Fear is Strong, But You Are Stronger

Fear is such a strong word and it seems to be taking over our world. We are growing afraid of normal everyday tasks that were once almost thoughtless, like checking the mail or grabbing some milk at the store. Now we keep hand sanitizer and masks close by just in case.

I took my kids to the orthodontist a few days ago with masks on hand (before the mandate) if they felt the need. We sanitized as we walked into the office and stayed away from anyone else. Then my son saw another person walk in wearing a mask and spoke up. “Mom, I want a mask so that I can feel fancy too.”

I realized at that moment that he didn’t see it as something to be afraid of, but more like a new toy; a new novel idea that isn’t stressful.

I do not want my kids to grow up being afraid. We have been fairly conservative with where we go and what we do, and mainly the children have been at home since March 13th. They rarely go inside any type of store or facility, but they have been to the babysitter’s house and to a friend’s a few times.

The balance for me is, how much should they know about coronavirus, and peoples’ reaction to it? How much should they know about all the topsy turvy-ness that is going on in our country and our world? And how scared should they be to finally hug a friend after being apart for months?

No one is talking about how to re-enter society for my eight-year-old son who needs to hug or my twelve-year-old daughter who has preferred to be socially distant since before that was even a term. I feel like my husband and I are traveling this road alone because everyone has an opinion, but the facts seem to be skewed depending on each news article that I read.

We are making decisions that were so small last year but are now huge.

Like…

Do we leave the kids at home if we must go somewhere so they won’t be exposed to COVID? Or even worse, the people that stare because we aren’t wearing masks or if we are wearing masks?

Should I rethink my full-time job so that I can stay home because school may be virtual next year?

How many masks do we need? Should it be one per day because you are supposed to wash them after each use, right?

Can we go see our family in Texas without repercussions such as having to quarantine when we get back?

And so many more.

Our days are now revolving around restrictions of where we go, what we do, and how close I can stand to someone. I walked into my office yesterday crying and not really sure why. I just seem to be overwhelmed with all the things and my anxiety level was shooting through the roof. You may be right there with me.

But have courage, momma. Because even though it seems like we are in this alone, literally everyone else is going through the same thing. I would encourage you to take a few steps to help alleviate some undue anxiety.

Steps to alleviate anxiety

  • Take a step back from social media. (And yes, I realize that you are probably on it right now).
  • Limit your news access daily. I check the news twice a day, at the most, to get as many facts as possible and stay away from getting pulled into all the opinions.
  • Limit your COVID checks. Most COVID reporting sites upload information once a day, therefore I try to only log onto them once a day as well.
  • Text and Facetime your friends. I am now learning how awesome Facetime is.  Being able to see your friend’s faces sans masks is amazing!
  • Talk to your family about how you feel. Your family can feel if you are overwhelmed, but by opening up and talking to them, they can help ease your burden. My kids feel important and trusted when I talk to them about my feelings. I try to keep it easy and light because they aren’t therapists, but they do care and are happy to feel like a vital part of the family.

Remember that we will get through this together and we will be tougher for it. Build up your family so that you are a stronger unit when we get out on the other side. You are beautifully and wonderfully made and meant to get through this.

Making Mom Friends (Even During a Pandemic)

Growing up I had few friends and I never really had a best friend. I was not only very shy and introverted but also I was an only child and that made it lonely for me. To make matters worse I could only invite friends over to my parent’s house that were the same religion as mine…. and the church I went to rarely had people my age. Yikes!

How does one grow up without a best friend?! Well, I learned at a very young age to be content with myself.

With that being said, when I became a mom, I felt like I needed to put myself out there to find friends, especially when my family and I moved nine hours away from my home. As a mom, you need a friend that will make you feel sane. You need someone to talk to about your day and your struggles. I know sometimes finding adult friends is hard, but it is possible. It’s funny to watch how my child finds friends and makes them so easily and to think about how I struggle so much in that area.

