Monthly Archives: September 2012

New Arrivals

Hiyanna Demetria-Reneé Shjjad – 8 lbs., 1 oz. – July 17
Finnley Haywood Tucker – 5 lbs., 11 oz.- July 26
*Jack Andrew Hafner – 7 lbs., 9 oz. – July 26
*James Daniel Kyburz -7 lbs., 6oz. – July 31
Adicus William Martin – 10 lbs., 3 oz. – August 1
*Andrew Miles Abbason – 8 lbs., 13 oz. – August 1
Valerie Rose D’Amato – 5 lbs., 14 oz. – August 1
Ryen Siri Wilkins -6 lbs., 9 oz. –August 1
Drake Alexander Leaman – 7 lbs., 5 oz. – August 2
Ayla Maryam Gulbeden – 7 lbs., 5 oz. – August 4
Kenneth Benjamin Koch, Jr. – 9 lbs., 9 oz – August 5
Jazrah Shasmeen Allen – 7 lbs., 2 oz. – August 6
Zoe Marie Myers Harris – 7 lbs., 12 oz. – August 7
Stephen Otis  Rongitsch – 8 lbs., 2 oz. – August 7
Harper Rose Cantalupi – 8 lbs., 3 oz. – August 7
Stella Marie Childress – 8 lbs., 6 oz. – August 7
*Alexandra Crane Vogel – 6 lbs., 13 oz. – August 7
*Jackson Cecil Greer­ – 7 lbs., 9 oz. – August 8
Audrey Ann Wales – 8 lbs., 11 oz. – August 11
Ada Melisa Mangum – 6 lbs., 9 oz. – August 11
*Sarah Isabella Ruiz-Ortiz – 8 lbs., 7 oz. – August 11
*Maya Ovadia Grass – 7 lbs., 1 oz. – August 12
*Jonas James O’Brien – 8 lbs., 2 oz. – August 17, 2012
Riley Madison Code – August 17
Helen Marie Williams – 7 lbs., 7 oz. – August 20
Max Russell Gillmor – 6 lbs., 13 oz. – August 20
Elsa Lou O’Brien – 7 lbs. – August 23
Anne Bradford Carpenter – 7 lbs., 14 oz. – August 24
Castor Lee Hardy – 6 lbs., 6 oz. – August 24
Amy Joy Smith – 8 lbs., 13 oz. – August 27
Parker Miller Foust – 8 lbs., 2 oz. – August 28
Gideon Caide Burbach – 7 lbs., 3 oz. – August 28
Vienna Hazel Fielhauser – 7 lbs., 8 oz. – August 30

Welcome to the world, Little Ones!

If you’d like your baby’s birth announced in the next newsletter, send an email to with baby’s name, weight, and date of birth.  Feel free to include a picture. We’d like to hear from all WBWC moms, whether your baby was born at the birth center or UNC!

By |September 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

The Birth of Cage Walter Brockman

by Danielle Brockman

When I found out I was pregnant, I was super excited. I couldn’t wait to see my husband when he got home from work. I called and told him on his lunch break; he texted me saying he was trying  not to cry he was so happy. So we kept our little man a secret until Thanksgiving. We wanted that time to ourselves, so Thanksgiving we went to my grandma’s first, as always. I had a fortune cookie made that was as big as my belly, and I had my grandma and dad open it together as we all sat in the kitchen after eating. My grandma pulled the little poem out and read it; she cried, saying, “YOU’RE TRYING TO TELL ME YOU’RE PREGNANT!”  As I looked at my dad, we were both teary eyed. I knew the excitement they had was priceless. Once we got to Sean’s mom and dad’s (where we were staying at the time til we got our place finished) everyone was there. Time to eat came around and everyone had to say what they were thankful for, so when it was our time we had his mom go into the kitchen and open the oven and a small bun awaited with a saying inside. After about three times of reading it she just yelled in joy, “You’re pregnant!”  over and over again. The joy of being able to finally tell everyone was out. I was 9 weeks or so, I believe. 
     I had called the Birth Center before anyone knew and set up a tour. We had to beat around a bush so no one could figure it out. We loved the place and staff the minute we walked in. It was so home-like and child-friendly, which is awesome.  At our first appointment, we got to hear that tiny heart beat where my little man stayed on my left side for a long time. Allison did my exam, and she guessed I was 11 weeks. Well, on December 30 I had my first ultrasound at UNC, and I turned out to be 14 weeks along, so I was then due June 20th. At the first ultrasound, I will never forget the lady saying, “Promise me if I tell you this, you won’t go out and buy anything.”  I said, “Sure, what’s wrong?” She showed us it was a boy. Already we could tell, bright-eyed on the screen. I cried, “Finally a little boy is to be born on my side as far as grandkids!” The moment I saw that first picture, I was in love with this small baby who was growing so much and fast. Once we had our second ultrasound on January 27, we knew for sure ITS A BOY… So happy we were gonna have a little boy! We went and had lunch to celebrate. I called my dad first to tell him he was getting his 6th grandchild and first grandson. 

