A rift between Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna actually led Khloé Kardashian to have "the best birthday that I've had in so many years"

By Lanford Beard
Updated September 04, 2016 10:30 PM
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Source: Blac Chyna/Instagram

Khloé Kardashian was another year older and another year wiser on Sunday’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Despite being somewhat on the outs with brother Rob, Khloé managed both to step up for her sibling and to reverse the curse on her annual birthday celebrations in time for her big 3-2 on KUWTK‘s midseason finale.

Centering on a massive blow-up between Rob, 29, and fiancée Blac Chyna, 28, the episode showed how his sisters – especially Khloé – helped him “man up” as he prepares for fatherhood.

Seeing her brother struggling to adjust to life back in the public eye after overcoming years of self-imposed seclusion, Khloé said, “I am really concerned that Rob will go backward – I don’t want him to have made all this progress and then, if they’re having problems, he’ll retreat.”

Later, in conversation with mom Kris Jenner, she said, “I know when my brother hurts how badly he does hurt. The more they’re fighting and the longer things are bothering him, the more depressed he gets. He’ll go into hiding again, go missing – I don’t want Rob to live that life anymore.”

And so it was down to Khloé, who was already antsy about her impending birthday, to find a way to patching things up between her brother and future sister-in-law.

Of course, she did so with a little help from family peacemaker and older sister Kim, 35.

“Maybe if she felt like we were all inviting her to your [birthday] party, then she would feel more accepted,” Kim suggested to Khloé. “You know what I mean? Imagine if you were in her shoes.”

Amid another powwow as the sisters banded together to help out their baby brother, Kim affirmed that she always wants Rob “to know he always has someone to turn to.”

Khloé agreed, telling her sisters that the Rob & Chyna stars’ latest bump in the road was completely normal for any relationship but as fiancés and parents-to-be they needed to recognize that “now it’s like reality time. And I told Rob this. I was like … ‘you guys will be okay again, but you have to deal with your issues.’ I just want Rob to know that, no matter what, we’ll always be there for him.”

After calling Chyna and paying a visit to Rob’s home, Khloé was still on pins and needles when the night of her big birthday bash arrived.

For more from Rob Kardashian on his painful past – and bright future with Blac Chyna, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

Happily, aside from what we can only assume was a skiball-reated finger injury, the Strong Looks Better Naked author had a blast – and a full house – on her special day.

“This is honestly the best birthday that I’ve had in so many years,” said Khloé.

“It means the world to me to have my brother at my birthday,” she revealed. “I can’t remember the last time my brother was at a family holiday, so to have him here, it’s pretty awesome. … I just hope that this is the new tradition for years to come.”

And she made a point to add, “I am grateful that Chyna came to my birthday party because I think without her, Rob wouldn’t have come. And it shows me how much Chyna does care about Rob because that’s an intimidating situation to walk into.”

RELATED VIDEO: Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna Can’t Wait for You to See ‘The Real Us’

And as witnessed by their forthcoming show, “Rob and Chyna have a long way to go,” said Khloé, who noted in an earlier interview that she’s “really happy that they are working things out. Relationships are hard no matter what, and as long as Rob is trying and starts engaging and communicating [these are] baby steps to his life.”

Rob & Chyna premieres Sept. 11, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians returns Oct. 23, both at 9 p.m. ET on E!