As a first time mother and parent, the overwhelming love and joy you have for your pending arrival swallows you with happiness – more than you can ever put into words. Your eager anticipation over the next nine months; that first flutter, the first kick, hearing your baby’s heart beat through the sonogram for the very first time; his ten fingers and ten toes wiggling around like a worm, is it a girl, is it a boy, will we wait for the surprise? The heart burn, the cramp, the going to bathroom ten times in an hour, the lack of sleep preparing you for the 4th trimester, it’s all worth it. Your little miracle will soon be in your nurturing hands, you will grow together, learn, develop and begin to understand each other in ways that only a parent can describe. The love and the surge of power that came with holding our baby for the first time was an indescribable feeling – surreal in fact; this incredible feeling in body, mind and spirit that comes, knowing that we are now his guides, his protector, his leader and his strength. We are his Mummy and Daddy from this day forward.
Needless to say leading up to D-day, my brain was a scrambled mess of information. Endless nights of scrolling through Dr Google, to your midwife handing out pamphlets, my grey matter was in severe overload, I even attempted to read a number of baby books aka “Parenthood for dummies 101”. I remember the night before deciding that I should probably learn the different techniques on how to breastfeed, ha what a joke, who was I fooling! However the one thing I was certain of was that we were going to save our babies cord blood stem cells.It was a unanimous decision my partner and I made together, and we will always be grateful that we were fortunate enough to have this option available to us in New Zealand. Without dwelling on the negative, we took everything into account. We weighed up the pros and cons (and to be honest my list on the cons side was pretty scarce.) We asked ourselves what would happen if our little boy got sick and if the only way his illness could possibly be treated was by using his cord blood stem cells. To us this was an absolute no brainer, why not future-proof our child’s life and have this available. If the cost of a latte every day from my local, equated to this life changing medical therapy, and it came down to this, I would easily give up that latte for the sake of our child’s health.
However what baffled me was out of the thirteen parents in our antenatal class, a) I was the only one that had taken this into consideration, and b) the majority of the class had not been informed by their midwife that this was an option.
Shouldn’t this just be mandatory for everyone? Yes there is a cost involved, but what a small price to pay when it comes to your child’s health. With all the many pamphlets, books, magazines I had read on various other things concerning our child’s health, we knew for certain, that from the moment I typed in “Cord Blood New Zealand”, we were safely investing in the security of our child’s future.
To any new parents and friends of ours that are having a baby, we urge you to make this investment. The best decision we have made together, knowing that if we ever need to draw down on this precious cord blood, we can.
Written by Amy.