Since I just got connected to the internet 2 days ago I had not visited your site before. It is wonderful to hear from others who enjoyed their waterbirth. Seems I always meet people who think I'm crazy. I had my first son at home at age 36. It was an incredible and exciting experience. I loved being at home surrounded by my husband and friends.
Last year when I was to have my second son at age 41 I knew I wanted to stay at home but I wanted something different so I chose to have a waterbirth. We set the tub up in our living room with the French doors open to the sweet summer smells outside. This birth was much faster than the first. In fact, I only spent about an hour and a half in the water. My six year old held my hand outside the tub and my husband supported me from behind. My midwife helped me to concentrate through the contractions since they were quite strong. Liam pushed himself out, there was no pushing stage for me this time. It was all so calm and peaceful to reach through the water and hold our new baby.
I really believe the water helps with tears; I had none with an 8 pound baby. It's also easier to squat since the water make you more buoyant.