I love a good prank. I have a great sense of humor and anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to laugh. I've been the prankster, had them done to me, and still giggle about them. I've sticky-note bombed my husband’s vehicle, put Icy-Hot under door handles of friends’ vehicles, and put a rubber band around the spray nozzle on the sink. I've silly stringed, whoopee cushioned, and booby trapped my fair share of birthdays (my favorite day to prank someone) and April Fool’s days away, all in good fun, and I've always helped clean up any messes incurred with my pranks.
I love a good, innocent physical prank. Safe, silly, physical pranks can be epic, remembered for a lifetime, and fun for all involved.
But I draw the line when it comes to emotional pranks. Emotional pranks….Can set loose an avalanche and if you don’t care what that avalanche causes to others for the sake of your “prank”, you need to think about what it means to care for others.
An emotional prank is anything that plays on the emotional side of your victims you’re engaging. The one that gets to me the most is the way over done “I’m pregnant” prank. You know the one – on April Fool’s Day, women around the country post/call/text/announce that they are expecting a child, some even give a due date, usually on a day that doesn't exist, such as the 31st day of November. Some only play this prank on their husbands, even going as far as getting a pregnant friend to pee on a pregnancy test for them (I know people who have done this), and some play it on everyone they know. Then the next day, they admit it was an April Fool’s joke, all in jest, good times, ha ha, the end.
Only….not so much. For me and so many other mothers of babies who have died and mothers who struggle to conceive or carry healthy children, this joke is like a knife through the heart. We take pregnancy announcements very seriously. We wish nothing but the best for friends announcing pregnancies because of everything we’ve been through. The minute we see that announcement, we worry for you, we genuinely care for your baby, we pray for you and your baby. When we find out the announcements were a hoax and not true at all, it’s incredibly painful to us. We simply cannot understand why anyone would ever joke about something so precious as a life. Our emotions heightened in concern for you and your fake baby, for nothing. Our hearts abused, betrayed for your joke. It’s not so funny when it’s your heart being ripped open.
I can hear some of you now – “oh calm down, have a sense of humor, it’s just a joke, it’s April Fool’s Day it’s to be expected”. Ok, fine. All for a joke, ha ha, I get it. Here’s some food for thought for you. If someone were to announce on April Fool’s Day for a joke that they were diagnosed with cancer. Or their mother died. Or they were in a serious car accident and paralyzed from the waist down.
Would that be funny to you?
This is how those of us “Baby Loss Mommas”, or BLMs for short, feel about the April Fool’s Pregnancy joke. Please, consider the emotional repercussions of your April Fool's jokes this year and be compassionate in your pranks. It is possible (and so much more fun for everyone) to play a good prank on someone without toying with fragile emotions.