However, in the end we chose to have them there and I am so glad we did. Our situation was perhaps a little different from other families, as we had two children present at the birth of our last baby. A two year old daughter and an 18 year old son.
When most people hear that they initially think he would be totally grossed out, but I assure you he was not in the pool with me. In fact, he didn't even stay in the same room for most of it, but he was there, in the house, the entire time.
As soon as that baby was born he was beside me looking at his new sister with complete love.
There is nothing greater than having all your children together to welcome this perfect little person into your family. And to top it off, my boy cut his sister's cord. What a memory!
I have had family and friends say that it's weird, but here is how I see it: I have normalized birth for him. He got to see the beauty of it firsthand, and that will stay with him forever.
When he hears all the scary stories of birth he will know that it does not have to be that way for women. It is hard to go against the "norm" in fear of being ridiculed, shut out etc., but if we don't then the thinking stays the same.
I want it to be different for my children and I believe I made it different for my son.