Friday, May 30, 2008

baby guessing game

Mark Baade (Nick's father) set up a little game for fun where people can enter guesses on the baby's arrival...

If you'd like to throw in a guess for fun, you can always change it later if you get more instinctual insight... :)

on the top left of the screen you're asked to enter the name of the game you want to play.
For Danelle & Nick it is: baadebabyone
For Keely & Josh it is: baadebabytwo

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Favorite Part

(reflections from danelle)


An unexpected aspect of this pregnancy has become my most treasured part of carrying this baby. I have found that it is in watching and feeling the baby move and in sharing this with other interested loved ones, that I myself feel the most loved and cared for.

It is as though in the laying on of hands by other family members and friends that my baby and I are being blessed. As though others eagerly becoming involved in her life at this point are letting her know that she is cared for, and will be readily accepted and embraced with open arms and big hearts by family and friends. I LOVE sharing her movements with someone close to me and watching their eyes light up with excitement when they feel her big belly moves.

Some of my most favorite moments have been:

The first time I felt her movement – Feb 18 – while Nick and I were out taking a walk. And then again each of the following early mornings upon waking.

When Nick first felt her kick – Feb 29 - in the evening as we were watching something on tv and she started her nightly gymnastics routine (most rigorous between 9-11pm and again from 2-4am).

The next person to feel her kick was Mom on April 30, after standing and waiting patiently for some time.

And then Joyhannah sitting on the couch by me on May 6th, after again waiting for Baby to wake up from an afternoon nap.

Several others have also joined in on this amazing experience… When Kristina felt her kick (HARD!) on May 10th, she screamed and jumped across the truck. Haha… it was funny. She thought the baby was going to burst right out – and that is how it feels sometimes!!

Nicki and Chris caught a small bit of her brief bouts of noontime movement on May 10th as well when we ran into each other at a garage sale. I believe Nicki had felt babies moving inside before, but Chris never had. For some reason it is especially cool to be a part of people’s first-time experiences with this miracle.

When Liz Frisbie (my cousin) timidly laid her hand to rest on my belly as we were out eating supper at a restaurant, she too was kicked with a huge force and squealed with delight as she jumped out of her chair, laughing. As the first time she had ever felt a baby move inside, she couldn’t believe THAT is what it feels like…

Dianna Frisbie (cousin) and my Uncle Alan watched my belly morphing into odd shapes from across the table – the big baby turning over and entertaining all who might be watching. It is so indescribably cool to watch these powerful waves ripple my belly in unpredictable ways that I myself have no control over. After supper, while waiting for Gma, Alan, Dianna, Liz and I sat outside Ponderosa in small-town Beaver Dam, WI and everyone’s hands were reaching in for an experience of the movement. Alan reminisced that this is how his own children felt many years ago when they were yet unborn. It was a very special time.

My Aunt Joyce knelt down by the couch where we were talking, and rested her hand upon my belly. She too had seen the big belly movements from across the room and thought for a moment it may have just been me breathing. Nope! That’s the baby lifting my swollen tummy up and down and all around. Joyce was able to share in some pretty nice rolls and punches as well.

My grandmother - almost 95 years old - is overjoyed to be fast on her way to GREAT grandmotherhood! She talks with everyone she sees about this new aspect of her life. I cannot wait for her to hold this new little one. She too rested with her hands on my belly on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, the years have taken their toll on the sensitivity in her fingers/hands and although she SAW the moves, she could not feel them with her delicate, fragile hands. She is such a beautiful GREAT grandmother.

Joyhannah and I sat by the bonfire we had built one evening last week at Dad’s house…and I started to laugh a bit to myself as my bursting belly rolled and danced in the firelight. Joy nodded to me with wide eyes that she had seen the deep belly ocean waves as well.

Such amazing experiences. It is very, very, very cool indeed. And even as I join the ranks of so many women before me, from so many walks of life, who have experienced this life-altering, empowering phenomenon known as pregnancy, birth and motherhood... I cannot help but feel specially blessed for being given every moment, every sensation, every hearty kick in the side and torrential belly roll waking me at 2am.

I want to soak up every moment, every jab. I don't want to miss any part of the experience.

It is truly awesome.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Baby Formula Ingredient Linked with Diarrhea, Dehydration, Seizures

We have long known that NATURAL omega-3 fatty acids are essential for optimal brain and tissue development, circulatory function, and heart health, as well as a host of other things. They are prominent in human breast milk giving babies an excellent start at life. However, in their additive form - or synthetically derived - they do not act within the body in the same manner.

