Playlist for Pain

In a little while
Surely you'll be mine
In a little while I'll be there

In a little while
This hurt will hurt no more
I'll be home, love!

As limited as my music collection is, I love making playlists for friends, family, parties, different moods, whatever. The one I’m currently trying to make, however, is proving to be substantially more difficult than I’d first thought.

Because who the hell knows what kind of music I’m going to want to listen to while I’m in labor? What’s going to soothe my soul, and what’s going to piss me off? I haven’t a clue.

One thing’s for sure -- I need songs with lyrics. I respond to words, not instrumentals, especially in times of stress or when I need to completely move my mind to another place.

The question is, which will I want to do — focus on guiding my mind through the pain, or completely move my thoughts to another time and place? Should I go with uplifting, slow, meditative tunes like The Blind Boys of Alabama’s “I Shall Not Walk Alone”? Or do I choose fun songs like the Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine” that just make me happy or remind me of something far, far away? Will one of my favorite songs, Paul Simon’s “Late in the Evening,” do its usual magic and put me in a good mood no matter what...or will its jumpy groove annoy the crap out of me as a way-too-peppy background for the physical agony I’ll be feeling?

It’s a tough one, I tell ya. Right now my “labor mix” is a hodge-podge of different moods, genres and tempos. The Weepies, Barry Louis Polisar, Neil Diamond, Keb’ Mo’, Bellamy Brothers, Lone Justice,’s eclectic, to say the least.

Last time I didn’t make a specific playlist to get me through labor. I brought my whole collection and just figured I’d skip around and play what felt right at any particular moment. But then Kostyn’s heart rate kept dropping and they decided they needed to continuously monitor him, which meant I needed to continuously monitor him for my own peace of mind, which meant for 12 hours I listened to nothing but the whoosh-whoosh-whoosh of that monitor.

Come to think of it, that worked out pretty well for me. Perhaps that’s the perfect tune...

you know there will be days
when you’re so tired that you can’t
take another step
now you will have no stars
and you'll think you've
gone as far as you'll ever get

you, and me
walk on, walk on, walk on
‘cause you can’t go back now


David J. said...

This post reminds me of just how furious Bree got at me when I tried to offer some music in the hours before Aiden's birth. So, dads-to-be out there, here's my advice: shut up. Bask in the supportive strength of silence.
I'm just sayin'

Robyn said...

Amen, brotha...

Heather said...

Did you bring in a portable stereo or did they have one for you?

Robyn said...

No, Hoef, I brought my iPod with everything loaded onto it. But that was two years ago, and I've gotten a lot of new music in the last several months, and my old-as-dirt iPod doesn't connect with my new Mac (first time I've ever been pissed at Apple...), so I can't update it and it has been rendered basically useless. Hence the need to pick a playlist that I can give to Chris to put on HIS iPod for the Big Event.

Lyn said...

i don't remember what the music was but I remember telling Ryan to TURN IT OFF ALREADY! I just wanted to concentrate on getting the damned kid O U T!!!!!