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If you regret circumcising your son(s), please post here. - Page 15

post #281 of 719
I already feel guilty without knowing the details. In all honesty, when I was pregnant, I was clueless. I didn't have a clue at all!!

I just left the choice up to my husband and said "What do I know? I'm not a man!" How awful of me!!

I was the one that had to take him to the pediatrician for the circ itself and sit alone in the waiting room CRYING. I should have realized that something was wrong if I was crying!!!

I can't even read half of the stuff about why it's bad ... I already feel bad enough as it is. I just know if we have anymore sons, it will not be happening.

I feel like I failed my son as a parent for not getting all the information before making such a big choice like that, but now I am way more cautious about other things. This is why I hate it when people say it's so bad to make FF'ing moms feel guilty - I wish someone would have actually TOLD me this from the medical field. I wish someone would have made me feel guilty so I could have spent a little more time considering the decision I was making.

Anyway . . . . I just really needed to vent all that out!! It's a subject that kind of makes me sad to think of... but it's been on my mind on and off since realizing what a mistake I made....
post #282 of 719
Originally Posted by MilkyWayMom View Post
I wish someone would have actually TOLD me this from the medical field. I wish someone would have made me feel guilty so I could have spent a little more time considering the decision I was making...
I know what you mean mama. I so wish someone would have told me/made me feel guilty that vaccines are PURE POISON before I allowed 9 shots for my son before I knew any better and now he is having a horrible eczema because of this...
or that ultrasounds during pregnancy ARE harmful for the baby (I had tons of them with my first one )
But we all learn and do better when we know. It eases my pain to know that our second baby will NEVER receive any shots and had just one u/s . We need to learn how to forgive ourselves. It's extremely hard though .
post #283 of 719
I feel like the worst parent ever to my boys. I feel like I really screwed them up. I won't ever be able to let go of the guilt I feel over what i did to them. I think about it everyday, and I get SOOOO angry at myself for not educating myself, angry at the hospital for not giving me any information about it.

I get so upset that this is even still allowed to happen. I get upset when I think about all the little boys that are going to go through this, and the moms who might regret it later, and angry at the ones who don't. I know a lot of little boys on the way IRL & on the net that will be cut, and I feel helpless because I know the parents won't listen to any info I share.

I wish I could live my life over again so I can do right what I did wrong.
post #284 of 719
MilkyWayMom and MommyofMany to you both.

Please forgive yourselves - the medical profession is VERY culpable in perpetuating circumcision (and the pain it causes for all involved ).

Some of the best advocates for little boys are regretful parents...people who wouldn't listen to anyone/anything else will often take on board the comments of someone who has been there and is warning them.

Thanks for sharing your stories. I think this thread is very powerful and has saved many little boys.
post #285 of 719

I happened to catch this yesterday and I thought it was relevant because this man directed his anger at the medical community and the 'system'-- and although angry that his mother had him circumcised, he was not angry at her.



From: They Cut Babies, Don't They?
Posted by: MGMbill

post #286 of 719
Like many people who have posted, I live with much regret and guilt due to the fact that my two sons (2 and 4 years old) are circed. I don't know why I didn't research the topic fully during my pregnancies- My husband and I thought it was a "normal" thing to have done and left it at that. A nurse I talked with at the hospital said it was "quick" and "no big deal". The doctor barely spent 30 seconds with me while I signed the consent form outlining the "very rare" risks. I'm hoping to get to the point where I accept that agonizing and feeling horrible about what I allowed to happen isn't going to change anything. I need to focus on my kids, and help them to have the best life possible. Yet it's difficult knowing that I took something immeasurable away from them so early in life. How do we move on??
post #287 of 719
Originally Posted by 3kidsclmr View Post
How do we move on??

I’d say try to educate other people and help saving their boys from having this done to them. It may help to heal your own wound…
post #288 of 719

what to do next?

