Wow, 2 hours, that's awesome! I too would like to hear thoughts/opinions about hiring a doula... This will be our first everything and I was thinking about the benefits of having some additional help and support. I haven't discussed this yet with my midwife but imagine she'd be OK with it, right? I also wonder about having too many people around, thinking just DH, midwife (she might have an apprentice with her) and a doula?? I don't know, I used to envision birth as just me and DH there for support and I did everything myself (I am woman hear me roar, etc.), this was a while ago and I know that I will need some guidance (probably a lot more than I realize right now), so the midwife is mandatory, just undecided about the doula...?
I didn't have a birth doula for my first but did have a doula come by a few times in the first weeks. It was very helpful in providing reassurance and support for both me and hubby since we had zero newborn experience prior to the arrival of our son. However, my mom and a couple of my hubby's close female friends were there for the birth and all three of them were indispensable. They were great for supporting us both emotionally, and for providing food and drinks for what turned out to be a VERY long labor. This freed up the midwives to do the midwifey stuff: help me with positions, check dilation, check baby's heartbeat, make the notes in their charts, help me in and out of tub and shower... A trusted birth doula (or other helpful and supportive woman) can be a real help if your labor doesn't go as smoothly as you might expect. I would ask myself if I really felt comfortable with the idea that my midwife might have to focus on reassuring both me and my partner if things go long and difficult. My husband is an emergency physician and accustomed to dealing with traumas with a cool head, but it was a whole different story to watch his loved one labor for so long. For your first child, I would err on the side of having the extra support available. If it turns out you don't want or need the extra people during your labor, both doula and midwife are usually more than happy to give you all the space and privacy you need. Best of luck whatever you decide!