Saturday, May 15, 2004


The language of pre-conception and infertlity seems largely comprised of acronyms. I found this extremely offputting when I began my tentative explorations into the online world of "TTC". The first couple message boards I came across were simply baffling.

For the uninitiated, a typical entry on a thread can read something like this:

" Well, it's CD 11, but I know I am about to O, judging by all the EWCM and my CP- that and my BBT. Must be all that EPO I have been taking. Better convince DH that it's time for some BD. I don't know if it's going to work considering my TSH levels are so abnormal and my LP is so short. I'm still hoping that once I POAS, I'll get that BFP. That or AF will show."

After a year of this kind of chat, the eye seems to adjust. You can, with a few brief letters, sum up a entire month of hoping and waiting. You can give your vital stats- how many MCs, how many attempts at IUI or IVF. And for those who are in the infertility club, it's all info you want to know, because it's a quick and easy way to assess someone else's situation. To start that conversation and lend support.

The organisation I work for is also fond of acronyms. At a recent training conference, a large volume was produced- quangos and semi-quangos and offshoots and voluntary groups and interdepartmental divisions, sub-divisions, sub-sub-sub divisions. I spend all day knee deep in acronyms, then come home, hit the boards and spin a few more.

I am relieved that there seem to be no acronyms (or at least none that I have come across so far) for the things that need proper words- like, I am so sorry about your miscarriage. Or, I am so terrified I might never be a mother. But sometimes I find myself resorting to that shorthand of acronyms, cause it's easier to hide behind a bunch of letters than express how I really feel about what is going on. That to say AF has arrived is simpler than trying to convey the gutwrenching disappointment, sitting in the bathroom cubical at work with a wad of toilet paper in my hand watching the hope and anticipation of the last month crumble into nothingness. Knowing I have to go back out there and pretend it's OK. That it's part of a cycle and I'll have another chance in a couple weeks. And knowing that many women out there reading those two letters will know, all too well, exactly what I mean.


Post a Comment

<< Home