I was reminded yesterday of the lyrics to that seminal Smith’s song, “Bigmouth Strikes Again” off of their album, The Queen is Dead. They came to me as I was having a phone call with the embryologist going over Sweetie’s SA results.
Bigmouth oh ho ho ho ah la/ Big mouth, oh ho la la/ Bigmouth strikes again/ And I’ve got no right to take my place/With the human race
What, you ask could she have said that would earn these lyrics in particular? This woman put me through the wringer.
We have lots of information about Sweetie’s counts from our six IUIs with Dr. Uterus, but the embryologist, Dr. Freak Out, had to have her own to review. So, Sweetie went to her office and “produced” the specimen. (He also reported that her “collection room” wasn’t as nice as that of Dr. Uterus, which I call the Spooge Closet, but he was happy to have some new, er, literature.)
She called me with the results and prefaced them with a question as to whether Sweetie has been sick recently. Apparently, his motility was down from his prior IUI counts and it was in her “poor” range. As we were talking, she became convinced that something must be up since his motility was down (although the volume and viability were both in the normal range) from his prior counts. She warmed to her topic of poor motility and began to talk about the troubles of low motility while throwing ICSI around (which we were going to do at 50% of the fertilizations with anyway) and then prefacing that it also depended upon how many eggs I produced. Essentially, she spouted gloom and doom.
She also asked about our previous history and I told her of the one pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage. We had a karyotype performed and determined that there was a chromosomal abnormality, specifically a monosomy or Turner’s Syndrome. Dr. Uterus assured us that this was a random occurrence and it was just a luck of the draw. There was nothing that either Sweetie or I contributed that caused it. Dr. Freak Out, on the other hand, started musing as to how strange it was that the one sperm that managed to fertilize the egg was able to produce a monosomy.
As if that wasn’t enough, then she starts going on about how she has seen a correlation in her experience between low motility and abnormalities in resulting babies. Finally, she reminded me that since I had tubal surgery (mind you over a year ago), my chance of an ectopic increased. Thanks. So, to recap: according to Dr. Freak Out, my husband has abnormal sperm, we are doomed if he gets me pregnant again and we might as well just turn to donor sperm. That’s essentially what we got out of the conversation.
And now I know how Joan of Arc felt/Now I know how Joan of Arc felt/As the flames rose to her roman nose/And her walkman started to melt
Not surprisingly, I called Sweetie as soon as I hung up with Dr. Freak Out and he freaked out. We had a tense conversation about what it means and how to go forward. He even asked if I wanted to cancel the cycle, to which I said no. The second call I made was to Dr. Uterus’ office to see if he knew what this crackpot was talking about. I didn’t end up talking with Dr. Uterus until today and I learned some very important facts.
1) Dr. Freak Out is not a medical doctor. She has a PhD, hence the doctor but she is certainly not a doctor who can dispense advice and genetic counseling. She was way out of line.
2) Sweetie’s sperm are very likely just fine and Turner’s is not caused by a pre-existing chromosomal abnormality in the sperm. It happens when the cells start to divide.
3) His motility is also not something to worry about, even if it was lower than his prior numbers.
Dr. Uterus is going to have a chat with Dr. Freak Out and remind her that this is not the kind of thing that you discuss with IVF patients. But, the freak out did give Sweetie and I a chance to discuss what we are comfortable with in terms of donor gametes. At this point, I told him, I am still very invested in having my own pregnancy, so I would go for donor sperm before adoption. He was ok with that.
Luckily, it looks as if we don’t have to have that conversation again. And, hopefully, Dr. Freak Out has learned a valuable lesson on filtering.