There can be a great, deep chasm between women who have experienced fertility problems and those who have not.
It can be easy, if you’ve never been there, to say something offhand that will slice right through a woman who’s suffered a miscarriage, or who’s been struggling to fall pregnant.
This is never more the case than on April Fool’s Day.
It might feel like innocent fun to pretend you’re pregnant in a social media post on the world’s number one day of pranks.
But, for someone existing an eternity away in experience, it will not feel humourous or harmless. It will feel like a punch in the gut, and the wind – for the umpteenth time – will be knocked entirely out of her chest.
“This is what it looks like to have a miscarriage,” Kayla Lee Welch posted to Facebook last year, though the post has resurfaced again ahead of April 1.
“This is why your April Fool’s joke isn’t funny. This is why it’s not funny to lie and joke about being pregnant.
“A week ago today I started spotting. I convinced myself it was normal because I did it with Keegan. This time it wasn’t. I avoid laying down to go to sleep because as soon as I hit the bed I’m alone with all of my thoughts.”
In vivid detail, Welch detailed her broken heart.
“All I can do is cry. My eyes are so swollen and dark it looks like more than just my heart is broken,” her post reads.
“Crying so hard that you go numb and feel nothing anymore. Trying to be happy that your baby never knew anything other than love. And missing someone so dearly that you never even met. It’s a pain no one can describe.”
She asked the world to “please think twice” before publicly posting an April Fool’s joke about being pregnant because “what’s funny for a second in your eyes crushes someone else’s heart for eternity”.
The accompanying hashtag read simply: #pregnancyisnotajoke.
LISTEN: A very raw Monique Bowley speaks about miscarriage, grief, and how friends and family can help.
Though Welch went onto successfully fall pregnant with her second child, another boy, the mum-of-two said her post about April Fool’s Day resonated with women across the world.
“I’ve had thousands of women reach out to share their stories with me,” she told Scary Mummy.
And the virality is for a reason.
Take care, this April Fool’s Day, to consider the women who live a chasm away from you. No matter how funny you think you might be.