Amended (and added to yet again):
TTC, you worked for such a long time.
Trying-to-conceive, it's a long phrase. And breaking it down to a staccato abbreviation made it sound giddy and happy--exactly as I felt when I accompanied my friend to the maternity store the first month TTC and walked out with an extremely cute ensemble that was fashionably outdated by the time I actually got to wear it.
Scratch that. I actually wore it one month when I was so bloated from stims that I didn't fit into normal jeans and I didn't want to wear sweatpants to work. But I'm working hard to forget that memory right now.
I realized when making the abbreviation list and then writing one of the opening chapters for the book that pastel pink and baby blue TTC doesn't really work on the grand scale. All those months where I said I was TTC...well...I was conceiving. I just wasn't holding onto the pregnancy for more than a few days. And I know, I know, you're going to tell me that when we say we're trying-to-conceive, we're just talking about the first step. But it's starting to sound like we're aiming low.
I'd actually like to get past the conception stage.
And this term doesn't take into account a gigantic portion of the community. Those pursing adoption--including those pursing adoption with or without first doing treatments--are trying for the same thing that those TTC (and those who are aiming beyond conception) are trying for--a child. To parent.
Therefore, since I don't like the phrase trying-to-conceive, I have decided to get rid of it. Toss it out. Aim high.
It works for primary and it works for secondary (TTPa for trying-to-parent-again). It works for pregnancy and it works for adoption. It's stating the goal instead of a first step. Because, frankly, the term TTC saddens me like no other abbreviation in the whole IF lexicon when you consider how many of us simply never make it past conception. Every failed IVF cycle makes it to conception*. I'm really concerned with the world beyond. I'm taking back the abbreviation, taking back the phrase.
You with me?
*Amendment because I am such an asshole:
I'd like to blame a lack of food (see Chicklet's blog for my food deprivation woes), but as Gumby pointed out in the comments below, not every failed IVF cycle makes it to conception. Only those where fertilization take place. So lack of fertilization, canceled cycles, all the events my feeble mind failed to take into account, never make it to that first rung. Mea culpa. And apologies to anyone who read that sentence and it was salt on a wound.
More debate and questions:
I love this discussion. Here are some more thoughts--bringing them out of the comments section and into the main post.
I told Nancy this last night; there is a problem with the TTP idea because it's sort of like referring to living as "MTD"--moving towards death. That, of course, will be the end result to all of our lives (not to take us to a morbid place), but it's not the reason we're living. At the same time, the job of parenting is the goal at the end of all of these paths--treatments, trying naturally, adoption. And the point in the description is the goal, not what actually happens. When I was using TTC, I was trying to conceive, even when conception did not take place. And when I'm not actively trying to reach parenthood or I've gone through menopause, I would stop considering myself TTP. I would consider myself--in my current state--parenting. Or parenting after infertility/loss (PAI/L). And once we enter treatments again, I would consider myself TTP for the time period that we are actively trying to reach parenthood again.
The question then (and the answer doesn't mean that everyone needs to use the same terms, but maybe we need to expand the abbreviation list so that people can use whichever terms suit them or feel right, but we can easily understand each other's shorthand) is whether it's better to have a single abbreviation to speak about the active state of trying to reach a goal or many abbreviations that speak about each milestone? Again, this is not an either/or situation. I could use a single term and you could use many terms and we could each understand each other. I'm just curious whether people would be more inclined to speak about each small goal on the way to the end goal or whether it's more succinct and accurate to speak about the common end-goal.
TTP also takes the focus off of pregnancy and babyhood and focuses on the larger picture. It's sort of the difference, in my mind, between saying "I want to get married" or "I want a wedding" and "I want the marriage." The first two phrases look at a single step and the other phrase looks at the end goal.
And it's true, in creating an active term for this one state, you also need a different active term for the other state which is either not actively trying, living after a loss, or living after leaving treatments/adoption. To which I'd suggest these: LAI/L or PAI/L--living after infertility/loss or parenting after infertility/loss. Your thoughts on that? Can I just reiterate that I love this discussion. I've been thinking about each comment all morning.