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Workshop #3 - Baby’s Early Years; Circumcision - Page 2

post #21 of 62
There have been a lot of talk about videos - I did a search on google videos and you tube and Im either getting female circumcision, or the video has been removed due to content. Can anyone give me a link? I think seeing a video would change a lot of people's minds.
post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by race_kelly View Post
I truly believe there would be a lot less circ. if parents watched a video of it before they did it. I think a lot of people really just don't know exactly what happens or they just don't want to think about it.
I know my son would not be circ'd had I seen a video or been explained - properly - what it was. That being said, it is entirley my own fault for not doing my own research and allowing my son to be damaged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poiyt View Post
There have been a lot of talk about videos - I did a search on google videos and you tube and Im either getting female circumcision, or the video has been removed due to content. Can anyone give me a link? I think seeing a video would change a lot of people's minds.
I don't think you need to look much further than these boards - check the forum - The Case Against Circumcision. I learned so much there! And now I am an intactivist; I hope to make my son one, too.

So many people just trust their doctors or want to go with the flow. I didn't know what kind of parent I would be before I had my son, and I had never heard of MDC. I send my pregnant and TTC friends subscriptions to Mothering Digital in hopes they don't make the same mistake I did.
post #23 of 62
Thread Starter 
jeannie, I don't think it's entirely your fault at all . As parents we make the best decisions we can with the information we have. Sometimes we make great decisions and sometimes we fall a bit short. What's important is that we continue to learn and do better.
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacque Savageau View Post
jeannie, I don't think it's entirely your fault at all . As parents we make the best decisions we can with the information we have. Sometimes we make great decisions and sometimes we fall a bit short. What's important is that we continue to learn and do better.
Thank you. I am pretty hard on myself about it, or I have been. It is frustrating to think that it is normal in the medical establishment to say, "Are you circumcising? I'll do it now." Instead of asking, "Do you understand what circumcision is? Would you like for the procedure to be explained to you? Have you seen a video on circumcision?" Like PP said, I hardly call my decision informed consent.

Thanks again.
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mean_jeannie View Post
Thank you. I am pretty hard on myself about it, or I have been. It is frustrating to think that it is normal in the medical establishment to say, "Are you circumcising? I'll do it now." Instead of asking, "Do you understand what circumcision is? Would you like for the procedure to be explained to you? Have you seen a video on circumcision?" Like PP said, I hardly call my decision informed consent.

Thanks again.

Aaah, guilt. Motherhood's most rampant disease! I know where you're coming from there. There are many things that I wish I had known more about, especially when ds1 was a babe. Please don't beat yourself up. You were only dong what you thought was right at the time. Now you have more information and are able to make an informed decision.
post #26 of 62
I really clearly remember the first time I thought about circumcision. I was a teenager, and my older cousin, who is very, very mainstream and who had just had a baby, was talking about caring for her son's circumcision. She was talking about how sorry she felt for the baby, and how it was so raw and painful, but "It had to be done."
At that moment, I remember looking at her and thinking, no, it really doesn't have to be done at all. I didn't know much about the pros and cons of circumcision back then, but I remember being so surprised and a little appalled that she didn't realize she had a choice in the matter.
In my early 20s, I spend two years traveling around the world. I got acquainted with some really wonderful men from a lot of different nations. It made me realize that the US stands alone in the circumcision debate.
When my son was born, it was a non-issue.
post #27 of 62
The first time I remember the concept coming to light was with my first long term middle school/high school boyfriend. He mentioned a little while after I met his cousin for the first time that he was not circumcised, giving me 'religious freedom' as the reasoning.
I thought that was so *cool* in my 9th grade mind, that I wanted to be like his parents, respectful and hip.

When pregnant with DS1, I brought it up with DP, and really, it was the pain aspect that held me, and I ended up sobbing in pregnant hormones (though my DP agreed with me insantly,) I had just worked myself up, thinking about doing something like such to my son.

About a year after my son was born, I became a hardcore intactavist, which ended up isolating and driving my DP away from the issue (he's circed.) I've since softened my 'approach', and have found that talking about it without such heavy words leads to much more receptive individuals.

I have two Ds's, would love many more, and I'd never touch any of their body parts.
post #28 of 62
Well, like a few of you I assumed when I was pregnant that if I had a boy, he would be circ'd. Dp is circ'd and I'd never known anyone who was intact.

Our secondary mw asked us if we were going to circ if we had a boy, and I said 'yes' very mater-of-factly and she asked "are you going to circ if it's a girl?" and I said 'no' and made a mental note that she was a bit nuts and not to talk to her about circ...

