I’m so excited to work in partnership with Cryo-Cell to bring you these 5 tips for cord blood and cord tissue collection. They are helpful tips for storing your cord blood collection kit and what to do in the hospital.
As you probably know by now, our highly anticipated arrival has arrived. The funny thing about childbirth is that it’s one of life’s (slightly scary) unscheduled surprises. You know, unless of course it is scheduled in which case it’s still exciting and maybe still slightly scary. A few weeks back I told you that we would be banking cord blood and cord tissue with Cryo-Cell. This was my first time going through the process and while it’s pretty straightforward, I’ve got a few tips for you to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
That’s right, don’t be a procrastinator. Most banks can’t process the cord blood and/or tissue they receive until they have all of your paperwork. Which makes sense. Our kit came with paperwork that required me to answer some medical and personal questions, along with a few things for me to sign that reviewed the process, what I would be responsible for and what I could expect from Cryo-Cell.
You’ll be assigned a rep who will talk to you over the phone before your kit comes and you can go back to them if you have any questions or concerns like in my case where your due date is approaching (because you’re already procrastinated) and you’d feel better emailing or faxing the documents back to make sure they are on file before you deliver.
First of all, you don’t want to forget it at home. Duh. Second, you don’t want to have to make the old “my dog ate my collection kit” phone call. Seriously, you just never know what your favorite furball will do. Charger recently ate Kayla’s preschool diploma. For real. Fortunately, that was fairly easy to get replaced. Within your kit, there are things that a pet might smell and be curious about, like the anti-coagulant. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you do have pets, store your kit with your hospital bag in an elevated location that they can’t get to versus on the floor.
Another thing to be mindful of is the temperature of the area in which you are storing your kit. As much as it may make sense for your trip to the hospital, do not store your kit in your car in the weeks leading up to your delivery. You’ll want to keep it in a cool but not freezing cold place and out of direct sunlight to keep the temperature somewhat consistent. I found that the top of our changing table was the right place for my stuff, since it was out of reach for Charger and Stella and in an area of Blake’s room that didn’t get attacked by the strong San Diego sun.
Kits from different cord blood banks are slightly different and what they ask of your doctor can vary. In our kit from Cryo-Cell, there were detailed instructions for Craig and I to read as well as for our doctor to review. Personally, I would recommend taking the time to read both sets of instructions so you and your partner feel aware of what’s being asked of your doctor. Deliveries can be hectic. We had our own scare right as I started pushing and Blake’s heart rate took a steep dive. Thank goodness it quickly recovered, or we would have wound up with an emergency C-section. At that moment, I was freaked out and trying to remain calm and nobody was thinking about a collection kit.
Your doctor’s priority (rightfully so/thank goodness) will be safely delivering your baby and making sure you are okay. If things get hectic, your partner should be the one to make sure that the medical team remembers to collect the cord blood and cord tissue once things seem okay with you and your baby.
This is a big one. Like I mentioned, things can get crazy in the delivery room. You will also be on a euphoric OMG we just had a baby high and/or dealing with the shock and surprise that after a long wait your tiny person is finally here! And you are responsible for them…forever! Odds are that everyone will be tired. Blake arrived after 11pm and I had been up since 3:30am. Craig and I were both exhausted by the time they finished collecting everything, cleaning up the baby and tending to me.
You’ll probably need to contact the medical courier your cord blood bank works with so they can come and pick up the completed kit. Unless your labor is crazy fast, odds are your partner will have some time on their hands. I had Craig set an alarm on his phone to go off every hour after we were admitted to the hospital. This way in the exhaustion and excitement after birth we didn’t forget to call the courier. I think it was a smart move and one I would highly recommend to friends.
Relax and enjoy your new baby.