My family has always said that as your child gets older and is involved in more activities, you will find more adult friends as well. That indeed happened, but what if you are a new mom and need mom friends now? Sometimes waiting for your kids to grow up and their schedules to blow up can feel like a lifetime.

Making mom friends even during a pandemic

Prior to the virus, I took my son to the library, fitness mom groups, swim lessons, and playgrounds and that helped me find and connect with other moms. I totally made myself do the awkward park encounters. My husband would always tease me because my opening lines were so cheesy. The worst was asking another mom “So how about that road, it’s really bumpy?!” I mean, talk about awkward!

After a while though, opening up to complete strangers got easier. And then COVID-19 hit and threw a wrench into everything. Yes, finding new friends now during a time of social distancing and quarantine is extremely hard. But you can still find ways around it.

Get to know your neighbors. Before quarantine, I barely knew my neighbors. I didn’t even know we had so many moms in our neighborhood but taking walks and saying hi from a distance is a great way to break the ice and make a new friend.

If you’re a fitness mom, there are virtual fitness mom groups. Many do Zoom meetings, such as Fit4mom Charleston and Fit Mommy Charleston where you can chat with fellow mamas while also getting a great workout.

A fun way to meet new people is by attending a trivia night or mom’s night out put on by local businesses. Many businesses, like Subtle and Sass located upstairs at Skip and Sully are finding creative ways to get people together while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Ask in your local neighborhood Facebook pages if other moms in your area would like to do a virtual happy hour just to have girl talk, take your mind off of the kids…and maybe even enjoy some laughs about motherhood.

I know it is a scary time with everything that’s unfolding around us. That is why we need an outlet and someone there to talk to much more than ever before. Put yourself out there, making that first move and break the ice. Maybe start a virtual book club for moms, or a virtual wine night?!

I know we all get annoyed with social media but honestly, Instagram and Facebook have helped me connect with so many moms in the area. Personally half of my friends are from meeting on Instagram that are fellow mom bloggers, or moms in Facebook groups. I find it so refreshing just to see what other moms out there in the area are doing. Not only does it inspire me to become a better mom, but it helps take my mind off of everyday things.

If you know someone that is a new mom, a stay-at-home mom, or a family that just moved into your neighborhood, make sure you reach out and welcome them. I’m sure they would appreciate your friendship and being open and friendly. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be the person to reach out…especially now more than ever.

How are you making new mom friends, and staying connected to them? Please tell us in the comments below!

One Is the Loneliest Number?

When we first decided that we were going to embark on this journey called parenthood, I knew two things:

1. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and…

2. We were okay with having just one child.

Once my son was born, we relished in the time we were with him. My husband is a teacher, and my son’s birth happened to occur right when summer break started, so we were all able to be together in the first few months. That was a luxury and a blessing that I do not take for granted.

It was a magical time, a scary time, a time of transition. We were blessed with a healthy son who was blowing our minds every day. And every day I felt that my son was our one and only.

As time went on, it was obvious to those around me that I was suffering from anxiety. To say it was mild would be putting it mildly. I was in the midst of postpartum anxiety, and it stuck around for a while. It upsets me in retrospect that there were times I probably was not completely present or did not enjoy things the way I should have. But I can’t dwell on those feelings, and I chose to do something about the issue at hand.

I am glad that I can say I came out stronger and wiser. But this did little to change my mind about having another child. If anything, it solidified my decision to only have one. I certainly could not imagine going through that again and did not see how I would avoid it if I was to have another child. So our plan stayed the course and on I went in my journey of being the mother of an only child.

This has its own pros and cons.

My son gets a LOT of attention. He was the first grandchild on both my husband’s and my side of the family.

He was surrounded by love…and spoiled. My husband and I played into this. We rarely said no to things because we were fortunate enough to give those things to him and did not have another child on the horizon making us think twice about a purchase or trip. My son is grateful (sometimes) for the things he receives, but he also tends to expect things as a result.

Sharing is an interesting concept to him, regardless of playdates and early childhood friendships. Having things go his way was a natural way of life because there was no one else looking to have things go their way when it came to what games to play, what show to put on the TV, and so on.

