This post originally appeared at HypotheticalFatherhood.com, my 2011 side project as I prepared to become a father. Please click here to read more about the project, its migration to The Life Mosaic, and see the entire HF archive list.
One of the best ways a father can show the baby’s mother that he’s going to be an excellent, supportive partner in the delivery room is in how he gets her there. Packing her overnight bag, helping her into the car, and getting her to the hospital safely is all important, without a doubt. But don’t forget the importance of what happens during that ride. She’s going to need to breathe. She’s going to need to squeeze your hand. She’s going to need to know you’re there for her. And that’s why you’ve chosen a great playlist to both help Mom calm down and help give you the adrenaline rush you need to speed your way to the hospital. This is the soundtrack to how you get Mom and Baby to the hospital. At least, it’s what you wish was the soundtrack.
Wishful Thinking Soundtrack – Driving to the Hospital: Hair Metal Edition
5. “Master of Puppets” by Metallica
Steering Wheel Thumpability: Fair/Good. It’s a long song so you may choose only to do so during the chorus or those, “MASTER! … MASTER! …” moments.
Appropriate Lyrics: “Blinded by me / You can’t see a thing / Just call my name ’cause I’ll hear you scream / Master! / Master!” can help the mother be comforted that you’ll be there for every part of the labor and that she is, indeed, the master of puppets and 100% in charge.
Inappropriate Lyrics: “Pain monopoly / Ritual misery / Chop your breakfast on a mirror” will make Mom not only think about the labor pain she’s in, she may start to think about that wonderful epidural even if she’s been adamant up to this point that she wants little to no drugs. Plus, with a lyric like, “chop your breakfast on a mirror,” she may consider more drugs than just an epidural and that’s not cool, man.
Will Mom Like It: Depends on whether Mom is into the classics but overall she should love screaming along with the “MASTER! … MASTER!” moments to master the labor pain. That said, she may not like that you picked such a long song because it means you anticipate the drive to be longer, too, which means that much longer in a painful car ride for her.
Verdict: The simple, rhythmic chorus and the bridge that offers a change-up will aid Mom with her breathing so give this one a whirl. Play It.
4. “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen
Steering Wheel Thumpability: You can drum better than Alex Van Halen. Who knew?!
Appropriate Lyrics: “Whoa! / Oh! Ooh, yes I’m hot / Wow! / Whoa! / Oh! Ooh, yes I’m hot / Wow! / Oh my God! / Woo!” is not only the rambling scream-singing of David Lee Roth; it’s also how Mom is probably feeling inside and these lyrics could help her feel like Roth is a sympathetic ear, a kindred spirit, a close sister, if you will.
Inappropriate Lyrics: “T-T-teacher stop that screamin’ / Teacher don’t you see? / Don’t wanna be no uptown fool” could leave Mom mad if she thinks you mean she’s the t-t-teacher and should shut up. Yeah, you’re gonna be in big trouble if she thinks that’s why you’re playing this song…
Will Mom Like It: The heavily-implied sexism in the lyrics and the overtly-blatant sexism in the music video will leave Mom with something to focus her pain on instead of you: rage over gender inequality.
Verdict: You’re both going to be singing this song long into the actual birthing, just watch. You’ll have her laughing with lines like, “I wonder what the doctor’s gonna look like this year” and “I brought my scalpel!” Play It.
3. “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC
Steering Wheel Thumpability: High, particularly with the thumbs.
Appropriate Lyrics: “She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean / Was the best damn woman that I ever seen / She had the sightless eyes, telling me no lies / Knocking me out with those American thighs” is as flattering as it gets for the woman in the passenger seat next to you, hair mopped with sweat, tears streaming down her face, belly bloated with baby.
Inappropriate Lyrics: But the next set of lyrics, “Taking more than her share, had me fighting for air / She told me to come but I was already there / The walls start shaking, earth was quaking / My mind was aching, we were making it” aren’t going to make her happy.
Will Mom Like It: If you make the song all about her, pointing at her when Brian shouts, “YOU!” it may get the point across that she’s the most special person in the entire world and really, who could resist that? I’m wishing someone was singing this song and pointing to me during that part right now as I type this.
Verdict: If a conversation about how AC/DC rose from the ashes of the tragic death of Bon Scott to bring Brian Johnson aboard to cut the Back in Black album gets Mom thinking about how she can overcome the pain of labor, this song is going to inspire it. Play It.
2. “Cum On Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot
Steering Wheel Thumpability: Extreme, perhaps even with fists.
Appropriate Lyrics: “So you see I got a funny face, / I got no worries / And don’t know why / I don’t know why” reminds Mom that no matter what happens in the delivery room, she’s the one for you.
Inappropriate Lyrics: “Come on, feel the noise / Girls rock your boys / We’ll get wild, wild, wild, / wild, wild, wild” probably isn’t going to go over well, honestly.
Will Mom Like It: The churning beat can make breathing easy and harmonizing with Mom will help her feel like you’re a true partner.
Verdict: Picture the smile on Mom’s face as she recognizes those first few drum beats. Don’t you want to see that? I thought so. Play It.
1. “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crüe
Steering Wheel Thumpability: Face it: you’re thumping your desk right now and you haven’t even clicked the video link yet.
Appropriate Lyrics: “When I’m enraged / Or hittin’ the stage / Adrenaline rushing / Through my veins / And I’d say we’re still kickin’ ass” can turn into a positive-energy mantra for both mother and birth partner during those labor pain breathing exercises.
Inappropriate Lyrics: “Skydive naked / From an aeroplane / Or a lady with a / Body from outerspace” could make mommy uncomfortable and body conscious during these last hours of pregnancy.
Will Mom Like It: The sing-a-long chorus. The dominant theme of love. The prolonged shouting of the word, “Baby!” What more could a mother want?
Verdict: Most of the song is about speeding somewhere really fast (like to a hospital) and they keep scream-singing “Baby!” (like that thing that’s going to be born). Play It. Loud.
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