Lenyx Dean | Birth Story

I have been lucky to have been able to photograph multiple birth's this past year, but I feel like Lenyx's story melts my heart the most. He is the strongest little boy that I have ever met and has been a fighter for all of his life, and I hope he continues to do so. 

I have known Kati for years, we went to the same school, semi knew the same people, and have always bonded over our love of photography and "fauxtographers." At first, when she found out she was pregnant, we always joked about having myself fly out to photograph her birth in Wyoming, then Oregon. When circumstances brought them back to Michigan, it was like it was fate.

I wasn't able to capture all of the story, but with the help of Kati and Sheldon, I was able to put together what turns out to be my favorite story of the year so far. And let me tell you, this little boy deserves it!

It all started when...

"In the middle of cooking dinner one night I had a sudden urge to take a test. I have no idea why. I wasn't experiencing any symptoms other than a really strong urge to test.

I didn't believe it when the test showed positive so naturally I felt compelled to take 15-20 more (yes, really).

I tried to surprise dad with the news by taping the test inside of a card. Unfortunately someone else blabbed the info before I could lol."

I remember Kati telling me she was pregnant, sharing a video she made with me to ask me what I thought about it. It was the most precious thing I have ever seen. It brought tears to my eyes with excitement and just the pure joy you can see in it. 

You can watch it below and I hope you do, because it truly is worth every second.


"We were thrilled to find out we would be blessed with our son after having two daughters. For the longest time I was convinced he wouldn't have a name, but we finally agreed on Lenyx Dean (yx because Dad didn't like the Ox ending and I wasn't about to spend another 20 weeks pouring over names lol)."

I was lucky enough to have been able to follow Kati's pregnancy through social media and the support groups that she helped put together and ran. (At least when she wasn't super hormonal... Her words, not mine lol)

"As far as cravings are concerned I was completely obsessed with the brownie batter ice cream from Ben and Jerry's. I seriously ate it every day."


Even though Lenyx loved his happy food, or at least that's what I call ice cream, he wasn't too happy being in the womb for very long. I say he was anticipated to meet Mommy, Daddy, Emery and Aven.

"I went into preterm labor between 30-31 weeks and was put on strict pelvic and bed rest. We started weekly NSTs and Biophysical profile ultrasounds. I received a couple bags of IV fluids for low amniotic fluid at one point."


I remember being worried when Kati told me he probably wouldn't stay in as long as we originally thought. I knew there was going to be one week that I would be out of town and I was hoping that he would not want to make his entrance to the world in that time frame. It was about a month and a half before he was due, and as much as Kati and Shelden wanted to meet him, they didn't want to that soon just yet. That and we both had plans to collaborate for shooting a surprise proposal. Fate had us on its side I guess, because even though we didn't want him to come as early as he did, he made his entrance a week before everything else.

"At 34 weeks he failed an NST and two ultrasounds. At that point he was diagnosed as IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) and we were immediately induced. After six intense hours he was born into the nurses hands (sorry doc he wasn't waiting!) weighing in at a whopping 3lbs 10oz. We spent 19 days in NICU."

Lenyx Dean made his way to our world on May 26, 2016.


"Having him home has been wonderfully chaotic. We've spent some time back up at the hospital and we have a constant flow of home nurses in and out to check on us, but he's doing great. Big sisters are smitten and love to help any chance they get. He was definitely our missing piece."