If my motherhood had a soundtrack, I suppose it would be Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Not because my kids are keeping me on my toes and up all night like a stylish zombie. I mean literally. Because both of my children were born to that album.
Clearly, this was unintentional. I imagined birthing my children to something soothing. Like Enya. Or Taylor Swift.
But seven years ago, pregnant with my first child, I went into labor at twenty-five weeks and was rushed into an emergency c-section. Everything went all awry, including my ideal birth playlist.
“The anesthesiologist had long lashes that framed kind eyes as he looked down at me, asking how I was feeling while they strapped my outstretched arms arms to a table. I felt frozen inside myself, hollow, as though I were in a secret place within my own body and saying my private goodbye to my daughter.
He flipped a dial on something that I assumed to be medical equipment but turned out to be an iPod and strands of a Michael Jackson song played over the speakers. I remember that even in my agony at the scene unfolding on the other side of the curtain I had one very distinct thought: Is my baby about to be born to the soundtrack of Thriller?
Then they allowed Jeff in and he hurried to me, stroking my hair and asking questions like, “How are you? Are you okay? Is that Michael Jackson?”
Five years later I was on an operating table again, anxious about another impending c-section. My husband tried to loosen my nerves by joking with the doctors about how our daughter was delivered to the chorus of Thriller. The next thing I knew, everyone in the room began laughing as strains of Billie Jean filled the room. We had decided not to find out the sex of the baby and so my husband announced, “IT’S A BOY!” just as Michael Jackson crooned in the background, “no, the kid is not my son.”
To this day I am still not sure if the staff purposely changed the station or if it was sheer coincidence. I asked my husband but there was so much happening at the time that he’s not sure either, like me he just remembers being uneasy over my blood pressure dropping and then the alarms being replaced by a falsetto and peals of laughter.
And that’s the story of how both of my children were born to the soundtrack of Thriller.
And truth be told, every bit of the last seven years really has been a thrill.
Part of this post was excerpted from my book Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected —which is on sale for just 99¢ here, so you should definitely grab a copy for a dose of laughter and encouragement while it is basically free 😉