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How do you bring up circumcision with DH or DP?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm 16 wks along with my first child. We find out what the sex is November 30th. DH and I were watching Nip/Tuck last night and it was an episode about circumcision. Particularly about how young girls find an intact penis to be disgusting and a turn off. I am completely against circumcision. DH knows this, we have had multiple discussions. I have even lamented about how DSS is circumcised and I hate that he had to go through that. DH asks me, "So why do you not want the baby to be circumcised if it's a boy?" Out of nowhere. Really? I thought this was understood and a closed case.

 

Turns out DH still thought that it was a possibility. "Well DSS and I  are circumcised, I don't want to have this baby feel different." No. You just don't want to have to communicate with him about why two different choices were made. I explained some of the basic, "There is no medical reason for it, why put your child through pain, etc." This turned into a small argument which ended in us both being frustrated and my mind running for another couple of hours before sleep came. 

 

I know that I still have a while. But I don't like being caught off guard and I know that it will be even worse from family members. The one good thing is that my father is a 60 yr old intact man who is a registered nurse. He is with me on this. I just feel like I am bracing myself for some heated discussions. How have others dealt with this? I 

post #2 of 17

Have him prove to you that circ is a medical necessity and must be performed when the (unconsenting) patient is an infant.

 

He won't be able to do it.  There is NO medical reason to cut off a healthy, normal part of a baby.

 

 

 

post #3 of 17

If there's one thing I've learned from my research on how to approach this topic with dh, it's that if you are against circ, you are basically saying that you don't like his penis.  No man is going to say this to you, but that's how they feel.  Therefore, you have to start from the perspective of reassuring him that you like him exactly as he is, and then explain how unfair you think it is that he was not given the choice to maintain intact a very delicate and sensitive part of his anatomy.  Don't blame the in-laws, they were just doing what they were told was the right thing to do, but now we know better, so share with your husband that since we now have more information, it is your responsibility as parents to give your child the choice.  Propose that if your child wants to be circ, he can do so when he turns 18.

 

I hope this perspective helps... Good luck!!

post #4 of 17
Yep, as a pp hinted.. when you know better.. you do better.


My hubby comes from a circ culture. Thank goodness the Bradley childbirth teacher showed a video of the screaming baby getting cut and then calmly said "and there's no medical reason to do this". That was all she wrote. My hubby is no great intactivist even to this day but he not going to personally be responsible for harming our babies.
post #5 of 17

Amputating an important body part is a big decision.  You and he need to treat it as such.  You need to press him to do research explaining why the advantages of circumcision outweigh the disadvantages.  This has to be a logical argument with clear advantages, not just his feelings and emotions.

 

The default should be "do no harm" and "keep your son's options open".  There are good arguments to be made for leaving your son intact until he can make his own decision.  Your husband needs a better argument for circumcision if he feels that is the way to go.

 

Be strong.  Your son will thank you.

post #6 of 17

Haven't read all the responses yet, but I don't think the link to this was given.  It will help you to understand where your DH is coming from.  It is just for you!  http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/vulnerability_of_men.html

 

Some mamas have just calmly said, no, it won't happen & let it be at that.  You might also print out some short articles about the changing tides of today, that more parents are making the decision to leave it alone, as it was made, & put them in the bathroom or in some other prominent place where he'll see them, & hopefully read, but you won't be shoving it at him (I mean this figuratively, but he may feel this way, if you are giving it directly to him).

 

Best wishes on your pregnancy & that your DH at least agrees to disagree & will leave your son whole.

 

Sus

post #7 of 17

just remember: if you have a hospital birth, in most cases, they cannot perform a circumcision without the MOTHER's consent. this is b/c the mother is actually the patient. your husband could take the baby and have it done himself later, but in those first days after the birth, when most circs are performed, it requires YOUR signature on the consent form.

 

simply refuse to sign. and don't forget to tell the doctors and nurses that you are refusing circumcision.

