Surprise, I’m pregnant!

No, not really. I’d honestly rather pull my uterus out with my own two hands than be pregnant again. I’m not pregnant but it is an appropriate way to start my post.

Today is April Fool’s Day, and once again my Facebook feed is filled with people asking that most important of questions: “Is it appropriate to joke about being pregnant?” Well, most are not so much asking the question as stating flat out that it isn’t, and I just can’t agree with them.

Is it lazy comedy? Yes, absolutely. Is it offensive, disrespectful or insensitive? Hell no.

Look, I empathize with people who have suffered loss or are struggling with infertility. I don’t claim to know what it is like to suffer a late term loss or the loss of a living child, nor do I know what it is like to struggle for years to have a child, though I have had two early miscarriages and I did go through a period when I was first married where I struggled to get pregnant before we stopped trying for a few years. Even if I didn’t have those experiences I’m still capable of empathy, though I’m sure some out there, should they read this, will feel I’m lacking.

That said, I just do not believe that making a joke about my own life affects you in a meaningful way. If I were to make a joke about being pregnant (which I wouldn’t because reread the bit about the uterus), I’m not in any way mocking the struggles or losses anyone else has suffered. I’m just not. When my mother died, I wanted nothing more than to have her back, just for even one day. I’d have given anything to have her back. And I will be honest, it stung to see or hear people complaining about their mothers, things that seemed petty to me. But I recognized that it was my issue, that their complaints weren’t mocking my loss, their jokes weren’t aimed at me. After I miscarried the first time, it was hard to see people enjoying what I wanted and lost, but I recognized that it was my issue. It would not have occurred to me, even then, to take offense at someone joking about being pregnant. The world does not stop because I suffer, and other people’s lives very seldom actually affect me.

Now I grant that I have a skewed sense of humor, and I find great catharsis in laughing at what makes many others wince. Today as I was arguing about this, someone said it was no different than making a joke about cancer, which isn’t appropriate because people have cancer. I’m the kind of person that, if I had cancer, I would be the first to be cracking jokes about cancer. I don’t need to have cancer to know this, I already laugh and joke about things that touch on traumas I’ve suffered in my life. Humor is how I deal with life, especially the most challenging parts of it, and I will never apologize for that.

I want to be sensitive, but the larger part of me just wants to say “get over it” if someone else’s joke about their own life bothers you that deeply. If someone mocks your loss, if someone mocks your inability to conceive, then they’re assholes and fuck ’em, but they are not doing that when they joke about being pregnant.