I learned my lesson a few births back about birth music.
When I was pregnant with Kassi, I spent hours creating the perfect birth playlist. It was two discs long and every song mattered. The order was important, too, of course. I think I still have the discs somewhere... but I hardly remember what is on them.
I had instructed the birth team to turn this music on when I was in labor. And they did. Only when they did, it was so offensive to me that I'm afraid I wasn't very kind to them. I needed it turned off and I never wanted to hear it again! How dare they, you know, do what I had told them to do.
After Kassi, I gave birth twice unassisted. There were sounds during those labors but not music. There was the sound of crickets, the sounds of my house and my children. The sound of a kids' film in the background or of the water running into the tub. And then there were my sounds. Sounds happen.
This time I gave some thought to what I might want with regard to sound. I know I'll have the house and the kids and those sounds. I will have my sounds. Pop songs are not good for me, no matter how meaningful or pleasant they may sound when I'm not in labor. I did finally think of something I might want to listen to- might. Vigil service.
We're Orthodox Christians. Our Vigil is in the Russian tradition. Blessedly, I was given some recordings of Vigil services and have them in my birth kit for the big day, just in case.
Why Vigil? I love being at the Vigil. It is long, but familiar. You can lose yourself in it. Even when special feasts bring music I have never heard, eventually the flow of the service will resume and I will find it again. When we attend Vigil our little sons often fall asleep on the floor. I always envy them the chance to sleep in the church with incense and the sounds all around them. We have carried them, sleeping, up to the priest for blessing. They are always amazed when we tell them the next day that we did so. If I could only have one service in the church it would be Vigil.
I won't know until it happens if the music and prayers of Vigil will work for me in labor, but I am glad I have them on hand. Below are videos of our church's choir.
O Gladsome Light
Christ is Risen!