Concerned about today's prenatal re: DH and "my" no circumcision choice. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Today at my prenatal appt (I'm almost 28 weeks) I'm planning to bring up a list of questions for my MW (it's a CNM practice inside a hospital.) One of the things on the list is that I don't want the baby circumcised (we know he's a boy! orngbiggrin.gif)

The thing is, with my DD we didn't find out the sex ahead of time, and our "in case of boy" plan WAS to circ, because at that time I hadn't read much of anything, and DH wanted it for all the usual mainstream DH reasons (to look like him, because it's just what "everyone" does, etc, i.e. nothing based on any real evidence.) Plus, our CPM at the time recommended it, and gave us the name of a "good" doctor who used a special clamp, etc. Blah, blah, blah...

Well, THIS TIME around I have been reading here on MDC, on websites, etc, and I feel pretty strongly that I do not want to circ our boy. When we found out our LO is a boy, I mentioned to DH that we have some "big issues" to discuss since he's a boy. DH's response-- "Can't we just enjoy this for a while? Let's not talk about that stuff right now."

And you can guess that he has NEVER brought anything up about it since. DH hasn't been very involved in this pregnancy anyway, hasn't read any birth stuff, etc. He does come to prenatals with me, and wants to know, in general, that I am healthy and so is the baby, but that's about it. I don't plan to count on him for labor support, even though he says he "needs to be there with me every second", internally I am thinking "for what?" because he's not very in tune with me now anyway.

So...I'm sure I have a battle on my hands today and am NOT looking forward to it. greensad.gif I wanted to get him to read something and come to HIS OWN conclusion, but I think hearing me tell the CNM "absolutely no circ" is going to be pretty clear to him that he's not a part of the decision.

Thoughts?






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#2 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 07:09 AM
 
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Do you think he knew what issues you wanted to talk about? Seems like he took himself out of the decision-making process when he refused to discuss it.

 

ETA: Just read this back and feel the need to apologize for being so abrupt. I think I was reacting from a place of frustration with MY DH, who doesn't participate in parenting decisions as much as I think he should. Plus, I just watched an upsetting circ video, so...duh.gif

 

What I should have said is this: Congratulations on your boy and your decision to protect him! I know it's hard to make a choice you know your DH will disagree with, but ultimately this choice should be left to your son. Good luck today and stick to your guns!  You are doing the right thing!!


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#3 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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First, congratulations on your healthy pregnancy and boy! Sorry you are feeling somewhat "alone" at this special time.

 

I'm betting that he knows (a) what you mean, and (b) what your answer will be, and he's just ignoring it since he probably knows in his heart that he will not change your mind. Maybe letting him have some space to mull it over, and let HIM bring it up is the way to go?

 

Maybe you'll be lucky, and this will all just scoot along, and you can just say a simple, "no" when you're asked at the hospital? Or when your midwife asks? Maybe you won't have to be too vehement?

 

Lots of folks on TCAC say that the "default" should be no ... and that a dad should have to PROVE that circ is beneficial in order to convince you to agree. Not sure if that made sense. But maybe you could use that approach with him, just say a simple, "no" whenever asked, and if and when HE brings it up, calmly say, "oh, you want to discuss this? great!" and try to have a rational, non-emotional (as much as possible ... it's a very emotional topic for ME, and it would be hard for me to stay calm...) discussion, putting the impetus on HIM to prove to you that it is measurably, definitively beneficial for your son to endure this procedure (wihtout pain meds) versus leaving him alone. I'm betting that he can't convince you, and you can just say, "I'm so glad we had this discussion, and glad that you're so concerned with our son's well-being. However, I am still not convinced that he will benefit from this procedure, so the default is still no."

 

Hang in there. I know this must be hard. But have confidence in yourself and your instincts! Go mama!

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#4 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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God bless you for wanting to protect your little guy from circ'ing. 

 

I can't say I've been in your position, fortunately, my DH was immediately convinced when I brought him the no-circ info.

 

I think the PP's gave great advice, especially about trying to remain non-reactive.  It is difficult for men to accept and internalize that their penis isn't what it "should be" or what their wife thinks it should be.  Marilyn Milos said: "It takes a very strong man to not pass this wounding onto his son."  And I think what she meant is that, a man has to be comfortable in his own skin and feel good about himself separate from his sexual identity to be open-minded about his son looking different.

 

I would start with a common sense approach: "Do you even remember what YOUR father's penis looked like?"  "As an adult man now, do you really care what your father's penis looked like?"  

 

Also, most people that circ their son's don't realize where the practice started in the U.S., it began in the Victorian era as a way to stop masturbation.  Intact men don't need lubricant to masturbate plus the foreskin has 20,000 nerve endings (and in some cases, the penis is 25% shorter than Mother Nature intended it to be after a circ).  So, the thought was to leave boys with little to no way to masturbate (it's not like they had lotions and KY Jelly back then) and make it more difficult for them to be aroused to begin with.  A circ'ed penis is covered with layers and layers of keritinization that makes the glans much less sensitive and difficult to achieve sensation (especially as the man ages).  The term they used back then was "moral hygiene."  Which has contributed to the "hygenic" myth. 

 

Also, it's worth mentioning that the sale of foreskins and the insurance reimbursements is a billion dollar a year business.  The hospital/doctor WANTS your son's foreskin to sell to cosmetic and biopharmaceutical companies!  So, they will threaten you with UTI's and hygiene and prevention of STD's (none of which is true). 

