After reading through tons of information, reviews, and clicking on so many price lists my eyes go funny, I narrow it down to three possible clinics in London we want go visit so we can compare. I email all three of them, excited that this is actually coming together for us.
They don’t immediately reply, so I use the contact form on their website instead, thinking maybe they didn’t receive it.
They don’t reply again, so I Google various email addresses of the clinics, and email all of those.
They still don’t reply, so I go onto a fertility forum and, mildly worried, ask the other people there for help. I am reassured it’s normal, and to wait longer. Apparently some clinics take weeks or even months to email back.
I run out of patience much sooner than that though, and I task Jo with calling them (I am terrible at phone calls, especially the important ones). I sit anxiously next to her with a huge list of questions to ask them up on the computer screen.
No reply. OF COURSE. Dammit people!
Gradually, my excitement turns into frustration. Those London clinics change from a place of possibility to an impenetrable fortress to me, with heavy walls, none shall ever know what goes on inside.
Eventually two of the clinics do get back to us, but with the third that was initially our favourite Jo has to try again and again to even get someone on the line. Their free number doesn’t get an answer, so we look up the clinic and try to get a landline number, where we reach a harried woman who says she can’t talk to us because they are too busy.
We push on, determined to get past those walls and to find out whether it’s right for us, but it’s very disheartening.
For over a month, we play this game of tag with trying to get even the tiniest bit of an answer out of them. Do you allow the use of donor sperm? From which sperm banks? What are the rules of your programme? Could you give us a complete price list? Which tests are required? You’d think those are the basic questions that everyone asks, but yet they need to be needled endlessly and reminded that we do not live in the country before even granting us a single question they’re willing to look up the reply to.
In the end we give up on them, because after weeks of trying they are STILL unwilling to properly answer us. With the other two clinics we get – finally, like precious gems robbed out of a temple Indiana Jones style – appointments.
Unto the breach we go!