A common ingredient in infant formula was found to be linked to diarrhea, severe dehydration and seizures in babies, according to complaints submitted to the FDA.

A shocking report has been released on the adverse health effects of fatty acid supplements found in infant formulas. The Cornucopia Institute, a US-based corporate watchdog group, presented their findings on the fatty acids DHA and ARA, which are now commonly added to formula.

The report is based on a Freedom of Information Act request that the Cornucopia Institute filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the result of which was the uncovering of 98 reports filed by parents and physicians detailing incidences when babies had reacted adversely to formula containing DHA/ARA. The reported incidences range from cases of vomiting and diarrhea that stopped when babies switched to non-DHA/ARA formula to babies being treated in intensive care units for severe dehydration and seizures.

The FDA has never been convinced of the safety of DHA/ARA additives, according to the report. In its initial analysis of the additives, the FDA stated it had reached no determination on their safety status. The administration also noted that some studies had reported unexpected deaths among infants who had been fed with DHA/ARA formula. Despite its reservations, inexplicably the FDA did not withhold approval for the additives.

INFACT Canada has long questioned the use of DHA and ARA (also marketed as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) in infant formula. All major formula companies have added the fatty acids to their products in recent years, claiming that they aid in brain and eye development. However, most test results have found the additives have negligible effects on infant development. But because DHA and ARA are found in their natural form within breastmilk, formula companies market DHA/ARA additive formula as "closer to breastmilk."

Martek Biosciences Corporation, the company that supplies almost all formula companies with DHA/ARA, has admitted that the purpose of the additives is not to encourage healthy development, but to be used as a marketing tool. In its promotional material to encourage investment, Martek stated:

"Infant formula is currently a commodity market, with all products being almost identical and marketers competing intensely to differentiate their product. Even if [DHA/ARA] has no benefit, we think it would be widely incorporated into formulas, as a marketing tool and to allow companies to promote their formula as 'closer to human milk.'"

While DHA and ARA are found naturally in breast milk, the idea that Martek's manufactured acids make formula closer to breast milk is ridiculous. Martek produces DHA and ARA from fermented algae and fungus, and uses hexane (a neurotoxin) in the manufacturing process. Simply adding these synthetic substances to formula cannot make artificial baby milk behave like breast milk, which is a complex, living substance that provides babies with the best possible nutrition and immunological protection and development.

Regular infant formula puts babies' health at risk, but now infants are being harmed for the sake of a marketing tool. This is an egregious case of formula companies putting profit margins above infant health. In light of this report, it is imperative that all parents be made aware of the potential risks of feeding their babies formula with DHA/ARA. The products should be pulled from the market until their safety can be properly assessed by independent investigations.

Babies should not have to get sick just because companies want to raise their sales figures.

For the full report, see:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why does the baby cry? Poem


Why does the baby cry?
(Dressed in his brand-new, powder blue, flame-retardant pajamas)
Why does the baby cry?
(Freshly laundered, recently fed, newly changed, just burped, and provided with a night-light)
Why does the baby cry?
(In his safety-sealed crib
All smoke detectors in working order
Temperature medically adjusted by thermostat
Baby monitor on
Emergency numbers in the speed-dial
Loving parents at the ready)
Why, oh WHY does the baby cry?

The baby cries
In the jungle or on the savannah
The baby cries
As the marauding beasts edge forward
The baby cries
For protection
The baby cries
To signal his tribe
The baby cries
(Hearing no heartbeat
Touching no warm skin
Mouthing no soft breast
Breathing no shared breath)
The baby cries
Alone in the wilderness

By Elsa Haas

Elsa Haas won the opportunity to perform the show "Wearing My Baby: A Stone Age Mommy on Staten Island" and a $1000 grant for this poem and others that she submitted to a local literary competition. The baby- and child-friendly show will be held at the St. George Theater on Staten Island on June 14. For information, you can email Elsa at


The Business of Being Born DVD

in case you haven't yet viewed this exceptional film...
and wish to...
or if you would like to know a little bit about why Danelle and I are choosing the type of birth we are...
this film demonstrates some of the reasons.
it is excellently put together.
We now have copies for YOU!
So if you'd like us to mail you one - just let Danelle know and she will asap.