Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | August 26, 2009

dr appointment, cord blood, and asshole husband

I had an appointment with the new obstetrician this afternoon. I wasn’t scheduled for another two weeks, but yesterday I realized that I had taken 10 tums smoothies by noon and it still wasn’t helping the out of control heartburn I was having. I called and they had a cancellation for this afternoon, so I took it. I was feeling a little nervous about being between doctors anyway, and it made sense to see her sooner rather than later.

The appointment went pretty well. Not great, but I left feeling better than with my old doctor. I got the okay to take pepcid for my wicked heartburn. I left with a glucola bottle for the gestational diabetes test that I need to do in a few weeks. We discussed cord blood banking (more on that later), my tailbone pain (she said keep going to physical therapy, but other than that there’s nothing that can be done), doulas, and I got to hear the heartbeat, a lovely 149 bpm. She said that the anatomy scan report looked good. No mention though of the hand that the u/s tech couldn’t see because it was up behind the baby’s head. At the time, the tech said they might do another ultrasound in a few weeks. But apparently, when my old doctor looked at the photos, he marked everything off on the checklist and said he saw everything, and that is what got faxed to the new doctor. So, no more ultrasounds for me, sadly, unless I go pay for an elective one. I may just do that.

I chickened out about asking for permission to rent a doppler. I kind of feel like I still would really like that reassurance. Then again, I’ve made it this far without one, through the 10 week to 20 week scary period before feeling movement. I am feeling the baby move several times a day on average, and now would be the time when most people are sending their rented dopplers back. Part of me doesn’t want to start out with this OB being needy and psycho, and that part won out during the appointment.

The great thing is that the nurse that got me checked in also happens to work as a doula. She just had her 4th and 5th babies (twins!) twelve weeks ago, so she has been through childbirth herself a number of times. She seems really nice and nonjudgmental, and really enjoys what she does. And, she costs less than the other doula I contacted (who, by the way, never got back to me about her availability, and that was about a month ago). She’s not scared off by my Christmas due date. I really liked her.

Here is where I need some advice. I brought up to the new OB that we are interested in banking the umbilical cord blood. My husband is a childhood cancer survivor. He had a super rare and weird type of cancer that normally only occurs in old people. He had a shitty chance of survival at the time, and recovered, but has been told that he has a higher chance of developing some other type of cancer (which of course freaks me out completely). On both sides of his family, there are some really rare cancers. His mom and grandma both died of cancer. His cousin (on his dad’s side) had a tumor on her leg and died in her early 30’s. He is convinced that he has a familial predisposition to cancerous mutations. Because of that fact, we were looking into cord blood banking.

Now, most doctors will say that the chance that you will actually need and be able to use the stem cells from cord blood is so small that it’s not worth paying the money to bank it. I totally get that. But we have reason to worry about a higher risk of cancer than the general population. When I brought it up today, the new doctor shared her opinion about it. She thinks it is a waste of money and that the cord blood banks prey on peoples’ fears. She thinks they are unethical and pretty much useless.

When I explained about the cancer thing, she said that most cancers that children get are blood cancers, and that you wouldn’t want to put bad blood cells back into a kid anyway because it wouldn’t do any good. She said the only time she would recommend it if there were a sibling that already had some type of cancer that might be treatable with stem cells when a new baby is on the way. She said she only has 1 or 2 patients a year bank the cord blood, and so far none of them have had to use it, therefore she doesn’t recommend it. I don’t think those are big enough numbers to be able to draw any conclusions from. I think it mostly reflects the frugality of the area we live in. And of course you hope to never have to use it. That’s kind of the point. You hope you won’t need it, but if you do, it’s there. And if you need it, it’s priceless.

Logically, I can understand the low chance of ever using the cord blood stem cells. Hopefully our child(ren) will never need it. But it is insurance of sorts. And who knows what diseases will be treatable with stem cells in the future. The way I look at it is that we spent nearly $10,000 on fertility treatments to conceive this baby. What’s another two thousand to bank otherwise unattainable stem cells in case they need them someday? Sure it is a lot of money. But I bet that S’s parents would have spent far more than two grand to make his childhood cancer go away, if that was an option. Are any of you considering banking your baby’s umbilical cord blood? What are your thoughts on the matter?

I think I need to discuss this thoroughly with S. Tonight was not the night for discussion though. We had an argument because he won’t rub my feet with lotion. He hates lotion, even unscented ones that I have bought specifically because he hates the smell of any and all kinds of lotion. I don’t even normally ask anymore, but my feet are hurting lately and they are painfully dry, and I’m pregnant and hot and uncomfortable and my back hurts, and it would make me happy to have a nice foot rub with some lotion. He still wouldn’t rub my feet. Then I cried. He said his “allergies” were bothering him and that “cream” makes it worse. He can “smell it even after he washes his hands”. I told him his allergies are in his head and that if he loved me, he would do it because it makes me happy. He balked at the “if you loved me…” part. Then I got angry. Really angry. I don’t ask a lot of him. I don’t think it is unreasonable. I do things for him to make him happy. Why the fuck can’t he rub my goddamn feet the way I like, without bitching?

