In bygone years, parents consulted mammoth medical tomes for answers to their anxious first-time-parent questions. Now we use the internet. So throughout my pregnancy, I visited many a pregnancy/parenting site looking for reassurance.
One aspect of these sites that I’m not down with is the acronyms. If you log on to a forum right now and ask any pregnancy question (ie. methods for naturally inducing labour) – you’ll be met with an array of personal accounts detailing how women tried to speed their labours along, and within these accounts they’ll casually drop in DS and DD.
What’s a DS? I thought on first reading – and what’s a DD? I soon realised that the D and S stood for daughter and son but I had to google the first initial as I couldn’t work it out. That’s because it stands for ‘darling’ or ‘dear’. And that would never occur to me because WHY WOULD ANYONE REFER TO THEIR CHILDREN AS DARLING SON/ DAUGHTER???
I vowed never to use these ridiculous acronyms and continued to read the badly-written (but sometimes reassuring and useful) comments feeds, silently judging everyone who dropped in a ‘DS’ or ‘DD’. And that’s pretty much everyone.
But then I discovered an even better one. And not because the acronym is new to me but rather because the information it’s teamed with makes it hil-ah-ree-us. It’s TMI (too much information). My favourite example was this…
Person A asks the Mumsnet community if sex really does kickstart labour. Person B says that she doesn’t really feel up for sex and is surprised that other people do – isn’t it awkward? She asks. Person C responds: Soz for TMI but don’t you or hubby have hands? Don’t need to be penetration.
And so it’s in this context – or similar – that TMI is utilised. Someone will discuss the consistency of their discharge but will first prepare you with: sorry for TMI! [emoticon] but noticed (insert colour) discharge and want to know if it’s normal.
(For a selection of gems, check out this Netmums feed – these laydees do not hold back. Saying that, I was told by a qualified midwife that doggy-style would get things going. No one holds back when it comes to pregnancy/birth/parenting.)
Lastly, the partner of the comment-leaver will almost always be referred to as OH (other half), DH (yes – darling husband) or just good old ‘hubby’. And chocolate, which the entire Mumsnet community seems to crave during pregnancy, is ‘choccy’.
And so there you have it. A quick introduction to popular pregnancy and parenting acronyms and abbreviations from one of those tedious forum-users who makes use of other women’s contributions, disses their grammar and never leaves comments.