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#1 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh. We really have only told my parents that we are not circ'ing this baby. Haven't said anything to the in-laws and don't imagine we ever will. I know it isn't anyones business but our own. But, my mom and I are close and I pretty much tell her everything. Anyway- I have 2 brothers, both circ'd. My dad is also circ'd, as is my husband and his brother. So it did come as a bit of surprise that we are not doing it, but neither my mom or dad would directly say anything about our choice.

So in the last few weeks I keep having things come up with my mom. She knew her dad was intact and keeps bringing up all the complaints my grandmother apparantly has- she believes that the foreskin has caused my grandfather SO many issues- she believes SHE had recurrent UTI's because he is intact- he wishes he had been circ'd and that is why they circ'd their sons, etc.

Well, my other grandfather was hospitalized last week. My parents were talking to him on the phone and he said he had to be catheterized due to a UTI (among other things he was admitted for). He said he was so worried about it and that the nurse told him it was much harder do catheterize him since he was not circumcised. This is the first any of us knew that he was intact. So my mom goes on and on to me that the hospital staff thinks him being intact is so much more difficult and that my grandfather said he always wished he was circ'd "but that they just didn't do it back then" (he was born in 1926).

How do you respond to this kind of stuff? I really, truly don't think my mom cares either way what we do with our baby boy- but I am already tired of hearing the stories from her- as if to make me rethink our decision. I feel like she is hoping I will say "Oh- well, if it is harder to catheterize an intact penis at 83 years old- well, we better circ this baby". I also think that if both grandfathers were SO upset about being intact that they could have taken it upon themselves to get circ'd. It would have been THEIR choice. I keep trying to come up with responses to her about all of this but don't have any.

I feel like my mom is the least opinionated of anyone else in my family. She already said my grandma will completely disapprove (again, not that it will change anything- but I hate having to defend our choice- along with homeschooling and extended breastfeeding and cloth diapering and all the other totally crazy things we do ) Why do people even care about baby penises? It just drives me nuts!

C- mama to K (8) and A (5.5) (8w5d) 10/08, new baby O-2.11.10
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#2 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 08:06 PM
 
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Don't let it turn into an argument. Just refuse to engage with her. Every time anyone brings it up, just tell them that it's not up for discussion, and repeat that every single time they try to bring up some brilliant argument they think they've come up with that you've never heard of before.

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#3 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 08:48 PM
 
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That generation swallowed the big lie and cut their kids up so they've got to believe the "grass is greener." I've went to the dr. on other issues this year, in January and last month, and both times they also found I had UTI's. It was cleared up both times with some simple antibiotics, but GEEZ......you would think since I'm cut that shouldn't happen??!!!

Oh, and that nurse is full of it. In fact, you ought to ask her how easy it is to cath a guy with meatal stenosis....a condition only found in cut guys. Unless that nurse is assuming he won't be able to retract to the point where his meatus is visible, there should be no difference whatsoever.

I wouldn't discuss it with them any further; just stick to the facts.
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#4 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 08:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamasgirls View Post

So in the last few weeks I keep having things come up with my mom. She knew her dad was intact and keeps bringing up all the complaints my grandmother apparantly has- she believes that the foreskin has caused my grandfather SO many issues- she believes SHE had recurrent UTI's because he is intact- he wishes he had been circ'd and that is why they circ'd their sons, etc.
This right here. This really bothers me. My mother pulled the same stunt on me. "My father wasn't circumcised and he hated it." and then turns around to say "I would never circumcise my sons." (My mother is her father's only child and I'm an only child.) What bothers me is the fact that she even knows this. Why on earth would a woman know if her father was intact or not? Why do you know anything about your father's penis?! (ETA: sorry, that "you" is directed at my mother.)

Gotta agree with PP here. Don't engage her and just drop the subject. Simply say "it's not up for discussion". If she keeps pushing the matter you can say "it's his choice, not mine" or again repeat "it's not up for discussion". It really depends on your mother and how she'll react. (The "it's not up for discussion" line doesn't work on my mother. She'll just keep going and going until I leave or my father finally tells her to "shut the hell up". ) Of course, if she really keeps at it you can use my favourite line: "Why are you so interested in my son's penis?"

Side note (which may not matter because I may have misread the above, but just in case I didn't): You know, I had a whole slue of UTIs when I was little. I bet it's because my father was circumcised, because his genitals definitely determine my bladder system.

