Depressed about sd’s reaction to pregnancy

I am 20 weeks. I have a 14 y/o stepdaughter. I have been in her life since 2018 and have lived with her dad since 2019. She is with us six days a week. For a period of time, I was out of work and I was her primary caregiver, but since I have returned to work, my husband and I have shared that responsibility more. I still handle most of the major responsibilities, including planning for childcare and rides, meals, and coordinating all her medical needs, in addition to having a very strong bond with her emotionally. Obviously now that she is 14, there’s less “childcare” and more just coordinating where she is with her friends, but it’s still my responsibility. She also has high functioning autism, and while she’s made a lot of progress, still has some very immature behaviors and a lot of black-and-white thinking. We have been telling sd for several years that she would have a little sibling someday and she has always been excited about it. We are finally pregnant with another little girl and her dad and I are overjoyed!! Sd’s reaction to the news has been disastrous. She is worried that she will no longer be the favorite grandchild, she’ll no longer be daddy’s little girl, we will no longer have time for her, we will no longer have money to do the things she wants to do, she will no longer be a priority in our lives, etc. It has gotten so bad that a few weeks ago she asked us to take down the framed picture of the ultrasound that we keep in the living room because seeing it constantly is upsetting for her. (I stood my ground on this and said under no circumstances would we be removing a picture of our other child from the living room). I was showing my husband (and sd) some clothes that I found at Goodwill for the baby today and she stormed out of the room without speaking to us. My husband made a comment about the baby the other day and she said, “okay, why do we need to talk about this?” in a really sarcastic tone. Anytime any of our family and friends bring up the baby in front of her, she shuts down emotionally and leaves the room if she can. She left my husband’s birthday party last month because too many people were talking about the baby. My parents and my in-laws can’t even talk about the baby in front of her. My daughter will be my mom’s first biological grandchild and my mom is thrilled. My mom has bought several stuffed animals and a bassinet for the baby and my stepdaughter gets jealous when she sees the things I bring home from my mom. My husband thinks that she will eventually get over it, and his response is basically just that she has no choice but to get over it. Her mom has been incredibly supportive of me and the pregnancy and is excited for sd to have the experience of being a big sister. I have a good relationship with her mom, despite her being distant as a parent. I’m worried that she won’t get over whatever these feelings are, and in the meantime it’s preventing me from enjoying talking about my baby in my own home. How did you get your stepchild to accept the news? I am specifically looking for a responses from people whose stepkids were 10+ when the “new” baby was conceived. Picture - my dog with all the cute stuff I got at Goodwill today and was excited to show my family. It’s all Carter’s and babyGap and polo, and I was really excited to find it, most of it for $2 or less. Anyway, that moment didn’t really happen the way I hoped it would.
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@Ann what would you have done differently?

My stepdaughter is 12. I had my husband set aside time with just her 1 on 1 to make sure she didn't feel left out or anything. He unfortunately left her at his parents for the week leading up to our daughter's birth, which I think made it much worse for her feelings right as my daughter was being born. We had more issues the weeks after she was born than we did while expecting

I wish you and your family and your SD well and hope you all get what you guys deserve, just remember she may be 14 and young adult but if you give her the support and respect and listen and talk to her and try to not be defensive, it will show her you valid her feelings and as women that’s what we need is validation and I’m almost sure if you do she will too and if she doesn’t right away, give her the space too and tell her when she’s ready to give you the same time and respect you have her to let her vent and listen that you’ll be there patiently waiting when she’s ready to do the same

In itself, I hope this helps and I hope you both get to enjoy the blessings but I think if you allow her to open up and listen and tell her I’m sorry you feel this way but I promise we will do everything we can to show you we love you and that will never happen and explain to her that not only is this exciting for you but it’s a joy that everyone will benefit from and that she shouldn’t let negative thoughts and insecurities and fears ruin the experience of her being an older sister

…Talk about boys, or friends at school… she’ll be her sister first best friend she can have sleepovers with and stay up and laugh all night when they are supposed to be in bed asleep, the first person she’s going to trust with all her secrets… she’s going to be the most important person in her life is where I’m getting at, And as a mom being pregnant you should be pampered, but maybe get pampered with your SD, you guys she bond when u can and take little moments of putting your feet up and do facials night, also take her to one of your appointments, let her see a sonogram with heart beat and all, let her pick out matching outfits for her and her sister, I know everyone is excited and it’s natural but at the same time you have to see this is a child that both her parents aren’t together so her family view is already broken and her feeling scared of being replaced is going to be normal, I’m glad u have great bond with her mom but if her mom wasn’t there as much that can take a toll in

As a person who grew up with an 8 year old age gap of my brother and I, and than a child of divorce and than later getting an older stepsister and two younger stepbrothers and than later down the road another stepbrother on my dads side. It’s on easy on a child of any age for difference, I think you should sit down with her and talk to her, and when I say talk, more she talks and you listen. Kids need to be heard just like adults do. And that being said after you listen to why she’s scared of being left in the dark, than you can explain to her why this experience is exciting to you but that just because it’s exciting doesn’t change ur love for her. And thank you can explain all benefits ways of becoming a big sister, like having someone to protect, having someone that will look up to her and see her as a goddess, someone she can go to when she’s in trouble and is sad and when her parents are upset with her and she’ll be the one she runs to first. Someone she can later on talk…

My SD was 13 and definitely not happy about it, but she already had 2 younger siblings at the time 3 and 8. It sounds to me like she would benefit from therapy. Part of autism is difficulty with transitions/ change, and this is definitely a big change! A therapist could help give her some coping tools.

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