I have been doing a lot of research the past two weeks as my son's birthday quickly approaches. He is due in three months this Friday and I want to know everything there is to know about the birthing process. I have bought some great books, have joined groups on Facebook and Twitter geared towards soon to be moms, and I have been doing a ton of internet research. It can be a bit baffling out there with all the contradictory and biased information but there seems to be a few strong points that shine through all the junk. Of those points the ones that I am most interested in are a natural drug free water birth and hiring a doula. Because of my insurance and decisions that were made before I had truly educated myself, I am having Conner in a hospital and from what I understand I have quite a bit of freedom to choose how I want to birth my son.
I am so new to all of this and I am just beginning to make decisions, I feel I need to make sure that I am on the right track with asking for what I want. From what I have read a doula is an extension of me during my son's birth. She will make sure that my needs are communicated to the medical staff, that I am getting the treatment I need, that I understand the process, and that Conner is born in the most natural way possible I have also learned that having a doula present created a much healthier and safer environment because the chance of induction, C-section, tearing, use of narcotics and epidurals, and use of forceps and vacuums goes way down. I was surprised though to see that there was only one practicing doula in my entire area. I live in a pretty decent sized city in Wisconsin and expected to see quite a few pop up in my searches. Regardless, it seems that she would be an awesome addition to "Team Conner".
I guess what I am stuck on is whether or not I can do it by myself. I have read many stories of successful hospital water births with doulas as well as without. I am torn because again I want to make sure that if I do hire her it is the best possible decision. I am a little scared of the entire process and I am one of those people that can only ease the stress with information and research. So I am asking any of you - what were your birth experiences and did you hire a doula? What were your thoughts on the process? What would you have done differently? I would love to hear what you have to say...