I have always enjoyed relaxing in a hot bath at the end of a long day. So being able to do something so comforting and familiar when in labor was such a wonderful treat.
I cannot tell you how much water played a positive role in the labor and birth of both my girls. Both times when my contractions got strong, the water relaxed me, took the edge off, and allowed me to get myself in the positions I needed to be in to bring sweet relief.
"Since the early 1980s use of immersion in water during labour and birth has been increasingly promoted to enable women to relax, help them cope with pain, and maximize their feelings of control and satisfaction. In 1992 the House of Commons Health Committee recommended all hospitals provide the option of a birthing pool where practicable." (source)
Pretty much anywhere you birth in Portland is going to allow you to labor in water at the least; And more and more birthing in water is becoming readily available if the mother so desires.
If you want the option to labor and birth in water and are choosing a hospital birth, make sure you look into seeing if this is something your hospital provides (I know currently OHSU and Emmanuel do and typically you will need to set this up and take a class ahead of time.) Having it as an option when the time comes is really great because you just never know if it'll be just what your laboring body may need!