When I had Elijah I saw a bunch of information and stuff about banking his cord blood. The purpose being, if he some day contracts leukemia or something similarly horrid, the stem cells in the cord blood could be used to treat him. You see advertisements on TV for it all the time. However, it costs a buttload of money that we don't and didn't have. So we didn't do it. His cord blood essentially got thrown in the trash. It was only recently that I heard about donating cord blood. As I understand it (and my understanding is from hearsay and online research, so don't necessarily trust it), the cord blood goes to a public bank like when you donate bone marrow and can be used to treat anyone who needs it who is a genetic match.
When I heard about this I started thinking why doesn't EVERYONE donate the cord blood? It doesn't hurt mom or baby one iota, if you don't do it the cord blood gets tossed in the trash, and it doesn't cost you any money. In fact, in an ideal world, if everyone donated their baby's cord blood, there would be a donor match for everyone who needed it (in theory, of course, I'm not a medical professional). However, as I began to do more research I learned the answer to my question of why everyone doesn't do it. It's because it's nearly friggin impossible to do!
For one thing, if your hospital doesn't do it, you have to find a public bank that will send you a kit to give to your doctor when the baby is delivered. In Kansas City, the only hospital chain that does it there is St. Luke's and I am delivering at Shawnee Mission. Another problem that I've seen other people run into in my online research is that some doctors will charge you a fee to do it. It seems rather petty to me for them to do so and, fortunately, my doctor doesn't charge any extra fees, she just needs for me to get the kit for her. She said that Mayo Clinic does it, but when I went to their website (http://www.mayoclinic.com/) I couldn't find any information on how to donate to them. (If anyone knows how, please let me know.)
The two most helpful websites I found are these:
It was through the second one that I finally found an online application for donating. I'm going to (hopefully) fill it out today and get my doctor to sign off on it next week when I see her again. I'm kind of pushing the deadline since you have to be less than 34 weeks to start the process and I'm almost 32 weeks, but I guess I can just barely start it. I hope it's successful, although I don't know because I've never done it before and this is pretty much my only shot (because I'm too far along in my pregnancy to try somewhere else). I will update everyone on how it goes as it progresses.