     Sean and I got married on March 17 after being together for almost 7 years. I started going to Group Prenatal Care at the Birth Center, which I enjoyed more than ever — meeting great staff and couples, learning all there is to know.

     One day I was at work on a Monday, due within two weeks (yes, I worked until the day I had him). I was going to the bathroom way more and felt like I was leaking. I had been running around so much, I couldn’t tell. I called the Birth Center nurse, and she said to come in and be seen. I talked to my manager, and she had me take the rest of the day off to rest. I went in at 11ish, and Patti did an exam to make sure no fluids were leaking.  There were no fluids leaking, but she found baby hair, and it made me just so happy to know time was getting closer. She told me even better news: I was 3 cm dilated already! I called my husband and told him our good news. He was happy.

     On that Thursday during Group, I asked to be checked again. Allison was so kind and checked me and answered the questions I had. I was 4 cm and 100 percent thinned out. I went on with working and my daily routines.

     On Saturday, June 16, when I woke up at 7 am to use the bathroom, I felt crampy. I thought if I went back to sleep it would go away. Well, at 9 am, my normal time to get up, as my husband and I lied in bed, I felt even more constant cramping, so I knew I was contracting. I called the on-call midwife. The cramps were back-to-back as I walked around to ease them, so I was told I could come in and be checked.

     At a little after 10 am, we arrived and met Sarah, our midwife. She checked me, and I was 5 cm along, which really bummed me out.  I was told I could go walk; well, after a few minutes of walking, I was ready for a nap.  Since I knew what I was feeling was real (it was pre-labor), I called my boss and let her know I wouldn’t be back into work.

   At about 2 am, after trying to rest and only being soothed by a hot shower, I had Sean call Sarah and let her know my status. My contractions were 30-40 seconds long and 1 to 2 minutes apart. So we agreed to meet up at the Birth Center at 3am. I took another hot shower to soothe what I was feeling for the horrible car ride ahead. We didn’t tell anyone I was in labor. Once we arrived, we went in and met Sarah and Nicole. I was checked once again and was told I was 9 cm! I got to get into the birthing tub to ease my labor, but my back labor was stronger. Not even 45 minutes had passed when I wanted to try to nap, but I couldn’t lie on my side. I got checked one more time and was at 10 cm dilated. Sarah helped move a tiny part of my cervix and had me do a push.

     I got back into the tub, and I pushed for two and half hours while Sean and Sarah replaced cold rags on my forehead and chest. I wanted so badly to sleep, but I couldn’t, so Sarah had me get out and onto the bed on my left side. Not even 20 minutes later, at 6:41 am, my son, Cage Walter Brockman, was being delivered by Sean and Sarah.   He weighed 7 lbs., 13 oz. and was 19 inches long.  What a great Fathers’ Day! We called our families to let them hear Cage cry, worked on lactation, and then at 1:50 arrived home to shower and nap. Today Cage is a healthy 11-pound, 12-ounce smiling little boy. We can’t thank the staff enough for their help! 

By |September 29th, 2012|Birth Stories|0 Comments

Recipe: Nikki’s Healthy Cookies

recommended by Courtney Scott

Courtney has been singing the praises of these delicious little cookies!  She found the recipe on, a cooking blog by Heidi Swanson, and thought it was too good not to share.

