Step Daughter Pregnant


#1

New to this forum and have never posted on this or any other forum in my life. Feeling a bit desperate and need advice from someone who may have a clue what my family is going through. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for approx. 7 years. We have exhausted all the treatments options available to us and have recently resigned ourselves to the fact that we are not going to be having our own biological children (I am 41 my husband 39). It has been an extremely trying few years and it has taken a toll on our relationship. Our diagnosis is “unexplained infertility” and neither of us appears to have any physical problems that would prevent us from getting pregnant.

While I have no biological children my husband has 2 girls from previous relationships (22 and 18 if you can believe it). Unfortunately, as his oldest daughter was 14 years old when we met, our relationship has never been close. However, his younger daugther and I have been very close for 9 years and she is well aware of our efforts to have a family of our own. As a family we have watched a number of teenagers become pregnant and have children in the time we have been trying to conceive. She has been there (although we’ve tried not to burden her) to experience how unfair it is to watch unprepared teenagers bear children that they are not prepared to care for. So, you can imagine our hurt and dissappointment when our daughter recently announced to us she is pregnant. She is 18 years old, recently finished high school, no job or interest in finding an job, no plans on how she plans to support her child, no interest in marrying or moving in with the father (who is also unemployed). She lives with her mother who is on Social assistance and can not provide financially for her current children let alone this new baby. My husband and I both have good jobs and have always provided his daughter with all the luxuries in life her Mother could not (in addition to a boat load of child support).

It is the opinion of my husband, myself and many of our friends and family that this pregancy was not an accident. Most of her teenage friends and family have babies and my husband and I have been concerned for a couple years that she too wanted a baby (kinda like wanting an Ipod that all her friends have). She had been warned about the impact her getting pregant would have on our family and it didn’t matter to her. She has apologized to me for it many times and I have not made my fertility an issue with her. I have told her how concerned i am for her well being and that of her baby. She is begging me to be there to support her and her baby. Her father would like her to move in with us (even though she has never lived with us) to ensure the baby is taken care of. If it was up to him he would protect, excuse and enable her and this baby would become his responsibility.

To further complicate the situation, my husband and I had recently decided (after years of him not being receptive to the idea) to adopt. This is obviously not going to happen given the mess that our family life is now in. It would appear that my need to have a child will have to take the back seat to my stepdaughters want to have a child she could have waited a decade to have. I am very concerned that I have a very small window left to have a family and that if I have to make this sacrifice I may live to resent my husband and stepdaugher forever.

Please do not misunderstand, I love my stepdaughter very much and am extremely concerned about her and her child. I do not want to turn my back on her when she needs me most. I realize she is my husbands responsibility and he needs to be sure she is cared for. However, how am I supposed to bring a baby that is not mine into my home, work every day while she stays home, and not be able to raise the child myself. At the same time giving up what may be my last chance to have a family of my own. She is 18 years old and has made an adult choice to have this baby. She is quite happy about her situation and proudly strutting her baby bump on her facebook page etc. So, any thoughts of her allowing us to adopt the child would not be entertained (nor would I ever suggest it to her).

Desperate and looking for any hope you can offer. I feel terrible for my husband who is so stuck in the middle. What an impossible situation.


#2

Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here and give you the painfully unpopular response you may not want to hear.

Your stepdaughter’s behavior has been grossly irresponsible but I’m not sure she’s alone to blame. This is what happens when you provide the “luxuries” in life and don’t ask for anything in return. She has no job, no career objectives, no ambition, nothing. And now that she’s pregnant, she begs you for your support and it’s patently clear you and your husband are about to give it.

How about doing something really radical? How about asking HER to STEP UP. How about allowing her to figure this out on her own - the same way she figured out how to create this baby on her own. How about she applies for welfare, food stamps, medicaid, etc. How about you letting her mother help her fnancially, if she chooses and is able. How about you and your husband provide her with a $500 gift card to BabiesRUs and NOTHING MORE.

We’d all be ASTONISHED at how remarkably responsible teenagers would become if they actually had to endure the consequences of their decisions. But we don’t dare do it - we coddle them, cover for them, enable them and then cry and wonder why it persists. It’s not astrophysics here. It’s a pretty simple equation. A+B=C. You get pregnant + you have a baby = YOU care for it. That means your dad and stepmom will babysit for you once a month for a few hours to help, but they’re not going to provide 80% of the physical and financial care for this baby. It means the mother of this baby is forced to take that responsibility.

