I started singing to Baby Girl when she was in the womb. I don’t know all the words to very many “kids” songs so it was tough coming up with songs that I could sing without the help of a CD or the radio. There were a few and I would sing them when I wasn’t listening to other music.
I don’t think I sang to her in the hospital. It was a hectic, jumbled time and my days and nights had no separation. I don’t think the light behind our bed was ever turned off so the lighting in the room was pretty much the same all the time. That changed once we got home.
We turned lights off and people actually went to bed for the night. It was quiet and peaceful. It helped me get back on a regular sleep pattern (even though I wasn’t sleeping much, my body knew when it was supposed to be sleeping).
While trying to get BG back to sleep I would walk the floors downstairs and sing to her. I started singing songs that I knew all the words to and that I hoped would be soothing to her. Mainly I just needed easy songs to sing. The first one that came to mind was Jesus Loves Me. Perfect. There’s not many lyrics so that song was over pretty quickly. The next song that popped into my head was Jesus Loves the Little Children. I went with it. I learned these songs when I was probably 4 or 5 years old so I can’t believe that I even remembered the words. Next up was the ABC song. This one is great because I can make it fast or slow, cheerful or more low-key. The next song that I wanted to sing to her was a challenge. There is a lot of emotion tied up in the last song because it’s the song BG was named after. It’s a song that my Grandmother used to sing in church. She would close her eyes and sing this song and tears would run down her cheeks. It was an emotional song for her because her mother used to sing it and because my Grandmother was very close with God, that song was like a hug from Him. That song is Amazing Grace.
I tried for weeks to sing this song to Baby Girl. I couldn’t get through the first few words without breaking down into a puddle of tears. The PPD and regular post-pregnancy hormone shifts made it impossible to sing that song without the grief I was feeling from the loss of my Grandmother. It wasn’t just my loss. When she died I knew she’d never get to meet any children I may have been able to have. Losing her was also Baby Girl’s loss and that made me sad. So for the first 8 to 10 weeks I was only ever able to get through the first 3 songs of our routine. I only know the first verse so after I sang that verse I would hum it over again.
I have been singing those same 4 songs to Baby Girl every night as I put her to bed. There’s been a handful of times when she’s been so tired that I haven’t finished all 4 but I don’t count that as breaking the streak. J She’s now almost 26 months old (what?!) and it never gets old. We are to the point now where I can tell that she’s pretty tired and can’t focus on reading books anymore so I will ask her, “do you want mommy to sing, now?” And she will nod and I will sing and she will fall asleep.
I’m sure that there will come a time when she will not want me to sing to her at bedtime but for now I will keep singing those 4 songs while I watch her drift off to sleep in my arms, ever thankful and gracious that I have her to sing to.