Wednesday, April 8, 2015

push presents: to do or not to do?


For some reason, I have been seeing a lot of articles mentioning push presents lately.  One in particular was HuffPost's article 5 Things Not to Say to a Woman Who Just Gave Birth.  I have to weigh in on this. 

If you are not aware, a push present is a gift given to a woman after she gives birth - you know, for pushing out the baby.  Yes, a baby is a lovely present but let's be serious - a woman carried that tiny gem for 9 months. In some cases, that tiny gem is not so tiny at all.  Let's remember, shall we, that Natalie was 9 pounds 3 ounces and I pushed that (not-so) little sucker out in 28 minutes.  

Pregnant women have experienced some of the weirdest things that will ever happen to a person.  For some poor souls, they have not sneezed or laughed without peeing themselves a little bit for MONTHS.  For others, they might have Cover Girl hair, but their skin is breaking out, they are having hot flashes like you wouldn't believe and their shoes don't fit on their enormous feet.  For me, I had pregnancy carpel tunnel, was the size of a small house by time I delivered and I was swollen to the point that I barely recognize myself in some pictures. Natalie was (and is) a total gift from God, but I was not turning down a little something from Brandon for doing all that hard work.  

I mentioned this whole push present thing to Brandon when I was pregnant.  A Tiffany's catalog just so happened to come in the mail during my first trimester so I showed him something that I really loved. It was a simple little "N" charm.  It would be perfect on the chain next to the Tiffany's heart that I already wear. It is something that he would be able to replicate for future children.  And when he sat on my bed in the hospital while I held Natalie and presented me with this perfect little charm, I wept like a small baby.  It was so sweet on so many levels.  It was sweet that he remembered the exact thing that I had my eye on. It was sweet that he actually went to Tiffany's and got it (or ordered it online without my knowing).  It was sweet that he included Natalie in the way he gave it to me. And whenever I miss Natalie or am having a tough day, I have a little piece of her with me and it all seems better. 

I don't think push presents need to be elaborate things. I don't think they need to be expensive jewelry or designer hand bags. But, I do think they are necessary.  A woman carries the child, feels the child move and grow, is abused on the inside by the child (I could have SWORN that Natalie had broken off a piece of my ribs, whittled it into a shank and was stabbing me from the inside) and then pushes this tiny human out of an even tinier little hole (or the child is SURGICALLY removed from the mother) and then the mama is soon after forgotten.  Think about it, when people come to visit, they don't care nearly as much about seeing the mama as they do about getting their hands on the baby.  Trust me, I was there and experienced this first hand. People were far more interested in seeing Natalie than seeing me. It's okay - I expected it. It was nice in all of that to be remembered and thought of with that small token of Brandon's love and appreciation for what I endured. 

Let's not get this twisted though.  I don't think new moms are the only ones who deserve something. The hell and hormonal meltdowns that I put Brandon through definitely warranted something for him as well. I made sure that I got him a card and some cigars and I gave them to him the night before my induction.  I think it's important to remember that it took two to tango (or like ten in our case if you count the physicians, nurses, sonographers, MAs and embryologists) and it's important to take a minute during all that chaos to celebrate each other, your love and the fact that you're parents.  People get gifts on Mother's Day/Father's Day, so what should make delivery day any different? You don't get to celebrate those days without first celebrating delivery day!

What are your thoughts? Push presents: do or do not? And why?

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