She Might Not Tell You, But I Will… The Joke Is Still Over

In 2014, I wrote this article,– and it spread like wildfire. I heard from people all across the globe who agreed, and others who used some pretty strong language to tell me how much they disagreed. But out of all of it, I noticed one thing. It started a discussion. And sometimes? All it takes for change and hope and forward thinking to take place is for one person to say, “But what if we did something different….”

And that is why with April 1st just around the corner, I feel it necessary to speak about this once again.

We have all seen them – a happy couple posing with a picture of a sonogram or a pair of little shoes, a smiling woman holding her tummy, a shock of disbelief on a man’s face gripping a pregnancy test. They are pictures that lead us to believe that there is a baby on the way. We have also seen the status updates on social media. “I’m expecting!” We are to assume that someone we know is pregnant. Only around April 1st, it’s not often true. Once we read the comments, we discover that what is expected is actually a tax return, or a great day, or something other than a baby.

And all of these are done for the sake of a few laughs and a great April Fool’s Day prank. (Which… let’s face it… isn’t even that original at this point.)

But here’s the deal. I’m asking you consider not making that your joke this year, and beyond that, I’m asking you to ask your friends not to either. Because the truth is, we all have friends who are suffering silently.

It’s true. The statistics support it. We all likely have friends who would love to have a baby, and yet month after month,  find themselves still waiting… still hoping. It is what they think about constantly. It is what they hope for endlessly. And deep down, they face the often relentless fear that they might not ever naturally have a child of their own.

See, after sharing a little of our own struggle to maintain a healthy pregnancy, I have learned that those who face infertility rarely discuss it openly in casual conversation. Social media is full of status updates about babies and toddlers and children. Moms to be will discuss pregnancy cravings and appointments and ailments. It’s easy to see the journey of those who are currently or soon will be parents.

But those who wait? Those who have gone for months or years hoping for a baby of their own? Well, let’s be honest. Some of your closest friends might be facing those very things, all while you have no idea.

After all, you won’t see many status updates that say something along the lines of, “Still not pregnant. #whenwillitbemyturn” Because for many, the journey to pregnancy it is a deeply emotional process. It’s not something that comes up in everyday discussions… not for every couple facing infertility… but for many.

So, my request is simple. Let’s not make a joke of it this year… or ever. Not because I’m trying to censor you. Not because I’m trying to steal away your fun. Year after year I share articles like this and people tell me that I’m what is wrong with the world. They tell me to stop being so sensitive. They tell me that EVERY joke has the chance to hurt somebody… so if we never made any jokes the world wouldn’t be any fun.

But I want to remind you that there are people that you know… people that you care about… people that you love, who you might be hurting with a simple prank without ever realizing it. Friends of yours who would have loved to make the announcement that they are expecting… but fear they will never have the chance. These aren’t strangers. They aren’t people we will never meet… But our own friends and loved ones who could currently be experiencing recent loss while we are oblivious.

I’m asking you to not make a joke of it for their sake. I’m asking you to spread on this message… for them.

So, yes. I do understand that there are many who do struggle with infertility who would not be bothered by this joke. There are many who are walking out this road who are full of hope and joy and laughter, and they might say, “Don’t let my story, stop your fun.” And that is wonderful! But I’m not asking on their behalf. I’m asking on behalf of those who aren’t in that place. I’m asking on behalf of those that you love, who might be fighting daily for hope… who might be hanging onto hope by a thread.

Let’s decide together that this April Fool’s Day will be different, and maybe together? We will start a discussion about why we want it to be… It’s a chance to show compassion. And I personally will take every one of those chances I’m given. I hope you’ll join me.

 

 

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Comments

  • Ashley says:

    THANK YOU for this! We just lost our second baby to miscarriage. We have two beautiful children with us, but last March (2014) we miscarried at 11 weeks, and now, just this last week, we miscarried at 11 weeks again. How innocent, but inconsiderate those April Fools jokes are. People don’t take the time to think about how what they do affects those around them. Thank you for speaking up on behalf of all men and women who struggle with infertility/pregnancy loss/infant loss.

  • Sarah says:

    Yes, thank you for this. We have two beautiful children, but we have also lost 2 babies to miscarriage. And just last April 1 I was pregnant and feeling hopeful and terrified all at the same time. A friend asked me to be apart of an April fools joke on her husband. I refused and was actually made a fool of when I stood up for what I thought was wrong. Then on April 2, we found out that we lost our 2nd baby at 12 weeks. :(

  • Sarah Thompson says:

    Thank you for this!
    We have just suffered another miscarriage. Both missed miscarriages at 18 weeks and 14 weeks.
    It’s hard enough seeing ‘true’ pregnancy announcements on Facebook nevermind the insensitive people who think it’s a joke on April 1st.

