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Please respond with love...

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'm pregnant again and we dont' know the sex yet so this whole post could end up moot...

We had DS circ'd. I had been a member of MDC, rolled my eyes at the TCAC forum, and went on with it...when he came back hiccuping from the crying I felt bad. When the dressing came off and I SAW the raw wound I broke down and sobbed. He has 2 skin bridges (one in the exact same place as DH oddly enough) and I've never mentioned it to a medical person because I don't want them to go "Oh, well, we'll just cut that" or something.

I'm on the fence right now. I could use LOVING comments...I don't want to be a UAV, but I know I need to be specific because this is a passionate subject. I would especially like to hear from moms that were on the fence and how your thought process went in making your decision.

I'm terrified of coming across a problem. One of DH's cousins (I just found out tonight) isn't circ'd. Apparently he had chronic UTIs as a child and the ped said it was because he wasn't circ'd. One of DH's coworkers dated a guy in college that wasn't circ'd and she said that he had CONSTANT infections and that's why she had all of her boys done.

My mindset is currently: IF it needs to be done later it can be...and usually WITH anesthetic. I can't undo it after it's already done.


Help?
post #2 of 98
I am going through this same emotional heartbreak, though I have not had a child yet. Our babe is a boy and I have been going back and forth through the positives and negatives of both. I absolutely hate to bring my child ANY pain, especially if it is unnecessary... but even in this anti-circ board most of the posts are desperate mothers worried about forced retraction, uti's, nameless boils and cysts, bleeding and infections. All uncirc'd boys, and I can't help but question myself on the morality of the possibility of putting my child through years of pain until he is old enough to tell me that he would like a circumsision... Not saying that every uncirc'd kid has problems. But the number of stories is overwhelming for this first time mom.
post #3 of 98
I think I know how you feel. One reason (among many) that I believe I'm done having children is I don't want to face the circ decision again.
post #4 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby~Braatens~Mama View Post
I am going through this same emotional heartbreak, though I have not had a child yet. Our babe is a boy and I have been going back and forth through the positives and negatives of both. I absolutely hate to bring my child ANY pain, especially if it is unnecessary... but even in this anti-circ board most of the posts are desperate mothers worried about forced retraction, uti's, nameless boils and cysts, bleeding and infections. All uncirc'd boys, and I can't help but question myself on the morality of the possibility of putting my child through years of pain until he is old enough to tell me that he would like a circumsision... Not saying that every uncirc'd kid has problems. But the number of stories is overwhelming for this first time mom.
Keep in mind that this is one of the best places to go to ask questions about intact boys. It shouldn't be interpreted that such events are common.
post #5 of 98
You are a wise partner & mom to approach this matter again, thoughtfully and without derision, to gain a clear idea of what is best for your family.

It hasn't been that long that parents - and even the medical profession - have been aware that the longstanding advice to "retract & clean, retract & clean" was wrong. It undoubtedly contributed to many, if not most, of the problems that intact American guys had in the past. It's a surefire way to tear the normal adhesions of the developing penis, mess up the natural flora of the glans tip and urethra, and inadvertently introduce pathogens. We once knew this intuitively as a nation, but lost the knowledge as circumcision replaced intactness. For this reason, I never believe using intact American's experiences is good guidance, particularly regarding guys born a generation & two ago when circumcision was highest and intact knowledge was lowest.

Half of my relatives live in Europe, and I have never, ever once heard any stories about any foreskin problems among my cousins & nephews. Because Europe never lost the hand-me-down knowledge of just leaving alone, they let nature take its course and all is generally fine.

You don't have to buy into the beliefs of many here that circumcision can have deep-seated and lasting physical and psychological side effects. That is still a controversial issue. It is every bit as legitimate to base your decision solely on which approach has the fewest complications, for example.

I hope many parents weigh in with useful, sensitive comments about their own experiences. You sound like you have already overcome the "look like the rest of the guys in the family" hurdle and only want what is best for each member of your family, now and in the future. Read lots, and best of luck!
post #6 of 98
The problem thing is odd to me, b/c my DH and 3 DS's are intact, as are my brothers, and I've never heard of any issues due to not circ'ing. I know that probably doesn't help ease your fears, but I honestly can't think of any male who has had issues (not that we talk about penises all the time, or anything).

