There is so much magic buried in the intent of making a new life with the person I love the most. There is this hormonal drive to mate and reproduce with the man I want to spend the rest of my life with in one way or another, but there is also an undeniable analytic side of me that wants to wait and do it the right way, if there is in fact a right way. I want to be careful. I want to be present. I want to be the best I can be for myself and to myself before I am committed to another life for the rest of my life.
But, I struggle.
I struggle because I have already done this, and I wonder if I can do it again so many years later. I have raised a child and I watched that child turn into a young man and I am so very proud of him. I was his age, eighteen, when I became pregnant with him and nineteen when I pushed him into the world.
Oh my god.
All my life, I have heard that things get better with time and that time heals all wounds, but the world just seems to be getting more insane and more hurtful by the day. It seems that some things just aren’t allowed to get better because, if they do, there won’t be much need for wars, drugs, and all the poisons from which the collective "they" make billions of dollars. And now, we are more aware than ever. We have access to more information which, both, organizes and scatters us. Thankfully, I have built a refuge.
I have built and prepared a home that is safe and peaceful, unaffected by what happens outside its walls. It is constant. Our home is regimented, but not so much that my eighteen year old is bound from being creative or developing his own ways of being. For the last five years of his early education, I opted to have him homeschooled in order to assure he would receive a better education than offered by the ill reputed Los Angeles Unified School District. I watched him thrive in his studies before recently graduating, as he also flourished in his musical abilities and knowledge.
With his electric guitar slung across his shoulders, I have watched him play stages in front of sold out crowds at infamous Rock 'n Roll mainstays like the Troubadour and Whisky a Go Go. I have been a proud mother as my perfectly tempered and talented son taught himself Japanese, painting Kanji in colorful acrylics, posting each on his bedroom wall with thumbtacks.
I have been a proud mother as he has discussed world affairs with me, teaching me many times about world leaders and foreign societies, their governments and policies. I have been most proud listening to my young man, as he makes dinner for our family, explain to me why women’s rights are so important, why female sexual autonomy should never be shamed, why abortion rights deserve to never be challenged, and all the reasons why women are the cornerstone of any society. I am the proud mother of a feminist rock legend in the making, a young chef, and so-called prodigy.
By the time my man and I extend our family, I would have waited nineteen years to bring another life into the world and I anxiously wonder — will it all turn out as well as it has with my son? I wonder about the sanity and safety of the world as I prepare to send my son into it without me, and bring another life into the chaos of it all.
The world and its fear. The world and its hate. I worry sometimes, but these worries are not new, and I realize that more and more as I rewatch the politically and socially conscious television shows I watched in reruns as a child — as I listen to Michael Stivic and Gloria Bunker explain the state of the world and the importance of human rights to the uneducated, sexist, bigot Archie Bunker on All in the Family. None of it has changed, and as I watch the emotional free-fall and sheer panic set in across social and traditional media, post-election, I settle into a sense of calm.
Everything is as it's always been.
I think about who our baby will look like and I imagine this little person being cradled in his or her daddy's arms with me looking on, proudly. I see our future and when I do, it is beautiful. It is not marred by this President or that President. It is not sullied by one person’s hatred or another's. All is not lost just because the whole world seems to be.
The frontline of my family is the home I have built for them.
It is the dinners we prepare together and the nourishing talks we have while doing so. It is our collective refusal to allow the world to change us, to frighten, anger, or detour us. It is the exploration and appreciation of other cultures by a young black man with a Gibson Les Paul strapped to his back, and that trip to Japan we’re planning for him. In a time, just like other times, filled with madness and uncertainty, it is the constant stability of home that makes everything already alright. And because of that stability, we don't need to rush.
So, I stopped struggling.
My son is who he is because of his home and our new baby will be just as great because he or she will be born into a home that nurtures artistic freedom of expression, the acceptance of traditional and non-traditional gender roles, empowered female and male energies, the search for self, and cultures outside our own. We are a spiritual family and people who are vastly aware that the human powers that be are no match for the God in which we believe. I ground myself in what I know to be true and I look for balance. I look to the people I love. I look to my man and my son. I look to myself and I look forward to our baby.
It’s been a trying week, with the election and all, and I (like most of you) found myself off balanced, stressed, and fearful for the future, as if the governmental and societal past has been so great. I found myself questioning everything, including my own preparedness to mother in a world so topsy-turvy.
But hasn't it always been?
During this journey, my main goal is not just to become pregnant, but to become fertile in all ways — to till my emotional and physical soil, allowing not just a new child to grow, but also allowing my family and myself to flourish and bloom. For me, that means resisting systematic fear mongering as well as internal self doubt rhetoric. It means creating and sustaining balance, energetically and hormonally.
To help me do that, I have incorporated Maca Root into my daily routine. I am still detoxing, slowly lessening my sugar, meat, flour, and alcohol intake, while replacing the things I’d like to do without, with more fruits and vegetables, water, herbal teas, and root powders, like maca. This Peruvian root is considered one of the world's most natural adaptogen superfoods. It has a positive effect on hormonal balance, energy levels, libido, as well as male and female fertility.
So, while slowly decreasing certain foods, alcohol, and environmental and emotional hazards I find hindering to my overall fertility and peace of mind, I have added one or two maca lattes a day. Within a month, I saw changes in my mood, energy, and menstrual and cervical functions. I seem more balanced at stressful times when I would usually lose my cool. I am more energetic, especially in the early mornings when I workout. My cervical mucus has increased exponentially, especially during ovulation, and my last period was shorter and lighter.
To make my lattes, I simply heat almond milk, pour into a mug, add a half teaspoon of maca root powder and a half teaspoon of raw honey, which is also said to be good for improved fertility. These lattes are a great alternative to coffee lattes, for those who love them, and they are super yummy — a welcomed addition to my fertility and pregnancy journey, as well as my search for even more balance and peace of mind.
So, with a maca latte in hand, I walked away from the election before the final count, and when I did, I walked away from the stress, anxiety, and fear of the world. I shut off the news and shut out social media in the past month, but especially in this past week, and I slowed it all down. I had to come back to my senses. There is no reason to fear the world our baby will be born into; it is the same world in which I raised a perfect son. It is the same world it has always been. It is filled with the same hatred, bigotry and sexism. It is filled with the same crimes against humanity, especially against people of color, the poor, and women. But just as that is all true, it is also true that the world is filled with the same love, hope, and devotion to fight for what’s right. It is filled with inclusiveness, support, and togetherness.
The world is a cruel place, and I know it firsthand as I have survived familial and domestic abuse, kidnapping and rape, being held at gunpoint, homelessness, poverty, and public shaming. But the operative word here is survived, and I did that because of all the good in the world, some of which I have had to create for myself. As the saying goes, be the change you want to see. For me, that change begins at home, with the centering of my spirit, the constant caring for my family, the strengthening of my mind and body, and the decision to never operate from a place of fear.
Our baby is going to be fine.
We're all going to be fine.
Because everything is already alright.
*sips maca latte*