    Sarah x

  • Shirley-Anne says:

    In 2007 we got told we couldn’t have children well I did. I felted along not a woman if I couldn’t have a child. But God is good in 2010 we were pregnant but sadly at 8weeks we had a miscarriage, it was so hard for us we waited so long for it to happen then it was gone but we took it as a possible sign an a few months later we were pregnant again in 2011 our baby boy was born our life’s have changed for the better. And at the end of 2012 our baby girl come into the world and I can now say we have three amazing children our mirlcal baby boy turn four yesterday an our two girls are two years and our last one just six weeks. My heart is full of joy and I count my blessings everyday that I could get pregnant and carrie them full term and over but my heart does brake for the woman out there who can’t fall pregnant easy xx

  • Alissa says:

    I have to be honest…. While I agree with your overall point. I struggle to see so much about this topic and not much about what we post on social media period. I am an equal culprit in posting things about how sweet my husband but recently I’ve slowed down with that stuff. You see, as a 27 year old who just got married, I spent many years in my 20s wishing and hoping for a husband. And those all too familiar happy couple, happy family posts wore on my heart from time to time. Now that I’m married I want to publicly praise my husband and love on him all the time. But I have older friends and friends my age who are still single and not wanting to be- dreams unfulfilled. I thinks we often post things as a way to communicate about our day or connect with friends but we don’t think about the impact on someone else. Just a thought. I think this is bigger than a pregnancy prank. Thanks!

    • Dorcas says:

      Agreed. This is bigger than a pregnancy prank on April 1. But, by extension, if seeing pregnancy pranks triggers the silent sufferings, wouldn’t baby pictures / sweet couple pictures have the same effect?

    • Jessica says:

      I think there is a big difference between posting excitement about truth and posting a prank/joke/lie.

      I’m someone this article is about. I see the posts and go through the struggle each day amplified by the announcements. That’s my journey. So when I go through this process and bring myself to be happy for them just to see the joke is on me. It’s like more than just the being fooled is the object of the joke. Now my pain and struggle are part of the joke too. My putting my emotions through the ringer to be happy for them is in vain.

      So in my opinion posting the truth is good. The lies are what hurts. Yes it hurts single people to see happiness they lack and long for but if it’s true than it could help too. Showing those hurt by past relationships that not all relationships are like that. Not all men are jerks. I think a good man/husband/dad deserves to be publicly praised.
      Now if it were a lie about a relationship then I would agree that is the same as what this article is talking about. This article isn’t so much about how hearing about pregnancy announcements is hard. This article is saying that the joking/lying about a pregnancy to get a laugh is cruel.
      The truth we can handle but don’t put us through that just for a laugh please.

  • Ashley mason says:

    Thank you so much for writing this… I completely agree that there are many suffering and to know deep down in their hearts they can’t have children while others just flaunt that they are pretending to just have another one. Makes me so upset. Thank you for writing this!!

  • I’ve never seen this! Yikes! (and I am praying for women waiting…)

  • Marti says:

    Thank you so very much for this. So, so much. <3

  • Annabelle says:

    Thank you so much for these words and all the wonderful words you share with us. After dealing with infertility for over 4 years and counting, a joke about someone being pregnant is the last thing myself or anyone else that struggles wants to see.

  • Kristin says:

    I think your post is wonderful with the best intentions. Most suffer in silence and I don’t think people realize how hurtful posts like this can be. We lost our first pregnancy (twins) to miscarriage at 15 weeks, then 4 more after that, every infertility test you can imagine, fertility drugs, procedures, and just as we were about to give up we got pregnant. Then 3 healthy babies after that. It was a LONG road to get here! I’m pretty thick skinned at this point, people can say some stupid stuff. But, I can’t expect people who have never been in this kind of situation to understand. And that’s ok. I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on anyone.

  • Elizabeth says:

    It’s really not funny. I’ve only seen it once and put myself out there with a huge congratulations. Then you find out and feel duped and stupid. And no one actually laughs. A mutual friend who hasn’t been able to have a baby actually called her and explained why is was so hurtful.

  • Ashley says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write this! It is well written, and needs to be shared! My husband and I also have two beautiful daughters and two angel babies. Our last loss was March 3, 2015. The hurt and emptiness is still there and comes in waves. I never understood why people would make a pregnancy announcement into a joke anyways. But I am sharing this on my FB. #Godbless

  • Marcie says:

    I appreciate this more than you know! I will be honest I have done the prank before, and let me tell you it is not funny at all. I want people to realize just how much others are affected by this. I recently lost my baby to sids and i feel that pang of jealousy when I see others say they are expecting and when it’s a joke I get angry because there are those that cannot have a child and there are those that have lost a child! I just wish people would be considerate of others knowing the circumstance or not!

