Thursday, May 31, 2012

We invested in cord blood banking

WARNING: If the sight of blood makes you woozy, skip this post!

Vince wrote about the options we were considering for this birth (click here for that article) but we ended up with just one: cord blood banking.

And we almost didn't because we were supposed to meet with the CordLife bank agent on the afternoon of May 11 and I gave birth to Iñigo that morning. I was so worried about my cord blood! It's a good thing St. Luke's Global has a standby cord blood harvesting kit so we just informed our labor team and they harvested the blood (soooo much blood, in my opinion) just like that. What a relief!

This is me with the CordLife cord blood harvesting kit the morning after I gave birth:
Apologies for the horrific look. I just gave birth! I think I also just woke up LOL

When I blogged about cord blood banking, some people told me it's not necessary. Believe me, Vince and I also weighed the pros and cons of this investment for years (we first started thinking about it when we were pregnant with Vito in 2010). The cost of banking the cord blood is not exactly loose change. CordLife charges P48,000 upon enrollment then P8,000 every year. So when Vito was born, we declined.

But every day, scientists are finding new uses and treatments for stem cells so we began thinking of investing. Who knows what wondrous cures can come in the future of stem cells? When it was shown that diabetes--Vince and I come from families with diabetes--may possibly be treated with stem cells, we signed up. Yep, the stem cells aren't just for Iñigo; Vince, Vito and I may be able to use them one day.

Someone asked me on Twitter, "If you get  Iñigo's stem cells, won't that become an issue with Vito?" The answer is NO. First, because all of us benefit from just one harvest. And second, because I hope to raise my sons to never be petty and shallow.

Here's what's in the kit: the cord blood is in the big pouch. That's chock full of precious stem cells that my family can use one day--although hopefully we'll never have reason to use them! The two vials of blood are my own blood, taken (with great difficulty because my veins are so small, the doctors said) from my hands and arms. That will be used for testing. They have to check if my blood's good, meaning I don't have communicable diseases like hepatitis, HIV and AIDS. If I test positive for a disease, then they can't use the cord blood and they'll return our money. 

I was also asked to fill up a comprehensive questionnaire about my health history. It asked the usual family history of diseases, then my travel history and sexual history*. When I came to the part that asked, "Have you had multiple sex partners?", I asked the agent, "Consecutive or all at the same time?" Vince laughed and the agent looked terribly embarrassed haha. Sex is not a topic I shy away from. I'd have loved to be open about my sex life but since I have family reading my blogs, I'll spare them the agony hahaha. 

Anyway, another big factor that finally pushed us to bank our cord blood is the payment terms. We had thought that it's P48K up front. Gee whiz, that's a lot of money to cough up, and right when we're also paying for birth costs. Turns out that CordLife has super flexible plans which make payment easy. We got the no-interest installment plan so we end up just paying about P3,750 a month for the first year. Not bad at all! 

We're very happy we banked  Iñigo's cord blood. It's good to be prepared for the future. We hope we never get to use it, of course, and we don't think that's money wasted at all. Let's just say that's what peace of mind costs!

For more information, check out the CordLife website. And if you'll invest in cord blood banking because of this post, please tell CordLife so I can get free groceries haha.

*The travel history is asked because some countries have diseases (like hand-foot-and-mouth disease) you may have caught. Sexual history is asked because some diseases like HIV are spread that way.

10 comments:

  1. Had I had known CordLife offered easy one-year installment we would have done the same with Jacob. I got flustered when the big numbers were thrown out when we inquired about cord blood banking.

    Good for you that you did this! Maybe sa next baby rin namin we can do it also ;) Wag soon please!

    Hugs to the little ones!

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  2. Definitely a worthy investment especially since it will benefit your whole family.

    And welcome to the world Baby Iñigo! Good to know you had a smooth delivery Frances. Amazing times ahead! ;)

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  3. Thanks for this! Im preggy now with Baby #3 & we decided to forego with stemcord banking for my older 2 kids. It's the initial payment that made us not to pursue it. But with the installment plan, it's not that bad. I'll bring this up with my husband and maybe this can make change his mind

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  4. Just wanted to say you look so good the day after giving birth. :)

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  5. Interesting. I wonder if this service will become more affordable in the future,or if rates will go up. hmm.

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  6. Hi! I'll be having a scheduled repeat CS in a couple of weeks, and still cant decide which hospital I should choose. When I gave birth to my eldest we spent almost 200k at St. Lukes. This time I want to be practical so we plan on having baby #2 at a cheaper hospital where my doctor is also accredited. One thing, I learn through reading testimonials of other moms, the most important thing is you trust your OB. My OB is also our 'kinakapatid' so I'm confident she will take good care of me no matter which hospital I choose...
    My dilemma is if I choose the cheaper hospital I will miss the opportunity to have my baby's cord blood harvest. And I've been up all night trying to figure out what I need to do until I stumble upon your blog. I think I got my answer. Thank you very much!

    P.S. TMC offer a free cordblood banking, provided that you will allow them to use the cord blood for research purposes. I just signed up for free, and I passed the necessary blood test! :)

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  7. The Importance of Saving Cord Tissue
    You only have one opportunity to save your baby’s cord tissue, and that is at the time of his or her birth. Although it may be difficult to make a decision on cord blood and cord tissue storage, it is recommended that you choose your cord blood bank as soon as possible, even as early as your first trimester. The reason for this is that around half of all babies are born before their due date. Choosing your cord blood bank early allows you to time complete the rest of the preparations that are necessary before your baby arrives. You can enjoy all of the exciting events that pregnancy brings. At Americord, we offer various options that you can choose from to ensure that as many umbilical cord stem cells as possible are saved when your child is born...
    http://i-am-pregnant.cordadvantage.com/the-importance-of-saving-cord-tissue

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  8. Thanks for this. We're about to enter my third tri and we're deliberating whether to get this or not, because of the big enrollment fee. Thanks to you, we won't be refusing the calls by the Cordlife agents now and will ask about the flexible payments. :) :) Merry Christmas!

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  9. So what happens to the cord cells if it is carrying the same genetic abnormality you were hoping to use it for? ie child has leukemia and the stem cells are carrying the same leukemia gene

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    1. You can't use it. But if you saved the cord blood of a sibling, then the leukemia sufferer can benefit from that sibling's stem cells.

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This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!