak.



Take it easy!!

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Old 01-13-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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congratulations!

my youngest dss was very aggresive about the new baby. dh made extra effort to assure him that he wouldn't be forgotten. he still gets very jealous if dh is holding amelia but we try to let him know that he's still loved and that love for your children isn't limited to a certain number.

also, we have to remind all of the children that caring for the baby's needs does not mean we love her more. she needs us more right now and they were once babies who needed us to take care of them because they weren't able to.

Jen-loving Bill, mama to Teryn 18, Kalyn 16, Ricky 13, Natalie 5, Angel Zoe '07 and rainbow1284.gifAmelia Rae 22 mos bonus kids (dss) W 14, W 13 NEW grandbaby due 10/10/11

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