wildgreen - I'm doing the same thing as Irielyn for the nurses at the hospital and for my midwives - in about a week, the stores will transition away from Halloween and go to the holidays, so there will be many, many basket filler type items on the shelves. That's what I'm waiting for. I like to give those as gifts anyway, usually teas and hot chocolates, cookies, sometimes I make homemade candy, etc. I have to do 3 baskets - one for the regular nurses, one for the special care nursery ones, and one for my midwives.
I'm convinced at this point that even though my labor and birth were hellish, I hit the jackpot with this kiddo. Norah is the sweetest little girl - she's very opinionated and doesn't mind screaming when you do something she dislikes (i.e. diaper changes), but she has the sunniest disposition otherwise! Her alert times are so much fun, she babbles a lot in her baby language and chews on her hands, so sweet. So far, she sleeps for 3 hour stretches at night, always at least 2 in a row with usually 3, so I really am getting more sleep than most as well. My husband and I have a lovely arrangement where I let him sleep through the first feed/change and then I can wake him for the second if I need help - that way, he gets a good stretch of at least 6-7 hours, which is necessary for work. Because I have the luxury of a nap (which I never actually take, I'm stupid) as an option during the day, I don't mind waking up every time.
I have come to terms with the fact that my birth was traumatic in more ways than one. My husband and I are both pretty scarred from the whole thing - I couldn't imagine being in his shoes and watching me be in such pain for so long. When I remember the labor room, it's always darker in my memories - I made a point when I was in my postpartum room to never go down the hallway where it was. Some nurses tried to persuade me while I was in the hospital to get C-sections from now on, while others (usually the younger ones) were so encouraging, telling me that the second time around will be much easier. I don't know either way - all I know is that it's a long, long way off.
I hope the rest of you get the labors you want and deserve! I'm sending all my love, all the time. More babies! :)