Fast-forward to my labour/delivery and two days later. Our tertiary mw delivered our ds and when we inquired about circ she called my home (luckily got dp on the phone) and gave him an ear-lashing about "How could you even think of mutilating this Perfect-Wonderful-Amazing-Gorgeous little boy, after that natural, incredible birth????????!!!!!!!!??!?!?" She send some info with our primary mw, who apologized for her behaviour, and when I read that circ'd babies have a difficult time looking at their mothers when they bf I bawled. I looked at dp and said "no way, I don't know if that's accurate or not, but I'm not chancing it." I had had such an amazing experience bfing up to that point, looking swimmingly into ds's eyes that I couldn't imagine that being taken away.

So, he's intact.

It wasn't until I found this forum when he was 18 months that I really understood the magnitude of my decision and the guilt I felt at ALMOST circing him so easily.

I've passed info (including the video) on to my sis and cousin when they were both pregnant with boys.
They both circed.

I have a difficult time with ppl who circ KNOWING the information. When you don't know, you do the best you can -- but having the info in front of you and doing it anyway....I don't get it.

I am forever grateful to Kay, my mw for berating my dp into not circing.
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxinsmom View Post
I've passed info (including the video) on to my sis and cousin when they were both pregnant with boys.
They both circed.

I have a difficult time with ppl who circ KNOWING the information. When you don't know, you do the best you can -- but having the info in front of you and doing it anyway....I don't get it.
This recently happened with a friend of mine. I talked with her about it, gave her tons of info/video links and they circed anyway! I really don't get it. Maybe she didn't read it, cause I really can't see how someone could look at that stuff and still do it. Maybe I am missing something? I have not said anything about it since he was born. I don't want to make her feel bad for something she can't undo. But I really had to bite my tongue when she was talking recently about how her son had to be strapped down for an xray and was screaming "bloody murder". The poor baby was probably freaked out that his genitalia was going to be chopped on again! She went on to say how heart-wrenching it was for her to see, and how scared he was. An xray? That is nothing compared to what she did to her son when he was hours old!
Sorry... rant over.
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by forestrymom View Post
[...]
I was super worried about my family, and what they would think, but it wasn't going to change my decision. In the hospital, after the birth of my son, my grandmother asked if they still routinely circ'd. I said they didn't, and that we had chosen not to circ our son. I was waiting for the tongue lashing, when she poured out the story of her 2 sons. My father, it seems was circ'd and had had nothing but problems as an infant, with his. She opted to keep my uncle intact, like my grandfather, and he had always been healthy. She was thrilled that ds wasn't circ'd and told me I would never regret it. This gave me such a boost of confidence, and validated that I had made the right decision (even though I knew I had anyway).

I am so grateful to this forum, for having led me to know what is right. My son was born perfect, naturally!
That's a beautiful story! I love it when support and encouragement comes from suprise sources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poiyt View Post
There have been a lot of talk about videos - I did a search on google videos and you tube and Im either getting female circumcision, or the video has been removed due to content. Can anyone give me a link? I think seeing a video would change a lot of people's minds.
Well, the only place I've seen it is on an episode of Penn & Teller's show "Bullsh**". (I don't know what season it was. If you have Netflix you should be able look up which episode it is and order it.) I was talking about circ witha friend of mine, and her husband over heard and said, YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS. He pulled out the DVD and showed us the episode. I was about 10 weeks pregnant and I sobbed and had to leave the room. Sadly, though this TV show that they had both watched many times was AGAINST circ, my friends are going to circ their firstborn. I don't understand it, but I can't change it either.

This is such an emotional issue for me...I think I'm going to take a break. be back later.
post #31 of 62
I was thinking about how dh might feel about the discusion of circ. He was all for not circing, but I wondered if it made him feel bad in a way, because he is circ'd. He said that it didn't, because the only other person who he really cared about what they thought about his penis obviously didn't have any problem with it, since we have three chilren. Now there's logic for you.