... oh wait, that's because my mother gave me bubble baths with that "Mr Bubble" crap and my teachers in school never allowed me to go to the bathroom when I needed to so I always held it in and got infections, especially when I wet my underwear a little and then had to sit in that all day. That's right. Stupid me to forget that.

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#5 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 09:18 PM
 
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How about every time she brings up a "grandpa wishes he was circ'd for XYZ dumb reason" story, you share a story about a horrific possible complication/side effect of circ.

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#6 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 09:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamasgirls View Post
...all the complaints my grandmother apparantly has- she believes that the foreskin has caused my grandfather SO many issues- she believes SHE had recurrent UTI's because he is intact- he wishes he had been circ'd and that is why they circ'd their sons, etc.

Well, my other grandfather was hospitalized last week. My parents were talking to him on the phone and he said he had to be catheterized due to a UTI (among other things he was admitted for). He said he was so worried about it and that the nurse told him it was much harder do catheterize him since he was not circumcised. This is the first any of us knew that he was intact. So my mom goes on and on to me that the hospital staff thinks him being intact is so much more difficult and that my grandfather said he always wished he was circ'd "but that they just didn't do it back then" (he was born in 1926).

How do you respond to this kind of stuff? I really, truly don't think my mom cares either way what we do with our baby boy- but I am already tired of hearing the stories from her- as if to make me rethink our decision....
Be firm and strong. These are irrational arguments born of fear mongering and mis information. Consider:

Your grandmother has no idea if she would have been better off with your grandfather circumcised. No way to compare. Just guessing, based on feelings. And even if she had been better off from a UTI perspective, her sex life may have been dramatically worse. She is letting fear and guesswork dominate her thinking.

Your grandfather may wish he had been circumcised....but he could have had it done any time. Why did he not do it? How does he know he would have liked it better? He doesn't of course, he is just using irrational fear to sway him.

How to handle it? Well you have gotten good advice already. You may also want to have something like one of these in your back pocket:

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcisi...yStatement.pdf

http://www.icgi.org/Downloads/Full_Disclosure.pdf

so you can hand them sometnng to read and do some research on the issues.

They are worried and letting their fear of the unknown, bred by the loud fear mongering of pro circers sway them. The best defense against that in my mind is eductaion and rational thinking.

Best wishes
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#7 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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It is no more complicated cathing an intact older man than it is cathing a circed one. For the intact man you just retract far enough to see the opening and insert the cath. Yeah that is so hard I can see where the nurse would have trouble

 
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#8 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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You know that men all over the UK get catheterised on a daily basis and no-one complains that they aren't circumcised?

This is another argument to chuck into the 'stupid' bin. Keep telling her that this isn't something you want to keep talking to her about, thank you.
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#9 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by caro113 View Post
Side note (which may not matter because I may have misread the above, but just in case I didn't): You know, I had a whole slue of UTIs when I was little. I bet it's because my father was circumcised, because his genitals definitely determine my bladder system.
Sorry- I probably wasn't clear. My mom has told me that my grandma said she got recurrent UTI's from my grandpa being intact. That his foreskin caused her to get UTI's after being intimate.

Why should my mother or I know ANY of this??? Apparantly my grandma is a big advocate of hating intact penises and is very vocal about that, LOL.

Thanks for the advice. Fortunately my mom won't argue it with me, or outright try to get me to change my mind. It is just all these subtle stories she keeps throwing in- which have never been talked about until I have been pregnant with a boy. In fact- I am sure she would deny what I think she is doing. I was just curious how you all respond to all the stories you hear from others about foreskin issues. "Not up for discussion" is a good one I tend to be someone that tries to defend my choices instead of just dropping the subject- so I appreciate that "out"!

C- mama to K (8) and A (5.5) (8w5d) 10/08, new baby O-2.11.10
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#10 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 10:54 PM
 
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It has nothing to do with it being harder, it has to do with the nurses not wanting to touch an intact penis. It is a social bias and they are projecting their own feelings onto the situation.

With that said, there is a whole new generation of men and women who are exposed and more apt to have experience with intact males. So I bet you many nurses to come will NOT have the same issues. (I will be one once I finish school, if I ever get to finish school).
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#11 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 11:01 PM
 
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Your grandfather is an adult. If he really hates being intact then he can schedule a circumcision for himself. Apparently it's not bad enough that he's been willing to trade the pain of surgery for the "convenience" of being circed at any time in his adult life. Can't be that bad.

You're just giving your son the chance to decide for himself.