We have made a conscious effort to have him be respectful and to have good manners. But to this day there is a part of him that expects things, and we are working on that. Do I think this would be the case with a sibling as well? I do, actually. It’s just part of his personality.

And like every parent, we are on a learning curve, and parenting an only child has its own set of rules that we try and be cognizant of in the same way that parenting several children will have others doing things in their own way.

There is an unspoken, or maybe not so unspoken, taboo about having an only child. I am always asked if we will have another, and I can see it in someone’s eye when they are trying to figure out why on earth we haven’t yet. You hear how it must “be so easy for you” just having one.

Well, I’m not so sure about that.

We are the ones to play with when friends are not around, and parenting, in general, is no walk in the park, whether you have one or five! Each comes with its own set of challenges.

Do I think it’s okay to have just one child? Yes, I do.

Do I think that it’s okay for us to change our minds if we decide to have another? Of course.

I have always stood up for the decision for one because I know it is not the norm and I know that for some it’s not by choice. For us, it has been, and that’s okay too!

No one should ever feel bad just because it isn’t what the majority does. Each family is a gift, no matter what the number. And we are enjoying our army of three right now.

Turns out one isn’t the loneliest number after all. It is, for us, just the right number.

How do you feel about having just one child?

Baby Car Organization: Ditch the Diaper Bag!

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babycarsupplies

crinkle toy  / Solly Baby wrap  /   bags  /  hand sanitizer spray  /  changing pad  /  blankets  /  diapers  /  wipes  /  tote

I’ve always thought that organization and preparation equaled success. Well, basically every success theory I’ve ever heard can be thrown out the window now that I’m a mom. Instead, remember “it’s just a phase” on repeat. But a little effort can’t hurt, right?!

So let’s start with outings

I hate the idea of having a heavy diaper bag, and I am rarely THAT far from my car. So while the baby was just a few weeks old, I created my permanent car baby station. It has saved me so many times! It’s like having baby’s full changing table with me at all times. Even though our outings aren’t always perfect, my car organization has helped immensely, and I never have to carry a giant diaper bag (which is great because I’m lazy).

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My list is geared towards babies, but you could have a field day prepping one of these for toddlers!

Utility Tote
These can be found everywhere these days! I love this dotted one from ThirtyOne, or you could even use the large, structured, rectangular grocery carriers from Walmart for a budget option.

Diapers
And wipes. A full case of each. It is wonderful knowing that when I leave the house, I will have plenty of diapers. I can throw two in my purse or grab my changer (below) if I need them, but not having to worry about how many I’ll need when I walk out the door is great. I love Bambo diapers and Honest Co. wipes.

Blankets
I use a thick one for laying down on the trunk surface for changes (SUVs are the best!) and a light one. I never liked the muslin blankets for swaddling, but I love having them around for miscellaneous cleanups and nursing.

Bags
Mini Arm and hammer trash bags are great to have on hand for so many gross things.

Extra Outfits in Ziplocs
I have a few in various sizes. I don’t want to finally need one months down the road and have it be too small. I pack them individually in small Ziplocs so that I have a clean place to put the outfit likely covered in poop.

Waters
Because nursing. So thirsty.

Snack Bars
Because snacks.

Toys
Just one or two toys to keep in the car permanently. My five-month-old James is obsessed with this crinkle toy. The uneven points are not healthy for my need for perfection, but whatever.

Skip Hop Travel Pad
I leave this in the car and either put it in my purse if I’ll be far from the car or stick it in the stroller and leave the whole purse behind! I like this one.

Hand Sanitizer
I like The Honest Company’s lavender version.

*I keep my Solly Baby wrap inside the house, but if you only use a baby carrier outside the house or have two carriers, leave one in the car!

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don't mind the other car essentials - beach chairs!
Don’t mind the other car essentials – beach chairs!

I was darn near giddy when I got my trunk basket all setup. It’s the little things!

