Your Songs For The Delivery Room

Aug 3, 2011

Last Friday, we heard a story about one woman's soundtrack to her son's birth. We then asked you to tell us about the music you listened to while you or your partner gave birth. The stories you sent in were moving-- and funny. "Push It" by Salt 'n' Pepa seems to be a clear favorite. One birth playlist included the Star Wars theme. And then there were the accidental soundtracks.

Ann Scanlen wrote us from the Irish town of Ballingeary. She says she had planned to create a playlist during early labor, but then reality stepped in. She ended up using some old playlists on her iPod. Scanlen writes:

"After over an hour of pushing and with clear indications that my baby was in distress, the doctor announced that it was time to get the baby out, fast, with the help of a vacuum. The next song to come on my iPod was The Lonely Island's 'I'm on a Boat,' a hilarious rap song that is quite out of character with the rest of my musical tastes. It was fitting though and served its purpose so well: it made me laugh, calmed me down, helped me focus, and gave me the extra energy to get my son out."

Maura Welch of Manhattan, Kansas, remembered back to the birth of her son twenty-seven years ago. She was listening to the opera Carmen. She writes:

"The rousing and joyful overture was playing as Colin was born. When Colin was about 2 years old, Carmen was playing again, this time in the kitchen, and he remarked: 'Mommy, I don't really like that song; it always gives me a headache.' Oh, out of the mouths of babes!"

Catherine Scantlin of Boone, North Carolina's favorite song on her playlist was Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire." Scantlin wasn't the only person to mention that song. People often refer to the "Ring of Fire" when they describe a certain feeling "down there" as the baby is crowning.

Scantlin writes that whenever the "Ring of Fire" was mentioned in birth class, she and her husband couldn't stop giggling because of the song. She adds, "I don't remember much about that point of the birth because I was so exhausted, but I do remember hearing that song and laughing."

Finally, Margot Vejent of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, told us her playlist included "I Wanna Be Sedated" by the Ramones and "King of Pain" by the Police. She also wrote this:

"At one point in the process with my second son, the doctor said 'I'd be better able to work if you would shut that noise off!' I took a moment to explain to him who I thought was doing most of the work - and therefore was entitled to choose the music."

Scantlin's son finally arrived not to the driving beat of the Ramones but to the jaunty bounce of the Beatles. She writes, "'Life goes on!' from 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' is where Simon made his appearance!"

Thanks to all of you who shared your music and your stories.

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