You can use unsweetened carob, or grain sweetened chocolate chips, or do what I did and chop up 2/3 of a bar of Scharffen berger 70%. I sort-of shaved half the bar with a knife and then cut the rest into bigger chip-sized chunks. You can make your own almond meal by pulsing almonds in a food processor until it is the texture of sand – don’t go too far or you’ll end up with almond butter. And lastly, the coconut oil works beautifully here, just be sure to warm it a bit – enough that it is no longer solid, which makes it easier to incorporate into the bananas. If you have gluten allergies, seek out GF oats.
3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm – so it isn’t solid (or alternatively, olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 – 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don’t worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the bottoms and they were perfect – just shy of 15 minutes seems to be about right in my oven.
Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies.

By |September 29th, 2012|Recipes|1 Comment

Team Up for Midwives!

By |September 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

News from the WBWC Board

by Kaaren Haldeman

     Happy fall to all of our staff and clients! Cool weather is (mostly) upon us! The WBWC board has been meeting every two months, with the last meeting held on September 19. We are looking forward to an October filled with possibility and will see many of you at the annual birthday party this month.

     We’d also like to wish all of our midwives and staff a happy National Midwifery Week (October 7-13). Thank you for your kindness and care, the endless hours you work, your listening ears, and your skilled hands that draw women and families to our freestanding birth center. You are the reason we continue to grow and thrive.

     Finally, we would like to thank Kia Caldwell, PhD for her service to the board and the birth center over the last 6.5 months. Kia has decided that she must leave the Board and commit to other professional and personal pursuits. We wish her all the best.

By |September 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Don’t Forget to RSVP!

WBWC’s Annual Birthday Party

October 21, 2 PM-5 PM
Sertoma Arts Center
1400 West Millbrook Road
Raleigh, NC

RSVP by October 14th – or through your Evite

Tax-deductible donations are appreciated but not required! We are a 501 (c)3 charitable organization and all contributions to our center are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

To make a donation now, click here and scroll down to “Donate”

By |September 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Fun with ASL!

