Well I am having a doula (it's my first) because my midwife requires it. At first I was sort of not into that, that I had no choice, but I got over it. Turns out the doula she prefers to use is also a MW so I was happy to hear that. I feel like for us, having a doula will be good because DH while my BFF and so wonderful and lovely is not good at many things (back massage, knowing when not to talk to me, knowing how to deal with me when I am in pain, getting something done quickly, etc etc) and I think a doula will be a good support system. But dang, the doula fee here in NYC is expensive!!!!!!! And we're on one modest income and one beyond modest part time income since I'm in school so that fee is going to smack us in the face. Not to mention we're already paying some out of pocket to our MW before they've even filed the claim....a billing practice I'm not happy with but I like this MW so I'm just sucking it up.
We also plan to take a Bradley class in a few months so I think it will be really good for both of us and especially DH because he has zero idea about the stages of labor. We can't make it to the current schedule this one teacher has but she said she is trying to open up to new days so I'm crossing my fingers. Ina May's GTC is one of her required readings so I already like her vibe.
AND, yay, I am going to hear Ina May speak on Sunday! There's a screening of the movie Freedom for Birth (out in the burbs, so I'll have to take the train but I think it'll be worth it) and Ina May wlll be there to do a Q&A after! I'm pretty psyched.
Only get a doula if you think you need one. Is your husband/partner helpful enough that you feel confident not having one? You did already labor once and naturally too so you sort of know what to expect. Have you found a Hb MW yet? Ask her input.
As far as telling the parents about HB, oof. Luckily for me my mother is already broken in by my sis who's had multiple HB's. So she doesn't even really care. She trusts that we make good decisions for ourselves. My MIL on the other hand is very much not that way. We told her last weekend we're expecting and she said "now I have to worry". "Worry? why would you worry?" She said its something her mother always said so she feels like she needs to say it too (read: none of that makes sense) but DH and I aked her to please not worry and that we want no stress and only good energy. She obliged and said "ok, only good vibes" and we said, yes, thank you.
Keep in mind I am dreading any Hb conversation that comes up with my MIL. She works in a hospital as a social worker and has worked with peds for over 20 years. She sees the worst of the worst.
MIL "Did you find a doctor yet?"
Me "I'm using a midwife"
MIL stops in her tracks 'PLEASE whatever you do just promise me you will find a doctor. The midwife is very good for the delivery but she isnt as good with all the medical stuff like a Dr is. I can't help but think of our friend who used a midwife and had uteran collapse and she had to go to the hospital for surgery"
Me "this happened during her labor???"
MIL "no, a few weeks after'
Me "oh.....ok...so how did the midwife detect it? I mean how did anyone know something was wrong?"
MIL "because she was very uncomfortable! her insides were falling out!"
MIL didnt give me any really reason why this had anything to do with the midwife and didnt give me any important details but I told her that I DO have an obgyn who I even saw at 6 weeks for a little scare I had (which turned out to be nothing to worry about and I only went to her because I didn't have a MW hired yet) and this made MIL feel much better. I told her that while I do have an obgyn though I am not planning on making regular visits to just "look for things" and would only go if there was a real need.
The topic of HB never came up after that and I can almost be sure that my MIL is thinking in her head that naturally this OB works hand in hand with the MW and that I'll be in a hospital. But HB never came up and I am leaving it that way. My SIL, her daughter, however did ask with a smile on her face "are you having it at home?" She knows that my sis had HB's and I just smiled back "i dunno, maybe :)"
nStewart- you are right though, it is not a decision anyone should have to defend and if anyone gives me sh*t for it I will tell them it's not up for discussion.