Thank you for the music

One of the hairiest moments during labour was when we decided to put the iPod on. In all the chaos, Mr Cath located the speakers and cable but the iPod itself was nowhere to be found. Within seconds of him going to look for it I was having a contraction and screaming at him to get back to me anyway – it was the first time he’d left my side in hours. So that scuppered the labour playlist idea.

It was all a far cry from the spa-like experience I’d imagined, complete with soothing music, atmospheric electric candles and of course the centrepiece of the birthing pool!

Although I kept the iPod with me during my hospital stay (by the way, it was in the bag exactly where we’d packed it!) I never listened to any music – after the fail during my labour I just couldn’t face it. However, in retrospect it would have been a good idea in order to drown out the sounds from the other people inhabiting my ward. Next time…

It was when we got home that the labour playlist really came into its own. I was struggling with the discomfort of breastfeeding and in tears for what seemed like 99% of the time. Mr Cath suggested putting some music on and with neither of us capable of making any decision he chose my labour playlist and put it on shuffle. The very first track that came on was the first dance at our wedding which of course had me in floods again, but this time it was different. The music helped channel my emotions and more importantly provided a soothing distraction. Pip’s weight loss in the first week was minimal and I think a lot of that was down to the effect of the playlist on his feeding!

Of course now I can never listen to the thing again – even though it’s 7 hours long, we had it on enough that the same songs seemed to continually appear and I’m now thoroughly playlisted out.

One more bit to add. When I was compiling the collection, I didn’t actually listen to many of the tracks, I just dragged them across. I already knew what they sounded like! But having been through labour, I began to really hear these songs and most of them seemed scarily relevant to giving birth. I don’t know what my subconscious was doing when it picked some of these:

  • Human by The Killers (“cut the cord”)
  • Sewn by The Feeling (ugh!)
  • Born to Try by Delta Goodrem
  • Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake
  • Teardrop by Massive Attack
  • Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
  • Eight Miles High by The Byrds
  • Here Comes the Sun/Son by The Beatles (tenuous, I know)
  • etc………

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