It totally helped for a lot! my first birth the shower was amazing, i didn't want to get out but my doula asked the nurse if i could birth in there & policy said no I labored in there most the time tho, & when i wasn't in there i was having counterpressure applied & rocking on the birth ball. 2nd time the pool (& environment) were so relaxing i didn't know that i should sent my husband to work...when i was at an 8 & had baby shortly. 3rd time i was falling asleep in the tub between contractions & the midwife barely made it in to loop the cord over his head lol. Water also helps prevent tearing & makes position changes easier (with my first i tore front & back, 2nd no tears bigger baby & came out much faster & changing movement helped me deal & her get into correct position to come out, 3rd had the biggest head but only had a skid). & i've heard the water is also an easier transition for baby to come earthside.
Even tho my labors were mostly back labor (first birth only felt contractions in my back, 2nd back & legs, 3rd i finally felt some of it in my front side in addition to the back & legs) the water did help, not as much as i had expected/hoped, but without it i'm pretty sure I would have been over my head at times & not been handling it as well. My water/home births seemed much more easier, calm, relaxed & enjoyable than my birthing center land birth. I could ride my waves instead of get pounded down by them.
Ixchel thats awesome! i cant wait and im sure it will be an amazing experience. did you find the water to help with pain and relaxation? it seems logical to think it would.