This April Fools Day, I would like to take a stance against an April Fools prank that I see every year. If you are not pregnant, do not say that you are as a joke.
Please. Please. Please.
It’s just not funny.
To be fair, I will admit that I was once the culprit responsible for this joke. Back in high school, I made the joke for a couple years in a row. For this, I am truly, deeply sorry. I did not understand the very real struggles that people face with pregnancy. There was no way to grasp the realness of miscarriage, infertility, and problems conceiving and/or carrying until it touched the lives of those I care about.
The truth is, people spend hours upon hours crying because they want babies but cannot have them naturally for whatever given reasons. I’ve seen people lose all sense of self because they dreamed of being a mother since childhood, yet they have polycystic ovarian syndrome rendering them incapable of having children. I’ve seen people fail to have any reason for their struggles, leaving them with loss and confusion. Men and women find themselves praying to whatever god/s they believe in that this will be the time that they don’t lose their baby. This might be the time that they don’t have a miscarriage. The struggle of feeling less like a woman because of an inability to carry to term or even carry at all breaks people to the ground. Families are strained and ruined by these things. This kind of thing is life changing for a lot of people.
As much as people with these issues are happy for others when they are pregnant, a piece of them hurts because they know it won’t ever be easy for them to have a family. It reminds them constantly of the things they’ve lost, of what they want. They usually don’t get to talk about their struggles. The men who hurt are reminded that they should keep their emotions in, bottling up every ounce of anguish. The women who hurt are constantly told they are just emotional and “it will get better.” Their sadness makes others uncomfortable. So, they push these feelings deep down and support the people going through great things in their lives.
To find out that these emotions and memories were brought up for nothing is like a slap in the face. They just went through every doctors appointment, every bit of bad news, every ounce of negativity again for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
Seeing others make a joke out of their struggle, even if just for one day in April, is painful at best and super insulting at worst.
Please be sensitive to those going through pregnancy-related medical problems this April Fools Day.
Laugh about Pacman Google Maps. Tell people you are moving, then add *NOT* (a little throw back to pretty much all of the ’90s). Maybe pull a practical joke or two.
Just, don’t tell people you are pregnant unless you really are.