Monday, September 5, 2011

Birth By Music

We were about a third of the way through the pushing, Chelsey made a request.

"Can we turn the music up?"

I had prepared a delivery mix, full of songs that I thought might help Chelsey relax during delivery.  They had been playing most of the afternoon, but I think she just needed them louder for delivery-distraction purposes.  What she couldn't have known is that it ended up providing the perfect soundtrack to our meeting Edith.  I was able to skip backwards through the playlist afterwards, and here are some highlights of what came on in the moments leading up to King Edith.

Right after we turned up the music this song came on. In between pushes we the nurse said to Chelsey "This is kind of your song", which was funny because Wendy had said the same thing about herself on this blog during the music challenge. It was also funny because I had never thought that before, but it completely made sense when she said it.

Jason Anderson - Thanksgiving

I don't have a youtube video for this song, but it's linked, you can click on it if you want to hear it. Jason Anderson is a singer Chelsey introduced me to during a trip to Chicago. She kind of new him through someone from Omaha, and we saw him at Schuba's, where we had seen Wolf Parade the night before. Wolf Parade was crazy good. I had low expectations for Jason Anderson. Which turned out to be dumb. He is one of those people - similar to Monotonix (for those of you who saw them with The Silver Jews) - who just has so much positive energy when he performs it overcomes all the jadedness in the crowd. And there is always plenty of jadedness at an indie show. It was a great show. And it felt so right that one of the few optimistic voices in my music catalog was singing my daughter into the world - albeit with a sad song.

I happen to know that Chelsey loves this song. Partially because of its tie-in with Twilight. Partially because it's a real beauty of a song. My ipod could not have picked a better song for her.

We never listen to this song. I have no idea why I put it on the mix. But it has such a good feeling. And it came up as we were getting really close to the end. And I remember thinking "What is this? It's perfect."

Speaking of perfect. Well, maybe not so perfect, but whatever. At one point Chelsey had to stop pushing, because our doctor wasn't there yet, and Edith's head was going to come out if she kept going. So imagine, if you will, being forced to wait with a baby's head wedged between your legs. Not comfortable. Actually really shitty. It was also bizarre, in that we were like five pushes away from having a baby, but we had this weird opportunity to stop and consider the fact we were like ten minutes away from being parents. There's nothing about New Slang that really speaks to that situation, but it's just good background music for contemplation. I'm sure Chelsey was just like "get this fucking baby out of me" the whole time, but for me this was the most emotional part of the delivery. Sitting there, listening to New Slang, and thinking how close we were to having a daughter.

So the doc finally shows, and we start pushing, and to the best of my knowledge this is what was playing when Edith made her grand entry to the world. It was either this, or a cover of "Papa was a rodeo" by Bright Eyes. Let's go with this, since it's much more inspiring for the moment of birth.

There are a few songs I remember from the aftermath, "Godspeed" by Jenny Lewis, The Good Times Are Killing Me" by Modest Mouse, and "Random Rules" by the Silver Jews. But this is the one that got the doctor's attention. The album version of it just has that piano line for a very long time, which confused her. She finally asked what that sound was. I told her it was a song, and she said "Oh, this music has been great. What are we listening to?" To which I tried to explain it was a mix, though not very successfully.

This is the second to last song I remember. This is a song Chelsey and I spoke about in detail a month or so ago. I finally took the time to look up the words to it, and I forwarded them to Chelsey saying I was surprised how such an avant garde artist wrote such a straight forward song about love. I think it's such a beautiful song about how bringing someone into your life makes you stronger - makes your life better. I completely agree with that point of view, but until Wednesday, it hadn't even occurred to me how much it applied to Edith. This is the song that I will take from the day she was born.

This is the last song I remember hearing in the delivery room. After that it was all cord blood donations and pictures. I'm so glad that I was able to recreate the sequence of these songs, so I can revisit that moment as the years go by.


  1. You can't really end better than In the Aeroplane over the Sea.

  2. The song I remember when I entered the delivery room was Cat Faces by Ugly Casanova, which I really enjoyed hearing again. Also I'm really happy that All My Friends had a part in the Edith story.