I does seem though that circ'd men do seem to have a harder time accepting or supporting having intact sons. I've heard the comment about wanting the son to look like him, not be laughed at in the locker room, not have a woman run screaming from the room, etc. But I wonder if there isn't a bit of a feeling that if they keep their son intact, then they are saying that there is something wrong with their penis? So sometimes I think it can be a very delicate situation when approaching a man about keeping their son intact.
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewaggonerfamily View Post
How do you handle people who have had their children circ'ed? I'd like to get the info out there, but at the same time I think it is pretty hard to give the info and not make the parents feel like I think they are horrible people or make them defensive. Its a done deal, and for family and good friends I have to live with them and new aquaintances I don't want to leave a bad first impression. Its really hard because I feel very strong about MGM, but at the same time beating up someone for something that is done and likely was done because of misinformation or lack of info, doesn't seem very productive. But on the same note, people wont be better informed if society doesn't learn the facts. Any ideas from you wise folks?
I just want to add this is a very good point. My son is circed, and I don't feel bad for making that decision. We are pregnant again, and once we find out what we are having we will have to make that decision again. I don't know at this point what it will be. What I want is more information on BOTH the pros and cons of circing. What I find off putting are really strong opionions which make parents feel bad for the decision they make. I understand those opinions being posted in the anticirc pages, that is definatly the place for them. But if I ask for info I don't want a lot of "circing is going to destroy your relationship with your son" type of stuff, which is mostly what you get. So I guess my point is, if you want to get the info out there, get both sides, do it gently and don't make people feel like they did something wrong for making a decision that might not be agreable to you. And this wasn't aimed at anyone specific, just chiming in. Everyone here sound like wonderful, caring and kind people, and I applaud you for your convictions and beliefs.
post #33 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganBsMom View Post
I just want to add this is a very good point. My son is circed, and I don't feel bad for making that decision. We are pregnant again, and once we find out what we are having we will have to make that decision again. I don't know at this point what it will be. What I want is more information on BOTH the pros and cons of circing. What I find off putting are really strong opionions which make parents feel bad for the decision they make. I understand those opinions being posted in the anticirc pages, that is definatly the place for them. But if I ask for info I don't want a lot of "circing is going to destroy your relationship with your son" type of stuff, which is mostly what you get. So I guess my point is, if you want to get the info out there, get both sides, do it gently and don't make people feel like they did something wrong for making a decision that might not be agreable to you. And this wasn't aimed at anyone specific, just chiming in. Everyone here sound like wonderful, caring and kind people, and I applaud you for your convictions and beliefs.
Crissy, thank you for your honesty. I often hear parents say that they just didn't have much information and the hospital didn't make a big deal out circumcision, it's hard to find good information at times. Please do visit The Case Against Circumcision forum here at MDC and feel free to ask and look at resources there. I think you'll find the answers your looking for.
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewaggonerfamily View Post
How do you handle people who have had their children circ'ed? I'd like to get the info out there, but at the same time I think it is pretty hard to give the info and not make the parents feel like I think they are horrible people or make them defensive. Its a done deal, and for family and good friends I have to live with them and new aquaintances I don't want to leave a bad first impression. Its really hard because I feel very strong about MGM, but at the same time beating up someone for something that is done and likely was done because of misinformation or lack of info, doesn't seem very productive. But on the same note, people wont be better informed if society doesn't learn the facts. Any ideas from you wise folks?
It's a real struggle. I have a hard time setting aside my personal revulsion at circumcision to understand that a great many people don't know that it's a terrible thing to do to a child. It's so culturally ingrained. I was a sick and hospitalized small child. I remember enough about that experience to have a deep distrust of the medical community. It's been a blessing in disguise as it has made me a very educated consumer of medical services. I would never do something just because it was suggested or recommended by medical staff without doing my own research. I have to remind myself that most others don't have that background and do have a genuine trust of the medical advice they are given.

I thought circ was a bad idea the first time I learned what it was. For many people, it's their "normal" so they go along with it. Compounded by a medical profession that asks "Are you having him circumcised?" or "When are you having him circumcised?" instead of "Are you leaving him intact?"...and one is led to believe that circ is the thing to do. Full consent of what the procedure involves is not given and the real risks and negative side effects are not revealed. It cannot remotely be called informed consent when a mother signs the form.

In a culture that is so immersed in circumcision, it's easy to see how people go along and do it.

It will change as more and more people learn and those of us who know are responsible for teaching those who don't. I think the best audience is the youth and those who have not had children yet.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinklefae View Post
Well, for me, circumcision wasn't really an option. The government stopped paying for it back in the 70's. I've never seen an adult circ'd penis IRL. (I was born in 1980) I remember someone asking me if my first boyfriend (who I was sleeping with) was circ'd and not knowing the answer.

I've worked in daycare since 2002, and knew that 99% of boys are intact these days (I've changed diapers for 5 circ's out of maybe 50 kids. And that majority of those were religious) Plus, circ's penises always looked shrunk and small and scared to me.

DF is intact (obviously) and didn't understand why I even bothered learning about circ. It wasn't something we were asked about. To have a circ done here, you need to arrange it before the baby is born with the one doctor who will still do them, pay $350 out of pocket....

DF is good with me using him as an example of how good it is to be intact. And how it doesn't matter what Daddy looks like. He doesn't know if his father is circ'd or not (we think likely yes, but aren't sure) or either of his brothers. (that one is way up in the air.)

My biggest concern is those who still don't get it. My Best friends brother is one of the first boys to be left intact, and I think they must have been given instructions to retract as he and several friends were circ'd at 4-5 because of problems. He's TTC right now, so I wait til they get pregnant. I have another friend who thinks circ'd penises are "cleaner" and is TTC. I'll hit her up with videos and info when she gets pregnant too.
I would like to offer a different approach. Don't wait until they are pregnant. It seems that there is a flood of "advice" when a woman is pregnant - a lot of it outdated and not appealing to the newly pregnant lady. I think people tend to ignore this sort of advice.

I think the time to get people thinking is before they have any vested interest in the information. They don't have a real live baby to be thinking about and they can get the details in a non emotional manner, digest the facts and form an opinion about it.

I have attended the Genital Integrity Awareness demonstration in Washington DC for the last two years. It's amazing how receptive to the information the youth are as well as people who don't have children yet. I spoke to many young people who were not defensive (even if they were circ'd themselves). They wanted the info and they were intrigued and they said they would really think about this when it came time to have their own child.

I think planting the seed of "circumcision is a decison you will be faced with and it's one that will impact your child for the rest of his life and effect his sexual partner as well" it gets them thinking. And if you get them thinking before, they can't really be hit with the question for the first time in a hospital post partem when they are not in any shape to be making a decision of that magnitude!
post #36 of 62
Hi! I'm the mom of two young boys (3 yo and 9 mos old). My first son is circ'ed, my second is not. When I found out my first was a boy, I decided not to circ. My mom was in support of non-circ, my husband was riding the fence, and all my friends felt I should circ. I rode the fence and did a crappy job of researching the topic. I really only knew mainstream. The day I delivered, I still didn't know what to do. I was scared to, and scared not to. A family member urged me to circ, saying he'd get infected and I'd regret it. My husband began urging me to agree. So, I agreed. I knew deep in my heart I shouldn't, and I cried as I signed the form and handed him over. I *heard* what the doc said about him not feeling a thing, but I *knew* she was wrong. I sobbed the entire time he was gone getting circed, and when they returned my newborn to my arms, I knew I'd made a mistake. Everytime I removed his diaper, I cried. As if to add insult to injury, he has had so much irritation and redness with the circ even 3 years later.

When I found out I was pregnant with another boy, I decided not to circ and stick to my guns. I feared the difference between the two boys, but a mom here on MDC explained that the best way I can tell the boys they're different is that "mommy and daddy learned some new information between your births, and we learned it's no longer okay to circ." I hope it never becomes an issue, but I will never regret not circ'ing even if it does.

This past winter, my baby had a bad ear infection and his family doc was out of town. He was inconsolable for some time, so we made the decision to go to our local ER, fearing a ruptured eardrum. I was as respectful as could be, and they were completely dead and quiet there that night. Still, as I answered their questions and began to let them know he wasn't vax'ed or circ'ed, I visibly watched them change their attitudes. The doctor, once he appeared in the room, was arrogant, rude, and horrific in his treatment. I was very much so mocked and discriminated against for my choices. When informed that my baby is not circ'ed and he did NOT have the right or authorization to retract his foreskin, the doctor mocked me and said, "Oh, and why's that?!?!" Dumbfounded by his treatment, I was sent home without any answers and a bill - he refused to bill it as an emergency and therefore our insurance refused to cover it (despite my son being less than 6 mos old!).

The next day, I wrote a 3 page letter to every person I could think of in the hierarchy of that hospital. I informed them of many statistics on circumcision and expressed my extreme dismay. I did hear back from the hospital, but it was too late for what was said. I was reminded once again of how so many doctors can make you feel like a *bad* parent for questioning their authority and knowledge. I'm saddened by the mainstream opinions on circumcision and the attitudes which are deemed acceptable by arrogant, rude doctors viewing careful parents as careless.
post #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by bens_mommy_2005 View Post

This past winter, my baby had a bad ear infection and his family doc was out of town. He was inconsolable for some time, so we made the decision to go to our local ER, fearing a ruptured eardrum. I was as respectful as could be, and they were completely dead and quiet there that night. Still, as I answered their questions and began to let them know he wasn't vax'ed or circ'ed, I visibly watched them change their attitudes. The doctor, once he appeared in the room, was arrogant, rude, and horrific in his treatment. I was very much so mocked and discriminated against for my choices. When informed that my baby is not circ'ed and he did NOT have the right or authorization to retract his foreskin, the doctor mocked me and said, "Oh, and why's that?!?!" Dumbfounded by his treatment, I was sent home without any answers and a bill - he refused to bill it as an emergency and therefore our insurance refused to cover it (despite my son being less than 6 mos old!).

The next day, I wrote a 3 page letter to every person I could think of in the hierarchy of that hospital. I informed them of many statistics on circumcision and expressed my extreme dismay. I did hear back from the hospital, but it was too late for what was said. I was reminded once again of how so many doctors can make you feel like a *bad* parent for questioning their authority and knowledge. I'm saddened by the mainstream opinions on circumcision and the attitudes which are deemed acceptable by arrogant, rude doctors viewing careful parents as careless.
It really is too bad people have to go through stuff like this. I work in the medical field, and I think the biggest thing it has taught me is to never trust everything a physician says. There will always be dumb, ignorant people out there, and we are all our own best advocate. My son is vaccinated, and I would never have a problem with someone who is not. As long as we are well informed of the decisions we are making to do certain things, we should all be respected. And in the end when this sort of thing happens, it is always the child that suffers for someone elses ignorance, argg.
post #38 of 62
Towards the end of my first pregnancy I started to research circumcision. I don't remember what I read but I don't think it took long for me to decide it wasn't something I wanted to do. I approached my husband with the information and it didn't take much to convince him. He is a very laid back and reasonable man. He told me years later that he didn't even know he was circumcised till he was out of high school, it simply wasn't discussed. We never asked for family opinions on the subject, it was after all our decision to make.

I had the on call Dr. for my son's birth so my normal Dr. came in the next day to check on us and asked if we wanted it done. To which I replied we had no reasons religious or otherwise to do it so we wouldn't. I wasn't strongly against RIC at this point; I had just decided I wouldn't be doing it to our children. The nurses and Dr.'s were not pushy about it at all.

It was not till after the fact that my mom told me my dad and brother's were not circumcised. I got some disbelief from the few in my husband's family that commented to us but no one really gave us a hard time. It has never been a big deal or greatly discussed. Many outside our family probably assume it was done since he was born in a hospital but we may get questioned if this next is a boy since it will be born at home. I look forward to being able to pass on information in a casual and non attacking manner.

My husband and are are now very strongly against RIC and he is looking to restoring. He didn't know what he lost until I started reading to inform myself. It does not upset him when I talk about (though I try to be very kind ) the downsides to circ because as he says he had no say in the matter when it happened to him.
post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by race_kelly View Post
But I wonder if there isn't a bit of a feeling that if they keep their son intact, then they are saying that there is something wrong with their penis? So sometimes I think it can be a very delicate situation when approaching a man about keeping their son intact.
It took a while for my DH to be able to admit this, but he has a hard time accepting that his body is messed up and sub-par. This is why he is oppossed to restoring. That and he is afraid that restoring would not make a difference in our sex life and he would feel rejected.
post #40 of 62
My ds was left intact because Medicaid doesnt cover it in my state and I wasnt about to pay out of pocket. I am one of those who didnt even THINK about circing-I have a sister and my mom was always a single parent, I just didnt think of penises much, lol. I was barely 18, I didnt have the net, for me it was just totally not thought of. Then when I was in labor the nurse asked if I wanted it done and I said uh...I dunno? Then my mom piped in with it being cleaner or something and I said ok. Even though I hadnt thought about it, I still had the whole *just a little snip* thing in my head. When she said it wasnt covered I said ok, nevermind. lol

I didnt really care either way at the time, so I took him home, cared for it like they told me to (ie dont retract at all-at least they gave me the right info!) and it was a non-issue. Flash forward 18 months and I met my dh. I remember when he changed his diaper for the first time I was bracing myself....he said oh, he isnt circ'd? And I said no. And he said THANK GOD!!! Wasnt exactly the reaction I expected! Dh was circ'd and hated it, had always felt it was a violation of human rights, and didnt want his kids circ'd. I also found out later his younger brothers were not circ'd and had never had issues. Suddenly I was an intactivist! I started researching it more and became more and more thankful that he was left alone!

We are expecting our 2nd son-my dh's first biological son-and of course he will be left intact. It may seem odd but somehow, I think this will be very healing to my dh. 10 weeks to go for another intact penis in the world!
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