One thing sucks about being a photographer (besides it being a really, really expensive hobby)... you cannot photograph yourself. Yes, you can capture great pics of your own kids...but what about when you want to capture YOUR own precious moments?? The ONE time that I really wished I had hired my own photographer was the birth of my son Chase.
No, I'm not talking about photographing the actual "stuff" down there (even though I probably would have wanted that, too - call me crazy). I'm talking about everything leading up to that big special moment, and everything after! How special would it be to have an album of your child's birth, filled with details like views of the hospital he/she was born at, the outside weather for the day, the nurses and staff who brought him/her into the world, the contraction tracker printout things (sorry, I don't know what it's called), Dad - waiting in anticipation, even You (Mom) feeling the horrible but soooo rewarding pains of pre-labor?? Even if you don't feel comfortable ever sharing these ones with anyone, this is something you should definitely have for yourself! And not cell phone pictures that will probably never get printed or make it out of the phone before it falls into the pool next summer. I mean real quality photography of these special moments!
And of course there's the birth, the first special moments when you and Dad see baby for the first time. There is going to be some raw, never to be relived emotion there, and MAN do I wish I had those memories for myself. And you will too. Baby being weighed, cleaned up... ahhh all of it! I feel like I missed a lot of that because after birth I was so exhausted. I wish I had photos of those first few moments so I could relive them over and over again 10, 20, 40 years from now! And seriously, don't think twice about this because you're unsure about having a complete stranger there during your labor... I guarantee you'll have plenty of them around in the form of nurses and doctors, so you might as well have someone there who is not only rooting for you but also capturing all of this madness for you to look back on!
I encourage you, expecting parents, to PLEASE learn from my mistake and hire a birth photographer to capture your special day. Yes, I offer that service and I'd LOVE to be the one to capture it for you.
And if you just don't feel comfortable with photographing the labor, next best - a "Fresh 48 Session". This is exactly what it sounds like, and I wish I had hired someone for this, too. This is when your photographer comes out to the hospital the day baby is born, or the day after, and captures all of baby's first moments there at the hospital. First interactions with mom/dad, siblings, grandparents, family members, newborn details (those scaly, wrinkly fingers and toes! the hospital bands! the head of hair, or lack of - like mine, ALL of that!), and more.
Yes, you could have your family member take these pics with your cellphone, or even your own camera....but without saying too much.... please....take my advice and hire a professional! You will not regret it!