I loved my waterbirthJust wanted to add that I LOVED my waterbirth. I wasn't sure I would want to deliver in the water, but wanted the tub filled as an option.
We bought an inflatable kiddie pool with inflatable bottom. It only cost 20 dollars and worked wonderfully. We filled the pool with a hose from the bathroom using a waterbed kit (also helpful for drainage). I don't think I would ever pay for the rental of a birth tub, this was perfect.
I believe the water really helped with pain management. My labour stalled for a short time due to a swollen cervical lip. I had to stay on my hands and knees in the pool and had horrible back labour in that position. I think the pain would have been so much harder to endure without the warm water.
At one point the water had cooled too much, so the MW's emptied some of it with mixing bowls and filled it back up with the hose shortly before the baby crowned.
Bella was not suctioned and breathed fine. We covered her with a towel after she was born and kept pouring warm water from the tub over the towel to keep her warm while we sat there. We did wait for the cord to stop pulsing before cutting it - the placenta was already bulging out of me at this point. My MW did not want me to deliver the placenta in the pool, but it fell out as soon as I stood up. I have some amazing pictures of the water afterwards, there is a very cool web like pattern on top of the water, MW said from the surfantant.
My birth story is posted on this forum if anyone would like to read it to learn more about one experience of waterbirth. I would definetely reccomend it!
I was on a waterbirht email list during my pregnancy and one of the members had a great signature line "Water babies rise to the top!"