Look, I know how it goes. You pee on that stick and you’re all “OMG I’m having a baby!?” but you can’t tell anybody because the obligatory 12 weeks, so you go to the one place you can get excited and talk safely (OR SO YOU THINK)…
You log on, create some cryptic name for yourself, find your “Birth Club” and start reading. You think you’ll find some like-minded women in the same stage of pregnancy as you and you can all commiserate and stuff.
But all you see are acronyms. Lots and lots of acronyms. What the fuck do DD, DS, BFP and FTM mean?
Who are these people? Do all mothers speak in acronyms? Why are they all using acronyms? HOW COME I’M THE ONLY ONE NOT USING ACRONYMS?
After reading a few posts and having no clue what the hell they’re saying, you sheepishly Google “BabyCenter acronyms” hoping nobody sees and praying to God there’s some sort of guidebook for this new world. I mean you’ve only been pregnant for 47 minutes and you’re already incapable of joining the mother crew?
It ain’t looking good.
Rest easy, friend. As a woman presently enjoying her 4th child’s limbs flailing against her bladder, I’m here to tell you in absolutely no uncertain terms that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and no, despite appearances, mothers are not some sort of weird gang wherein language is reduced to communication-via-acronyms, as if baby-in-womb immediately results in the inability to write words out completely.
DD is “dear daughter” and DS is “dear son” and DH is yep, you guessed it, dear husband. And yes, I’m with you. Why the hell do I have to add “dear” to the beginning of my kids’ titles? Isn’t that sort of contained in the word “son” or “daughter?” I mean it’s my SON OR DAUGHTER. Sons and daughters tend to be “dear” to their mothers. Usually. For at least a couple hours a day.
Husbands, on the other hand, are another story and I’m still confused about what sort of twisted 1950s throw-back decided all husbands have to be referred to as “dears.” Perhaps they’ve never actually had a husband, or cohabitated with another human at all.
But I digress. FTM is “first time mom,” which basically means certain non-FTMs will tell you all the things you don’t know and will never know until you’ve reached the pinnacle of motherhood (as they have). It’s also a flag to signal to the douchebag judgmental mothers “I’m new here. Please don’t attack me for my question.” (Edit: Also, FTM means “female-to-male” and, on this blog, “Fuck the Man.” Good times.)
Incidentally, we don’t all know things you don’t. In fact, some of us admit to not knowing shit and even, perhaps, knowing less with each child. Perhaps we have a little more experience with not knowing shit, but meaningful, universal parental advice? Yeah, for some of us that died a little more with each baby, along with the stamina of our pelvic floors.
I mean I’ve been a mother for nearly 13 years and all I have to offer is that I think the excessive use of acronyms should be classified as some sort of disease, particularly when it’s used to turn regular words into cute words.
The worst acronym is BFP. “Big fat positive.” Oh god help me. Just say “positive pregnancy test” and move on.
Maybe I’m just a bitter skeptic.
No, for sure I’m a bitter skeptic. And if you’re still reading, you might be one too.
So anyway you read the acronym list and you’re “in” and stuff but now that you know what people are saying, you’re actually more terrified than you were before. It turns out that access to the content of these posts is actually WAY WORSE than the ignorance you previously faced.
You read things like “Hey, FTM here. I just got my BFP and I’m wondering…is it possible to get pregnant from a blow job?”
You read it like 7 times, lest your eyes deceive you. You tell yourself you’re making it up. It’s a joke. Somebody’s joking. THIS MUST BE A JOKE.
But then the next post is titled “Am I pregnant?” and you’re like “Well hmmmm, I fear I may not be the correct person to answer such a question, particularly since I’m not a motherfucking pregnancy test.”
Who answers the question “Am I pregnant?” by logging on to an online forum? In other words, a place 100% unable to provide a reliable answer, particularly when a reliable answer is available for a few bucks at the local grocery store?
And then you start to wonder if perhaps you’ve entered some strange twilight zone in which all the people are insane, and the ones who aren’t insane post things like “Abortion is MURDER” and then wonder why they get so much “backlash for sharing their opinions.”
Wait. Maybe they’re insane too.
You read on, sure you’ll find your people. Sure you’ll find people who are just kind of regular ol’ humans who just found out they’re pregnant but instead you find people asking about baking soda and urine to determine the sex of their baby (at 5 weeks pregnant). You decide to give it a break and try another day, for the good of your own mental well-being.
A couple weeks later you wonder when you might feel your baby move. You log on and read this: “I felt my baby move at 6 weeks. It’s all a matter of how in-tune you are with your body. I do yoga so I’m sure that’s how I felt it.”
And you’re like “What the fuck is wrong with this broad? You moron your “baby” is like the size of a goddamn pea – and it has no limbs yet – but rather than own the fact that logic has clearly vacated your brain, you’ve somehow managed to turn this around to look like a deficiency on MY PART. (You know, because I’m so out of touch with my body I can’t feel the flutters of practically nothing.)
Look, FTM, all I really want to say is that you aren’t alone. BabyCenter and Pinterest and shit, they’re fun, I like them okay sometimes, but I assure you you’re not the only one who reads words like “I haven’t yet committed to a nursery theme” and feels a strange sense of existential angst. There’s nothing wrong with you because your “nursery” is an office you were supposed to deal with a year ago, or a corner in your bedroom, or a corner in your bedroom of your parents’ house. There’s nothing wrong with you because your “nursery theme” is the stuff your sister gave you, or you look at that empty bedroom and realize you have absolutely no taste. None. No decorative style/ability/decorative talent up in here. So basically you buy stuff and put it in the room and hope for the best.
There’s nothing wrong with you because you’ve gained 36 pounds at 29 weeks and the BabyCenter humans are all “I’ve gained 12 pounds and I’m 38 weeks and I just feel AWFUL!”
You’re not the only one who reads posts about “still satisfying my man even when I’m pregnant” with an eye-roll and mumble “Satisfy my man? Huh? He’s lucky he gets it once a month. I’m creating new life, piss on myself when I laugh and have a baby pressing against my cervical wall and I waddle – WHAT THE HELL DO I CARE IF MY “MAN” IS GETTING HIS ROCKS OFF?”
There’s nothing wrong with BabyCenter. That’s not true. There’s a shit-ton wrong with BabyCenter, but of not everybody there is psycho. And it’s damn entertaining. I still go on it sometimes, for funsies, to watch the drama, to read things like “HELP ME! I can’t find a perfect GOING HOME OUTFIT!!!!” and enjoy it for what it is while being okay with the fact that my baby’s “going home outfit” is not the central focus of my day, nor will it ever be, because I just don’t care that much about things like that. Yeah, when I had hospital births it was fun, but it was never life-changing. So few of these things are ever actually life-changing: The crib, the diaper bag, the nursery theme, the carseat system thing.
For a long time I felt like a freak because the only damn thing that really mattered to me was the baby, and possibly the fact that it was in my belly and needed to exit. I didn’t get excited about cupcakes or baby sprinkles or gender reveals or cute baby announcements (have yet to send those bastards out) and I was sure I was defective somehow. I’m a subpar homemaker with rooms that don’t match and the idea of “coordinating” things makes my stomach hurt.
But truthfully the only think I’ve really learned over the past 13 years is that THE ONLY DAMN THING THAT MATTERS IS THE BABY.
It’s the only part that’s life-changing at all. The rest can be fun, but it’s superfluous, and it’s okay not to care and in fact, many of us don’t.
So yeah, you may feel like the silent lurking freak on BabyCenter, but you are not alone. There’s a shitload of us.
Just wanted to let you know.