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So so sad and full of guilt and remorse... - Page 2

post #21 of 38
Originally Posted by Ron_Low View Post
My advice is get over it for now. Most cut guys couldn't care less (because they don't know what they're missing).

BUT, there may come a day when the weight of what he has lost will sink in with him and HE will have some grieving to do. THAT is when you need to do your grieving and feeling bad. Until then whistle past the graveyard.
Ron, you know I love you for those beautiful bumperstickers you made for me . Havinng said that I think it is really not a very good advice. Saying a mother who is going through a prosess of griving and mourning (over her desision and her son's body part that was needlessly cut off) to "get over it" neither validates her feelings about it nor respects her grief and regret. Impovering a person to work through the sorrow and regret in order to move on and telling them "to get over it" are two very different things.

And another thing, about this "he wouldn't know what he is missing" comment. I would highly recommend her to talk to her son when he is older (in his teens, perhaps) and explain him in a gentle way what exactly was taken from him and what are the usual consiqenses. This way, first of all he can make a choice whether he wants to restore (of course I'm talking about the non-sergical restoration...OP ask Ron--yes this very Ron whose post I'm critisizing here --about restoration, he is an expert in the area, so you know what's possible when your son is older). But what's most important is that her son will understand that this is not something that should ever be done to his sons. A friend of mine talked to her 12yo about circ, explained to him that she didn't know any better, appologized to him. The boy thought for few minutes and said that it is sad and that he will not do this to his kids. 5 minutes later he was happily playing ball with his friends. It really is that simple. My son is 5 and a question of vaccines came up not that long ago (he asked me what those shots some kids were talking about were). I explained him in a way that he could understand and I told him that when he was a baby I didn't know any better and did allow him getting some of those shots. I told him that I regret it deeply even though he is fine (beyond his eczema that started with the shots), I appologized to him and let him know that his sister is vaccines-free. I also told him that I would never allow this happen to him again. He totally understood everything, including my deep regret. The next second he was playing like the conversation never took a place. Kids know that we--their parents--aren't perfect, but they love us and they know that we love them to death. And you know what, with all our faults and imperfections we are still perfect to them.
post #22 of 38
My heart goes out to all those mama’s and papa’s who learned too late the adverse consequences of consenting to have their little boys circumcised. I commend them for standing up and spreading the word to end the practice and protect other boys. The regret in their voices is so sincere and painfully heartfelt. Their voices need to be heard to help end the still popular practice of amputating parts of male children’s penises in the 21st century.
DocMom, don't be too hard on yourself because most of the blame should go to our country's ignorant, misinformed, and circ. happy culture, in addition to the licensed physician who amputated your newborn son's normal, healthy, non-diseased prepuce.
I'm glad you've joined the fight to protect other boys which will make you one of the better well-informed pediatricians that protect the genital integrity rights of All children.
Best Regards to you and your son,
post #23 of 38
OP: Guilt is a tough one. I carry a lot of it, myself, and I know it's hard to shake.

That said...I think the reason for guilt is to motivate us and to trigger positive change in the way we behave. You've learned what circ really is and what it costs. You won't do it again. You intend to run a pediatric practice that won't perform them or promote them. You'll no doubt provide proper information on care of the intact penis, sparing many boys from the potential issues caused by forced retraction, etc.

What I'm saying is...your guilt is doing, and has done, its job. You don't need to hold onto it, because it's already motivated you to change the pattern. I'm so glad you've realized the truth, even though it hurts.

(And, yeah - I know that the guilt having done its job really makes no difference, but I still thought I'd put it out there.)
post #24 of 38
Also, make sure your son knows and understands your regret - hopefully he will make this stop with his generation and not pass this horrible custom on to his children
post #25 of 38

I am sorry you are hurting. You did the best you knew to do, and are now able to make a different decision moving forward. It will be okay. I wanted to tell you one thing that you are in a special position to do--it is something that was done for my DH and I (and our sons). My DH is a physician, an ophthalmologist. When he was in medical school, he was introduced to the idea of keeping boys intact as a part of his medical training. (Yes, he went to med school in the USA) During his rotation in the urology department at the University of Michigan, he was presented with the idea of circumcision as a human rights issue, and they were anti-circ and pro-intactness. Soon after that rotation, I got pregnant with out first child, and he brought the idea of not circumcising to me and asked me to look into it because he did not want to circumcise any of our children. A quick overview of the literature led me to agree with him.

