APRIL 18, 2014 -- Conception has gone social.
"Well it looks like several of us are in our tww [two-week wait] and I thought it might be cool if we did a pee party!" one woman wrote on a BabyCenter.com message board titled, "Soooo . . . you wanna have a pee party?"
Now say what now? A pee party?
Pee parties -- also known as POAS, or Pee on a Stick Parties -- are the latest way women are taking what was once a very private moment very public. Like the mom who live-tweeted the birth of her child, or the couples who find out the gender of their baby alongside all their family and friends, what used to be a closely guarded secret until after the first trimester is now being shared online within minutes of seeing one line or two.
The trend was first spotted by BabyCenter.com. "They will discuss what day they are going to test," said Rebecca Michals, director of global community and customer service, "and then come back to post the results."
And it's not just a few women who feel the urge to pee on a stick for at-home fertility testing at the same moment, or at least on the same day, as their online friends. The Soooo ... you want to have a pee party thread is just one of many, most broken out by month. Each thread has dozens of responses from other women who wish to have a pee party.
There are sometimes spreadsheets involved, complete with rules of participation. The April 2014 Pee Party group has one. There are 50 women participating.
The chart has 13 columns dedicated to factors such as ovulation dates, the expected date of "AF" (Aunt Flow, a euphemism for a woman's period), and, of course, the results. There are five positives so far.
Is this the ultimate in TMI? Maybe not. The intention behind the parties and posts might be just the opposite.
"They [the women] may not want to tell people they are trying to conceive in real life, so they come to the message boards to talk," Michals said. "It gives them support during the two-week-wait.”
The two-week wait, also called the TWW, is the time between sex that intended to result in pregnancy and the time when an over-the-counter pregnancy test can give accurate results.
The boards have certainly served as a support system for Christine Straut-Kinnan of Albuquerque, N.M. She was pregnant in December but had a miscarriage. She's now anxious to conceive again and has participated in several pee parties.
"The ladies," she said, referring to the other women on the message boards, "have been a Godsend. We share in the excitement of the girls who get positives and in the sorrows of those who are still negative. It helps pass the time between the fertile weeks and when you eventually pee on a stick."
Straut-Kinnan said her next POAS party will be in about three weeks from now. How fast will she post the results?
"Within an hour."