didn't circ - fielding questions from family - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 04-11-2010, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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we didn't circ our son (he's one month old now), my mom came over last week and i asked her to change his diaper for the first time. well, when she was done, she came out and said, are you going to circumsise him? (we had a homebirth) i said no and no other questions were asked. well, fast forward a week, i am talking to her on his one month bday and out of the blue she asks why we aren't circ him. i was caught off guard b/c i took her silence after i said no a week earlier to be accepting. i guess not. i am not a big debater and just pretty much told her i did a lot of research on it, found it not to be medically necessary and when talking to our ped he said it was more of a cultural thing rather than a medical neccessity so we decided not to do it. i told her i saw pics and read about the procedure and didn't want to put my son thru it, besides, i felt that God designed us perfectly and that i didn't want to mess with that design as the foreskin provides much needed lubrication and protection so why take that away. she took all of that in but i'm sure it wasn't the last i'm going to hear of it. i even went so far as to say that my husband was the first to question the procedure (he is circ) and that was when i did my research. my hubby has said if he would've had a choice he wouldn't have had it done, it was never a matter of wanting his son to "look like him". anyway, have any of you dealt with people/family asking about your decision and how did you handle it? i'm sure my mom won't be the last. it's not something i tell people right off the bat tho i would love to be more open about it if it comes up.
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#2 of 24 Old 04-11-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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Give her this:

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

It's long, but it is written by doctors, so many will look at it as authoritative and it covers all the main issues.

Or give her this:

http://www.circumstitions.com/Docs/itsaboy.pdf

or

http://www.luckystiff.org/circumcisi...umcision-4.pdf

Shorter ones that cover some of the "locker Room" issues as well.

Or you can turn it back on her by responding, "Why would I amputate a perfectly healthy functional body part?" And then wait patiently with a quizical look in your eye....

You can print these off and have them on hand whenever the subject comes up.

Regards
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#3 of 24 Old 04-11-2010, 01:12 PM
 
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I would keep the answer as simple as possible and not leave anything up for discussion.

"We don't think anyone other than the owner of the genitals has the right to decide what they should look like. We thought a decision about cosmetic surgery should be left to the owner of the body."

Or even a very simple - "why on earth would we cut up his genitals...ewwww and why are you so interested in your gransdson's penis anyway?"

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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#4 of 24 Old 04-11-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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Your mother has not educated herself about circumsion like most Americans.
Stick to protecting your beautiful son.
My son is not circumcised, is 12, and has had no issues!

Loving wife and mama to 3 happy, healthy, home born children
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#5 of 24 Old 04-11-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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Your mother does not sound like the pushy type, but is in the process of taking in new information that she probably has not considered before. Like most other Americans, she probably always considered circumcision as a given, but now she is learning there are other factors involved. You already gave her a lot of good info and food for thought. If you do get more questions, I would think it would be an opportunity to educate her a little more about whatever concerns she expresses. She sounds supportive but curious, so I don't see being flippant with her as being appropriate or necessary.

I think you handled it well. Gillian
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#6 of 24 Old 04-12-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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I think this is a bit harder of a situation then regular education. Any brothers? Did your mom consent to circumcision for them? That would have me treadly lightly, giving little bits of info as she asked for it and framing it as a consent issue...e.g. parents were tricked and lied to in many cases.

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#7 of 24 Old 04-12-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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I don't think her asking why means she's disapproving. It could just mean she's never thought much about it before (either because she didn't have boys, or because she did and it was just something that was "done" at the time). I think it's good that she came back to ask why and get more information about it.
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#8 of 24 Old 04-12-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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I planned in advance how I'd handle it if my mil asked any questions (she never did, but may in the future!)
(hypothetical convos)

mil: oh, he's not circumcised?
me: Nope! God made him perfect, and He doesn't make mistakes!
(because she's religious and that phrasing would probably make her think)

mil: aren't they more prone to infection?
me: that used to be the belief, but now we know that it was improper care, forced retraction, and aggressive cleaning that caused the problems. If you just leave it alone, no problem!

mil: (any kind of statement regarding dh's having been circed, or not knowing back then about any of the facts I brought up)
me: Back then they just did it automatically most of the time unless the parents went out of their way to say no. Most drs never discussed it with parents or made it clear that they had a choice. And its not like you had google back then to learn these things!

