As April Fool’s Day approaches, many people are readying their jokes and gags. One such joke that happens every year, and it bothers me more than almost any other out there, is the fake pregnancy jokes. There will be people who post ultrasound photos, trying to trick others into thinking that they are pregnant just for a laugh. Some of these posts are very convincing in their wording. But, in my opinion, pregnancy is never a joke.
Think before you post. The act of bearing a child is a major decision for so many couples, and can be devastating when something goes wrong. I don’t get offended by many things, and I personally feel like our society has become too “politically correct” about everything. People get offended way too easily over the smallest of things. But this, this is a big one.
I count myself lucky that I never had any major issues during pregnancy, and didn’t really have a hard time getting pregnant. But I know I am lucky. It took 6 months of trying to conceive Tyler and Ryan was conceived the first month we tried. Those 6 months of trying for Tyler seemed like a long time, but in the grand scheme of things, wasn’t a big deal. I know a lot of women/couples who have tried much longer with less happy results. There are so many people who want children, and physically aren’t able to conceive for one reason or another.
According to the CDC, about 12% of women in the US have trouble getting pregnant. At first, that may not seem like a lot, but think about it. How many women are in the country? And 12% of them have troubles getting pregnant when they are trying. And infertility is defined as having timely unprotected sex for at least one year without getting pregnant. That’s 12 months. 12 times being let down. 12 times having your hopes shattered by that negative test.
Think about these 12% of women before you post your fake pregnancy announcement. Pregnancy is never a joke.
It is estimated that anywhere from 10%-25% of all clinically-proven pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Miscarriage is also known as a spontaneous abortion because it is when a pregnancy is ended of it’s own accord before 20 weeks. Most miscarriages happen before 13 weeks of pregnancy. This means that up to a quarter of the women who get pregnant, start to bond with their baby, start to imagine their life with a child, are devastated to learn that their child is gone. A miscarriage can cause extreme emotional stress to the expectant mother, and to the couple. I have had a few friends who have had multiple miscarriages, and they almost gave up hope. Some went on to have a healthy pregnancy again, others did just give up on having their own child.
Think about a quarter of the women who do get pregnant and lose their child before you post your fake pregnancy announcement. Pregnancy is never a joke.
On the other side of the 20 weeks mark, any death of the fetus is considered a stillbirth. Most of the times, the baby has died before birth, but it can happen during labor and delivery as well. Stillbirth only effects a small percentage of women, about 1 in 160 pregnancies, so less than 1%. I know someone who had a stillborn baby and she said it was absolutely horrible.
All she could do was go through the what-ifs. What if she had gotten to the hospital sooner, or noticed less movement, or one of the other hundreds of things that go through her mind even years later. Stillbirth babies are ones that are so close to life, just to have it torn away. These mothers then have to go through the pain of a labor and delivery, knowing they will never be able to bring their baby home.
Think about these parents before you post your fake pregnancy announcement. Pregnancy is never a joke.
Perhaps the worst is the parents who have lost a child to SIDS or some other tragedy or medical issue. These are parents who have brought their children home. Introduced them to their lives. Lived with their child. Loved their child. Held their child in their arms. Until one day, they couldn’t. One day, their child was gone. I can’t even imagine the pain these parents and families go through. Whenever I hear a story about a child loss, I cry. It’s the hormones, it’s the mom in me. I cry. I think about my beautiful boys and can’t even begin to imagine what I would do without either of them.
As with stillbirth, this number is less than 1% in the US. It’s about 6 babies for every 1,000 live births. That’s still about 23,000 families who have to suffer this loss every year. 23,000 families that are ripped apart, never to fully recover.
Think about these families before you post your fake pregnancy announcement. Pregnancy is never a joke.
There are so many other options for a great April Fool’s joke:
- Tie a rubber band around the sink spray nozzle so it sprays whoever turns on the sink
- Put a cup of water on top of someone’s door so when they open it the cup falls. Or for a less messy version use paperclips
- If you want a social media joke, post that you are considering moving to another country
- Change the settings on someone’s mouse so it moves backward
- Put a color tablet (think Easter eggs) under the sink faucet so the water comes out colored
- Cover a coworkers desk in sticky notes or wrap everything in plastic wrap or foil
- Put a note on someone’s car saying “sorry about the scratch” and watch them search all over for it
- Make an ice cream sundae out of mashed potatoes and gravy with a cherry on top
- Post “Happy Birthday” on a friend’s Facebook page and watch everyone else follow suit because they “didn’t realize it’s their birthday”
- If you are out to eat and your friend goes to the bathroom, squeeze a lot of lemon in their drink or put a bunch of salt in and stir
What other pranks can you think of?
I hope this helps clear up to everyone why people get so upset about a pregnancy joke whether it’s on April Fool’s Day or not!