From a circumcised guy, to regretful moms. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 03-13-2010, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know it's hard not to beat yourself up over a decision you regret... but please try not to feel *too* guilty. As a 19-year-old guy, circumcised at birth, I have no hard feelings at all towards my parents.

I've never had any conversation whatsoever about circumcision with my parents, and don't know any details about it, other than I was presumably cut at birth in 1990, due to them thinking it was "the right thing to do". Since I'm here, I'm obviously someone who *doesn't* think it was the right thing to do. But you know what? I don't hold it against my parents. They were just misinformed. There was no internet in 1990, they had less resources. And even if there had been internet (as some of you recent moms probably did have), it's understandable that if they had already heard all these "wonderful" things about circumcision, they wouldn't have felt the need to research it any further. In short, I blame the doctors out there who recommend it, not my parents.

As I said before, I have never mentioned my dislike of being circumcised to my parents. And if the subject ever does come up, honestly, I'll probably pretend to be neutral. You know why? I love my parents too much to make them feel bad. There's nothing more they can do about it, they're not having any kids in the future. I see no need to make them feel bad for a decision they made nearly 20 years ago, especially when they thought they were doing me good.

So... in short, I know the guilt may run deep, but remember: if your son is anything like me, he won't hate you, he'll be understanding and forgive you, and he won't want you to feel bad.

Also, I guess it's pretty important that I mention this. I'm sure most of you have heard of foreskin restoration. (I'm talking about the natural skin expansion method. Not one of those surgeries.) I've been doing it for about 10 months, and the results have been good so far. That's a big reason why I'm able to be so forgiving. When the time is appropriate, make sure your sons know they can get back most of what they lost.
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#2 of 20 Old 03-14-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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Thank you for this. Unfortunately for me, my son has pretty bad meatal stenosis and has terrible issues from it-including past and probably future-surgeries. I'm glad restoration is going well for you and you don't harbor too much resent or anger.

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#3 of 20 Old 03-15-2010, 04:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SH346 View Post
I know it's hard not to beat yourself up over a decision you regret... but please try not to feel *too* guilty. As a 19-year-old guy, circumcised at birth, I have no hard feelings at all towards my parents.

I've never had any conversation whatsoever about circumcision with my parents, and don't know any details about it, other than I was presumably cut at birth in 1990, due to them thinking it was "the right thing to do". Since I'm here, I'm obviously someone who *doesn't* think it was the right thing to do. But you know what? I don't hold it against my parents. They were just misinformed. There was no internet in 1990, they had less resources. And even if there had been internet (as some of you recent moms probably did have), it's understandable that if they had already heard all these "wonderful" things about circumcision, they wouldn't have felt the need to research it any further. In short, I blame the doctors out there who recommend it, not my parents.

As I said before, I have never mentioned my dislike of being circumcised to my parents. And if the subject ever does come up, honestly, I'll probably pretend to be neutral. You know why? I love my parents too much to make them feel bad. There's nothing more they can do about it, they're not having any kids in the future. I see no need to make them feel bad for a decision they made nearly 20 years ago, especially when they thought they were doing me good.

So... in short, I know the guilt may run deep, but remember: if your son is anything like me, he won't hate you, he'll be understanding and forgive you, and he won't want you to feel bad.

Also, I guess it's pretty important that I mention this. I'm sure most of you have heard of foreskin restoration. (I'm talking about the natural skin expansion method. Not one of those surgeries.) I've been doing it for about 10 months, and the results have been good so far. That's a big reason why I'm able to be so forgiving. When the time is appropriate, make sure your sons know they can get back most of what they lost.

Honestly, I would find a way to gently tell them. They should know. Not to inflict guilt, but because they may spread their misinformation to family members or friends, and negatively influence someone else's circumcision decision.

Loving mother, Devoted Wife
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#4 of 20 Old 03-15-2010, 04:36 AM
 
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I know that my husband doesn't have any particular negative feelings toward his parents for circ'ing him. He knows that they didn't know better and that they did it out of deeply ingrained tradition and not any sort of malicious intent. He wonders what it might be like to be intact but he doesn't know anything different and he doesn't lose sleep over it.

But it's easy to forgive my in-laws because there was less information available 30-40 years ago than there is now. Many did truly believe it was necessary and questioning the medical community was rare. Things have changed.

Should parents who circ for the wrong reasons (in their perception) feel guilty? I don't know--it's not my job to assign judgment. Guilt won't undo it, so my inclination is no, don't feel guilty. When you know better you do better. Help get the information out there, be supportive of the nocirc movement, don't circ future sons. I think that's the only answer for a parent who is eaten up by guilt and regret over circ'ing their child(ren).

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#5 of 20 Old 03-15-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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Honestly, I would find a way to gently tell them. They should know. Not to inflict guilt, but because they may spread their misinformation to family members or friends, and negatively influence someone else's circumcision decision.


