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Friday, January 25th, 2013
My first introduction to the “push present” was a Bentley. No, no, no, not for me. That’s crazy talk. I saw it on The Real Housewives of Orange County as the wealthy mother zoomed around town in her new “baby bauble” (although really, a Bentley is hardly a bauble).
Statistics show the “push present,” a present a partner gives to the mother after giving birth to their child is a growing trend. I’m curious as to who this trend growing amongst? Celebs like Rachel Zoe and Mariah Carey made the push present a thing, but are celebs the only ones raking in the gifts at birth? Are we the common folk growing this trend as well?
To me, the term “push present” feels well, pushy. It feels greedy. It feels entitled. It feels like the baby is secondary.
Proponents of the push present say things like “yes, the baby is gift enough but…” the but makes me feel like well, a butt for thinking a present is required for experiencing labor.
As one mom put it, “Labors really tough. It’s nice to have something to look forward to apart from the child of course.” Yes ma’am. It is really tough. But it’s more than just “one of dem days that a girl goes through.” It’s a monumental and special part of life that feels weakened by an “I had a baby and look at this gift I got!” moment.
Many women have being doing the labor sans gifts for centuries. While I believe in having things to look forward to, I know the thought of meeting my child at the end of labor was motivating me through each swear inducing contraction (I joke, sort of…), not a bracelet.
I’m just sayin’ this.
A present isn’t inherently greedy. If a husband wants to give his wife a gift out of the kindness and thoughtfulness of his heart, I’m all for it. But he shouldn’t do it because he’s told to or it’s expected.
I think it’s thoughtful to surprise a new mum with a trip for two post baby or a sentimental token that could possibly be gifted to the new baby one day. Again though, that should happen of the spouse’s own free will and choice and not out of guilt because he didn’t have the “burden” of pregnancy and labor or the need for his wife to have an answer to what she received as a pushy present.
I’m also just sayin’ this.
Ladies, treat yo self. Labor is really though. Having a newborn is really tough. Be kind to yourself after birth.
If that means you want your gams massaged, your toes painted, or your house to “shine like the top of the Chrysler building” through the angelic cleaning hands of someone else, treat yo self. I just think those things should be separate from the birthing experience and not a reward for labor; but a nod that you are a human being who needs help at times and an occasional indulgence to make you feel like a woman.
Image: Bentley emblem via olgaru79 / Shutterstock.com
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Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
35 weeks/8 months (Basically, super pregnant)
I’d like to start one.
I submit the belly photo bomb to be the latest pregnancy trend. Forget gender reveal or ultrasound parties, let’s make that gargantuan, gawkable, lovable specimen of a belly the real star!
For those new to the bombing ways in general, the photo bomb is basically the art of ruining another person’s perfectly good picture with one’s mug (mean, silly or otherwise) in the background.
Therefore, the belly photo bomb is using the belly to ruin, or rather I’d say enhance someone’s picture. I discovered this secret skill of the pregnant belly the other day as I was taking extremely awkward baby bump pictures. (No matter how hard I wish it weren’t so, I’m the most unnatural person in front of the camera. Let’s just say, it’s hard to face the problem, when the problem is your face).
Enter the belly photo bomb. With my large margeness splendor of a belly, there’s no reason why my face needs to be in a picture from here on out. Instead, I’m committing to and asking all the pregnant ladies, all the pregnant ladies to sidle up to someone, stick it out, and work it CoverGirl. Bomb those photos.
I know my sister appreciated the sisterly closesness that is forced awkwardness as I realized our height ratio to my bump proportion fit perfectly under her chest when nestled in juuuust right. Awkward photo perfection. I knew this belly was destined for greatness.
Sure, sure we all know the regular party tricks of using the belly as a table to hold food or watching it shred a blouse (oh wait, just me? not on purpose, more in denial of its largeness). I’m ready to own my business in the front and take it to the next level by photo bombing my way through the last 5 weeks of pregnancy. Yes, 5 people! It took me longer to realize that I was pregnant than it will for me to be holding a new baby bundle of joy. Insert girlish hormonal squeal of excitement!
I’m warning the Internets now, the incessant need to document life is no longer safe from this belly. When you’re getting ready to Instagram your froyo, your new shoes, or your morning cup of jo, (link is funny but I give it a parental warning) my belly might just make a photo bomb appearance. No one is safe.
It’s time to have a little fun with the big ol’ belly to make it through these last few weeks of the mind game that is the waiting game.
#bellyphotobomb I won’t stop till it’s trending!
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Friday, January 4th, 2013
We sat in the dimly lit room of the doctor’s office today as the ultrasonographer measured and prodded the growing baby in my belly. Like previous ultrasounds, it was a moment marked by some anxiety, a lot of excitement, and a continual sense of awe. It was an intimate moment for our family of three, soon to be four. A tender and funny moment where every observation of our two-year-old filled the room; “Is she a doctor?” “Why don’t they have any snacks?” “What is sissy boo doing?” “I have to go pottttty!” “Can we listen to some music?” and the thoughtful concerns about the new baby surfaced from my husband as we admired the sleeping babe in my belly.
It was a memorable family moment, but I wouldn’t call it a party. For some expectant mothers though, an ultrasound has become a reason to party.
Writing about pregnancy has opened my eyes to the trends associated with the bump. We’ve talked baby shower etiquette for a second pregnancy, “dadchelor” parties, fetus key chains, and now there are ultrasound parties to add to the pregnancy vocabulary.