I had never heard of not circumcising until that point. I am sure that if our oldest had been a boy and DH hadn't learned about not circumcising in school, that we would have done had our oldest cut. As it played out, we were lucky.

You will be in a position to teach others over the next few years, most likely. At least during your residency, probably. You can spread the news to others, and help to stem the tide of circumcisions greatly. Not to mention letting your patients know that there is no need to circumcise. You are in position to help the intact cause better than most people.

Personally, I am relieved and I feel very lucky that I got the news in time about not circumcising, and I make sure that I at the very least encourage friends and family to look into it and offer to send them information. I let them know that there is a real decision to be made, and that I am thankful that I got the info in time, and that they should make a real informed decision and not just go with the flow. Giving information out to people has resulted in a few people making the decision to not circ, but most still do. And that is much harder to understand--to know and still choose it, over not knowing and letting it happen. I could have so easily been the latter. My love to you. Your little one will in all likelihood be just fine. And I hope that you can forgive yourself sooner rather than later.
post #26 of 38
DocMom, just wanted to make sure you know about Doctors Opposing Circumcision. Here is their contact info http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcisi...t/contact.html
post #27 of 38
((Hugs)) Sharing this will make a difference, it WILL prevent someone from making the same mistake. It WILL make it easier for someone to trust their instincts. It WILL make it easier for someone to question.
Also please consider adding your voice to this thread and sharing the thread around:
If you regret circumcising your son(s), please post here.

I know it helped me make my decision, stick with it, comforted me, and strengthened me. In many ways it is just sheer luck that separates me from you- the chance words of a stranger on the internet that resonated with me and kept me searching.

post #28 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hi again everyone. Thank you for the kind, thoughtful replies.
It's been a long, tough week for me.. I feel I am in the throes of the healing process, which is so painful and raw and real for me that I cannot simply ignore it because then it just returns, rearing its ugly head.

I have a just a few key issues which I think are what's holding me back from my relationship with my sweet baby boy at this point, and the things I wish to nip in the bud with the help of some of you who may have been through it. I appreciate any advice, but please be gentle...

#1 - I am all for advocating and sharing the cold hard facts with people in an effort to limit unnecessary surgery in babies. But I am also concerned with what my son's reaction (if any) will be to his circumcision. I read an account of a momma who (http://www.mothering.com/discussions.../t-677677.html .. see Periwinkle's post) has one son circ'd and one who isn't and she hits the nail on the head for me when she says she doesn't regret (b/c she didn't know any better, thus its pointless) and that she doesn't want to unload any of her "crap" onto her sons. I apologize if that sounds offensive, but what I am left with now is a little boy/young man who may never (as Ron_Low put it) come to "know" what he is missing, or frankly think he is missing anything at all. There IS the chance that he will like his penis the way it is and at this point, why should I come in and try to make him see it any other way? Part of me does not want to admit any fault, to be honest, because a decision was made in HIS best interest with the information I had available to me at the time. Yes, I wish I had been more open-minded and done much more extensive research, but what's done is done. It happened for a reason and if he's perhaps not going to come to regret anything of his own account, why should I be the one to try to put ideas in his head? For example, my very resistant-to-change DH is perfectly fine the way he is and while he would defer to me in any future circ decisions, could really see it either way. Who am I to try to convince him he is defective or missing anything, if he would otherwise go through life happy as a clam, KWIM?? I hope that makes some sense.

#2 - I am very much hung up on the idea that I have betrayed his autonomy and taken something from him that cannot be replaced. I'm gonna be honest... I pray so hard that he will not wallow his life away wishing for a foreskin. I know I may be being a bit selfish here, but I hope he does grow up to be part of the "majority," ie those who are circ'd but are fine with the way things are. I know that the possibility still exists and I Would be there for him 100% in any instance, but I hope he doesn't ever end up on a foreskin restoration website claiming the injustices that were done unto him have hurt him so deeply, but instead out there enjoying life to its fullest with a perfectly functioning penis which gets the job done in every way.

