Thursday, October 13, 2011

The "Push" Present or a Gift for Labor & Delivery

While watching T.V. the concept of a "push" present was introduced to me. I was very excited, I thought it was a great idea. My husband gives me a nice gift at the birth of our child in appreciation for carrying and delivering our child. When I explained this to my husband, he didn't believe me. He thought I was making it up so that I could get jewelry. When I really started to think about it I remembered from my history classes that kings used to give their queens gifts when they gave birth to sons and thus providing them with an heir. This was something that trickled down into the upper classes.

It is something that has come up several times and something that I have spent some time researching and contemplating. Even among our social group there is much discussion and debate. Last night we received my husbands baby book in the mail from my in-laws. While looking through the book I made a very interesting discovery, my father-in-law gave my mother-in-law a "push" present. She received a diamond and pearl necklace along with a dozen roses. I was jumping up and down for joy (or sorta jumping with my big belly)..."See!" I told my husband "Even your dad got your mom a push present!" Now my husband is an awesome man! He treats me all the time and I want for nothing. The only reason I have been "pushing" the "push" present is because my husband will not admit that I am right about it!

The Real Reason to Give a Gift

In all seriousness, there is a right reason and a wrong reason to want and give a gift. If presents and gifts are how you show love or how you know you are loved then there may be a problem here. If the price tag on the gift is how you measure love there may also be a problem. If gifts are your way of feeling appreciated or a way of marking the moment symbolically; then your heart may be in the right place. A husband should not feel pressured to give a gift with a huge price tag. The emphasis should be on the symbolism of the moment.

This may mean that you bring your wife flowers because you know she loves them and you only do that for really special occasions (or you never remember to do this).  If you have the budget and jewelry is something special then maybe this is the right kind of gift for your wife. This may be a piece of jewelry that she wears on special occasions, like your child's birthdays or wedding day and can be passed on to your child when the time is right. Maybe it is a CD of mixed music that has been meaningful during the pregnancy or piece of artwork that you created yourself with her in mind. Maybe you write her a song, a poem or a love letter. Maybe it is a special box or photo album to collect baby keepsakes. It could be that stuffed animal that she admired in the store but didn't buy when you were purchasing the rest of the baby gear you needed. The emphasis should be on showing appreciation and letting your wife know that you are aware of the special nature of the moment.

Husbands Shouldn't Be Forgotten

In my research I read a rather angry commentary by a man about the labor and delivery present. I could tell that he was feeling left out and possibly unappreciated. It can be easy to forget Dad in all the baby excitement. Suddenly, there is a whole bunch of attention being given to Mom and to the baby. Dad, on the other hand is asked to be a "dear" and take out the trash from all the presents and the baby shower. The man who wrote the commentary made a comment that has stuck with me, "No one is giving me a gift for putting up with her mood swings, cravings, and unreasonable pregnancy demands for nine months!"

Although I ultimately didn't agree  with his position on the labor and delivery gift; it made me wonder...if you have a wonderful husband or spouse who has been supportive during your pregnancy wouldn't it be nice to give him a gift to say thank you to him when the baby is born?

With this in mind I purchased my husband a "Push Support" present. His gift was an HD camera that he had his eye on. It was a camera that he would not have purchased for himself and would be a something that he could use to document our growing families journeys and special moments. I purchased the camera early just  in case our little one came early...which he did. My husband was very surprised and has found much joy in this gift.

Reflections on Appreciating Your Spouse

Having a baby is just as big of an adjustment of your husband as it is for you. Both of you are going through huge changes and so is your relationship. On a mission trip a man shared with me that he had been married to his wife for 30 years. I was amazed at this and asked him what his secret was. He told me that when his oldest child was born the doctor gave him a little advice "Remember who came first!" I puzzled over this for a moment and asked him "Did he mean God always comes first?" The man said "No, he meant my wife came first and I came first to her. Our marriage came first. If we have a strong relationship and we are united, we will be better parents to our children. He was right." I have tried to keep this in mind as I have gone through my pregnancy and I hope to keep it in mind when the baby arrives.

My hope and my plan is to make sure I take time out to focus on my husband when the baby arrives so our relationship remains strong. This will be a challenge but I know that the rewards to our relationship and to our child will be well worth it. I know that I need to feel appreciated by him and he needs to feel appreciated by me as well! My husband has been wonderful during my pregnancy. He has and continues to be supportive beyond my expectations. Dad deserves a Labor and Delivery gift too! He has helped delivery me to motherhood and he has labored right beside me!

Update! 
The day after my son was born my husband presented me with a Sea Turtle necklace. During out baby-moon in Hawaii I fell in love with swimming with the Honu (Sea Turtles). While shopping at a store he opened an oyster that had a pearl in it. He had the pearl put into a sea turtle pendant. Now when I am leaving my son with a baby sitter for date night or spending the afternoon tutoring I wear the necklace. It is a nice way to feel connected to my son even though I am away from him. When I miss him, I find myself fingering the necklace. I am really thankful that my husband gave me this awesome gift, it is filled with wonderful memories both before my son was born and now that he has arrived.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The History of Child Birth Practices

I can't help myself...I have to share. While researching the "Push Present" I came across some great websites on the history of child birth. I have enjoyed learning about the evolution of labor and delivery within society. It is interesting to see how far we have come in our knowledge and in some ways sad to see that we have forgotten some fundamentals of human nature.