No, this isn’t necessarily a gender reveal party, although some use it for that, but it’s a straight up ultrasound where a lab technician comes to the home of those “cooking one up,” and use their gadgets and gizmos to show off all the parts of the growing little to an onlooking crowd.
According to an article by Today.com, these parties are a “trend [that] appear to be spreading. From California to Florida, services like Peek a View and Miracles Imaging help expectant parents turn a procedure into a party.”
The only aspect of a party I could really muster from the situation was my partially removed pantaloons. I mean, if I were that kind of party girl. No mom, I am not.
Trust me, I love seeing peeks of our baby. I understand wanting to share the excitement and joy of such an experience. I just think ultrasounds are more of an intimate moment. They are a moment solely about the health of the baby instead of tickets to a Saturday night show. The ultrasound party feels too much about entertainment.
Perhaps it’s the serial worrier in me, but I feel completely uncomfortable inviting others over for “drinks, snacks, [and] friendly banter” to have it suddenly, and quite possibly take a very serious tone. There are a myriad of complications detected during an ultrasound and I’d rather not receive that news in front of a crowd. Also, many abnormalities found during an ultrasound work themselves out and I’d hate to worry a crowd for no reason at all.
The article points out the reality of a party gone unexpectedly wrong: “What if the ultrasonographer started the ultrasound and there was no heartbeat?…Or what if the fetus had not developed a skull/head/brain? This happens more than most people realize. What do you do then?”
This budding trend mocks doctors and the FDA’s use of ultrasounds “to diagnose chromosomal disorders, malformations, and to aid in estimating fetal weight or the amount of amniotic fluid — not for entertainment value. Revealing gender has never been a reason to do an ultrasound.”
As “Grandpa Frank” from the article demonstrates, the sense of awe at an ultrasound doesn’t translate to everyone. His sentiments that “I don’t know why they keep showing that…you can only see so much of it,” reveal that the reveal of a baby in real-time isn’t equally thrilling for everyone.
As the mother of the little screen star, I could watch my baby girl flip, kick, and suck her thumb endlessly while in utero, but the moment loses the rarity and sweetness of glimpsing new life the minute interest wanes and party jokes and drinks become paramount to the unique moment.
Mostly, the ultrasound party trend feels like another way to turn pregnancy into an industry. To me, pregnancy should not be monetized. It’s not a spectacle, it’s a miracle. Just because today’s technology allows couples to share their joyous news in various ways, doesn’t mean everyone needs a front row seat. Especially when my derrière is partially exposed…
What say ye? A trend to follow or a trend to fail?
Image: Pregnant woman receiving ultrasound via Andrei Zveaghintev/Shutterstock.com
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Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
While there’s been no movement in our baby name stalemate, one thing the husband and I can agree on is we won’t be naming our daughter Hashtag, like one couple recently did. After this horrific (for lack of a better word) name hit the news, even more tales of name debacles surfaced. I think there are plenty of tall tales when it comes to baby names. I’m skeptical when I hear a friend of a friend’s, brother’s sister’s aunt knows a couple who named their baby “YOLO” because of the lack of a primary source. It feels a little like the rendition of walking to school uphill, both ways, naked in the snow, that all grandparents tell. Even here in Arizona.
But a labor and delivery nurse, a valid primary source I’d say, shared accounts of babies named Sparkle, Lehmetaya (pronounced let me tell ya), Main Attraction, the sibling set Your Highness and Her Majesty, and Captain America. The mind boggles. Are these urban legends or is little Facebook (real name) cheerfully calling out “here” alongside her classmates?
I don’t think there should be laws against what individuals can or cannot name their children but hopefully, hopefully, they’ll legally change their name when they’re old enough. More importantly, it does make me wonder, did the couple reveal their name before the baby was born? Were their friends and family on board? Was Hashtag hand-stitched by granny’s arthritic hands onto a keepsake baby quilt?
With our first, we didn’t tell anyone the name before she was born or even what names we were thinking about. I wanted to see her sweet little face first to ensure the name fit, but the main reason? When it comes to names, I can dish it out, but I can’t take it. Everyone has an opinion and I didn’t want to play defense. Naming a child is a big deal in my book and I didn’t want to always remember that Auntie Sally Sue said our daughter’s name reminded her of a lady of the night. It’s hard to forget those things.
I figured the easiest way to avoid unsolicited opinions was just to keep it private. For the most part, it worked. I know everyone wasn’t over the moon about our daughter’s name, Harper, but I didn’t hear too much about it because she was here, named, and oh so snuggleable before the name could totally repel them.
On the downside, family, even strangers were offended at times that we wouldn’t say the name. I was also paranoid people would “steal” her name before she was born. I sidled up to the only other pregnant lady at church due before me, introduced myself, skipped the small talk, and then pumped her for information about her baby name. It wasn’t my finest hour.
We don’t have a name so there’s nothing to share yet, but we still haven’t decided if we will share it prior to her grand entrance.
What say ye? Did you shout their name from the rooftops as soon as you found out you were pregnant? Did telling others the name bring on the opinions? Do you think it’s better to wait?
Do you think these
crazy unique name givers could save angelic little “iPhone” or “Pinterest” from a life of embarrassment if someone were to talk them out of the name beforehand?
Image: Name tag via Keith Bell/Shutterstock.com
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