I agree, more men and boys need to speak up about how they feel about being circ'd. For this exact reason, so that others are not misinformed, but so that future parents have an accurate picture of how it will affect their son.

I know it would be an awkward conversation to have with your parents, but really if it comes up don't act neutral.

wife to DH 6/25/05, mama to DS 5/26/08 & DS2 9/1/10
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#6 of 20 Old 03-15-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by emma1325 View Post
Honestly, I would find a way to gently tell them. They should know. Not to inflict guilt, but because they may spread their misinformation to family members or friends, and negatively influence someone else's circumcision decision.
I agree with this as well.

Mama to my love (4.22.09)
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#7 of 20 Old 03-15-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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It's my understanding that neither of my parents authorized a circumcision. The doctor just did it. (1953). So the only extent that it was their 'fault', was that they did not know to make it very clear to the doctor that they did not want me to be circumcised. They would have had to be very proactive.

I was prepared to be that proactive when my children were born. We had three daughters. But I asked in advance each time, just in case we had a boy. I did not want any mistakes to happen.

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#8 of 20 Old 03-15-2010, 11:57 PM
 
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Awwww....Thank you for sharing this story. Good to see you don't have any hard feelings towards your 'rents.
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#9 of 20 Old 03-16-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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nak

thank you for this.

i am one of the moms that regret circing my ds1. i did do some research about circ, but unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there in the mainstream media, and even in the medical community. i signed the circ consent while in labor. after my son was born i felt such a feirce protectiveness that if i had known what the drs were going to do when they took him while i was in the shower, i know in my heart that i would have changed my mind. when they brought him back and i learned that they circed him i was so sad.

once i understood how perfect my sons were at birth w/out any modifications, and all of the other evils of circ i felt (and still feel) deep regret and sadness for what i allowed to be done to my son. my 2nd and 3rd sons were born at home and are intact.

i try to give info to others i meet when the topic of circ comes up bc i wish i knew even one person back then who would have made me question circ.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
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#10 of 20 Old 03-17-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rissierae View Post


I agree, more men and boys need to speak up about how they feel about being circ'd. For this exact reason, so that others are not misinformed, but so that future parents have an accurate picture of how it will affect their son.

I know it would be an awkward conversation to have with your parents, but really if it comes up don't act neutral.
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#11 of 20 Old 03-17-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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I agree with SH346 in that I do not hold hard feelings toward my parents for having me circumcised. I did ask my mother why? , and the conversation was not nearly as awkward as most people imagine. It is a truism that the older one gets, the less inhibited one tends to feel about discussing this type of topic. I would encourage anyone who has questions about the topic of circumcision in their family to just ask. In my case it was my mother who made the decision and it was based on advice from her father. I do not know what my Dad's feelings were, but he was also circumcised. I wish , now, that I had asked, as I realise that he would have been in the minority growing up among a lot of intact boys.

Mostly I feel disappointment that my Mother did not think about what she was doing in a logical and questioning manner, as I feel that she might have acted differently had she not had such blind trust in my grandfather's advice, and presumably, whatever the doctors were saying. Sadly those were the days when doctors were revered, and the medical community could do no wrong.

Most of the blame for this tragedy - and I do consider it a tragedy that millions of men and women have had their _ _ _ lives compromised - lies squarely on the shoulders of the medical community, who have acted with less than integrity, and violated the hippocratic oath on a regular basis.

So, to echo what was stated before: All you mothers who feel regretful and guilty - try not to. You were lied to. You will find healing in spreading the truth and convincing other parents not to fall into the same trap. Don't be shy about talking about it!!
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#12 of 20 Old 03-17-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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I still think that circumcision is an individual's right to decide whether they want it or not.
Yeah, as long as the individual who makes the decision is the owner the penis. This is not the case most of the time.

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#13 of 20 Old 03-18-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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I know those who are telling him to tell his parents he is unhappy are only trying to help, but remember it's a sensitive subject and it's one that doesn't come up often (or at all.) The only time I talked about circumcision with my mother was before my son was born, and even then we didn't talk about me.

