I had a VERY interesting chat with an old acquaintance of mine last week. This person, ‘J’, has a 14 mth old and has just embarked 5 weeks into the baby way journey again. MashaAllah.
During our conversation, J mentioned how she’s already looking into push presents from now (she’s only 5 wks pregnant) for her next delivery. After listening to her for a good 3 minutes or so, I politely told her that I’m just not into jewelry and specifically, push presents. Appalled, she went on to inform me that its cute tradition and ofcourse, ‘our right‘ for having endured so much. Later, she went on to tell me that she wasnt happy with the point five carat diamond pendant she recieved for her last baby, she wanted a $4k (or was it $6k?!?!) bracelet this time around. It was a whole lot of ‘me, me, me’ before I managed to steer the conversation away.
Coincidentally while surfing my regular list of blog haunts, I spent some extra time reading older posts at Daddytypes today. (Its been my fave blog haunt this pregnancy. I often stop by there and appreciate the straightlaced, comical and technical approach daddies employ to childrearing). I digress.
As I was reading some of the older posts, I came across this and this. For those who are new to this concept, birth jewelry or a push present is typically “a way to commemorate and celebrate the beauty–and hard work and sacrifice–of a woman bringing a new life into your world”. It is being currently debated whether women with children born through c-sections should now demand ‘cut presents’.
As with almost everything else in North America, we tend to overrate and dramatize pregnancy and childbirth. Where other women in the world are delivering in subhumane conditions, often simply because they dont have the money to bear hospital costs, we’re worried about what our push/cut present should be.
I won’t undermine the choice of a man to gift his woman with a gift – birth or no birth. But the whole idea of women demanding or even expecting a birth present bugs me. For the record, my parents gifted my grandmas each time all three of us were born, but not because it was a trend, symbol or an expectation from either of my grandmums. Rather it was a happy occassion for both of them to share with the other most important ppl in their lives – and i love my mum for that, because instead of revolving everything around herself (as is the characteristic of an individualistic society like ours), she chose to involve others in her celebration instead.
My beef with the entire concept of a push/cut present is that it makes pregnancy sound as though I’m going through the most traumatic 9 months of my life with an even more horrific ending (while he’s happily partying away) and so therefore, its payback time.
Self centred again.
Pregnancy is not easy. Delivery isnt easy either.
However, as tough as they both are, I dont want to undermine the hardships (and joys!) that Imo is sharing with me each day. For all the extra workload I’ve dumped on him, from washing the bathroom to cooking to helping with Eesa, it certainly must be hard for him. For all the times when I’m cosily sleeping in while he’s working endless hours, I’m grateful to him for taking on the extra load so I dont have to get up for work while battling nausea bouts every morning! Above everything, having a baby is a privilege and a gift above everything else.
Imo, your presence around us is more valuable than any bracelet I, or our children, would ever carry on our wrist!
But, honey, if you really, really want to gift me with something dont let me hold you back! Bring on the diaper changes instead;)