"I don't know you - But I want you - All the more for that."
These are lyrics to the song "Falling Slowly", which won the Academy Award in 2008 for Best Original Song in the movie Once. The soft-spoken singers strum guitars while they sing the love story of two people in modern-day Dublin. I loved the song when I first heard it and I put it on a labor playlist when I was pregnant with my first son in February of that year.
I listened to the playlist when I was getting the house ready for a new baby. I listened to it when I was driving to work and daydreaming about meeting the baby. I listened to it when I was taking the dog for a walk, knowing our walks would change when the baby arrived. I listened to it when we were trying to decide what we should name him when he came.
The songs played in the background when I started working from home because I had passed my due date. The iPod was on in the living room when I was cooking dinner and making meals for the freezer (good advice I had received). And these songs were playing when I went into labor at home.
They were playing in the car when we drove to the hospital, when we set up a little stereo system in the delivery room, and when the midwives said my labor stalled and I should take a nap. I had taken Bradley classes and I knew I didn't want a C-section, but after 24+ hours of labor I was starting to feel like I couldn't do it.
"Raise your hopeful voice - You have a choice - You'll make it now" sang the song in the room - and I took a nap.
When I woke up from my nap and was checked, I was 10cm dilated and ready to keep going.
Songs from the Labor Playlist continued in the room. Songs from Billy Joel (hey, I'm a Long Island girl now), my friend Mariead, Tom Petty, U2, Richard Julian, Garth Brooks - they all cycled through as I was breathing and pushing, breathing and pushing.
And early in the morning of March 6th, my first baby finally arrived. Healthy, alert, and hungry - just as I had dreamed. He made me a mom, made my husband a father, created new grandparents - and he changed us all in an instant.
The song playing softly when he arrived in the room was sweetly saying, "Falling slowly, eyes that know me - and I can't go back...."