I was so angry that I can’t sleep. Now it’s 2:30 am and I’m up blogging about it. I am probably making a mistake by getting into a pissing match with him. He is stubborn and I am stubborn, and I could spend a lot of energy making life miserable for both of us until he caves. Or I could just accept that he won’t ever rub my feet. I don’t know which is worse.

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Responses

  1. Mmm. This ob sounds better. The doula sounds good too.

    I researched cord blood banking and decided against it, but I am considering donating it. However, I do think with your husbands medical history that 2 grand for peace of mind is fine. Why not try and get in touch with a pediatric oncologist and see if they will tell you something? I suppose they would insist on seeing your husbands medical history and etc, but the consult would have to be under two grand, right? And then that might make you decision easier.

    My husband HATES lotion. He hates being sticky, slimy, wet, etc. He has this whole process where he dries off in the shower so the floor is totally dry when he steps out. He doesn’t even like the beach for related reasons. Possibly your husband would consider rubbing your feet while dry and then maybe you could put one of those foot soothing sprays on them?

    Sometimes men are just jerks. Mister has been rubbing my feet no problem but he is still driving like an asshole and scaring the crap out of me. All I picture is the baby getting flung around the car seat like a downy ball in the dryer.

  2. Since your doctor did say she has a patient or two a year bank cord blood, at least that shows a willingness on her part to cooperate with the process. Hopefully now that she’s voiced her reservations about the practice, she’ll respect your decision and abide by your wishes without saying anything else.

    I didn’t want to ask my doctor about renting a doppler either. We ended up buying one on eBay and it’s been great! The doctor’s doppler found the heartbeat when I was in at 9 weeks, then my husband found it with ours about 10 days later. We’ve been listening every day or 2 since then and I’m 18 weeks now. I’ve had a missed miscarriage and 3 other losses in the past so its been very helpful with my anxiety levels–I wasn’t able to just assume everything was going fine on autopilot.

    No suggestions on the foot rubs–my husband told me last night he’s been slacking cause he’d read that he’s supposed to be rubbing my feet and hasn’t been.

    Take care!

  3. I hate that I was made to feel needy and psycho by my ob yesterday… I feel like saying, “So what? Deal with it!” and I’m sure I’ll come off that way with the next one too. I just feel like obs are really judgmental and when you tell them you want a doula and don’t want interventions they are doing a “yeah right, this one won’t last three hours” in their heads. Perhaps I’m a bit negative right now? It makes me want to use a midwife, but I’m just not comfortable with a non-hospital birth (and we don’t really have that option around here, especially since my state has pretty much made midwifery illegal).

    Anyhow, glad this one sounds better, but she seems to be overly weird about the cord blood stuff to me too. I think you have some pretty good reasons to do it and it’s your money and it would make you feel better, so what’s the problem? We’re probably not going to do it… we don’t have histories that make it a priority for us, but I don’t see what the problem is with doing it.

    It’s cool that you found a doula there, I hope she does not disappoint.

    Can he wear disposable gloves as a compromise? And would it help if he picked out the lotion? He sounds a bit unreasonable to me, of course I’m not big on asshole husbands today either.

  4. Glad the new doc is a little better… wish they were a lot better though.

    I think that if you want to do the cord blood banking, you should do it. I mean, your reasons sound perfectly valid to me. Which would you regret more- doing it and not needing it, or not doing it and needing it. That’s how I look at it.

    Sorry he’s being such a meanie. I agree, why doesn’t he pick out the lotion or wear gloves? Hope he comes around to it and stops being like that.

  5. ha. the end of your post made me laugh. i’ve convinced my husband to use that thick neutragena foot lotion before and he abhors it so, so, so much. good luck working through the decisions with the cord blood.

  6. I think you should bank the cord blood. I think it will give you peace of mind knowing that you’ve done all you possibly can.

    Sorry about the foot rub thing…my husband’s big hang-up is scented things. I would tell him that if he won’t do it for you you’ll just have to get a weekly pedicure or massage. Tell him how much that would cost and I bet he’ll change his tune….

  7. lol. i love your comment about “why can’t he just rub my gd feet the way i want without bitching?” that’s the way i’ve been feeling about a lot of stuff lately.

    seriously….gestating his child seems to important enough to get a foot rub.

    maybe he’s not washing his hands well enough??

    and i totally agree with good egg: get a weekly pedi and see what he says then 🙂

  8. I’m so glad you liked your new doc alright and you got a lead on a possible Doula! I hate it that you can’t get an u/s when it would just make you feel better. Sorry about the DH, mine is still in training, too. TOTALLY go with the weekly pedicure!

    DH and I both thought we would bank cord blood on at least one baby (if we can get pregnant with at least one). I’d never heard any negative advice on banking cord blood. I’ll have to look into it better!

  9. How about mineral oil? Sorry he’s being a butthead.

  10. my husband is an asshole, too

  11. I researched cord blood banking and decided not to do it, we donated instead. For most purposes, cord blood does not need to be an exact match to be used. Chances are extremely good (I would even venture to say almost certain) that in the event that your child needs a stem cell transplant, proper cord blood would be available. That little fact it something the cord blood companies don’t want you to know about – that stem cell transplants aren’t like organ transplants where you need an exact match.


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