Many many years ago I found myself one Sunday morning sitting in the nursery at the Rock Church with a bunch of precious little newborns. I was serving that morning and I happened to meet a new mom who wanted to stick around for the first 20 minutes to see how her son would do. It was his first time in the nursery and her son was probably 3 or 4 weeks old I can’t exactly remember, but what I do remember is seeing the most beautiful, intricately designed and breathtaking ring ever. It was situated on the ring finger of her right hand so I had assumed it was an anniversary gift of some sort. I proceeded to ask her about it and she nonchalantly explained to me it was her Push Present. Insert awkward pause. I just sat there staring at her thinking I didn’t hear her correctly and when I realized she was gonna say nothing more on the subject I continued the conversation with a quizzical look and a slight tilt of my head. I think she was vaguely aware of my ignorance on the subject and when the silence got weird she finally clarified her previous statement with, “The ring is my push present. My husband gave it to me for pushing out this little guy”. Light bulb on! I returned the news with a bright smile and finally an understanding expression. I finally got it. I asked her if I could see it and she politely handed it over for me to get a closer look. It was truly love at first sight.
I think if Hector knew this conversation would have unfolded that morning he would’ve somehow tried to persuade me from going to church. But lucky me he isn’t clairvoyant and my Sunday morning proceeded as any other regular Sunday morning except on this day I learned about Push Presents. At the time I wasn’t even remotely close to desiring a child and yet this little tid bit of educational news on the wonders of becoming a new parent enticed me. Instead of doing something stupid like getting knocked up just so I could get a pretty ring I decided to file the memory away for future use 🙂 And let me just say that for the next 5 years I made sure Hector was randomly educated on the concept of a Push Present because you just never know when that knowledge of such a thing would come in handy. And boy did it come in handy.
Now my dear New Momma from above defined a Push Present as a gift she received from pushing her son out, but for those of you who would prefer a more specific definition here is what the wonderful Wikipedia has to say about the subject:
A push present (also known as a “push gift” or “baby bauble”) is a present a new father gives a new mother when she gives birth to their child. In practice the present may be given before or after the birth, or even in the delivery room.
Now, I personally find nothing insulting or wrong about wanting to bestow a beautiful gift to a new mother after enduring 9 months of pregnancy, who knows how many hours of labor and the obvious proceedings that one occurs from pushing a 26 cm head out of a 10 cm hole (and to all my friends out there who had to undergo c-sections you get an even better present for having to be cut open, just because you didn’t push didn’t mean it wasn’t hard!) But apparently, there is actually a lot of scrutiny over the idea of “Push Presents”. Some women think they are ridiculous and that its just another means of turning something beautiful such as the miracle of childbirth into something consumer driven and focused on material things. Now I can totally see where this perspective comes from, but I think you could also argue the same thing with almost any holiday or special occasion in life that involves presents. So that’s my 2 cents on that.
To be honest I had never thought about getting a gift for pushing out a child, that is until I saw that ring on that New Momma’s hand. I am pretty sure the dozens of generations before me never heard of such a concept, but lets be honest a lot has changed since the 1900’s and if Push Presents is one of them I am not complaining. But don’t get me wrong here. I am not some materialistic snob that thinks she is entitled to have anything and everything. However, if my husband feels the need to spoil me I will gladly accept.
Needless to say 6 1/2 months ago when I was at UCSD undergoing the most intense experience of my life the term Push Present was brought up by my husband. Eliana was 15 seconds old and laying on my chest and I was lying in a bed that looked more befitting to a crime scene then what I envisioned when I saw myself welcoming my child into the world. My husband was staring at me like he actually witnessed a murder instead of a birth as well so that was lovely. But after his initial shock his expression turned to wonderment and awe. He tilted his nose to my cheek and kissed me. Then in the softest voice ever in his attempt to not disturb the new life that lay on my chest even though she was a wailing, bloody, wet mess he whispered “You can have whatever you want for a push present, I’ll give you anything.”
I just turned and giggled. I was seriously experiencing the greatest natural high of my life and was letting it rush over me like a wave of joy. Oh the pure relief of having her out was honestly the only gift I wanted at that moment and I had found it. Truly there was nothing more that I wanted, but as we all know time passes, the days fade and life goes on. It’s not to say that after the high wore off that I felt I needed something more then her because let me tell you her smile is enough to keep me happy for all eternity. But for me though a push present was more of a need to commemorate that day and her birth into something special.
Since my first acknowledgment of a push present was in the form of a ring I think that idea just stuck with me. I don’t wear bracelets or necklaces really and even though I love earrings you really won’t see a day go by where I don’t have my pearl studs on. So naturally it made sense to want a ring if I ever planned on wearing the darn thing. Hector had casually asked me here and there what I was sort of thinking of when I thought of my push present and I simply told him this… I would love an heirloom piece of jewelry that I could pass on down to Eliana. Something that represents her and is timeless and classic. Not something that is disposable or will get tossed to the side as the years pass by. Something that I could wear and think of her and the day she was born.
I did a little research on her birthstone and was happy to realize that she was born in a month that represented a stone that I loved. Citrine comes in such beautiful colors, all differing shades of the sun. It was fitting on so many levels that I knew I wanted her stone to be a part of it. The rest was really up to him. I gave him a few recommendations on things I liked and disliked because he really wanted me to love it. In the end I realized I couldn’t have picked out something more beautiful and perfect if I had done it myself.
We went out to dinner a couple weeks ago and that’s when he bestowed upon me something that I love and treasure just as much as my wedding ring. Something that I will keep for the rest of my life and hopefully one day pass down to Eliana. A ring that represents all of the beauty that a new life brings. I couldn’t be more grateful and feel more loved by how much Hector appreciates me in my new role as wife and mother. Life is good.
So what do you think?