Monday, February 27, 2012

To bank cord blood or not to bank cord blood... that is the question!

That is what my wife and I are trying to decide. Actually, we've mostly made up our mind, mostly because my mother-in-law is a big supporter of it and helped my sister-in-law finance it and is going to help us too. In an effort to be unbiased and offer a service for the readers of baby in my baby, for this post I will pretend we don't have the influence of financial assistance. As with all of my posts I'll let you make up your own mind. First, let's talk about why people bank cord blood.

Cord blood is rich in young stem cells that is obtained by capturing the blood in the umbilical cord when it is clamped and cut at birth. Cord blood stem cells are being currently used to effectively treat some forms of cancer, blood and immune genetic diseases, and some blood disorders. While it has become much more common, critics of cord blood collection still argue that it may be more valuable for the baby to get as much of the cord blood as possible at birth instead of saving it. On the other hand, supporters claim that some of these valuable cells will be wasted without the banking.

When banking cord blood, you'll typically receive a cord blood collection kit with everything the hospital needs to collect it, and then it's your responsibility to ship it via overnight courier to the cryogenic facility to be put in frozen storage. The company we went with is CBR, and here's a video showing the cord blood kit contents we received so you know what to expect:

CBR Cord Blood Kit Contents

The bottom line is, the jury in the medical community is still out and it should be a personal decision for new parents. Private cord blood banking is a relatively new practice that has to be a personal decision for parents. Costs can range from $800-$2,000 or more for the initial cord blood banking, and then several hundreds of dollars per year to store in a cryogenic facility.

Cord blood banking is a significant ongoing expense which is sold by private banks as a life insurance policy that is a smart decision. Many times they say that if siblings or other family members are a match, they also could potentially use the blood if they develop a disorder that could be treated with the blood.

Another argument in support of storing cord blood is that science will most surely continue advancing and some of the uses for this blood may not be in practice today yet. This is another idea that is communicated by companies trying to convince you to save this precious blood.

In the end, as with most decisions as new parents, you have to make the call. My wife are going with CBR (Cord Blood Registry), and we just received our kit which we need to bring to the hospital, but I still have my reservations. We most surely would not have done it if we needed to come up with the entire cost ourselves. However, with all that considered we do think it's a wise choice for the scientific future potential uses for the blood as a good investment. Perhaps if either of us or a sibling is a match, if any of us gets cancer, (which runs in our family) then perhaps we could benefit.

Worst case scenario would be if this money and the blood were never used and wasted, however, there are worse things to spend your money on. Also, if we get older and think it will not be used we could donate it or turn it over to our children and it could potentially be past on to the next generation as long as the blood could still be viable.

Hope this blog helps and whether you bank cord blood or not, thanks for reading!

Friday, February 24, 2012

33 Weeks Pregnant - The Final Stretch! (pun intended)

My wife is now at 33 weeks pregnant, the Final Stretch! (pun intended) My baby girl is now 4 pounds and 17 inches long from her head to heels, weighs as much as a Pinapple! OUCH!!! I'm sure glad I don't have a pineapple inside me...

Our baby is quickly losing that wrinkled look and starting to really plump up fast. She's moving more and I can feel the different body parts pushing against the tummy. I think I could feel a foot, a hand, elbow, back, head, and even the mushy butt! Also, it's amazing to put my ear against her belly, I can hear the heartbeat clearly and can hear lots of moving in there. My mom's a nurse and I'm going to borrow a stethoscope so my wife Nikki can hear the baby too.

Speaking of Nikki, my wife, have I mentioned how beautiful she is? I don't think I have nearly enough. People keep telling her that she has really "popped" in the last couple weeks. She keeps saying she's fat, in fact she even said it in her sleep tonight saying it's hard to flip over to her other side. I just comforted her and told her how beautiful she is. Honestly, curves just adds to her beauty :) She is my dream girl that's gracefully carrying my baby girl, I couldn't ask for more in life!

So much has happened this week. We just finished our Lamaze classes at Babylove. If you live in the Minneapolis / St Paul (Twin Cities) area and are expecting you simply must check them out! They are all about natural healthy childbirth and our instructor Brittany was second to none! Also, the baby has been breached for about 4 weeks up until now. My wife's chiropractor practiced the "Webster Technique" to turn the baby head down like she should be. After only one adjustment of her hips it seemed to create more room. Last week my wife felt the baby starting to move way more after the adjustment, and when we had another prenatal exam on Monday, she had finally turned! It really seemed to work for us.

So that's it, for now, we're in the final stretch, we have our first baby shower this weekend and we're hoping to start filling up our nursery.

Sympathy Weight Update: lost a few again, back down to 204 lbs, my sympathy weight gained stands at 19 lbs so far! I went running with our dog Harry so maybe I'll do that some more and eat healthier.

Well that's all for now, next week my baby will weigh as a cantaloupe... GOOD GOD, believe it or not! I feel so bad for my poor wife. I love her so much!

See How My Baby's Growing at 33 Weeks

See What's Happening Inside the Fetus this Week

See how big my baby is getting week by week, now she weighs as much as a Pinapple! Ouch!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

30 Weeks Pregnant - Belly Button Popped Out!

My wife is now at 30 weeks pregnant. My baby girl is now 15.7 inches long from her head to heels, as big as a Large Cabbage! Right now there is about a 1-1/2 pints of amniotic fluid and is starting to hit her growth spurt.

She now keeps her eyes open most of the day even though it's pitch dark, however she can sense bright light coming in through her skin. Her eyesight is not very keen yet, about 20/400 put is improving all the time.

My wife's belly button popped out now. She actually started to cry when she realized it and I didn't know what was wrong until she told me. I tried to comfort her, she really wasn't that upset, she says the hormones just overcame her and it just made her cry.

We also had our fouth Lamaze class in a 6-week program. I learned it's not just about breathing anymore. It's run by 2 Doulas and is called Baby Love in Eagan, MN. Our Instructor, Brittany is very nice and informative. We are learning so much about how to create a birth plan that's right for us and how to be good to yourself during this important time.

Also, I'm learning more about how to prepare for the big day. I'm learning techniques how to support her like massage, holding her hand, walking through the contractions, sitting in the tub with her through labor pains, a technique called the butt squeeze where you put pressure on her upper buttocks. This is supposed to alleviate back pain especially if she starts to have back labor

Sympathy Weight Update: I'm a seesaw and gained another 5, now 208 lbs, my sympathy weight gained stands at 23 lbs so far! What are you going do right?

Well that's all for now, next week my baby will be as heavy as four large navel oranges, believe it or not! I feel so bad for my poor wife. I love her so much!

See How My Baby's Growing at 30 Weeks

See What's Happening Inside the Fetus this Week

See how big my baby is getting week by week, now she's as big as a Large Cabbage!