#3 - When I first came here two months ago, I was dreading the possibility of more male children. Now, I hope my next is a male so I can leave him uncirc'd. But what I also hope and pray for is that I do not view my two boys differently. I do not want to look at DS for the rest of my life thinking that I took something from him. I err, I am human, etc. etc. but he is the way he is for a reason and he is perfect in my eyes.

This is such a ramble.. and in less than an hour I'll be rambling about it to my therapist so maybe I'm just brainstorming, but this is how I feel.
The phrase still sticks with me: "We circumcised him because we love him." Simple as that. A decision was made and I have to believe that it all happened for a reason and not in vain. If only to allow for deeper learning, for greater life lessons, for reasons so beyond my control that I cannot begin to understand...
post #29 of 38
I may get flamed for this.......

I just don't think it's THAT big of a deal. And I agree with you. I am not going to sit my kids down and tell them all of this stuff because, the chances are actually quite good, that they won't have a problem with their penis the way it is now. That it'll work for them fine, they'll like it just fine, and so on. And I do not want to create a source of problems for them any moreso than was already physically done. I did not do anything malicious. I did what I thought was right.

It's kind of like how i never ask my son, "Are you nervous?" about anything. Because unless he says to me, "I'm nervous," or something similar, I don't want to plant the idea that he should be nervous. It's also in things like us being naked in our household. I am not going to ask, "Does it make you feel uncomfortable when you/I/he are naked?" because he has never said it does, and I don't want to create the thought that maybe it *should* make him uncomfortable. If he brings it up, I will address it as I think is appropriate.

Should circumcision be routine? No. Do I wish I hadn't had it done to my kids? Yes. Would I circumcise any other sons I might have? No. But what's done is done, and all I can do for my kids is move forward. If/When they are expecting sons of their own, if it hasn't been brought up, then I will bring up the topic.
post #30 of 38
Thread Starter 
Oh my goodness.. you must be my mind twin!!

So much more eloquently and concisely than I could have ever written it.. you've stated my thoughts exactly.

The comparison to asking your son if he is nervous is a wonderful one and sums it up perfectly for me. Thank you for sharing your strength with me tonight.

Honestly, not 100 days of therapy could do so much good for me as brainstorming on this site with like-minded people.
post #31 of 38
My only issue with not talking to them about it is that they may end up circing their own ds's. What happens if God forbid you pass on before they have kids who will talk to them about circ then?

I am talking to both my kids about it now so that should it come up in the future they have no doubt where I stand and can know what circ is and not let it happen to their kids.
post #32 of 38
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
My only issue with not talking to them about it is that they may end up circing their own ds's. What happens if God forbid you pass on before they have kids who will talk to them about circ then?

I am talking to both my kids about it now so that should it come up in the future they have no doubt where I stand and can know what circ is and not let it happen to their kids.
I think we have to do what we feel is in our child's best interests. Clearly, DocMom and I have each made choices we wish we had handled differently. And given that, we have to do what we feel will provide our children the best opportunity to live happy, healthy lives. I feel there is no significant benefit to teaching my child that there is something wrong with him. However, I do see value in not continuing the same pattern that has gone on to this point.

I feel the likelihood of not living to see my sons have children is slight. But the chance of him having insecurities because I point out his shortcomings(which I created) is quite significant.

