A musical birth, continued….

baby feet Thank you everyone for your online and offline comments on the last post, and do forgive my tardiness. The newborn has been more vocal than this blog in her demands for attention. Here’s a teaser pic of the fruits of my labors, the last I saw of her before she scooted away. Remarkable child.

Anyway, before we dribble into baby blogging – I promise, we won’t – I thought I’d give an account of the music that actually accompanied my performance of a lifetime, and some of the tunes that we’ve gravitated toward since.

As with the best of best-laid plans, Michael’s iPod didn’t make it into the go-bag, so we didn’t have our playlist at hand. The hospital’s wifi was for some reason very strong in the delivery room, so we streamed what we could from a phone and a little computer speaker.

In the moment, I wasn’t in the mood for anything primal or aggressive, and since my abdominal muscles were otherwise engaged, so singing was pretty much out. I wanted something peaceful but purposeful, something supportive that could also take me out of the room. Michael cued up the best: Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending:

I wouldn’t have minded hearing that alone on a loop.

Also appropriate, with its opening timpani heart beats to match the baby’s heart on the monitor, was Beethoven’s Violin Concerto:

The slow second movement was especially nice.

Dvorak’s wind serenade did make it into the mix, especially the second movement minuet. Michael would sing the tune to me, and I found it helpful to murmur along with him.

Somehow, one of the Henri videos was in his YouTube cue, and it was good for a laugh after I got my meds and could relax a bit:

The other way that “music” or at least sound figured into the event was my vocalizations, or, as it was known before the resurgence of natural birth, moaning. It was the one technique I could remember to distract yourself from the pain, to focus on your big meditative ooooooommmmmm instead of what you’re experiencing. Next time around, I’ll just keep listening to the music.

Parenting follows all too quickly on the heels of childbirth, so we’re rapidly forming a baby playlist – largely for our own pleasure than the brain synapses of the little one. The ultimate nursing hum-a-long, for its length and sensuous turns, is my childhood favorite, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileria No 5, sung by the ethereally beautiful Bidu Sayão:

Dvorak is also well-played, with the string serenade overtaking the winds in usefulness. The second movement, with its lilting compound triple meter, was especially useful in soothing the babe’s first wig-outs:

That’s all for now, back to nursing! We’ll be in touch soon with all the latest news and reviews for Raffi and Music Together.

About thousandfoldecho

Everyone likes classical music. Not everyone knows it yet.
This entry was posted in Amanda, Fun, Listening to Music, Vaughan Williams and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A musical birth, continued….

  1. Sneakeater says:

    OK, now that we know it’s appropriate:


  2. Susan Marcus says:

    Amanda and Michael, I listened to Beethoven’s Violin concerto in D major over and over while babysitting for the napping children of Princeton graduate students while I was in high school (in the early 60s). We did not have the recording at home. I was conflicted, at the time, about abandoning the violin. That’s my baby music story.

  3. Pingback: Sunday morning listening | thousandfold echo

  4. Pingback: How the rest of the world listens | thousandfold echo

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