(VACAVILLE, Calif.) — Emily Johnson had planned on giving birth to her second child in a hospital, with an epidural.
Instead, Johnson, 31, of Vacaville, California, gave birth to her son, Thomas Alan, on Nov. 4, on her front lawn, with no pain medication.
Johnson told “Good Morning America” she and her husband, Michael Johnson, announced their son’s birth on Facebook by posting, “Thomas is here and there is Ring footage.”
“He’s a pretty quiet and chill little dude,” Emily Johnson said of her son, noting the contrast with his “chaotic arrival.” “He just stares and watches the world go by or sleeps.”
Thomas’s unconventional birth story began around 6:30 p.m., a week before Emily’s Johnson’s due date, when she started feeling contractions that were around 10 minutes apart.
Remembering the 18-hour labor she’d had with her 3-year-old son, Emily Johnson said she and her husband thought they had plenty of time and kept monitoring the contractions.
When the contractions began to quicken just after 9 p.m., the Johnsons said they called Emily’s mom to come watch Blake, and called the hospital to tell them they were on their way.
“While Mike was getting the car packed up, the contractions went from three minutes to two minutes to one minute very rapidly,” said Emily Johnson. “And then when I was standing at the car door, I just couldn’t get in the car.”
Though the hospital was just five minutes away, Emily Johnson said she knew she wasn’t going to make it.
She moved herself to the front lawn of her home, and her husband and her mother, Kristy Sparks, who had arrived to care for Blake, began to deliver the baby while on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.
“The dispatcher really helped with the process,” said Emily Johnson. “She really guided Mike and my mom through as they were trying to keep me as calm as possible because I was having a baby on the lawn.”
At 10:42 p.m., just two minutes after paramedics arrived, Thomas Alan was born — a healthy 7 pounds, 11 ounces.
“I was right there by her side with one hand on the speakerphone and one hand with a flashlight,” said Michael Johnson. “Her mom was there to catch the baby”
Michael Johnson was able to cut the umbilical cord on the front lawn, and then paramedics transported baby and mom to the hospital.
It was there that the Johnsons said they realized their Ring camera captured Thomas’ birth.
“When Michael got to the hospital, he started looking at the footage and showing it to the nurses,” said Emily Johnson, adding that they were able to figure out how Thomas’s birth took less than 30 minutes.
Though Thomas’s birth didn’t unfold exactly as planned, it did happen on a special day: He was born on the same day as his late paternal great-grandfather, Alan, from whom he gets his middle name. And he was born two days before the 82nd birthday of his maternal great-grandfather, Thomas, from whom he gets his first name.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.