Happy One Year Anniversary, Embrace Your Unicorn!
I share a brief reflection on Embrace Your Unicorn’s first year. A year processing infertility diagnoses (unicornuate uterus, diminished ovarian reserve), disordered eating recovery, mental health issues, and a whole slew of guest writer topics (miscarriage, breast cancer survivor, unexplained infertility, etc.).
One year ago yesterday, I started a blog. It was early Sunday morning, and I decided in an instant that I wanted…needed…to create a space to process my new infertility diagnoses. I named it "Embrace Your Unicorn" because I was trying to embrace my unicornuate uterus and a recent prognosis that I would never be able to safely carry a baby. Pregnancy would never be an option for me.
So I started writing. And I wrote...and wrote...and wrote. I wrote one, two, even three blog posts a week! The words rushed out of me like a recently undamed river. Rapids flowing freely over rough rocks, smoothing their edges. I was sad, really sad. And my dreams for the future felt crushed. But the writing helped, and my story stopped owning me. I reclaimed some say over my perception of reality. Writing about it was the best gift I could've given myself in that tumultuous time.
And then the healing evolved. The people who really mattered in my life stepped forward and offered me support. They read my blog posts, wrote me comments/emails, and showered me with unicorn love. I felt heard by people I love and trust. The inspiration for this blog was so perfectly summarized by the powerful Hannah Gadsby during her Netflix special, Nanette. She said:“What I would have done to have heard a story like mine. Not for blame. Not for reputation. Not for money. Not for power. But to feel less alone. To feel connected. I want my story heard because, ironically, I believe Picasso was right. I believe we could paint a better world if we learned how to see it from all perspectives. As many perspectives as we possibly could. Because diversity is strength. Difference is a teacher. Fear difference, you learn nothing."
And then the blog evolved. I wanted to share the healing I felt by sharing my story with others. I wanted to cultivate a community of story-tellers who felt safe to authentically share their stories. I knew I offered just one perspective on one issue, and other people had beautiful things to say too.
My first guest writer shared her story on July 3, just two days after the birth of the blog. (Thank you, Stephanie, for so willingly stepping up and writing your story in under 24 hours!) Check out Stephanie’s story, Guest Writer Wednesday: Stephanie says, “Team Up!”, about her experience with unexplained secondary infertility, IUIs, and multiple miscarriages.
Since last July, there have been a total of 82 blog posts written. Of those 82 posts, 37 guest have been written by guest writers with topics ranging from embracing all types of infertility diagnoses to bipolar disorder to body image to teenage pregnancy. Thank you Stephanie, Doreen (mom), Jessica, Taylin, Ashley T., Ashley B., Sarah K., Tiffany, Karli, Cory, Audrey, Susanna, Stacey, Maria, Caitlin J., Sarah, Chelley, Sarah B., Lindsey, Caitlin Z., Hilary, Candal, Ria, Sandra, Jody, Mary Kate, Salina, Rachel, Mel, Meredith, Zena, and two brave anonymous writers! Thank you, guest writers, for trusting me and this blog enough to share your stories! See a list of all guest writer blog posts here. (Please contact me if you would like to be a guest writer!)
Through this blog, I have connected with so many other women with unicornuate uteruses around the globe. One year ago, I would have never thought that this blog would allow me to reach and get to know people in 114 countries! From Canada to Spain, Pakistan to Cambodia. This just shows me that we’re all human, struggling to make sense of similar emotions. We’re all the same.
My passion for this blog has only increased in the last year. It is fueled by the relief I get as I finish a post and the messages I receive by other women who have found my words helpful. I receive multiple emails, comments, Facebook messages, and Instagram messages every week from other women (mostly unicorns!) who have felt just a little less alone by reading my story. Here are just a few examples of some of the beautiful messages I get to receive:
“I just have to say how much I appreciate your honesty and your story. I was also diagnosed with a unicornuate uterus…Finding your blog tonight has given me the hope that family, friends, and doctors have not been able to give me since our diagnosis.”
“I was feeling super anxious about my upcoming IVF stims and started searching for any info or blogs about people who had unicornuate uteruses (uteri? haha) and had gone thru IVF....and hours later, here I am after reading your entire blog about your journey. Thank you so much for writing your blog! You have no idea how helpful and meaningful it is to this insanely anxious girl!”
“Hello, I am a unicorn with possibly on same journey as yours and same age as yours. Feel like you are my soul sister.”
“Thank you so much for your blog and sharing your journey and other journey so similar to my own. I have been going through infertility for years and found out about my unicorn a year ago. Sometimes it can feel very lonely so reading this was very helpful to me.”
I will continue sharing my story for as long as it’s helpful, to me and others. Thank you for being a part of this Unicorn Mission - to cultivate authenticity, compassion, and community.
One last thing: last night, on the one year anniversary of the start of this blog - a blog I started to process my unicornuate uterus diagnosis and a prognosis that I would never be able to be pregnant - Cory and I brought home our new bassinet! Our baby boy still has a lot longer to cook (please stay in there longer!), but we are excited that it’s starting to feel more and more real. I even left the bassinet by my bed last night just to allow myself to believe it will happen…he will come…in just a few short months, my son will be sleeping next to me. There is hope for you…there is hope for me…we just have to believe it!