DS was born in the water, and it was okay, but I'm not sure if I'll do it again with the next one. It really did help with the contractions, and while I don't have anything to compare to, I do believe it helped me to not tear very badly at all.
However, it was HOT. I was sweating before I got in, but I was boiling in the water.
It was a commercially made bitrthing tub, but it wasn't deep enough and the handles were totally backward. I either had to turn my wrists in an uncomfortable position or slip all over the place while my body pushed. I think I really would have preferred a deep inflatable tub that I could comfortably lean over.
I had to get out as soon as DS came out. His cord was really short (his head only reached the bottom of my rib cage) and the tub was full of blood so the MW wanted to make sure everything was okay.
I also didn't like that DH had to be so far away from me. I didn't want him in the tub, but the only comfortable position for me was in the back corner where he couldn't reach me to comfort me, replace my cold rag, etc. The closest he got to me was when he leaned way over to catch DS as he popped out. Again, I really think that would have been much better in an inflatable pool.
I'm going to request the same room with the tub again this time, but I'm not going to make it a point to birth in the tub. If that's what I decide I want in the moment, fine, but otherwise I think I'll stick to the shower and dry land.
Robbyn, SAHM to Silas, 4/3/09 and Griffin, 3/23/12