by Claire C. McKiernan

I shamefully admit that I did not get into signing with my baby until I had my fourth child. (This confession is also my disclaimer that I am not an expert, but a more recent convert sharing her experience and advice, for whatever that’s worth.) I had an initial interest in signing with my firstborn, but at the time I was reading articles indicating that signing with kids might delay speech. Additionally, my chatty first born was speaking in sentences at 15 months, so it seemed unnecessary, and I dropped the idea.  When I had my first three children in the space of four years, time sped by, and I just didn’t get the chance to revisit the topic. I’m sorry I didn’t.
As it turns out, the theory that signing delays speech is spectacularly wrong. I had known this for a couple years, but it wasn’t until I had my fourth child, Rosie, that my interest was renewed. When she was not yet a year old, I stumbled upon a used book for sale at the library titled Sign with Your Baby by Dr. Joseph Garcia. I found it so fascinating and provocative that I picked up my interest where I had left off seven years earlier. Delightfully, studies show that signing helps children to speak earlier since they realize early on the wonderful benefits of clear communication. As it happens, the author of the book I found, Dr. Garcia, was one of the pioneers of baby signing back in the 1970’s, and he teaches true-to-ASL signs (American Sign Language).  
Likely your main goal is early communication with your baby. Prior to having Rosie, I had seen friends use the basics (more, please, and thank you), and I had used the potty sign with all my babies with the result that at eight months of age my son signed to me that he had to poop (see my article Give Infant Potty Training a Try! posted on the blog May 6, 2012, if you want to learn more.)  He only did it sporadically, though (the potty sign, that is, not the pooping). I noticed with Rosie that she was not only a great mimic, but she had invented her own signs for nursing and dirty diapers. After reading Garcia’s book, Rosie and I were officially signing in no time. I soon purchased a DVD which increased my vocabulary as well as confirmed that I was making the hand motions correctly (somewhat more difficult with a book).
Rosie’s favorite signs to use were hungry, more, drink, milk, please, and stop (the latter she used with great frequency and delight on her siblings at the slightest provocation). She was also able to tell me where it hurt when she got a bump or a bruise. I used the signs cold, thunder, rain, help, done, all gone, where, hurt, cry, eat, drink, no touch, hot, and burn (the last three I often used together while she watched me cook or when we used our fireplace). I always spoke the words along with the signs, and sometimes she would learn the signs and sometimes she would speak the words. The signs came in handy when she was attempting to say a word, so I knew exactly what she was trying to say and could then help her with the pronunciation. Fortunately, babies have a strong desire to communicate and sign language achieves this early goal, but it also does much, much more.
Bonding and Brain Power
As with any new skill you teach, or learn along with, your child, sign language is a bonding experience. You are more intent on watching your child, looking him in the eye, and observing his entire body language when signing rather than chatting absently to him while you are busy doing something else. Not surprisingly, all this bonding and learning is stimulating his brain: those synapses are firing like crazy (watch out for sparks). Studies have shown that youngsters who have learned to sign not only speak sooner than their non-signing peers, but have larger vocabularies, and score higher on IQ tests.
So now you have a smart, bonded, communicative child…but wait! There’s more!
It’s a Family Thing
My kids and husband very quickly and happily picked up on the signs I was teaching. My four-year-old, in particular, enjoyed signing and watching the video with me. It was not only educational for all of us, but it has come in handy several times with the older kids. You know that sign people make when they want to say “I’m watching you” by pointing at their own eyes and then pointing at the other person? Kind of threatening, isn’t it? Imagine how much clearer the communication is to sign “Stop! Sit down!”  when you don’t want to disrupt people around you (library, movie theater, when you are on the phone, etc.) but need to correct unruly behavior. Kids respond more cooperatively to sign language than being yelled at (wouldn’t you?)
Fun and Effective!
          The best part of signing? It’s just plain F-U-N! It’s easy to learn and so exciting to see your baby eagerly pick up on it! “More, please” was probably the first expression Rosie got down pat. To see her little eyes light up and the grin on her face when I understood what she wanted was priceless. Now, at 2.5 years of age, she has a huge verbal vocabulary, and she only uses sign language for emphasis. If she tells me she is hungry and I don’t immediately respond, she will stretch up that adorable little neck and stroke it to show me her throat is empty and in need of food while saying “Mommy, I’m hungrrrrry!” The addition of the sign language is so emphatic that you would think she had just stumbled into the house after being lost in the desert for a week. And let me tell you, that emphasis is pretty darn effective: if she asked me to bake a seven layer cake at that moment, I’d do it.
          Google “baby signing” or “American Sign Language”, search for it at the library,, or your favorite bookstore and you will find plenty of books and videos available, not to mention classes. I’m not going to recommend anything I haven’t looked at, so here’s a list of what I’ve used, and beyond that, my only suggestion is to use baby signing that is based on ASL. Why learn made-up signs for babies when you can learn a real language?
Book: Sign with Your Baby by Joseph Garcia
DVD: Baby Sign Language Basics by Monta Z. Briant (Dr. Garcia also has DVDs available.)
Internet: (this is Dr. Garcia’s website and is a great starting point to learn more.)

By |September 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

A Durham Author’s Memoir on Pregnancy Loss

      On October 10, Durham author Dipika Kohli will release her book The Dive, the third part of a four-volume memoir series.  This book deals with her experience with pregnancy loss and the complicated decisions involved.  The release of The Dive is being timed to bring attention to National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, which is October 15.  Dipika is passionate about raising awareness of miscarriage and infant loss and opening the lines of dialogue about this painful topic.  Through sharing her own experiences and examining the surrounding issues, she hopes to help other mothers who have experienced loss feel less isolated.  Dipika, whose work has been featured on WUNC’s The State of Things, will be speaking October 13 at TedxRaleigh, and will be giving a reading on October 15 via Web stream.

For more information about Dipika and pregnancy loss awareness, click here:

To order The Dive (starting October 10), click here:

To register for the free Web stream of Dipika’s reading, click here:

By |September 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

What’s New at the Boutique

By |September 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments