Pregnancy, specifically a first time pregnancy, comes with a lot of unknowns. We start on this journey to become parents and there are so many questions floating around in our heads. The silly ones like “Boy or girl?” or “Will he get my blue eyes?” but also the deeper ones. The genuine fears about parenthood. The “Will I be a good Mom?” “Will we screw him up somehow?” and the “What if I’m not patient enough?”.
I’ve done a good job of staying level headed about those fears, but they creep in every once and awhile. I worry about normal Mom stuff like SIDS, colic, and sleep cycles. I worry we’ll spend money on a swing and he’ll hate swinging. I wonder if he’ll know the sound of Archie’s bark from hearing it in utero and he’ll be able to sleep right through it (we can only hope).
More recently I’ve realized I worry more about my husband than I did before. I’ve always wanted to believe and hoped that we have many many more years together but now that feels more like a need. I miss him more when he isn’t around. I just feel more attached to him in general because we’re doing this huge, life-changing, life-creating thing together and we’re really going to need each other. I need him now more than I ever have.
Some of you might remember that I used to work for a childhood cancer foundation and later a children’s hospital. Fears from my experiences at each creep in too. I’ve seen the worst happen. Each of those parents thought it could never happen to their kid. How could that not be on my mind occasionally?
Luckily I learned a lot during my time at each. One thing I learned about years ago and always knew I’d consider when the time came is Cord Blood banking. July is Cord Blood Awareness Month so it’s only fitting that my husband and I have recently really dug in with our discussions on the topic.
When we talk about cord blood banking for our baby, my mind immediately goes to bone marrow transplants (I talked about them and how to be added to the bone marrow registry here).
I know several kids who received bone marrow transplants. Some were from siblings, some from parents, and a few from strangers. Being able to have a bone marrow transplant from your own stem cells (which is possible via cord blood) is an incredible thing! It means if our child was one day in need of a stem cell transplant and could use his own cells, he wouldn’t need to search for a match (which may be hard to find due to his unique background). It might put my mind at ease to know he has it available for future use. It could ease one of my new mama fears.
For N, his feelings about the importance of cord blood come from its possibilities. Maybe we’re optimistic over here but it seems like there’s a good chance that science is going to bring us some awesome stuff in our lifetime. N says banking our baby’s cord blood feels like an insurance policy. We could set him up for things he may need with science that has yet to be discovered. Incredible, right?
If you’re interested in learning more about cord blood and all it can do, I’d encourage you to check out CBR.
We also realize that cord blood could help someone in need now so we have considered the possibility of donating as well. If we do not decide to bank our baby’s cord blood, we will proceed with donating it.
I’ve been pretty proud of myself during this pregnancy for being chill. Chill is not a word usually used to describe me. A loved one even said to me recently that she’s impressed with how laid back I seem (What are you implying? That I’m not normally laid back?!). I’m a natural worrier and I fight that every day. I know it and the people who love me know it.
For now, I’m working on only worrying about things that are within my control. I’m educating myself on the things I can control, like maintaining a safe to sleep environment for our baby and how to breastfeed. We’re upping our life insurance policies and having talks about important things, like cord blood banking and even creating a will (doesn’t that just sound so grown up?).
Most of all, we’re really trying to enjoy this special time in our lives. To get to know this baby with every kick. And to be ready to be the best parents that we can be.