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#12 of 37 Old 12-11-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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How about every time she brings up a "grandpa wishes he was circ'd for XYZ dumb reason" story, you share a story about a horrific possible complication/side effect of circ.
Or, why don't you say, "oh, really? Why didn't he get circ'd then?". This argument makes me nuts. A guy can get circ'd any time. Personally, if I were going to have a body part removed, I'd probably wait until it wasn't fused to another body part, if I had that option. If they really wish they were circ'd...they would be.

OP: I'd probably try my best not to engage, and eventually say, "why are you so fixated on my son's penis?" in a shocked tone, and see how that goes over.

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#13 of 37 Old 12-12-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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Sorry- I probably wasn't clear. My mom has told me that my grandma said she got recurrent UTI's from my grandpa being intact. That his foreskin caused her to get UTI's after being intimate.

Why should my mother or I know ANY of this??? Apparantly my grandma is a big advocate of hating intact penises and is very vocal about that, LOL.
No, you were clear, but I wanted to keep that in just in case. The first time I read it I thought it said "grandfather" and not "grandmother" so I just assumed it was your mom who thought she had UTIs because of his penis. But I still don't get why a woman who get constant UTIs because of her partner's penis. Actually, it's fairly common to get UTIs if a woman doesn't "clean" herself after sex, which is easily done by urinating since urine is extremely sterile. I kept getting a few UTIs in college and went to the nurse who told me to make sure I went to the bathroom after sex. Amazing. I started making a point to do that and presto they were gone.

I still don't know why my mother knows any of it. She claims she "saw him by accident" but that sounds fishy to me.

I would never talk to my daughter - or my son for that matter - about DP's penis. It's just weird. Unless there was some urgent need, like he was dying at home and needed to be cath'd, there is no reason a child should know anything about their parents' genitals. The only person who should know about another person's genitals would be that person's parents (due to diaper changes and baths and such) and their partner(s). No one else.

Good for you for not having an argumentative mother. The passive aggressive crap can get really annoying but if you can ignore it, go for it.

Congrats on the boy!!

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
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#14 of 37 Old 12-12-2009, 05:46 AM
 
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I used to get a LOT of UTIs when we were TTC. Going to the bathroom after sex helped me as well.

Oh and my partner is circumcised so that didn't help us much
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#15 of 37 Old 12-12-2009, 06:31 AM
 
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I feel like a lot of "X wasn't circ'd and he hated it" stories are the result of a passing comment that may or may not have been misunderstood or exaggerated.

For example, when I asked my mom whether we would have been circumcised if we'd been boys (because we grew up with a lot of intact boys in our community), she said that we probably would have been circumcised because my dad felt very strongly about it. She said that he'd told stories about being in the army in Vietnam and several men in his unit being circumcised because they kept getting infections. I just sort of took that and went on with my life. A few weeks later, I mentioned to my dad that DS would stay intact and his resonse was "I knew a lot of guys in Vietnam who got circumcised while we were there.....but I think most of them just wanted to get out of combat for a while". Hmmm......

I agree with PP, just don't engage. Listen to what they say, smile...and then go live your life.


BTW, regarding daughters knowing whether their fathers are circ'd, I grew up in a community that was very open and free and there was a lot of skinny-dipping, etc. Nothing deviant or questionable, but seeing naked men wasn't out of the question for us.

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#16 of 37 Old 12-12-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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Would it help if you sat down with your mom and had an open discussion on how it bothers you when she tells you these "stories." Maybe by being open about how you feel would help her understand that these types of comments/stories are crossing the line. Good luck!

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#17 of 37 Old 12-12-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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<snip>
But I still don't get why a woman who get constant UTIs because of her partner's penis. Actually, it's fairly common to get UTIs if a woman doesn't "clean" herself after sex, which is easily done by urinating since urine is extremely sterile. I kept getting a few UTIs in college and went to the nurse who told me to make sure I went to the bathroom after sex. Amazing. I started making a point to do that and presto they were gone.
Yep-this is what my Gynecologist told me when I first became sexually active. She didn't ask if my partner was intact or circed, just that I needed to make sure to urinate after sex...otherwise I would get UTIs. My other gyno made sure to tell me to be careful to do this especially while on my honeymoon. Nothing to do with foreskin.

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Would it help if you sat down with your mom and had an open discussion on how it bothers you when she tells you these "stories." Maybe by being open about how you feel would help her understand that these types of comments/stories are crossing the line. Good luck!
Yes. Or just stop her and say something like, "Ew, I don't want to hear about my g-pa's genitals. Don't need details there!" I mean, if it were me, I would've asked her to stop in mid sentence because I don't need to hear about that.

