Today started innocuously enough, with me telling the kids Spring Break had been canceled because "everyone is just too far behind in their work to take a whole week off of school" (I'm not a prankster by nature, so they bought it hook, line & sinker - their expressions were priceless in that 15 second window before I shouted "April Fool's!!!").
And then, it started. The silly Facebook posts about being pregnant ("Ha! April Fools!") and then friends outside of Facebook.
And it IS funny, don't get me wrong.
It is funny (to me at least!) to think of friends unexpectedly pregnant again!
But it's more than just funny.
Straight up really painful.
It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't been there.
But if you've suffered from infertility or pregnancy loss, you get it.
It's not funny to see someone joking about being pregnant when you've been trying forever and it feels as though your family will never happen.
It's not funny to hear about someone else having an "oops" when you know you'll never have an "oops" where you get to bring home a healthy child and your biggest concern is where you'll fit that child into your family space.
After pregnancy loss, you are forever a mixed ball of emotions when others announce they're pregnant. It's super fantastic. Really.
Excitement, of course, for me, is always the most prominent feeling - I am thrilled for my friends when they announce they're pregnant. I mean, it's one of the great miracles of life and how can I not be thrilled for them? I am. But my excitement is always tempered with sadness, with jealousy, with a realization that, again, my life is not "normal" and my body's ability to reproduce and bring a kiddo home is not "normal."
Most of the time I'm ok with that. 7 pregnancy losses later and I have gotten used to that feeling. We all have things about our lives that aren't perfect, that aren't the way we imagined they would be when we envisioned our futures. And that's ok. Life takes its own twists and turns and the joy in life is seeking out the beauty in those twists and turns. Focusing on what we don't have will always make us more miserable than focusing on what we do have, plain and simple.
I wanted a big family. Instead, I have 2 of the most amazing children I could have ever imagined, one of whom is medically fragile. And I know this path was God's plan for our family. So I am grateful for that. But there is always a twinge of sadness for what I had envisioned. I'm only human, after all.
And so, when someone announces their pregnancy, I always go through a roller coaster of emotions, and typically settle in at excited, with a twinge of sadness from time to time. I can work with that.
But then, on April 1 every year, there are always friends who think it's funny to post a fake pregnancy announcement on Facebook or Twitter followed with "April Fools!" or tell you in person. So, I get to go through that roller coaster of emotions, but in a 30 second window - over and over again all day. It's pretty exhausting, to be honest.
So, if you're thinking about posting a fake pregnancy announcement today, do it if you must. I mean, there is a component to it that IS funny. I get it, I do. But, if you have someone in your life who is going through infertility or has experienced a pregnancy loss, please think twice.
It is not YOUR responsibility to make sure I don't take this too seriously. I get that. I need to put on my big girl panties and not get upset about this kind of stuff. BUT, sometimes pregnancy loss is something that takes more than big girl panties to deal with. Sometimes, it takes an extra ounce of grace and compassion from those around us as well. If you have some of that extra compassion and grace to spare today, that would be flipping awesome.
And, you know, if you simply must prank someone today, put saran wrap under the toilet seat or clear nail polish over the soap bar instead. Because that stuff, folks, is straight up funny.