Books

Rediscovering Birth by Sheila Kitzinger
I loved this book. This was an excellent collection of information and presented birth practices from all over the world. It analyzed the state of labor practices in America compared to the practices in other countries. It also looked at the roles of fathers, mothers, woman-to woman support, and doctors and medical professionals in the labor and delivery process. There were great illustrations and beautiful poetry.


Websites
Below is an awesome website that I found on the history of childbirth. It was really neat to see the way our attitudes have changed and how the birthing process has changed over time. It focuses mainly European and American cultures. There are some great pictures posted as well.
http://www.elenagreene.com/childbirth.html

The website below was very awesome. It talked about the birth practices of Native American women in the New York area.
http://teachinghistory.org/history-content/ask-a-historian/24097

This Website also gave a history of childbirth but more in a story like manner. I really liked the way that it was done. It was so much academic in style but it was still educational and imaginative.  It could use come pictures.
http://www.thehistoryof.net/history-of-childbirth.html

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Nicknames for IV or Fourth Generation

Since we know that we are having a little boy I have told my husband that I want him to pick the name. This is his first born son and I know that is a very special event for a father. My husband has mentioned that he may like to name his son after him which means that our son will be a fourth generation of an IV. My husband goes by the nickname Trey in his family which means "three" in Latin. He goes by his first name at work. As a matter of fact I had known him for over a year before I learned that his first name was not Trey. The first time he took me to a work event I called him Trey while talking to his co-workers and they were very confused thinking that I was talking about another man all night...

My husband says that he has not yet decided on a name but I can tell that he wants to continue the family name. His first name is a rather old fashioned (Mama Frankenstein is a hint) name and there are really no good nicknames for his first name. In preparation for this I did a little research on what nicknames are used for a fourth generation son. I did not realize that having a fourth generation name is not a common problem. There seems to be a trend to stop naming sons after their father's at Jr.

Now there seems to be a lot of debate on whether or not it is a good idea to name your child to make them a fourth. There are some who say that this will give the son a complex that he is always fourth, that it is a very lofty name for a child, that they will always feel like they are in the shadow of their father and grandfathers. One of the stronger arguments against naming our son IV is identification purposes. A lot of forms, particularly electronic forms, do not give an IV option in the drop down menus. 

For us, naming our son the fourth is the continuation of a legacy of great men who have been wonderful father's, providers and leaders in their family and community. I believe that naming our son IV is the right thing to do and that we will raise him to have his own identity. We will still call him by his first name but all parents give their children a nickname. I am simply looking for one that fits his fourth generation name. If he feels that he wants more autonomy when he grows up, he already has a nickname he is used to hearing.

Here are some nicknames for the fourth generation son:

Odin: which means Wednesday and is the fourth day of the week. Odin is also a Viking god.

Quart/Court: this is short for quarter which is 1/4 of a dollar.

Jounce or Snap: the 4th derivative of position. My husband is an engineer-what can I say- he came up with this one.

I-V or IVer: These are phonetic plays on saying the Roman numeral. I-V would be said as if it rhymes with the word "Give". IVer would be said I-Ver.

IVey: You would say this like you would pronounce the names of the letters and it would sound and look like the viney green plant. I feel this is a much to0 girlie nickname.

Fire: This is from the Norwegian and Swedish languages which means four.

Tre-Vor/ Trevor: Combining Trey (the nickname for the third generation) and Four.

Quade/Kade or Quay: These are both Latin and Gaelic for four or the fourth child. This one is my favorite.

Delta: The fourth letter of the military alphabet.

Daleth: is the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the number four in Hebrew.

Four in Other Languages

Four and Fourth: These were also suggestions that I found online but were not so creative...I wouldn't want my son to feel like a number.

Quatre: The French version of four is pronounced "Cat". If that is too girlie it could be changed to Tiger.

Cuatro: The Spanish version of four and sounds like "Quat-ro".

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mama Cravings

One of the things I have found very interesting about pregnancy is the foods I have craved. I do not have a lot of cravings but I have had a few that have been completely out of the ordinary for me. I know there are a million wives tales out there about cravings and pregnancy, like all wives tales I enjoy them, recognize there may be some ancient truth, but ultimately do not hold much stock in them. Here are some things that I have craved over the trimesters.

First Trimester
  • Spicy Food: I never ate spicy food before I was pregnant. I very quickly started adding more pepper and spices to my food. If it didn't have a kick, I didn't want to eat it. My husband enjoyed this phase.
  • Bitter Flavors: My sweet tooth disappeared with my pregnancy. I found that I still liked sweets but that I rather eat them if they had more of a bitter flavor to them. This meant that I wanted things like coffee at Starbucks (which I find very bitter), Mocha Almond Fudge or Coffee ice cream.
Second Trimester
  • Peanut Butter: Although I have always liked peanut butter I found myself just wanting a spoonful of it.
  • Cheetos Cheese Puffs: Again a food that I liked when I was younger but haven't really eaten in years. I was watching TV and Snoop Dog happened to be on the show. In his hand he had a bag of cheese puffs and was munching away on them. From that moment on I had to have some!
Third Trimester
  • Cheetos Cheese Puffs: They continue to be my nemesis. I ration myself strictly though.
  • Red Meat: I still love chicken and pork but I find myself wanting red meat a lot more than any other meat. The funny thing is that I can't look at raw meat. It grosses me out to look at it. I can't shop for it in the store. I make my husband go and pick it out. When it comes to cooking it I have gotten my husband to grill a lot more or I make bake/broil it so that I don't have to look at it very long.