Baby Talk

I considered not writing about this because it could potentially offend people who otherwise support the content posted here. But then I remembered: it’s my blog and I get to write about any topic I damn well please. Which today, for no good reason, is pregnancy lingo.

little satchel of baby

The world of pregnancy can be a daunting place full of graphic lessons in biology, terrifying stories of those who have given birth before us, and just a general onslaught of information. And so to make everyone at ease, someone created a simple language of abbreviations to guide us through the process.

Except it’s not simple and it does not make me feel at ease or connected to a community of pregnant women. It’s confusing and unnecessary. Who decided there needed to be some stupid, coded language to discuss things like menstruation, ovulation, insemination and various other -ation words? Do those extra keystrokes really take so much effort? I don’t think that’s the case, though. I don’t think women tired of typing ‘trying to conceive’ and thus shortened it to TTC. I think it’s elitist. Some kind of intimidation technique. It’s how I imagine the unsavvy social media user feels about Twitter hashtags.

Naturally, Meredith took to the pregnancy lingo right away.

Around the same time she was sending me articles on cheeseburger crotch, she also started speaking fluently in pregnancy acronyms because the blogs and forums to which she flocked are rife with them.

So she started saying things to me like: Did you know that x% of women get a BFN when they POAS on 10 DPO?

And then she would sit and wait while I cringed in focused concentration, trying to figure out what the hell she was trying to tell me. There’s obviously nothing wrong with this pregnancy language that is used so widely in forums across the internet where women gather to discuss, advise and commiserate. I just don’t subscribe to it. Haven’t I got enough to keep track of, enough to research, enough to remember? If I do choose to write about menstruation you won’t see any mention of AF. Partly because the term Aunt Flo makes me feel like I’m in junior high, sneaking maxi pads from my gym locker to the toilet; and partly because I don’t see the big deal in calling  a spade a spade. And if I choose to write about the results of a pregnancy test, don’t expect to read anything about a BFN or BFP. I just won’t do it.  #takingastand  #nonconformist

5 comments

  1. People who use words & knowledge to help, not harm, are the true intiellects. Those using words to harm, obfuscate and confuse are cowards. Sheep. #preach

  2. I think the intent isn’t to exclude people–I’ve been on a bunch of forum boards and people are always quick to explain what they’re saying to newcomers. It always felt to me like an attempt at building community and a way to feel in control or at least well informed in a process that can be so complex and scary at times. Not everyone needs that, of course, but I do think it’s usually well-intentioned. Also, thankfully, cheeseburger crotch isn’t an inevitabilty, just so you know…

    1. Meredith will be so disappointed if I don’t get the cheeseburger.

  3. I found all the stuff confusing and now I use it but usually with irony. I understand your perspective! 🙂

  4. for me, the acronym that always stood out the most was FTM. being from the gay community, i immediately think, female to male – as in transgendered. but i guess in pregnancy speak it’s, first time mom.

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