21 Weeks and Counting

Baby Lubetsky at 20 weeks.
Baby at 20 weeks.

Baby is 21 weeks now!

We got to see the little one on Friday for a follow-up anatomy scan. Though baby seems to love laying facing backwards and curled up all nice and cozy, we were still able to get a good look at all of their parts to confirm they are developing well. We got to see their little heart pumping away, and all the little bones and other organs. It’s funny how certain parts, like their face, fingers and toes make it all seem more real. That’s a real mini-human inside me. Mind blowing.

We discovered the other night that baby has started reacting to music. At least that’s how it seems. While watching Nashville baby would start to move around when the music was playing. Pretty crazy! Each time a song came on the wild sensation of movement from my womb would start-up again. Such an awesome feeling. I’m going to start playing baby some good music regularly, now that they seem to hear it. That way baby can enjoy the calm and joy I get from it (I’m sure that carries to baby somehow). It will also be a good bonding activity for us.

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about how far we have come since April. It feels so far away now… but the one part that had stuck around like gum on my shoe is the fear. Fear of getting too excited or attached to this little one. With the last pregnancy, I felt a strong emotional connection with the baby and music, and listened constantly. I almost immediately felt the presence of the little spirit with me and was keenly aware of it throughout my day. When we found out we were pregnant this time, I kept waiting for that elation to show up, but it hides just underneath the fear a lot of the time. There are times when I really connect, and of course there are many moments of joy and excitement, but they are almost always followed by a feeling of worry that I shouldn’t “count my eggs before they hatch.” For example, haven’t been listening as intently to music as I did last time, or focusing as hard on creating experiences for the little one in my womb… not because I don’t want to, but because I’ve been afraid of the potential for pain that I’d be opening myself up to. Gradually, I’m opening myself back up to the potential for the future.

Boy or Girl?

For Brian’s birthday (around 17 1/2 weeks pregnant) I surprised him with an early gender scan at one of those 3D ultrasound places. It was worth every penny to sneak a peek in on our little gummy bear and see how they were doing. After the Subchorionic Hematoma started to shrink we went back on a “normal” appointment schedule rather than weekly visits. I’ll admit it, I really wanted to know the gender so it was as much a present for me as for him… But I also wanted the video of the ultrasound. I wanted to have a video of it moving about, alive, even if on the inside. So, it was a relief to see the little bugger moving about. Baby played a little coy and didn’t want to give us a good view of the goods, but we did get a peek when they uncrossed their ankles for a couple of seconds! I have to say, seeing the baby and finding out their gender was a big turning point for me. Suddenly, the abstract idea of baby became more real.

Knowing what biological gender our little one is has really helped me attach and connect with it more these last few weeks. I hadn’t realized just how self protective I had been up till that point, but the feelings of love and bonding I had so early last time took over immediately after finding out what it is. Not that it matters so much, just that it’s something new to make this little one real to me. A person, not just a gummy bear. My son or daughter, not just a pregnancy. I can imagine that when we start seeing their movements from the outside, when Brian can feel the life moving in me, it will bring things to a whole other level of real. I can’t wait!

Only 19 more weeks to go!

Side note: I haven’t had much in terms of cravings recently, though there are days when I just need, I mean NEED vegetables. My feet have started swelling a little at the end of the day if I don’t remember to put up my feet at work, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Nausea rears it’s head occasionally, but is manageable. Generally, I feel good, though uncomfortable, and I’m plugging along.

Songs that Speak to me

 “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” – Aldous Huxley

During my pregnancy music spoke to me in a way that felt different, deeper than it had before. Maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was the feelings of excitement needing a way to release. Whatever the reason, I found myself notably calmed and centered by certain songs. I listened more closely, and more often than I have in years.

There was one song in particular that had it’s moment in my life during the last few weeks. The slow roll of the music, and the lyrics remind me of home (in the San Francisco Bay Area), wonder, and adventures of the soul. Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic:

“We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun”


“Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic”
– Van Morrison

The last few days I’ve found myself looking for music to fit with where I am now, after our loss. The other night I found the song that feels most true to what I’m feeling now that we are in the process of moving forward with our lives. Lives that are still good, and full of wonderful things, just missing a small piece of what we had thought it would be. I already had it in my iTunes, but when I heard it tonight, it felt right. A Life that’s Good, featuring Lennon and Maisy. With lines like these, it speaks to what I’m feeling.

“Sitting here tonight, by the fire light
It reminds me I already have more than I should.”


“Sometimes I’m hard on me, when dreams don’t come easy
I wanna look back and say I did all that I could.
At the end of the day, Lord I pray
I have a life that’s good.”

Apparently posting lyrics on a blog or forum is illegal (according to the inter-webs), so if you are interested here are the lyrics to Into the Mystic and A Life That’s Good.

The Backyard Sessions

Trolling YouTube I discovered a few gems from none other than Miley Cyrus. I’m not going to knock her for her current stylistic choices, I haven’t been paying close enough attention to develop a solid opinion on it anyways, but I think this style is where her gruff, raspy, but strong voice shines. Plus, it’s hard to go wrong with songs this good and a talented band.

In this series they’ve named The Backyard Sessions, Miley belts out some country classics while the breeze wisps her loose hairs. It’s a nice scene that seems almost natural, though from the look of it and the clarity of the sound it must be pretty high production (where’s the breeze in the mic sounds, huh?). Either way, I like the selections Miley.

