presentEverything Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi does is a bit over-the-top. The way she dresses, the way she parties, the way she tans. So when I read about fiance Jionni Lavalle possibly getting her a big, blingy "push present" when their little meatball arrives in September, I wasn't exactly surprised.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it's a gift some women expect (or demand) for giving birth. It can be as simple as a piece of jewelry or as outrageous as a yacht, depending how deep your pockets reach. It's definitely a controversial subject among many moms. Some think it's a selfish thing to focus on during that time in your life, while others feel like they damn well deserve it.

I had actually never heard of a push present before I moved to Manhattan. The idea of getting a present for giving birth was foreign to me. But to be fair, so were 24-hour bodegas and a rat population twice that of the human one. The thought that you earn some sort of pricey prize for giving birth just seemed too weird to me. I thought, Isn't the baby the gift enough?

Well, I was singing a different tune when I was finally expecting myself. Pregnancy is hard. Really, really hard. At least it was for me. I was on bed rest for most of it and was seriously stressed out the entire time. It's not easy bringing another human being into this world. Why not gift a mommy-to-be with a little bauble? It is just one way to show her how much she is loved and appreciated.

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Now, that said, some women take the whole notion of the push present way too far. A former colleague of mine demanded Tiffany diamonds after each birth. Throughout her entire pregnancy she carped about how her husband better get this ring or that necklace, and if it didn't come in that little blue box, he was in big trouble. After returning from maternity leave, it wasn't photos of her baby she wanted to show off. She incessantly blathered on about how expensive her present was and how he [her husband] finally got it right. It was odd. I was happy she got what she wanted, but it just made her look so ... well, so bad.

Though you expect over-the-top, extravagant push presents for celeb moms. Rachel Zoe nabbed a 10-carat diamond ring after son Skyler was born. Katie Holmes was gifted with an 18-karat gold Cartier Love bracelet for bringing Suri into the world. Though nothing tops the $2.5 million diamond earrings Marc Anthony gave Jennifer Lopez when they welcomed twins Max and Emme.

For the rest of us, I don't think a push present has to have a particular price tag or come from a specific place. Yes, it should be something that makes you feel good, but why put so much pressure on your husband. It's a scary time for him too. Now did I actually get a push present? Yes -- in a way. I suppose I am actually living in it. A couple months before our son was born, we bought our first New York City apartment. And anyone familiar with Manhattan real estate knows that was present enough for the both of us.

What do you think of push presents?


Images via litratcher/Flickr