April Fools’ Day is right around the corner, and you may have started planning the perfect prank. Perhaps you decided to fool your family and friends with a fake pregnancy announcement on social media. After all, that would really shock them! But I urge you to think before posting because, for some women, an April Fools’ pregnancy announcement can be a painful reminder of what they don’t have.
One in Eight
One couple in eight struggles with infertility, and many more have suffered miscarriages and the loss of a baby. I know this because I am one in eight. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, endometriosis, and a heart-shaped uterus. Each of those factors alone lowers my chances of conceiving and carrying a baby to term, but combined? When I was first diagnosed, my doctor said it was highly unlikely I’d ever be able to conceive naturally.
Why an April Fools’ Pregnancy Announcement Hurts
Infertility is one of those things most of us struggle with silently. Who wants to broadcast the fact that your (or your partner’s) stuff doesn’t work right? But even though we don’t often let the world know, each time another friend tells us she’s pregnant (although we’re happy for her!), we die a little inside. And an April Fools’ pregnancy announcement is like a knife through the heart.
And the wound is just as painful, if not more so, for those who experienced a miscarriage or the loss of a baby. When you so desperately want a little babe in your arms, an April Fools’ pregnancy announcement can send you spiraling.
Some women are blessed to basically have their partner look at them and they get pregnant. I have several friends who can actually time when they get pregnant so it works best for their family. If that’s you, you are incredibly lucky. But for those who struggle with infertility, every month we get our hopes up that maybe, just maybe, this will be the month. And then those hopes are destroyed by that visit from our cycle. I have laid on the floor of my bathroom weeping because one more month has come and gone, and still no baby.
So when you contemplate posting an April Fools’ pregnancy announcement, consider the woman who follow you. There are more of us than you know who want nothing more than to be mothers. Some who have grieved the loss of a baby. Some of us are going through hormone injections to try to get pregnant. Some of us are saving thousands of dollars for the slim chance that IVF will work. And some of us may never get to share a pregnancy announcement of our own.
I hope you realize I’m not against pranks; I probably love a good prank more than most people. But maybe think twice before you make an April Fools’ pregnancy announcement because those words or pictures have the power to really hurt a friend or relative who wants nothing more than to be able to post an announcement of her own.
Infertility awareness week is coming up April 23-29. That week is always significant for me. Thankfully, I have been blessed with two precious children, and I know what a miracle they are considering my issues. Not all infertile women are as lucky. So please, I implore you, think before you post. Better yet, try encouraging a friend who is struggling.
Originally published March 2020.
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