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.
Know someone else who needs to hear this? Share this post to pass it on, and then come find me on Facebook!q