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Cord Blood Donation

July was Cord Blood Donation Awareness Month! I had plans to take a picture of my thank you note from Bloodworks Northwest and talk about my experience last week, but here it is now early August (IT IS AUGUST?!) and I missed the awareness month. But I’m still going to talk about it.

Donating cord blood is something I wanted to do with Gabriel, but the hospital I delivered at didn’t have the facilities for it, so I double-triple-checked that I could with Fae and am so happy we did!

During the hospital tour I asked about the process and they handed me over a packet of information and a large survey to be filled out and handed over at delivery. Some other programs have you mail it in before delivery, so it just depends. I opted for donation to patients vs donation for scientific studies because cord blood stem cells can help cure:

  • Anemias
  • Bone Marrow Failure
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Various Immune Disorders
  • Leukemia

Fae was still able to experience delayed clamping and cord blood collection happened without any work from me. It all happened at the end of the table and voila! Fae and I may have just saved someone’s life.

If you are currently pregnant talk to your OB/Midwife about the cord blood donation options and see if where you delivery is donation-friendly. It’s pretty much donated or thrown away after your baby is done with it, so use it or lose it!

Note: I am very squeamish and don’t even donate blood as I frequently pass out and it would be a major day ruin-er. My annual physical is hard enough for me to get through, and this was a total drop in the bucket. So even for those people who think it is icky, I highly recommend. This is an amazing opportunity to help a stranger fighting for their life. Plus it’s pretty magical what science and the human body can do.


Where Am I?

The day after I gave birth I had this moment of panic about needing to immediately start job hunting. I need a job, like NOW. My brain was in manic get-back-to-it mode and thank god in that moment I was in a hospital bed and not anywhere near a computer. First of all, maternity leave. Second of all, I don’t fit into any of my clothes yet. How would I even go to a job interview? Oh please disregard my leaking breasts and the fact that these trousers are unbuttoned, I just had a baby. I definitely need a minute to sort myself out before I go trying to convince other people to pay me money for my savvy professional writing skills. But the...


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Fae Was Born, Part 2

*Warning, some of this post is gross. If you would rather not, here is your out.  So, yay! We made a baby! And it was not the greatest most epic experience of my life, but it was over and that was pretty great too. About two hours after delivery the hospital policy is to move you to a recovery room. At this point it was 5-ish AM, my epidural had not worn off and I couldn’t totally lift my left leg on my own. My nurse had me scoot to the edge of the bed and swing my legs over. I sat there for a little bit, feeling woozy and shaky. You know – I had just pushed a baby out of myself, I was bleeding a lot, I had actually been awake...


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Fae Was Born, Part 1

There is a bit of backstory to this that I haven’t talked about because I wasn’t sure how it was all going to play out, but now is the time to share. It ended up that I tested positive for Strep B, which is not a major deal, mostly just a slight complication. It’s a build up of a bacteria around your nethers. Everyone has this bacteria in them, and they come and go. I was negative for Gabriel’s birth. The fix is IV antibiotics at least 4 hours before delivery. The danger (thought it is a low-ish risk) is that the baby could get pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, etc. So if I hadn’t been able to get the IV and wait 4...


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4th Anniversary: Fruit and Flowers

We spent our 4th anniversary like this: And a little bit like this: This year of marriage has probably been our hardest. I don’t know if Kamel feels that way, but I definitely do. I wasn’t interested in the compromise of marriage. Marriage is work on a personal level. Loving your partner is not the hard part, it’s being constantly capable of considering another person, being willing and able to put them first. There were lots of times in the last year where I didn’t feel willing to do that, where I was spread too thin, where I really wanted to just stomp away and slam the doors and say I Don’t Want To. And...


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The Catch Up

Fae Lira was born!! I am no longer pregnant, and that was exactly the first words out of my mouth after she sprang forth from my womb. (Imagery right there, folks. Like maybe she had a top hat and a cane and she did a little jig? TA DAAAAA!) How that all came to be will be a story for next week because, guess what? Having 2 kids is way harder than having just 1. Like … holy shit what did we do what were we thinking, I GUESS THIS IS OUR LIFE NOW. Fae is the best and Gabe is the cutest big brother but I seem to never have any free hands and my laundry just tripled. Also! It was Kamel and my anniversary yesterday! And I didn’t...


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Who the hell is she?


Seattle/Writer/Adventurer/Married to Kamel/Maker of many mistakes/Mom of 1 Gabriel and 1 TBD/Baker of things/Roaster of Vegetables/Maker of videos/Normal life photographer/Romantic/Irreverent/Honest

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.