I think the best thing to do is what you've already done (as I did)

Come to terms with the past
Reflect on your misjudgement/mistake/wrongdoing
Make ammends with yourself and your child
Go forward with an differnet approach (i.e., if I ever have another son, I will NOT do this)
Make attempts to speak out honestly to friends and the public siting the unecessity of circumsicion

I have gone through all these points personally in the last year and a half. My son will soon be turning 3. I know I made a mistake even though I didnt' want to do it. I let others "reassure" me that this was the right thing. I second guessed myself, but I learned an important mothering lesson. Never, ever to give away my power of maternal instincts. It was an awful, heavy price to pay, but my son has had other ongoing medical issues (reflux, autism) that forced me to move forward. You need to cry to someone, apologize, defend your actions, whatever it is that will help you come to "big terms" with the circ. I hate it every time I think about how friggin stupid I was, but you have to move forward. One day, when your boys are big, you can discuss this with them...Hopefully even convince them against male circumcision
post #289 of 719
I regret having my DS circumcised so much.. What have I done to that poor sweet little boy. I caved and didn't argue for what I had as a gut feeling was the right thing to do. Never, never never again will any son of mine be cric. No way, no how!!
post #290 of 719
i also circed and regret it so much! i didnt know any better at the time, i thought i was doing what was supposed to be done! i cant believe i put my son through that...
post #291 of 719
I circumcised my oldest, who is now 11, despite watching the videos, etc.
I circumcised my 8 year old too.
We didn't want to circumcise our 5 year old, but we weren't prepared with research and weren't prepared for the bullying from the doctor. Against my better instincts, he was circumcised.

I do regret them all.

Should this fourth baby be a boy, he will not be circumcised, even though he has a dad and three brothers who are (as well as friends and family who might be shocked). He will stay intact.

We live and we learn and sometimes we live to regret.
post #292 of 719
My husband and I had our first two sons circ'ed. With the first child, I was quite young (21) and blithe about it-- "I'll go with whatever his father wants, his father is the authority on that subject." With Son #2 I was much better educated and didn't want him circ'ed, but I was afraid (yes... simply afraid) to be too confrontational with my spouse about it. I feared that he would concede yet it would become a major Issue In Our Marriage, some permanent sign on our child that I preferred a different "model" to the one my husband has, and thus that I preferred some other man to him. I don't know that, at that point in our lives, I could have chosen differently. I simply have to forgive myself for making those choices-- the first in ignorance, the second because that was our relationship dynamic at the time and I had a credible logic for making that decision: I was trying to be sensitive to my husband's feelings and it's good for children to have two parents who love each other.

When we had our third son-- fourth child-- I was considerably older (29! Hah!) and even better educated. From even before his (deliberate) conception, I was emphatic and firm that I would not circumcise another boy. We could choose not to conceive another child if my husband wanted, but if we did have one and the child was a boy, I would not circ him. I still maintained a sensitivity to my husband's feelings-- made it clear that it wasn't a value judgment on him, just that it was an unnecessary practice. I talked to my father-in-law, who was intact, and asked him why he'd chosen to circ his sons (his answer: he hadn't. The doctors just did it back in 1973, or only asked the mother). I took that info to my husband. I asked my OB for his *personal* opinion as a medical professional and extracted from him that he's very much opposed to the practice for medical reasons. I took *that* info to my husband, presenting it strictly as medical info rather than in a "me and the OB are ganging up on you" kind of way.

When Luke was born and they asked if I wanted him circumcised, I cannot tell you how *light* I felt, how victorious, when I said "no." I had gone against a lot of pressure to have him circ'ed-- less from my husband at that point than from my mother and from friends who were dubious about whether my sons really wouldn't care that they looked "different". I felt I had broken the cycle of this practice in our family, and done something good.

Luke just turned 1, and he hasn't had any urinary tract infections or any of the other spooky problems they warn you about, like swelling or redness or whatever. When I was expecting him I'd hoped for a girl (I admit), so I could have an "even set" between my 4 kids, but one highlight of having a boy was proving to myself that I really *had* changed, that I wouldn't just *say* I'd make a different decision if I had it to do over, but that I really would (and did!).

