Lizzie Potter knows all about TTC (trying to conceive), the 2WW (two week wait), and getting one BFN (big fat negative) after another. Ms Potter underwent three cycles of IVF before having her now five-year-old son, and another eight before welcoming her baby daughter last year.
"I've had an intense IVF history," the Sydney mum told Essential Baby, explaining that not only was IVF a gruelling process, it was an isolated one, too. "No one talks about doing IVF outside of the forums. It's so confronting. Who do you tell? What do you hide? You're going through a maze of emotions and you're not talking to anyone."
And frankly, Ms Potter continues, when it comes to explaining the "misery and madness" of IVF to loved ones, the prayer emoji just doesn't cut it.
The mum-of-two decided that she wanted to change that - and to help women going through IVF share their experience in an easy and lighthearted way. So she created an app, emojIVF, featuring almost 100 IVF-specific emoji to enable those tough - and occassionally heartbreaking - conversations.
The emoji on offer will be all-too-familiar for those who've done IVF themselves. There's "bruised tummy", "injecting fertility meds in the toilets at work", "standing on your head after embryo transfer," " waiting for the nurse to call", "so bloated by the IVF meds that you look pregnant", "POAS [pee on a stick] addict", and "TMI alert!" to name just a few.
Ms Potter believes that not being able to communicate what's going on in their lives makes it particularly hard for women who are trying to conceive. "It's so raw and horrific for so many women," she says.
"Emoji are fun and funny - and making light of it [doing IVF ] was a big thing for me. There's the times when you're eating five pineapples because there's word out there that that helps. Or standing upside down so the embryo doesn't fall out. And there's also just really horrific times when you're crying quietly on the train because you've just had a call from the nurse and you're not pregnant - again. Or people asking if you're pregnant because you look so bloated from the drugs."
Having spent a lot of time in forums during her own conception journey, Ms Potter says she noticed that humour was a common thread, a tool many women used to make sense of their experiences."You have to make light of it," she says. "You're on the brink of madness a lot of the time. You've got one fingernail in reality. It's so painful and so stressful."
While Ms Potter managed to capture the minutiae of IVF with her emoji, not all "made the cut" with Apple. "Syringes were problematic," she explains. "Too confronting. So we need to rework some of those."
"You just need so much support," she says. "And I'm hoping the app will be fun and helpful. I hope it helps women to have a laugh on the tough days."