I have been asked on more than one occasion, "What if I get an epidural? How will you support us if I choose to get an epidural?" I've also been told, "I don't need a doula, I just want to get an epidural and be done with it.".... A doula should be able to support you physically and emotionally, should offer partner support and educational information and advocacy, no matter the birth plan.
You know that feeling you get when you're rushing to get out of the house in the morning to go to work, you're running late and trying to grab too many bags at once, stumbling over shoes and God knows what else on the floor and fumbling for your keys? That is a pretty close comparison to the feelings I had when I received the call... and really, I pretty much get that feeling every time I receive the call. It's some kind of weird combustion of excitement and wonder of the unknown.
So you've decided to hire a doula! Next, you'll arrange for a consultation aka an interview. This interview is a great opportunity for you (and your partner!) to not only get to know the services the doula offers, but also who the doula is and how well they will work with you through this very special time.