I dont think Im up for videos yet, that my make me sick to watch a baby go through that.
This was the crux of it for me. If I can't watch a stranger's baby suffer how in the world could I do it to my son?
Dh and I decided there would have to be a HUGE medical benefit to warrant a circumcision, and there just isn't. (FWIW dh is circ'ed and was pro-circ before our research) We did a ton of research (and unbiased research at that - medical journals and the like) and explored all pain relief options and there just isn't any concrete evidence that it is worth it. (one of the more disturbing research articles I found was the study on pain relief during circumcision. They measured pain (as well as you can in newborns, heart rate brain waves et cetera) during circ using different pain relief measures. (sugar water, cream, nerve block) The study was aborted halfway through because the researchers felt it was unethical to continue when they realized the pain these poor babies were experiencing.
We also talked to several intact men. My grandfather, and uncle by marriage are intact as are my brothers. My brothers are 25 and 19, grew up in suburban PA and were born in the very circ happy 80s. Both said they never had any problems in the locker room (as the younger one said no guy would ever admit to looking at another guy's junk) and no one we talked to ever had problems with infections or anything like that. (the locker room thing was a big deal to my husband)
My mom did tell me that she first pedi tried repeatedly to get her to circ the older brother so she just found a new one with knowledge of intactness and never heard about it again.
My husband was also worried that J would feel weird that his looked different than daddy. J is only two but has seen Dh's a few times and if anything he get really excited that dad has one too. We plan to just explain it to him in a age appropriate way if he asks.
The younger of my brothers said something pretty interesting. He said he doesn't mind being intact and he likes the fact that he has a choice. If research is ever done that shows there is a true medical benefit to circumcision he can have it done. If research continues to show that intactness is beneficial he's covered but his friends are screwed.
I've never see a video either. I just can't do it. Knowing what happens to these babies is enough heartache for me, I don't need to see it (or hear it). As for me I just kept thinking 'knowing what I know about Circ, how could I hand over my beautiful brand new baby knowing that he was going to hurt?' and I couldn't
DH was holding J in the hospital and said that seeing him and holding him he could never hand him over either.
We were both horrified seeing the recently circ'ed son of Dh's best friend. His poor penis was so swollen and bloody and they had to keep wrapping him in gauze and applying ointment. Dh said to me at the time "and they say this is easier to care for?"
I personally am very anti-circumcision because I believe so many parents choose circumcision out of lack of knowledge.
It's amazing the things DH and I believed about circ and intactness before we researched it. DH, his brother and my sister's FI believed that the head of their penises looked that way because of circ. They believed that the foreskin was cut and then stitched back to form the head of the penis. (and these are college educated professional guys).
I believed that circ was a little snip of the tip of the foreskin. I had no idea the glans was fused to the foreskin and ripped off during circ.
None of us knew that an intact penis looks almost exactly like a circumcised penis when erect. (I asked my brother what his girlfriend said about him being intact and he told me that she didn't realize it until he told her. - the other brother is a slut
and he said it's never been a problem)
None of us ever imagined that the only pain relief routinely used is sugar on a pacifier.
Circumcision is such a closed door thing. People don't talk about it. Doctors don't give you the information you need to make an educated decision. Some out of greed (look into the cash cow circ is - some companies (that make skin grafts) can make up to $20,000 per foreskin!) some out of ignorance, and some are so afraid of offending you as a parent they don't give an opinion. (This happened to me - we said no to circ and our ob said she was relieved. She hated doing them and there was no real medical benefit anyway. I wish now I asked her why the hell they didn't tell parents before hand.)
It is really difficult to find unbiased research. Fanatical stuff from both sides is everywhere but it takes a lot to find real information. People hear "Circ to prevent AIDS!" They don't look into that study and see that is very specific to a region in Africa, that it has been retracted by one of the researchers, and that cleanliness and safe sex are much bigger contributers to STDs and AIDS than circumcision. Some people just don't really think about it. If circ prevented AIDS and STDs wouldn't the US and Israel have the lowest percentages of AIDS and STDs in the world?
I hear so many mothers saying they regret circing their sons and they wish they knew then what they know now. I make it my business to prevent that from happening to any mother or baby that I know. A lot of mothers that I've talked to have been very open to information about circumcision. The ones that do circ at least have the knowledge of pain relief so hopefully their sons won't suffer.
Sorry for the novel
I hope I answered your questions. Yay for you for researching this very important issue for your son. MDC is a really great resource for information.
Feel free to PM me with any other questions!