can baby be circumsized if mom says no? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-23-2009, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i'm in illinois, if that makes a difference. hopefully my husband will tell me, "whatever you want, dear." today we went on the hospital tour and the nurse pointed out the room where circumcisions take place-- i said to DH that we need to make sure our baby is *in our room* when that happens (so he won't be circ'd). we had discussed this issue (lightly) before when we had our daughter and when we first found out about this pregnancy, too. but he surprised me today by getting a little surprised about me not wanting to circ., and he said "what will you tell him when he gets a little older and wonders why he doesn't look like his dad" (DH is circed). i said if he really wants to be circumsized later in life, he can do it then, and DH said that you don't want to get circ'd later in life. i said i'm not not doing that to him as a newborn, that there is truly no anaestetic, that it *does* hurt. we didn't discuss it at length. he was quiet for awhile, then he was nice to me later. i haven't brought it up again. i sorta think the best tact with DH is to keep harping on the pain thing -- he's not one for pain. also, the fact that our son should get to choose for himself.

now, to my question: to put my own mind at ease (our due date is less than a month away), will it be enough that i (the mom) declines/refuses the circ.? i recall being asked about it when i delivered our daughter. if i sign a refusal, will that be the end of it, or do i need to live in eternal vigilance for the duration of our hospital stay -- and fear that they will pester my husband to do it too, and that somehow it could be done while i'm sleeping or something?

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Old 08-24-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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I am not sure about the specific laws of Illinois, but in my case, they wouldn't circ without the mother's consent (not sure if this was just specific to my doctor and hospital though) and I am in Texas. Now, I have read and heard of horror stories where someone else took the baby to the doctor and got him circ'd without the mother's consent (including someone on here whose, if I remember correctly, father took the baby in to be circ'd...as in the baby's grandfather).

I personally would try to approach the issue with your DH again and do whatever you can (use the resources in the stickies here) to make sure he is on the same page with you about not circ'ing. I would also keep baby in the room with me as much as possible (but I would do this anyway), and if he did have to go to the nursery, I have read some good ideas on here about putting "do not circumcise" or something to that effect on his bassinet.

I never had to sign a refusal form just as a general FYI. They only had consent forms, which is why putting notification on his bassinet may be a good idea. I wasn't an intactivist when my son was born so I didn't, but had I known all I do now, I definitely would have.

HTH and GL!

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Old 08-24-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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I've never actually heard of a boy asking that question, but if it comes up, it's not like saying "Your daddy is circumsized, you aren't." is a hard thing to say.

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Old 08-24-2009, 12:32 AM
 
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Also, Ask him if he can picture his own Dad's penis and of he cares at all about whether his looks like it

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Old 08-24-2009, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah, i've been thinking about his argument, and (his dad is deceased, btw -- DH is 59 and has two adult sons from his previous marriage, who are no doubt circ'd) -- if the argument of "not looking like me" comes up again, i will point out that this baby *will* look like he looked -- before he was surgically altered! and when does it stop (i.e., how about our son-to-be's future son -- he will look like our son-to-be, unaltered, only if we don't alter). oh, i have so many reasons to not do this, and i am reading the case against circumcision boards to "stay strong". in my own family of origin, my three brothers were not cir'd. my dad is not cir'd. now, my youngest brother did get a circ. at age 16 -- something about infections. but my parents were, i think, misguided about retraction -- in fact, my mom has pointed out how you have to retract a baby's foreskin, and i have no doubt that their pediatricians did that to my brothers. from reading here, i see that that's probably why youngest brother got infections to begin with.

in any case, it is silly to think of my husband worrying that his son's penis doesn't have the head permanently exposed. i think it is a case of old habits die hard, *and* probably a bit of defensiveness (i.e., *my penis* is fine the way it is, are you saying that there is something wrong with being cir'd?) -- in which case, (not that this would ever be verbalized by him), this is so not about his penis. it's about our son-to-be's personal autonomy over his own anatomy and specifically making a choice to not surgically alter him on day two of his life. his penis will be perfect the way it is when he is born, thank you very much, are you saying there is something wrong with him being the way God created him, or the way my body produced him?

ugh, just trying to stay strong. didn't really expect this challenge. on the other hand, trying not to obsess too much over it, b/c i don't want to make the prelude worse than it is. i do believe i can "win" this one. heck, i'm willing to "give him" naming rights of this child if he wants to "win" something. plus, i've been "giving in" on other little things around the house, so it doesn't become a thing where "i always have to be right."

thanks, ladies!

