Ride On The Peace Train Of Thought

850 850_ () 850 850 I had my prenatal work-up yesterday, my first official doctor’s appointment for Baby Balducci No. 5.

It didn’t go that well.

I mean, not to worry, it went fine. My iron looks good, heartbeat sounds good, I didn’t gain nearly as much weight as I deserved. But I have to get a procedure on Friday to help ensure a safe and full-term pregnancy. I’ll whisper it here in case there are some wimps among us: cerclage.

I also linked to that page in case you don’t know what that is and want to. I don’t really feel like typing it all out.

The truth is this procedue is not a huge deal, but it’s something — something I have to do that I hadn’t planned. I’m going in this afternoon for pre-op, and then I’ll do that little thing Friday morning and come home Friday afternoon.

I guess I sort of (but not really) forgot about my last trimester with August, which required three weeks of bedrest because I dilated several weeks early and also had regular contractions starting at 35 weeks. Minor detail. I remember those details, but I guess not the two of them TOGETHER. That’s sort of not minor.

So when my doctor was reviewing my chart yesterday, out came her recommendation and here I am. I’m pretty nervous, I won’t lie.

I was driving down the road this morning, on the way home to get ready for the appointment thinking about how nervous I really am. Reminding myself people get this done all the time (right?!) and how quick it will go. A very quick procedure.

It wasn’t helping. I was still very preoccupied.

Then a song came on the radio by the Wallflowers, One Headlight. And I like the song just fine, but really it made me think about my brother Gabe. Because my cousin thinks he looks like the lead singer from the Wallflowers (I agree).

And then thinking about Gabe led me to think of his wife Summer, and how she had a C-section with her second son, now almost four. And how having a C-section is a much bigger deal than this procedure.

And also, she had her son on the same day her father died. He died that morning in a hospital in Atlanta, and she delivered a few hours later here in Augusta. She had to have the baby that day because he had potentially life-threatening heart problems (he ended up being totally healthy).

I thought about how Summer handled that whole situation with as much grace and dignity and peace as I could have ever imagined. I was amazed as I watched her and my brother walk thought that situation, almost four years ago.

God’s grace was, incredibly, sufficient.

And then I thought back to where I was, driving down the road and feeling a little afraid. And I’m not comparing — I’m not saying this is “nothing” compared to that. I’m still nervous. But if the grace was there for her in that overwhelming situation, surely God will provide all I need.

And then I thought about how amazing it is to watch other people walk through situations relying on God’s grace, and how that inspires me to trust in God. I was so thankful for Gabe and Summer’s wonderful example, and how it was helping me right now.

And then the song ended, and I was feeling a bit better. 850″> ? . .



  1. Anonymous says:

    Without discounting how afraid one always is about a surgical procedure, compare how much better you’ll be able to take care of your family to how miserable you’d ALL be if mom was on bedrest. I think that’s the only alternative, right?

    I’m going to offer a lot of prayer for you on Friday. God certainly asks a lot of mothers, but it makes us love our children so much more! Ask the “extra” guardian angel you’ve got right now to help give peace.
    Mary in Florida

  2. Shelby's Mama says:

    Rachel, you (and all your boys and of course the baby) are certainly in our prayers. We know all to well about procedures to keep a pregnancy from terminating itself. Before I became pregnant with Shelby, I had to have uteruine septoplasty to remove a large wall running down the center of my uterus that had caused me to lose at least two other babies. Please know we will be invoking St Gerard and Elizabeth Ann Seton to protect both you and the baby. Our prayers were answered and we know yours will be as well.
    Kristen (aka Jerseygirlmama and Shelby’s Mama)

  3. Margaret in Minnesota says:

    I promised you prayers when you first announced your pregnancy, and you still have them. Courage! When you think about it, the actual delivery (my friend calls it the “ring of fire”) is much worse.

    By the way, we found out we are expecting our 7th not long after you did. I have my first OB appt. tomorrow!

  4. KatieButler says:

    A friend of mine had to have a cerclage with three of her five pregnancies, and believe me, I reflexively crossed my legs the first time I found out what it was! =:O
    Prayers for your peace of mind and a smooth procedure.

  5. Rachel Swenson Balducci says:

    Thank you all!