I think what I'd want to tell other moms who had this experience or are considering what to do in the future, is the following... that first, it's not productive to actively regret, or feel guilty about, having your earlier sons circumcised. You made the choice you did with the information and emotional reasoning you had available to you at that time-- it wasn't a malicious act, and it won't ruin your son's life. People may balk at my saying that, but there are plenty of circumcised men out there walking around perfectly content with their bodies and their sex lives. As women we've spent way too much time trying to convince men that the world doesn't revolve around their penises to turn past circumcision decisions into a central issue of guilt as mothers.

Secondly, I would want to say that it *is* possible to turn a balky husband around on this issue. Mine *never* got to the point where he actually agreed with me about the decision, only to the point where he could see that I felt strongly enough that it wasn't worth it to him to argue. When the baby was very young he said a couple things like "it would look better snipped"... but now that the baby's a year old, he couldn't care less. I think it helped my husband to know that the decision made for *him* as a newborn was an arbitrary one based on outdated information. Meaning no offense to anyone, the "a son should look like his father" thing is a silly argument. If a son's penis looks anything like his father's during the next 14 years, the child has a glandular problem. Past that point, it shouldn't be much of a challenge to explain the difference in foreskin. I can understand that it can be difficult for a man not to validate the decision his parents made at his own birth, but still-- what man wouldn't want to give his son an extra half inch of penis? It's the gift that keeps on giving... (ugh... no, I guess I didn't have to say that :-) )

If others are researching on here (as I did, on the internet generally, before I had Luke), I wish you luck in making that decision. Choosing not to circ a son after you've already circ'ed in the past is definitely not the path of least resistance, but in the end it's very easy in that you take no action and, in most cases, reap no repercussions. And you can know you went to bat for your kid, and that you were brave and strong.

post #293 of 719
My first is 18 now, circumcised out of ignorance. I knew nothing at age 21 in 1988. I have many regrets the way he was parented by listening to others instead of myself.

The next 2 boys, born at home are not circumcised. My midwife opened the door to many things about pregnancy, birth and babies!!!

Do your homework before deciding!!!

And it is not an issue in our house. Many people have asked me that. Boys are just happy to have something hanging and don't pay attention to extral skin on the end.
post #294 of 719
I very much regret circ-ing my first son. I was not informed enough, and make the wrong decision,and I'll regret it forever. After I gave birth, and left the hospital, I started researching, and realized what I had done. I'll always feel guilty and ashamed for putting my ds through that.
Any other sons I have will NOT be circumsized.
post #295 of 719
If I had it to do over he would be intact I didn't know any better and I deeply regret this.
post #296 of 719

Hi. I posted a request in the above link. ITs on the circ board here. :-) I think you're supposed to paste a link not post duplicate posts, so that's why I did it this way.

As a ps, if you'd like re: permission, let me know if I can just use any posts here, in addition. TIA!
post #297 of 719

