Monday, April 1, 2013

Fake Pregnancy Announcements: Are They Really That Funny?

Happy April Fool's Day, everyone!


I've never been a fan of April Fool's Day. I'm not the type of person that appreciates practical jokes. Quite honestly, I'm just not fun enough for that sort of thing.

But there is one April Fool's joke that is absolutely, positively, NOT funny. Not in any sense of the word. Not to anyone struggling with infertility, at least.

I don't know why, but there are a host of people out there who think it is simply hilarious to announce their fake pregnancy on April 1st. I've already had two fake pregnancy announcements on my news feed today, and it's not even 1 o'clock. This concept just blows my mind. Funny. Really?

Seriously. Just consider this for a moment.

This has been circling around facebook, and I think it perfectly puts the "joke" into perspective. If you'd like to share this link on your own facebook profile, just click on the picture and go from there.

After reading that, how funny is the joke now? Fake pregnancy announcements hurt. A lot. Seeing--or hearing--a real pregnancy announcement, for me, feels a lot like a knife to the heart. And I know I'm not the only one. The second I hear an announcement, I start going through the five stages of grief:

1) Denial. Uh-uh. That is NOT an ultrasound photo of a baby. That's gotta be a squirrel, right? That can't possibly be a picture of two pink lines. That's the whole marriage equality thing, right? They didn't say they're pregnant. They said they're definitely NOT pregnant. They just left out a word.

2) Anger. They're pregnant? They're pregnant! What the heck did they do to deserve another kid already? Their youngest isn't even one yet! I saw her yelling at her kid for sticking his finger in a light socket the other day. YELLING. They don't even want more kids. I can totally tell they aren't excited. Why do they get a baby and not me? It's not fair!

3) Bargaining. Okay, so they're having a baby. That's fine. If I just lose ten pounds, I know it'll happen. I just know it. I'll be happily in my second or third trimester by the time their baby is born and I have to look at all the photos on facebook. Maybe if I'm really nice to my kids today, I'll be deserving of another baby.

4) Depression. I guess they're just better parents than us. I must not be pregnant again because I suck so bad being a mom to the two kids I've already got. God is clearly punishing me. I don't deserve more children. Why do I even want more children? The two a.m. feedings and bawling kids and never getting two minutes to yourself isn't exactly fun, right? I'm fine with the two kids I have. I didn't want more anyway.

5) Acceptance. I'm just going to have to unfollow this person on facebook unless I want to constantly torture myself with belly shots and complaints about morning sickness. I'll probably never have more kids. It's fine, really. I mean, I have two. I don't really need more, do I? I'm infertile. That's life. It's no one's fault. I will survive.

I say that all very tongue-in-cheek, but the truth is, I've actually thought all those things and more after hearing a pregnancy announcement. It doesn't matter how deserving the person is. It doesn't matter how much I like them. It still hurts. I'm still jealous. I still wish it was me.

But life's not fair. Some people get pregnant, and others don't. I've accepted that I'm always going to deal with baby-envy and belly-jealousy.

I'm willing to put up with it all for real pregnancy announcements. I accept that I have to put up with it all. I refuse to be that unreasonable person that everyone is scared to tell they're pregnant for real because I'll freak out.

But forcing someone to go through all that as a joke? It just seems cruel. You wouldn't tell someone with a dying parent yours just got cancer as a joke, now would you? So why would you tell someone who can't get pregnant or who just lost a child that you're expecting when it's not even true.

Maybe I'm being extreme. People say you can't please everyone and if you are always trying to avoid hurting people's feelings, you'll never say or do anything. And that's true, to a point. But I think there are some situations which require sensitivity, and infertility is one of them.

To anyone out there who's actually expecting, congratulations. I'm jealous. I wish it were me. I'm still happy for you. Really. I don't expect people to avoid giving out real pregnancy announcements or to dial back their happiness just because a few people they know are struggling with infertility.

But fake pregnancy announcements? C'mon, people. We're better than that.

What are everyone else's opinions about fake pregnancy announcements as an April Fool's joke? Funny? Overplayed? Hurtful? I'd love to hear your comments.



Wendy Jo said...

Thank you for posting this. People who aren't dealing with these kinds of things have no way of knowing how hurtful it can be, and I am grateful that you took the time to explain it, and with humor even! Go you!

Lauren said...

Between a husband and wife, or inside the family (in person) I can see it. Maybe. Otherwise it's just stupid.

Lindzee said...

Thanks, Wendy. :) And I agree, Lauren. One of my friends peed on a home pregnancy test while she was pregnant a few years ago for another friend, and that friend used the test to fool her husband by saying she was pregnant. Between a couple, I think that's fine. But on facebook? Not so much.

Tammy Pendley said...
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