Emily and Michael Johnson had not planned to record the birth of their second son, Thomas. When Emily went into labor things progressed much more quickly than expected and baby Thomas was delivered on the front lawn of their Vacaville, California home, and as an added bonus, the birth was recorded on their Ring video doorbell.
Emily said that her contractions started on the evening of Nov. 4, and were 10 minutes apart for the first couple of hours. The couple lives only a mile or so from the hospital so Emily and Michael felt "pretty confident" that they had plenty of time to get there.
Emily recalls her contractions suddenly going from 10 minutes apart to five minutes apart and within 10 minutes or so, the contractions were only two minutes apart, then suddenly one minute apart as the Johnsons were trying to get in the car to go to the hospital.
"Once they hit that three, two, one and I’m standing at the car door and they started occurring every 30 seconds, I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m getting in this car, even for a five-minute drive.”
She said she started to sweat and felt nauseous, so she laid down in the grass on the front lawn.
Michael said that when she couldn’t make it to the car, he knew she was going to be giving birth at home.
"As soon as she wouldn’t start moving, it was like, oh OK, this is going to happen here," Michael said. "I’m not going to be able to get her anywhere."
Just a few minutes after Emily laid down, her mother pulled up to take care of the Johnsons' 3-year-old son Blake.
"She was coming to get him," Emily said. "Not knowing that she was going to have to help us with the delivery."
When Emily’s mother arrived, they called 9-1-1 and Michael followed the instructions given by a dispatcher while they waited for an ambulance.
"I felt like a cow giving birth in a field," Emily said. "It was really bizarre and kind of primal. And at the same time, I was so uncomfortable. It was like, I can’t believe this is actually happening."
She added, "I was just like, ‘Oh my god, I’m giving birth on the lawn. This is not where I want to be.’"
EMTs can be seen in the video arriving just in time to hear Emily's mom announce that Thomas' head was out. One of the medics instructed Emily to keep pushing then seconds later, Thomas can be heard crying.
"Hearing him cry… right after he came out was like, ‘we’ve done it,’" Michael said, adding that Thomas’ cries were "very, very reassuring."
EMTs took Emily and Thomas to the hospital where the mother and baby were just fine.
After things settled down, Michael remembered that while he was running back and forth from the house to the lawn to get towels, he had noticed that the Ring video doorbell was recording.
Once Emily and Thomas were settled at the hospital, Michael looked back through the video and showed it to Emily.
"It caught it all," Emily said, adding that she was thankful the video wasn’t too clear or detailed and that she had been facing her car instead of the house.
"If I was faced toward the house, the Ring camera wouldn’t have been able to be shared," Emily said.
Michael added: "It luckily was far enough away where nothing showed."
Even though the couple had not been planning to record Thomas’ birth, Emily said she’s glad to have the video as a keepsake.
"It’ll just be a cool little family memento that we have of him and his experience," Emily said, joking that they could show it at his wedding or other big moments in his life.
Emily described the experience as being "really surreal" and said that she’s relieved that no one came out of their house to see what was going on.
"I was very thankful afterwards that it was 10:30 at night and not 10:30 in the morning, when neighbors and delivery trucks are driving by.