Every once in a while, music has a powerful effect on me. There are certain songs that instantly transport me to a different time and place. If I’m in a grocery store, for example, and Elton John’s “Your Song” comes on…
Suddenly I’m back in the NICU in August of 2003. My son had been born that morning after two days of traumatic labor, whisked away almost immediately, since he wasn’t breathing quite right. It was now the evening; I’d been alone, exhaused and upset for most of the day. I called my mom, who knew how I felt (after having my twin sisters 2 1/2 months premature). At first she was sympathetic, concerned about me, but when she heard I hadn’t been to see my son yet, her demeanor changed. “You get up out of that bed, no matter how much it hurts, and you go see your baby,” she demanded.
I heeded her advice. I called the NICU and asked my husband to come get me, and he wheeled me upstairs. It seemed like it took forever to wash and scrub our hands, put on the gowns and masks, and head through the big double doors. I remember my wheelchair being pushed around the corner and seeing a big pink blob laying prone. It was terrifying to see him like that, a baby I only knew to this point as very active, kicking me in the ribs and bladder, in constant motion. Why wasn’t he moving?
The NICU had an easy-listening radio station playing over the ceiling speakers, barely audible over the hums and beeps of machines keeping babies alive and well. Somewhere in between those sounds, I heard it, and it rose up to meet my heart as I spent those first moments with my son:
How wonderful life is
while you’re in the world
Do you have a song that transports you? Which song, and where?