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.
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.
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.