Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mommy Anxiety

This week, I discovered that I'm going to be that mom: the one who freaks out everytime I have to let my children grow up. I can see myself bawling on my kids' first day of kindergarten while I worry about bullies and whether they're going to do well in school. I can see myself crying when my daughters get asked on their first dates and panicking about whether the young men are going to take proper care of my girls. I can see myself sobbing after dropping my sons off at the MTC while I fret about the difficulty of their missions and whether or not we prepared them enough. I can see myself weeping when my kids go away to college and stressing about roommates and whether we've taught them well enough to stay out of serious trouble.

I'm already debating whether or not I really want to let Evie be born. On one hand, sometimes I just want her OUT, like when she kicked me so hard all Monday night that I woke up on Tuesday with bruised ribs, and she then decided to perch all day Tuesday right underneath my poor sore ribs. Or when I want her out so I can play with her and cuddle her or even just see what she looks like. On the other hand, my pregnancy has been super easy and I've loved it. It is so much fun feeling and watching my belly contort as Evie moves around. She already sometimes plays with her mommy: if I poke her twice, she'll kick me twice in the same spot; if I poke her three times, she'll kick me three times. It's a real hoot--I don't want to give that up! Besides, there are germs out there that might make my precious little one sick! Sometimes I think that it would be best if she just stayed in my belly forever where I can take care of her every need without worrying.

I am kidding, mostly. I know I'm being a little silly, but then I've always been fairly highstrung. My mom kept telling me during the beginning of my pregnancy that if I didn't calm down, I was going to have a heart attack and die before ever having my baby. My husband told me just the other day to calm down and stop worrying about the gender of our baby. I'd heard about a girl I know who just had her baby boy--after being told by the ultrasound technician that they were having a girl. Of course I immediately started panicking because we've received so many beautiful clothes for a girl from friends and family and we can't really afford to start over from ground zero. Todd assures me that everything will be okay, and I'm trusting him at this point.

With all of this spinning round my head, it finally clicked in my brain that I am going to be the mom that stresses about everything. I'd already accepted my excitability as an inherent part of myself, but never put it into that light before; it was a very uncomfortable realization. I'm a little afraid that I'm going to make Todd's life a living hell, but for right now I'm grateful for his quiet strength that gives me courage. Soon, I might even decide to let Evie be born. ;)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby Literature

I am an English major at BYU, so I get to read a lot of literature. Lately, it seems that everywhere I turn, the literature I'm reading is somehow connected to babies. For example, in my Writing Literary Criticism class, we're spending the entire semester focused on A Long and Happy Life by Reynolds Price. The story is full of babies: one character dies while giving birth to her illegitimate baby, another gives birth to a stillborn baby, a third gets pregnant with her fifth healthy baby, and the last finds out she's pregnant and struggles with the decision of whether or not to marry the father.

For another example, in my British Literary History class, tonight we were studying Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In the third stanza of his poem, "Frost at Midnight," he addresses his sleeping baby as follows:

"Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
Fill up the interspersed vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought!
My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore
And in far other scenes! For I was reared
In the great city, pent 'mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask."

I thought to myself, "Well, that's really a sweet and tender verse of poetry addressing a baby. I, too, want what's best for my child. I wonder if there are any other poems about babies in this anthology." So I looked, and on the very first page of the table of contents, there was a poem that looked promising. I opened up to it and read it. In beautiful language, this poem expresses exactly how I feel about my daughter, unborn as she is, and perfectly says what I wish I could say to little Evie. I wish I had the talent of writing good poetry like this!

To a Little Invisible Being Who is Expected Soon to Become Visible
-Anna Letitia Barbauld

Germ of new life, whose powers expanding slow
For many a moon their full perfection wait,--
Haste, precious pledge of happy love, to go
Auspicious borne through life's mysterious gate.

What powers lie folded in thy curious frame,--
Senses from objects locked, and mind from thought!
How little canst thou guess they lofty claim
To grasp at all the worlds the Almighty wrought!

And see, the genial season's warmth to share,
Fresh younglings shoot, and opening roses glow!
Swarms of new life exulting fill the air,--
Haste, infant bud of being, haste to blow!

For thee the nurse prepares her lulling songs,
The eager matrons count the lingering day;
But far the most thy anxious parent longs
On thy soft cheek a mother's kiss to lay.

She only asks to lay her burden down,
That her glad arms that burden may resume;
And nature's sharpest pangs her wishes crown,
That free thee living from thy living tomb.

She longs to fold to her maternal breast
Part of herself, yet to herself unknown;
To see and to salute the stranger guest,
Fed with her life through many a tedious moon.

Come, reap thy rich inheritance of love!
Bask in the fondness of a Mother's eye!
Nor wit nor eloquence her heart shall move
Like the first accents of thy feeble cry.

Haste, little captive, burst thy prison doors!
Launch on the living world, and spring to light!
Nature for thee displays her various stores,
Opens her thousand inlets of delight.

If charmed verse or muttered prayers had power,
With favouring spells to speed thee on thy way,
Anxious I'd bid my beads each passing hour,
Till thy wished smile thy mother's pangs o'erpay.

Hello World

Hello! My name is Jess Jacobs, and I'm a soon-to-be mommy. My husband, Todd, and I are expecting our first little girl, Evangeline Rae, on March 30th. We're so excited!

I'm actually the author of another blog on Wordpress entitled "Bookmistress' blog," but found myself recently writing mostly baby-related posts instead of anything else. I decided to start this new blog which, as the title suggests, is all 'bout baby! This will hopefully leave my other blog open to everything else that I might want to rant about, while I focus on little Evie and the joys of motherhood on this one-at least that's my goal.

I am so excited to share all of the silly antics of my little daughter, and I hope that this blog will be fun for whoever wants to come along for the ride!