Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Motherhood @ 40

People have been asking how I feel about being a mama. I've only been at it for 3 months & 3 days, but I have to say simply and clearly, I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT.

For much of my life, I really wasn't sure I wanted kids. I was dating my first boyfriend for close for 9 years--a guy I met in my first year of college. Long story short (and to be nice about it), we just weren't compatible. In my 20s, I was building a career in management/human resources for a 100-person law firm, and had some crazy visions of being a career woman and a single mom--I secretly thought about having a girl, and naming her Danielle Setsuko (after Danielle Steel--pre-activist days).

In my 30s, I became very active in the JA community, volunteering my time and money to many grassroots and activist organizations, sitting on several boards, editing books, doing programming for organizations, your all-around organizer and fundraiser. Along the way, Tony & I got married. At the same time, in my career, I was running a mid-sized nonprofit arts organization. I was keeping up 5 websites, a backyard organic garden, as well as spending a lot of time for some projects in
Detroit (living in CA). I started taking taiko lessons and joined Bombu Taiko. I was trying to keep up a daily (or every other day) yoga practice. I was trying to live an organic, healthy and balanced life, but I was running around chasing my tail.

Tony was just as busy, working as an artist and a teacher, and volunteering for additional organizations. So we really didn't have the time. I had inklings that my 30's were getting away from me, and that my clock was ticking, but I really wasn't convinced I wanted to have kids. Our life was very full!

But then, 4 years ago, my sister Gayle had a baby boy named Kieth. My nephew Kieth changed my mind completely. When I held him in my arms, when he first smiled at me (I remember the exact moment), I was in love, and baby fever hit me off guard, and with a passion. I was almost 37 and having made up my mind, I almost waited too long. It took a few months of discussions with Tony before we decided to go for it. After trying to conceive for a year, we sought medical intervention from the fertility dept at my HMO. I had two miscarriagess, several invasive procedures (tests to rule out infertility) and was in my 2nd round of clomid, hormone injections, and intrauterine inseminations when I finally got pregnant last year, and Maiya was born 3 months ago.

I think that despite my fears and misgivings, that I am glad that we waited until we were sure we wanted Maiya. Yes, it is a lot of work, and little sleep, but in many ways, it is easier than my crazy life was, because it is instinctive and natural, and I know what I need to do. I think that it has calmed me down and given me focus. Maiya needs me now, and it's important is that I be there for her when she needs me, and be conscious enough to give her space when she needs it in the future.

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