Kerlyn Van Gelder’s magic | a little bit of life, Chicago maternity photographer

Kerlyn Van Gelder’s magic | a little bit of life, Chicago maternity photographer

This new decade has already proven that I am going to be completely challenged and pulled in all kinds of crazy directions. So to take a break from that I am going through old images and publishing, erasing, and moving forward. My amazing friend @KerlynVanGelder taught this amazing session for me in Portland and I can’t belive I haven’t shared what I was able to capture through my lens. I hope you enjoy these images. I want to start adding more of raw motherhood images to my work.

Villagomez Family, Schaumburg family and newborn photography

Villagomez Family, Schaumburg family and newborn photography

With tiny little Valentina the Villagomez family expanded their hearts to become a family of four. She has been the tiniest baby I have photographed. My favorite part about newborns is their super curly qualities and the tiny little fists they can’t help but form. The way they wrap their tiny hands around their loved ones. Did I mentione that her big sister is one! Still just a baby herself and already feeling so proud. This family is incredibly beautiful and Im so happy I had a chance to photograph them in this new chapter in their life.

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McCallum Family, six months later | Itasca IL family photographer

McCallum Family, six months later | Itasca IL family photographer

I am so damn honored to have seen this family twice this year. I cant believe how gorgeous and big baby L has gotten. I met this family back early this year as I was a backup for their home birth. They blew me away with their kindness and just how excited they were to wecome the surprise baby. I eneded up capturing his incredible arrival.

Also can I say just how beautiful this sunset was, we were lucky with such a warm October day. The kids had a blast exploring and you can see just how much they all love each other.

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Almost the same birthday | Oak Park, IL birth photography

Almost the same birthday | Oak Park, IL birth photography

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” 
― Napoleon Bonaparte

I am in awe of this incredible mama. The grace and strength she showed during her incredible birth story was so powerful. This sweet baby decided to start making her appearance while I was away in Denver. On my last day of vacation, mama text’d me that her water had broke. It was 10 pm and I was to fly back to Chicago at 5 am. I was so excited for her , but nervous that I would not make it, and my back up would absolutely have to step in and photograph it. Things slowed down and I made it home. I had woken up at 3 am to make my flight and with all the chaos of getting home I didn’t sleep. At around 7 pm I was called to head over to join the birth team. I watched as she worked through her surges.

During the night her amazing team noticed something seemed different. The head midwife joined the birth and she accessed the situation. They determined that the baby was facing the incorrect way. If you’re reading this I completely act like a fly on the wall, I don’t ask questions, so the details are fussy and I’m just typing what I remember. I heard the words “face presentation” among other things. After trying so hard to change the presentation manually, and with a bunch of other incredible ways via her Doula. The call was made to head to the hospital for a C-section. You could feel the amount disappointment and sadness was so real for this mama. She had worked so incredibly hard, and now the reality was things had changed. This was my first C-section experience, and while I wish I had been able to capture the babies arrival, I still was able to see those first moments as she became the mama she was meant to be for a second time.

What an honor to be a part of this story. This is why I photograph births. It is all magical. C section mama’s your story matters. Your birth is just as beautiful.

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Goddess at the beach | Chicago maternity beach session, Adri De La Cruz

Goddess at the beach | Chicago maternity beach session, Adri De La Cruz

Flabbergasted by her beauty.

Sometimes in this line of work you get meet some truly calm and powerful souls. The way in which she told me her birth plan was amazing, full of hope and steadiness. Nothing could rock her.

For her session we headed to the beach, probably the only available location due to the high temperatures, the typical icy lake turned Luke warm. It was refreshing. To say that she made my job easy would be an understatement. It like she was made for basking in the sun.

To give you an update she had her birth, that same one she told me about, she brought to fruition. Just like I knew she would.

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A bright sunny morning in West Town with the Amador family | Adri De La Cruz Chicago family photography

A bright sunny morning in West Town with the Amador family | Adri De La Cruz Chicago family photography

Oh my heart. This sweet baby girl is basically the poster child for a happy baby. If I had a penny for every smile and coo she blessed me with during our session together I would be very a wealthy woman. She is just to loved. I could see that with every look from her adoring parents.

We headed to west town for a little urban session, which was a very fun experience. Plus I got to indulge and shop around this amazing Chicago area. I am a big fan of all types of art, the fact that we got to incorporate this incredible mural was exciting for me. The colors and textures were stunning. This family in front was just the cherry on top.

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Chicago south shore maternity session | Adri De La Cruz family photographer

Chicago south shore maternity session | Adri De La Cruz family photographer

We made it happen.

After multiple reschedules due to this crazy rainy Chicago summer, we finally managed to make this very special session in the South Shore happen. Although it was very hot for it being so early in the morning. The beautiful lake was empty and so still and beautiful.

This lovely family is waiting the arrival of it’s fourth member. A baby girl, due soon! They are anxiously waiting for her, all ready and excited. I hope you enjoy this gallery.

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Like lightning, quick home-birth in Arlington Heights | Adri De La Cruz Chicago and West suburbs birth photographer

Like lightning, quick home-birth in Arlington Heights | Adri De La Cruz Chicago and West suburbs birth photographer

WOA BABY!

Back in April I had the freaking experience of a lifetime. I watched a beautiful mama catch her sweet baby boy. This birth is actually in two parts, we had two nights. I was called over and sent home the first day, even though no baby came that day. I got to know her incredible birth team. By the way she had never had anyone present for her two prior births. When she stalled out, at 4 cm, she decided to not intervene with her process and allowed that baby to stay put for as long as he needed to. Remember patience is a virtue. The second night we were called over I opted to take the highway since I wasn’t sure how quick it would be, and man am I gald I took the faster route. That sweet boy was extremely quick. I got there and withing 15 minutes, in a blink of an eye he was here. She is a badasss and i am so lucky to have captured this incredible moment.

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DAY TWO

Beautiful day for a hospital birth Elmhurst IL | Adri De La Cruz chicago and west suburbs birth photographer

Beautiful day for a hospital birth Elmhurst IL  | Adri De La Cruz chicago and west suburbs birth photographer

Attending this birth was such a joy, and honestly I’ve never seen a more calm birther than this woman. Her peaks were just so controlled and effortless. At least that is how she expressed them. The day outside was just perfection, and this had been my first day birth in a while. It was just extremely laid back. But then the going got tougher. Then I knew baby was close to coming earth-side. Still with her strength she got to ten, and they prepped her for the babies arrival. Hospitals are much more restrictive when it comes to images during birth + active pushing, so I managed to get a few before I was reprimanded. Still I hope you can gather the beauty of this birth from these images. I am so proud of this amazing human, and I cannot wait to see that beautiful boy again!

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Evangelista, colossal hospital birth of a beautiful boy | Adri De La Cruz, Chicago + west suburbs best birth photographer

Evangelista, colossal hospital birth of a beautiful boy | Adri De La Cruz, Chicago + west suburbs best birth photographer

“My mother groaned, my father wept,
into the dangerous world I leapt.” 
― William Blake

The power of women never ceases to amaze me. This was by far the longest birth of my portfolio, and it was full of beautiful drama and a boy that surely made an entrance. She had a plan, and she fulfilled it. I saw as she transformed herself into the type of person that births fo gracefully. Apart from all tears of relief at the end, you felt an insane, huge wave of love just washing over everyone. No the journey wasn’t easy for this mama and she had to give it her all, but that boy was worth it.

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