  • alison says:

    Thank you. My husband and I have been struggle with infertility for almost 7 years. After my miscarriage in 2010, I would cry hysterically at each FB announcement I read. I blocked people on my newsfeed after each announcement. I spent days in bed after someone announced they were pregnant at church. To announce a pregnancy as a joke is in poor taste, especially on such a large scale. Despite your efforts, I’m sure it will continue, but thanks for trying to make people understand.

  • Jessie says:

    Thank you for writing this. I hope that others read this and maybe understand a little of what my husband and I go through daily. I am always happy when a couple gets pregnant and at the same time a little jealous and hurt. These jokes do not help because those emotions that I don’t want to feel get brought into the mix again. Hopefully this message will get across to those we know and and few less people will do this, this year.

  • Michelle says:

    Thank you for such a caring and respectful letter. My story is generational. More than 33 years ago I was told I would never have children and IVF was still experimental, but clomid was used with those that chose to share their difficulties with their doctor. Praise God that the clomid was successful and I had a little girl, 15 months later I had a second girl and baby number 3 took 7 more years, but I had my family.
    Next……my daughter thrilled us with the news that they were expecting their first baby after being married for 3 years. Tradgically, our grandson was still born at 28 weeks. About 4 months later we we’re thrilled to hear that she was pregnant again. To our horror, our second grandson was still born at 27 weeks. It took them several years before they could bear the thought of trying again. Gratefully, our God is merciful and she gave birth to a health baby girl, Anna, last summer.
    Our children and grandchildren have come with many, many private, as well as public tears. Although people don’t mean to be so insensitive, letters and comments like these may help people to think before they attempt to get laughs at the expense of someone else’s pain.

  • DEBBIE MCDEVITT says:

    THIS IS VERY TRUE. THER’S NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING HAPPY WHEN YOU FIND OUT YOU REALLY ARE EXPECTING AND SHARING IT BUT TO MAKE A JOKE OF IT TO THOSE OUT THERE WHO CAN’T OR ARE HAVING A HARD TIME IT IS NOT FUNNY. I KNOW MY DAUGHTER IS ONE OF THEM WHO HAS ONE BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER BUT HAS MISCARRIED TO.

  • rose says:

    Ashley try having your progesterone level checked the same thing happened to me only at 8 weeks it happened 5 times….I know what you are feeling. But I didn’t give up and thank you to number 6 is my 1 year old son

  • Heather says:

    True. But people suffer—silently or not—with all kinds of things.

    Rather than trying to convince people that people are suffering silently, we need to stop being silent. Why keep pregnancy a secret until the end of the first trimester? Only so we can suffer in silence if the pregnancy isn’t viable. Stop it! Speak openly about miscarriage. Speak openly about infertility. Then there will organically be awareness and otherwise well-meaning people won’t make jokes that aren’t so funny.

    • Tiffanie W says:

      You are right!!! I am infertile. Have been going on 15 years. I have 3 kids through adoption!! However, going through the emotional Rollercoaster that is infertility I suffered in silence. By doing so, I went to some very dark places. I was a wreck for years. I told no one how I was feeling not even my husband. It wasn’t until about the 7 year I turned a corner. God pulled me up and pulled me out. I overcame my hurt and shame and guilt. Now, I tell anyone that needs to hear my story. I speak out about my infertility and being blessed through adoption.

  • Emily says:

    thank you for writing this! Infertility is a very silent, emotional journey that most do not understand and those of us who have traveled the road know the pain. J have decided to make it a point to let women know they are not alone. It took us 3 years to have a baby and the lord gave us two at once! But the journey to conceive was a very long, hard, emotional one that I do not wish on anyone.

  • Linni says:

    I love this article! I’ve had 7 loses and now 2 miracle babies. When I see pregnancy announcements I always have mixed emotions. If it’s a friend who has been trying to conceive and finally does I’m over the moon. If it’s a friend who can get pregnant by looking at her husband I always cry, even after two miracle babies. Hearts are fragile. I just started a website to give women a voice to speak about their journey through infertility. It’s an untapped, hilghy stygmatized topic in our society. The jokes just make silent viewers of a post that much more heated. Thank you for sharing!

  • LLS says:

    We did announce we were pregnant on Apil 1st 2007. We had found out the night before and couldn’t keep quiet. My Mom actually called back later in the day and said I hope this isn’t an April fools joke. Of course my response was heavens no that is so distasteful and tacky. We welcomed our precious healthy baby boy December 1st. I hope more pranksters could be a little more creative than joking about such a precious gift and sensative subject.

  • Ronda says:

    In that case no one should ever joke about anything…ever…because somebody somewhere will always be offended…

  • Amanda Francis says:

    THANK YOU!! One of my little sisters post the pregnancy joke every April 1st and it is so old!! It was so so heartbreaking to watch my friends get pregnant and even my little brothers girlfriend knowing it may never happen for me. It took me 2.5 years of fertility drugs to have my daughter who is now 6 years old. Surprisingly our son was conceived when she was 10 moths old after being told we would Have to go through all the treatments again. He is now 4.5 years old. We currently want to conceive our 3rd baby this summer. Praying for all of the women who are struggling with infertility!

