First off, INTRODUCE yourself!
TTCAL is an amazing place for support when you are trying to conceive after a loss. We support each other through the difficult emotions that we deal with, through bad and good days. When you give support, you get support. Bottom line. So please, lurk for a couple days to get a feel for the board, post an intro, and then start offering support to the other girls. Also, please remember this is a public message board---everyone has different beliefs, opinions, and feelings.
Offering support does not include only posting phishing posts. We all do it every now and then, but if all you do is post threads that are centered around, "My BBs hurt/I'm nauseous/I'm exhaused (i.e. early pregnancy symptoms), please look into your crystal ball and tell me I'm KTFU!" it is not considered giving support.
As the name would imply, none of us are currently pregnant. There is a board for that called Pregnant After a Loss (PgAL). If you find that you did not have time to introduce yourself or to get to know the ladies on the board before getting your BFP, please go directly to PgAL and do not announce your BFP on TTCAL. It hurts to see the drive-bys that remind us that we are still trying. Here's a good metaphor that might help explain: You look into a room and notice there is a support group being held for women who are TTCAL. You say to yourself, "Well hey, I had a loss!" So you jump into the room, shout out, "I'm pregnant!" and then turn around and leave. Not nice! Click HERE for a couple blog posts about when to post a BFP on TTCAL or not.
Most girls on the board agree that if you are going to post a BFP post, a warning in your title "(BFP mentioned)" is appreciated. Or if you possibly have a positive HPT a warning is also appreciated (e.g. "possible BFP mentioned)."
Also, if you do get your BFP and you would like to come back to the board for a very valid and nice reason, please put a ticker warning in the title of your post. Seeing tickers can be VERY hurtful to women on our board. We are usually fine with it when lurking on PgAL or the other pregnancy boards, we obviously do not get too upset over it. But the TTCAL board is a safe haven for us, so if you are coming to the board with a ticker, please have some tact and just put in a warning. That way it won't catch anyone off guard and some people can chose not to open the thread for that reason.
It is also appreciated when a siggy warning is included in the title of your post or at the top of your response if you have a ticker for or a picture of your older living child. Most agree that a picture of a toddler aged child or older is completely fine, but pictures of your older child while they are still a baby can be very hard to see to other TTCALers.
We really want to get to know you better! We suggest personalizing your siggy. It can be a badge, ticker, a picture of anything or yourself, etc. It will help us recognize you a lot faster so the Newbie feeling goes away quicker. Our board is fast paced and unfortunately has a lot of posters, so it can be hard for us to recognize you when your siggy is the same as everyone else's.
Here are some handy how-to's, in alpabetical order:
6+ TTCAL Board
The 6+ board has a board description at the top that reads, "TTCAL6+ is a community for women who have been actively TTCAL for 6 months or more, as well as been an active part of the TTCAL board. If you also like snark and humor post an introduction and show your support to others." Please introduce yourself over there after you have been an active member on TTCAL for 6 months or more. How do you know if you are active enough? There is no formula here--but it is safe to say that if you participate most days on the board by offering as much support (or more) than you ask for, then you would probably be considered active. Also, when lurking on the 6+ board, if you notice that most of your "friends" post there, that may be a good hint that your are active enough to join once you have been on TTCAL for 6 months.
Acronyms (frequently used on TTCAL)
Click here for acronym list
Ellie is that adorable dancing elephant seen in the posts of many TTCALers. Ellie is the mascot for the TTCAL 6+ board. Why a dancing elephant you ask? "We picked her because when an elephant mother loses her baby, her family will stand around her, for as long as she needs, offering her support and love. No pushing to move on and move forward. Just support for as long as she needs." Please don't put Ellie in your signature unless you are part of that board, as she has very special meaning to the ladies over there.
A website most TTCALers use to chart their basal body temperatures and log their fertility signs. We highly suggest charting to help you learn about your body and to pinpoint your ovulation. You will never know if AF is "late" unless you know when you ovulated, which you do not know unless you chart! OPKs only tell you that your body is gearing up to ovulate--it does not guarantee that you will! Not only does Fertility Friend chart your fertility signs for you, but it has great lessons that will teach you a TON about your body and how to chart. Please read through this page of FAQs. It might take some time, but it is so worth it!