..to smooth over so she doesn't feel like i'm criticizing her choices, taking the blame off her and onto the hospital staff. No sense laying on a guilt trip for something she can't change, and wont have the opportunity to repeat

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#9 of 24 Old 04-12-2010, 05:33 PM
 
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I'd be asking these people why they're so fixated on a newborn's penis.
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#10 of 24 Old 04-13-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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I've only had it come up once and I just said, "Our doctor said he didn't recommend an unnecessary procedure" or something like that.

A supportive military wife and mama to my busy boy and sweet girl.
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#11 of 24 Old 04-13-2010, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone!!! i saw my mom on sun and we talked some more about it. she said she never really thought about it before. she said her dad wasn't circ'd and when she brought my brother home from the hosp (she had my bro very young at 18) when he saw that he'd be circ'd he said in spanish that they mutilated him. i don't think he'd ever seen/heard that being done before. I'm assuming my uncles are all intact since my grandpa said that about my brother. It was interesting to say the least and come to find out my mom is very supportive of our decision not to circ and I actually was happy to know that my grandpa is happy looking down on his great grandson from heaven. LOL It almost seemed like my mom was sad that it had been done on my brother b/c she said they never even asked her in the hospital. This was also in the time where they bound her breasts b/c they said she shouldn't breastfeed. Sheesh! Anyway, thanks for all the great replies! I'm so happy with my decision & have become very interested in spreading the news to everyone tho I'm not. It's not something easy to bring up I am guessing.
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#12 of 24 Old 04-18-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by guineverelady View Post
It almost seemed like my mom was sad that it had been done on my brother b/c she said they never even asked her in the hospital. .
Obviously your Mom was just curious. I feel bad for her and the many moms out there who were bowled over by the medical establishment and either never asked, or were told a bunch of lies. She will probably turn out to be your biggest supporter.

I would encourage you to spread the truth whenever the opportunity presents itself.
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#13 of 24 Old 04-19-2010, 03:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Obviously your Mom was just curious. I feel bad for her and the many moms out there who were bowled over by the medical establishment and either never asked, or were told a bunch of lies. She will probably turn out to be your biggest supporter.

I would encourage you to spread the truth whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Thank you! I bet she will. I do want to spread the truth so much that I've been reading more and more so I can be better educated when people in my life bring it up or have baby boys of their own. In fact, one of our friends is pregnant with her first boy and I'm DYING to bring it up somehow, but it's succh a personal subject, I have no idea how. Maybe, the opportunity will present itself. You just never know. I know another friend has approached me about vaccinations that I never thought would so you just never know. I'll keep my fingers crossed she just asks me out of the blue what we did and then I'll have the perfect opening. I'm just so glad to have found this group.
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#14 of 24 Old 04-24-2010, 06:13 AM
 
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My mom was very curious when we had our DFS, who was intact. She said she had never seen one since my 3 brothers were circ'd before she saw them . She didn't say anything about it until several months later when she mentioned my SIL and brother wanting to have their 10 mo circd and she was talking about how awful it was. She is very supportive of not only my intact son but also my little nephew who remained intact

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#15 of 24 Old 04-24-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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In fact, one of our friends is pregnant with her first boy and I'm DYING to bring it up somehow, but it's succh a personal subject, I have no idea how. Maybe, the opportunity will present itself. You just never know.
You could casualy ask if they have given any thought to the subject of circumcision in case the doctor asks. Then offer some info that you found particularly helpful. It IS a personal subject, but I have found that people are invariably willing to talk about it. I have never been told to mind my own business !! How many regretful mothers have stated on this board "if only someone had said something (I would have left DS intact)"? I feel that it is always worth the risk to reach out, because if you don't and the poor little guy looses his foreskin, you will really regret not saying anything.
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#16 of 24 Old 04-27-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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My grandmother was the only one to ever ask me this while I was changing DS2's diaper. She asked if we were going to circ him. I said no...I told her it was becoming less and less common nowadays and that there weren't any real medical benefits to doing it. Her only response was, "Huh. I don't even think we had a choice when my boys were born...they just wheeled them away."

