March 14, 2012

Birth Plan: Baby Upbeat

Yes, I'm one of those pregnant women. You shouldn't be surprised by now. After doing some considerable research, I typed up a birth plan or two (one for traditional delivery, one for c-section). I printed multiple copies of each, and I carefully loaded them into a sheet protector in my hospital bag. Standard.

While I not ONCE pulled that sheet protector out of my hospital bag, I am VERY glad I spent so much time drafting those birth plans. Why? Because they empowered me. I knew what my options were. I knew what questions I wanted to ask the doctors on that crazy morning I didn't expect to be at the hospital, and I asked them. If I'm fortunate enough to get pregnant again one day, you can bet I'll do it all over again.

You might be surprised to find out that the question that ended up having the most memorable impact on my delivery experience was:

Can I bring my music?

You see, I was hoping to be in labor for at least a little while. I came up with two iPod playlists for the occasion - "Baby Calm" and "Baby Upbeat". Self-explanatory. I filled each playlist with an eclectic mix of my favorite country, island, and worship songs that made my heart happy. These were songs I'd been playing for Bryson and myself throughout my pregnancy, songs I thought he and I would like to hear in his first minutes. I even ordered a tiny, battery-operated iPod speaker I could pack in my hospital bag for easy use!

While enjoying our babymooniversary weekend at Turtle Bay (days before Bryson was born), I gave the playlists a trial run. To be honest, I was planning to make a few deletions the next week, but (all together now...), I didn't have time!  As we were throwing together last-minute items to take to the hospital, I grabbed our Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine as a last resort. Yes, it took up considerable hospital bag real estate, but it was the best I could do. My sweet little iPod speaker wasn't due to arrive just yet. (For that matter, neither was my sweet little baby boy, but that's neither here nor there.)

Back to the question.

Can I bring my music?

As soon as the doctors gave me the okay, I realized the machine needed batteries that we did not pack (GASP! How did I forget something?!). Thankfully, Jeremy and Justin were able to locate some double As at the gift shop and we were in business. Good job, guys.

The next (big!) question was which playlist to use. Since I know myself well, this was a fairly easy answer. While it's a lovely playlist, Baby Calm was runner-up. It's filled with songs that make me think...maybe a little too much. I was already fighting back the urge to cry (mostly because I was sad my Texas family wasn't there in person), and I didn't want to go there. In an otherwise serious situation, I wanted to keep things as light as possible. Baby Upbeat would help me stay in my happy place.

Where's Graco?
I don't remember how the iPod and Graco made it into the OR with me...maybe I was holding them on the way in? I was just glad they were there. They made an otherwise sterile, impersonal environment feel more fun, personal, and relaxed. [Update: Check out this last photo taken of me before I was wheeled into the OR. Graco was definitely on my lap!] The music put my mind and heart at ease, making me feel more comfortable and optimistic about the whole process. I think it had a positive effect on the medical staff, too! At one point, some of the doctors even broke into their own rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'". I kid you not.

So let's get to it. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Baby Upbeat:

Haven't Met You Yet - Michael Buble
Dirt Road Anthem - Jason Aldean
Stronger - Mandisa
Every Little Girl's Dream - Jo Dee Messina
I'm Letting Go - Francesca Battistelli
American Honey - Lady Antebellum
Indescribable - Chris Tomlin
Happy - Natasha Bedingfield
My Old Friend - Tim McGraw
Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin
Keep Me In Mind - Zac Brown Band
Looking For You - Kirk Franklin
Happy Girl - Martina McBride
Hold Me - Jamie Grace
Brave - Nichole Nordeman
These Words - Natasha Bedingfield
Don't Stop Believin' - Glee Cast
Free to Be Me - Francesca Battistelli
Barefoot Blue Jean Night - Jake Owen
Dreamer - Bethany Dillon
Freckles - Natasha Bedingfield
God is  Real - India Arie
This Is The Stuff - Francesca Battistelli

Bryson may like some of these songs when he's older, and he may not. Even though a few of these tunes were meant to be on the chopping block that week, this exact playlist ended up being the soundtrack to his entrance into the world.

For that, I think it's worth remembering.

P.S.  This post is not related to my business, which is about helping bright entrepreneurs attract their dream clients, one brilliant message at a time. HOWEV - if you like my writing and want help with your own, sign up for free tips at www.nikkielledgebrown.com!

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