OK, so every time someone posts a thread like this I think "duh...doula!" but I can't decide what to do!
With DS, my labor was short, only 7 hours, and we didn't even go to the hospital until 2 hours before he was born. It went from 0-60 and I didn't even realize I was in labor until 3 hours in. My doula got to the hospital just in time to hold up my leg while I pushed. I was barely aware of her presence and frankly I don't think it made much difference to have her there, although she is GREAT. DH said it was helpful for him to have her there because she helped HIM know what to do and stay calm and just be helpful. This time, we are 40 min from the hospital and I am anticipating an even faster birth (although you NEVER KNOW...could be totally different this time). My mom, MIL or dad will be here to watch DS while we are at the hospital, so that means my mom will probably not be coming to the hospital with us (she was in the room for DS' birth too) so if we don't have a doula, it will just be DH, the nurses and my midwife.
I guess my concern is that this time we really don't have any extra funds to spend, and I am afraid of hiring a doula and not really making use of her and feeling like we wasted a bunch of $ we don't really have. I would ask a friend to be there, but we moved to this area recently and I don't have any friends nearby who are close enough that I'd feel comfortable.
If I knew I'd have a longer birth this time and could use the extra support, I'd totally do it. But I really don't feel like I need someone to show up just in time to hold up my leg again, KWIM?
Oh, and I am delivering at a NCB friendly hospital with a midwife, so I am not really worried about having my birth plan disrespected or having interventions pushed on me.