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Ginger74

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Wednesday, June 10th 2009, 9:40am

DH and me need advice_STEP KIDS

Ladies,
Me and my DH (in fact he asked me to ask you this question) are seeking for advice. We would appreciate your opinion, advice, experience if you have been thro this or have not but feel you can help.

My DH has children from his previous marriage (teenagers). After years of TTC I am pregnant/thank God. I am not so close with DH's kids as I should or would like to - mainly because we live abroad, hopefully this will be changed soon. I (we) know that there is not any guarantee but:

What is the best way to bring our news to DH's kids? How to help them to "except" and hopefully be able to share this VERY happy moment with us? Is it possible at all? What to expect?

Thank you very much in advance :flowers:

Feb 09 God's Miracle - Natural BFP.
Sept 09 Thanks to God - Scrumptious baby girl is here. Please grow healthy and happy.

MacMummy

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Wednesday, June 10th 2009, 10:53am

I have no experience of this as you know Ginger, so I am trying to think about it all through the eyes of your DHs children... so here goes and please remember that this is all only my thoughts :O

Possibly in the grand scheme of teenage life & traumas, they may not really be that bothered at first when they hear the news at first.... school is just about to finish and they will be thinking about spending the summer with their friends etc :D
I do however feel that once they have the chance to think about it, they may be a little jealous, I have said this to you before, they hardly ever get to see their Daddy due to you living abroad etc yet the new baby will get 100% of Daddy's time and attention... I think that this is the way that teenage minds work, especially a Daughters!! They probably have a few issues with the whole divorce and Daddy being away thing anyway... might be wrong there though but children do get terribly affected.
I am not sure how I would go about telling them, I do think that it makes it a little tricky that you have left it so late but then again, children don't really have any concept of time so the fact that you are over half way probably won't mean anything to them. I think it is important that they are made to feel secure that their Daddy will still love them just the same even although he is going to be a Daddy to a new baby.
I would try to involve them lots in the whole thing... Daddy has some very exciting news, you are going to have a wee Brother or Sister, won't that be fun.. we can go shopping for them and they want to buy you a gift too etc.. focus on the fact that they will be grown up siblings that the new baby will love, rather than the focusing on the whole Dad going to be a Daddy again thing.. does that make sense?? maybe put together a wee book of scan pics etc 'for my new Big Brother & Big Sister', include some pics of them in it to, to make them feel part of the whole journey.
Talk with them about how fun it will be to come and visit and go to Italy etc..

Don't know if that waffle helps or not... good luck!! MM xxx

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Wednesday, June 10th 2009, 10:55am

I am no expert but I also have teenage step children and we are TTC.

All I can tell you is that when their mum got PG they were not at all happy about it, mainly because they felt there lives were going to be disrupted by having a newborn baby in the house when they were trying to study and also it is embarrasing when your heavily PG mum turns up to the school play. They wanted to move out and come and live we us or to board at school, but we persuaded them to hang on and see how they felt once the baby was born. They now adore their baby sister.

From time to time they cheekily ask when I am going to have a baby and they seem quite excited about the idea, but then they don't have to worry about living with me.

I think the key thing is for the DH to tell them face to face and make clear that it is not going to affect his relationship with them. I would suggest that you tell them sooner rather than later as they might find it rather hurtful if you kept it a secret for many months and only told them shortly before you are due.

Sorry this isn't much help really.

Good luck.
Newly Wed

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Bells

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Wednesday, June 10th 2009, 11:00am

I think it really depends on the relationship your DH has with his children and how they are generally towards you as a couple at the moment. Do you have the blessing of the children's Mother and is it all quite amicable? I think that this relationship your husband has with his ex wife is probably your biggest indicator as to how the next phase will go. When the children are at home with her it's her who will either smooth the path and set the tone for your news or put her own spin on things.

I have a child with my ex husband and he now has a baby with someone else. My daughter and I were just in the shop looking at little baby toothbrushes and toys for him (too cute!) and last week I gave him our climbing frame as mine have grown out of it. My daughter loves her little brother and I think he's pretty sweet too so we talk about him here and I pick him up and cuddle him when I see him. It might be VERY different if things were strained between her Dad and I but I can say that yes, it certainly is possible for everyone to get along if the grown ups can work things out between them.





