The Push Present ::

My husband accuses me of contributing to a conspiracy. I’m fine with that. In my sixth month of pregnancy, I will even go so far as to blatantly encourage it. Said conspiracy: the concept of the push present.

Wikipedia defines the push present (aka “push gift” or “baby bauble”) as a present a new father gives a new mother when she gives birth to their child. It can be given before or after the birth, or even in the delivery room.

I learned of push presents when I was pregnant with my first child a couple of years ago. Being a first-timer, early on in my pregnancy and a little naïve, I brushed off the idea of receiving a gift to honor what I understood simply as the pure wonder of life. Silly, I thought, to receive a gift in exchange for this independently significant occasion. Was it supposed to be a sort of “atta girl” surprise, like when your child gets to pick a toy from the dentist’s treasure box? Or was this gift-giving occasion the brain-child of the diamond industry, created to heighten expectations and add a sense of obligation to an already life-changing event.

All of my opposition and resistance must have been in my first trimester though, when nothing was sitting well with me. But over the next months, as my belly and my discomfort grew, so did the idea. And as I watched the nurse-practitioner push that weight bar across the scales further and further to the right with each visit, so did the anticipated value of said present.

And so it happened that I was a hater of the push present no longer. I embraced the concept and set out to subversively sway my husband, so that he might become an embracer too. Since our baby was due in January, I predetermined that the secretly-anticipated present was going to require the inclusion of a ruby for the baby’s birthstone. I used visualization through catalogs and subliminal messaging through one-sided phone conversations with other mom-friends to introduce the new concept into our home. And then, I waited.

When January rolled around and my due date came – and went, I learned that the baby was coming – via c-section. Now what! There was no pushing involved in a cesarean, so what would become of the push present!?! But all my pregnancy dreams came true when, upon returning home from the hospital with new baby and a new way of life, my husband presented me with a gift beyond imagine; a necklace with our new daughter’s name and a tiny image of her footprint – along with one delicate, perfectly-placed ruby dangling sweetly beside it. How had he known? Seriously, it was perfect!

So here’s what I know; pregnancy changes things! There are all sorts of things that grow and stretch, that change shapes and sometimes colors, and that show up and might not go away, even with special lotions! It’s hard to feel attractive in your husband’s oversized t-shirts. And so a surprise gift from a significant other, who has seen you naked in all this wonderment, and still wants to kiss you, is an amazing thing. To know that this other person went out one day, not to purchase the replacement vat of rocky-road ice cream you demanded, but to shop for a meaningful gift, really is something special. To know that you were thought of and treasured and loved, even through your last couple of pregnancy tantrums, is a big deal. And to know that someone sees that you are beautiful and strong and feminine, and honors you with a special gift just because of that, is pretty super great.

In conclusion, I support the push present, and I support those who support the push present. I support them large and small. I support them in theory, I support them in reality. I support them home crafted or factory made. I support the gifting of them for those who push, and those who don’t get a chance to. I support them for first pregnancies, and seconds, and thirds, and all. I support them for singletons, and multiples and think there should be a requirement one per. I support the conspiracy. I hope you are supported and congratulations if you’re expecting!

posted Jun ’10

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