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#18 of 37 Old 12-13-2009, 12:35 AM
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If it was my mom, I would simply say, "It's not your penis. It's not your choice." And never engage her on the subject again.

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
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#19 of 37 Old 12-14-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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I used to get a LOT of UTIs when we were TTC. Going to the bathroom after sex helped me as well.

Oh and my partner is circumcised so that didn't help us much
I remember a German book on pregnancy and childbirth where this was mentioned as a precaution. The author said the woman's exposure to her partner's (different from her own) germ spectrum could cause UTIs. Using the bathroom after sex helps to get rid of "foreign species". There is even the term "Flitterwochen-Zystitis" ("honeymoon cystitis") as this occurs more often in times of "increased sexual activity".

About the catheterizing: I've heard of European men needing catheters - most of them are intact.

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#20 of 37 Old 12-14-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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The biggest reason for UTI's from sex is when the penis picks ups some fecal matter from the woman (sorry for TMI). It is very silly to blame the foreskin for this.

I can imagine these men not liking their foreskin after living through the age when circ was the "right" thing to do. Everyone in the U.S. got circed in the 60's and 70's and there were few exceptions. It's not fun being different, especially in a place that already bears societal shame. Our boys are lucky that they get to keep their foreskin and there will be lots of boys around them that look the same. I doubt very much that they will see it like this older generation. And their nurses will be more comfortable with it too.

I always drop the term "cosmetic surgery" when talking with people about why we didn't do it. I have never had the subject revisited when they understand that this is my view of circumcision.
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#21 of 37 Old 12-15-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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If it was my mom, I would simply say, "It's not your penis. It's not your choice." And never engage her on the subject again.
Exactly this.


I don't think it's weird to know if your Dad is intact or not. As a child I occasional saw my Dad naked so of course I knew.

I also know about my FIL because DH told me he was "had to be" circumcised a few years ago. He had a colonoscapy, ended up with a perforated bowel, and a few surgeries later he was missing a foot and a half of bowl and a foreskin.

I like to do a lot of skin to skin contact with my babies during out babymoon so my kids have been naked a lot the first week. MIL was holding DS and his blanket came loose and she saw his penis. She asked us when we were going to circumcise. When we acted a little shocked at the question (because she had heard us say it ain't gonna happen many times) DH responded with, "Look at it! You want us to make it smaller?" I just about fell off my chair it was so funny. MIL was not at all amused and said some really ugly things about how disgusting an uncircumcised penis is, etc... It was pretty uncomfortable for a few minuets because FIL was right there.

I'm sure she did not know that I knew about his history. I'm also pretty sure she did not know that FIL had already asked me about circumcision and that he was really happy when I said "No way!" I believe he said, "Good. Don't ever do it."

Now that is knowing some pretty icky things about parents.

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#22 of 37 Old 12-15-2009, 12:42 AM
 
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Another thing you could say,

"If men were supposed to have foreskins, they'd be born with them....[pause], oh yeah, they ARE!!!"

Then change the subject.
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#23 of 37 Old 12-15-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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I have cathed a lot of intact men and it is not harder to do, he probably has an enlarged prostate that was holding things up and grams is blaming it on the foreskin.
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#24 of 37 Old 12-15-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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"If men were supposed to have foreskins, they'd be born with them....[pause], oh yeah, they ARE!!!"
This is the smartest thing I've ever heard anyone say on the subject

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#25 of 37 Old 12-19-2009, 12:58 AM
 
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#1 The nurse doesn't know what she's doing!!! Its all crap she said.
#2 Your grandmother gets UTIs b/c lots of women get UTIs.
#3 Funny, people talk about men getting UTIs in the hospitals, but women get them too.....Yeah, total social stigma in the hospital...

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#26 of 37 Old 12-19-2009, 01:26 AM
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BTW, regarding daughters knowing whether their fathers are circ'd, I grew up in a community that was very open and free and there was a lot of skinny-dipping, etc. Nothing deviant or questionable, but seeing naked men wasn't out of the question for us.
Yup.

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Your grandfather is an adult. If he really hates being intact then he can schedule a circumcision for himself.
That, too.

I always feel a bit odd reading these discussions. Am I the only one whose extended family never questioned the status of my sons' penises? None of my friends or relatives ever asked me if I planned to circ my boys, and nobody openly commented when I left them intact. I feel fortunate.
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#27 of 37 Old 12-19-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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MIL was holding DS and his blanket came loose and she saw his penis. She asked us when we were going to circumcise.

