I already screwed up once... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 11-24-2003, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Someone help! My ds is circumcised-mainly because I didn't bother to take a stance and/or research it at all. My husband and I made a mutual decision to do it and I will never forgive myself. I am still having nightmares which I'm not sure will ever go away. I am now pregnant with number two and am terrified about the thought of doing it again. No, I'm sorry, I WON'T do it again. Problem is, my husband has a huge problem with circing one and not the other. I've run out of ammo and need some help. I understand his concerns, but why should my second baby (if it's a boy) suffer because I made the mistake once? To make matters worse, an acquaintence of his who is a psychologist says that circing one and not the other is a bad idea. Why would the kids think it's a big deal if we don't make it one? He's concerned about how to handle the situation when the kiddos ask about it-how do we not make ds #1 feel like we "messed up" with him. Any suggestions or thoughts?
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#2 of 10 Old 11-24-2003, 11:35 PM
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If your second son has brown eyes and the first has blue, will you force ds2 to wear blue contacts? Of course not. It's the same with leaving ds2 intact.

My first son is 5. He's circ'd. My second son is 19 months. He's intact. DH is circ'd. It is NOT an issue. Period. My older son asked once why ds2's penis looked different. We gave him a very basic answer and he hasn't asked since.

More to the point: how will your DH explain to ds2, if you DO circ him, why you chose to cut him eventhough you knew it wasn't the right thing to do, or that you had doubts?

It's a hard position to be in--I know. I had to convince DH to leave ds2 intact. But it's sooooooo much easier--no wound care during those first few tiring weeks. And it's easy to care for--you just leave it alone.

Look through this forum to find many, many responses to this issue. Good luck!
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#3 of 10 Old 11-25-2003, 12:43 AM
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I think your dh's pyschologist friend has no idea what he's talking about. And I also wonder whether he's circed (I'll betcha he is). To take gurumama's logical example to a more illogical extreme - what if your dh and ds#1 had lost their pinky fingers in a woodworking accident? Would you cut off ds#2's finger to match? Of course not. And think about the psychological damage that it would do to #2 if he finds out that you knew you'd be reducing his sexual sensation by circing but did it anyway.

Or what if you had been born to a sub-Saharan African culture that circumcized women? Would he want to cut off his baby daughter's clitoris so that she looked like you?

But it sounds like you already know that, so I'm preaching to the choir.

Has your dh read any of the books or articles online about what circumcision does? What about if it's his burden to justify this cosmetic surgery to you rather than your burden to dejustify it to him? Make him show you any evidence that circumcision is a good procedure for medical reasons (there isn't any credible evidence that hasn't been refuted) and then ask him why your newborn baby should have cosmetic surgery.

I think the Mothering articles that are bookmarked at the top of the forum are a great place to start, as is the information at www.cirp.org.

Good luck, mama. Stay strong!

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#4 of 10 Old 11-25-2003, 01:45 AM
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No need to be so hard on yourself. You exactly right about not making a big deal out of it. Take a look at this thread, it is dicussing just the question you asked.

Like I mentioned in my post, I have a good friend that has two sons and it is not an issue what so ever.

Hope this helps.

eta another link I've seen here. When I read this I was shocked.
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#5 of 10 Old 11-25-2003, 02:22 AM
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How about this for a little thought experiment...


What if I went and posted on a foreskin restoration support group list and asked those guys if they would feel any better about their circumcision if their younger brothers were also circumcised.

What do you think they would say?

What if I asked them if they would feel better if they knew that the only reason their younger brother was circumcised was because THEY were circumcised?

Would that be a consolation? or a source of more grief?

What if I asked them if they would feel better about their circumcision because their older brother was circumcised and their own circumcision matches his?

What if I asked them if they would feel better if they knew that the only reason why they were missing a piece of their penis was because you wanted to somehow camouflage the missing parts of his brother's body in the bathtub of his childhood?

What do you think those men would say?

Either of your sons could be those men... give them the respect and dignity to not try to play head games of second guessing how they will emotionally cope, between themselves, over what senselessly happened to the firstborn son.

It's not for you or anyone else to figure out or know, it's not something that gets fixed by repeating it. How they deal with it is entirely a matter of their character... how you deal with it is a matter of your character... what that psychologist advises- tells me a lot about their character. I think they would be well served by a talk with Ronald Goldman. That psycologist sems to be living in a fantasy that the only penis a boy will ever see is the penis of his younger brother. As if you could suced at hiding the reality of human anatomy from one boy by simply circumcising another... will you only allow circumcised friends? or circumcised cousins? circumcised art history? circumcised science? circumcised pornography? circumcised graffiti? circumcised sex ed? At what point does this shrink think that your son will lose the ability to question the rightness of his own circumcision? "If we can just get him past the age of four- he will accept it without question for the restof his days (as have all men of my generation!)"