Ginger74

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Wednesday, June 10th 2009, 11:20am

Quoted

Originally posted by Bells
I think it really depends on the relationship your DH has with his children and how they are generally towards you as a couple at the moment. Do you have the blessing of the children's Mother and is it all quite amicable?


I think DH has rather good relationship with his children but he doesn't see them very often ("us living abroad"). We had youngest one staying with us couple of years ago, it was fine.

I do NOT think that DH or me have "amicable" relationship with his ex, rather opposite or "no relationship". This is the reason why "I've left it/telling them so late", in the end I am only human and I want to "protect MY baby"...

Thank you so much for your posts, it means alot and very helpful, thank you so much!

Feb 09 God's Miracle - Natural BFP.
Sept 09 Thanks to God - Scrumptious baby girl is here. Please grow healthy and happy.

huni

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Wednesday, June 10th 2009, 12:03pm

Hi Ginger..

I have two teenage StepSons and am 27 weeks PG.

I can only go by our experience and we told the boys together and made them feel that it was a good thing because it would connect us all together as a family unit by them having another brother.

They have been absolutely fine.. Kids are more resiliant than we take them for and now the boys are both really looking forward to the new arrival.

Honesty, as they say, is the best policy and the sooner your DH tells them and includes them, the better all round. You can then concentrate on your baby and not have this in your mind too

Xx
Huni

Baby Charlie Born 09/09/09

Bells

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Wednesday, June 10th 2009, 12:10pm

Ah I see, still, teenagers are much more able to and willing to accept change, after all, they're getting to the age where they want to make their own decisions and they like to feel that they're being given resposibility to make choices. If you give them the choice to be involved in your lives then they either choose to be part of it or they don't. There's no real reason why they should take it badly and maybe they'll want to come over and visit more if you ask them to get involved?

What do you feel you have to protect your baby from?





Ginger74

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Wednesday, June 10th 2009, 12:45pm

Quoted

Originally posted by Bells
What do you feel you have to protect your baby from?


:snigger: English is my second language...
What I meant and of course it is "psychological/emotional/relationship aspect" in this case (but not easy to explain one):
IF our news will NOT be happy news for DH's kids and their mother in particular (very possible) - I would not want ANY negativity (jealousy, anger etc) towards my so wanted unborn innocent baby... If you know what I mean...
In the same time (just as you say) hopefully they will able to have their "independent opinion" and us trying to get them involved in the whole thing will help.

DH's family still is not aware of my pregnancy (or any of our TTC problems) because we believe kids need to know first and then the rest of the family (MIL, brothers etc) but I don't feel guilty at all for "leaving it so late" - in the end this is my life and my baby and my NOT exactly great/horrid "experience of TTC and fear that something can go wrong", so I feel I have rights to tell anybody only when I am (and DH) comfortable with this but hopefully this moment has come.

I would like to thank everybody so much for help. Very much appreciated :hugs:

Feb 09 God's Miracle - Natural BFP.
Sept 09 Thanks to God - Scrumptious baby girl is here. Please grow healthy and happy.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Ginger74" (Jun 10th 2009, 12:46pm)


mrs_smiff

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Thursday, June 11th 2009, 11:46am

Hi hun, thought I'd pop by!

Now teenagers can take the news in different ways. My older kids were just delighted for us, as they had known about our IVF process and understood how much it meant to us. It could have gone very differently of course, with indifference or even hostility. I guess the difference between my situation and yours is that my teenagers are my kids and therefore we already have an inseparable bond. However, I don't think it need be so terrible for you in your situation either. THE most important thing, is that your DH's kids hear the news from you two. Preferably tell them together, as you don't want to create a 'them and us' situation whereby your DH tells the kids on his own. You are a part of their lives too, even though you don't see as much of them as perhaps you would all like. Although you haven't got a relationship with the kids mum, it would be prudent to tell her too, as she is the one who will have to deal with any questions the kids might have when you and DH aren't around. Make sure the kids hear from you that you want them to be as involved as they like, to come and stay when they can and to very much be big sisters/brothers. The word 'half' in a title doesn't mean that they have to be one space removed at all. My kids don't refer to Lochlan as their half brother, they are all very much brothers and sisters even though they may have different fathers.