  • Sarai says:

    I couldn’t agree with this more! I actually learnt this lesson 2 years ago. I was not even thinking about babies, and decided to post an ultrasound picture of twins! I even photoshopped my name in the “patient” slot. So…later that day I received the sweetest message from an acquaintance of mine, telling me how happy she was for me and how she has been wishing for the same for years. She had to abort her baby for health reasons a year before, so… I was mortified to tell her I was joking …
    After that I realized how much pain it can cause. Also, now, after 2 miscarriages and the pain I feel when my friends announce their pregnancies… I can’t even understand why I thought it was ok to joke about pregnancy. It’s a struggle that only those who suffer it can understand.
    Thank you!

  • Berta says:

    I agree with Alissa. I am 33 and waiting still for a husband, and then to have children. While I am happy for my married friends, I feel at times that their statuses about their wonderful hubbies tend to be like pouring lemon juice on the wounds of my soul. Maybe I am being dramatic, but anything you long for that goes unfulfilled can be so disheartening and discouraging to the one waitin, and trying….

  • Nicole says:

    As someone who wants kids, but is not in a place to have them (and because of a variety of personal factors, may never be able to have them), I have zero issue with the April Fool’s jokes. I thinks it’s sort of lame – come on, it’s the most cliché jokes in the book – but it does make me groan, roll my eyes, and if it’s done cleverly may even make me chuckle.

    The thing is, do you know what hurts more than a joke pregnancy announcement? A real pregnancy announcement. Don’t get me wrong, I am so incredibly happy for my friends who are starting (or continuing) their families; I’m so happy they’re in a place in their life where they are able to do that. However, it still makes me wish with all my heart that *I* was able to have that – and each time I see a legitimate announcement, or a picture of the babies, or an update on how “mothering” or “fathering” is going, it reminds me that I may never have that life, no matter how much I want it.

    Whereas the fake announcements? They remind me that there are perfectly happy people out there living without families, without kids, and doing just fine. In fact, they’re so okay with that life, that they’re willing to poke fun at it. They remind me that I don’t need kids to make my life complete, that life is life and it can be amusing and enjoyable no matter what “life accomplishments” I do or don’t achieve.

  • Kristine says:

    Thanks for sharing this again. It’s obviously insensitive for some people, but it’s also just not funny for any of your social media followers. It’s not funny for the family members and friends who may be excited for them, only to learn it’s a joke. It’s not funny for the couple if, years later, they try to have a baby and can’t concieve. It’s not original or clever, it’s hacky and annoying (and above all, insensitive). Come up with something fun and original that everyone can laugh at. And maybe even pull a prank on your friends without (gasp!) having the need to post it on social media. Thanks again for spreading the message!

  • Angel says:

    I totally agree I’ve been with my man now 7 years this October just married but we have been trying for a baby, not to many people know I just got pregnant last year and about 6 weeks along I miscarried. It still is hard on me at times when emotions all come out at once, and some people are so insensitive about it. I still hurt I don’t need to hear jokes about it or see them on the web. People still joke about it and this post is right 100%

    Angel

    (Angel is my nickname I just didn’t want to post my real name)

  • Lindsay says:

    Thank you. I remember your post from last year and it really touched home for me. April 1st of last year was the official start of our 3rd and final IVF. Its was do or die, our hail marry, because we could just not go through it a 4th time. While I sit here and watch my twin boys sleep, reading your post brought tears to my eyes, because I remember all to well how year after year I dreaded those awful posts. Unfortunately, once you have struggled for so long to get pregnant and have lost babies along the way, April fools pregnancy jokes will always be hurtful and wrong.

    Here is to all my of infertile sister struggling in silence. You are all amazing and the strongest women out there!

  • Karin says:

    Thank you, so so much for this. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes, not over the idea of some silly April Fool’s Day joke, but because someone else (someone *with* children) gets it enough to try and ease some of the pain women all women I know struggling to get pregnant feel every time we see a new baby/pregnancy announcement.

    Hubby & I were told in 2003 there was a 20% chance a pregnancy would kill me due to my newly discovered blood clotting disorder. We still decided not to actively prevent pregnancy and I got pregnant twice. And lost both pregnancies at about 8 weeks. Then last year we found an amazing surrogate who would carry a baby that was my husband’s and an egg donor’s. We used the clinic at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school, trusting they would protect our little embryos, our babies. Instead they gave incorrect orders to our surrogate, failed to give orders to my husband & I, failed to order medication, and instead of good news, all our embryos died. So instead of celebrating this year, all I’ve been is angry. And sad. So I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for myself and all my infertile friends (and, boy, there’s a lot of them). Thank you

  • Carly says:

    Thank you for writing this. I think this is part of the bigger conversation that we have no idea what people are going through. For those of us who are following Christ, we need to pursue representing Christ well- full of love, compassion and pointing others to Him and His Truth. I am one of those women who is in a season of waiting, so I’m ultra-sensitive to pregnancy announcements in general, whether real or fake. Thankfully God had given me a peace about His timing and trusting His sovereign plan. What a mighty God we serve! Thank you for your ministry- I am so encouraged by you!