My story of regret

I wish I would have read something like this forum in time. My two boys have been cut and I regret it with every ounce of my being. This surgery is traumatic (physically and emotionally) and dangerous. It exposes babies to infection, shock, major bleeding...some lose their penis altogether...some die! My pediatrician never told me these things. I found out later (too late for us,) about dangers and complications from circumcision, and my boys have had to endure problems from their circumcisions.
With our first born, Evan, I am ashamed to say that we hardly discussed it beyond answering the hospital staff’s question of "When would you like your son circumcised here?" It was just a given that Evan would be circumcised because his dad was circumcised. At that point, I had never seen an uncircumcised penis, not even Evan’s. I never changed his diapers in the hospital. Today I regret that, I should have changed his diapers and seen what he looked like naturally. I feel like even more of an idiot when I remember that neither one of us accompanied our son to his surgery. We let our defenseless, one-day-old baby be taken away from us to be mutilated; yet, we wouldn’t let him make one trip to the nursery alone...horribly ironic! As for the effects after the circumcision, Evan was only one day old and I think it sent him into "shell-shock". He did not nurse very well at all and he slept constantly. Owen changed all of his diapers for a good long while so I can’t say much about the immediate physical damage. Later when he was a few months old the pediatrician noticed his skin was sort of growing down or attaching to the head of his penis (now I know it is a problem called “adhesions”) so during 2 separate visits he grabbed that skin and literally ripped it back.
Evan screamed, as you can imagine, and his penis was bleeding and raw.
Our second son, Colby, was born in a birthing center so the atmosphere was definitely different, more accepting of what’s natural. However, in my prenatal care, the subject of circumcision again hardly came up. My midwife did not even delve into the subject. The only time it was discussed was when we were trying to decide the risks and benefits of the vitamin K shot and whether we would subject our baby to that shot. Again, devastatingly ironic! Here we were laboring over the decision of a shot, but when it came to the mutilation of our boy, we just said quickly “Well if the baby is a boy, we’re going to circumcise him because his dad and brother are circumcised.” After Colby was born, I was able to see what an uncircumcised penis looked like. My boy was so beautiful, so peaceful. He was not in the shell-shocked state that Evan was in - after all that Evan had to endure in the hospital. I changed Colby’s diapers for a week. The gravity of what we were about to do was starting to set in. Every time I looked at Colby’s penis, I felt sad for Evan and for how we had altered him. I cried. I talked to his dad about it and wondered how can we do this to our beautiful baby? Time was running out. His circumcision appointment with the pediatrician was drawing near. I tried to engage other people around us in conversation about it to see if I could garner any support for the idea of not circumcising Colby. Some did not want to talk about it. Most gave all kinds of reasons why we should circumcise him. Only one friend told me the truth about circumcision. I listened to her, but I was too passive and I let the circumcision happen anyway.
At least this time I had the guts to watch it. I felt like it was my responsibility to watch Colby’s circumcision since it was half my decision (half Owen’s) and it would be cowardly for me to hide in another room to distance myself from it. It was brutal! If anyone out there is considering circumcision for their baby, please look at pictures or video of a baby being circumcised. If I had seen Evan’s circumcision ¬ I NEVER would have subjected Colby to it, too. The horrible reality of the procedure being forced upon my child is seared into my brain. I have dreams about stepping in (when the doctor is suiting up and strapping Colby down) and saying “stop this, don’t do it!” and snatching him away and protecting him. Unfortunately, that’s just a dream. (Maybe by sharing this with you and other people who may read it, I can make that dream a reality for some other baby boy.) As for the after-effects, he was so sleepy afterward. He would go 6 hours before nursing, instead of his usual 2-3 hours. And his penis and scrotum were so swollen and bruised for many, many days. He would cry when we touched the area. And he also developed a hidden or “buried” penis. His traumatized penis receded up into his body and is rarely seen on the outside. Perhaps it is caused by too much shaft skin being removed. Potty training now is tricky because when he stands to pee, it doesn’t come out in a stream, it dribbles all down his front unless you make his penis come out. But, it also causes him discomfort when we push on the area to make it come out.
Owen and I have been talking about it a lot lately. I was able to finally do the research and back up what my instincts were telling me during that one week when Colby was intact. After much explanation, and many tears, he was able to feel it too. He now realizes we made a mistake and feels so bad for our sons. We can never take it back. All we can do now is apologize. Some days I feel like I’ve made peace with it. However, some days my guilt is overwhelming and I feel angry at everyone; the medical community who never asked us the tough questions, my OB, my pediatrician, my midwife, my husband for talking me into it, our families, my sister (I never got one inkling that she supported my idea to leave Colby intact) insurance companies that still cover it, but most of my anger is at myself. I am responsible.
Circumcision strained my relationship with my sister too. When she told me that her 3rd son (born just 6 months after Colby) would be the first in the family to NOT be circumcised, my knee-jerk, competitive, selfish reaction was: “What?! How can you do that? Where were you when I needed your support with that same decision? I felt like you were talking me into circumcision? Now you and your 3rd son get to reap the benefits of my torture.” Now, I know that it’s hateful and selfish, and I never said these things out loud to her. But I had to actively and consciously allow my joy (and relief) for her baby boy to take over. But I am still angry with her because she remembers our interactions differently, she thinks that she was anti-circ but that she didn’t want to pressure me because I had already decided to have it done.

