I was obsessed with having the 'perfect' birth

So instead of mourning my "flawed" labor and delivery, I shifted my attention.

I was obsessed with having the 'perfect' birth

Most of the women in my family have had C-sections. When I saw the positive line on my pregnancy test, I was determined not to be "plagued" by a C-section delivery for my little one.

I'm the youngest one in an extended family of many women—in my eyes, I was younger and wiser, I would be above that, I would have a natural vaginal delivery and triumph the struggles of the older generations. I would be the one to finally "get it right." It all seemed straightforward—I would watch my weight gain, stay home as much as possible during early labor, and simply push out that baby.


But that didn't happen.

I gave birth nine days after my due date. I labored for three days. I stayed home as long as I could until I couldn't walk and I was vomiting. After being admitted to the hospital, I begged for an epidural. As I neared the end of labor, I got a fever that rose rapidly while I was pushing—three hours to be exact. Then I quit.

I threw in the towel and demanded a C-section. The one thing I was determined to avoid, I ended up demanding. My nurses and doctors told me to hang in there and keep trying. They told me they could see the hair on my son's head and I was so close to the end. However, I was completely done.

After being prodded with countless needles, having dirty hair matted to my head, eating only one cracker packet and one mini juice box across two days, and lying vulnerable in a hospital bed gown I simply could not go on.

After delivery, I felt like I had lost the labor and delivery race. A race where I was at the finish line, but couldn't cross. I was greatly disappointed. The delivery nurses apologized to me, "I'm sorry," they said, "Look at my scar, it's shrunk over the years!" along with the many doctors on duty, "I'm sorry, you gave it your best." I received condolence gifts from family friends in the mail. I made it clear to my doctors, family and friends that I feared and never, ever wanted a C-section so this is how they responded to me.

I laid awake at night trying to sift through my feelings the day after my marathon delivery. In retrospect, it was such a waste that these thoughts were even going through my head as my perfect, healthy baby boy lay next to me sleeping.

I talked to my older sister on the phone, sharing our feelings since now I could understand something she went through that was previously very foreign to me. Together, my true feelings surfaced from our discussion.

Why was I so obsessed with the "perfect" labor and delivery?

Of course, we should be allowed to create a birth plan and aim to achieve that. But shouldn't we also be celebrating the fact that we created a human, however they come into this world? Or celebrate the triumphs of our pregnancy?

What I've learned is that no matter how you delivered, with or without medication, C-section or vaginal, forceps or vacuum—you made a human. And you survived nine months of growing a human.

So instead of mourning my "flawed" labor and delivery, I shifted my attention.

I celebrated my personal triumphs during my pregnancy.

I celebrated that I wrote and submitted a 92-page grant to the National Institutes of Health with no coffee.

I celebrated that I ate the healthiest I have in my entire life, including packing my lunch daily (which is a big deal for me).

I celebrated that I practiced mindfulness, prenatal yoga and kept my voice and stress controlled.

I celebrated that I embraced my body changes and felt good about my evolving figure and my bump and I didn't focus on the weight I gained as a negative.

I celebrated that I felt beautiful and vibrant.

I celebrated that when I was sick or tired, I gave myself space and time to slow down.

I celebrated that I made a whole new group of friends—mom friends—people who bonded with me during my time in pregnancy, kindly sharing their advice and experiences.

These are the things we should celebrate after birth rather than the one transient moment in time that we cannot control. So, in the end, I'm not sorry I had a C-section. I'm sorry that I put so much focus on something so fleeting.

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

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Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

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This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

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Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

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Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

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Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

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Wooden rocking pegasus

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Croquet set

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The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

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Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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