Friday, April 3, 2009

Blood Donations

I think I may have mentioned here once before that DH and I have decided to donate Baby Girl's cord blood after she's born. I had filled out the ubber long medical questionnaire and sent it to the Cryo Bank back in February. I finally got the call this morning that we passed the medical review and they were sending out the collection kit today. For some reason, this hit me like a ton of bricks. Baby Girl is coming...and soon. I'm happy with our decision to donate. Before I was pregnant, and when I wasn't cycling, I was a regular at our local blood donation center. I donated whole blood, double red blood cells or platelets, whatever their demand was on the day of my appointment. It felt good to know that by spending an hour or 2 (platelets takes about 2 hours to donate) at the center, that I was helping someone. The same holds true for donating Baby Girl's cord blood. DH and I contemplated storing it, should we have some need for it in the future. But when we discussed it with our OB, we found that given our medical backgrounds, there really was no medical reason we could foresee for storing it. Neither of us have any childhood cancers in the family, or any other diseases. So we couldn't really see paying to store it. And I couldn't fathom throwing away something that could be a life saver to someone else. So donation it is. The Cryo Bank will send me the collection kit. And the delivering OB will draw the cord blood into it after the placenta is delivered. I then need to call the Cryo Bank and they will dispatch a courier to pick it up. No cost to me. And my OB doesn't charge extra to collect it. The only problem is if I deliver on a weekend, we can't collect the cord the Cryo Bank won't be able to dispatch a courier before the blood "expires". So here's hoping she makes her appearance during the week!

Did anyone else donate or store their baby's cord blood?


Jen said...

We stored. I was planning to donate, since I personally think the storage is nearly always a waste, but my in-laws talked my husband into it.

Mel said...

We donated. I read several articles about how the storage places don't always tell you up front that certain diseases the baby can wind up with will be in the cord blood anyways since they are genetic (duh, seriously never thought of this until I read it) and that the cord blood can only be used SOMETIMES. We just didn't feel like it was worth the expense.
But I think donating is the right thing do to if you decide not to store it. The lives it can save is amazing.

Another Julia said...

My precious IVF/ICSI baby developed leukemia when he was 15 months old. Talk about not fair/no guarantees in parenting! He's nearly six years old now, and doing very well after nearly three years of treatment. (We weren't able to donate his cord blood at birth, because there was no program in our area, and we didn't privately store the blood....but Mel is right....he could not have benefitted from his own blood, anyway.)
Just wanted to say thank you for planning to donate your cord blood--although my son didn't require a transplant, we were SO grateful that so many parents out there were willing to give such an awesome, livesaving gift. I personally know kids whose lives were saved by cord blood donated by others.
We're expecting IVF/ICSI baby #2 now, and will be storing the cord blood privately, just in case.
I wish you the very best birth experience with your baby girl--motherhood is the best (and hardest) job I've ever had!

KimboSue said...

We are donating to MD Anderson - the nation's #1 cancer center. It's no charge and only 1 form to fill out on delivery day. The hospital is literally on the same street so they will courier it over. My friend works in the bone marrow transplant dept at that hospital and said they are in super need of cord blood. I am so proud to donate there.