Several months ago, we decided to hire a doula to assist us in the labor and delivery of this baby boy.
After talking with a girlfriend who hired a doula for the birth of her second child, I was convinced that it was something I was interested in. The challenging part would be A) convincing Ryan to jump on board and then B) finding someone who fit well with us and what we wanted out of this experience. If Ryan had said, "No," then I would have accepted that and moved on, but I was happy when he said we could look into it.
So, who would we bestow this blessed responsibility on?
I take a weekly prenatal yoga class (more on that later) that is taught by a women who is also a doula. I like her a lot, she is extremely knowledgeable, and while in yoga - there is no topic that is off the table. I immediately thought about her first, but the more I thought about it - I didn't think it would be the best fit.
At my first prenatal chiropractic appointment, our chiropractor asked if we had considered a doula and offered her "doula services" to us. I thanked her for the offer and said it was something we were thinking about. I love my chiropractor and have known her for a long time. I'm sure she would be an excellent doula, but again, I just didn't think it would be the best fit.
Around this time, a long-time friend of mine, Laura, contacted me over Facebook. She congratulated us on the pregnancy and asked if I wanted to get together to chat. I love catching up with old girlfriends, so of course I agreed.
We got together one day after work and just started chatting away like no time had passed. We weren't even BFF status way back when, but we really and truly clicked while catching up. She happens to be a doula (and a mama to two wee babes), and we talked a little bit about her services and experiences so far. I felt no pressure or awkwardness in listening and talking to her, but totally interested and had a feeling of, "This is who I would want and need in there with us."
I told her I would talk to Ryan about our meeting and be in touch. I did as promised and he agreed to meet with her so he could ask some questions he had. After our meeting, the deal was sealed.
So, what sealed the deal for us?
 Neither of us have done this before. We need all the help/support/guidance we can get.
 Laura is going to help/guide Ryan to maximize the support he gives me during labor and delivery. She really is there to support us both - not just me.
 Her presence will allow Ryan and I to keep our roles as husband/wife and daddy-to-be/mama-to-be instead of birth coach/crazy-in-pain-mama-to-be. Well, the pain part will probably still hold true.
 Obviously, Ryan and I have an intimate relationship. Laura and I do not. My hope is that instead of giving into the coddling and insistence for an epidural I will likely get from Ryan when in pain, Laura will firmly remind me that I can do this. Even though we've known each other for a long time - there isn't an emotional attachment.
 Laura will be able to tell me if I reach a point where pain medicine/epidural is necessary for my sanity and the progress of labor.
 She's pretty much awesome and we love her.
So far, she's been a wonderful resource for questions and things to think about. She sat on our couch one night and gave Ryan and I both a lot to think about regarding labor and delivery - a lot of great things to consider and things we may or may not have thought of without her.
My hope is to have a natural child birth.
However. And this is a big however. I am not at all firmly rooted in this hope. If it gets to the point where I'm over it and just want the juice - I'll take the juice. The fact that my dear Momma was in labor with me for almost 48 hours keeps flashing in my brain.
I am confident that between spending my entire life in athletics and pushing through physically demanding situations, staying active through my pregnancy, the techniques I've learned in prenatal yoga, and my mental game in general (again, thanks to sports) - I can do it.
On the other hand, I have absolutely no idea what to expect. So, I may talk a big game and end up crumbling like a blue cheese.
Only time (and not much of it!) will tell.