Etiquette for posting a BFP on TTCAL

Thank you to Buggirl72 for this awesome contribution!

It has been two years since Petra wrote out the etiquette for BFP posts that laid out the rules.

https://ttcalblog.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/rules-aka-etiquette-for-bfp-posting/.

The board has evolved over those two years and I have been asked to update the BFP etiquette to reflect the current board policy and to clarify some of the earlier rules.

We all know that the goal of every woman on this board is to have their rainbow, and, rationally, that means with the large numbers of women on this board who are actively trying to conceive, BFPs happen. The question for many is “Do I post my BFP on TTCAL?” This is probably one of the most difficult areas on TTCAL and one with the most potential for causing the maximum amount of pain for the ladies on the board. You may be asking how the one thing we are all striving for is painful to others. Aren’t we all trying to get a BFP? Shouldn’t we celebrate/support everyone regardless of how long they have been on the board?

This is the time to remember your audience. TTCAL is a safe place. We have fought hard to make it a safe place, one that is safe from people asking if they are pregnant and one that is safe from BFPs. Does it hurt you IRL to find out someone is pregnant? If the answer is no, you are fortunate because for the vast majority of women after a loss, the answer is yes. Be mindful of those women who will be hurt by your BFP. We have women on our board who have been trying for many cycles and are on CD1 or just got a BFN. Seeing your BFP is a cruel reminder that they are not pregnant. We have women who have been on TTCAL for way too long, years in some cases. How do you think a BFP makes them feel? We also have graduates who have returned to us because they suffered another loss. TTCAL is their home and is full of the women who love and support them and they love and support back. A BFP is especially painful for those women. Again, if you are even considering posting your BFP, remember your audience.

Keep in mind, that most of these rules are assuming that you have been an active member. An active member is one that offers support to others, participates in TTCAL as a member of the community, and is a regular contributor. Look at your post history. Are all or most of your posts in the last several months on TTCAL? Are the majority of those under replies and where those replies in support of others, not just vents, complaints, or AW type responses? If you can answer yes to both of those, you are probably an active member. If all you do is read posts, rarely respond, or respond only to check-ins, you are not an active member.

The “rules”:

1) Your first cycle on TTCAL. It is never okay to post your BFP. That is the short and simple answer for you if you fall in that category. You are new to the board and for anyone that has been on the board for more than a few months, your BFP will just remind them that they have been left behind again. You do not give us hope. You depress us. Go straight to PgAL and intro over there. If you post anyways – you will be flamed.

2) You are a “newbie”. Still not okay to post your BFP. Like the person posting that they got a BFP after their first cycle, your BFP is a painful reminder to the vast majority of the women on the board that they have been left behind. The majority of the board has not had very much time to get to know you (trust me, two/three months in not that long). Even if you post what you think of as a lot, have made friends, and are active in check-ins – you are still considered a newbie. Go to PgAL and post an intro. Those who lurk on PgAL will offer you congrats. If you are a member of a check-in that includes BFP announcements, send a PM to your check-in leader and they will announce your BFP in your check-in for you.

3) Your are an “inbetweener”. This is a very, very gray area. You might be asking what an inbetweener is. An “inbetweener” is someone who has been on the board long enough to not be a newbie but they have not been here so long as to be considered an oldie. See, even your definition is muddy. Essentially, you have been on TTCAL for three, four, five, or six cycles. You are realizing that you are not going to graduate quickly but you are still able to offer support to all the newbies who intro (and there is a lot – you are really just noticing how many!), you probably lurk on PgAL and recognize some people over there You also understand why drive-by BFPs are painful and are making strong connections with people on the board.

The reason that this is a gray area is, for the oldies, you are still newish. Even if you offer tons of support and are incredibly active on the board, and have been for many months, your BFP is going to be hard for the oldies to take. This is where the board has evolved in the last two years and the original rule (that you could freely post your BFP after three months) do not apply.

If you have been on the board for only 3 or 4 months, you probably should just intro on PgAL without posting your BFP on TTCAL. Let your check-in leader announce for you.

If you have been an active member of the board for 5 or 6 months then do some soul searching before your post. If you truly are an active member, your BFP will probably be well received.

4) You are an “oldie”. You can post your BFP without reservation (assuming that you are an active member of the board) because you have provided support to generations of TTCALers. If you are a member of TTCAL+6 you should have zero worries. But you will worry, which is why we love you. The fact that you are concerned that your BFP will cause anyone pain shows how much of a valued member of this community you are. Just remember, we want to celebrate for you and we love to see BFPs from those who have Ellie dancing in their signatures.

