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Joy Williams Introduces Son Miles Alexander

08/30/2012 at 05:30 PM ET

Joy Williams gave birth during a scorching heat wave in Nashville, but says her delivery was a breeze.

“I did it all naturally and really loved the experience. My husband [Nate Yetton] and I had just gone to the Belcourt to see the new Wes Anderson movie, and the air conditioning was out in the theater,” the female half of The Civil Wars tells PEOPLE. “I was so hot! I started feeling tiny pressure waves during the film, but they abated over time.”

Fast forward hours later and she was almost ready to deliver.

“The [contractions] woke me up at about 1:30 in the morning. And then those really gradual pressure waves grew to ‘Okay, I think it’s time to call the doula!’ It happened pretty quickly and it went really well,” Williams, 29, says. “I had a midwife and a doula. Nate was a champion of champions and so supportive and present.”

Tec Petaja


Open to several options, Williams says the birthing process proved to be a natural progression.

“I didn’t really feel the need for [an epidural]. It was pretty quick labor, so I didn’t have to endure days in and days out and that never-ending sense of, ‘When am I having this child?'” she explains. “Regardless of how you end up delivering — medication or not — the experience is beautiful and visceral and challenging, but ultimately really empowering.”

Despite the blissful birth, the first-time mama was more than ready to head home from the hospital with the couple’s newest addition.

“Some people told us that that drive home can feel really overwhelming and daunting, [but] I was ready to take him home to our safe environment and hibernate together,” Williams says. “When we walked in the door, it was like, ‘Okay, we’re here … and here’s your nursery and here’s the kitchen and here’s the living room — a getting-to-know-you session.”

After a “drama-free” pregnancy and delivery, Williams quickly settled into motherhood and has already introduced 9-week-old Miles Alexander to the family.

“His first time flying went really well! We’re in Northern California [right now] and the grandparents are meeting the little one,” she shares. “There’s nothing sweeter than being able to introduce him to them.”

And the name Miles suits the burgeoning jet-setter.

“I believe Miles means merciful in German and soldier in Latin, but the actual practical and literal meaning of miles leapt out to us as well,” the two-time Grammy winner explains. “The fact that we will be traveling around the world and he’ll see 10 different countries before he’s even six months old made that name even more special to us.”

Tec Petaja

As for her favorite way to spend time with her “really smiley” baby boy?

“I love walking to coffee shops. There are lots of great parks in Nashville. There’s a farmer’s market,” she says. “He’s so brand-new! There’s a lot more I want to do and show him around town.”

For now, the new mom is catching up on some shuteye — and feeling inspired by the late-night feedings. “I’m starting to write my own songs for him. Something to do in the middle of the night,” jokes Williams.

– Carlos Greer

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Showing 42 comments

Margo on

Miles is adorable!!!

Anonymous on

The baby is so cute.

Elizabeth on

What beautiful pictures of a gorgeous family! I’m a huge fan of Joy’s and The Civil Wars — watching her perform at Bonnaroo at nine months pregnant was amazing! Blessings to her and her lovely family.

Sandy on

OMG, those photos are so precious! Nothing like a newborn-wrinkley skin and all! :)

denise on

Such a cuite, best wishes..

Shelby on

I really admire Nate & Joy. I saw them at our local coffee shop about 2 weeks after Miles was born. They were sharing a popsicle on “date night” and looked to be SO in love. Wishing them lots of love on their newest one!

Alyssa on

I love her song, ‘What Can I Do But Love You’….makes me think of my babies.

Lillie on

She is great, her baby is beautiful, and I love the name Miles but it doesn’t mean soldier in German. Soldier in German is “der Soldat (male soldier)/ die Soldatin(female soldier)”. It may mean merciful in Latin, but definitely not solider in German. Just FYI for those who care :)

BTSCelebs on

Congrats to Joy and Nate!

tardisy on

Miles totally means soldier in Latin (pronounced Mee-lais), but despite the definition, it’s a cute name and a cute baby! Whoo!

tina on

And the need for the nude baby photos?

Catlin on

While the photos are beautiful, I have no idea who this woman is.

Emily on

Catlin, she’s part of a very talented band. One of my faves: http://youtu.be/WfzRlcnq_c0

classicsmajor on

In response to Lillie, miles means soldier in Latin, although it is pronounced differently than we would say it in English. I wonder if she didn’t just get her origins mixed up. Regardless, he is such a precious baby and I wish their family lots of happiness.

Annia on

There was a song by THE CIVIL WARS, I think, a while back, the same time when the movie COLD MOUNTAIN came out. I can’t remember the name of the song, but it was so beautiful & haunting. Does anyone know the name of the song? Anyway, the baby is adorable. Congratulations!!

