Since hubby will be 6,000 miles away when this baby is born, I am looking at my options to have a labor coach or maybe even a doula there to support me through labor and delivery.
My sister lives about 15 minutes away from me, and was my birth coach with baby #2, so she was the obvious first choice to step in again for #4...until we found out that she is ALSO pregnant, due about a week and a half ahead of me (so, obviously unavailabe, right?) Life is just funny like that sometimes. I'm totally excited to be going through the whole pregnancy thing with her, and we will both find out the gender of our babies within a day of each other. These cousins will grow up together, so it will be kind of cool if we are both having the same thing.
Anyway, my next choice for a labor coach or birth partner would be my best friend, but she has a 2 year old at home and a husband who works crazy hours, so the odds of her having someone available to stay home with her toddler when I go into labor are slim.
As far as hiring a Doula, I am kind of trying to get past the idea of PAYING someone to do what family/friends would normally do - it just kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth, like the idea of buying love or affection. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it still bothers me. Birth is a really intimate thing - and all I really want is to share it with my husband. *sigh*
In addition to me getting past my own weird block about hiring a Doula, I have to figure it into the budget somehow. It looks like it will cost between $600 and $1000
I know I am going to cry at the hospital, missing my hubby. I expect to feel very alone at that point - but I can't imagine doing the whole labor/delivery thing ALONE.
Of course, writing all this down, I am thinking more and more about the first three births, and how grateful I was to the L & D nurses at the hospital for all their patience and care. Those nurses were far more valuable to me during the process than my actual labor coaches were - should I just go to the hospital and hope they are well staffed enough to have a nurse checking in on me more frequently?
I don't know. I have to talk over the Doula idea with Hubby and with my OB - we'll see.