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.

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