When I envisioned childbirth, I couldn’t imagine laboring without music. When I had Aria I made a playlist that largely consisted of my favorite Christmas music, with a few other favorites thrown in. It was appropriate, seeing as she was born on Christmas Eve! But, laboring in the tub with the jets on, I could barely hear the music. I was too inhibited to say, hey, I know it’s probably gonna break everyone else’s eardrums, but I can’t hear the music, so crank it up! Afterward, when I had a clear head, I realized that was absurd. Andy and the midwives would have been happy to turn the music up for me. So, tip number one: don’t be afraid to ask for whatever will help you when you’re laboring!
This time around I made multiple playlists – upbeat tracks for the first stage of labor, to keep me moving and energized; instrumental tracks for when I needed to concentrate to make it through the hours; and a mix of some of my favorites for transition and pushing. As it turned out, this labor went so quickly I never felt the need for the upbeat or instrumental playlists, but I found the last playlist incredibly soothing while in the tub. And yes, this time I made sure to ask for the music to be at the volume I preferred!
For the upbeat music, I gravitate toward certain artists, rather than specific tracks.
- Michael Jackson
- Anything by Switchfoot
- Mumford & Sons
- My workout playlist (a carefully curated playlist of upbeat tracks I’ve built over time)
The instrumental pieces included:
- Pride & Prejudice soundtrack
- Little Women soundtrack
- Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Joshua Bell)
- Barber’s Adagio for Strings
- Hymns (Chris Rice on the piano)
This part is highly personal, so I don’t know how helpful my recommendations would be for most people. Here I chose specific songs for one of three reasons: 1) meaning of the lyrics, 2) emotional appeal to me (usually tied to something in my history), and 3) beauty of the melody (a melody that makes me melt). Some of those are:
- “10,000 Reasons” (Matt Redman)
- “What Do I Know of Holy” (Addison Road)
- “L’Incontro” (Andrea Bocelli – sung to his newborn son)
- “Glitter in the Air” (Pink)
- “In Christ Alone“
- “Let Mercy Lead“, “Creed“, “If I Stand” (Rich Mullins)
- “Your Love is Strong“, “House of God, Forever” (Jon Foreman)
- “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (Celine Dion)
- “He’s Alive” (Don Francisco)
- “Songbird” (Eva Cassidy – our first dance at our wedding)
What are the special songs you would add to any of these lists?