April 1 is coming...don't be foolish.
It is hard to believe BUT, we are almost at the end of March.
Days are getting longer, the sun is getting brighter, and things are beginning to look up.
I am a firm believer in practicing kindness and continually encourage others to do the same. The words that come out of your mouth may seem like just words but, they can have a MAJOR negative (or positive) impact on another human. So, PLEASE, ALWAYS pause to think before you say (or do) something that could affect another individual.
The end of March inevitably brings the first of April — also known as April Fools. Some people like to go all out that day and engage in elaborate schemes while others treat it as just another day closer to Summer. While I have no issue with a smoking toilet or water coming from the basement — those silly little tricks are actually quite cute — there IS one prank that REALLY bothers me. And it is NOT the time they announced that Toronto was getting its very own Disney World (although, I’m still not fully over that one – THANKS Daily Hive).
It is the fake expecting announcement.
You know the one. People will post a sonogram or pregnancy test and announce that they’re expecting. Which then follows with a ton of congratulatory comments. Then, once people have made a fool of themselves, the prankster says, “April Fools!”
Yeah. Please DO NOT do that.
It’s not about feeling embarrassed for falling for something like that, it goes much, MUCH deeper.
There are SO MANY PEOPLE out there who would love nothing more than to make a “we’re EXPECTING!” announcement.
But they can’t. And maybe never will.
I am unfortunately part of that club and can tell you that it STINGS. Like, worse than hand-sanitizer-in-a-cut sort of sting.
Those who follow my story, know that I have had some challenges throughout my adult life, one being a rare (and weird) autoimmune illness. When I was first diagnosed, it was a life-or-death sort of deal and they just wanted to treat it. QUICKLY.
One of the drugs they needed me to start immediately was an intense chemotherapy drug that was recognized to cause fertility issues and early menopause. As a young woman, LITERALLY just about to get married (I thought I was going to miss my Bridal Shower because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be discharged from the hospital in time), that tidbit (attack) of information was SCARY!
Then came hurried phone calls, emails, research, bank appointments and some very intense discussions. The option I was given — the ONLY OPTION — was to freeze and store everything so that when the time comes, we would be able to start a family.
This option wasn’t exactly a walk in the park and it’s not like you could throw it in a Tupperware and tuck it all away in the bottom of your freezer, next to your six-months worth of ground beef from the Costco.
It involved travel across the Country, invasive procedures, and LOTS of money...and that was just to start the process.
But, it was totally worth it because I have ALWAYS wanted to be a Mom. I am so blessed to have come from an incredible family with two amazing, supportive parents and I wanted to be just like them. I also wanted MY child to experience the love I felt growing up because those two people would make the kind of Grandparents that only the very luckiest of children have.
However, time was not on my side. We weren’t able to make arrangements quick enough; the illness won and the treatment had to commence immediately.
Clearly the treatment worked as I’m not writing this from the Beyond BUT, it DID affect my ability to have a child.
Fast forward to many years later when I met my soulmate - my current partner. After a while, we started to talk about starting a family and began looking at options. While my fertility was negatively affected by the chemo, my ex-husband and I never actually tried. By the time, my illness was stable, our marriage was not.
So, when I found that man that I would love nothing more than to raise a child with, we started the process. More research, visits to the Major’s Path Clinic, visits to the Women’s Health Clinic, procedures, tests...all the things.
However, still a no go.
Not only did that chemo treatment affect my fertility, my illness (that has never fully gone into remission) significantly increased the “maternal death rate” and once that sentence left the Doctor’s lips, my partner checked out.
I had the love of my life, was ready to have a child of my own -- BUT, it wasn’t going to happen for me. EVER.
And THAT stings waaaaaaay worse than a drop of Purell. That is DEEP.
It’s something that has taken me a long time to get over and if we’re being honest here, I’m still not over it and think (and cry) about it from time-to-time.
I also know that there are many women in my situation. Women who would make amazing Moms but, that option — something that is supposed to be our FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT AS A WOMAN — has been robbed from us.
So, when I see the “April-Fools-I’m-Pregnant” announcement on Facebook, I don’t laugh or envy the cleverness of the prankster, or even feel embarrassed by getting caught up in the prank — I feel HORRIBLE.
It hurts me to my core and can send me into a crying extravaganza that ALLLLLLL of the positivity in the world can’t help at the time.
So, my point? PLEASE stop pulling that one.
Saran Wrap your toilet...put food colouring in conditioner...tell your unsuspecting spouse that the toilet is smoking (I actually really love that one — that’s why I mentioned it twice) but DON’T do the fake “I’m expecting” announcement.
Unless you’ve faced similar struggles, you TRULY don’t know how much it can hurt someone.