  • Ruth says:

    I lost my second son almost 4 years ago to heart defects. I was terrified to get pregnant, but two years later, my husband and I could not ignore the longing we had for another child. It took us a year and a half to conceive. Every single negative test was a knife to the heart. Every month that went by with my regular period broke my heart.

    I don’t get as offended to pregnancy jokes because I have worked through my demons and work to honor my son in other ways that helps heal me. But that does not mean they don’t sting..that I don’t lose a bit of respect for that person..that I don’t notice. I had someone tell me “well, then nobody should post anything about being pregnant just in case they offend someone!”. That’s not the point. The point is I would not brag about something I can do that I KNOW my friend cannot. It is simply about courtesy. Like you said, not about censorship or your right to say whatever you want…it’s simply about THINKING before you speak.

    Many prayers, hugs, and loving thoughts being sent to all the parents struggling through a loss and/or trouble conceiving. <3

  • Donna says:

    Thank you for posting this!!! I had a miscarriage in April of 2014 and then again in December of 2014. My husband and I have been going through a very difficult time. I have a son from a previous marriage (my husband now has been there since CJ was 6 months old) but I know he would like to be able to go through the wonders and joy of pregnancy and have a new miracle to add to our family. So thank you for speaking out for all of us still waiting and wanting to have that joy one day!

  • Heather says:

    Thank you for posting this. I remember reading it last year, and agreeing with it whole-heartedly. This year, I agree with it even more. My husband and I have been trying for a few months now, and I ‘m still not pregnant. BI realize that this is not long, but the fear in the back of my mind keeps looming that we may not be able to conceive naturally. I am so excited for my pregnant friends and friends with babies, but I can’t help but be jealous. Thank you for reminding us all to be a bit more sensitive to each other and our private struggles and fears.

  • Whitney says:

    I felt convicted reading this. Two years ago I was one of those “inconsiderate” people. On April fools, I posted a prank status that I was pregnant, and we laughed about it when my husband and I found out we were expecting less than 6 months later: the joke was on me! To be honest, at the time it was completely innocent, only because I had no idea the impact it could have had on other people. I didn’t realize how unfortunately common miscarriage and infertility are. I had no idea what people who struggle go through when they read announcements on social media….and the pain they must feel to see someone joke about it. Once I became a Mom, everything changed. I also had some dear friends who have gone through miscarriage and losing a child. My eyes were opened to a whole other world of people who need the love and understanding of sensitive and compassionate people. Pregnancy is not something to joke about and I have learned that it is a miraculous gift that only God can give. I just want to openly ask forgiveness for my past ignorant insensitivity. Please be patient and kind with those of us who are still learning! I think I can speak for a lot of people, that what many say and do are not done with the intent of causing pain to others.

  • Sarah says:

    I can totally understand where this is coming from, so this is by no means an attack. I think anything posted on social media can be considered hard to read or hurtful to one group or another.

    I’m a single person longing for a relationship…day after day I must read wedding announcements, engagement announcements, I’m divoeced but I’ve already moved on announcements. While the gravity of that might not feel the same to you, the feeling of I might be alone for the rest of my life, I can assure you feels much like not being able to have a child.

    I think we need to let people use facebook how they want to use THEIR face books and make our own happieness and reality.

  • Mary says:

    Very well written! There are plenty of funny topics that make great folly for April 1st jokes; feigning pregnancy isn’t one of them. It is such a personal struggle to deal with infertility. After years of this struggle, after multiple losses along the way, I can say that there is a push and pull to maintain hope. Thank goodness we have a Savior that walks these roads with us. Thank goodness He has endured loss so that He can be our comfort. But. If it is such a simple thing to avoid to not cause unneeded pain, why wouldn’t more people do it? It is as simple as choosing words – or topics – that wouldn’t hurt someone’s feelings. It is being kind and considerate. It is making a choice to not hurt with your words. You aren’t doing it for yourself, you’re thinking of others. I teach this to the children I do have. Your words matter. They can bring life or pain. Choose wisely.

  • Tiffany Savory says:

    YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!! This subject is my status update every April first. It is hard enough to listen to pregnancy anouncements but for people to make a joke of it makes infertility that much harder to deal with.

