“Now I know my ABCs!” I proclaimed, a semi-toddler with a mind full of wonder, happiness. Entirely naive to the horror that can exist in this world.

I wish I could go back to that stupid-simple time when learning the alphabet was the biggest struggle of my life. Now, as I continue to pick up the shards of my broken soul that remain after losing my baby in February, I find myself struggling with a new alphabet.

Baby-making seems like a science and less of a literary endeavor, but to the TTC (there’s one for ya) world, it’s anything but. Creating new life is about hope and disappointment; being raised up and slammed down; anxiety about what time of the month has passed and what is still to come. It’s about having a complete, comprehensive understanding of your body, and yet still being entirely clueless about what goes on inside of you. It’s about meditation and relaxation when your mind is racing 1,000 mph with thoughts of hospital delivery rooms, nursery wall colors, names, and inevitably all that could wrong. Or worse: not even ending up pregnant this month at all.

The Trying to Conceive (yea, that’s what TTC stands for) community joins together through blogs and message groups offering support to one another. Women (and sometimes men) share stories about sex positions, how faint the lines on their ovulation sticks look. They ask each other whether the twinge in their side means they’re pregnant, or whether having a headache means they could be with child. Everything and nothing is a symptom.

One of the hardest things about being part of this community is being part of this community. The second hardest thing is interpreting what their acronyms mean.

A few I’ve figured out include:

TTC-I already broke this one down for you
O’d-Ovulated
BFP-Big Fat Positive (more on this later)
FRER-First Response Early Result (I think this is a specific brand of pregnancy test… kudos to First Response for branding a made-up acronym)
CM-Cervical Mucus
BFN-Big Fat Negative
OPK-Ovulation Predictor Kit
DP-Dear Partner

Some that I still cannot interpret naturally are:

EWCM-Early With Cookie Munchies?
BD-I don’t know what this means, but I think it’s some code for sex
AF-I only know this in the natural world ending with a curse word

Those are just a few, and there are many, many more. So many more that there is a full “Community Help” page on BabyCenter, call this a baby-making dictionary if you will. I probably should have consulted the page before sitting down to write this… hmmm.

The more acronyms I read and question their meaning, the more I feel relieved and pressured simultaneously. Relieved that I’m not the only crazy person out there trying desperately to figure out what it takes to conceive (in fact, I don’t even make up fake words to explain it) but pressured to understand all of the terms more than I already do and that that is what it is going to take. Like these women are more committed than I am.

But maybe they’re not necessarily more committed. Maybe they’re just holding onto something, anything. Even a fake, made up, shortened word.

Or maybe we just want different things. Maybe I should stop judging and start hoping for these women that they get their BFPs. Me? I’m in it for the longhaul and just want a healthy BABY.

I like to write for fun, but mostly for sanity. By day I'm a Senior Digital Strategist. By night I'm a non-laundry-folding mom.

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