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Old 08-24-2009, 12:55 AM
 
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Most hospitals require the moms siggy and wont take the dad's if they know that there is not agreement they wont do it because that opens them up for legal action. The best thing to do though is write on all your forms I do not concent to circ. Even the forms that have nothing to do with circ. Tell anyone who comes into your room I do not want him circed. Make a little sign to go into his isolette thingy that says do not circ me or my mom will sue or something along those lines.

There are many things you can do to prevent it in hospital. Once you leave however your dh can take him to any ped and have it done with his siggy only. So if you think that is a possibility you need to make sure your dh takes him no where until he is at least a year.

Only seen 2-3 stories where the father has tried to do this with the baby after he is home but it did happen and had the mom's not found out about it before hand their ds would have came home after an outing with dad to let mom rest cut.

I think you need to sit down with your dh talk to him about this and let him know that circing is not happening and find out what he knows about the intact penis and about his 2 grown sons.

 
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah, i've already let him know that it is not happening. and i don't really fear that he will go and have it done after we leave the hospital. he really is not somebody who enjoys pain, and i do believe he will leave our son's penis alone once he gets comfortable with the idea of accepting it the way it is. i just want to make sure there is no confusion at the hospital (i'm hoping to be in and out in 24 hours time as well. we have a three year old and the sooner we can get home the better).

i think this can be a tricky situation for a lot of mothers opposed to circ., whose own husbands *are* circ'd. it's the whole thing of deciding something different for your own child, than your husband's parents decided for him... and to do it without "judging" those other people's choices.

i can also say to my husband, that he got to have two of his sons cir'd... but not this one!

rest assured, ladies, that i am NOT going to cave in and let this happen to my baby... the only way it would happen would be totally against my will, i will not sign off on the procedure, the hospital would have to be totally liable for damages if they went ahead and did it. and i will reiterate no circ. to my husband when the topic comes up again, and/or when the baby is born. (in my husband's case, a lot of "power" shifts to the mom who just gave birth. he has said so much as i "am giving birth to him, i can name the baby," even though he has some preferences on that, too.)

in other words, i WILL win this... i'm just trying to minimize the cost of victory. it would be nice to eventually get him on board with feeling good about sparing our son this nasty procedure.

thanks for your thoughts!

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Old 08-24-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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If the only thing your dh is concerned about is his son being upset about not looking like him tell him not to worry! I have a circed hubby and two intact sons (7 and 4) and they could care less. In fact, the only time it has come up is when the eldest retracted his foreskin for the first time at about 4.5. Even then all he said was "hey, that looks like Daddy's".

I have had to explain circumcision to them(very simply) because my stepsis had a baby in May who she got circed . They asked if we did that to them, or if we were going to do that to them and we explained no we did not/will not and they said good.

Its strange, it seems even at a young age that they know cutting a penis is wrong. And as far as your dh's comment about an adult not wanting to go through a circ, tell him if his baby could say the word no, he would not want to go through a circ either. But all a baby can do is scream and unfortunately for the baby, that scream more times than not, falls on deaf ears.

Good luck with the birth of your new ds and good for you for protecting him

Take care

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Old 08-24-2009, 11:03 AM
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We never allowed our babies out of our sight in the hospital. You know that you can request EVERYTHING done in your room: pedi check-ups, baby's vitals, they would bring a scale to your room to weigh the baby...EVERYTHING can be done in your room, you just need to request this (not many people are aware of it).

It's not just circ issue when allowing your baby to be in the nursery; it's also making sure no one (especially doctors) retracts your baby foreskin (make sure to read as Worning for Parents of Intact Sons thread), it's also that a nursery is REALLY a bad stressful place for the baby to be. And yes, there can be always mistakes, babies whose parents refused to circ DO get circ'd by mistake (it's rare but it is possible).

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Old 08-24-2009, 11:24 AM
 
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Technically the law is that they can't do it without your permission. I still wouldn't let my guard down though. Mistakes can happen. They can slip the paper in for you to sign it when you are busy with contractions. They can give it to you to sign after the baby is born and if you have a c-section, you might be on good pain meds and not know what you are signing. I've heard that the basic "consent to treat" can cover the legal aspect of circ as well.

I just wouldn't let him out of my sight. I DOES happen, although hopefully it's rare.

