Pregnancy is not a joke
April Fools Day is this Saturday, and while my dad has always been a fan of practical jokes, there's one particular April Fools Day when he and my mom pulled off the greatest prank ever. I was seven and had just come home from playing with my friend across the street. My parents were standing in the living room with serious faces, and I got that tingly sensation that something was up. Well, my mom pulled me close and goes "Erynn, we have some news for you. Your dad got a new job, and we're moving to Alaska!" Alaska. I'd be leaving my school, all my friends, and I might never see my family again. I remember feeling my heart just fall, and I started crying. They let me cry for half a second before they were all over me going "It's ok! It's ok! We're not moving! April Fools!" Needless to say, I was pretty mad at them for a while after that. That was the best joke ever played on me (that I can recall), and I've seen many April Fool's Days since then. Sadly, I've noticed a trend among pranksters that hurts more than people realize. The Fake Pregnancy Scare. You've seen it before. Some women will announce their pregnancy and bask in all the excitement (or fear, depending on the situation), then deny it all the next day. Yes, their family might feel a mixture of sadness and relief, but it's not nearly as hurtful to them as it is to a woman struggling with infertility. There are 7.5 million women in this world, ages 15-44, who cannot conceive or carry a baby to term. 7.5 million. That's a lot of women, so there's a good chance that anyone playing the false-pregnancy joke knows a few infertile women, and it hurts us beyond belief when people joke about the one thing we long for but cannot have. And yes, you heard right. I am one of those women. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for seven years and, in that time, we have had no inclination that it would ever happen for us. During the first few years, I took a pregnancy test every time I thought I might be pregnant, but they all came back negative. After a while, I just quit buying them because I knew what the outcome would be. And my heart hurts every time someone pretends to be pregnant just so that can feel that power and attention, even if it's only for a day. Ladies, pregnancy is not a joke. If you need a good joke to play, try wrapping some rubber bands around the spray nozzle of the faucet. That one is always a classic. Or, if you want to do something on a larger scale, maybe announce that you now work for a celebrity and see how long you can get people to believe it. Just, please, don't make light of our struggles. We suffer the grief and loss of infertility every day, and jokes like that only make things worse. Please think about us this April Fool's Day and stay away from the false-pregnancy jokes. If you need more suggestions, check out Bored Panda, Buzzfeed, Bustle, or Parenting. For more statistics on infertility, check out the CDC website. Want to know more about the struggles of infertility? Check out the link below. I've personally read this book, and every one of these women deals with infertility in their own way. If you take a look into our world, maybe you'll understand.