The summer I was pregnant with Ashlyn, I remember making a road trip with my 2 older kids to visit family a few hours away. Mark had to work so he wasn’t on the trip and the kids in the back were fast asleep, so that meant I got to control the music! I probably glanced in the rear view mirror and saw my chance at this rare moment of quiet. I likely took out the “Laurie Berkner Band” CD we had been stomp-stomping our figurative boots to before they passed out, and switched it for a burned CD mix. It is a CD filled with random artists, both radio famous and some even from my own church recordings, all singing about the love of Christ. They are songs that have memories and emotions attached to them from Jaxson’s pregnancy as well, as I waited in weariness for his arrival, not knowing what was ahead in my first natural birth. Memories are attached to them as I sought their lyrics in sadness and desperation in my own faith becoming restored. They are precious to me.
As I sang lyrics like,
“All my delight is in you Lord
All of my hope
All of my strength
All my delight is in you Lord
“None But Jesus” by Hillsong United
I poured my heart and voice out to the God I love in my little Nissan Rouge (before I became a van-mom), black pavement and trees dashing by on the highway. And I suddenly realized…this is how I want to spend my time in labor. Focusing on Christ. Focusing on His love, His blessings, His grace, and His strength. So, as the end of my pregnancy neared I began my official labor playlist. I searched iTunes high and low, I asked recommendations from friends, I listened to Pandora for ideas. All while paying close attention to how songs made me feel. How fast or slow they were was very important…too many beats going on and it was more stressing to me than calming despite how awesome the lyrics were (I had lots of practice labor to test it out!). I knew I wanted a calm, soothing environment. I also stumbled on a song that helped me focus on the outcome of labor: a baby! Reminding me that this was worth it and the pain wouldn’t last forever.
I’ve been asked several times to share my labor play list since others have wanted the same kind of environment for their labor and new baby. My hope is that these songs will help another mom as she prepares for labor, or simply to expand your everyday playlist! All of these should be available on iTunes and Amazon.
- “It is Well With My Soul” by Ginny Owens
- “Take My Life (and Let it Be) by Chris Tomlin
- “Come Thou Fount” by Jerchio Road
Low Key Modern Worship
- “Give Me Faith” by Elevation Worship
- “Beautiful Things” by Gungor
- “Please Be My Strength” by Gungor
- “Control” by JJ Heller
- “Your Hands” by JJ Heller
- “None But Jesus” Hillsong
- “Lead Me to the Cross” by Hillsong United
- “The Stand” by Hillsong United
- “Water to Wine” Eternal Worship
- “All I Need” Eternal Worship
- “I Get to Be the One” by JJ Heller
- The whole “Comfort Zone” CD by Steven Halpern
- “Canon D” by Pachelbel
EDIT to add: As I prepare for our fourth baby, I will be adding more to my playlist. Below are the new additions for a worship filled labor:
- “Oceans” by Hillsong United
- “He Will Give the Weary Strength” by Ellie Holcomb
- “As Sure as the Sun” by Ellie Holcomb
- “My Portion and Strength” by Ellie Holcomb
- “Lord I Need You” by Matt Maher
- “Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)” by Hillsong United
- “I Surrender” by Hillsong United
Adding more for Baby #5 coming in late February 2017!
- “Wordless” by Lauren Daigle
- “You Make Me Brave” Piano Acoustic Version by Sarah Reeves
- “Holy Spirit” by Francesca Battistelli
As I said, these songs are precious to me. Before, many had meaning attached to them for other reasons, and now there is a whole new layer of fondness. They helped me birth my baby girl. They guided me at the moments I needed them, they made the Holy Spirit feel so present in our bedroom. Many songs I can still distinctly remember where I was in my labor as they played aloud, whether it was laughing with joy in the still-early phase of labor, or as transition hit, Mark using the lyrics to remind me of my focus. When she was born, she came out to “Beautiful Things” by Gungor which is, oh, so fitting in so many ways! It will forever be “her song” to me.
What was on your labor play list? I’d love to hear more suggestions!
Psssst…you’ll also love these Biblical birthing affirmation cards you can print for your birth space!