Mrs JP on

congrats to the happy couple :)

Sara on

These pictures are so beautiful and sweet. What a lovely woman she is.

Harley on

Absolutely precious! Very happy for the newly expanded family and wishing them every joy (no pun intended).

As for those of you commenting on the meaning of her sons name; note she didn’t say “translation”. There are 3 different origins claiming Miles. Latin (as numerous people pointed out): soldier, Germanic: peaceful, English: peaceful. And seriously? MUST you find something in every article to nit-pick at? Gracious.

madamepanella on

lol miles is Latin for “soldier” and it is not German at all…

mary on

So cute, love that newborn baby smell.

Jessica Schweyer on

Miles is a beautiful baby…congratulations…enjoy every minute…it goes fast.

I just listened to the music by The Civil Wars…I had not heard their music. It’s beautiful and haunting. :)

meghan on

What beautiful images!

meghan on

Tina, exactly what inappropriate part of this child can you see? None? Then chill out. They are stunning. For all you can tell his diaper might just be out of the frame.

Anonymous on

Oh! How precious…these are such sweet photos! I’ve had too many close calls while changing diapers on baby boys to dare get that close to a naked one when they’re that young and tiny but the moment captured here is absolutely amazing. And Miles is a beautiful baby.

Ivy. on

Those photos are stunning! Love her music.

Denise on

When my son was born this January, we were at a birthing center with a midwife and The Civil Wars albums on a constant loop during the last two of my four hour labor. I’ve loved the music since first hearing it, but now Joy’s voice holds a whole new sentiment for me and my husband.

What beautiful pics. Love them.

Sonya on

Then you’ve missed out on a lot of exceptional music. Do yourself a huge favor and check out The Civil Wars on website or YouTube.

Anonymous on

meghan- Exactly! Plus, there’s nothing cuter than a baby in his or her birthday suit! ;)

Anonymous on

By the way, Miles is adorable!

Beth on

I swear miles is smiling at you in the first picture! How precious!

exasperated on

Wow Tina, you could see the baby is naked through your burqa?

Christopher on

You can feel a mother’s love through these gorgeous pictures. I’m so happy for you Miles.

Janna on

@tina… A naked baby offends you?
L O L O L O L O L O L O L O L O L

Philippa on

I have no idea who she is to be honest, but that top picture is just beautiful :)

Sammi on

That is one BEAUTIFUL baby boy! That smile on his cute little face is priceless! CONGRATS!

Melisa on

I wish all moms had her attitude….instead of another celebrity bragging about their 5 hour labor with no drugs and breastfeeding their kid till he is 10 she keeps it real and thats very refreshing. I wish them all the best….the pictures are absolutely beautiful.

Anonymous on

Congrats to her! I love The Civil Wars! Listen to Barton Hollow or Safe and Sound, the song they did with Taylor Swift from the Hunger Games soundtrack. Wonderful, wonderful vocals! The pictures are beautiful and who cares if the baby is naked! Also, quit being know it alls about the name origin people. Maybe she read it somewhere and it was published wrong. Give her a break! She’s a happy new Mom with a happy new baby!

Anonymous on

Miles is not a German word … and the German word for merciful in no way resembles it. As long as the parents are happy with the name, that’s what matters.

Anonymous on

Melisa- And what exactly do you propose celebs who are blessed with short, easy, drug-free labors do then? Lie and say it was long and horrible?!

Also, while extended breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, it’s nothing women should have to hide or feel ashamed about, either!

MiB on

Those pictures are beyond adorable!

I feel like I need to clear something up though. Miles is not a German word, but the name has Germanic origin (amongst others), possiby meaning “merciful”. It also has a Latin origin (soldier) and a possible Slavic origin. Languages have changed over time, words fall out of use, change their meaning or get a new pronunciation, so that they are no longer recognizeable unless you are familiar with it’s ethymology. A name can also have several different origins, with different meanings depending on what they are derived from, or different language variants deriving from the same origin. Just check out a common name like Michael, I can, without having to check, think of 5 different language variants; Micheal, Mikael, Mikhael, Mikhail, Misha, Michel, Michele, Mikkel, who are all proper, historical language variants of the same name.

Deborah on

How could Miles not be smiling? If you had 9 months of listening to Joy and John Paul singing, you’d be smiling too! Congratulations to Joy and Nate!!

Ruth on

Funny how she had a song titled, “A Million MILES to Go.” Haha. Congrats, Joy Williams. :D

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