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Birds Hill maternity photo shoot delivers, mom goes into labour

05/15/2015 12:09 EDT | Updated 05/14/2016 05:59 EDT
A maternity photo shoot took an unexpected turn Wednesday as a Winnipeg mother of four went into labour northeast of the city.

Ginger Johnson's due date was at the end of May. Thinking they had ample time, Johnson and her husband Russel Mason hired photographer Neffi Bergen to take photos of them and their four kids in Birds Hill Provincial Park.

Once the family got out to the park, Johnson started having contractions. That got Bergen's heart rate going.

"I was like, 'Are you okay, should we leave?'" said Bergen. "She was like, 'No, I need these photos, I need these photos.' Then she would say, 'OK, take the picture, take the picture.'"

Johnson said since she's already had four kids, she felt she had enough time to finish the shoot.

"I started crying and said 'I can't do this anymore, and I'm so sad because I want pictures on the beach,'" said Johnson.

The family left the park at 7:10 p.m.

"Basically they rushed me into the room, and said 'OK, I think you're ready, let's have this baby," said Johnson.

An hour after leaving the park, Johnson gave birth to her baby boy Reign Leif Mason.

Russel picked the name while he and his wife were having their pictures taken.

"I said if we have the baby out here we can call him 'Reign,' because it's raining, and 'Leif,' because there are leaves," he said.

Everything was so unexpected, Mason said they hadn't even arranged for anyone to watch their other kids. Fortunately, staff at St. Boniface Hospital obliged.

"They took our children and watched them for us as Ginger delivered," Russel said. "Thank you, thank you for that, that was nice."

The family said it was all one sweet surprise and that the new addition is already fitting in perfectly.

"Everything was amazing timing, we got our pictures, we got our baby," said Johnson.

"I think it will be pretty hard for other maternity shoots to top this one because this was pretty awesome," said Bergen.

Once they are out of the hospital and settled in at home, the family said they'll be heading back to the beaches at Birds Hill to finish their photo shoot, with Reign in arm.

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