When I was trying to talk to people about whether to circumcise or not, people said things like;
•It’s better to do it when he’s a baby and can’t remember it.
•His genitals will look weird, like an anteater.
•His self-esteem, self-image will be damaged.
•He’s going to grow up with a complex about looking different.
•He’ll resent you for not doing it when he’s a baby.
•He should be circumcised because his dad (brother) is.
•How will you possible explain why you circumcised Evan but not Colby? (It was a conversation that my husband did not want to have with the boys.)
•My sister talked about how old uncircumcised men in nursing homes get penis infections all the time, and that a male nurse she works with says uncircumcised Mexican boys come into the hospital all the time with penis infections.
•One guy told my sister that he always wondered what was wrong with the Mexicans in school and why they looked different. Also, he would have been pissed if his mother would not have done it when he was a baby because he would have had to do it as an adult and then he’d feel the pain and remember it. (I’m sorry, I know the reference to Mexicans will offend, as it offends me too, but I HAD to include it because those were the things I heard. These whacked social ideas exist and still lead to boys being circumcised.)

Now I see the errors of the statements above. All those people were making assumptions based on growing up when being circumcised was the norm in America. They imagine their resentment at being left intact, but they can never know that for sure. However, plenty of men now feel resentment for being circumcised, there’s no mistaking that once you start reading their stories. If your grown-up son resents you for not cutting him, at least he’ll be old enough at that point to make the decision for himself. He can go ahead and do it (if he feels that strongly about it.) But you can never go back and put it back on. Plus, with the falling numbers of circumcisions happening in this country, chances are by the time our babies are in school, half or more of the boys will be intact...so an intact son will be more “normal” than many people realize.

Consider, if you will, how ridiculous the following statements sound:
•"I hope you’re not considering letting your daughter go uncircumcised."
•"The clitoris and outer lips serve no function, she won’t miss them."
•"Plus all that extra skin down there just looks so weird."
•"It’s gross! And you know she’ll just have infections all the time. She won’t be able to keep herself clean."
•"You know, when she gets to school and all the girls are comparing their vulvas in PE or in the bathroom, she’ll be teased unmercifully."
•"I think I heard that girls don’t even feel pain when they cut it off. But even if they do, she won’t remember the pain of it if done when she’s a baby."
•"She’ll resent you for not getting her circumcised when she was a baby. It will be more expensive and painful to get circumcised when she wants to have it done as an adult."

We obviously view female circumcision as "female genital mutilation." I have known about female genital mutilation in other countries for many years and it always sickened me to hear or read about it. I feel so damned stupid for never making that connection when it came to the boys. It is time that we regard the circumcision of boys as "genital mutilation" as well. I had thought that I was such an open-minded, natural kind of gal, but I missed the boat by such a long shot when it came to circumcision. I think because it is never discussed, or it is just dismissed as the norm, in mainstream information. Now I have come to realize that I trust nature in so many other aspects of life...I should have trusted nature when it came to my boy’s anatomy. If a boy is not supposed to have foreskin on his penis, then boys would have evolved that way.
My husband has come around and feels remorse for his decisions, and sadness at the decision of his parents for having circumcised him. One morning, he told me he was on the internet all night researching it. Many adult men still carry the psychological scar of being circumcised as a baby. The feelings of learned helplessness and passivity are directly connected to the time when they were strapped down and subjected to excruciating pain and they could neither fight nor flee. How could it not make a deep imprint on his spirit? This is primal stuff. It started to click with us. My husband has been struggling with feelings of passivity his whole life. What if his struggle to make decisions comes from the fact that one of the most important decisions was literally ripped from him when he was hours or days old? It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Why did it take 30 years to come to the realization? Why did doctors in the past just want to prescribe lithium and anti-depressants with no thought to the underlying cause? AGGGHHHH! The madness of it all!
Listen to your heart and protect your children the way they’ll be born into this world. Until you are 100% satisfied that the necessity, the safety, and the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks...don’t do it. You can always put it off until later, but you can never take it back once it is done. Your decision should not be quick or flippant because it will last his whole life, and yours. I will forever regret my decisions to circumcise my 2 boys. It haunts me.
post #298 of 719
Thank you for sharing your story
post #299 of 719
Vaughnmama - thank you for sharing.
post #300 of 719
My baby boy, that I prayed for, wished for, hoped for and dreamed about for 3 long years of TTC, was born on November 30, 2006. He was not circed in the hospital because apparently here (Las Vegas) they don't do it in the hospital anymore...he had an appointment to have it done by my OB the Monday after his birth (he was born on Thursday) but he ended up being admitted to the NICU (unneccessarily, but that is another story) on Saturday, December 2 and staying for 7 days (for no reason), so I cancelled that appointment. I wish I could stop right here and say that is the end of the story, but of course it isn't, or I wouldn't be posting on this thread, would I?

