The '90s were great for so many reasons: kush balls, slap bracelets, multicolor pens, and Blockbuster video, to name a few. Most importantly, it was a time of some really great jams. What would a school dance have been like without the grooves of Boyz II Men to awkwardly dance to with our dates? And who knew how prescient '90s songs would be when it came to helping you with your future maternity and birth journey? In fact, there's a wealth of '90s songs that will get you ready for a c-section. You simply need to dig through those old CDs currently collecting dust.
My own labor and delivery playlist — the one I had listened to to psych me up for labor prior to the actual day I went to the hospital — maybe contained one song from this too little credited era. I was all about Rihanna, Death Cab For Cutie, and Kate Nash (a strange mix, I know). Looking at the songs from the '90s, however, I'm realizing I totally missed out on some great songs that totally would have spoken to my labor and delivery experience, especially the experience of a c-section.
It is almost like the artists from the '90s knew exactly what it was like to be wheeled into an operating room, separated from your lower half by a big blue curtain, cut into with a surgical tool, and moments later, shown a human being that supposedly came from inside of you. Maybe I've underestimated the likes of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch this whole time?
"End Of The Road" - Boyz II Men
When you wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you're sitting in a wet puddle of muck and realize that this is not a regular ol' pregnancy night sweat, it's your actual water breaking, this song might come to mind. You have come to the end of the road of your pregnancy, i.e. D-Day, i.e. Game On, It's Showtime Folks, Let's Do This!
I had mixed feelings when I awoke to the soggy bed feeling. One, I was relieved to know that I wouldn't have to spend much longer feeling like a beached whale every time I attempted to move from a lying down position. On the other hand, I was terrified of what the future would bring now that this was actually happening and I was about to legit have a baby, like in real life. Boys II Men captured everything I was feeling pretty accurately. I'd come to the end of the road, but I couldn't let go.
"I Want It That Way" - Backstreet Boys
Going into your labor and delivery, you have a lot of fanciful ideas about how you want it to go down. You might go in hoping for a natural birth in a warm bath, sprinkled with rose petals and half a dozen nymphs playing various wood instruments as you labor. But most often, what starts out as "I want it that way" can quickly devolve into "let's just do whatever makes this pain go away and doesn't hurt the baby."
"U Can't Touch This" - MC Hammer
In the throes of my own pre-epidural contractions, various medical professionals kept on trying to come in to check on me and poke and prod. I wanted none of it. Why couldn't everyone just leave me to writhe in pain alone?
MC Hammer's classic prepared me the best for this one with his "U Can't Touch This" anthem, and I would have liked to have that blasting through the labor room to send a message to everyone trying to mess with me at the time.
"No Scrubs" - TLC
When my doctor eventually decided that an emergency c-section was necessary and I was wheeled into the enormous operating room, I felt like there were way more medical assistants (and way too many people in scrubs) than necessary for what was supposed to be a routine cesarean. It made me more than a teeny bit worried. Luckily, everything was fine, but still. TLC couldn't have said it better.
"Wonderwall" - Oasis
Anyone who has ever had to undergo a c-section knows what I'm talking about when I say that I am ever so grateful for the blue sheet that separated me from my lower half during my surgery. If there were a song to best describe it, it would be "Wonderwall" by Oasis:
"Because maybe, you're gonna be the one that saves me/ And after all, you're my wonderwall." Yeah, that's all truth, right there.
"Don't Speak" - No Doubt
Since I've never had a vaginal delivery I cannot expertly speak on this, but can only imagine that while it is happening, you don't want to hear other people around you having casual conversations about what they're going to have for lunch or worse, telling you how great "we" are doing.
I can, however, speak for my own experiences as someone who has had c-sections, and when I heard anyone around me (including the medical staff) talking about anything beyond the fact that my stomach was slashed open and my entrails were no longer inside my body, I was not having it. Ditto for my husband telling me that "we" were almost there (meaning the two of us). There is no "we" in this, it is just me on the operating table, feeling like an unfortunate lab frog in a 9th grade biology experiment. Everyone just listen to Gwen and hush.
"The Boy Is Mine" - Brandi & Monica
And finally, we've come to the moment everyone (especially the mother to be) has been waiting for: the big reveal of the baby. At last, the actual real, live baby is out from inside you and breathing oxygen from the same air as you, and it is your baby — the same baby you carried for what felt like five years. For women who give birth vaginally, and for whom the birth is straightforward and without any major complications, the baby usually gets to stay with the mom in the room.
In the c-section scenario, they give you the baby for 2.5 seconds to snap a quick pic as a family, and then they take the baby away and you're like wait! What the hell is happening? Why are they taking the baby away from me? Where is he going? Why is he being wheeled to another room? "He belongs to me! The boy is mine!"
"Good Vibrations" - Marky Mark and the Funkybunch
This one can go for both vaginal and cesarean births. With any major trauma in which the body produces a ton of adrenaline, the after affect can include a lot of body shakes and shivering as you come down from the "high" of the experience.
After my c-section, my body started to have the "shakes" from all the drugs that had been flowing through me prior to the surgery (the morphine, the epidural). I couldn't stop shaking for over an hour. Listening to "Good Vibrations" would have helped prepare me for this part of the delivery process, as I had no idea that this was like, a thing that happened.
"Closing Time" - Semisonic
When I was getting patched back up after my surgery, this old ditty was running through my head. "Closing time/ You don't have to go home but you can't stay here."
I remember trying to have an internal dialogue with my baby (who had been wheeled out of the room) that went something like this: "Well, Baby. I'm sorry, but there is no going back inside to your comfy, cozy womb anymore. Your former home in my belly will be forever closed to you. Your new home will be a little more abrasive to the senses at first, but I promise you that 'every new beginning comes from every new beginning's end'. And one thing's for certain: 'This room won't be open 'til your brothers or you sisters come.'"