Preparedness becomes a central theme to the arrival of a baby. We’ve already discussed this matter in check list fashion, but let’s dive a little further.
Mom’s hospital bag is vital, a key to being prepared as it houses the requisite items we so often overlook. For example: While everyone is comfortable using their phone as a primary camera, we’re quick to forget that on important occasions such as, say, childbirth, the phone’s primary function is to serve as a phone. Bring a camera. Document this thing right.
And that being said, you can’t forget the following either:
- Phone Charger – People are going to be calling you, make sure you can answer.
- Guy’s pack – These newborns can take their time. Be sure to have the right supplies for your own overnight stay. Fresh socks, underwear, shirt, pants…you’ll want to look good, feel good, and be all set for the arrival of your kid!
- CBR Collection Kit – You’re saving your baby’s cord blood stem cells with Cord Blood Registry so you’d better not forget the mechanism by which the doc’s going to collect! Also be sure to have all the paperwork settled (before arriving!). Make sure those cells are saved seamlessly.
- The Red Tape – IDs, insurance, birth plan, forms, etc. Few love it. Everyone needs it. Bring them.
- Scrap-able clothing – This journey isn’t going to be a clean one. From birth itself to an elongated stay at the hospital, bring some clothes that you can retire.
- For her – Overnight goodies pertaining to hygiene, a headband or hair ties, more of those scrap-able clothes, maternity bras, and any other special requests the mother of your child might need.
- Snacks – No hospital cafeteria is soon to get a four-star rating. Pack some of her and your favorite non-perishables. Also, singles! Bring those tiny bills because the vending machines won’t take plastic and you don’t want to wind up with $18 in coin change.
- A Pen – Inevitably you’re going to need one so why not come prepared with one? From the hospitals forms to Cord Blood Registry’s forms to your own desire to document the occasion, a writing utensil should help.
Control what you can amidst the unpredictable nature of childbirth; prepare to be prepared (sounds like a John Wooden axiom)! Ask your partner what she needs or wants and pack this bag together.
And don’t forget the camera!
The decision to start a family was a big one. We knew it would mean lots of change and a full 180 from the lives we knew and were comfortable with. But that was about where the definites of what we knew stopped.
Well, with the benefit of hindsight, I’ve written up checklist for the expecting dads out there or those of you thinking about starting your own family. Let’s call it the “Your Life’s About to Change, Dad” checklist Enjoy:
- Pregnant – Become such. This may be obvious but just a reminder: it does have to happen.
- Torture – She’s about to endure nine-months of it so be sure to stock up on your sympathy. You can practice by holding an ice cube for two minutes – they say that’s the closest most men will come to experiencing the pain of labor cramps.
- Future – Talk about it. The naming battles are just the beginning. Don’t fear the future.
- Diaper Bag – You’re going to carry one so make sure you’re comfortable with its look and feel.
- Stroller – You’re going to push one. Be the man and figure out the brakes and how to make it collapse with a flick of your wrist.
- Stem Cell Banking – Have a conversation with your partner and doctor about cord blood. It can save lives so I highly recommend saving it. There are payment plans galore to make it work if your budget is tight.
- Nursery – Pick your battles. If you care about design, then make sure you get this right. Otherwise, let your partner lead and you focus on what you’ll be using the most – the changing table.
- Logistics – From adding things to your insurance to making sure you get time off, dot your I’s and cross your T’s.
- Photography – Trust me, you’re going to want those first few weeks documented for a lifetime because they fly right by. Find a professional you like and set up a shoot.
- Diapers – Learn everything you can about how to change them because you’re about to do it a lot.
Amongst all the roles an expecting father plays – from sympathizer to researcher to errand boy – there’s a central theme: Caretaker. When we were expecting, I knew only that I was going to love and take care of our new addition. Part of taking care included researching cord blood banking.
I had heard that cord blood banking could be expensive – or at least is perceived to be – but I was also positive I wanted to save these valuable cells. After all, my wife and I are firm believers in science and medicine and recognize that the future for these cells could be limitless. I mean, this was 2008 and stem cells and the research surrounding them was a hot issue! Every day it seemed there was a new use for stem cells. So, the decision to bank was made.
Now the question became who to bank with?
I first heard about banking as we attended more and more pregnancy related events. A regular presence at these gatherings was Cord Blood Registry and, as we grew closer to the due date, I followed up with this company. Quickly I learned that they were the largest and most experienced amongst the cord blood banks. But what did that mean?
Talking with Cord Blood Registry, they confirmed for me the growing uses of stem cells and focus on regenerative medicine. OK, I liked the sound of that! They went on to explain to me that CBR was working to expand this field. They partner with hospitals and researchers to give their clients exclusive access to clinical trials exploring stem cells as a treatment for such conditions as cerebral palsy and brain injury.
I loved the sound of all of this but the price barrier remained an overarching concern. How expensive was this going to be? I knew the price would be a sticking point with my wife and, considering we were expecting a new little person to join our family, the family budget was no doubt about to change. Our representative – terrific by the way – helped us find a payment plan that we were cozy with and that would fit our budget.
So to recap: CBR was dedicated to the science, the most experienced and biggest bank, and flexible enough to ensure this fit my budget? Where do I sign?!? We made the decision to bank early because we knew we were going to take care of our child from day one and beyond. As a soon-to-be father, I had my caretaker hat on, and this was something we needed to do. And something we won’t think twice about doing again should our family grow again.
I’m glad we have not had to use these cells but I could not be happier knowing we have access to them in case that we ever did.
If you want to learn more about cord blood banking and Cord Blood Registry, visit their site at www.cordblood.com.