awesome thread! I know what you mean as far as prefering to be groomed down there :) I will definitely be grooming for the birth. I like to be clean shaven/waxed down there for my own comfort and preference but for birth it's extra important to me. NOT for anyone else's sake at all! In fact I'm planning on being pretty much alone. The big reason I want to be free of hair is for my own ease of hygiene post partum. In my experience it's a lot easier to keep clean when hair free and If i'm really sore i wont want to be fussing down there to rinse each time I use the washroom. Plus it feels nice to be as clean as possible as your flow is workin itself out ;)
I waxed in previous pregnancy's and it didn't seem any worse than prior to pregnancy, mind you I thought it hurt pretty bad prior to pregnancy. I just waxed 3 weeks ago at about 22weeks (and I could go back now) for the first time since spring of 09! So it hurt pretty darn bad. Basically those roots were as strong as can be at 2 and a half years old! My plan is to go in as often as possible from now till the baby...the less time between waxing, the weaker the roots are and the less painful it is :) There is more to the pain than the root strength/age tho. My last esthetician double waxed over some areas which should be a total "no no" some people with less sensitive skin can withstand overlap waxing in one sitting, but typically (i'm an esthetician) this should not be done. It left me with raw patches of skin which would have scabbed, but I used coconut oil and pure aloe gel to clean/soothe the area for the first few days and it healed up quickly. I continued to use coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil to clean/exfoliate/moisturize the area in the last couple weeks. It works great for me :) When I go in I will give her specific instructions to use powder before applying wax and not to overlap wax as my skin is too sensitive and it left me raw last time...
Also hair should be about 1/4 long for waxing, if it's much longer it hurts like CRAZY!!! If it's shorter the wax may not grip it properly and then it's a waste of your time/money. I use trimmers just before waxing (even if hair is sparse) to get it all the right length. Usually instead of fussing with a 1/4inch guard i just use the trimmers about a week before my appointment (sooner or later if your hair grows faster/slower)
Hope this helps any of you who are considering waxing! Sorry I don't have anything to say about shaving, I never did have good luck with that...but I do get sensitive if I use soaps too close to that area..