I need some advice.
Scott and I met with a doula last weekend and we really like her. I relate to her well and she seems to be knowledgeable and experienced. She was referred to me by a friend who used her at her own daughter's birth in January. We did not use a doula at my daughter's birth and met with her not really knowing a lot about what exactly a doula does (or charges) but because she was recommended and I know that a lot of natural birthin' mommas have them present at their births. (I have thought about a midwife as well, but I feel like I am too late in the game already to start researching that.)
My first question for you who know is what is a reasonable price to pay a doula? She says she charges on a sliding scale of $850-$1250. I am assuming that to mean if it is a fast birth and she is only there a couple hours, it would be $850, but if she has to spend a whole day and stay up overnight, she would expect $1250. What are your thoughts on that?
The other issue I am having is with my mother. I delivered my daughter naturally in a hospital without a doula. Scott and my mom were there with me, supporting me. My mom thinks it is a ridiculous idea to pay someone that kind of money to be there at the childbirth when I already have a great support team. I think my mom feels like I am trying to replace her or something, which is not the case. The main thing for me, is that I delivered my daughter in a small hospital. I had the same nurse with me the entire time. That nurse essentially stayed with me (there weren't 10 other women in the labor ward all in labor at the same time.) Plus I knew my own doctor would be there to deliver. This time around, I am delivering at a huge hospital. I hear that the nurses pop in and out and leave you alone much of the time. And to top it off, I will be delivered by whatever OB happens to be there on call at the time. I have about a 5% chance of it being my own OB.
So my thought was that I would like to have someone there with me that I already know, who is experienced and knowledgeable in childbirth, and who will not leave me. But then again, my mom has had three of her own babies naturally and I know she isn't going anywhere until she holds her grandson in her arms! And Mom is an amazing support. She is calm and soothing and cares the world about me (and this baby.) The other thing, though, is I want someone who can intervene for me with any nurse or doctor that might attempt to steer me away from my birth plan--hopefully that doesn't happen, but if it does, I want someone there who can advocate for me.
So I am just not sure what to do. Scott is supportive of whatever I decide. And I think my mom will come around, once she understands that we are not replacing her!
Would love your thoughts!