Wife Sings Through Labor With Her Husband on the Guitar, Gives Birth to a ‘Relaxed’ Baby Boy

Wife Sings Through Labor With Her Husband on the Guitar, Gives Birth to a ‘Relaxed’ Baby Boy
(Left: SWNS; Right: Brandon Hell)

A laboring mom has wowed the internet by singing beautiful songs with her guitar-playing husband while giving birth to their second baby.

Washington natives Brandon Hell, 30, and his wife Elizabeth “Biffy” Hell, 31, met in their freshman year of college where they sang in choir together. Both were vocal performance majors and dreamed of a career in musical theater. They married in 2020 and soon welcomed their first child, a daughter named Penelope, now 2.

The couple had intended to have a home birth, but when a massive ice storm prevented their midwives from driving to their home, they headed to the hospital for an induction. What followed was Mrs. Hell’s water breaking “violently” in the hospital waiting room and a “very, very intense” labor and delivery. So for baby number two, the Hells wanted to do things differently.

Elizabeth Hell with her husband, Brandon Hell, and daughter Penelope. Both songwriters, the couple share original music on social media. (Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/brandonhellofficial/">Brandon Hell</a>)
Elizabeth Hell with her husband, Brandon Hell, and daughter Penelope. Both songwriters, the couple share original music on social media. (Courtesy of Brandon Hell)

Mrs. Hell went into labor with their second baby, Jack, on Nov. 28, 2023, and the couple drove to The Birth Cottage in Enumclaw, Washington, just 12 minutes from their home.

“I was just so happy that my contractions weren’t so painful,” Mrs. Hell told The Epoch Times. “I was just taking advantage of it, moving through it, singing through it, being as joyful as I could, trying to stay in a good mindset.

“I’ve just been singing my entire life, every second of every day pretty much, so I know, for myself, singing is just the best feeling in the world. It really helps calm me and center me. It helps so much with your breath, it really controls your breath. ... So why would it be any different giving birth?”

Mrs. Hell asked her husband to bring his guitar to the birthing center. While giving birth to Penelope, the Hells had sung hymns with their doula, Maddie Barns, and wanted to bring their second baby into the world with more songs they loved to sing.

The couple sang together for hours when Mrs. Hell went into labor during her second pregnancy. (SWNS)
The couple sang together for hours when Mrs. Hell went into labor during her second pregnancy. (SWNS)

“My wife told me that singing basically relaxes your nervous system,” Mr. Hell said. “It kind of helps put you in that state of relaxation. When you inhale, for example, your diaphragm contracts, and then when you exhale, it relaxes. So singing is actually happening when your body should be relaxing. Just like breathing, singing helps put you in a state of calm. Biffy was just singing away between contractions, she just sounded amazing.”

Mrs. Hell said: “Pain intensifies if you tighten, and if you relax it, you can handle it better. ... I just kept telling myself and reminding myself, ‘God made me for this, my body was made for this, and He will help me through it.’ So that was really comforting to keep reminding myself as well.”

The couple sang together for hours, including renditions of the hymn “Beautiful Savior” and their two favorite songs—“Strong Enough” by Sheryl Crow and “Death With Dignity” by Sufjan Stevens.  After inviting their birthing team to join in the singalong session and learning that “Silent Night” was the hymn they knew best, they sang that as well.

While their doula had provided massage and birthing support with baby Penelope, Mr. Hell stepped in as his wife’s birth partner this time. Mrs. Hell’s water didn’t break until the very end of labor, and her husband claims this was the only time she really made noise in response to the pain.

“That was just so amazing to me,” he said. “That’s partially due to the singing, but it’s also because I think the support and the environment were just so much more warm. The hospital was so cold.”

When baby Jack was born, it took him two minutes to take his first unassisted breath, but he barely cried.

“I swear it was like he was asleep or something, he was so relaxed,” said Mrs. Hell, who sang “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from the Disney movie “Cinderella” to her baby boy when they were back at home.

Here’s the video of the couple singing “Strong Enough” by Sheryl Crow.

Penelope with her baby brother, Jack. (Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/brandonhellofficial/">Brandon Hell</a>)
Penelope with her baby brother, Jack. (Courtesy of Brandon Hell)

The couple were very surprised when footage of Mrs. Hell’s calm, song-filled labor went viral on social media.

“I just thought this will probably get 100 views,” Mr. Hell said. “I guess I underestimated how much it resonates, specifically with women.

“I think when you show people, ‘Oh hey, look, it can be peaceful and relaxing and fun, and you can laugh, and it can be warm, and you can have your husband there,’ I think it just resonated with what people maybe hoped for, or maybe wished their labor was, or hope that their labor will be in the future.”

(Courtesy of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/brandonhellofficial/">Brandon Hell</a>)
(Courtesy of Brandon Hell)

The Hells have made singing the norm in their household to the extent that 2-year-old Penelope wakes up singing nursery rhymes every morning. Mrs. Hell says that even their friends are annoyed at how much they sing. The couple dreams of expanding their family and also of voicing a Disney prince and princess together.

Mrs. Hell knows her next labor may not be as smooth as with baby Jack, but she hopes that, by sharing her birth story, other couples will try to be supportive of each other, come what may. She also hopes that the concept of the family unit grows stronger in these trying times and that people remember that “babies are precious, and they add value to the world and add value to our lives.”

She said: “I think there’s a thing going on in our culture right now where babies and children are kind of seen as an inconvenience on your life and your career. ... Now, more than ever, it feels like the right thing to do to have a strong nuclear family and bring little ones into the world.”

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Louise Chambers is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.
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