Songs for my birth

July 1, 2010 at 11:24 pm

When I was looking for music to include in my first home birthing playlist, I had a hard time finding suggestions via Google.  So, after creating my own list (with help and suggestions from my blog readers), I wanted to share it for other birth music seekers. The following was the soundtrack for my fastest, easiest birth:

1) Storm – Powerful, Exhilarating Thunderstorm Sounds (Calmsound, Nature Sounds)
This is a long track of a thunderstorm. It starts with a huge crash of thunder (a little jarring), but there’s something about the power of it that soothes and energizes me at the same time. I love the sound of rain.

2) If I Could Be Where You Are (Enya, Amarantine)
I’ve got a lot of Enya on my list. I’ve loved and listened to Enya since I was a pre-teen. My brother (Steven) and his wife, who both passed away two and a half years ago, also loved Enya. I like to think they will be present as guardians for my baby and me as I give birth–my sis-in-law as my “heavenly doula.”

3) Somebody (Depeche Mode, Some Great Reward)
This was one of my brother Steven’s favorite songs. I remember the day he asked me to help him learn how to play it on the piano. I still have the sheet music he had bought with all my piano books. I included it because it makes me think of him, and I always smile as I listen because he did find that “Somebody” (perfect for him) and will spend eternity with her. It also happens to be a soothing, pretty song.

4) Endless (Clyde Bawden, Beyond The Veil)
This is a really pretty piano piece from an album I bought while I was in college. It soothed me through many a stress-filled semester. Plus I love the title and tone of the song–takes my mind out of the present moment and raises my thoughts to the eternal.

5) Silent Night (Sarah McLachlan, Wintersong)
My husband raised an eyebrow when he heard a Christmas song on my cd, but I didn’t get far into my explanation before it made sense to him… “Channeling Mary? Who gave birth in a stable? Without doctors? To Jesus? With angels as her attendants? THE greatest birth of all time?” Plus Sarah McLachlan has to have one of the most soothing voices on the planet. Love this version of Silent Night.

6) Elysium
(Klaus Badelt & Lisa Gerrard, Gladiator Soundtrack)
I love the combination of power and peace in this song. Plus… Elysium is a good place to take your head–the Elysian Fields, or “heaven” for the the heroic and virtuous in Greek Mythology.

7) Drifting (Enya, Amarantine)
This song makes me think of floating down a gentle river on a warm sunny day, surrounded by trees, in total serenity.

8 ) Angel (Sarah McLachlan, Surfacing)
This one seems pretty self-explanatory… “You’re in the arms of the angel, May you find some comfort here.”

9) For the Beauty of the Earth (Jon Schmidt, LDS Hymns of Praise)
This is a beautiful instrumental rendition of one of my favorite hymns. This particular version reached my heart and pulled me out of an overwhelming darkness on a difficult day in my past, so it has special significance to me. Plus I love the lyrics that come to mind as I listen…

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

10) Father God
(Kingsway Music, Come Join The Dance (Inspirational Celtic Melodies))
This is a gentle, lovely guitar piece from an album of Celtic melodies I bought at Sturbridge Village in MA when I was a newlywed. Again, the tone and the title take me where I want to be as I give birth.

11) Calling All Angels (Jane Siberry/k.d. Lang, Love Is Everything)
The first time I heard this song was while watching “The Business of Being Born” for the first time. I loved it and downloaded it from iTunes right away. (At the time I didn’t know I’d be giving birth at home.) It seemed an appropriate song to include… “Calling all angels, walk me through this world, don’t leave me alone.”

12) Redeemer (Paul Cardall, LDS Hymns of Praise)
Another pretty instrumental of a hymn. I expect it will be helpful to think of my Redeemer as I labor–the only male who has ever experienced mortality who can truly sympathize with the travail of birth. Again, I love the lyrics that come to mind as I listen to this song…

He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.

13) May It Be (Enya, Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack)
I love this song. Soothing and inspiring at the same time. Fabulous lyrics. My favorite line: “A promise lives within you now.” This line touches me for a couple of reasons. First of all… I have literally living within me a “promise.” And I have figuratively living within me the promises of God that our birth will be a wonderful, safe experience.

14) Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) (John Tesh, Discovery)
This song brings back happy memories. I sang it with my best friends as a musical number at a special dinner function during our pre-high-school-graduation festivities. It’s such a sweet song. I included it to remind me of the baby boy on his way and how I anticipate feeling toward him.

I promised I would never leave you,
And you should always know:
Wherever you may go,
No matter where you are,
I never will be far away.

15) Into the West (Howard Shore & Annie Lennox, The Return of the King Soundtrack)
This is another song that makes me think of my brother and his wife in the world of spirits, and it’s beautiful. It’s a song about death (which is clearly something we’d like to avoid as I give birth), but I still find it comforting and calming. It takes my mind beyond my little world. It makes me think of the thousands of women who came before me (and have passed on) who gave birth under all types of circumstances. I find strength in thinking of them watching over me, lending me their strength, encouraging me.

Phew! That took me quite some time to write, but it was fun to reflect on my choices and anticipate how they will help me. The truth is that I’ve never experienced labor with music before. Will I want music in the background? I don’t know how I’ll feel. But what I do know is that music has a way of reaching into parts of my heart and soul that are otherwise unreachable. Knowing this about myself, I think I’ll be glad I have prepared this collection of songs. I’ve also read about some fresh research indicating that music (particularly when enjoyed with other people) leads the body to release oxytocin. I say bring on the oxytocin!

What kinds of music have you listened to in childbirth?