  • jody says:

    thank you for posting this. Yes it is very hard for a couple who have longed to have a baby and go thru all the doctoring only to be told we are a mystery couple and would not be able to conceive

  • Elizabeth says:

    As a woman who has had a term stillbirth followed by an early miscarriage, I remember a similar pain to the one you are describing: The painfully empty arms, the feeling of hopelessness, the feeling that other people are going to be blessed with children when you feel you may never be so lucky. Asking for compassion and sensitivity is always a reasonable request. Thank you for spreading the message to help people understand that this “joke” can be truly painful to many.

  • Sabrina says:

    Great story! This past year has been an emotional roller coaster for my husband and I. We have had 2 ectopic pregnancies with the second one resulting in a surgery to remove my right tube. My husband and I are one of the few of our friends not to have kids or one on the way. It’s extremely bittersweet with each friend announcing the news. I’m sure our time will come but I definitely don’t need false announcements in the mean time along all the real announcements. It’s already tough enough!

  • Katie says:

    THANK YOU for this post. My husband and I have struggled with infertility for more than three years and you’re right. It’s a very personal thing that we are not comfortable sharing with everyone. We have friends that still do not know of our struggle. In fact, we didn’t even tell our family for a long time. It’s hard enough reading the true ‘we’re expecting’ posts again and again without having to see someone making a joke of it.

  • Deirdre Van Amberg says:

    Another type of post that upsets me is when moms complain about kids….how they drive them nuts and how ticked they would be to be pregnant again. Hard to hear when you long to be pregnant.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes! We’ve walked a six-year path of unexplained secondary infertility in effort to give my son a sibling. Even after six years, it cuts. In some ways harder than it did at the beginning and in some ways less so. I had no idea when we had our son what an absolute miracle he was for our family. But treatment after failed treatment after failed surgery…it’s become quite clear. Thank you for this. So much.

  • Naturo-Mommy says:

    Alissa, showing people that you have a husband or children and JOKING about expecting or having those things are two different things. And joking about those things are NOT okay!

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you for writing about this again. I wish I had shared your first post last year, because sure enough, I saw a few pregnancy pranks on April 1st. Having dealt with infertility for over 3 years now, it’s tough enough to see those announcements. To find out that some of them are/were just a joke makes them that much tougher. Thank you for the gracious way you addressed it too. Thanks for writing about it at all. :)

  • Eileen says:

    A couple weeks after we got married, there was a facebook “game” going around that if you got tricked into by your friends, you were supposed to re-post 1 of the 10 pre-selected status updates and trick your own friends. My husband takes these things pretty seriously and after he got me with this foolish thing, I thought, you know what… I’ll play your stupid game.. and I posted the “I’m pregnant” status. Almost instantly, I had texts and phone calls from all my friends and family, as we were only married about 2 weeks at the time. I felt terrible telling everyone it was just a joke. You could just hear the disappointment they felt and that I actually felt. I had no idea how hurtful it was going to be – to my friends, my family, and even myself… A few months later, we started on our IVF journey and I saw (for April Fools) the same jokes. It was then, being on the other side of the punch line, that it really hit me how much pain was caused by what was seemingly a “harmless prank”. I’m so happy you’ve posted this (and re-posted it) because it really is important to think about how such a silly mindless stunt can have a rough impact on people that you don’t even realize. This year, after 2 failed rounds of IVF, I think I might just stay off the computer for April Fools…just in case…

  • Kelsey says:

    Thank you. You can put into words what’s in my heart and too hard and painful to share with others.

  • Amy J. says:

    Thank you so much for this. There are so many ways in which we thoughtlessly hurt other people, and while we can’t avoid all of them, and while we can try to forgive those who thoughtlessly hurt us with casual words, we can LISTEN and make the effort to think before we speak. The “jokes” about “hey, I know I’m a good mom because my kids are still alive” are incredibly painful to women who’ve lost children, too. :-(

  • Nita says:

    Thank you…This is my #1 Pet Peeve…You see I am one of the ones who will never have kids or grandkids & I would have LOVED to tell my husband and famiy that I was expecting but I never got the chance…ever…

  • Jeanine says:

    Please remember that any pregnancy and birth is “natural”! So many loved ones that I know somehow feel lessened for using science to enable their pregnancy. They are no different from anyone else! As a matter of fact, they have tried so much harder to conceive, and for that, I applaud them. Cheers to you, mamas that fought to conceive! You are brilliant and beautiful!

  • Kristen says:

    Wow. I am crying right now. I think that it is hard for people who have never had a problem getting pregnant to understand just how hard it is. I didn’t. But now after more than a year and a half of trying to no avail, I truly understand the pain. Trust me, I have had my share of tears. It is easy for someone who doesn’t fully understand the pain to think that it is a harmless joke. But it is hard enough to see the real status updates about a friend who is pregnant (even though I really am happy for them) without having to wonder if it is real or not on April 1st.