He was released from the NICU on Saturday, December 9, and had a follow-up appointment with the pediatrician on Tuesday. At that appointment, another was made for the circ to be done on December 19. I had asked my husband before he was born if he thought we should circ him, and he said, "OF COURSE!" Of course, my husband is circed.

I didn't research it. Almost every man I know or have ever known has been circed. Only one I knew hadn't been, and he told me it had taken him years to get over the "shame" he felt at being "different" than everyone else. So, I didn't research it. I didn't bother to find out what is really done, or what is taken, and what a crime it is.

I tried so hard to be the best mommy in the world to my baby. I EBF him, even though that meant Epumping for almost a month while he was in the NICU and after, until he learned to latch on to the breast after being used to the bottle in the NICU. I sleep with him, I hold him all the time, I never let him cry. I never would want him to feel a moment of sadness or pain. So, why, why, why did I not look for the truth? I listened to everyone who told me "you have to do it!" I listened to my husband, to my mom and grandmother, to the pediatrician, to the visiting nurse who was assigned to come and check on my baby after we came home from the hospital. Deep inside, I now know my mama intuition was trying to tell me it wasn't right. I kept saying, "Are you sure we have to?" And EVERYWHERE, I was told, "YES!" But, I don't blame anyone who told me, "You have to!" I am not the sort of person who will normally accept stuff at face value. This is why it kills me even more that I just went ahead and let this happen to my baby.

December 19 came and we took him to his appointment. As we sat in the room waiting for the doctor, I remember the fear I felt, and I kept saying to my husband, "Are you sure he HAS to have this done? Are you SO HAPPY that you're circumsized?" and things like that. He kept telling me, "YES, stop it, calm down, this is going to happen no matter what." The doctor came in, and I left the room, but I made my husband stay. I paced up and down the hallway. I heard my son cry once, but that was all. Later my husband told me he only cried when they injected him with the pain killer or whatever it was. That does not make me feel any better, though.

When it was over I came back in. My baby's foreskin was there on the table and the doctor asked us if we wanted to keep it. Yes I wanted to keep it...on my baby. I can still picture it now in my head. I am fighting back tears as I am writing this...it seemed like so much skin. How could I have let this happen? I knew it was wrong, but still I was in denial. It wasn't until I found MDC that I began to realize the true horror of what I had stood by and allowed to happen to my precious, innocent baby boy. Way too late.

I looked at his pictures last night from when he was born and he was so perfect then. I have been dreaming at night that I am there in the doctor's office again, but this time I grab my baby and leave before it can happen to him. I only wish that were true. I hope with all my heart my son will forgive me for not protecting him and keeping him whole, because I am sorrier for it than I have ever been about anything else in the entire 31 years I have been on this planet.

Mommy is so, so sorry, Jackson. I know that is not enough, that nothing will ever bring back what was taken from you. I should have protected you better. But I hope you know that I love you more than anything in the world and I never would have let this happen if I had known then what I know now.

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