Birth Story

It’s been almost four weeks (!!) since we had our perfect baby boy, Heath Christopher. We’ve been soaking in this newborn stage and figuring out this life with a baby (OUR baby!) and it’s 100% true what they say.. time flies. I’m document my birth story as best as possible because it is also true - you completely forget the pain and time it takes when you first have your baby in your arms!


After we found out he was breech, we decided to move forward with trying an ECV procedure (blog on how that went HERE) and thankfully it was successful! The doctor was able to flip the baby at 38 weeks and 5 days and I gave birth on his due date, July 28th, at exactly 40 weeks.

Let’s go back to when my mom got into town the night of July 25th. I was in a lot of pain after the ECV with round ligament pressure pushing on nerves in my groin which made it pretty hard to walk or pretty much do any movement without yelling out in shooting pain down my groin and legs - it was literally like I had Tourette’s Syndrome with random shouts in pain. I still tried to go out and do normal things like going out to dinner or walking.. but would have to stop and take deep breaths through the pains to try and not look like a crazy person yelling randomly. Even riding in the car was painful!

Okay moving on.. when Mom got here I started doing anything and everything to jump start labor. Ate whole pineapples at a time, dates in my smoothies, drank red raspberry leaf tea, went for long walks while Ryan and Mom played 9 holes at our local golf course, ate extra spicy food, and finally eggplant parmesan. Thursday and Friday we all walked about 3-4 miles total (while Ryan and Mom played a round of golf) and I had found another trick online, eggplant parmesan babies lol supposedly after eating this meal there were tons of women who went into labor. Friday night I called four different restaurants in the area and finally found eggplant parmesan at a Vesuvio’s, a restaurant in Carmel. We went out and I remember having such a hard time walking two blocks from where we parked to the front of the restaurant because of the shooting pains in my legs. Of course I ordered the eggplant parm and ate the whole thing - so good! :)

SURE ENOUGH I woke up Saturday morning to mild labor contractions and started losing my mucus plug. I was so happy and excited things were happening! We had a relaxing morning and my mom made homemade biscuits and gravy before we headed out for a long walk around the Monterey coastline and through Lovers Point. I was having to stop during contractions and breathe through them with the help of Ryan or my mom on the walk, but they were still manageable and it felt good to walk and move. We ordered pizza from our favorite local vegan restaurant and relaxed the rest of the evening, calling it an early night to try and get some sleep. By about 10 pm my contractions were getting stronger. I tried to sleep between them, in about 5-10 minute increments, but it was impossible. I wanted Ryan and mom to get some sleep so I went out to the living room and worked through the contractions on the yoga ball until about 2 am when Ryan came out with me to help me through them. We timed them and decided to wait a few more hours until they were 5-1-1 (five minutes apart, one minute long, for one hour). By 4 am I woke my mom up and told her we were going in to the hospital. Not sleeping for almost 24 hrs I was already exhausted, but excited to get to the hospital and see how baby was doing.

We checked into the hospital and they measured me at 4 cm, 60% effaced and baby in a -2 position. So basically we still had a long way to go. After getting checked in, it felt like time flew by (looking back). I really wanted to try for a natural birth so we worked through contractions pretty much all day. They were getting stronger and closer together, about every 3-4 minutes apart which made sleeping or resting impossible. Ryan and I walked the halls of the hospital (very slowly and stopping during the contractions), got in the shower (which felt amazing and like the only time I was happy during labor haha), and used the birthing ball tons. At about 2 pm, they checked me again and I was still only 6 cm dilated and had been for the past 4 hrs which meant I wasn’t progressing as fast as I should and there was still a long road ahead. My doctor said this would be a good point to start Pitocin in hopes of progressing faster. This would also made the contractions even stronger and closer. At this point, I was completely exhausted from not sleeping and laboring for over 30 hrs, as well as in excruciating pain with every contraction, we decided to move forward with an epidural and Pitocin. So I got started on fluids in my IV, which take about an hr to get through before they can give you an epidural and was counting down the seconds until it was time because of the pain.

Around 3 pm I got the epidural and Pitocin and felt INSTANT relief. I could still move my legs and feel the contractions, but not in a painful way like before, more of the feeling of a lot of pressure. I do remember that I could not stop shaking. Like uncontrollable shaking over my whole entire body. They said it was normal, called “baby shakes” from all the adrenaline going through my body. The only thing that helped was being weighted down by three or four blankets. I was trying so hard to not move when the doctor was doing the epidural but I still was shaking a little bit holding on to Ryan. After the epidural, I took one of the best naps of my life. It’s still so crazy to me that I went from extreme pain to complete relaxation from this magic medicine. Big fan of the epidural haha. Two hours later I woke up and they went to check me one more time. I was 9.5 cm! My body completely relaxed (literally fell asleep) as I went through the hardest transition of labor.. amazing. My water still wasn’t broken at this point so a doctor on call came in and broke it and before I know it they are like “okay are you ready to push??”

