Henry's iTunes Playlist

Running through the background of videos of my first few months on earth and all my childhood memories were the tunes from a black cassette tape with Kate’s Birthing Tape written in my dad’s penmanship on it. It’s a mix that my parents made together that they meant to bring with them to the hospital but forgot. They still played it all the time after I was born, though.

In my adult life, there have been times where I’m in a grocery store checkout line and one of the songs from The Tape comes on and suddenly I’m a baby again, in our Bridgewater house, feeling safe and loved. These were songs just for me. Each track reminds me, to this day, that I was very much wanted and loved even before I was born.

And also that my parents have a great sense of humor since songs include the Beatles’ I am the Walrus and You Make It All Worthwhile by the Kinks.

So I’m here making Baby Austin-Avon’s iTunes Playlist. I want to include some songs from Kate’s Birthing Tape, along with songs I’ve always loved either on my own or because my parents loved them, songs with lyrics that hit me hard about time or pregnancy, songs Cory and I have found meaningful together, songs Cory has always loved, and some goofy songs with the name Henry in them.

I want to pass along that feeling of comfort-anywhere and a sense of who my parents were before they had me (and who we are before parenthood) to our son. My dad also would sometimes just play a few tunes on his guitar and had written some (mainly silly) songs. I love that Cory also plays guitar and has written some songs, a few of them silly. A man I love playing the acoustic guitar in the living room and singing to nobody in particular is a familiar, comforting feeling and makes me feel like I’m home. It’s a tradition I’m glad is continuing.

Here’s what I have so far:

Carry On My Wayward Son (Starship)
I am the Walrus (Beatles)
You Make It All Worthwhile (Beatles)
Golden Slumbers (Beatles)
Carry That Weight (Beatles)
Teach Your Children (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
Our House (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
Longer (Dan Fogelberg)
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Beatles)
Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) (John Lennon)
Love is a Song (Columbia Symphony Orchestra)
Henry’s Dance (The Wiggles)
Henry’s Spinning (The Wiggles)
I’m Henry VIII, I am (Herman’s Hermits)
The Wall Flower (Roll With Me Henry) (Etta James)
K-K-K-Katy (The Blazers & Bob Wilson & His Varsity Rhythm Boys)
Bouncing Around the Room (Phish)
God Only Knows (The Beach Boys)
Love and Mercy (Brian Wilson)
Forever (The Beach Boys)
First Day of My Life (Bright Eyes)
Transatlanticism (Death Cab For Cutie)
Cat’s in the Cradle (Harry Chapin)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
Stay Gold (Stevie Wonder)
Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) (Billy Joel)
Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel)
Playground Love (Air)
Anyone Else But You (Moldy Peaches)
My Guy (Mary Wells)
Daydream Believer (Monkees)
A Song for My Son (Mikki Viereck)
Birthday Song (Spookie Daly Pride)

Babies are weird

My sister asked me this morning some questions about when in your life you stop being grossed out or scared by pregnancy and childbirth. I don’t know if I ever stopped! But my answer was something like this:

So yes, it is completely weird that there are eyeballs and fingernails INSIDE of my uterus right now. That there is a heartbeat and a whole new set of organs. And that I can feel another human being move inside of me. It’s so very very very weird. I remember having that conversation with pregnant friends like the caterpillar to the butterfly – there’s an alien, a whole living being INSIDE OF YOU. Isn’t that WEIRD!?

It’s totally weird! It’s beyond anything a sci-fi author or Apple innovator could dream up. It’s bizarre and super weird. But it’s nature. It’s evolution. It’s what’s meant to be and it’s how we all got here. It’s perfect. It’s a crazy coincidence that fertilization is even possible, which is also totally weird.

It’s exactly as weird as the fact that our brains make our bodies move, that putting a piece of fruit in your mouth and moving your jaw around and swallowing gives you energy, that sunlight and water somehow make plants grow. It’s weird the way our hearts know how to beat and it’s weird that there are so many different animals that work in so many different ways. It’s weird that our bodies process food and water into poop and pee. It’s weird that the clouds rain on us and it’s weird that this planet landed exactly far enough (or close enough) to the sun to make everything work the way it does. It’s weird that because Cory and I decided to, we are making a whole new person.

This whole time I’ve been completely fascinated with the insanely precise process in which a couple of cells somehow magically turn into a person I’m going to love for the rest of my life in a whole new way. Pictures of fetuses always creeped me out before and now I’m just completely enraptured with each new step of the process – the tail this baby once had, the eyelids fusing shut, the breathing amniotic fluid, the cheesy coating and lanugo, the fontanelles. It’s incredible.

In all honesty? I am way WAY more creeped out by my ever-flattening bellybutton and the thought of it popping out. It gives me shivers thinking about it.

… Because THAT is weird.