Knowing When To Give Up | My Journey to Motherhood

The Universe has a habit of listening when we speak.

My husband and I had been married for a few years when the inevitable questions started:

Do you want to have kids?

I think I’ll just have fun being the “cool aunt”. That way, I can just hand them back!

Do you want to have kids?

My business is my baby right now, I can’t even imagine having a real one on top of that.

Do you want to have kids?

My husband and I are having so much fun traveling, going out, doing whatever we want. Kids would spoil that!

But deep down, I knew that I did want children. Unfortunately, by the time we got around to doing something about it, the Universe had listened to me and it just wasn’t happening. I needed to make some choices and I needed to make them quickly.

I never really thought much about my age before. Age is just a number! But in the fertility world, it is the biggest deciding factor. How many times did I sit across from a fertility specialist and hear “well, you are 41!” “I get it, I get it!” I thought, “I might as well be Methuselah.”

We had gone down the fertility clinic route (invasive procedures, drugs, and more needles than you can shake a stick at) and the more natural route (holistic nutrition, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine – more needles, yay!) but still nothing. My emotions were all over the place, hoping for good news each month, only to be disappointed. It was excruciating and soul crushing.  I felt like an open wound and the slightest breeze could set off the most intense pain.

And then my father’s degenerative disease took a turn for the worse (much worse) and I realized that something had to give. I couldn’t take the pressure any more. Since neither the desire for a child, nor my father’s illness were going anywhere, I decided that my first “baby” had to go to make some room. It was time to close down my business – the dream that I had had for so many years, that I had worked my butt off to make a reality.

It was devastating, heart-rending, and completely necessary.

In the months that followed, things started to slowly click into place. My naturopathic doctor caught a borderline thyroid issue, and we decided to switch fertility clinics. My mother said a novena to the Madonna of Pompeii (who knew there were different Madonnas??). We pulled out all the stops and decided to try IVF. I finally sent out the email to my loyal customers to notify them that we were closing our doors for good. I waited for my period to come so we could start the procedure. And then I waited some more. Turns out, my period wouldn’t come for many more months because just a couple of days after sending out that email, I got pregnant the old-fashioned way.

Now, my mother will swear that it was the Madonna of Pompeii, but I like to think that it was the space I made in my life that sent the message to the Universe saying “I’m ready now!” And thank God the Universe listened.


Have you ever chosen to give up something to get something you wanted even more?  What was your journey to motherhood?  I’d love to hear your stories!



  1. I like that – you made the ‘nature abhors a vacuum’ principle work for you! (I tend to do the same with Murphy’s Law, haha. Bring a brolly, and you’re guaranteed sunshine for the whole day.) And what a beautiful photo of your family! I can’t think of a time when I’ve given up something specific to gain something else – but I have noticed that as my minimalist journey progresses, my life gets bigger. In other words – the more I give away, the more I get. Gotta love the Universe. :-)


  2. Beautiful story, Laura, and I wasn’t at all surprised by the ending. Partly because I’m in the healing practice and I’ve seen firsthand how debilitating the stress of our busy, busy lives can be on our health, our hormones and yes, our ability to conceive. I absolutely believe the universe granted you that wish once you made space for that little darling to find you. Happy Mother’s Day.
    P.S. My grandmother would have applauded the Madonna of Pompeii. I remember her lighting many, many candles over the years.


    • Thank you Sue Ann. I was raised Catholic and I can’t believe it was the first time I’d heard of the Madonna of Pompeii. Maybe she’s only called in for extreme circumstances? My mother had just finished a 9 day novena when I told her I was pregnant. Hence her conviction that I had the Madonna to thank for my little miracle. Hey, I’ll take it!

      • rebecca@altaredspaces

        I ADORE this part of your story!


  3. Laura I loved this post and got the feeling it could have been 4 times longer; I would love to read more (without being too nosey), I’d love to hear about your dad too. I’m not sure about giving things up to get other things, but I do believe that humans have a finite amount of energy at any given time; it can only go so far. Your daughter is beautiful X


    • Thanks so much Penny! Indeed, this post could have been a lot longer, I promise I will share more one day. Or we could have a virtual cup of tea one day! My father had a terrible form of dementia called Lewy Body Disease and passed away a year and a half ago. It is still so incredibly raw, I don’t think I could write about him for quite a while. But he did get to see his last grandchild before he died and she gave him so much joy in his last months. We did a photo shoot for his 80th birthday when she was just a few months old that I will cherish. Maybe someday …


  4. What a lovely story Laura! Making room and with some heavenly support magical things can happen. Well done you for deciding to close the business and trust that it was the right move for you at the time. It was the brave and courageous thing to do. Nothing like giving the Universe some space to do it’s thing!! Congrats. x

  5. rebecca@altaredspaces

    “But deep down, I knew that I did want children.”

    “It was devastating, heart-rending, and completely necessary.”

    “Now, my mother will swear that it was the Madonna of Pompeii, but I like to think that it was the space I made in my life that sent the message to the Universe saying “I’m ready now!” And thank God the Universe listened.”

    This is a beautiful Mother’s Day story! And look! Your business is back…or am I wrong about that? Stages of life, and stages of sacrifice, this is what parenting is all about from my point of view.


    • Thank you Rebecca! I actually had my own retail business, which was both incredibly rewarding and supremely stressful. My new entrepreneurial incarnation is much easier to maintain while keeping my daughter as my number one focus. The longer I’m a mother, the more I realize how much sacrifice is involved. It certainly helps me understand and appreciate my mother more and more. And she had four of us!


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