We are due Aug 17th, and delivering at the Birth Center in Bryn Mawr.
We are interested in hiring a doula, but not exactly as a birth attendant. Our situation is that we have a 4-year old who wishes to attend the birth, but TBC has a policy that any children need to have their own support person separate from the labouring mother's support person. We have zero family in the area (the closest is 6 hours and my last labour was 3, so the math doesn't really work out ), no close friends, one of our baby sitters won't be back in town until after the due date, and one we haven't used in a year and have been having trouble reconnecting with. So even if our daughter weren't coming, we don't exactly have a place for her to go.
We're trying to work out a way to get some family into town for the weeks around the due date, but for all the potentials, some combination of the following apply: a) they'd need to stay in our 1 bedroom apartment with us (for weeks?!), b) they can't make it until it's too late/will only be available for post-partum support, c) we'd have to pay for all their expenses including gas to travel here, d) they won't commit, and/or e) they're sort of horrible and we're not sure we actually want them around anyway (ahem, *cough*mom*cough*). Needless to say, it's getting pretty stressful, and would likely be stressful even if we could get someone to commit to being in town.
We're thinking that hiring a doula might be a good idea, because then DH and the doula could switch off between supporting me or supporting our daughter. But would a doula go for that? I'd rather have my husband be my support person, since he wasn't able to be there for our daughter's birth, but I can see how a doula might be miffed at the idea of being relegated to the role of baby-sitter.
So yeah, what do you guys think of this idea? Can anyone see a better alternative? We've been wracking our brains, and aren't getting anywhere. If this does seem like the way to go, where do we start looking for one? How much do they go for around here? Is there even enough time to meet with/hire one?
Any helpful input is greatly appreciated. Thanks!