by Stephanie DuBois
"A baby is God's opinion that life should go on," said famed American poet and historian Carl Sandburg. For many Hollywood celebrities a baby is possibly assurance that life will go on long after the final "Cut" has been yelled on their careers. If nothing else, children have a way of helping one put one's priorities in order - sometimes even helping one realize just what should take priority. Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow
, who gave birth to daughter Apple Blythe back in May with her rocker husband, Chris Martin, has said she can't even imagine a role worth playing more than that of mother to her child.
As a wise man once said, "A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for." Many other celebs were blessed to discover the infinite joys a baby can bring to one's life in 2004:
The year started out with Goldie Hawn being blessed with her first grandchild from daughter Kate Hudson and her rocker husband Chris Robinson, who brought son Ryder Russell into the world. Sons were also born to estranged couple Mary-Louise Parker and Billy Crudup, who chose the name William Atticus, and to Mark Paul-Gosselaar and Lisa Ann Russell, who now have a little Michael Charles.
On January 8, Matt LeBlanc and Melissa McKnight became the proud parents of daughter Marina Pearl. Other babies that popped out in the first trimester of the year included India Isabella, born to Dan Cortese and Dee Dee Hemby, and son Elijah born to Flex Alexander and Shanice Alexander.
Sinead O'Connor gave birth to son Shane, and former bad boy Charlie Sheen joined the diaper duty ranks when wife Denise Richards gave birth to baby girl Sam J. in March. That same month, Will Ferrell & Viveca Paulin said their first hello to son Magnus Paulin, and Jon Bon Jovi and wife Dorothea Hurley had a fourth child, son Romeo Jon. Kevin Sorbo also welcomed a boy, Shane Haaken, with wife Sam Jenkins.
April showers brought many flowers to Hollywood. Debra Messing and Daniel Zelman welcomed their first child, son Roman Walker, on the 7th of April, and the very next week, "E.R's" Sherry Stringfield had a son, Milo, with Larry Joseph.
Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden and Thaddeus Scheel got the double dip with twins, Hudson Harden and Julitta Dee; while Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett gave birth to son Roman Robert by husband Andrew Upton.
Holly Marie Combs and mate, David Donoho, found themselves thoroughly charmed by son Finley Arthur who arrived April 26. And former "Dharma & Greg" star Thomas Gibson's wife gave birth to daughter Agatha Marie two days later.
Other Spring babies included daughter Leni, born to supermodel Heidi Klum & Flavio Briatore; and twin sons, Kian Williams and Kaais Steven to Geena Davis & her dentist husband, Reza Jarrahy.
Peri Gilpin had to say goodbye to "Frasier" this year, but she has twin daughters, Stella and Ava, born on May 7th to keep her and husband Christian Vincent, busy.
Helen Hunt and Matthew Carnahan welcomed baby girl, Makena'lei Gordon the same month.
Chris Rock and wife, Malaak Compton-Rock welcomed a new little bundle of comedy fodder for him on May 22; and Casey Affleck and Summer Phoenix gave Ben a nephew on May 31.
The first of the summer bambinos were baby girl Olivia, born to rocker Eddie Vedder and his lady love Jill, and daughter Coco Riley, born to Courtney Cox Arquette and David Arquette.
On June 16th, "King of Queens" co-star Leah Remini and long-time boyfriend Angelo Pagan had a little princess of their own called Sofia Bella.
In July, hip-hop star Erykah Badu gave birth to her second child, daughter Puma, reportedly by rapper/producer The D.O.C. (though she declined to name the father).
A week later, "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart and his mate Tracy McShane welcomed son Nathan Thomas. That same month, Dixie Chicks' singer, Natalie Maines and husband, actor Adrian Pasdar, produced son Beckett Finn.
And by the end of July, Britney Spears' now-husband, Kevin Federline, had welcomed his son Kaleb, by then-girlfriend, Shar Jackson.
Other summer babes included boy, Cosimo Henri, to singer Beck and actress Marissa Ribisi; daughter K'mari Mae to actor Omar Epps and Keisha Spivey; and son Holden Fletcher to Brendan Fraser and wife, Afton Smith.
Kelsey Grammer also had a new bundle to take the sting off of saying goodbye to "Frasier" this year. He and wife, Camille Donatucci, had son Jude Gordon on August 28 via a surrogate mother.
In the fall, Billy Bob Thornton started yet another family, with yet another woman, when his lady love Connie Angland gave birth to daughter Bella on September 22. Thornton has three children from two of his five previous marriages.
In October, Beyonce became an Auntie when her baby sister, Solange Knowles welcomed son Daniel Julez by husband Daniel Smith on the 18th. And the next day, Matthew Lillard and Heather Helm were blessed with daughter Macey Lyn.
Actors giving thanks for new bundles of joy in November included Laura Dern and singer Ben Harper, who welcomed a baby sister for their 3-year-old son, Ellery Walker; Mira Sorvino and Christopher Backus, also with a baby girl named Tallulah Lilac; and supermodel Claudia Schiffer with a daughter by Matthew Vaughn.
Of course, the most scrutinized celebrity giving birth in November was Julia Roberts, who became mother to two little pretty babies, Hazel Patricia and Phinnaeus Walker by husband/cameraman Danny Moder on the 28th.
Hollywood being a town that thrives on jumping on whatever current bandwagon happens to be passing by, it looks like the baby boom is well and thriving for 2005 as well. Celebs expecting babies this year include:
Actress Hope Davis is expecting her second child in January with Jon Walker. Their daughter, Georgia, was born in 2002.
Bridget Fonda and her composer/husband Danny Elfman are expecting their first child in February.
British supermodel/actress Elizabeth Hurley is supposed to give birth to her second baby in February, this time by boyfriend Arun Nayer. Her son, Damian Charles, was born in 2002 and you may recall, Hurley had to go the DNA route to prove her ex, Stephen Bing, was the father.
And in March, former "Spice Girl" Victoria Beckham and her husband, soccer star David Beckham are set to welcome their third.
Korn lead singer Jonathan Davis and model Deven Davis are also expecting a baby in March.
Former "Soul Food" stars Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker are now starring in the sitcom "Second Time Around," but it will be their first time around when their baby comes in March. And comedienne Molly Shannon is expecting her second child with Fritz Chestnut the same month.
Also in the Spring, Stella McCartney will be giving Sir Paul McCartney his third grandchild. She and husband Alastair Willis, are expecting their first baby. And "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling and Neil Murray will be having a little muggle (that's human to those of you out of the Harry Potter loop) of their own.
Singer Carnie Wilson and Rob Bonfiglio are expecting their first child; and "CSI" star William Petersen will be investigating a new addition in the Spring with wife, Gina Petersen.
And supermodel Cindy Crawford is working on child number three with husband, Rande Gerber. Their newest addition is expected late Spring.
Legendary rocker Eric Clapton is infanticipating his third child with Melia McEnery. Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards have baby No. 2 on the way; and in June, country singer Martina McBride and her husband, John, are expecting their third child.