What baby and kid things do you keep in your car to stay organized?

We’re Still at Home, and We Needed This

Regardless of our employment status, most of us have been in the same emotional boat these last few months. I will add, some are more stressed than others: financially, relationally, medically, etc.

Even though our state had started to open back up some, we have chosen to continue staying “home” for the long haul. Several reasons brought us to this decision, and man has it been a heavy one. I’ve experienced major FOMO as I see others getting together, people going to the beaches, and restaurants. I fear that our friends will forget about us by the time all this is over.

But at the end of the day, for personal reasons, we believe our decision is best for our family.

Best doesn’t always mean easier, of course. My mind alone has gone all over the map between feeling relieved and thrilled to be “stuck” home together as a family and feeling so tired of this. Mix in three other people’s minds and we have had some hard days together. But overall, I’ve come to the conclusion that our family really needed this season.

GAB Photography, LLC

A New Family

We are still within our first year as a family of four. We added our second son through adoption just several months back. My husband and I took a few weeks to cocoon after he came home, and continued with some boundaries for people outside our family for months. We were just starting to see more friends and bring our new toddler to church for a handful of weeks before the state started shutting down.

As we started staying home again, it felt much like another season of cocooning — only this time we can communicate with our toddler more, and we know each other better than those first few weeks! So in that way, this season at home has been “easier”. But of course, there was an increase in challenges with our older son schooling from home and the fact that we can’t go anywhere!

Even though some days I’m driven up a wall over constant sibling rivalry, toddler tantrums, and school-age attitude, I can see now that we needed this extra time to be a family.

Struggles in Adoption

It’s common in older child adoption for there to be a preference for one parent over the other at the beginning. Each of our kids bonded with us differently, and the attachment issue with one of them still lingers.

This season has forced us to stay in the trenches of the hard feelings together. It’s forced us to buckle down, talk through pain, hug it out, and come up with a way forward together. We’ve had very limited connections with other people to provide a buffer or distraction from the hard stuff. We haven’t had the luxury of ignoring issues because we’re not rushing off to school or sports. We have had to FACE problems head-on… because what else is there to do? And how else are we going to survive this season together?

Over the last few months at home, I have seen a major step forward in our bonding. The child who has struggled with attachment to one of us has begun seeking affection where otherwise it would be avoided. The feelings of closeness have grown, and we are the best we’ve been as a family thus far.

There are still tantrums, attitudes, and sibling fights — all the typical stuff, of course. There are still days that I feel low and slow-moving or have a hard time keeping my head on straight.

But there’s a new balance.

We’re learning how to be together more and more. We are figuring out how to work as a family. Although I look forward to this season being behind us all, I’m finding HOPE, LIFE, and HEALING in this time at home with my family.

at home

Resource Roundup :: Kids Activities

Summer activities may look a little bit different this summer, but we still need things to keep the kiddos busy. We’ve rounded up all of our favorite kids’ activities, most of which you can do at home or outside!

Click on an image below to head directly to the post. We’ll continue adding new posts here, so check back regularly!

Dear Mom Pooch

Hey, mom pooch. I know. We don’t talk too often, but I think it’s time we have a little chat.

Over the last few years, we’ve built what I like to think is a love-hate relationship. One moment we’re working together and in sync. The next…not so much.

I feel you have a really bad habit of getting in the way at the most inconvenient of times. Like that time I wore my cute dress out for brunch with some friends and they thought I was three months pregnant? Or that time my son pushed on my belly and called it squishy? Or my favorite, whenever I sit down and you do that weird muffin top thing?

Those weren’t good times mom pooch.

And although I’ve made some efforts to get you back toned and in shape, it just seems that you want to stick around for a while. But mom pooch, it’s been a few years and I think we need to squash this love-hate relationship we have going on.

I’ve grown to embrace this odd bond we have. You represent a journey that will forever stay in my heart. You housed the space for my son and kept him safe for all of nine months. Not to mention, you’ve endured some changes as well.

You went from this cute little flat tummy with a flashy belly ring to wrinkles, stretch marks, and skin that sags. You endured being kicked and punched from the inside and stretching out as far as you can on the outside. I get your frustration as well and I apologize for not really seeing things from your view.

And to be honest, I feel a tad guilty for trying to hide you.

I can admit I was a bit selfish. At one point all I wanted to do was show you off. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of this naked belly as you grew rounder and larger to make room for my son. I would even allow others to place their hand on you in admiration.

And what I do to repay you? I’ve stuffed you into some shapewear and pulled my mom jeans over you. I refuse to wear a bikini without a tunic over me, and I even took out the flashy belly ring you loved so much. And when I was really upset…I neglected to give you carbs!

Mom pooch, I haven’t been fair to you.

I once viewed you as this thing that took over my body and wouldn’t go away when instead I should have loved you for being a part of my journey into motherhood.

Society has taught me to hide you and try a plethora of belly exercises to reduce the extra sag you come with. But, let me be the bigger person and say this…I don’t want to fight anymore. Summer is upon us and let’s just face it, you aren’t going anywhere. I don’t feel like doing the crunches and other exercises, and I love french fries way too much to withhold them from you.

So mom pooch, let’s give this another shot. Let’s rebuild our relationship so that we can love one another. Let’s embrace where we’re at in our journey today. Let’s be one. We’re in this together!

The Laziest DIY At-Home Carnival that My Kids Absolutely Loved

This morning I woke up already crabby about the day. I have work to do, a paper for my graduate program that I don’t want to write, and two little boys to keep entertained all day. I flat out told my husband that I “didn’t feel like doing today”.

After so many months at home, I am getting burnt out on finding ways to have fun. Some days are better than others, but yesterday was not my best and today was on-track to be the same. This morning, I plopped the kids in front of Daniel Tiger while I took our puppy for a walk to clear my head and get a plan for the day. (Don’t worry, my husband was at home). The episode they were watching was all about going to a carnival, so I decided that today, to turn our (mostly my) attitude around, we’d have a carnival. At our house. Using what we had. Of course, my five-year-old and three-year-old were beside themselves with excitement.

Our carnival planning started during breakfast where we all brainstormed games and “rides” that our carnival could have. I thought about things that I could re-purpose throughout our house, and honestly, it was easy to make a whole list of activities. I asked my boys what the name of our carnival should be and they called it the “Great Day Carnival” which was really the perfect name, given the way my day started.

Once we had our list of activities, I asked the boys to tell me how much they thought each game and ride should cost. While I made the signs, the boys sorted out pennies from our coin jar so they would have money to play the games (learning activity #1).

My older son was in charge of creating the “tickets” by writing a “t” on little pieces of paper (learning activity #2). They worked together to set up the “stuffed animal pit” that they would get to jump into, while I got the carnival snack bar ready (popcorn and lemonade).

When the carnival was open, we moved around the house to each activity. Each sign had a number with how many coins they would owe me. So they would have to read the number (learning activity #3) and count out the number of pennies that they would need to pay me to play (learning activity #4).

After they completed each activity, I gave them a color-coded ticket. Red for my older boy and blue for my younger (their favorite colors of course). After completing all of the activities and rides, they turned in their tickets for a prize! The prize was some pop rocks that my husband bought them for the 4th of July. They were beyond excited, and it just happened to be something that we had around the house. Easy. If we wouldn’t have had those, popsicles would have been the prize. Super easy.

Activities

  1. Ring Toss (throwing a pool diving ring around five bottles of olive oil, haha).
  2. Throwing balls at a stack of cups to see how many they could knock over.
  3. Water shooter dino knock-down.
  4. Marshmallow on a string. (Put your hands behind your back and try to eat the marshmallow just using your mouth. Always funny!)
  5. The “office chair ride” where I pushed them around the kitchen at rolling desk chairs and spun them around. They laughed their little heads off.