What I have heard about, IRL and online, is problems with botched circs. When I worked on mother & baby I'll never forget the fear two young parents had when they changed their son's diaper and he was bleeding really bad - the nurses rushed him out, saying it was really dangerous. I don't know what happened to him (I was just there taking newborn photos), but I'm sure it happens to other newborn boys.

Anyhow, good luck researching and soul searching.
post #7 of 98
There are positive and negative anecdotes on both sides of the issue, and none of them will matter if it's your son that's having problems. For us, one factor of many that heavily influenced our decision was, as the OP said, it can always be done but can't be undone. I would certainly rather deal with issues if they pop up (which, incidentally, none have) than have my son go through the pain, loss of sensitivity, etc... for a problem that might never occur. Best of luck in your decisions--I'm sure having one son already circ'd doesn't make it any easier.
post #8 of 98
Keep in mind that most of the posts here that pertain to "problems" are here simply because the poster does not know where else to ask. A vast majority of the problems have been caused by doctors who are totaly ignorant of normal, intact male genitalia. I too have intact relatatives in Europe, and one never hears of issues there becuse there aren't any.

If our doctors here would just leave little boys foreskins alone, and advise parents to do the same, there would be no problems. A foreskin does not have to retract, or be scrubbed clean or be subjected to any othe manipulation. Remember - nature does not make mistakes - the design is perfect !!
post #9 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post
Keep in mind that this is one of the best places to go to ask questions about intact boys. It shouldn't be interpreted that such events are common.
Exactly...these threads are posted because this is the best place to ask for advice and help. As one of the members said the other day, no one posts daily that everything is fine, although I'm sure the majority of us could do that. And other places online, I read just as many posts about circ complications: bleeding issues, adhesions ("just keep ripping it and letting it heal again"), botched circs, bad scars.

My brother, father, uncles, grandfather...all the men on my dad's side of the family are/were intact and I never heard of anyone requiring a circ in their adult years or of any problems. Considering the vast majority of the world's men are intact, if foreskins were that inconvenient, dangerous, and all, then I'm sure you'd see huge rates of adult men getting circed, but that is not the case.

To the OP: kudos to you for posting and giving it some serious thought. I was never on the fence, but my mindset was similar to yours in that it cannot be undone. My view was that it's my son's body, so not my choice to make. If he decides he wants a circ when he's an adult, that's his business, but I'm not making that choice for him. I hope you'll stick around and keep reading and posting...it's a wonderful community with a lot of information.
post #10 of 98
I'm from Europe and I only know one case of true phimoses (sorry, spelling). Of course nobody in my family, circle of friends or anyone I know is circumcised but my cousin due to a phimoses. Everyone in my family felt very sad for him to have a circ done, but it's not a tight circ and he was 6 years old and in pain, but not badly and the docs recommended it. I doubt they would ever recommend it light-heartedly.
My MD sister said they don't do newborn circs, at least at her hospital. It is only done with older kids under full anesthesia. I know my mom had several Muslim boys in her class and they all had it done at age 9 as a rite of passage, with a huge party, but it was a surgery with full anesthesia at the hospital. A lot of them felt sick for a while or got infections, it must be a hard adjustment.

That being said, you can always do it later if you want to, but you cannot take it back.
post #11 of 98
Like a PP said, this is an extremely knowledgeable place, one of the best on the internet, so many moms flock here if they have questions. For every mom that asks a question about a potential issue, there are dozens who never encounter an issue.

I have three intact sons, the only issue I've ever had was one nurse that retracted my middle son during a VCUG (which is a test for urinary reflux after he had a UTI at 9 weeks old. Turned out his UTI had absolutely nothing to do with his foreskin status)

Like you are experiencing now, a circumcised penis is not without its share of troubles, go to any mainstream board and you will find many mamas talking about their sons having to be re-circ'd, or adhesions being corrected, or buried penises. Those moms talk about those issues like they are just normal, when in fact they are directly a result of the circumcision, and would not happen if the circ had never been done.