When I had my son, a doctor tried to come and take him in the middle of the night. I was *exhausted* and passed out. He asked my MOM if I wanted him circ'ed. She of course said no, but I do wonder what would have happened if she said yes. Everyone there thought I was very young (like 16...I was actually 21) and in that case, he might have made the mistake of getting my mom to consent. Of course it would have been completely illegal, but they kept asking if I had my parent's permission for other crap so I'm sure it could have happened.

It sounds like you are on the right track with your DH. Explain to him that it's NOT that painful in adults and it IS very painful in babies and babies may not consciously remember it but their bodies remember it. At least adults get pain relief, know what's going on, and don't have to have feces and urine on an open wound. Aside from that, there are SO many complications from circ than can last a lifetime. And looking like dad is NOT important. My kid is 4 and hasn't even noticed. When he does, I'll tell it like it is. Most kids are horrified that anyone would cut off that part. I don't think it will be an issue.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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In my state (CT) the husband is assumed to be the father unless proven otherwise in court at a later date and has all parental authority in the hospital to sign for any and all medical procedures in the hospital.

You will need to check with your hospital. Writing DO NOT CIRCUMCISE) on paperwork shoved under your nose during labor would be a good start and also, never let the baby out of your sight.

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Old 08-24-2009, 12:14 PM
 
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Here is the "non-circumcision notification form"

http://www.noharmm.org/Noncircform.htm

I am not sure how legally binding it is, but much better than nothing I really think your husband will come around to the idea of having an intact baby.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:39 PM
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Regarding the pain issue, I'm pretty sure that circumcision hurts more with no anesthesia. Adults always receive anesthesia when they are circumcised, but newborns do not.

Regarding the "looking like Daddy" issue, consider other types of cosmetic surgery. If Dad had a chin implant or a nose job, would he request the same for his newborn son? If Mom had breast implants, would she request the same for her newborn daughter? There are a lot of moral problems with cosmetic surgery for infants!

Regarding hospital protocol, I suggest packing a permanent black pen in your hospital bag so that you can write "NO CIRCUMCISION" or "DO NOT TOUCH BABY'S PENIS" on the baby's hospital bracelet & name tag in the crib. You can write, "NO CIRCUMCISION" on your hospital registration form, too, and sign your name. You can tell the admitting nurse to write "NO CIRCUMCISION" on your admissions papers. You get the idea.

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Old 08-24-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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ITA with all the responses thus far. DS never asked (AND I think the hair/no hair issue is a bigger deal to little boys than foreskin) but we've told him that a doctor cut off part of DH's penis when he was a baby because they used to think it was a good thing to do but that we didn't let them do that to him because God gave him a foreskin and God made him perfect. That was enough for him.

My better answer if DH had asked that question of me would have been, "So when we have a DD and her breasts don't look exactly like mine you're going to pay for the boob job to 'fix' that, too?"
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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Here my brother was circumcised, though our father was intact.

Apparently it was done automatically back then...my mom was rather horrified. And, to top it off he came home with an infected penis and my mom had to give him antibiotics.

As to not give him a complex my parents never said anything. But, through all of those years, my brother never knew that our dad was intact! I don't think that he knows still!

And, after all of this--my mom only told me about my dad and 'the story' of my brother's circ because I announced to her that we were keeping our DS whole. She looked at me and said she was relieved...then went to tell me the story. And, then told me that she wouldn't have told me it except for Dad had passed on. : Which irked me a bit, because my older brother might have thought twice about it when he had boys.

If they're going to notice a difference they notice the hair generally. It's not like my daughters have to look exactly like me (I don't see my girls getting upset that I have giant boobs, hair down there and i my armpits). And, when he tells you that your DS would have issues with looking the same, in reality it's him having issues with dealing that DS would have something he didn't have. Anyhow, if you do some research, share it with DH, and most definitely the only logical thing that will come out of it is that he will be most definitely be supportive of keeping him intact.

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Old 08-24-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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I had my fiance read the sticky's at the top of this page and he didn't get through a whole page before he said okay he will stay intact! I said yeah I know I just wanted you to be on board also

Maybe he would be more understanding to not circ if he knew more facts about it?

My first was circed when he wasn't supposed to be but that is because I was in active labor when they had me sign papers and they told me that they were taking Ds to get a bath when in fact they took him to get cut so one thing is to NOT sign anything what so ever until you are out of laboring and delivery! this bean will not be going anywhere with out me right there or my STBDH right there!

