When I was pregnant I didn't care about music much. I'm not sure why. I would read about people playing lullabies or classical music to their fetus and I thought that sounded sort of cool but I never did it. Besides that I had little desire to listen to music to soothe or energize myself. I had no strong attraction to any piece of music or song. I think pregnancy was so completely different from anything else that had happened in my life that the usual soundtrack didn't fit.
But toward the end, as I was looking forward to labour and birth, one song did stick in my head. I must have heard it on the radio and thought: Yeah, that's about how I feel. I found it in my bookmarks the other week. "Odds Are" by the Barenaked Ladies.
The lyrics list a variety of disasters, followed by a slightly nervous reassurance of how unlikely each one is:
"Struck by lightning, sounds pretty frightening
But you know the chances are so small
Hit by the A-train, crashed in an airplane
Better chance you're gonna bite it at the mall...."
Despite that it's an upbeat song, as the bridge reassures us:
"But somewhere in the world someone is gonna fall in love
By the end of this song
So get up, get up
No it's never gonna let up so you might as well sing along."
It is a fun song to sing along too. And after an uneventful second and third trimester, two labour and birth courses and personalized support from our doula, I felt quite reassured singing along to the chorus:
"The odds are that we will probably be alright
Odds are we're going to be alright, odds are we're going to be alright
The odds are that we will probably be alright
Odds are we're going to be alright, odds are we're going to be alright for another night...."
I kept on with this refrain for a few days or weeks after AJ was born: my most vivid memory is driving her through the snow to her appointment with the community health nurse and it was playing in my mind. And then gradually as things did prove to be alright it faded slowly away.
"Odds Are" also makes me think about how much we rely on "odds" or statistics to try to predict what will happen to us and feel in control of our lives, but how ultimately none of those odds actually predict what will happen in any individual case. I refer to AJ's conception as our "lightning strike," because every source and doctor agreed that it was an extremely unlikely event for a couple with two severe infertility diagnoses. Then there was my dad's cancer, which happened to him despite the fact he had none of the risk factors (smoking, heavy drinking, bad diet, etc.). Numbers tell us something, but when you are dealing with complex systems, there are few situations where you know anything for sure.
The song also reminds me that sometimes I feel too old, or too something, for the themes of a lot of pop songs. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy listening to them, but I find myself thinking things like: "I would have really identified with this song at age 21" or "Adele has a great voice but I'm looking forward to the songs she writes ten years from now." (I'm more into folk, alternative, traditional and classical music anyway: top 40, with some exceptions, is an afterthought.)
Hope your week brings you some good songs to sing along to.