I'm feeling a little sentimental tonight.
Maybe it's because I was cleaning and organizing Benjamin's room today and, as I went through his dresser drawers, I pulled out some clothes he has outgrown. Already! Not even a month old and already too big for some of his clothes! Maybe it's because it's been raining some tonight. Maybe because earlier this evening, as I sorted through my maternity clothes in preparation for getting rid of them, I was listening to my "While I Labor" playlist and remembering the sweetness of Benjamin's birth. Maybe because it doesn't take much at all to make me feel a little sentimental! :)
I decided that this would be a good night to finish writing about the songs I listened to during labor--or would have listened to during labor if my labor had lasted longer! As it was, we didn't get to hear nearly all the songs on this list! But they are still meaningful to me and are special reminders of that very special time. :)
In this post from a couple weeks ago, I wrote about the most significant song in my playlist for labor--significant because of the way the song contributed to the image that filled me with peace and assurance in the days leading up to my labor. I will always be grateful for that song and its special contribution to Benjamin's birth!
But that wasn't the only song on my playlist, of course; so for memory's sake, I want to record the other pieces I had, for one reason or another, added to my "While I Labor" playlist. I mentioned a few of those songs in this segment of Benjamin's birth story, but here is the full list. And, by the way, this post from mid-July mentions that I had already started putting together this playlist, way before I did a lot of the "more important" tasks, like registering for the hospital, packing my hospital bag, etc. My priority was the music! :)
Tonight I looked back at the list of songs I listened to during my labor with Moriah; and interestingly, none of those were included on my list this time. I still love those songs, of course; but nearly three and a half years after Moriah's birth, other songs spoke more deeply to me as I prepared for this labor.
Best Day of My Life - American Authors - "This is gonna be the best day of my life..." and the day Benjamin was born certainly ranks in the top 10 best days of my life! Plus, this is a fun, energetic song; and that's a good thing during labor. :)
Stronger - Hillsong - "You are stronger, You are stronger...So let Your name be lifted higher, be lifted higher..." A great reminder of the real source of my strength!
Nothing Without You - Bebo Norman - "Take these hands, and lift them up, for I have not the strength to praise You near enough...So take my body, and build it up; may it be broken as an offering of love...I love You with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, with all the strength that I can find...So all the world can see that I have nothing...I am nothing without You..." Another song of utter dependence on God.
My Lighthouse - Rend Collective - "You are the peace in my troubled sea...I will trust the promise, You will carry me safe to shore..." Another fun song!
Still - Hillsong - Complete dependence on God is expressed in this song that is really a cry for help.
Hey Brother - Avicii - I like the energy in this, as well as the humility to say, "I can't do it on my own!"
To Whom It May Concern - The Civil Wars - As soon as I first heard this piece (probably several years ago), I knew that, if I ever gave birth again, I wanted to listen to this during labor. These words are so fitting. "Why are you so far from me? In my arms is where you ought to be. How long will you make me wait? I don't know how much more I can take. I miss you, but I haven't met you. Oh, but I want to; how I do. Slowly counting down the days, til I finally know your name...Dear whoever you might be, I'm still waiting patiently."
Peponi - The Piano Guys - This one doesn't really relate to labor and delivery, but I liked it enough to include it anyway. :)
Down to the River to Pray - Alison Krauss - Another one that doesn't specifically relate to having a baby, but besides the fact that I'm just fond of the song, I also appreciated the link between us singing this at the baptisms of Josiah and David and me listening to it in preparation to give birth to their youngest brother. :)
Brave - Sara Bareilles - Having a child does require bravery, for sure! But that's not really what this song is talking about. ;-) No matter. I was glad to include it anyway. :)
To Make You Feel My Love - Garth Brooks - A beautiful reminder of the depth of love that a mother has for her child (although the original intent is romantic love, I know). ;-) "When the rain is blowing in your face, and the whole world is on your case, I could offer you a warm embrace to make you feel my love. When the evening shadows and the stars appear, and there is no one there to dry your tears, I could hold you for a million years to make you feel my love..."
I Choose You - Sara Bareilles - This song always makes me think of Jeff--not the baby--but since Jeff was and is a VERY important part of this whole birth experience, I was glad to have a song on my list that was just his. :)
We Are Not Alone - The Royal Singers - I first heard this piece when my dad sang it in a concert with a men's choir that he was a part of. I immediately loved it and have listened to it many, many times since then. "We are not alone; God is with us...God will make us strong...we will press on..." Such reassuring truths, whether in labor or dealing with any other challenging situation.
Soul on Fire - Third Day - Not really a birthing song, but definitely a get-up-and-get-going song! :)
A Thousand Years - Christina Perri - "I have died every day, waiting for you. Darling, don't be afraid. I have loved you for a thousand years. I'll love you for a thousand more. And all along I believed I would find you. Time has brought your heart to me. I have loved you for a thousand years. I'll love you for a thousand more..." Beautiful song.
Joyful, Joyful - Casting Crowns - How many times has Beethoven's melody been reinvented since he wrote it in 1824? This is but the latest in a long succession of versions that I have enjoyed!
When the Saints - Sara Groves - Not related to birthing a child, but a great song anyway (and no, it's not just a modern version of the traditional "When the Saints")! An inspiring call to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before and have been faithful to God no matter what.
O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus - Selah - This was the song that seemed so very looooong to me while I was in the jacuzzi. :)
In Christ Alone - Keith & Kristyn Getty - One of my all-time favorite modern worship songs! "In Christ alone my hope is found...what heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My comforter, my all in all--here in the love of Christ I stand!"
Let the Peace of God Reign - Darlene Zschech - Especially significant because of the vision I had of the peace of God flowing over me like a waterfall.
Brave - Josh Groban - "You will find the warmth when you surrender. Smile into the fear and let it play. You wanna run away, run away, and you say that it can't be so...Hold on, hold on, so strong...My reason to be brave..."
Honey/Little Lize - Barbershop Quartet - We heard this performed at a family reunion this past summer. Doesn't have anything to do with childbirth, but still fun!
When I'm Sixty-Four - Barbershop Quartet - Another fun song.
David's Jig - Natalie MacMaster - Guaranteed to put a spring in my step. Plus, I love the name of this piece! :)
Everything - Michael Buble - I didn't know much about Michael Buble's music until I started hearing it on Pandora. These songs of his are such happy ones that I decided to add them to my playlist, and I am ALWAYS glad to hear them come on. :)
Feeling Good - Michael Buble - "It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me, and I'm feeling good." :)
Haven't Met You Yet - Michael Buble - OK, so I have a lot of favorites in this playlist, but this is really a favorite! Such a fun song, and listen to these words that admittedly aren't intended for labor and delivery, but aren't they appropriate anyway?? "I might have to wait; I'll never give up. I guess it's half timing, and the other half's luck. Wherever you are, whenever it's right, you come out of nowhere and into my life. And I know that we can be so amazing. And, baby, your love is gonna change me. And now I can see every possibility. But somehow I know that it'll all turn out. And you'll make me work so we can work to work it out. And I promise you, kid, I'll give so much more than I get. I just haven't met you yet!" As a bonus, the video for it just makes me smile--and the girl in it is Michael's wife. :)
Well, there you have it--the 28 songs that, in the late summer of 2015, I compiled in a playlist and listened to repeatedly as I dreamed about what it would be like when my beloved little Benjamin was born.
I still love to listen to these songs; but now, instead of dreaming about what it might be like, I have the joy of remembering how it really was.
I wouldn't change a thing. :)
~ photo taken when Benjamin was a week and a half old ~