Location: Washington, United States

I began my TTC journey in January 2005. It finally worked with the 5th IUI and along came Eliana! I started trying for a second (T42) a little over a year later, and was thrilled to get pregnant on the second try this time. Jacob soon joined our family! Not sure if I am done at two, but come along for my journey in motherhood. If you stop by, please leave me a short note! I like to know when I have visitors. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Long, but good, week plus cord blood banking dilemma

After I got my car back that is. :)

Tuesday my NST went well. The nurse was so kind not to put me on the semi-incline to my left side that I despise so much and even brought me in a carton of milk. I am convinced that the combination (my comfort and the milk to both fill my tummy after a long school day and to get the baby moving) were just what I needed to have a great NST. Baby moved well, heart accelerated, and they didn't have to buzz her or anything. Lasted about 45minutes-1 hour.

Wednesday, I saw the perinatologist and had a growth ultrasound. Baby girl is estimated at 5 pounds 6 ounces at the moment, a little below average for her gestational age. Her belly is also a little below average and measured around 33weeks when in actuality I was 35w5d. Unfortunately for me (no harm to her!), her head circumference is measuring a little ahead at 37weeks. Oh well...what's a little tear right LOL. The peri was quite happy with the ultrasound results, and with my blood pressure. Not so happy with my blood sugars which have been on the rise again...I told him that I was not so happy with the control I get on all insulin, that I had much better control with the pills and insulin, but he would not agree. Oh well. He told me that I would have an induction, most likely in my 39th week. I am curious to see what the OB says when I see him next, I am going to try and remember to ask about that, especially given the fact that my OB is leaving on vacation during my 39th week...I have one last growth ultrasound scheduled for 37w6d, if I don't deliver before then (also a comment from the peri).

Thursday I had another NST. This was the best one yet! In and out within 40 minutes! And once again I convinced the nurse to not put me in the torturous slightly lifted side position. Baby performed beautifully with lots and lots of accelerations associated with her movements, and there was no question about keeping me longer that day.

I also had three classes this week: baby basics (very very basic...not too much I didn't know), my last childbirth class where we covered cesarean delivery which reaffirmed to me that I do NOT want a c-section if possible, and feeding your baby class, very informative.

Now here I am on the first day of four days home! and a long, long list of things I hope to accomplish. Of course, it is 1pm and I have yet to do one thing on my list...hmm...

The first thing I am trying to accomplish (from my list) is choosing and enrolling in a cord blood banking program. But everytime I think I have it figured out, I find something else to wonder about. For example, should I go with a cheaper bank just because it is cheaper? How do I know which bank is better? What about how they store the vials: one cryobag or muliple cryo-vials? It seems to me that the multiple vials makes better sense, but what do I know? Do I do a yearly storage payment plan or the 20 year storage package plans?

Here are the banks I am considering right now:

New England Cord Blood Bank
Chicago Stem Cell Bank

Cryo-cell stores in bags. NECBB stores in vials. Chicago Stem Cell Bank supposedly stores in both, but how can that be unless you have more blood? Cheapest is toss up between Cryo-cell (because I can get a coupon from someone) and Chicago Stem Cell Bank, but this latter bank will end up being cheaper because yearly storage is cheaper..NECBB has a more professional looking website to me out of all of them, which makes me want to trust them more...I don't know. HELP?!


Blogger Cricket said...

My son is 8.5y and I stored his cord blood. I used Cord Blood Registry, b/c it wasn't merely a bank. It is connected with cord blood research and cord blood donations. I believe at the time there were only 2 other choices for storage - both of them froze almost anything (semen, eggs, etc) and I felt like there was a higher risk of contamination. CBR stores for 10 years max, but I recently decided to let my $75/yr fee lapse. I feel like it has given me the piece of mind I wanted.

Back when I did it, I had to change from an OB who would not do the draw, would not support the act and lectured me on the bad science. I hope the medical profession has progressed. Back then, the hospital didn't know what to do with it either and the overnight courier had to come into my delivery room after the birth to collect the package.