Would you encourage your sons to circumcise your grandchildren? Would you ever tell your boys that you did not know what you were consenting to when they asked you that dreadful question? Will you just keep quiet and hope they never ask, and you will pretend that you meant to do that, and it is an action you would endorse for future generations? I think you said that you would not. I think you have all the courage you need to stand up for your baby and do what is right. And I think givin a compassionate lesson for the older brother is more respectful that trying to fool him into believing that what was done was purposeful.

I also think you might need/like to read "The Secret Life of the Unborn Child" by Thomas Verney. I think you should protect yourself from these sorts of negative emotions and people who make you feel threatened or fearful for the safety of your unborn baby- it's not healthy for either of you to have those sorts of feelings right now. You should tell your husband in no uncertain terms that there will be no circumcision and you will not suffer through an emotional torment through the rest of this pregnancy with people arguing coercivly about cutting the beautiful child growing in your womb. You simply won't hear of it.

Much love to you mama!
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#6 of 10 Old 11-25-2003, 08:42 PM
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Granted my sons are almost 18 years apart in age but my older son is circ'd and my younger one is not.
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#7 of 10 Old 11-25-2003, 09:35 PM
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My first son is circ'ed my second is not (much to my dh's dismay). Tell your dh he got what he wanted with the first son, this time you're getting your way. End of story.
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#8 of 10 Old 11-26-2003, 12:23 PM
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Hi! I was exactly in your shoes a few months ago. Here is what I did, I printed out articles WITH PICTURES from nocirc website and I purchased the Mothering Circ Reprint. Left it in the bathroom for DH to read, took him a very long time to even look at it, still argued with me about the subject. We circ our first son basically because my dh said we are and I didnt know much about it even though my gut instinct said it is wrong, I let him win, well my poor ds had nothing but problems with his circ and I spent many a day with a sweet one year old little boy in my arms crying because his pee pee hurt- so I researched it and when I read what they actually do to our babies I sat and cried and still do today over what I let them do to my perfect son! When we were pg with number 2 who was born in June we all thought he was probably a girl due to my pregnancy being different, well I felt that I would have all boys and said ok well you think it is a girl but lets discuss this before we have the baby just in case.
The articles were a big help and if this helps I have read that in our childrens generation (this helps if he has issues with the fact that his son will look different and get made fun of in the locker room) 40% of boys are not being circumcised.
When my first ds asks why his brother is not circ and he is I will tell him that I wasnt informed, everyone else we knew was circ and that he had so many probs with his that we didnt want another boy to have to go through that again, now knowing the facts and I will APOLOGIZE to my baby and hope he forgives me for our mistake. I have learned the hard way not to ignore those inner feelings. I should have said to my dh I dont want to do this to our son and thats that! But I didnt and will forever feel horrible for that.
This time I presented the facts and said I am not circ this baby and if you want to then you can sign the papers I wont! (And in this state the mom has to sign the papers or they wont do it)
All in all in the end my husband now stands up to people on the issue he has come a long way and if we get blessed to have any more wonderful children they will be intact!
Good luck, keep us posted.
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#9 of 10 Old 11-26-2003, 04:24 PM
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"When you know better, you do better." --Maya Angelou

That is how you explain it to both of your sons.
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#10 of 10 Old 11-27-2003, 07:52 AM
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Actually, about 50% of boys are being left intact. The circumcision rate for 1999 was 58.7% and for 2001 it was 55.1%. If that same decline in the rate holds true for 2004, it will be the first year since the 1940's that less than half of boys have been circumcised. The expected circumcision rate for 2004 is 49.6%

To realize how incredible this is, you have to know that in 1992, the circumcision rate was 92%. In just 11 years, the circumcision rate has been almost cut in half. Only about half of that time has been during the time the internet has been widely available to people and it has been the main driving force. In the next 5 years, you will see a rising clamor in the media against this violation of men's bodies and the decline in the rate will accelerate.

It must also be realized that from the late 1940's through the early 1970's, doctors circumcised without consent and often against the wishes of the parents. From the 1960's to the 1990's the medical profession did a "hard sell" to circumcise as many boys as possible. Some even went to the extreme of telling parents that it was required by law.

While infant circumcision is on it's way out along with such procedures as bloodletting and skull drilling, there are still millions being done and there will be millions of parents who will have very uncomfortable discussions with their sons about why it was done.

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