I'm in Seattle, not quite as pricey as some parts of CA, but not a cheap area either. Our doula is $550 and she's REALLY experienced. She's also a licensed RN...never worked as a nurse, just did the schooling. I would probably keep looking if I were you. I'm sure you can find someone who is cheaper and still experienced. In the meantime, I agree with Pavlina, search within yourself for strength and confidence. You can do it!!