When I get my period I am a little tense, but also enthusiastic, because finally something is going to happen. I’m not labouring under a delusion of immediate pregnancy, but the fact that we can try this six times is a calming thought. I nervously phone the number on the piece of paper. “The IUI Line”. I have to call between 10:00 and 10:30. I phone at 9:55, and nobody answers.

I’m too early, of course.

I phone again at 10:01. Nothing.
At 10:10. Nothing.
At 10:15. Nothing.

I have got the right number, don’t I? I’m really nervous! I check the hospital’s website, but it lists the same number, and a mobile number. I’ll try that. It’s 10:25. Nothing.

I try the landline again. NOTHING!!

What is this? How is this possible?!

At 10:40 (I just keep trying, even though the time window has passed) someone finally answers the phone. Not with a polite, “Good morning, blah blah…’, but with “Yes?!” Have I got the wrong number after all? I stammer something about IUI, and ask whether I have the right number. The lady on the other end of the phone is very unfriendly: “You’re too late!”

What?! I am truly astounded. Usually I always have a response, but I was so nervous for this conversation that I’m having trouble coming up with a reaction. I stammer further that I have been trying to get through for the last half hour, but that nobody answered the phone. That I would like to do the IUI this cycle, and that I was told to call this number…

The unfriendly woman on the other end of the phone says, “Didn’t anybody tell you that we’re closed?!” Um… closed? “I had no idea, we were at the hospital for the last time in the summer.”

“Well,” says the ice queen, “We’re closed the whole month, and are not doing any fertility treatments at all. You can call again in the new year.”

Nothing this month then. We wait again, for another month…

PS. If you should happen to read this , Mrs Incredibly Unfriendly, a little bit of empathy goes a long way at moments like that!!