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Old 08-25-2009, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i'm going to keep working on this. i read through some of the stickies myself and it made my heart pound. i think i am going to have to get my husband officially on board with me before delivery day at the hospital, just in case something would be "mistaken" and it would be done against my will. i am optimistic that he will give in to my idea to leave our son's body alone and not surgically alter it! it seems the obvious thing to do, you know? my husband is *not* one for unnecessary medical treatments, and i think -- *i think* -- if i present it this way, he might, i hope, see that point. not to mention all of the other great reasons to just leave the child alone!

now, as for the hospital and delivering OBs, etc. -- i am going to start by talking with the midwife i am scheduled to see for my appointment on friday and see what the protocol is at our hospital, and ask her advice on what i need to do to make sure my son is not circumcised. depending on what i learn from that conversation, i may also go into the hospital's maternity unit and ask the same question. i think that i will write "no circumcision" on every form i sign. i am considering sending a registered letter to the hospital and OB group stating that my son should not be circumcised. and from what i've learned, it is possible to request that every single thing done to the newborn (from bath to heel prick) be done in our own room, that he needn't be taken away at all for any reason, and i think i will request that as well.

it's setting up for a not very relaxing time, those first 24 hours after birth, to have to be eternally vigilant about keeping watch over my son. my three year old daughter will be with us as well -- and i can almost see not getting any sleep myself in order to 1) protect him and 2) watch over her. i'm really going to need my husband's support in this! the part of protecting our son from circumcision.

thanks for all of the information, everybody! although i don't feel like i'm going to rest any easier tonight, at least i guess i'm grateful that i got an "early wake up call" on this matter so that i can take the steps i need to make sure he is protected.

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Old 08-25-2009, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
and from what i've learned, it is possible to request that every single thing done to the newborn (from bath to heel prick) be done in our own room, that he needn't be taken away at all for any reason, and i think i will request that as well.
It is correct. If they will try to BS you saying that they need to take the baby to weigh or anything else, refuse it. If you refuse it you will see that they will magically find a transportable scale to bring it into your room. Same goes for ped check ups. Also about the heel prick tests. I personally told them that I will call them when the baby is in deep sleep. So with both of my kids I call the nurse when my baby was deep asleep on my chest after a good nursing (so I was holding the baby while the prick test was done) and none of my kids even woke up (if the prick test done to a baby who is awake it causes them a great deal of pain and screaming...totally unnecessary). Another thing, babies aren't born dirty. So you don't have to give them a bath at the hospital at all; if you do, you may want to delay it till you and your partner are up to doing it yourself. Or just wait till you get home. With my second child, for instance, we gave her her first bath when she was a week old. Having said that, I every day would rinse her privet parts with warm water and wipe them dry. I did the same thing for poop (instead of wipes).
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:24 PM
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If you feel that someone at the hospital (midwife, doctor, nurse, aid) does not respect your wishes, doesn't treat you or your baby right, too pushy, etc. you can always FIRE that person and request another one. Right there, on the spot. Remember, YOU are their employer, you PAY THEM money and they are there to respect you and your wishes. You can decline everything you don't want for you or your baby. Nothing is mandatory. Have you had a chance to research vaccines yet? If not, I highly recommend doing it (MDC has a great vaccination forum). If you feel like you don't have enough time, you can always decline them and delay until you are confident in your decision (whatever it may be).

Have a great birth!
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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When I had ds it was early and at an out of state hospital so we were obviously not prepared at all. I told every single person who came in and out of the room that I would sue the daylights out of them if ANYONE touched my son's penis. They didn't even question me on it, just looked at me like I had three heads and said, "Okay...no one will touch him." I don't care what they thought because if there was one person who 'meant well' and did something to him it isn't something you can take back. KWIM?
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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If you are really really concerned, along with the other suggestions already posted, I would take every diaper that is in that room, and write on them in Sharpie, "DO NOT CIRCUMCIZE."

Keep in mind that if your husband takes your child to any ped visits and you aren't there, as the child's parent, he does have the authority to sign for a circumcision.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:35 PM
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If you are really really concerned, along with the other suggestions already posted, I would take every diaper that is in that room, and write on them in Sharpie, "DO NOT CIRCUMCIZE."
just a little correction: DO NOT CIRCUMCISE
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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I haven't read the whole thread, but wanted to comment on the "looking like daddy" thing. My ex and dh are both circ'd. (I'm 41, and have never seen an adult male penis irl that wasn't circ'd.) DS1 and ds2 are both intact. Both boys saw their dads naked on many occasions. Neither one of them ever commented on daddy's penis looking different, except that ds1 said something, once, about all daddy's hair. The penis of an adult man doesn't look anything like the penis of an infant or small boy, no matter what the circ status of either of them may be.