A goat is an uber-annoying person who stirs up drama on the board by posting drive-by BFP's or any other sort of annoying post. They also seem to be known for the "Am I pregnant?" posts (also known as "phishing" posts)--"I'm nauseous/exhausted/BBs hurt, I'm KTFU, right?" From wherever the elusive goat resides permanently, make no mistake, they will rear their ugly faces on the TTCAL board from time to time. A goat post is called out by the ladies of TTCAL. No, not because we are meanie heads, but because it is rude for someone to post like that. We have a few favorite PIPs that we use also to give the Goat the idea that we are not happy about her posting something like that on TTCAL. Where does the term "goat" come from? It was made famous by a couple of old TTCALers that referred to the drive-bys as goats and that they needed to be herded!
Humphrey is the dancing little guy that a lot of us have in our siggy. He is the TTCAL mascot and if you plan on being a regular poster on our board, feel free to add him to your siggy too! We have them in all different colors, so when you find a color that you like, just right click on Humphrey and save to your computer (follow the directions for PIPs in Siggy below). There is one dancing to your right on this blog and if you click on him, it will take you to CashewMommy's post where she made a bunch of different colored ones. If you wanted a personalized Humphrey, I'm sure if you paged her on TTCAL, she would make one for you :)
Paging a Bumpie
This is where you make a thread on the board (or the board that the bumpie posts most on) where you put their name as the title, and then let them know what you want them to know in the body of the thread. Most of the time, other bumpies will leave the post for the 2 of you, but it can get highjacked by someone else (usually with good intentions!). Remember, this is a public message board.
This is something you will see in many TTCALers siggies. What it esentially means is that TTCAL graduates that are now on either the PgAL or PAL boards can respond to their post without feeling worried about hurting feelings and without including a siggy warning. It also serves as a warning to other TTCALers that PgALers and PALers may be responding to the post.
PIP (Picture in Post):
1. Find a picture you'd like to PIP. I use Google Image, then click "view full size." You will know it will work when ONLY the picture you'd like to PIP is on the page and nothing else. Copy the URL where the picture (only) resides. Alterantely (and maybe easier) you can right click on the picture and click "Copy Image Location."
2. Click on Insert Image in the post. Paste the URL into the "image URL" space, and click Insert.
3. You may have to re-size the image. One way of doing this is to drag the square boxes to make it smaller. Or in the Dimensions box, 300x300 is a good size.
1. Find a picture you would like to use. If you are wanting to use a picture from the internet, right click on the image and save to your computer (where ever you want to---I have a TTCAL folder, so I can save pictures I think I will want to use later, but I have also saved to my desktop so it is easy to find).
2. Go to www.tinypic.com. Upload your picture. For the Resize drop down menu, chose the size you would like to use. I like the Website/Email option when posting a PIP in a thread. But the Thumbnail option works well for pictures in your siggy.
3. After it uploads, copy the "IMG Code for Forums & Message Boards" code and paste it directly into your post.
Picture in Siggy
1. Use the same steps as Version 2 for PIP, but for step 3 copy the "HTML for Websites" code.
2. Click on your avatar, and then click on "Edit My Avatar"
3. The very last box is your siggy box---paste the code there.
Pasta sauce. Not the contents of your uterus when you are pregnant. NO EXCEPTIONS!
This also includes any like terms: preggo, preggos, preggers, etc.
Private messages - how to send
If you would like to Private Message another member, just open one of their posts, click “Contact” and choose “Send so and so a Private Message” – they will receive an email that they have a private message if their current email is updated on their Bump profile (at least that is what TB says will happen--I have yet to receive an email and my address is correct in my profile). I usually page the bumpie on the board they most often frequent.
Private messages - how to check
While on any board, scroll down to "My Boards" on the left-hand side. Underneath it you will see "Check Private Messages."
Sunshine Missions (SMs)
Sunshine Missions were originated to bring a ray of sunshine to someone in their darkest days. We all go through very difficult times in our journey through the "After A Loss" groups. Every once in a while, one of our members goes through something very devastating. Without going into the pain Olympics, because nobody else's pain is any less, there are some tragedies that rock our "After A Loss" community. When things like this happen, someone might organize a SM to help out the person in need. Whether it be flowers, cards, VISA gift cards to help out with funeral/hospital expenses, etc. This is usually done through PMs so it is a surprise to the person in need and so that as much personal information about everyone involved is kept as private as possible. Contributions are completely optional and no one should feel like they need to donate.
Vitex is a medicinal herb that many ladies on TTCAL take to help regulate their cycles. We are in no way doctors, so please ask your doctor about it. I did ask my doctor, and he wasn't too keen about it since it is not regulated by the FDA, but he did not say I shouldn't take it. Cashewsmommy found information on Vitex here: http://www.fertilaid.com/vitexagnuscastus.asp