I asked my sister to come be DS' support person & she readily agreed - actually, said she was going to volunteer before I asked! :) She's my best friend after my DH & I'm more than happy for her to be in the house during labor, and in the room during birth. So we're good there.
I plan to set up the birth pool in my bedroom (plenty of space) & the house is big enough that if my sister is playing with him down in the family room, he'll be 'removed' enough. (I prefer solitude in 1st stage, so I'm expecting DS to be present only for 2nd stage.)
However - I'm still torn.
CONS of having DS present:
1. He LOVES to swim, so if we have time to get the pool set up, he WILL want to get in. I'm pretty sure his presence in the pool would distract & annoy me (DH made waves in the pool when I was laboring with DS & it annoyed me!), so we'll have to have him leave the room - which will prompt quite a protest, I'm sure.
2. Said temper tantrum will annoy me. Not sure how much his presence overall might annoy or distract me, even if he's on the 1st floor while I'm upstairs.
3. I was noisy with his birth, so I expect to be noisy again. Not sure if this will scare him. Even if we watch videos together, I still think it could be a risk that it'll upset him to witness "live" vs. watching videos. So I might worry about this.
PROS of having DS present:
1. As my MW said, it is less of a "disconnect." There isn't suddenly this extra member to our family - he will SEE the family member emerge & thus understand how his baby sister came from Mommy. I'm hoping this will make the transition to big brother easier.
2. I like the idea of him seeing a HB & seeing that birth is normal & something to celebrate (& healthy, normal birth BELONGS in an undisturbed state, & at home is great place for it.) Granted, this is low on my list. At 2 years 8 mos, he may not even remember! Plus he'll grow up hearing birth stories, so he's not going to be raised by me & escape hearing it - ha! ;)
It feels like a toss-up! I'm having trouble deciding. At this point, I'm leaning towards leaving him at daycare if labor starts on a work day (My DCP is a friend, & happy to keep him late or overnight if need be), but having my sister come if it's weekend or evening, so he's already home. But I'd love other input on things I may not be considering.