Our carnival from planning to playing lasted from about 8:30 am-12:30 pm and the boys had a BLAST. I was tired and sweaty when it was over, but it was such a fun change of pace for all of us. I’m hoping they always remember the time their mom made a carnival at their house! Plus, they kind of did a little learning today too.

The moral of this story is that there really is so much you can do with stuff around your house. Your kids could care less if it is Pinterest-worthy. They just want to do something different with you that makes all of you laugh and have fun together. I hope this inspires you to have your own carnival, or come up with something out of the ordinary that can make everyone smile for a couple of hours! I promise it doesn’t have to be hard.

The Exclusion Of Motherhood

As the nation collectively realizes some hard truths about racial discrimination and injustice and many advocate for systemic and sustainable change, it has become increasingly clear that while motherhood may unite us, other identifying aspects of our person may sadly divide us, leaving many mothers without a tribe or, perhaps, with a tribe that often unknowingly doesn’t feel truly inclusive or reflective of that mother’s truth.

When we talk about mothers writ large, our language is prescribed in its gender normativity. Mothers are heterosexual and married say all the memes complaining about husbands and the casual way in which we assume that a new mom acquaintance will have a husband who is part of the fabric of the family. We aren’t trying to be cruel or thoughtless when we fail to consider that a mom may not be married, may not be heterosexual, but in the unspoken way in which we don’t not assume, we tacitly imply that a mom who fails to check those boxes is somehow ‘other’.

When my friend, a mother of two beautiful little girls, quietly came out last year as gay after a ten-year marriage to a man, she lost her mom tribes. Most people didn’t even know what was going on at the time and had they known, I am sure that the vast majority would have been accepting, supportive and kind, but my friend felt that her truth left her an island in the sea of motherhood.

When this friend recently posted an open invitation to all to join her for a pride walk across the Ravenel Bridge to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, I went. It was a small group of mostly women. While many may not have attended because of prior commitments, the very public nature of the walk may have also deterred those members of the LGBTQ+ community who did not want to feel exposed to the judgment of passerby’s.

My friend and her partner carried two large pride flags that she had made herself with QVC pipes, tape, and her personal flags because she couldn’t find any locally. As we began walking as a group up the bridge, some people walking past vocalized their support while the vast majority ignored us. Some cars honked their support as they drove by, but one man gave my friend the middle finger.

As a white, heterosexual, married woman, I benignly live in the comfort of the majority.

I know that I am the overwhelming demographic of any mom group and have never been concerned that I would not be accepted. I take my acceptance as a right when it is truly a privilege. My friend – an incredible mother, a Pinterest mom who makes the most incredible cakes for her daughters’ birthdays, and who routinely makes hard sacrifices for her family – she feels in her soul that this privilege may be revoked at any moment upon deviation from the accepted standard of motherhood.

While I, and others, may individually stand in solidarity with all members of the LGBTQ+ community and all other mothers who feel that they would be unwelcome in any situation for any reason, I know that my voice isn’t loud enough or strong enough to stem the tidal wave of exclusion that they feel. My voice is small, but I send this piece into the universe, a tiny pebble in the pond of motherhood, with the hope that the ripple it may cause will send back a crash of change for my friend and all moms who feel that their story is yet untold.

Curious About Cord Blood Banking? Here’s What You Need to Know!

This post is sponsored by Cord Blood Registry, however, all opinions expressed are our own.

Whether you are pregnant for the first or fifth time, having a baby can be such an exciting time filled with planning and big decisions. While choosing to bank your baby’s cord blood or cord tissue may be something you have heard of, thought about, or even looked into, sometimes the information can be hard to decipher or maybe even overwhelming.

I have had four births and my OB has never mentioned cord blood banking to me. I have heard about it, but my husband and I did not take the time to thoroughly research it before our deliveries. July is National Cord Blood Awareness Month and I was excited to have the opportunity to speak with Erica Hoppenrath, the local representative for Cord Blood Registry (CBR), to get more information on this process and answer some common questions about this important healthcare decision.

What is a stem cell?