Jolene, written and originally performed by Dolly Parton

Lilac Wine by James Shelton

The Power of Music: Concert Memories

Keith Urban moving to the second stage right in front of me at Arco Arena in 2009. (Photo taken by Ready Set Sarah)
Keith Urban moving to the second stage right in front of me at Arco Arena in 2009. (Photo taken by Ready Set Sarah)

In the last few months I’ve seen tons of posts to Facebook and Instagram from friends at concerts and music festivals. Smokey stages with ethereal lighting and itty bitty figures on a stage.  This got me thinking about how much I miss live music.

In the hot and sticky summer of 2009 I was living in Sacramento and preparing for my big move across the country to Michigan to start grad school. I didn’t have a ton of money saved up, and what I had I wanted to save for moving and school costs.  Going on a vacation felt like too much of a stretch. Mid-recession the phrase “staycation” was the local entertainment marketing rage, and I decided that was the way to go. I went on a concert binge that summer. I saw Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, and Keith Urban. Each show was a different vibe, and wonderful for completely different reasons, but afterwards there was always the same outcome: I felt renewed, rejuvenated and relaxed.

There is just something so cathartic about listening to music live, singing along with a group, and getting wrapped up in the entertainment and atmosphere of the production and crowd.

I usually prefer an outdoor summer concert. There is something truly magical about sitting outdoors at night, listening to great music, looking up at the stars in the hot summer air. The night we saw Coldplay it was beyond any concert experience I’d had before. The Sleep Train Amphitheater in Wheatland, CA is the perfect venue for summer concerts. Nestled into what looks like a hillock in the middle of a farm field, this venue is made for breezy, steamy summer nights. The stage production and surprises Coldplay used for this show felt like they were designed from the imaginative experience of a child. There were oversized large yellow balloons bouncing through the audience during “Yellow”, that when they burst, sprinkled the audience with yellow confetti. There were air rockets shooting multicolored neon and metallic paper butterflies on the audience from every direction timed perfectly with the music and building energy during “Lovers in Japan”, or was it “Strawberry Swing”? I don’t recall, but it was awesome. There was just so much imagination in this show it was like an altered state. They even gave out a CD of the set recorded live at previous shows. It was an incredible experience and the gimmicks all worked on me.

The night I saw Kenny Chesney in San Francisco at AT&T Park, it was less of a production, but enjoyable all the same. The cold San Francisco summer air was enough to make him put on a shirt with sleeves (if you know Kenny Chesney, you know what that takes). Lady Antebellum opened, and though Sugarland didn’t make it to open, Miranda Lambert did and she was AWESOME. AT&T park is great, but cold and big for the kind of show I like. The music was enough to carry us to a warm beachy state of mind.

To be honest, when I decided to see Keith Urban at the Arco Arena in Natomas, CA that summer, I was really going to see his opening act, Leann Rimes. Leann was the first country artist I liked as a child. I used to stand on the trunk at the foot of my mothers bed with Leann’s debut album Blue blasting on the stereo. I’d hold my moms brush to my lips as a microphone and belt out each song, word for word, to my (very tolerant) audience of 1 (my mom). Leann and I are almost exactly the same age (a matter of days) and that just made me love her singing even more.

Excited to see one of my childhood idols, I did a little research online to see where the best seats for my money (which there wasn’t much of) would be. I read a few reviews that suggested there would be a second stage at some point in the show were Keith Urban would play a few songs out in the audience. I looked up the layout of the Arco Arena seating charts and made a guess as to where that would be. When we picked our tickets up at will call they told us the seats we purchased weren’t available because a camera would be placed there, so they were moving us. I was livid! I had purposely chosen that location, how could they ruin my plan! Well, it was all for the best. We ended up seated what seemed like a mere 5 feet from the second stage, right on level with him as he sang. This was our view:

It was AMAZING. I hadn’t been a big fan before the show, but by the time it was over I was sold. 100%.

Up Close and personal. Keith Urban at Arco Arena in 2009. (Photo by Ready Set Sarah).
Up Close and personal. Keith Urban at Arco Arena in 2009. (Photo by Ready Set Sarah).
Photo by Ready Set Sarah
Photo by Ready Set Sarah
Photo by Ready Set Sarah
Photo by Ready Set Sarah

Since I moved to Michigan that August of 2009, I have made it to a few great shows. Jay Z and Eminem at Comerica Park in 2010 was most memorable (Dr. Dre showed up! Beyonce was dancing in her seat!). Brian got me a ticket as a birthday present and we had a blast. We also saw Jason Mraz at a local outdoor venue, DTE Energy Music Theatre, summer 2012 around my birthday again (a theme I guess). I love Jason Mraz, but the set list wasn’t fabulous and it was a weeknight. By the time the vibe picked up and he started playing songs more familiar to the audience we were already headed out for the night… but at least it was outdoors!

With New Years Eve creeping up on me this year, I started longing for a musical vacation. It is such a stress reducer for me, seeing bands I like play, the thrill of the evening, the music. Last New Years we went up north here in Michigan to Petoskey and rented a house with a few other couples (Details will have to be for another post). It was so much fun exploring the northern lake towns with my hunny, playing in the snow with our puppy, and hanging out with friends. How could we top that? Well, the Zac Brown Band is here to save the day.

I can’t wait to head down to the historic Joe Louis Arena on the Detroit River tomorrow night to ring in the new year with my brand spankin’ new husband and the Zac Brown Band! I really hope they play “Free,” that violin intro melts me and I can’t imagine how it will rock my soul live.

Here we come 2014!