Singing in the Dead of Night

So I have this app. I don’t like it, so I won’t mention it. Suffice to say, I have an app that knows when I’m due, and therefore offers “helpful” observations on Chick’s* development and how I should be feeling. Early on, I realize that this was mostly ridiculous. But it is still on my phone, and I check it from time to time if only to know what type of fruit I am currently carrying.

A few days ago, my not-so-friendly app told me that Chick can now hear so I should start talking to him/her. This will help us bond as mother and baby. This sounded reasonable enough to me, and if I am to be honest, I’m feeling a little detached from this whole “harboring human life” business. Bonding, it is.

On the way home, I tried talking to Chick. At first, it was basics like “I’m driving to our home from my job. On your left is a park I’ll take you to later…” I ended up feeling like the world’s most ridiculous tour guide. I quickly devolved into more comfortable topics, like the gender wage gap and universal health care.

Talking to Chick just doesn’t feel right yet, but I also get the value of communicating while in utero. So the other night, I started singing instead. I was home late and trying to fall asleep. Mr. O was in the office doing heaven only knows what, so I was by myself in bed.

While rubbing my little belly, I started to hum “Asleep” by The Smiths. “Sing me to sleep/Sing me to sleep/ I’m tired and I/I want to go to bed…” The melody is really quite nice, and this felt ten times more natural than explaining to complexities of gender inequality. A few lines in, I realized I couldn’t remember the rest of the words. A YouTube search later, I pressed the speaker of my phone up to my belly and performed my best (or worst) duet with Morrissey.

In case you are not a rabid Smiths fan, here are the lyrics:

Sing me to sleep

Sing me to sleep

I’m tired and I

I want to go to bed


Sing me to sleep

Sing me to sleep

And then leave me alone

Don’t try to wake me in the morning

‘Cause I will be gone

Don’t feel bad for me

I want you to know

Deep in the cell of my heart

I will feel so glad to go


About half way through I thought, “Oh my god, I’m turning my child emo before they have a fighting chance,”and I turned it off.

I went through my internal catalog of songs I love and know by heart. After a few false starts, I settled on “Blackbird” by the Beatles.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Somehow, with everything we’ve done to get here and with all the heartache of the last few months, this seems like the most fitting, natural lullaby.

*Henceforth, the tiny human growing in my uterus will be known as Chick.



  1. My Perfect Breakdown · February 26, 2015

    I love this! I love that you are trying to connect and I love more then anything you changed songs after realizing you might be turning your Chick emo! (The emo thing made me laugh).

  2. thebarrenlibrarian · February 26, 2015

    I’ve made a Charlie playlist of songs I want to make sure I have memorized before she gets here so i can sing them to her. I hadn’t actually thought about playing them for her while she’s, ahem, on the inside 🙂

  3. InfertileGirl · February 26, 2015

    That’s really cute. I hate to admit but I have 5 apps, because each one offers something a little different, and most of it is annoying drivel so I have to glean a little from each of them to feel satisfied ha ha. I am decidedly tone deaf so there will be no singing to my baby in utero or on the outside but there are these sticky things that you can connect your headphones and ipod to your belly so your baby can hear your music too. I thought that was really cool.

    • thecommonostrich · March 2, 2015

      I love/hate these apps. It’s so easy to get sucked into what “should be happening” that I get worried Chick is developing too fast/too slow, or something terrible must be going on if I’m not experiencing some symptom. Not to mention I find a lot of them completely inane, with pictures of fruity looking women mooning over their massive bellies. But I digress…

      I’ll have to check out those speakers- Music is such an important part of my life, and I would love to find a way to get that started with Chick early.

      • InfertileGirl · March 2, 2015

        Ha ha yeah I try and take them with a grain of salt and spend much less time on the ones with idiotic pictures. These are the headphone things I was mentioning

  4. A. · March 7, 2015

    Blackbird – LOVE that song! It was on my IF comfort-playlist, for sure. I never thought of it this way before, but it does have a lullaby quality, doesn’t it?

    • thecommonostrich · March 9, 2015

      It’s been a favorite of mine, especially when I’m feeling “under siege.”

      I too made an IF play list, but it was much more rageful than yours, I think. To give you an indication, the title was “IFSUX.”

      • A. · March 9, 2015

        Yeah, mine leaned in the emo, sit-in-a-corner-and-cry direction, lol

  5. Pingback: Anthem | The Empress and the Fool

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