while we were preparing for arty’s birth i was thinking of things that would help me manage any fear or anxiety i might feel during the procedure. i didn’t feel particularly nervous in the lead up, but i’d never undergone major surgery before, so i wasn’t sure how i was going to react as it was happening.

one thing i’ve always found helpful to steady my mind and allay panic is to go over the lyrics to familiar songs, or silently recite poetry to myself. something about focussing on the rhythm of the words, and the structure of the composition seems to break the panic spiral, and distract me (at least partially) from my fear.

so i asked our obstetrician if it would be ok for us to bring some music in with us to listen to while arty was being born. she said they had an ipod dock in the theatre and if i wanted to plug something into that she was fine with it.

i ended up angsting quite a bit about what to put on the playlist. i thought it would be easy to make, but in the end i fretted over it quite a lot.
i wanted songs that were familiar, and had words i knew really well, so i could focus on them if i needed to. but i didn’t want to put any of my most favourite songs on there, because i didn’t want them to be ruined by association if i found the whole procedure to be traumatic.
i ummed and ahhed over what to choose for ages, and in the end i put the playlist together on the morning of the day he was born. i was syncing my ipod up at the last minute before we left for the hospital.

arty’s birth playlist
in the end it wasn’t traumatic, but it was intense and overwhelming, so having familiar songs playing was definitely a good thing. and those songs will always be a little more special because of the role they played on that day.