  6. My mom had this same procedure done over 27 years ago with my brother after losing a set of twins due to an incompetent cervix. It gave her a tremendous amount of peace throughout the rest of her pregnancy. After they removed the stitches she carried him for another 3 weeks and he was born healthy and happy at a whopping 9 pounds!

  7. My prayers will be with you! As everyone else has said, remember that now the bedrest won’t be any kind of issue at all – God willing! Mom will be up and ‘rassling the men into place. Hang in there and know the peace of God.

  8. Rachel: Rest assured that all your blogger buddies, and in a special way those in Augusta, will be praying for you! God has been good to you, and I am sure He will not be any different now! I am one of those “wimps” you are referring too when it comes to surgeries and procedures (I even get kink of light headed when they I get my blood drawn) so I can relate to your anxiety. But Grace – with a capital “G” – can get us through the most amazing circumstances. Prayers and peace so that all goes well on Friday. Michelle 🙂

  9. Allison Kennedy says:

    Rach, when I lived in Tennessee, the One Headlight song was popular; and true enough, one of my headlights on my car went out. …i always felt like I was winking at people. so I always get a kick out of that.
    But of course I will say prayers for you on Friday.
    love allison

  10. congratulations on your pregnancy! i recently had my 4th baby and find myself nodding along as i read your blog.

    does this procedure mean that you have an incompetant cervix and is that based on the 35 week dilating contrating? i guess i thought it was fairly normal to dilate/contract that late in pregnancy, especially once you’ve had a few children. i know nothing about this procedure and am curious.

    hope it all goes well for you. looking forward to you blogging about baby names! :0)

  11. Ruth Anne Adams says:

    Even if your cervix is incompetent, it sounds like your OB/Gyn is. I will say this as kindly as possible…suck it up. You DO NOT want to have a preterm baby. One day in you is worth 3 days in a NICU. My twins came at 26 weeks and the fact that they didn’t have more complications [and you know they had plenty] is a miracle.

    Do it. Have your cervix made into a lovely drawstring evening bag and get on with it. Prayers coming your way, of course.

  12. Rachel Swenson Balducci says:

    Thanks Ruth Ann. Good to hear.

    Yes — incompetent cervix, competent doctor.

  13. Anonymous says:

    i hope i didn’t imply that your dr was incompetent! my baby was 2 weeks early and had trouble with her digestive system. it has been so difficult. i can’t imagine having a baby earlier (and all the difficulties that go with it) or worse yet, loosing a baby. good luck with the procedure.

  14. Rachel Swenson Balducci says:


    No, you didn’t imply that! Not to worry. I have had a few people ask if it was really necessary and I like how Ruth Anne worded it — basically, trust the doc!

  15. Hi Rachel. I had a cerclage 10 years ago and had FORGOTTEN it completely until reading your post. Now that you have reminded me (thanks!), I can tell you that it was really nothing. The worst part is the anxiety beforehand (so you’re in the worst of it NOW) and the checking of one’s modesty at the Dr’s office door. I recall feeling only strange “tugging,” but nothing painful at all. Count the “Hail Marys” you are able to say during the procedure and it will be over before you know it. Praying for you, Ann

  16. I’m praying for you Rachel. You will definitely have a greater piece of mind, especially in the last few weeks. Think of it as three more weeks of disenfecting your house (I would think that might excite you :-))

  17. i am praying for you today.

    On a lighter note, after the surgery, ALWAYS remember the advice of my Mom, who had 8 kids in her day…

    Keep your robe on as long as possible. When men see us in clothes, it’s over.

  18. LadyHatton says:

    Prayers coming, Rachel.

  19. I reflexively crossed my legs when I found out what cerclage is just now — and I don’t even have a cervix.

    Thoughts and prayers to you, Rachel. Thanks for the inspiring post.

  20. Teresa & Shawn says:

    Prayers for you, Rachel. I think it’s wonderful that you can think of your brother and sister-in-law and offer your suffering up for people in their situation. At the same time, this is happening to YOU and it’s important to YOU and YOUR baby. And that’s what matters! God bless you on Friday.


  21. Ladybug Mommy Maria says:

    I’ll pray for you today!

  22. Ruth Anne Adams says:

    Friday night: Any updates available?