Special Snowflake – because there is always one. Maybe you introduced on the board over six months ago but never posted again; you feel like your BFP will bring people hope; you are an active check-in poster but only post to your check-in; you think these rules are silly and we should SQUEEEEE all over the place for you. We don’t care. We don’t know you. You are not special. Do not post your BFP.

Ask yourself a lot of questions on why you want to post your BFP on TTCAL. If you do decide to post your BFP, make sure your post has “BFP warning” in the title. This way those who are not up to reading about a BFP can avoid your post.

If you are a check-in leader for a check-in that includes BFP announcements please make sure that “BFP warning” is in the title of your check-in post when announcing someone else’s BFP. If you are announcing your BFP in your check-in, please have “BFP warning/mine” included in the check-in title.

If you are not a check-in leader, do not announce someone else’s BFP. It’s not your place to do that. PM them your congratulations. With the new updated Bump, you do not need to page someone that you are PMing them. You also should not page a graduate on TTCAL. It’s not necessary and TTCAL is no longer their home board.

A final note. If you are fortunate enough to get a BFP, please wait to update your siggy with a ticker. If you were an active member then you are going to still have posts on active threads. If you slam a ticker in your siggy right away, people on TTCAL will see it with no warning in your old posts. Please hold off for a week or so to let any active threads you contributed to role back to the third or fourth page. For those who chart on FF – remove your chart and any links to your chart from your siggy. I found out the hard way just how many people stalked me with my last BFP. People were hurt by it. On the same note, once you get your BFP, you need to step away from TTCAL . Even if you think you are going to have another loss, you need to go to PgAL and wait there. It is hard, especially when you have had multiple losses, but remember that TTCAL is a safe place for many women not just for you.

Please do not think that I am saying that graduates are not welcome to participate on TTCAL. Remember to look for the “PgAL/PAL” warning in the OP’s signature and include a siggy warning in your replies. We love our graduates and want to know they have not forgotten us.

As I wrote this post, I am trying to remember the last BFP announcement that I have seen on the board (not including drive-bys). The graduate is now over 20 weeks and had been a very active and well-loved member of the board for over a year. Several other “oldies” graduated around the same time – they did not post a BFP on TTCAL, even though their BFPs would have been well received. If you ask any of them they would tell you they did not post their BFP out of the worry that it would cause pain to even one woman on the board. Please reflect on that while you think about whether you should post your BFP.

"Rules" aka etiquette for BFP posting

Please remember that the following was on request, several requests actually. Also, this is blunt. It is intended to be blunt.

When is it OK to post your BFP announcement on this board, instead of going directly to PGAL and posting your announcement/intro there? Good question. Back in August, NoahBear wrote a lovely post for the blog that covered the subject well, and gave gentle guidance that relied on people’s common sense.

http://www.ttcalblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/to-post-or-not-to-post-bfp-story.html

Prior to and since that time, there was a struggle on the board. Frankly, it got ugly. Many people who had been part of a core group of support here left under nasty suggestions that this board be ‘controlled by and for newbies only’, and anyone who had been here for more than 6 months should just leave. It was even suggested that they ‘go back to m/c-loss’ if they couldn’t be happy for a random fly-by posting a ‘Squeeee! I’m KTFU!’ on the board.

Those sorts of suggestions were vicious and terribly painful to women who had been giving support and guidance to others and rarely asking for any themselves for a very long time. They were the glue that holds us together and provides continuity to our community. Only some of those lovely ladies who were hurt have come back. And of course, almost every single one of the women who wanted the oldies to leave have graduated and moved on. Because that’s how this works. Most of you will be graduated and moved on in a few months.

However, one good thing that happened during all that, was that after almost a year of back and forth struggles trying to make this board a more supportive place (without becoming the puppies and rainbows barfing hell of babygaga.com), we found common ground and agreed upon certain ideas about posting (and graduate participation). After a few weeks, the first BFP post came and everyone held their breath. Then, only happy ‘Congrats!’ came and were from both newbies and oldies. Then another and another and another. Graduates felt free to come and post support for us, and no longer felt kicked out and rejected by us. Our community began to repair itself.

In time like an occasional hailstone in the rain, we noticed a few absolute newbies who had only posted for less than a month start to post BFPs. But, not wanting to bring back the all out nastiness from the past, people let them slide. Then there were a few call outs posted, the ONE sacrifice everyone had agreed on in order to find peace. But, when PSAs were posted reminding people that call outs were a no-no, the response back was ‘Oh yeah? Well, the Rules aren’t in the blog!’ When a very new person found success on her first cycle in TTCAL, left for a few days, and then came back to post a BFP, and it was pointed out that it felt like a ‘neener neener’ post, the response back was ‘Oh yeah? Well, the Rules aren’t in the blog!’