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#14 of 20 Old 03-24-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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Thank you for sharing this insight! We circ'd ds1 when he was 3 weeks old because we thought we were making the best decision for him. I regretted it even before it was done though, and felt awful. I prayed that I'd never have another son because I couldn't do that again. We had a daughter next and I before we knew she was a girl I spent a lot of time researching and finally learned what I knew to be true in my heart. We had another son a year ago and did not circ him. It was an easy decision for me, but it was difficult for my husband. He's circ'd too and saw nothing wrong with it. He didn't have to change all of ds1's diapers and see the blood and the pain. I cried every time I changed him for the 10 days it took him to heal, and often beyond that. I told him I couldn't do it again and asked if he'd watch videos or look at pictures of the pain the babies suffered and he said he couldn't and that he'd leave the decision up to me. Now that we're a year past not circ'ing our little guy, he's totally changed and he can't imagine circ'ing again. It's still not something as important at breastfeeding is to him, but he definitely gets it now. I'm not sure what he thinks about talking to ds1 when he gets older, but I'd like to talk to him about restoration and apologize for the decision that we made, even though our intentions were good. I'm just not sure how much my teenage son would appreciate talking about his parts with him mom. I don't know. We're homeschooling, so I'll be his sex ed teacher anyway...but yeah. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there. He hasn't ever noticed a difference between himself and the baby, but I suppose he might someday.
Anyway, thanks for easing my guilt some.

Husband and Wife 4/03, Ds1 9/03, Dd1 8/06, Ds2 12/08, Dd2 due 1/11...bfing, co-sleeping, cding, ecing, bwing, ucing, no-more vaxing, no-more circ'ing, hsing, conservative Christian family.
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#15 of 20 Old 03-30-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing your story. I agree with OP tough that there is probaby no good to come from discussing it with the parents at this point. Especially if there are no more children in their future. I don't see what difference it could make except to make them feel bad about something they can't change and obviously did not have bad intentions when they made that choice.
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#16 of 20 Old 04-06-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tanyam926 View Post
nak

thank you for this.

i am one of the moms that regret circing my ds1. i did do some research about circ, but unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there in the mainstream media, and even in the medical community. i signed the circ consent while in labor. after my son was born i felt such a feirce protectiveness that if i had known what the drs were going to do when they took him while i was in the shower, i know in my heart that i would have changed my mind. when they brought him back and i learned that they circed him i was so sad.

once i understood how perfect my sons were at birth w/out any modifications, and all of the other evils of circ i felt (and still feel) deep regret and sadness for what i allowed to be done to my son. my 2nd and 3rd sons were born at home and are intact.

i try to give info to others i meet when the topic of circ comes up bc i wish i knew even one person back then who would have made me question circ.
This is exactly how I feel about what I did/what happened to me and my first son. I did not research it enough and I regret it. For the nine months that I was pregnant with him (my first child) I was learning so much about natural birth and breastfeeding, that I didn't have enough time/brain power to devote to learning about circumcision or vaccinations unfortunately.

I do regret and sometimes feel guilty for the decisions I made or let be made for me, but I know there's nothing I can do to change them and so I don't beat myself up over them... but I have done and will do things differently with subsequent children

Jessica, wife to Rob (6/01), mama to Lewis (9/06) and Liz (5/08) and expecting a newbie (and my first homebirth!) in August 2010.
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#17 of 20 Old 04-12-2010, 01:35 AM
 
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your words have brought tears to my eyes. i've know for awhile now that i regretted the decision i took so lightly and let my husband make. i have avoided all the boards and anti-circ info because it's honestly too painful. but i recently looked more into some of the info and have been feeling sick about circ'ing my son four years ago. when he went in for the circ, they offered to let me go. i said okay because of course, i wanted to be with him. but when i went in the room, i saw the table they use and i realized i couldn't be in there. so i went to the waiting room and CRIED my eyes out among strangers. i was a first time mom who didn't know better and i didn't know i should have been listening to my instincts. i had no info and no one saying anything bad about circ'ing but my gut was telling me that this was not the right choice and i cried and cried. i wish someone would have shared some of these sites with me when i was pregnant.

i'm really glad that you are getting a restoration and i'm glad to know (this is the first i've ever heard of one) that this is even something that is possible. your parents obviously did an amazing job raising you considering what a big heart you have! Thanks so much for sharing your story. i'm hoping it will ease some of the extreme guilt i'm feeling.
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#18 of 20 Old 04-12-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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hugs, cekimom (and others)... I know it was accounts like yours written in the 'regrets' thread that helped me stay strong in protecting my son. There were many times when I almost gave in, but then I would remember the thread and knew I would not be okay.
It breaks my heart that just because circumcision was common there is so much protection (guilt, denial, stubborn refusal, etc) around the issue that many mom just don't even get enough information.
Jessica

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#19 of 20 Old 04-15-2010, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so glad I was able to help some of you.
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#20 of 20 Old 04-21-2010, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SH346 View Post
Also, I guess it's pretty important that I mention this. I'm sure most of you have heard of foreskin restoration. (I'm talking about the natural skin expansion method. Not one of those surgeries.) I've been doing it for about 10 months, and the results have been good so far. That's a big reason why I'm able to be so forgiving. When the time is appropriate, make sure your sons know they can get back most of what they lost.


It is impossible to get back most of what is lost and even if you could it would take years and many surgeries probably costing millions.


http://www.norm.org/lost.html
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