Stem cells are the body’s most powerful cells and could be considered “the body’s own repair kit.” They are strong, powerful, and amazing! Stem cells can change into different types of cells within the body. There are two main types of stem cells: Hematopoietic and Mesenchymal. Hemopoietic stem cells are found in cord blood and can turn into blood and immune system cells like red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Mesenchymal stem cells are found in cord tissue and can turn into connective tissue such as muscle, cartilage, bone, and fat. When you bank both cord blood and cord tissue, you are getting both types of stem cells.

Why bank cord blood and/or tissue?

Banking cord blood and tissue ensures that you have it available should you or your family members need it throughout your child’s life. Cord blood is currently being used for transplant medicine, cancer, lymphoma, and other disorders. There have been 40,000 cord blood transplants worldwide to regenerate healthy blood and immune systems! If you or your family ever need stem cells you are most likely to be matched with a close family member. The stem cells from your baby’s cord blood or cord tissue will always be a match for your baby and there is a 75% chance that it will be a match for your other children, should they need stem cells. Banking your baby’s cord blood is the medical safety net if one of your close family members should ever need stem cells.

Currently, stem cells are being researched for some very exciting uses in regenerative medicine including neurological conditions like brain injury, cardiovascular conditions like Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, autoimmune diseases like Type 1 Diabetes, MS, and Lupus, and even tissue or organ damage. Research is even being done investigating the use of stem cell therapy in Autism.

What is the process of collecting cord blood and tissue?

Once you and your partner have decided that you would like to bank with CBR, a kit will be sent to you in the mail. Make sure to pack your kit in your hospital or birth center bag and let your doctor and nurses know that you want to collect cord blood, cord tissue, or both at delivery. The procedure after delivery is quick and painless! Have Dad or the support person call the courier to pick up the collection and you will be notified when the blood and tissue are safely stored.

How much does it cost?

If you are considering cord blood banking, CBR has many different payment plans, so there are plenty of options! CBR is also the only company that has the Newborn Possibilities Program, which gives families with a qualifying medical need free cord blood processing and five years of storage for cord blood and cord tissue. If you are considering banking with CBR, make sure to contact Erica Hoppenrath, the Lowcountry’s resource for all things cord blood and tissue banking. She can find the best payment plan for you and offer special pricing on the processing fee. There is even a plan as low as $47 a month for 3 years!

Can I practice delayed cord clamping while still collecting cord blood and tissue?

Yes! ACOG and WHO recommends waiting 30-60 seconds before clamping the umbilical cord after delivery. If the cord is clamped after waiting 60 seconds you will still have enough blood for cord blood banking. CBR specifically designed their kit for maximizing cord blood collection volume. In CBR’s experience, healthcare providers have been able to collect a sufficient volume of cord blood for storage even when practicing delayed cord clamping. If you and your provider decide to fully delay cord clamping until the cord stops pulsing you can still preserve your baby’s cord tissue, which contains mesenchymal stem cells (the cells that turn into connective tissue such as bone, muscle, cartilage and fat).

I am interested! What do I do now?

Parents Guide to Cord Blood Banking is an informative website that is non-branded and a wonderful resource for parents wanting more information on cord blood banking. Make sure you do your research on storage facilities. Cord Blood Registry’s storage facility is in Tucson, Arizona which is low risk for natural disasters like tornadoes or earthquakes. There is someone on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Go to the website and take the virtual lab tour. You will feel at ease knowing that CBR is taking every precaution to make sure your cord blood and tissue are being preserved and banked safely!

I hope this helped answer some of your questions and concerns regarding cord blood and tissue banking and usage. I wish I would have done my research with my four births, but, hopefully, this will save you some time if you are pregnant or hope to become pregnant soon!

Connect with CBR:

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E-mail Erica Hoppenrath

Mark Your Calendar!

In honor of Cord Blood Awareness month, CBR will be hosting a webinar for expecting parents on July 29th. Parents can enter to win a $200 gift card! Please email Erica Hoppenrath at [email protected] to register.

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