Well. Now the ‘Rules’ are in the blog.

Whereas before it was left to your common sense, now it’s spelled out. There is still some room for interpretation of course, we aren’t toddlers, or at least we’re not supposed to act like it.

Etiquette for Posting BFPs on TTCAL

1) If you are fortunate enough to find success on your first cycle or two on TTCAL, it’s a pretty good bet that you should go directly to PGAL and post a BFP/Intro post there. The board as a whole hasn’t yet had the chance to really get to know you or your struggles. Their happiness for your success is likely to be overshadowed by their pain of seeing yet another newb flash through and leave them behind. Posting now would only serve to hurt others. PGALers will be excited for you and welcome you with open arms. (Of course, if you were here giving support for months while you were TTA before you were TTC, then of course you’ve been here long enough.) Do remember that when you move over from m/c-loss you may move over with a group of women you know and feel comfortable with, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the women on TTCAL know you yet.

2) If you’ve been here actively giving support 3-6 cycles, and participating in the board as a member of the community, post that bad boy BFP up! If you read posts but don’t respond to very many, or if you just start your own threads and don’t reply much to others, then this doesn’t apply to you. If in doubt, review your posting history. If the entire first page of history is all on TTCAL, all recent, and almost entirely support to others posts, you’re probably fine.

3) If you’re a member of 6+, then you get to post your BFP without thought or worry about it. You’ve been providing support and knowledge to ‘generations’ of TTCALers long after all your questions were answered for you by others. You’ve earned it. (But that’s rather the point isn’t it? BFPs are intended to celebrate the long-awaited success of our friends who have struggled.)

4) BFP posts should include a ‘bfp warning’ in the title. If you’ve already included a ticker in your siggy as fast as all that, please put a ‘ticker warning’ in the title. For reference, most graduates who post a BFP (or intend on coming back and offering support) chose not to use a ticker for a while, or use a typographic ticker (“my baby’s progress”), instead of a graphical one (i.e. the fruit ticker or pictures of the developing embyo). Only graphical tickers should need warnings on BFPs. Graduates with tickers of any kind are always welcome to participate of posts started by people with ‘PGAL/PAL Welcome’ in their siggies, no warning needed.

5) Call out posts are absolutely not cool on this board. If you are so excited and happy for someone that you don’t feel posting your comments in the OPs BFP post with everyone else is good enough for you, send a PM or call them out on PGAL (you do know that they read through those congratulation replies over, and over, and over again, right? Yours wouldn’t go unnoticed. Really.). But the ‘call out’ posts were the price we paid for board peace. This isn’t about being mean to you, it’s about NOT being cruel to women who are hurting. Getting your umpteenth BFFN and logging on to TTCAL looking for support because you are losing hope seems pointless if the first page is all call outs for the latest graduate to leave you in the dust.

6) If you are new to the board, and someone is called out for their BFP post and you think it’s uncalled for, perhaps you should stop, listen, and learn before condemning the very women who you will be seeking support and knowledge from, before criticizing them for calling someone out for an inappropriate post. If you are unlucky enough to be here for more than a few months, you’ll figure it out fairly quickly.

7) Always remember that the intention of these rules are to provide a reminder about etiquette. Etiquette is not something to make yourself feel good, it’s to make others feel good.

~Written by Petra from TTCAL

To Post or Not To Post- A BFP Story

When new members come to the board, it’s often asked “do I post my BFP here?”

Long ago, there was a time when all BFP’s were welcomed if you were an active member of the community. For a while that seemed to be gone and absolutely no BFP’s were “allowed”. Recently, it’s gone back to those who are active members can post them.

So why is the debate always coming up? That’s a very good question, and no matter the answer, it wont matter. This debate will arise every few months, get heated and die down. There will be clicky polls, unpopular opinions and arguments.

A couple suggestions before you think of posting your positive pregnancy test for all to see:

-Have you supported others and somewhat gotten your “name” out there?
-Have you put a “warning” in your title (ie. pg mentioned, bfp mentioned)
-Would you consider yourself a regular on the board?

If you have to ask yourself, or others, if you’re a regular, you probably aren’t. If you have posted on the board, either new post or responding, a small handful of times over several months, you’re probably not recognized. We don’t know if you read every single post and just don’t post. We don’t know you until you let us. Intro, participate, support, post random things, just get out there and get your name known.

Give support, get support. Simple as that.