 

if you want to discuss this with your husband beforehand, if you feel like you have to have a consensus with him, stay calm and maintain the logic that HE has to prove to YOU why it is medically necessary to perform a risky SURGERY on your healthy newborn. you don't have to prove anything to him, you are keeping the baby "as is". 

 

among the other very compelling reasons to leave your children intact, there is a huge risk of infection from the surgery itself. we've all heard about hospital acquired infections. they are very very bad. MRSA and others.

 

when your husband brings up his and your stepson's penises, calmly remind him that this isn't about them.

 

you can win this, and keep your happy marriage. 

 

just stay calm and deliberate. don't get emotional. and above all, hold firm to your position, and never let go.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post


among the other very compelling reasons to leave your children intact, there is a huge risk of infection from the surgery itself. we've all heard about hospital acquired infections. they are very very bad. MRSA and others.

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/DOC/mrsa.html

Yep, very scary.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post


http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/DOC/mrsa.html
Yep, very scary.


OMG. There are no words for how terrifying that was. I wish I hadn't clicked, because the pics are going to stay with me for a while. I honestly don't know how anyone who had ever even seen that could even consider circing (not just parents who see it, but especially medical professionals). Sure - I know the absolute risk of something like that is still small, but it's also unnecessary!!

post #10 of 17

I agree with previous posters that you should make it clear to your DH that you really like HIS penis. But that circumcision isn't medically necessary and so there's no reason to do it with future generations.

 

He'll bring up silly arguments, and one of the he already brought up: that he wants him and his two sons to "match". Why, because they're going to have touching little daddy/son penis comparing sessions? Gross. Everyone's penis is different, and his son's penis isn't going to look like his even if it was circumcised, so he might as well get over that right now.

 

As for whether young girls find intact penises gross: well, they don't and won't. Fewer and fewer boys are being circumcised these days, so an intact penis will be a commonplace sight for a sexually active girl of your son's generation--depending on his location (I live in Canada, where it's more common NOT to get the procedure done these days).

 

I have to say that while my husband is circumcised, I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of an intact penis in my life and I still think upon its loveliness with great fondness. :) Your son will be fine.

 

Just make sure that your husband knows NOT to pull back the foreskin to clean under it! A baby's foreskin is not supposed to retract--it will do that many years later on its own. Retracting it too early can lead to tearing, which can lead to scar tissue, which can lead to the foreskin not being able to retract properly later in life.

post #11 of 17

In case it helps, I was circumcised as an infant.  My two younger brothers were not.  No issues, no problems at all.  It just isn't an issue you need to worry about.

 

Regards

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

just remember: if you have a hospital birth, in most cases, they cannot perform a circumcision without the MOTHER's consent. this is b/c the mother is actually the patient. your husband could take the baby and have it done himself later, but in those first days after the birth, when most circs are performed, it requires YOUR signature on the consent form.

 

simply refuse to sign. and don't forget to tell the doctors and nurses that you are refusing circumcision.

 

 


This is what makes me semi calm about the situation. DH would not go behind my back and have it done afterward, it's mostly the time during the hospital stay.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by montessorimama1 View Post

If there's one thing I've learned from my research on how to approach this topic with dh, it's that if you are against circ, you are basically saying that you don't like his penis.  No man is going to say this to you, but that's how they feel.  Therefore, you have to start from the perspective of reassuring him that you like him exactly as he is, and then explain how unfair you think it is that he was not given the choice to maintain intact a very delicate and sensitive part of his anatomy. 

 


This is a great point and one that is hard to convey. I had medical problems for a year and a half  we were unable to be intimate. When we finally were, surprise! It's a baby. I've been thinking that perhaps his bringing up circ might have been a hint at that and how it made him uncomfortable.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

 

As for whether young girls find intact penises gross: well, they don't and won't. Fewer and fewer boys are being circumcised these days, so an intact penis will be a commonplace sight for a sexually active girl of your son's generation--depending on his location (I live in Canada, where it's more common NOT to get the procedure done these days).

 

I have to say that while my husband is circumcised, I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of an intact penis in my life and I still think upon its loveliness with great fondness. :) Your son will be fine.