  • Candace says:

    Kelly Ripa did it on her show 2015. My friend wrote an open letter to her. http://www.hopeafterhope.com/an-open-letter-to-kelly-ripa-why-pregnancy-is-no-joke/

  • Christine says:

    I agree with you, can’t stand the fake pregnancy announcements! While we don’t have to hide every bit of good news we have, it’s good to think of the whole audience, not just the people you know will rejoice with you.

  • Janal says:

    A dear lifelong friend of mine has always been childless. Conversely, I had five beautiful children in 11 years. Every pregnancy was difficult to tell her about – I felt guilty(!) and yet every time she celebrated with me. Bittersweet times for both of us, celebrating and grieving one for another and for ourselves. Today, my children are all nearly grown and this friend is a beautiful testimony of love. She’s a lovely woman who has influenced my daughter and loves her with a healthy love. Our deep heart connection is a treasure. Thanks for writing about this sensitive issues.

  • Allix says:

    Luckily, I didn’t see a single pregnancy joke this year!

    After trying to conceive for over a year, I miscarried two weeks ago at 6 weeks gestation.

    Still, I know Jesus has good, good things in store!

    Thanks for this post!

  • Caley says:

    A great post – my best friend is struggling infertility and this was written for her and her breaking heart. Thank you x

  • Pam D says:

    I completely agree! I posted a link to this article on my Facebook page, and you would NOT believe the flak I got for it… people saying I should just lighten up, it’s a joke, it’s April Fool’s Day, maybe I should just stay off of social media if I can’t handle it… The two main women who said these things are both preacher’s wives, and one of them has adopted a sibling group as a partial result of her not being able to have children. At least two other people who said and/or agreed with these comments against it, have lost children themselves. Thankfully I’ve been a Christian long enough to know that not every Christian is like this, and there really are others out there who are compassionate. This post has also made me see that there are other issues that I should be considerate about on social media. Thank you for the post!

  • amy says:

    thank you so much for this! I was surprised to see NONE of this for the first time this yr! Maybe it’s due to the many blogs like yours and other posts that are making people more aware. We’ve been suffering from 2° infertility for almost 2 yrs now, and it’s so hard every time i see another pregnancy annct. Seeing fake ones is just ridiculous and heart-wrenching.
    thank you!

  • Kelsey says:

    Thanks for posting this. Many people don’t realize that a simple fun prank can be hurtful to others.

  • Elisabeth says:

    Yes, thank you for being sensitive for those who suffer from infertility! It’s hard enough without having silly April Fool’s jokes…..

  • Tia says:

    I think this is a great post. Thanks! Just to add another part of the perspective and one thing that’s always been hard for me, is hearing that infertility is the only reason people suffer and are unable to have kids. There are other reasons people “can’t” have children and it’s not just infertility and it’s super complicated to explain because most can’t understand it. I’m being elusive because I’m not ready to attempt to explain such a complex issue. For me, this was true.

    Fortunately there are support groups for infertility and a band of people that understand. I think this should continue. I think support should grow outside of this category too. I felt I had no support group because I didn’t want to pretend I had infertility issues because I honestly didn’t know if I did or not and I thought it’d be insensitive to “join” a group I wasn’t sure I belonged to yet. I suffered tremendously not being able to have children yet Andi also suffered because I didn’t have support because I could never adequately explain my situation in part because I was still trying to understand it and where I fit in my community. I felt very alone. I think others fall into the “other” category as well and I hope they know I want to support them in their silent struggle.

    I’m not ready to explain the complex issues that faced me because it’ll take a lot more thought than in writing this comment. I think it’ll be good for me to speak out like you have though. Communication is so important like you stated. Thank you for starting the conversation. I agree though about all you’ve written. I’m just getting ready to begin opening it up to other categories other than just those who have infertility struggles without diminishing those struggles. I hope this makes sense. I feel like this is my first step in opening up. Thank you!

  • Fable Painter says:

    Nothing hurts more when you are stuck inbetween your plan for children and God’s plan for your children than this… My husband and I tried for almost three years and experienced one miscarriage before we finally got the nerve to ask for help. This most definitely need to be heard and respected. There is no reason why it would be an acceptable joke.

  • Mary says:

    As a woman who TTC for over 10 years and went through countless procedures, I agree 10,000%! I usually place a disclaimed on my fb that I will I friend anyone who cannot respect me enough not to do this. We have been public with our fertility journey which did not lead to a pregnancy. I just have time to have people in my life who find it amusing.

  • Mel says:

    I wish the author would point out that REAL pregnancy announcements aren’t something to be ashamed of. I’m nearly 10 weeks pregnant (after 4 months of trying, which isn’t long but isn’t overnight either) with my first at the moment and have spent a lot of time thinking about how (and exactly when) to announce it to the world in the coming weeks. And maybe, MAYBE it’s just the hormones, but the sentiment expressed in the article – and in a good portion of the comments – seems to be that pregnancy announcements are dangerous, hurtful, insensitive things. And it makes me want to curl up and hide and tell no one I’m pregnant ever out of fear of upsetting someone. :-(

  • Maegan says:

    Thanks so much. You really touched on something that’s hard to say openly. I appreciate it.

