September 26, 2012 09:00 AM

Jeff Kravitz /FilmMagic

Giuliana and Bill Rancic are parents!

After years of fertility struggles — including unsuccessful attempts at in vitro fertilization and subsequent miscarriage — the couple welcomed Edward Duke via gestational surrogate on Aug. 29.

Before the birth, the stars of Giuliana & Bill began preparing for their baby boy and were introduced to the benefits of cord blood banking.

The first-time parents, who chose to store their newborn’s cord blood, have since partnered with Cord Blood Registry and together they have launched the Healthy Futures Campaign, an initiative to inform parents on their choices regarding their baby’s umbilical cord.

In an exclusive blog for PEOPLE, Giuliana and Bill open up about their latest partnership — and touch on life with their new baby boy.

It’s no secret that we’ve always been very open about our lives. Let’s be honest, we have the Style Network TV crew following us around half the time filming Giuliana & Bill!

But in all seriousness, we love being able to share our everyday challenges and successes with our wonderful fans.

Not too long after we got married, we knew we wanted to have children. Like many families today, we struggled with infertility and went through a series of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. We weren’t going to let this get in our way ­ — we still really wanted to have a family!

That’s about the time we started exploring gestational surrogacy. And believe me, we were beyond thrilled to finally be able to tell everyone some FANTASTIC news with everyone last April when we could share publicly that we were expecting.

When it started to become a reality that we would soon have a baby, we began thinking through all the ways to prepare. You think of all the obvious things: the nursery, the stroller, the car seat, the adorable onesies for every day of the week (Okay, that last one was from Giuliana).

But then we also started thinking about some maybe not-so-obvious ways to prepare, like cord blood banking.

It’s something we were introduced to about 12 years ago when Giuliana’s first niece was born. Giuliana’s sister banked all four of her kids’ cord blood stem cells with Cord Blood Registry (CBR), the world’s largest and most experienced stem cell bank.

CBR came highly recommended to us, both by Giuliana’s sister and our OB/GYN, but we also did our own homework and visited the lab right before Edward Duke was born. We even saw where his cord blood stem cells would be stored!

Some parents might ask us why we banked. After our own health scares and all that we went through to finally get pregnant, it was a no-brainer for us. We’ve always taken charge of our own health and wanted to do the same for our son even before he was born.

Like all parents, we want a healthy future for our child, but no one can predict the future. The value of cord blood stem cells is something we want every parent to be informed about.

It’s why we partnered with CBR to launch the Healthy Futures Campaign, so we can empower all expectant parents to make an informed decision about their umbilical cord storage options.

Because many expecting parents are not adequately informed about the value of cord blood stem cells, they may not know saving it can provide more medical options for their family ­ today and in the future.

Though we hope we’ll never need to use them, Edward Duke’s stem cells will be available if we should ever need them.

At this point, we couldn’t be more overjoyed to have a beautiful, healthy newborn at home with us. Looking at his precious face makes going through all of our previous pregnancy struggles worth it. Whether we’re in Chicago or L.A., we’re a happy family, and we can’t wait for what’s in store for us next.

— Giuliana and Bill Rancic

The Rancics are paid spokespersons for Cord Blood Registry. They are not receiving free or discounted cord blood banking.

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