 

Just make sure that your husband knows NOT to pull back the foreskin to clean under it! A baby's foreskin is not supposed to retract--it will do that many years later on its own. Retracting it too early can lead to tearing, which can lead to scar tissue, which can lead to the foreskin not being able to retract properly later in life.

Girls finding it gross is definitely his main point in the argument and not a valid one, I believe. 

 

Exactly! I have had the same experience but I do not necessarily want to bring that up with him....

 

Educating him is a large part of what will make him understand this issue better in the first place and I am still trying to figure out how to best approach it. But he is open to learning about the issues and that is the first step. :)
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg B View Post

In case it helps, I was circumcised as an infant.  My two younger brothers were not.  No issues, no problems at all.  It just isn't an issue you need to worry about.

 

Regards

Thanks. Having one circ child and one intact has been a worry.

 

 

Thanks for the support everyone. :)  
 

 

post #13 of 17

I'd just like to add that you may never convince your husband, so be prepared for that possibility.  There was nothing I could say to convince my normally rational husband on this issue.  Our son is 6 months old and intact, but DH still thinks it was a mistake and is still dreading the day that our son comes to us asking us why we didn't "take care of it" for him.  Most likely, you are waiting for him to come around  to the obvious conclusion that you should leave your son intact while he is waiting for you to come to the obvious conclusion that a circumcised penis is superior and therefore worth any risk or pain required to obtain it.  My babymoon with my son was full of tears and stress and arguing, but we got through it and it was worth it.  Stay strong, mama.  And take babysteps if you need to.  Once he was born, my entire goal was to get him home from the hospital in one piece.  I would say or do anything I had to in order to make that happen.  Sometimes that's all it takes.  For my son, I had to get him through two additional appointments with a urologist.  It really is worth it.  Read the circumcision regret thread to keep yourself strong.  That thread helped save my son.

post #14 of 17
Puddle... good for you!
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks Puddle, things seem to be going good at the moment. We have had some more conversations that were less argumentative. DH is willing to look at the information against circ and acknowledges that he wants what is best for our child. We are in a good place and it actually helped a lot when he realized that it wasn't ME saying that I hate HIS penis. DH is very sensitive as is and this is a subject that he feels he has say in. And he does, but like you, Puddle, I want my child to come home in one piece. 

post #16 of 17
All it took for my husband was trying to watch a training video by a doctor for doctors. He couldn't get past the injection of lidocaine. He was decided and said that he'd rather do it when our son is older and can choose for himself. Aside from choice, they also do a much better job at numbing teens and adults that are circumcised. The Penn & Teller video about circumcision had some very good points as well.
post #17 of 17

I noticed in your siggie that your stork has a pink bundle, so congrats...but I'll reply for anyone else lurking and in the same boat.

 

My DH is circed. My family tradition is intact, so I knew we'd have to sort this issue out when our u/s with DS said all boy.

 

Into the discussion, DH mentioned that he'd like it done, but wasn't adamant about it. I looked at him and asked, "Why?" Really, every answer he gave, there's was just not enough justification for it. All of the hollow lies of "cleaner" (his main concern), "tradition" (er, what about my family tradition), they fell by the wayside.

 

I gently reminded him that it is elective surgery, cosmetic only, and we'd have to pay for it...a lot of money that we could put to better use. Plus, it would obviously be very painful.

 

Thankfully, it didn't take much to get him to agree to leave DS intact. I'm relieved because that is one hill I'd be willing to die on, as they say, and I would not have backed down for anything. To me, being raised with an intact brother and knowing that all of my male relatives made it through their lives just fine, it seemed as foreign to me as lopping off an arm or something.

 

That said, don't expect a reluctant DH to turn into an enthusiastic intactivist or anything. We don't discuss it in the house. To keep DS intact meant that on some level, DH had to acknowledge that what was done to him was wrong, even if it was done with good intentions at the time. He's a wonderful husband and a great father, but I chose not to bring up the topic past our initial decision so as to spare him unnecessary pain.

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