It was around 5:30 pm now and I started pushing when I felt a contraction coming on with Ryan holding back one leg and my mom holding back the other. We put on our “baby playlist” of all the songs we loved that could describe our baby or could be ‘his song’ growing up - songs I could imagine us dancing to at his wedding :’) The nurse said she could already see his head and that she could already tell I would not be pushing for very long. She went ahead and called our doctor to head into the hospital, who was out to dinner with his family on a Sunday evening haha. He actually just got back from a week long vacation the night before!! I could still move my legs and feel the pressure from each contraction, even with the epidural, which I was happy about. Believe it or not, I was more scared of getting an epidural and essentially being paralyzed from the waist down than trying to do childbirth naturally! Like I said, I could still move and feel my legs so I pushed laying down with Ryan and my mom each holding a leg back, moved into the squatting position on the bed, on my left side, and then finally on my right side, to help maneuver the baby through the birthing canal.

Around 6:20 pm our nurse literally told me to STOP pushing because our doctor wasn’t there yet. Let me tell you, this was not fun to NOT push during contractions, actually it was almost impossible because this is nature’s way of telling your body to GET THIS BABY OUT! Luckily the doctor showed up shortly after and I was yelling at everyone to hurry up and get him out haha.. his head was literally sticking out!! So he finally gets down there and says “okay, go ahead and push… *one push* STOP pushing… give me your hands and grab your baby!” I pulled him out myself and pulled him to my chest <333

At 6:40 pm on July 28, 2019, Heath Christopher was born at 7 lbs 10 oz and 21 inches long to the song “Linger” by The Cranberries. Yes, I bawl my eyes out every time this song plays.


I still tear up when I think of that moment pulling him out and bringing him to me. I was in complete shock and love and emotions I’ve never felt before. It is truly an indescribable feeling. Heath was so alert from the very beginning and was staring at Ryan and I right away while we had the “golden hour” of skin-to-skin with him on my chest. I delivered the placenta shortly after and the doctor stitched everything up but I honestly don’t remember any of it because I was staring at this beautiful baby boy in my arms! Pretty sure they could have cut off my toes and I wouldn’t have known lol. Heath stayed on my chest for more like an hour and a half and almost immediately started nursing. From hour one he has been breastfeeding like a champ which I definitely do not take for granted. After our hour was up he immediately went for his next hour of skin-to-skin with Ryan :) He was sooo tiny but looking all around and wanting to look at our faces! Another moment I never want to forget is seeing Ryan and his son (and twin) during the first moments of his life :)


This time together was so so special and I’m so thankful for my amazing husband, mom, and team of nurses and doctors at CHOMP in Monterey that helped Heath and I get through delivery safe and sound! I’m soooo happy that we were able to turn Heath with the ECV procedure just days before after being breech and have a successful delivery. Definitely counting our many blessings, the biggest being our beautiful, healthy, perfect baby boy Heath Christopher Dishman :) :) :)


Third Trimester + Breech Baby ECV

Can’t believe we are in the final stretch! Writing this at 39 weeks and 6 days and it feels like I will be pregnant FOR.EV.URRR. What they say is true, the last two weeks have been the slowest of my life. Everything hurts and getting out of bed or rolling over is now classified as an olympic sport. I just can’t wait for this baby to be here!

Karyssa Coasta Photography

Karyssa Coasta Photography

H O W A R E Y O U F E E L I N G - -

Writing this before 36 weeks: The third trimester FLEW by and honestly I thought it would. We were so busy with travel and work every week of May we were on a flight! I was relieved when I hit the 32-34 week mark which meant no more flying or long travel days and we could just chill. I honestly felt great and like I wasn’t even pregnant most days! I do work from home which I 100% am so thankful for and definitely think has contributed to a smooth and easy pregnancy. Still working out consistently, going to weddings and on work trips, feeling good…

Writing this after 36 weeks: After we found out baby boy was breech, it felt like time slowed wayyy down. Immediately following our 36 week doctors appointment, I started all the different exercises and positions to try and flip the baby: butt laying on the couch, head laying on the floor; down dog yoga pose; knees on the couch, head on the floor; acupuncture for breech babies; moxibustion both professionally and at home; flashlight at the bottom of my belly; music towards the vag - literally tried everything. We went back a week later and confirmed he was still breech (lil stinker) and went ahead and weighed our options:

  1. Wait and see if he flips naturally closer to birth - a lot of people told me they’ve felt their baby flip days or even hours before birth. Although this would be most ideal, it was obviously risky to wait and see if he would flip or not and since he was basically full term, he wouldn’t be getting any smaller which would mean it would be harder to flip around.