In short, I chose the science over mere storage.

February 18, 2006 4:25 PM  
Blogger Deb2You2 said...

Katrina - Here is the place I was going to use. After doing research and talking to my OB, I was going to donate, but did't come to that decision until it was too late. The main reason I decided to donate was because my research (you have to look beyond the scare tactics of the companies trying to get your business) was that if your child became ill their own cord blood likely would not be able to help them because it had the same genetics (and defects) as the child itself. It would be more useful for a sibling. Based on the cost, the likelyhood of needing it, and the likelyhood that the child itself would be able to benefit from his/her own cord blood, I declined. Each person has to make their own decision, but thought I would put that out there in case you hadn't heard that yet. Let me know if you want to discuss. Good luck with your decision. I know it was a hard one for me. I have copied below the bank and the correspondence I received from them. Can't believe your little girl will be here before you know it. Debbie

Dear Debbie:
Although there is not a facility in your area, you may call 1800/869-8608 directly for requirements and processes for cord blood donation.  This facility can accept donated cord blood from any location.  Donation is free of charge.  If the pregnancy has passed the 34th week it may be too late to apply for cord blood donation.  Thank you!

Cord Blood Donor Foundation
1200 Bayhill Drive, Suite 301
San Bruno, CA 94066
Tele: (650) 635-1452
Fax:  (650) 635-1428

ps. this site, if I remember also has storage and not just donation.

February 18, 2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger Chas said...

I've thought a little about cord blood banking lately, but I definitley haven't made a decision. There definitely seems to be a wide prace gap between certain places. I have no idea what the differences are or if it really matters at all. Good luck with that.

February 18, 2006 8:37 PM  
Blogger tammy said...

congrats on the two fabulous NSTs!

i can't claim to help you with your dilemma since i haven't gotten much farther with it other than looking at a couple websites. i expect people with ongoing health problems (i.e. your diabetes and my auto-immune issues) are more likely to see a possible need for it. it's like any other insurance i suppose where we all hope to never need it but would be ecstatic if it's there if we do.

February 19, 2006 9:54 PM  
Blogger StemLife said...

If you can afford it there is no harm in collecting and storing the cord blood stem cells for your baby. When you donate, its true that 1) it is free and 2) it could help someone else. But, given that this is a precious one (are you intending to have another?) you might want to consider banking it for your baby's own use. Before donating your baby's stem cells to any particular donation campaign, perhaps you should ask if your your baby needed it back, how much would they charge you for the unit?

This might be a good way to really evaulate the economic factors.

Given that the uses and benefits of stem cells are increasing (now for various other conditions apart from cancer), your baby may certainly find a use for it in its lifetime.

Finally bag or vial and price, my take is that bags are better for transplantation (less manipulation & contamination risk), price wise, I would also recommend that you look at the company and its direction. If it invests in R&D to provide client value subsequently and if it has reputable doctors on its panel. These points help to establish the long term vision for the company.

February 25, 2006 1:25 AM  
Blogger Cordbloodhub said...

Good point. There are however a few other things many people should be aware of. Most know that cord blood banks collect, process, test and store the donated umbilical cord blood for the public use, taking into account the great number of people who are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases each year. Therefore, cord blood banks look after expectant mothers, informing them about the importance of their umbilical cord blood and the possibility of helping some people who suffer from terrible diseases. Nevertheless, the information and sensitizing of the population is not fully achieved as in the case of simple blood donation. Cord blood stem cell transplants are considered in order to replace blood marrow transplants. The possibility of finding the match for the patients in need increases, as in 2001 the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies stated that roughly 20,000 American lives were saved through transplants of stem cells. I’ve covered some other aspects related to this topic on my website, Cord blood information - please let me know if you find them useful.


Michael Rad

April 25, 2006 9:41 AM  

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