The rates of circumcision are dropping. The information abut it's failings are widely available, and will continue to be moreso. My DH, also, agrees with me about the importance of not circumcising, and in my absence, I trust he would broach the subject at the appropriate time.
post #33 of 38
I'm saddened by your pain, and hope you heal soon and come to peace for a decision you obviously thought would be of no harm to your son. My advice as stated above is to continue to speak up and educate. Most importantly.... speak up to the physician who performed the surgery and let her know how you feel NOW. Obtain the circ. consent form and review it; inform the hospital of all its flaws. Complain to the hospital administration and risk manager for the solicitation you endured and the controversial and unnecessary surgery your son endured, etc. What if your son's circ. later reveals complications not normally seen (save the medical records involving the procedure, take pictures now if you want). Unless parents speak up in large numbers and complain and share their dissatisfaction, hospitals and physicians will continue to solicit and perform prepuce amputations on newborn boys. It angers me greatly that the hospital even asked if you wanted to circ. your son. More and more hospitals are not asking parents and some, when asked by parents, inform them that the nursery does NOT perform circs. on newborns and parents must make arrangements on their own after discharge.
Best Regards, Devin
post #34 of 38
I wanted to add something....if you can separate the guilt from the sadness, that would be a good first step. You absolutely should forgive yourself...but that doesn't mean you will ever lose the sadness of what's been done. Sadness and regret will always accompany your thoughts of circumcision - because what was done to your son was not inevitable. I too have a regret in which my child paid the price for my mistake/lack of knowledge. Trust me, there is comfort in allowing sadness space in my emotions. It will get better and you won't think of it all the time, but when it comes up, it comes up. Sometimes just acknowledging the sadness and letting it be, helps me move through it.
post #35 of 38
SubliminalDarkness and DocMom - I understand your reasoning and your feelings. Would you still consider it "planting a seed" if you waited until early adulthood to discuss with your sons? By that time, they will be more secure in their own skin, but it might give them the opportunity to reflect on the practice before they have sons of their own.

Not at all trying to pressure anyone into doing anything that is uncomfortable for them. I was just genuinely curious if/when there would ever be a time when discussing it would be an option.
post #36 of 38
i think you should forgive yourself and move on.. not to belittle your feelings, you understand, but to allow yourself to accept that you made a choice you regret, but it does not define you as a mother. nor does it define your son - yes, it is one aspect of him. either a boy is circ'd or he is intact. but he is also many other wonderful things! sometimes complications do occur, heartbreakingly. if you're not experiencing complications, perhaps it's best to put it on the back burner until you're doing pre-puberty education. show your son pictures of intact and circ'd penises. mention that you had him circumcised because you were led to believe it was a good idea at the time, but you no longer feel that way and hope that he accepts himself regardless, because he has a wonderful functional beautiful body no matter what. chances are, he'll have the chance to see various penises anyway, what with locker rooms and whatnot. he'll know they're not all carbon copies of each other!

and then i wouldn't bring it up again until he is planning on kids of his own, in which case you can have a very in depth discussion.
post #37 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for that, Myk, from the bottom of my heart.
You did not invalidate my feelings whatsoever... you in fact gave me the healthy dose of perspective that I needed. Each new comment seems to feed my soul in the order in which I need most and precisely in the way I need it, like it was heaven sent. I think yours has finally punctuated the issue for me perfectly.

I am feeling empowered and oddly excited for the future and the message of hope and strength I will be able to share as a mother, friend and future Pediatrician with thousands of families who may come to me with questions. I feel I have been called to make a difference.

Thank you for being there for me. You have allowed me the clarity on mind I need to realize so clearly where I stand and what I need to do as I go int othe future. Your kind words and cyber hugs have not only helped me and my family, but will undoubtedly touch thousands of others.
post #38 of 38
Haven't had time to read through all the responses, but I just wanted to tell you mama that you are not alone. I too circ'ed my boy (who is now 12months old) and feel deep, deep regret about it. I spent the first 6m of his life crying often about it. I just can't believe in retrospect that I didn't snatch him out of the mohels arms (we are Jewish and did a tradition circ, not a hospital circ) and lock myself in the bedroom and refuse to come out. I just can't believe I let someone hurt my son It still brings tears to think of that day and what I let happen. But I have been slowly forgiving myself and trying to accept things, since I can't go back. It's hard though, b/c now that I see how horrible it is, I can't NOT know it. I can't even change his diaper without a pang in my heart. And it's doubly hard b/c I feel that it alienates me from the AP world, which is my lifeline. I feel embarrassed to admit he is circ'ed around here and also around my mama friends IRL.

I feel confident that he will grow to be a caring, happy adult with a healthy sexuality in place (as his circ'ed Dad is), but still it's hard knowing that I made this huge and wrong choice for him when he was totally dependent on me to watch over his well-being. I only hope that someday I can explain it to him in a way that doesn't make him feel less-than, but that convinces him to keep his own son(s) intact. And I will certainly be outspoken about keeping other boys in my family intact.
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