“We go so fast, why don’t we make it last
Life is glowing inside you and me
Please take my hand, here where I stand
Won’t you come out and dance with me
Come see, with me, come see” — Steve Winwood
I’m still celebrating.
I’m still celebrating his birthday and the end of her school year. In the spaces between, I’m cleaning crumbs off of the counter and picking up every toy from her floor. Only to do it again and again, because kids love crumbs on counters and toys on floors. A lot.
In the spaces between the spaces between, I started reading Gone Girl.
And maybe in the spaces between the spaces between the spaces between a whole lot of somethings, I do stop to think about how I feel about all of this change. I’m alarmingly calm – and it’s no act and there’s nothing to hide. Over a year of working anxiety through and out of my system, bit by bit. Learning that the hows are more important than the whys – it may always rear up in my life at inopportune times (are there ever great times for anxiety?) but right now I’m enjoying these life experiences with minimal trauma.
We did wind up in two hospitals again this year, but only by sweet, visiting-only choice. More on that in the next post.
For now, let’s close up some birthday talk with photos and music!
For both births I stayed up late right before, putting together mix cds for the hospital room. They’re probably the only things I actually used from the hospital bag. I brought so many comfort items for Scarlet’s birth and really only used the music. I do the same thing on flights – only reach for music – and I’m terrible at flying. I’m probably better at giving birth than I am at being on a plane. Anyway, Scarlet was born to “Hello, Goodbye” by the Beatles. Des was born to “Touch of Grey” by Grateful Dead. When you hear some highlights of the mix he was born to and the reasoning behind them..well I just hope you’ll understand my crazy mind a bit more.:
Track 1 – “Dreams” by Van Halen. It’s one of my favorite songs for inspiration. I just…love it. Every line is meaningful. It contains a lot of words I felt like saying to Des, just to encourage his birth.
Track 2 – “Break It Down Again” by Tears for Fears. Other than the fact that it’s amazing?? Well this is funny. When you’re ready to push and the baby’s arrival is imminent, they call it “breaking down the bed” when the staff gets the hospital bed in birthing position for the mother and the doctor. Well I was breaking down a bed, again. Get it? Good.
Track 5 – “Take On Me” by Aha. Tell me, is there ever an occasion in which this wonderful song isn’t relevant? Love and marriage? Birth? Brilliant. “You’re all the things, I’ve got to remember”..
Track 6 – “Whatever I Fear” by Toad the Wet Sprocket. Whenever I’m feeling particularly stressed, blasting this song as loudly as I can in the car, no kids of course, is a surefire solution. Stress = “Whatever I Fear.”
Track 7 – “Breakdown” by Tom Petty. See “Break It Down Again” by Tears for Fears.
Track 8 – “Little Earthquakes” by Tori Amos. Little Earthquakes is how I describe contractions, especially as they get more frequent/intense.
Track 9 – “Bell Bottom Blues” by Eric Clapton. Live from the brilliant 24 Nights album. This one is deep. I wanted it there for me to remember falling in love – which got me into this birth mess in the first place. And I wanted it there to reflect on the worst emotional heartbreak pain of my life. ‘Cause I thought that would help with the physical pain. Guess what? It did.
Track 10 – “Let Down” by Radiohead. Another example of my warped sense of humor. “Letdown” is the term for when you get a tingly feeling before or in the beginning part of nursing, and then the milk begins to flow properly. You and your baby generally notice letdown. I was giving myself smooth letdown vibes right there.
Track 11 – “Gonna Be Some Changes Made” by Bruce Hornsby. This is a live seven or so minute track. It should also be played at high volumes while alone in your car. At the exact two minute part, is where it gets so good that you cannot help but smile. Or sweat. Or get chills. Or dance. Or scream. Or all of the above and more.
Track 12 – “Try Not To Breathe” by R.E.M. Take your pick. For me, it’s either about breathing through contractions or the line, “These are the eyes that I want you to remember.” Or both.
Track 13 – “Song H” by Bruce Hornsby. It’s my peace song. Whenever I feel nervous and anxious or queasy and uneasy, this is the song. Scarlet has grown to love it as well. She closes her eyes and sighs along with it. I’d do the same except I’m usually driving when it’s on. It’s..divine.
Track 14 – “The Finer Things” by Steve Winwood. See quote at the start of this blog post. It brings back many memories for me. It’s one of those songs that stops me in my tracks, maybe brings me to my knees, gets me a little high on life. It reminds me of something from my past. It’s a right place at the right time song from childhood. I am only beginning to understand its meaning.
Track 15 – “Touch of Grey” by Grateful Dead. Ding ding ding! The winner. This is when Des made his earthly arrival. “I will get by / I will survive”..
Track 16 – “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” by the Beatles. ‘Cause the music played on even after his birth. I wasn’t going to turn it off. Cassidy certainly wasn’t. The nurses and doctors didn’t. Around this time we did notice this song playing because there is quite famously a Desmond in it, which is why it’s on the mix! And the part about how life goes on and all of that.
(Thanks for bearing with me and reading that through. It means a lot)
Now of course – we have cupcakes. That first picture below left is my personal favorite. Quintessential birthday boy photo.
These moments..are some of the finer things..
You know what? I think he liked his dessert and was just stunned that we were holding out on him for so long.
“While there is time
Let’s go out and feel everything
If you hold me
I will let you into my dream” — Steve Winwood