by gillian claire: September 2013



Being Prepared / Sponsored Post.

( asher, nine days old. )
I definitely still look back to Asher’s birth a lot and think about how it has affected me in many, many ways. Some of these ways are positive and some are negative. One thing that I certainly learned through it all is that you can never be completely prepared for anything. Some of the things that I did in preparation for Asher’s birth were to plan to be at a hospital over an hour away so that I could pursue a completely unmedicated birth with midwives, read everything I could on natural childbirth, write down certain unconventional medical requests for Asher’s treatment in the hospital and get involved in a skin to skin research study that followed mothers who held their babies for extended and uninterrupted times following birth. I did not, however, prepare for my son to be born with immediate medical concerns, be whisked away from me shortly after birth and spend a week in the NICU.


I bring up this topic of "being prepared" today because I was contacted by LifebankUSA to share with you their mission. It is something that I feel is very important for pregnant mothers to consider when preparing for birth. I had been briefly introduced to the idea of cord blood banking during my pregnancies but I never learned too much about it. There were so many other decisions and expenses to consider that banking my babies' cord blood always got put on the back burner.

LifebankUSA is a company that offers both cord blood banking as well as the combination of placental and cord blood banking. I’m sure that a lot of you have heard of cord blood banking by now. By collecting and preserving stem cells from the umbilical cord of your baby at birth, you could potentially one day save the same child’s life or that of a family member. Placental and cord blood banking is something new that i hadn’t heard of before and that is currently only offered through LifebankUSA. Placental and cord blood banking preserves stem cells from both the umbilical cord as well as the placenta. Banking placental blood in addition to the blood from the umbilical cord increases the total number of stem cells available which could increase the probability of a future transplant success and survival as well the potential to treat additional medical conditions that could affect your child or family members in the future! Currently, LifebankUSA also offers free placental tissue banking to those who chose to bank with them which could be of medical value in the future.


I am so interested to know, have any of you mothers banked your baby’s blood? Why or why not? This is definitely something that I want to consider if I ever have another baby. The cost is very reasonable especially when you think of the long term benefits.
Be sure to check out LifebankUSA if you would like to learn more about placental and cord blood banking. Also, if you "like" their page on facebook you can enter to win a 4Moms mamaRoo baby seat!
( I was compensated for sharing my opinions. Thanks for supporting my family by reading! )

kindergarten, first day.

we just finished our first week of homeschool at our house!
this is roman's third year of homeschooling. i did two years of preschool with him at home and now to my amazement, he has somehow gone and become a wonderful, happy, round-faced kindergartener! we always wait until after labor day to start school, which i love because i'm not even ready to consider the thought of summer ending until at least september!
we have started off the first day of school the same each of these three years. i have roman color a sign  and take a first day of school pictures. of course, we always include asher who has so far completed "baby school" and two years of "toddler school" ;)
i also have roman draw a self-portrait and write his name. then i trace his hand and i have done the same first day of school interview with him all three years. it has been so fun to compare each year and see how he has grown and changed!
it's very strange to feel the years passing by through this ritual. i still remember so clearly roman's first day of preschool at 3, when asher was still a tiny newborn in his little white jammies sucking away on his paci while we made play-doh.
it has been such a blessing to stay home and be with my boys everyday and to teach them and care for them. it has definitely not always been easy especially with our wild spirited child by our side constantly trying to undo any and all school progress.
but it is indeed a blessing, to see my little roman's face light up on the first day of kindergarten with the most genuine smile in the world.
peeking out of the covers saying, "is it school day mommy??"
and to know that i don't have to pack him up and ship him off, just yet.
these boys are my heart and i feel so happy and blessed to be able to have them home with me. ;)
i went back and found our first day of school photos from last year to compare. and here are some photos from where we were this time 2 years ago!


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