It was probably the first uncirced penis she'd ever seen and the first time she'd ever thought about the subject.
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#17 of 24 Old 04-27-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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I don't think her asking why means she's disapproving. It could just mean she's never thought much about it before (either because she didn't have boys, or because she did and it was just something that was "done" at the time). I think it's good that she came back to ask why and get more information about it.
I agree! Honestly, I don't think a lot of my parent's generation would realize what is going on with circumcision. Most boys in the US were done when they were having kids and I just think many are surprised that it's changing.

I'd take this as a good thing! Let her know and help educate her.
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#18 of 24 Old 05-03-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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Glad I came across this thread. My mother caught me off guard by asking me why we didn't get DS circumcized. She was worried that he'll get more UTI's.

Ryan 08-28-08  & Julianna 5-3-11
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#19 of 24 Old 05-04-2010, 01:45 AM
 
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When MIL met DS for the first time he was less than 24 hours old. He was wrapped in a blanket and naked when she held him. The blanket slipped and MIL saw that he was intact.

She went on and on about how gross it is to be not circumcised and then asked DH why he wouldn't do it.

DH simply said, "Have you seen the size of his penis? You want to make it smaller?"

MIL has never mentioned it again.

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#20 of 24 Old 05-04-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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My Dh just automatically when asked if he would(we ended up with both girls) responds with "why would I have part of my son cut off?". He says it as if the idea is the most absurd thing he's ever heard. The person asking usually cannot answer.
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#21 of 24 Old 05-05-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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DH simply said, "Have you seen the size of his penis? You want to make it smaller?"

.
That is SO FUNNY - I would love to have seen the look on her face !!!
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#22 of 24 Old 05-06-2010, 11:21 AM
 
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My mom (who did choose to or allowed my brothers to be circumcised) asked if were planning to circumcise DS. I had been expecting this question and wasn't sure how I would respond... but in the moment, it just seemed like SUCH a crazy idea that I'm sure I looked horrified and said, "He is SO tiny- I cannot IMAGINE handing him to someone as saying, 'Here, cut off a part of his penis! That's awful.'" That was the first and only time she's asked. I'm still wondering when I'll have that conversation with MIL; it's possible she and my mom have already discussed it. I would LOVE to have heard that conversation...

I'm not sure when/if I'll even have a conversation about proper intact care. We live far away, so it may not even need to be discussed.

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#23 of 24 Old 05-13-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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I would have said the same thing.Your mum did what she thought was best at that time.She'd like you to circ to validate what she did otherwise she will need to come to terms with having circumcised her child.It is a very difficult thing to deal with.You alter the sexual life for your child forever,so you want to believe it was a good thing like you were told it was.
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#24 of 24 Old 05-13-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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My mom (who did choose to or allowed my brothers to be circumcised) asked if were planning to circumcise DS. I had been expecting this question and wasn't sure how I would respond... but in the moment, it just seemed like SUCH a crazy idea that I'm sure I looked horrified and said, "He is SO tiny- I cannot IMAGINE handing him to someone as saying, 'Here, cut off a part of his penis! That's awful.'" That was the first and only time she's asked. I'm still wondering when I'll have that conversation with MIL; it's possible she and my mom have already discussed it. I would LOVE to have heard that conversation...

I'm not sure when/if I'll even have a conversation about proper intact care. We live far away, so it may not even need to be discussed.
If there's a chance they will ever change your baby's diaper (or giving them a bath), you might want to bring it up. My DH's grandma offered to change DS1 once when he was very tiny, and I don't know that we had even said anything about his intactness before that, but as she was changing him she said "So what do I do with this to clean it? Just skin it back and wipe?" and I pretty much FLEW across the room saying NOooooooooooooooooo..... You can imagine how scared I was that she was going to try to retract him! Anywho, for people who have never had to deal with an intact penis before, I think it's just a good idea to give pointers. I made sure to say something to our daycare back when I was working, and to the women in the nursery at church, etc...anyone who might be changing their diapers.

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