This news may well be the bonding opportunity you need to foster a new relationship with your step kids. You haven't said how old they are, or whether they are boys or girls. Girls of any age will practically fall over themselves to be a part of your baby's life. Reinforce the fact that you would love their help, and feel that they would provide great role models for your baby. Things like, 'I hope our new baby grows up to be as beautiful/handsome/clever/funny/witty etc as you' are words that help the older kids realise they have a lot to offer. Your DH could chat with them too, and remember things with them from when they were little. My kids love hearing about things they got up to when they were babies, (like peeing on dad, which is something most babies have done at one point or another!) and hearing it from their absent parent will make them realise that he was a big part of their lives then and he has wonderful memories to share with them.

Can you enlist the older kids help with decorating the nursery, or putting together some flat pack furniture for the baby's room? Thats the sort of thing that older kids may like to help with.

Take things at the kids pace though, take your cue's from them. If they want to be on board big style right from the off, be enthusiastic and welcome it with open arms. If there is a bit of reluctance there, then that's ok too. There's plenty of time for enthusiasm to grow. Babies melt hearts remember, and even the most stony faced teenager has a heart!

Make sure that dad still does stuff with his older kids on their own once baby has arrived too. That is crucial. Yes they have to share dad with another sibling, but that doesn't have to mean that the quality of attention he gives them has to be diluted at all.

I think your first step initially is to sound the kids mum out, and see what she thinks their reaction will be. Obviously it might be easier for DH to do this. He can ask her to help make it a positive experience for them, and if she truly has their interests at heart then she will do this anyway. Involving her is likely to make her less hostile toward the news too. Tell her when you intend to tell the kids, and ask her if she would mind keeping the news to herself until you have told them.

I can understand your fear of having any hostility toward your baby too hun. I felt like this too. It's your instinct to protect your baby, and you are totally right in this. I do feel that it needn't be a difficult experience though.

I wish you all the luck in the world! PM me if you want to chat further mate. lots of love. xxx
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Thomas Derren (Thom) July 1990
Luke Benjamin August 1993
Harley John Oliver June 1997
Alexandria Aimee Jay (Alex) July 1998
Lochlan Cassius James April 2009 (4th attempt at ICSI)



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Friday, June 12th 2009, 5:35pm

Hey Hun,

I came here cos i read in ur diary that u needed some advise .... looks like u have a LOT of great advise here ...

Im in the same situation as Mrs Smiff ... my kids know about our TTC and are delighted about the prospect of becomming *big* sisters. But, as Mrs S says, the difference is, they are already mine and we have that bond.

I dont know how old ur DH's children are, but i realise that as u live abroad, you dont see them as often as you would like. How has this effected the relationship with your DH and them, do they keep in touch by phone, email text ... that sort of thing?

I understand ur reasons for keeping your baby news to yourselves, but then again, i do feel that keeping his children out of the loop may backfire slightly, i know if i was the ex wife and had his children come to me with questions as to why he didnt tell them, then i would feel put out because it would be me having to anwser those questions, and i would feel that maybe he looks upon the children as not so important (i know from ur thread that this isnt true, but u have to look upon it from the childrens and the ex's point too) You say u want to do everything to protect your child ... and so does your DH's ex wife, she will do everything in her power to stop her children being hurt. What type of woman is she? Would she understand ur reasons for this, or would she fly off the handle and cause an argument??

You must let the children know how u both feel, that u want them envolved as much as possible, and also explain your reasons as to why u kept this quiet for so long ... hosp appts, making sure everything was fine etc etc ...

Hope i havent offended u hun, but being an ex wife and having the children live with me, i know that i do everything in my power to keep them from being hurt .... its my eldest's DD's 21st birthday today .... she didnt even get a card from my ex .... as much as i HATE him for doing that to her ... i cant judge him in front of her, but yet i WONT make up excuses for him either ...i wouldnt want that to happen to your DH's children, please talk to them as soon as u can and let them know how much they are loved and nothing will change once baby arrives ....