...

MIL was not at all amused and said some really ugly things about how disgusting an uncircumcised penis is, etc...
Gosh, I seem to hear stories like this a lot. Is there an entire generation out there of American women aged 45-70 who are just repulsed to their core by foreskin? Or is it a subconscious defense mechanism to bury/justify/rationalize what they blindly did to their own kids in the 50s/60s/70s? I mean, I know a lot of these women actually married intact men, which makes their disapproval even weirder. Maybe it's a control tactic toward the next generation's asserting itself, or just plain insecurity manifesting as contempt.

Good grief, even my own mom, who wrote the encyclopedia on guilt (believe me), didn't put up such a fuss. When I was ready 15 years ago to sit her down and give her an hour's worth of the intactivist argument, she just said, "When you put it that way, it makes sense. My bad."

Wouldn't it be healthier for everyone to just embrace the progress we're making on the health front, even if that means what they were once led to do was wrong?
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#28 of 37 Old 12-19-2009, 03:30 AM
 
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I think brant31 is onto something. The ironic thing is,we baby boomers were the sexual revolution generation; we were going to make things open and free. Somehow, we were COMPLETELY (caps for emphasis) blind to the horrors of circumcision; the vast majority of us never questioned our doctors when they said that "it needed to be done." Looking back on it, I think: Why???? How could we have been so stupid??? The only reason my now-grown sons escaped the knife is that they were born at home. If I hadn't been part of the whole "natural living" scene in the 70's, I'm sure that the insecure new mother I was back then could easily have been talked into circumcising her newborn. It's awfully hard to admit that you caused unnecessary harm to you baby boy. Therefore, the vast majority of my generation will defend the practice of circumcision to their dying day.
Edited to add: I disagree, however, that "many" of us are married to intact men. The vast majority of boomer men are circumcised; they were the first generation to experience RIC. RIC got started when birth moved from home to the hospital. Many boomer babies were circumcised WITHOUT their parents' consent. It wasn't until 1973 that hospitals were required to have parents sign a consent form.
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#29 of 37 Old 12-19-2009, 03:46 AM
 
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I think your mom just needs a simple reassurance. What she knows is negative (although much was untrue it was certainly true that she knows of men who wished they were) and she is concerned... a little. Her 'stories' are probably just meant to get you to think a little more, maybe consider somethign she thinks you might not know.

I just told my mom that circ. wasn't recommended anymore- that I looked into it and didn't see any truth to some of the common things people think of as problems, and told her that any problems that HAD been occuring were because doctors were telling parents to forcibly retract the foreskin and clean-- with things like q-tips and soap. I might say that almost everyone else in the world is intact and none of these issues are occuring. But that didn't have as much weight as simply telling her my pedi didn't recommend it, nor did the midwives, etc.

She might just need a little education. My mom was like this for circumcision and some breastfeeding stuff. She'd think I was doing something wrong or not understand.... For example her sister was a LLL member and they both thought that exclusive breastfeeding to and past 6 months was strange. Apparently nursing exclusively beyond 4 months was not something promoted back in 'the day' then, and I simply had to inform them that we just know that is best and that info comes FROM doctors (good ones) and is AAP and otherwise recommended. It helped them lay off my cousin who they were convinced was babying her son too much and he would never eat real food, lol.

If I rephrase things in terms of "we know differently now", it helped. Diffused any angst, removed anything personal to be offended by and just seemed to help get her to listen enough so she could actually HEAR what I was saying (and not just hear me saying what she thought I was saying). Plus, I can truly say that most of my friends do all the 'crazy' things that I do, which also helps at times(-;

Good luck!
Jessica

Jessica..lady.gifintactlact.gif Falling in love all over again..... 
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#30 of 37 Old 12-19-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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I always feel a bit odd reading these discussions. Am I the only one whose extended family never questioned the status of my sons' penises? None of my friends or relatives ever asked me if I planned to circ my boys, and nobody openly commented when I left them intact. I feel fortunate.
No one in my family every questioned it either. My SIL asked me if we were going to circ, but mostly she was curious because we had a homebirth and she was wondering if it was something they would do right there at our house. I told her we weren't going to and she never said anything about it again.

Whenever I hear stories of adult men wishing they were circ'd I like to point out that they perform them on adult men, not just babies, so if it were something they wanted to do they should schedule an appointment/consultation. I know that some men decide to be circ'd but I think it is rather rare...hmmm...wonder why....
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