April Fools


All week I’ve been seeing versions of this all over social media. 

Not to be ungracious, but it bothers me more a lot more than the fake pregnancy announcements. 

I know intellectually that I should be encouraged by any discussion that normalizes the experiences of the ALI community, and I also know that the people sharing it do so out of compassion or (sometimes) personal experience. 

But here’s the truth, guys. I don’t go on Facebook unless I am prepared for pregnancy announcements. Fake ones don’t hurt any more than real ones – and I have learned to assume they’re fake on April 1st.

On the surface it looks compassionate, but it’s actually disingenuous- one day a year, people suddenly remember that pregnancy announcements can be painful, and the rest of the year spare no thought for how to announce a pregnancy to family or the world. Like when a family member shared the April Fool’s Reminder, but has knowingly put me in the position of being surrounded by the entire family when she publicly announced her (very) unexpected pregnancy – more than once. 

I don’t mind the sentiment. I do mind the shaming. I don’t mind people reaching out and saying “this hurts me”. I do mind the reminder that I have hurt over this. 

I’m glad I didn’t see many fake pregnancy announcements this year – all celebrities, no friends or acquaintances. They are not funny, but they never really bothered me in the first place – not as much as the sudden ubiquitous reminder that I’ve lived through so many of them. Not as much as this lurking feeling that it is somehow incredibly virtuous to be considerate for 24 hours – that infertiles everywhere owe the Internet a collective and unanimous debt of gratitude for such a small act of omission.