Sure, you can move her in, pay her bills, wash her laundry (and the baby’s), babysit, buy her the latest iPhone, give her spending money and just be thankful she agrees to change some diapers. That will work; truly, it will. But in 2 years - [U]mark my words here[/U] - she’s going to announce pregnancy #2. And in twenty years you will have seen your own hopes and dreams evaporate in exchange for the instant gratification desired by a spoiled brat who didn’t care about anyone but herself.

I know this was harsh to read but this should be a breeze compared to the situation you’re currently facing.

Wishing you and your husband strength and commitment in doing what’s right for your stepdaughter, her child and yourselves.


#3

Agreed!!!

Jane,

Can’t thank you enough for your response. I truly appreciate your honesty and I am in complete agreement with your approach. Now…how to get the husband on board :slight_smile:

My husband has children at a very young age and has been taught to believe that children always come first. He has interpreted this to mean that every little whim comes before the needs of anyone else (namely his wife) in the family. In his eyes, anything short of this would constitute neglect of his daughter. What this has done is create a child who feels that she is the most important person in the family and that her wants come before the well being of the family as a whole. Selfish would be an major understatement. She knew the impact her pregancy would have on our family and she knew she could get away with it because her father would continue to excuse, protect and enable her. Guess what…she won.

I have told my husband my bottom line. I will never see his child on the street. BUT…she will not be living with us and raising this child (for anything other than short term, emergency basis). I will not financially support his daughter. This child is not ours and if he chooses to take the responsibility for it he will be doing it as a single man. As you can imagine, this has not been well received. I have been called selfish by not just my husband but also many members of his family (this after many years of stupidly putting my own needs aside in favour of his daughters wants).

Again, thank you so much for your feedback. This is an incredibly difficult position and I am constantly being told I am the selfish one in the position. It’s nice to hear an unbiased voice of reason. Clearly family counselling is in my family’s future.


#4

Ceejay -

My heart does break for you. I used to have a husband who would take his mother’s side every single time, no matter how destructive some of her behavior was to us. It’s so difficult, I know.

I’m sorry other members of his family aren’t supportive. Maybe you can suggest they all chip in with you to help his daughter raise this baby. I’ll bet that stops them in their tracks!

Lord, what an impossible situation. I’m sure you want to shake him and show him how this situation was not only avoidable but how much worse it will get if he doesn’t demand responsible behavior from her - yet he doesn’t see it that way.

My cousin has a daughter who has never worked (at 24) or lifted a finger in any capacity other than to dial him for money, money, money. He can’t make it fast enough. We’re all waiting for the day she announces her own pregnancy with her loser-no-job-no-ambition boyfriend and there will be another mouth for my cousin to feed. But he doesn’t see it that way.

Try in every way you can to gently but firmly let your husband know that bringing her in to live with you both would seriously harm your marriage [U]without[/U] letting loose on his daughter (to which he’ll only be defensive and turn on you for).

My mother taught me the very best lessons in life by actually allowing me to suffer my consequences. I am eternally grateful for that today, given my independence, strength and conviction to my life and goals. I know if she’d given in, I could have gone down a very different and destructive path.

The best of luck to you hon, you don’t deserve this!


#5

It’s so nice to hear from someone who shares my values. I too was brought up to take responsibility for my actions. On my own since 18, I have done my best to make a life for myself, educated myself, and would never have accepted the things for myself that my stepdaughter seems to aspire to. That said, she is the one having the baby not me. Feels like I did all the rights things, waited until the time is right and now it’s not going to happen for me. How is it fair that it comes so easy to someone who deserves it so little. That’s the question that keeps us all on this particular forum I guess. So sad to be jealous and resentful of my own stepchild but can’t seem to help it.

I’ve tried to be a good role model for her and have spent much of the last decade begging my husband to make her accountable for her actions (for her own good). So frustrating to feel like it has all been for nothing. My worst fears for her have come true. Makes me wonder if any of it was worth it. Also makes me wonder how to best love and support her baby while knowing that nothing I do or say will matter. At the end of the day, I have so very little influence on how they turn out. Makes me long for my own child even more.

Anyhow, again, thank you for your advice. It has been very helpful. All the best with your pregancy and your new little one. Tons of respect for you for going it alone. Wondering if my future may not hold the same thing. Sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be preferable :-). Thanks again!