I usually tell moms to try to take the emotion out of the decision and focus on just facts, but in your case I'd encourage you to remember the way you felt when your son was brought back to you. That was pure mama bear right there, and in my experience, mama bear has never been wrong. Mama bear doesn't get riled up over a heel prick for newborn screening, mama bear doesn't get riled up over a needle stick for an IV even. I held my child down while they put 10 stitches into his eyeLID (not eyebrow), I hooked up an IV pump to my special needs child's PICC line every day for 4 weeks. In those cases, my heart hurt for my little guy, he was in pain and I didn't like it. But mama bear did not come out. I think there's something to be said about that guttural reaction you experienced. And I'm so sorry that you did experience it

Read, read, read. Research everything from the purported benefits to the risks. Research foreskin function. Research the history of the procedure. Research care of the intact penis. Research what other cultures do. Talk to your Ped, your OB, cold-call some other Peds. Ask questions like "what do you recommend and why? What reasons do you think warrant the procedure? What if any issues have you see with uncirc'd and circ'd?" Then go look them all up on your own. For every issue with the intact penis, seek out other ways to manage it. Let's say you believe that there might be an increase in UTIs...how else could they be prevented or treated? Let's say the STD research is concerning to you...how else could they be prevented or treated? Are those other methods preferable to circ?

GOod luck in this journey mama, and good luck with the pregnancy!
post #12 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post
Keep in mind that this is one of the best places to go to ask questions about intact boys. It shouldn't be interpreted that such events are common.
I thought about this in the shower...if I hadn't had a mom that breastfed me until 14mo the BFing forum would have scared me off because it's full of moms asking for advice about infection and pain and cracks and AAAHHHH... Like someone said in another thread: No one comes in and posts "My son's penis is GREAT today." No one comes into the BFing forum and does weekly updates about how well it's going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
The problem thing is odd to me, b/c my DH and 3 DS's are intact, as are my brothers, and I've never heard of any issues due to not circ'ing. I know that probably doesn't help ease your fears, but I honestly can't think of any male who has had issues (not that we talk about penises all the time, or anything).
Everyone I know is circ'd (well, everyone that I know anything about them personally...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayTeeJay View Post
There are positive and negative anecdotes on both sides of the issue, and none of them will matter if it's your son that's having problems. For us, one factor of many that heavily influenced our decision was, as the OP said, it can always be done but can't be undone. I would certainly rather deal with issues if they pop up (which, incidentally, none have) than have my son go through the pain, loss of sensitivity, etc... for a problem that might never occur. Best of luck in your decisions--I'm sure having one son already circ'd doesn't make it any easier.
I did a post a while back that actually made me WANT to circ any other boys because it ended up full of comments along the lines of, "Well, you'll have to tell the other son that you mutilated him for no reason." It made me feel even worse...Hence the "only respond with love" qualifier.
post #13 of 98
My first son is circ'd.

10 years passed and I was about deliver my twin boys. I saw pros and cons for both, but in the end, the complications from a circ seemed much more dangerous than a possible infection or two. IF it turned into something more chronic or serious, a circ could be done later.

FWIW, almost two years later and we have no problems.
post #14 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by japonica View Post
To the OP: kudos to you for posting and giving it some serious thought. I was never on the fence, but my mindset was similar to yours in that it cannot be undone. My view was that it's my son's body, so not my choice to make. If he decides he wants a circ when he's an adult, that's his business, but I'm not making that choice for him. I hope you'll stick around and keep reading and posting...it's a wonderful community with a lot of information.
Thank you.