  2. Schedule a c-section - our doctor/hospital does not attempt to deliver breech babies so if he didn’t flip, I would 100% have to have a cesarian. Not the end of the world but definitely not our first choice.

  3. Try an ECV (External Cephalic Version) procedure - this is basically where my doctor would manually try to flip from the outside of my stomach. I’d seen mixed reviews on it being anywhere from painless and no problem to excruciating pain and unsuccessful.

We went with option 3 and scheduled an ECV when I around 38.5 weeks pregnant. Being my first baby, the doctor had already warned us my uterus and stomach muscles were tighter which meant there was not a huge amount of room for him to flip around with whatever option we decided.

E C V P R O C E D U R E --

Ryan and I showed up to the hospital at 6 AM on ECV day and got checked in. They started me on an IV and checked all the vitals of the baby and I. Both prior at our last appointment and the day of, we had an ultrasound to make sure the umbilical cord wasn’t wrapped around the baby or in the way and there was enough fluid, etc… Doctor showed up around 7:30 AM and soon enough we were going for attempt #1. I wanted to try to do it without any pain meds, thinking it should be a quick procedure and the baby would just flip as the doctor gently guided him.. lol no. First, the doctor had to push him OUT of my pelvis/birthing canal and up further into my ribs. From there he grabbed the baby’s butt as hard as he could and then pushed his head while using all his force to make sure the baby didn’t fall back into the pelvis. Our doctor was literally shaking from all the force he was using trying to maneuver the baby up and out and through the hardest part, which was when he is horizontal in my stomach. I was closing my eyes, couldn’t help but moan pretty loudly, and was squeezing Ryan’s hand as hard as I could. The doctor and nurse stopped at about 1/4 of the way through - not even to the horizontal part yet - and could see my face was flushed white and I felt like I was going to pass out. Feeling pretty discouraged on how much more I could take and how much I was worrying about the baby, our doctor recommended getting a spinal to numb and relax the area from tensing up. It was a tough decision because I had previously had my heart set on a natural unmedicated birth, but we opted for it and I was hooked up to the IV fluids. About an hr later, we went back to the operating room, which is where they had to do it for risks of emergency c-section, and I got a half dose of the spinal so I could still feel some things and move my legs up and down. The doctor then started on attempt #2 and I just remember closing my eyes, Ryan coaching me through by helping visualize our local beach aka “happy place” and in what seemed like no time, they showed us the ultrasound and we saw the baby had flipped!! I started crying I was so happy! From there, we stayed in the hospital for about 3-4 more hours to monitor the baby and make sure he was okay (he was such a champ and was doing so well on the stress tests) and letting the spinal wear off for me. We walked out of the hospital and made it home around 1 PM that day where I napped for like 4-5 hrs the rest of the afternoon haha.

The day(s) following the ECV were pretty brutal as well. At first I was like oh man this is great, baby is flipped, now we just wait for him to get here… no again. I had bruising on my stomach where the doctor pushed him up and out and at the top where he guided his head down and my back was supppper sore and stiff from the spinal needle. I started having these lightning pains down my groin and leg which kind of feels like right when you think your muscle is going to cramp or spasm - called round ligament pain and lightning crotch (lol). Basically now that the baby was flipped his (bigger) head was going down into my pelvis super quickly vs. regular babies who gradually grow that way, and stretching the ligaments thin. It would come out of no where so I honestly felt like I had Tourette’s from randomly yelling out and having a body spasm haha funny now but definitely not then..

Even though the ECV was extremely painful, I would 100% do it over again for the chance of flipping the baby and giving us a shot at a natural birth. I also know I could not have done it without my husband there helping make the decisions and being rock throughout the whole process.

Karyssa Coasta Photography

Karyssa Coasta Photography

Here I am writing this at 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant, impatiently waiting for baby boy to arrive and sooo ready to try labor! It sounds crazy but I’m very excited for the whole “going into labor” experience and trying to work through it with Ryan and my mom here. We are hoping for a natural birth, but I’m definitely not against pain meds after this last baby encounter. I opted to not have a birth plan after finding out little man was breech because it just confirmed you cannot predict anything and I honestly have no idea what to expect! I can read all the blogs and birth stories possible, but each baby and birth is completely different. Being a planner/scheduler/control freak, I’m seeing this is the first lesson having a baby is teaching me as a parent.. to go with the flow and take everything one step at a time. All I care about is leaving the hospital with a strong and healthy baby boy!

C R A V I N G S - -

  • Chocolate milk

  • Blueberry muffins + waffles

  • Ice cream sandwiches

  • Honey crisp apples

3 months - 6 months - 9 months

3 months - 6 months - 9 months

In the final stretch!!!! Literally cannot wait for baby to get here and to finally meet him! Any guesses on when he will show up??


