I have a confession to make.
I did something insensitive. It was years and years ago, but this day now reminds me of it. It was at a time when I was young and stupid and didn’t know better- but I feel so horrible about it now. Though I have renounced any formal religion, the Catholic guilt can still get me, so I’m hoping confession will relieve me a bit.
Some background first. I remember being on a family trip when I was a kid- a young teenager I think. One day in the hotel room my siblings and I were just fooling around and we somehow figured out that most of us could push their stomach out in a way that looks pregnant. My older sister could do it, my 9 and 10 year old younger brother and sister could do it. It was funny seeing a sight on such a little person. Oddly, I couldn’t. Maybe I wasn’t coordinated enough or didn’t have the abs to do it, but I felt a little left out.
Fast forward to many years later. I was in my early twenties and my sister had showed me a photo of her looking pregnant (with the whole push out your belly trick)- though it seemed hilarious because we knew she most certainly wasn’t. So I tried it too, and this time I did it! I was so impressed with myself. The older me laughs a bit at this- having been asked many many times in my career “are you pregnant?” when I most certainly wasn’t. Way to make me feel fat. But in my skinny little 23 year old body, faking it was some sort of accomplishment.
I took a photo. And posted it. It wasn’t April fools (thankfully) but it was still a joke in my mind- seeing if anyone would comment. I don’t think I got many responses. I wondered about that- perhaps because it didn’t look as real as I thought, perhaps because I had no back story or perhaps because people were just being polite.
I am horrified that my younger self did this. I was soooo far from the world of wanting to be pregnant, it seemed harmless. My friends on social media were right there with me- I didn’t know anyone my age who pregnant, let alone trying or experiencing loss. That, I am grateful for. Though there could have been. We all know that the loss and infertility world is often a silent one- we don’t always know who is grieving.
Today, April 1st, can be a significant one in the babyloss community. Apparently it can be “a thing” to do an april fools pregnancy announcement on social media. I am fortunate in that so far, I have not seen any… yet. I hope that you all are in the same boat. This day could be hard- or if there are no insensitive jokes, it could be a day like any other for most of us.
But today I also think of a friend, who will undoubtedly will be having a hard day. She lost her son a year ago today- the cruelest of all jokes. Thinking of her and Anders today and apologizing to the world for my young, insensitive self.