I was talking to my MIL about it and I said that I heard there was a way where they pull the foreskin forward and cut the excess and just expose part of the head of the penis. She said, "I thought that was how it was done." My eyes got big and I said, "No, there's tearing and ripping and cutting...all without any anesthetic." She said, "Well, then just don't do it and have it done later if something goes wrong." So...it's an easy mindset to get into.
post #15 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby~Braatens~Mama View Post
I am going through this same emotional heartbreak, though I have not had a child yet. Our babe is a boy and I have been going back and forth through the positives and negatives of both. I absolutely hate to bring my child ANY pain, especially if it is unnecessary... but even in this anti-circ board most of the posts are desperate mothers worried about forced retraction, uti's, nameless boils and cysts, bleeding and infections. All uncirc'd boys, and I can't help but question myself on the morality of the possibility of putting my child through years of pain until he is old enough to tell me that he would like a circumsision... Not saying that every uncirc'd kid has problems. But the number of stories is overwhelming for this first time mom.
My son is nearly 15, intact and has no issues whatsoever.
post #16 of 98
UTI have NOTHING to do with having a foreskin or not. That myth was shown to be a myth many years ago. Girls have them at a much higher % than boys do yet we cut nothing off them.

I am curious but feel free to ignore me. If your ds has bridges you know first hand what can and does go wrong so why would you even consider risking that for your new ds? I mean an infection give abx skin bridge unless he wants to have it fixed is for life and dh's bridge gets infected from time to time yes he chooses to keep it because he dosnt want his penis cut on any more.

I hope you can get past worrying about what can happen with intact and remember that the odds of a circ complication is a whole lot higher than with the intact penis.

You dont have to tell your first ds that you mutilated him all you have to tell him is that when you had him you thought it was for the best to do it but learned later than it wasnt.

I cant even imagine risking my ds's life with circ. Yes boys can and do die every year from circ and yes that is here in the USA not some third world country. MRSA is rampant now and many circed boys get it and some loose their whole penis but I havnt heard a single case of MRSA causing the life of an intact child.
post #17 of 98
The only person I know with a foreskin issue IRL is dh, who has phimosis due to scar tissue memories of his mother repeatedly forcibly retracting him, so I'd imagine she did it daily for years. Even with the phimosis, you couldn't pay him enough money to get circumcised. In fact, he avoided trying to get steroid cream to help with it for years because he was sure he'd just be told to have a circumcision.

I also have a male friend in his early 20's who can't have an orgasm because of the damage from his circumcision. He didn't even realize that was the cause until I told him, poor guy. Most circ problems are just passed off as "one of those things" instead of the complications from infant surgery they really are.
post #18 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post

I am curious but feel free to ignore me. If your ds has bridges you know first hand what can and does go wrong so why would you even consider risking that for your new ds? I mean an infection give abx skin bridge unless he wants to have it fixed is for life and dh's bridge gets infected from time to time yes he chooses to keep it because he dosnt want his penis cut on any more.
.
He had a bridge and a scar where there was a HOLE from where they botched it...he said it was just always a part of his penis and he's never had an issue with it. I think that's what it comes down to: Even though it's a "problem" he's never had serious problems with it. It may not be a TRUE bridge. It's more like an adhesion I guess?
post #19 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
You dont have to tell your first ds that you mutilated him all you have to tell him is that when you had him you thought it was for the best to do it but learned later than it wasnt.
This. There's no way to know how your first ds will feel about it when he's older, but there's no reason for people to be so nasty about it. What's done is done. I feel sorry for your ds (the skin bridges) and for you, having that experience. But, as a mother of four, I can tell you that making a mistake - of any kind - with one child doesn't mean I (or you) have to repeat that mistake with every other child, just to keep it "even". I just explain "well, at the time/in those circumstances/whatever, that was the best I could do, and now/in these circumstances/whatever, this is the best I can do".
post #20 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
This. There's no way to know how your first ds will feel about it when he's older, but there's no reason for people to be so nasty about it. What's done is done. I feel sorry for your ds (the skin bridges) and for you, having that experience. But, as a mother of four, I can tell you that making a mistake - of any kind - with one child doesn't mean I (or you) have to repeat that mistake with every other child, just to keep it "even". I just explain "well, at the time/in those circumstances/whatever, that was the best I could do, and now/in these circumstances/whatever, this is the best I can do".
Thank you for this. Truly, thank you.
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