She chose her birthing area herself: an upmarket shopping bag full of wool. The balls had to be removed so the kittens didn't get entangled. She had five babies at half hour intervals.
And I'll tell you another thing, she was serene and purred the whole way through, so in my next life please... I want to come back as a cat.
Can't see what that little black blob is? Here's a (blurry) close up: