Today is April Fools' Day, but what has become a popular "joke" to play on family and friends isn't a joke for those who suffer from infertility or have experienced the loss of a child. The joke is when you post, "I'm pregnant!" on your social media account, and then ha ha, surprise, you're not — a joke many would like to stop seeing.
Becky Thompson of Scissortail Silk wrote a short piece on rethinking posting such a status update — a post that has resonated with many. "Miscarriage and infertility are rarely announced through social media," she tells us. "Many women, many families, many couples go through this very difficult and painful time without ever sharing it with their friends or family. My post was never about censorship. It was about another opportunity to show compassion and love for friends we each may have who are suffering in silence."
If you've never experienced infertility, miscarriage or the loss of a child, posting about pregnancy and then revealing that it was a joke may not seem like that big of a deal. But Thompson, and others who have shared her post, just want you to know that to some, it is a painful reminder.
You just never know what your friends or family have gone through, or are currently going through — like Megan, who just got a much-desired positive pregnancy test a couple of days ago. "I never really thought about how making a joke pregnancy status could affect someone," she shares. "Here I am today, bleeding and worrying I am losing my pregnancy and it hurts my heart to see people making foolish jokes about something I want so badly."
It really is a matter of perspective — a perspective that not everyone has. "It didn't bother me in the least, until I was a surrogate," explains Kayla, mom of two. "I have never in my life seen pain like I saw walking in and out of that fertility clinic. Women clutching on every hope that they'd be able to have a child. Women struggling through IVF cycles. It's incredibly heartbreaking. It's just a different world."
For now, and for April Fools' Days in the future, try to find another funny prank to pull. "Everything I write is purposed to share love, hope and encouragement," shares Thompson. "With this post, I got to speak for many who are at this moment in pain and aren't able to share that with those they love."
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