Sunday, July 15, 2007

You Never Know When Those Counting Skills Will Come In Handy

Last week, I answered the Eight Things meme and noticed that it was easy for me, in contrast to the two months it took to tackle the Ten Things meme. Odd? Well, it made me think of this story, from Q's birth. Flashback time.

A Story about Labor for Dancers and Musicians

During active labor, the delivery nurses have the husband or labor coach count to ten during each contraction. It helps the pregnant woman pace herself through the pushing and have a goal for each effort. If anyone else had been counting, I may have not been distracted, but SwingDaddy and I have taught dance together for a decade.

You’ve probably all heard musicians or dancers call a starting count, “5-6-7-8.” Most music is written in eight bar phrases, so a dancer just doesn't count to ten very often. So every time SwingDaddy got to eight, I was ready to stop pushing and rest before the next contraction. But there’d be two more counts – 9-10! Already weak and disoriented from the medications I'd been given that day to prevent complications from preeclampsia, it was impossible to concentrate.

I remembered back to the Victorian dance suite we’d performed years ago to the music of Brahms, where many of the pieces were phrased with ten measures, an unusual composition that was very odd to count out loud. I went through this entire explanation of why the ten-count wasn’t working for me, but apparently I did this all in my head. The only part I said out loud was “Like Brahms!”

SwingDaddy, bless him, actually figured out what I meant, interpreted it, and asked, “Do you want me to count to eight?”


The nurses thought we were crazy, both that I had this weird idea, and that SwingDaddy understood me. Nevertheless, Q was born shortly afterwards.

Photo note: Notice the burp pad under Q in the first picture, at two weeks old. In this morning's photo, he's laying on two of those pads, and he's longer than both of them put together now! The little dude ate his whole sandwich and half of mine at lunch. He's probably going to be an inch taller tomorrow.


dancing dragon said...

What a great story! :)

mayberry said...

I love it--how great to have a partner that's so in tune with your needs!

Lara said...

you guys crack me up!

Mom101 said...

That's hilarious! As a former dancer, I totally understand. At least you're not a waltzer or you'd only get to the count of three and you'd never really get that baby out.

Mamacita Tina said...

I grew up playing flute/piccolo, did marching band in high school and one year in college. I totally get this! Fortunately there was someone there who understood you.

Aw, love the newborn picture and the comparison with the burp pad. I agree, he'll be going through a growth spurt soon.

tpiglette said...

That is HILARIOUS! Hahahaha. Go musical instincts!

alyndabear said...

Ha, I love this story. And hey, if 8 counts work for you, so be it. :P

Lady M said...

Those of musical types who haven't had babies yet - keep the counting in mind. ;)

Mom 101 - Actually, the Brahms pieces were mostly waltzes, in ten bar phrases - ending with "NINE-2-3, TEN-2-3!" It took us a while to adjust.

ewe are here said...

Like Brahms! Too funny.

All my step classes were based on an 8 count... now I know why. ;-)

Karianna said...

YES! That makes perfect sense. What a wonderful story.