Xxxx

Ginger74

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Friday, June 12th 2009, 5:45pm

Quoted

Originally posted by Welshbird

I understand ur reasons for keeping your baby news to yourselves, but then again, i do feel that keeping his children out of the loop may backfire slightly, i know if i was the ex wife and had his children come to me with questions as to why he didnt tell them, then i would feel put out because it would be me having to anwser those questions


Again I would like to thank everybody, we do appreciate your help and advice.
I just wanted to explain: Yes we didn't tell DH's children our news yet but we didn't tell our news to anybody in his family (ONLY my family knows) because we believe that DH's kids must know first (because of all reasons you have mentioned). So this is not the situaiton that everybody knows and DH's kids don't. We want them to know first.
Thank you so much again! :happy:

Feb 09 God's Miracle - Natural BFP.
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Friday, June 12th 2009, 7:08pm

We told my step daughter face to face and gave her a scan picture of her sisters. However we did not tell her until after my 12 week scan. DP does not have a great relationship with the ex, but I get on fine with her mum. Of course you live abroad so maybe a phone call and email the scan pic?

Just make sure you keep them involved.

Hope that helps hun

xx
Melanie
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2nd IUI cycle 19th June 06 BFN
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Lexie

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Friday, June 12th 2009, 8:30pm

Ginger sorry I havent got any well meaning advice but my daughter (with my ex) took the news of my pregnancy with the twins really badly. She was 14 and I only got round to telling her I was pregnant never mind with twins before she locked herself in the bathroom for hours. I can look back and laugh at it now because after 2 hours I shouted through " I need to tell you something, I'm having 2 " to which she replied " are you taking the mick out of me" and continued to sit in the bathroom for another hour :D Makes me chuckle when I think about the scenario now.

Anyway to cut a long story short, I had a terrible time with her during and after the pregnancy (general attention seeking/playing up) because she had been on her own for 14 years and her issues were, DH wasn't her dad, where would she fit in, she wouldnt have the same surname etc etc. It all come good in the end and now she absolutly adores her sisters especially at the age they are at now as they can interact with her. Also her dads wife is expecting a baby in december and she rang her tonight to see how the scan had gone and she seemed pretty excited.

Everything will come good in the end so try not to worry about it. You can only do your best. After all worst things happen at sea and you having a baby is not the end of the world although I think it was with my teenager :snigger:

Good luck hun, hope all goes well xx
Me 34,DH, 32. DD15 from prev relationship. Scan 9/07 showed 2 [zx076] [zx076] My perfect little ladies arrived healthy 7 weeks early on 18/3/08 weighing 4lb 8 and 3lb13...Love my three pinkies

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Ginger74

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Friday, June 12th 2009, 8:48pm

Thank you Lexie, I am very thankful for sharing YOUR experience with us. Thank you :hugs:

Feb 09 God's Miracle - Natural BFP.
Sept 09 Thanks to God - Scrumptious baby girl is here. Please grow healthy and happy.

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Friday, June 12th 2009, 8:55pm

Hi Ginger

I hope things work out well when you tell your step-children your news.

My step children took the news really badly, and I really wished Dh had told them on his own. I don't think their reaction was the 'norm', so I really hadn't expected it!

Good luck, and like Mrs Smiff said, babies melt hearts.

xxxxx

Ginger74

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Friday, June 12th 2009, 9:00pm

Quoted

Originally posted by csam
My step children took the news really badly, and I really wished Dh had told them on his own. I don't think their reaction was the 'norm', so I really hadn't expected it!
xxxxx


Thank you csam, well this is why I have opened this thread, want to be "kind of prepared". This is plan (DH is telling them on his own) as I don't see myself flying these (PG) days. Thank you very much again.

Feb 09 God's Miracle - Natural BFP.
Sept 09 Thanks to God - Scrumptious baby girl is here. Please grow healthy and happy.

csam

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Friday, June 12th 2009, 9:03pm

Well I hope it all goes well, think we were just unlucky TBH!

xxxx

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Friday, June 12th 2009, 10:01pm

Ginger hun,

I didnt mean my post to sound that i was blaming u or your DH for not telling the children. I understand that no one else knows, and i understand that that is how u both wanted it ... but the children will proberly ask 'why didnt u tell us earlier' which is a fair question ... one that your DH needs to be prepared to anwser honestly.

My only concern was if the children think that u didnt tell them because they wernt important, regardless of anyone else who doesnt know... will they belive your DH that no one else knows .... im not saying that ur wrong hun, far from it ... im just trying to see it from 'all sides' and most importantly, the childrens side ....

I do hope that when ur DH see's them, he will explain the reason for not telling them and i do hope that the kids will understand and can enjoy being part of a new family and look fwd to their brother or sister ...

Sending much love Xxx




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