I also really don't get the "you don't want to get circ'd later" thing. That makes no sense to me at all. Why on earth would anyone think it's better to do that when 1) the person being circ'd has absolutely no understanding of what's causing all that pain, and 2) the foreskin is still fused to the glans? There's obviously no way for me to know for sure (maybe if they did brain scans during circs?), but I'd think the pain for a newborn would be considerably worse, even aside from the anesthesia issue.

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Old 08-25-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Yulia_R View Post
just a little correction: DO NOT CIRCUMCISE
Duh, you'd think if I can spell circumcision correctly, I could also spell circumcise correctly.

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Old 08-25-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
(maybe if they did brain scans during circs?), but I'd think the pain for a newborn would be considerably worse, even aside from the anesthesia issue.
It has been done and it is horrible and the research was stopped and covered up:

http://www.stopinfantcircumcision.org/BrainVisualizationArticle.htm

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:50 PM
 
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Tell your husband you won't even consider discussing it with him until he's watched this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQqOEylGW7k

and at least half of this:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...ient=firefox-a
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:19 AM
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i called the hospital today and found out that it is *my* signature that's required to do the circumcision. i explained that i do *not* want it, and my husband might want it, but i don't think he will go around me to get it. will our son be protected from having it done? what is the policy? she said the mother's signature is required on all the procedures to be done. this set my mind at ease a little.

DH and i discussed/argued about this a little today. it was not a pleasant conversation. i told him that i am dead set against it, and will not sign the consent for it. i tried to explain some of my reasons... but he wants to talk to a *doctor* and has *no respect* for any of my research b/c it comes from "the internet". (he is 59 and not exactly internet savvy... plus he has had two sons -- now adults -- from his previous marriage... whatever choices he/his ex wife made was 30 year ago...) i told him let's ask the doctor(s) if it is "medically necessary" for our newborn to be circumcised. he said however i want to word it is fine. i'm pretty confident that the answer is going to be that it is not "medically necessary" and if for some reason one of the doctors he asks comes back with various reasoning that could be construed as endorsement for circumcision, i think i know enough to question the doctor intelligently on the spot re: why it is *necessary* to circumcise them as *newborns* versus later in life, if/when any "trouble" would arise.

to me, the fact that they can't give general anaestesia (sp) to babies and use a "topical" for this major (gruesome) procedure is compelling. and especially as the foreskin is so attached in a newborn, versus retractable in an older child/adult -- that would be the time to cut it, if/when a "problem" arised, versus pre-emptively-- when doing so only because of the convenience that newborn babies can't talk and "they cry about everything anyway" (which is what my husband actually rationalized tonight).

but i think i made some progress in so far as my husband said that since i'm the mother, what i say goes... and of course he was not happy about this, and feels that his viewpoint is not respected, and asked why i even bring it up when my mind is already made up.

but we agreed to stop discussing until we talk with some of the doctors we see for my OB care. i'll let you guys know how it goes on friday...

thanks again for your support and suggestions. he did not see the youtube video, and i didn't either frankly. my husband said he doesn't want to see or read stuff off the internet, as "obviously they are presenting the worst case scenarios" -- and as for me, i've looked at some pictures and it was disturbing enough for me. i started to look at a video and had to click it off for myself. i'm not the kind of person who needs reminding that it is gruesome. and unnecessary.

my mind is made up.

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Old 08-26-2009, 03:48 AM
 
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If the doctor does recommend it, ask him/her if they perform it for free? If it's here in the US, no, they don't do it for free, they charge. If the doctor makes money from the circ, then he/she has a financial incentive to do them. Please ask the doctor about how much he profits from circs if he recommends them.
Seriously.

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Pardon the typos - CWOK (cat walking on keyboard)   signcirc1.gif

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Old 08-26-2009, 04:06 AM
 
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My public library has some material that is anticirc. (of course, they also have Edgar Schoens book, ugh) Does he like print material better? You might try there. I would just search the card catalog under circumcision. Also, check the baby books and see if you can't find some that are anticirc. Usually its easy to find in the index of baby books. Also look up "The Medicalization of Every Day Life" by Thomas Szasz. It has a chapter on circumcision that, while it doesn't condemn circ outright is rather against the procedure.
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