Baby Registry (Pre-Baby)

Since before getting pregnant, I knew I didn’t want my life and house to become a rainbow circus full of baby crap and toys when having kids and wanted to be very minimal (I may eat these words later down the road lol). Here are some of the baby items we’ve registered or purchased for baby boy’s upcoming arrival!

Karyssa Coasta Photography (14 weeks pregnant)

Karyssa Coasta Photography (14 weeks pregnant)

Let me just preface this post saying when we got pregnant, I had NO idea about anything baby related. We’re talking like never-held-a-baby-or-changed-a-diaper in my life…. starting from scratch. Babies sleep in this?? And they need that?? I honestly didn’t even think about what a baby needs or what we needed to get to bring a human into the world and into our home until the second trimester, but after research and figuring out my ‘baby style’ I’m pretty happy with what we decided to register for and purchase. Obviously a baby-rookie here so please take this blog post with a grain of salt haha.

The Nuna Tavo stroller and car seat travel system was the only baby thing I completely fell head-over-heels love with and had to have. It was definitely a pricer item but it includes both the car seat and convertible stroller which we can use for years. The PIPA lite car seat is actually the lightest car seat on the market and has the highest safety reviews - chic and efficient. I may or may not push this stroller around the house in anticipation :D

I’ve seen this highly recommended by other mamas so we will see! I like that you don’t have to un-swaddle the baby for a diaper change if needed.

If you know, then you KNOW. Barefoot Dreams material is the softest material everrrrrrrr. Still have the robe on my wishlist. I’m obsessed with this baby blanket and can’t wait to cuddle him up in this :) Literally a dream.

I wasn’t sold on needing a baby swing in the house until hanging out with friends who had babies and seeing how much their babies loved it. This one is super cool because it comes with an app that you can control the motion, speed, sounds, and on/off right from your phone. These are pricey compared to other swings, but I actually found one for half the price on my local Facebook Marketplace from a mama who’s baby simply didn’t like it and was only used a few times. HIGHLY recommend Facebook Marketplace if you live in a quality area and use your best judgement when buying anything online.

We are currently in a 2-bedroom home and didn’t want to give up the guest room, so we will have a guest room/ nursery set up and keep the baby in our room for the first few months of his life. It was so hard for me to find a baby bassinet that was not the rainbow-unicorn-football print that makes me want to vomit until I stumbled upon this beauty. Another pricey item I fell in love with (why are you like this Rachel). However, again I hit the Facebook Marketplace jackpot and found one of these locally from a mama who just had her baby and they decided to co-sleep and didn’t need it anymore. It is basically brand new and I took it home for $100! Everything is machine washable so yeah… chalking that one up for a win.

I found this faux leather diaper bag on Amazon for like $40 and so far love it! Saying this without actually using it yet lol but the size, pockets, potential, etc.. amazing. There are pockets, zippers, and handles everywhere for everything and I’m actually really excited to use this diaper bag! Who am I…

I knew I wanted to be a baby-carrying-mama so I registered for this adorable cream linen sling and a black Boba Baby Wrap for outfit options. Can’t wait to strap him on and enjoy the ride!

These black and white flash card things are supposed to be great for baby brain and visual development and I’ve seen multiple mamas recommend them. The sweet new mama who gifted us these from our registry said her little one LOVED them and looked at them the whole time during diaper changes and tummy time.

There are SO many gadgets for babies that I had absolutely no idea about which can definitely get overwhelming. Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to go minimal, but still will get the gear if I think it will best suit our lifestyle. I know I didn’t want to put everything in the dishwasher or wash never ending bottles manually, so this seemed like our best option. It is an automatic steamer, sterilizer, drier, milk warmer, and food heater all in one and about the size of a blender on the countertop. Sounds great to me so we’ll see if this was the best option after all.

Yep - salivating just thinking of a glass of red wine.

Going to try to stick with glass bottles for as long as possible. I know this won’t last forever when he starts holding (and throwing) them himself haha. I’ve heard good things about Dr. Brown’s, Phillips Advent, and Comotomo baby bottles so I’m sure we will have to go through a little experimenting until we find the best match!

Love the texture and feel of the 100% cotton muslin blankets - so soft! I went with this material for all the swaddle blankets, burp cloths, and wash cloths.

I definitely like the look of the Sunggle Me vs. the Dock-a-tot and it’s SO soft. I feel like this will come in handy when we’re spending a lazy Saturday morning in bed or hanging out on the couch :) If I was a baby I would love to lay in this thing!

Karyssa Coasta Photography

Karyssa Coasta Photography

I’ve loved looking at what other Mamas have used and loved so I hope you’ve found this helpful! I definitely have it on my radar to make a post-baby item blog with all the items we actually used and loved.. can’t believe how soon that will be! :)


Any other must-haves from my experienced Mamas out there?