The Anchor

The Anchor
Jenny Cooke Malstrom

Hope –

Like an anchor, they say.

Appointments. Blood tests. Ultrasounds.



Onward. Scheduling, timing, dosing.






The anchor –

The symbol of hope.

How quickly the tides change.

Smooth seas begin to churn.

Rough, stormy red waters.

Saltwater tears; drowning.








The waters darken, swirl, rage.

The waves crash, night after night.

Swells of tears.


A new day.

The sea calms.


Still waters.


Onward. Scheduling, timing, dosing, transferring, monitoring.

The anchor –

And still we hope.

A note from Jenny – We came through our diagnosis in an indirect manner, through learning about our family health history. Confirming a rare male-factor diagnosis of congenital absence of the vas deferens, we also learned of a female-factor uterine septum issue. It took over a year after our diagnosis to find providers we trusted and make a plan forward.



In the span of one calendar year, we endured:

  • A hysteroscopic surgery
  • Three rounds of IVF which included:
    • A failed IVF egg retrieval
    • A successful retrieval, using ICSI, freezing all
    • Another successful egg retrieval, using ICSI, culturing all
  • Successful fresh transfer of one embryo
  • Miscarriage at 6 weeks

 I love the symbol of the anchor, but have often thought about the paradoxical nature of it. How can something so heavy, so cumbersome, also signify something so light and enduring?

This work reflects my thoughts on our journey thus far.


Friday News Round Up – May 27

Our news round up today starts with the story of plans for a new memorial garden for infertility and fertility loss in San Francisco, where we’ll be in a few weeks for our Men’s Health Week event at The Turek Clinic. Plan to join us on June 16th from 7-9 pm to view artwork from the project’s permanent collection and make some of your own!

Memory Garden to Provide a Place to Mourn Infertility and Fertility Loss
by Jessica Zimmer
The Potrero View

Plans for the new memorial garden. Image Credit - The Potrero View.

Plans for the new memorial garden. Image Credit – The Potrero View.

“People who have had these losses have suffered alone,” said Salkin.  “They may not even have talked to their best friend about it. The Memory Garden is a way to take a conversation that’s not quite underground, but terribly muted and limited, to the community. With the Garden, we’re essentially putting our arms around the shoulders of those who have experienced a loss and saying, ‘We’re here for you.’”

CCRM Network to Open State-of-the-Art Facility in Manhattan
PR Newswire

“CCRM is excited to open its first clinic in the Northeastern United States. This move will help us continue to grow as a global leader and serve CCRM families even better than before,” said Dr. Schoolcraft.

Dan Majesky Letter: Husband Posts About Heartbreak of Infertility
by Isabelle Khoo
The Huffington Post Canada

Describing the loss of their baby, the 37-year-old said: “I’ve felt time stop before. Car accidents, falling off a fence, a mountain bike jump gone wrong. I have not felt the vertigo of infinity like when we were told our baby was dead.”

Leah and Dan Majesky

Leah and Dan Majesky

World report on fertility treatments reveals high use of intracytoplasmic sperm injection: Editor attacks the over-use as ‘ineffective and costly care’
Science Daily

“The majority of the patients who will get pregnant with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) will also do so with IVF.” Studies have shown that ICSI results in fewer live births than IVF when used for couples where male infertility is not the problem. “Intending to improve their patients’ pregnancy probability by preventing fertilization failure, well-meaning doctors actually decrease their chances. This has to stop. We have pledged to do no harm,” he writes.