  • Sandra says:

    Over 20 years ago my best friend was 2 months pregnant w/her 2nd child….both conceived practically overnight. My husband and I had been struggling with infertility for over 5 years and had just been told we would never conceive a child together. On April 1st, my friend called me and said, “guess what? I’m having twins!” I was happy for her (as much as I could be anyway) but inside I was devastated. It seemed like she could blink her eyes & get pregnant but nothing could help us. Then she said “APRIL FOOLS! Isn’t that the greatest joke?” Needless to say I was shocked and hurt she could be so cruel. Our friendship was never the same and we eventually parted ways. I couldn’t forgive her cruel joke. The good news is, several years later ICSI finally became available in the USA at very limited IVF clinics. We were blessed and it worked on our 2nd try! My son is now almost 20 yrs old and is in flight school becoming a pilot! Today ICSI is standard IVF w/very high success rates but back then it was very rare. If you are lucky enough to have children, appreciate every moment w/them, but be sensitive to the daily pain of any friends dealing w/infertility . If you’re a couple dealing w/infertility, STAY ENCOURAGED & on top of new research!! We had 3 doctors tell us it would never happen with our eggs and sperm, but w/technology & the caring heart of one doctor, he proved them wrong!!

  • Emily says:

    Wow! This brought me to tears! My husband and I have a beautiful almost 7 year old and are blessed and thankful everyday for her! I have heard through the years a few of those jokes and just wanted to say it never crossed my mind how that comment should NEVER be a joke until we went through infertility ourselves. In 2014 we had our first miscarriage. It was so early we didn’t even know I was pregnant. About a year later we took a pregnancy test and it was positive!! However that excitement didn’t last long. I miscarried about 3 weeks later. We were devastated. Tried naturally for a bit , wasn’t working. So just these last 2 months my doctor put me on an infertility medicine called clomid, both months no luck. I was told my body basically rejected it… I also have crones disease so my body hates me lol. I’m trying to stay positive but you said it, it’s a DAILY struggle!! There are a lot of sites out there where women going through loss or infertility can talk through it and discuss their journey and issues! It does help to know your not alone! So for anyone who reads these comments please know we are all here and praying for you!

    Praying for a miracle for ALL!!

  • Marilyn Bergjans says:

    Another gigantic group of people that this will hurt is the ones that were not able to have children and are past the age to try now. There’s millions of us out there that could not afford invetro or invetro failed them. Not just the ones currently trying and hoping. This is just cruel and insensitive. Period!

  • Nicci Fletcher says:

    Thanks for highlighting this. I was upset my a FB friend sharing one of these a couple of years ago: even her partner didn’t know. Like many others I commented on her post and said how happy I was for them despite the fact that my heart was breaking because it was never going to be me. I felt physically sick when I found out it was a joke. I’ve been sharing awareness about this over the last couple of days and as I replied to people’s comments (all positive and supportive so far – YAY!) I’ve come to realise that this so called joke doesn’t only upset people who can’t conceive or have had a miscarriage/lost a child. I think of the man who is elated to find out he’s going to be a dad only to discover it was a joke and he’s now got to deal, not only with his disappointment, but the fall out amongst his family and friends who are also disappointed. I think of the parents of the prankster(s) and what they must feel like. They’ve had a phone-call from someone who saw the announcement on FB and has called to congratulate them on their soon-to-be grandparent status. Perhaps they didn’t see the announcement or don’t use FB so it’s news to them. There’s a mixture of emotions: elation about the coming baby and hurt that everyone else in the world was told the news before they were. They get over the hurt and send card/flowers to their son/daughter only to find out it was all a prank. TOO CRUEL FOR WORDS. I’ve commented about this so much this year that I’m sure there’s going to be a blog next year: unfortunately I simply didn’t’ have the time last week.

  • heatherlyn says:

    Two years ago Valentine’s Day my daughter and her fiancee annnounced at family dinner, his parents were there also, they were expecting. Everyone was happy and saying congratulations. My response, which my future son in law told me later was the one he loved, full blown crying. My only child, my baby, was having a baby. My daughter has always loved children and couldn’t wait to be a mom. 12 weeks later I was rushing her to the hospital and an hour later her dad and I recieved the terrible news. We called her fiancee, who was over an hour away and he immediately rushed to be with her. This devestated both sides of the family because they are both the babies of both sides. The love and support they received was great but you can still tell to this day the pain is still there. They are married now and still trying but they take day by day and I know that each month it’s hard for them both. They just move forward and they say that when the time is right they will have their day and what a joyous and special day it will be. So I agree with with your post. Let’s show compassion.

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