(I hope I am posting this in the right place...)
I have some questions for you if you have a moment. I'm expecting my first in April and have planned a homebirth at our apt in NYC My due date is in mid-April. Our midwife requires that we hire a doula and she prefers if we work with one of her "in-house" doulas, though we can find our own if we insist. I am on the fence about having a doula in general mostly because even though I know it could be amazing with the right person, I have no idea how I will feel at the birth and part of me right now feels like I don't want too many people present. (We are not having friends or family there to keep things as small and intimate as possible.) We finally found a midwife we feel comfortable with and now I feel a bit stressed not knowing if I'll "click" with her doulas or if not, how to find one I do feel comfortable with.
I swear I am not high maintenance or demanding, it's just the reason I chose a homebirth to begin with was so I would feel extra-comfy in my surroundings and now the thought of adding another person to the mix of energy feels a little stressful. I know I should just probably just calm down, have faith, and not worry so much. :)
I want to know how most doulas are in terms of going with the flow...say if I'm in labor and I feel like I need space to just chill with my husband is a doula cool with stepping back and giving us alone time? Or on the flip side getting right in the mix if I need more direct support? Will a doula try to "read" what a woman needs in the moment or just simply ask? Should I be direct about comunicating these things in the moment and is it common for these needs to change throughout a labor? If any of you doulas could help describe your role in a "typical" (if there is such a thing) labor I would really appreciate it.
One of the trickier things is that I'm working abroad right now and won't be returning to the US (other than a week in December) until March, right before the birth. So any relationship I build with a doula would have to be via e-mail, phone, and maybe a visit in December and a few in March.
Thanks in advance super-doulas for your help sorting this out!