Thursday, 8 December 2016

How to book your second fresh IVF/ICSI treatment cycle in 15 easy steps

Step 1
Tell the doctor at your appointment in September that you'd like to begin your next round of treatment in February. Be told this will be fine, just call J. to book it.

Step 2
Follow doctor's advice and call the number to book treatment.

Step 3
Be told to call back in early December.

Step 4
Call back on December the 1st. Be told you need to wait until your period starts. Try to explain that it's imminent, that you know it's due at the weekend and can tell them your current average cycle length. Be told you need to wait until your period starts.

Step 5
Your period starts (two days later, as scheduled). It's now a weekend. Call back and leave a message.

Step 6
Receive voicemail on Monday telling you someone will call to book an appointment the next day.

Step 7
Receive voicemail on Tuesday telling you to call a different number between 8am and 4pm.

Step 8
Call new number repeatedly between 8am and 4pm. Message at the other end alternates between telling you the person you are trying to reach is on the phone and ringing out so going to voicemail. Give up. Leave a message and decide to resume the game of phone tag the next day.

Step 9
At 7:13pm that night, while you're on another call away from your mobile, receive a voicemail from S. saying something along the lines of 'if Cathy still wants to speak to [them] to call back tomorrow' (like we've changed our minds about the whole process by this point!).

Step 10
Phone back on Wednesday. Get voicemail. Clearly state who you are, why you are phoning (again) and times when you will be available through the day on the number you are giving them.

Step 11
Wait and watch as those times pass without a phone call.

Step 12
Have a day off on Thursday so begin calling at 8am. Make plan to call every hour, on the hour, through the day.

Step 13
Whilst you (and phone) are in a signal blackspot, receive a voicemail from a nurse. Message explains that you've been calling the wrong number (see Step 7) all week. Gives you new number to call.

Step 14
Call new number. It goes to voicemail.

Step 15
Phone rings whilst you are in the middle of something. Toss notebook, pens, lap table aside in your scramble to get the phone before they ring off. Breathlessly answer the call. Panic when they ask you what protocol you were on because no one told you that you'd need to know this. Hazard a guess and hope it's the right one. Give them your dates for your cycle and when your next period is due (which you realise afterwards might not be one hundred percent correct because you didn't have your notes with you at the time). Get a date in January for an appointment, along with an instruction to pick up some medication some time that you don't know when you're supposed to take it. Decide you don't really care whether you've got it all right because at least you have an appointment.

Thank goodness we've finally got an appointment.

I like to think that this whole thing is a screening process for the treatment. If you are able to get through the myriad phone calls and voicemail messages, then you've passed and you're eligible for treatment.

I think I've passed the test. Let's hope we pass the next one too!


  1. Replies
    1. Yeah. I get that there are processes in place, but it's all rather stressful.

      On the plus side, after a further three phone calls today, I finally have an idea of the plan!


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