The Santiago family is growing, Orland Park IL maternity photographer

I had the absolute pleasure to get to capture the joy of this beautiful family. They are expecting their second child and can you see the look on big sister’s face? She was such a wonderful kiddo. She’s awaiting the arrival of her brother. From our session together I learned about her favorite snacks and although it’s been a while, turns out I’m still fluent in toddler lol. Jasmine is due any day now and I get to meet that sweet little boy. Oh did I meantion it’s a boy.

I met Jasmine online sometime ago. She is a fellow photographer and I am so honored to be the one who captures this new stage in her life. Their session although a tiny bit cold due to March in Chicago’s unpredictability, however it was full of ever flowing love. You can tell that this baby will just be such an extension of their love.

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mom and daughter shoot

Hannah and Eric welcome their sweet baby girl at home | Chicago IL birth photographer, Edgewater neighborhood

Each birth I attend is this beautiful unfolding story. My clients are all different, lighting can be diffent. Comfort levels too, Dynamics etc. First time parents however seem to all be the same. They are all at the precipice of a life changing moment, unlike anything before. I can sense the nervousness and the hesitation. When I arrived Hannah spent quite a bit of time in the bathroom challengely lit by one candle. In moments like this, where my lens struggles to find the subject… I freelens. Because I trust that slice of focus. It reminded me of stories I read before, of women birthing in caves all that time ago. She craved the coziness of the bathroom. It almost seemed to sooth her. Of course I would never put any words in my clients mouths but I can only speak to what I was and what my camera captured.

I also saw this beautiful togetherness. They both moved with synchronicity, the pair of fresh to be parents. It was a mighty thing to witness. Eric was a phenomenal birth partner in my opinion. But Hannah’s vigor and courage are the stars of the show. She moved that baby down by trusting her body and she allowed herself to be so vulnerable. Perhaps there’s nothing but vulnerability allowed at home births. Perhaps that’s the beauty of them.

My job is to capture these moments, but with every birth, I leave with such a sense of purpose. The uniqueness in which a mother labors and moves through these moments leave me breathless. A rush of love for life fills me to the brim. I am so grateful I get to be a part of this.

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Jessica and Alex, Maternity session in Hyde Park- Chicago IL

Im completely in love with this location. Let me just start by saying that. Sometimes you get little victories and surprises by taking the time to venture out some way out of your comfort. So much of what makes a good photographer is their ability to connect their clients to the enviroment. Love was certainly ever flowing during this session. First time parents are so beyond special. There is something about the unkown that is so scary and at the same time thrilling. A new baby that just creates a brand new dynamic. If you don’t know, i am completely obsessed (understatement) with clouds so this beautiful weather was just pure perfection. I had such a blast getting to know these two. I also love how important it was for Jessica to include parts of their culture into our session together.

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Becca + Miles Jefferson Park Chicago Maternity session | Adri De La Cruz photographer

Becca + Miles Jefferson Park Chicago Maternity session | Adri De La Cruz photographer

I photographed the beautiful Becca and Miles expecting their first daughter a few weeks ago. It was the perfect cool summer weather for an outdoor session. Their dog Kip was such a sweetheart, in his old age he was able to explore and be a part of this session for his owners. This location was so insanely beautiful and I think it matched her beautiful gown perfectly. We had a converstation about what it’s meant to be pregnant during this crazy pandemic time. She shared with me that her family threw her facebook group showers and the amount of Ft during this time. Family is also driving in from out of town since theyre both from outside Chicago. Just a completely different experience it seems. Her positivity was just the best though. It’s very powerful to keep such an amazing perspective on life. I wish I could accurately capture her glow because it truly was the most radiant I have ever seen. I can’t wait to photograph her bautiful baby.

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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.

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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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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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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Morales Maternity session, baby number three is on the horizon | Adri De La Cruz Itasca IL, family photography

Morales Maternity session, baby number three is on the horizon | Adri De La Cruz Itasca IL, family photography

We caught a sunny day. Lately its nothing but rain rain rain. I was so happy that we had the time to head over to photograph this beautiful mama. While we did not get a hold of gorgeous gold light we still managed to get some dreamy shots experimenting with light. No matter what type of light maternity sessions land on. Mother’s to be just have that incredible, honest to god, natural glow. They don’t even have to try.

This mama is about to give birth to her third baby boy. & as faith would have it, she finally got a big deal doctors appointment for her middle-to be child. Just as shes about to welcome a new baby. Women are such warriors and I know for certain that she will rise to the occasion, be the biggest advocate for him. and at the same time care and swoon over this new baby. Life is such a trip. I cannot wait to meet this new baby.

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