Re: Circumcision Question...
I'm glad you had the guts to post here even though you anticipated that you might get a grouchy response. Although surely destined to raise some hackles, you are also going to get some real factual info, and hopefully it will be helpful to you. I tried to keep as much of my own judgement out of my post although I am sure it's brimming with it. I figure you don't need a lecture, you need info- so that's why I gave so many links. I hope the info I offer will help you out.
As for who can do a male circumcision... it can be a OB, a Urologist, a pediatrician, GP, a first year resident who has never ever done a circumcision before, a mohel who is willing to cut the penises of non-jews, a tattoo/body mod/piercer, a Tribal Practioner, you might even be able to go directly to a biotech company and see if you can sell your child's foreskin to them for high end anti aging skin cream- perhaps selling his penis part would defray the cost of the circumcision... really the possibilities are quite varied. There is no regulation, anyone can do a circumcision. You don't need any medical training, proof of good outcomes or follow up with the patients. Most circumcisers never see the child again- few can give information about the long term post puberty effects of their handiwork. It will be your job to research the person who you will be trusting with your son's penis and a clamp. You can do interviews, ask for pictures, videos (you should always be able to view a video of the procedure as a matter of informed consent) Ask for referals, and check with the state medical board or BBB. You might want to go to a pediatric urologist in your area and ask them about the PROBLEMS they deal with and if they see specific problems coming at them regularly for a certain practioner.
You might also check the legal issues of consent and if you have a legal right to consent to this and who would be ultimatly responsible if your son does decide that he has been sexually damaged.
One in five circumcised boys will wind up being circumcised a second time because "someone" was dissatisfied with the way the first one was done. There is a big buisness to be made on correcting other people's mistakes.
Here is an example of what some circumcised children will look like for a few years... can you live with this? if so... why could you not tolerate him having his WHOLE penis?http://www.rogerknapp.com/medical/circ_incomplete.htm
As for anesthesia, that will be your job to be sure that the dr complys with the recomndations of the AAP, AMA, AAFP, OCOG... they ALL say that full anesthesia should be used. This page has a very detailed pain protocol... GREAT link for parents who WILL be circumcising...http://www3.us.elsevierhealth.com/WOW/op043.html
As for taking as little as possible, perhaps you need to study the anatomy in question before you authorise that just a little bit be cut off- the very tip of the foreskin is the most sensitive part, and contains anatomy not found elsewhere on the penis. This "just a little" is like the "little" female clitoris... it's a signifigant and unique little part of the whole. Just a little cutting is going to crush a scar into all the continuou nerves and blood vessels of that skin system... if you had some pantyhose that were "just a little too long" would you think that you could just take a LITTLE snip across the ankle and attach the two raw ends together without really ruining the continuity of that weave? NO. You KNOW that if you take a scissor to pantyhose you RUIN the contuinity regardless if you cut out a section on inch or one foot long... well- why would you have less respect for someone's sexual nerve pathways than you do for a pair of nylons?http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/taylor/
Another thing to consider is that if the circumcision scar is infront of the flare of the glans- you could have a circumciion CAUSED phimosis (inability to retract) this is listed in the AAP risks of circumcision. Amazingly more circumcised boys will get phimosis FROM their circumcision scar than intact boys would ever have from a problem with their foreskin. Ironic huh? More circumcised boys have penis infections too... and problems with dirt traped in the folds of their penis... might have something to do with the way their normal body's wicking system was mutilated... if you broke the spout off a teapot would it pour better?... or more sanitary?
Also, when you put a scar on the penis and couple that with the forceful tearing of theprepuce from the glans- you invite adhesions and skin bridges to form. To see what skin bridges are:http://www.circumstitions.com/Botched4.html
To learn about adhesions: http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/gracely1/
When your husband was circumcised as a teen, his foreskin was already seperated from his glans and it did not need to be torn off it, an infant has a foreskin that is still adhered to the surface and that seperation in and of itself represents a major trauma of circumcision.
As a teen your husband also offered his Dr an adult size penis to work on, so there was no guesswork involved, the Dr could see just how much skin would be needed to accomidate an erection. When you baby is born his penis will be very tiny, the dr will have to guess and will remove about 50% of the skin of the penis... hopefully that will leave your son with enough skin to enjoy his sex organ without pain or pubic hair running up the shaft. Of course when you cut a baby, you can't tell if you are borrowing pubic or scrotal skin... that mess up won't be obvious until your child grows pubes.
Also when you circumcise a boy, regardless if YOU decide to allow him to keep his frenulum of not... the frenular artery will be cut, and the nerves leading to it will be modified. Changes to the bloodflow supplied by that anatomy can result in meatal stenosis, a problem affecting 1 in 10 circumcised boys.http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic2356.htm
If you would like to learn more about what your husband faced and what treatment options could have been available to him (had he been born in 2004 to intactivist parents) you might try searching in the CIRP database:http://www.cirp.org/library/treatment/phimosis/
I wish you well on your homebirth and I also feel for you in the situation you are currently facing in regards to this circumcision... no matter what you do there are bound to be some tumultous feelings that are going to happen... I hope that the one feeling that never comes into the picture though is regret. No one should start their days as a parent feeling that they did not do what was best.http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/mothers.html