A month later, Husband repeats his semen analysis to see if maybe he was just having a bad sperm day. The concentration was a little higher at 16 million and his volume was enough to evaluate for morphology, which unfortunately showed only 1% normal types. His results place him in the category of having moderate male factor infertility. The urologist tells him spontaneous conception is possible, but given our ages, we shouldn't wait too long before seeking assistance. It makes me now realise that it will take longer to happen, may require assistance or may not happen at all.
Against my better judgement, I decided to share this information by texting Myrtle. Her response was astonishing.
"Fuck not wanting to conceive at your in-laws and have sex in England."
I don't think I can begin to explain how infuriating this message was to read. I know it's had to find the right words to say in this situation. I didn’t quite know how to console my partner who was likely feeling responsible and a bit emasculated. She completely dismissed the fact that we have a significant obstacle in our path to parenthood and annoyingly is still insisting that a change of venue will have an impact. As if it were really that easy. That a get-away can fix our flawed gametes and unlock our fertility potential. I didn't respond to her, as I really wanted to write:
'Do you know what that the reality is Myrtle? You got lucky. For someone your age to conceive so quickly and have a healthy pregnancy on the first try is really the exception rather than the norm, so please do not think that you have any wisdom to share with me.'
We decided to seek advice from someone with such wisdom and met with a reproductive specialist, who bears a striking resemblance to a guy I once dated. As if the process of discussing your menstrual cycles and sex life with a stranger who is transvaginally ultrasounding you isn't awkward enough. He's optimistic and tells us that we actually don't have a diagnosis of infertility just yet, but offers the conflicting options of continuing on our own, trying intrauterine insemination, or starting the process for IVF. The latter, he thinks we have a good shot at, "forty percent" he quotes. I start to wonder if there is any other situation where a 60% failure rate is considered 'good'.