I get so emotional thinking about the day Hayden was born.  Childbirth was painful and hard, but as time goes by, the day is filed in my mind as simply perfect.  In some ways, so perfect it could only be divine intervention.  

It seems like just yesterday. It’s hard to believe it was over a month ago.  As ready as I thought I was for Hayden to arrive, the truth is- I wasn’t prepared. I would venture to guess few people really are.  I hadn’t packed our hospital bags. I hadn’t finished the nursery. And most importantly, I hadn’t decided on some major concerns for the baby.  For instance, cord blood.  I did a decent amount of research and couldn’t decide.  Like many parents out there, so much was thrown at us in the last trimester; the decision making process can be daunting. We had already made many decisions regarding the baby, signing on many dotted lines. Suddenly, we’re registering at the hospital, debating what classes to take, what tours to go on, what books to read, which birth plan to follow?! Do we or don’t we hire a doula, etc.? Then, my OB asks if we are doing cord blood storage. I asked my friends and it’s still a relatively new endeavor… people either aren’t sure about it or they are 100% on board.  Were we bad parents if we didn’t store the blood?  We had been in limbo with our decision and truly thought we had a few more days to decide.  

I talked to a girlfriend from high school the day before Hayden was born. She was telling me about how another mutual friend’s son recently benefited from his cord blood storage. Something inside me clicked and I thought—- we need to do this. It wasn’t out of guilt for being a “bad parent” if I didn’t, I just decided if there were ever an opportunity for it to help Hayden or someone else, I should go for it.  I figured the next day I would work on the paperwork and order the cord blood kit.  

Then, later that night, the contractions went into full blown active “back labor.”  I kept getting in and out of bed, trying to relax. But, at 2:30am on May 24th while my husband was sound to sleep, I got up to pack our bags.  Just in case.  At 5:30am, as I was crying in the car on the way to the hospital, I contacted PacifiCord.  I had engaged in a conversation with the company previously about the possibility of using their services. My girlfriend Ali Fedotowsky had done quite a bit of research and highly recommended them.  If you are in a similar position, I’m sure you’ll do your own research, but I based my decision on a few factors.  I liked that the storage facilities were local.  And I learned they were the only local family cord blood bank to use both the FDA cleared AXP system and BioArchive systems.  And just in case a C-section was necessary, they use the only FDA approved sterile collection bag. These are things I would consider if you are looking into storing your child’s cord blood.  So, I literally emailed the contact person from PacifiCord from the car (remember, it’s 5:30am, too early to call) on the way to the hospital wondering if there were any way to finalize the paperwork and get a kit sent to the hospital.

Right after I emailed them, I called my parents in Texas to give them the heads up I was going into labor.  I asked for their prayers, then went back to focusing on breathing through the pain.  I went through a few minutes of being so angry at myself for not being more decisive earlier. I should have ordered the cord blood kit.  Why did I wait so long? Now, I had to accept the fact that I might have missed the opportunity to help my son if he ever needed it in the future.  Suddenly, it was so clear—- why would I NOT store his cord blood? 

This is where the divine intervention begins…and continues on throughout the day.  I get to the hospital and we get our delivery room.  I’m in so much pain with the “back labor” that I have let go of the notion of getting the cord blood stored.  Suddenly, all I’m concerned with is getting this little boy out of me! But, somewhere around 7:30am, the hospital delivery room phone rings.  It’s PacifiCord.  They received my email.  I told them my son was definitely arriving today.  They responded, “Well, so are we… we have someone ON ROUTE TO THE HOSPITAL to deliver a kit to Cedars Sinai.”  I was so overwhelmed I started crying. Then, I get a call from my parents and sister in Texas.  They are at the Houston airport—- about to get on a plane.  I had no idea when Hayden would decide to arrive, but my husband and I felt so much support surrounding us!

Sure enough, the kit cord blood kit arrives… the nurses took over and made the process seamless. My husband filled out the paperwork and was very impressed how this all worked out.  I couldn’t believe how attentive they were.  Checking on me during the day… and then promptly picking up the cord blood kit when it was ready.  The gentleman that picked up the kit even left in its place a gift for the baby. This is the kind of attention I would want for you all if and when you are in this position. 

My parents and sister arrived at the hospital around 6pm.  Hayden was born at 7:06pm.  Words cannot explain how wonderful it was to experience my son’s birthday with them.  And, of course, I’ll never forget the feeling of his little naked body resting against mine right after he was born. 

Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on the delivery day and experience, I wanted to share.You may have been in my shoes: completely undecided about cord blood storage. Please know that is normal.  In the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to a handful of new moms and it’s a common feeling…. to store blood, or not store blood.  And on top of every other expense, it’s not insignificant, but I did my research and they are more than reasonable. I was so impressed with the services at PacifiCord, I asked the good folks there if I could spread the joy with a discount for you all... mention Ashley200 for $200 off.  But educate yourselves. I’m so grateful I did. I pray to God it’s never needed, but the fact that science has progressed to help humanity if it ever is needed, I’m beyond grateful.  

For more information, go to www.PacifiCord.com.  Mention Ashley200 for a discount!