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.
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