 

Have him watch a circ video, if he can't watch one or is unwilling to, I can't see how he could consent to it.

 

Honestly, if it comes down to it, protect your son at all costs though.  I think if he is still in disagreement about it after your son is born, then you can look at the doctor/nurse/whoever and say: "I understand he's telling you that he consents to this surgery (cause it IS a surgery) but I'm telling you, that I will sue you if you do it and it won't have anything to do with my husband.  I do NOT consent to it and there will be trouble if it's done." 

 

I can't imagine that any doctor or nurse is still going to circ your son if you verbalize your that adamant about taking legal recourse if they do it. 

 

Some people may disagree with me about that, but my son's protection would be more important to me than my  husband's self esteem.

 

 

 

 

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#5 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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I was in a similar position with my ds2 (dh's ds1). I told dh that I did not want him circumcised. I tried to discuss it with my dh several times. He sort of listened but I don't think he ever really took it seriously. I tried to get him to read about it but he wouldn't. His reasoning is that he doesn't need to read the stuff because I'll read it and tell him about it. Well, that's not exactly the same but whatever. Personally, I think it's his way of avoiding responsibility. He leaves the decisions up to me so he can't be blamed if something goes wrong.

Anyway, when it came to the time in the hospital I ultimately left the decision up to my dh. I foolishly assumed that since I had talked to him many times about what I wanted and why that he would do the "right" thing. He didn't. He had my boy circumcised. He's now 7 years old and it still makes me want to cry if I think about it too much. I very much regret that I didn't just tell my dh it wasn't going to happen. I was trying to include him in the decision-making like everyone says you should do with your partner. Never again. With ds3 and with this new baby boy I'm carrying, I will not allow circumcision no matter what my dh might say.

Luckily, my dh seems to be indifferent about it. He's never made any negative comments or had any strange reaction to ds3 being intact. I mean, if I left it up to dh, he would probably circumcise them all just because that's what is done, not because he thinks it's necessary or important.

My point is that you need to stick to your guns no matter what anyone, even your dh, says or does if this is very important to you. If you don't, you may end up regretting it horribly like me and once it's done, it can't be taken back.

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#6 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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I had that experience with my dh, who is a loving, wonderful man but was REALLY PO'd at me for making him actually think about this. Here was my experience:

 

 

1) Less talk is better. Dh handled it better in small, gentle doses, while doing dishes or at dinner, etc.

 

2) Don't kill him with facts, as it will make him retreat and "fortify his mental defenses." My dh didn't listen to half the well thought out facts I carefully chose to bring. Keep it simple is a good ideahere. It's not necessary. It should be the owner of the penis' decision

 

3) Do not even casually mention the sexual side effects (I know others might disagree with me here, but it just made my dh defensive). Know that for yourself, but tell Dh that his penis is fabulous and the sun rises and sets on it yadda yadda... It is very important to your husband that you reassure him that he doesn't have anything wrong with him. In my opinion, most of the problem men have with leaving their sons intact is that they don't want to acknowledge in any way that circ is harmful. If you don't make them face that head on, your path forward will be much easier.

 

4) If he doesn't want to talk about it, don't. But be prepared to stand very firm at the hospital. You are an unmovable oak tree. Let the wind howl all it wants wink1.gif My dh was grateful to me in the end, and saw what I meant only after the baby was in his arms. You might not reach a consensus with you dh.. and that is ok. He'll be fine.

 

 

Congrats on your boy mama. They are wonderful!


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#7 of 15 Old 03-15-2011, 08:18 PM
 
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Congratulations on your growing baby boy!  I am so happy to see you so educated and aware of protecting your new baby.

 

Remember, if your husband is circumcised, he is a victim/survivor of circumcision.  He likely does not identify himself as a survivor of something painful with life long consequences.  To look at this issue, research the facts and decide NOT to do this to his son is asking him to admit and agree that what was done to him is not good to do to his son.  He may likely feel anger and resentment at his parents and doctor, be worried that he is sexually less than he should be and grieve a loss he had no control over suffering. What looks like a very simple decision for a mother to make - to protect her baby from unnecessary pain - is a much more complicated issue for a circumcised man.  I think women who are partners of circumcised men need to understand that is is far more complicated than straight logic for our partners.

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#8 of 15 Old 03-18-2011, 11:32 AM
 
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I agree, I told my dh simply that we wouldn't. I printed stuff up, put it in the bathroom. Our son is intact and he didn't argue. I know some think I am crazy because of it, but my son is healthy, happy, and whole. I am very greatful for all taht.


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#9 of 15 Old 03-18-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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This is funny.  All of the comments about their DHs reactions and "not wanting to talk about it"... mine exactly!  Our son had some complications and spent time in the hospital after birth.  I didn't want him circ'd, and DH was leaning towards doing it.  Before discharging him, they asked if we wanted him circ'd and DH said after all he's been through, let's just leave him alone.  Phew! 

 

But of course, prior to that point, he never wanted to talk about it.  I just lucked out.  Or should I say our son just lucked out. happytears.gif


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#10 of 15 Old 03-19-2011, 08:17 PM
 
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I wish more moms would just do this!!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tammylsmith View Post

 

4) If he doesn't want to talk about it, don't. But be prepared to stand very firm at the hospital. You are an unmovable oak tree. Let the wind howl all it wants wink1.gif My dh was grateful to me in the end, and saw what I meant only after the baby was in his arms. You might not reach a consensus with you dh.. and that is ok. He'll be fine.

 



 

 


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#11 of 15 Old 04-21-2011, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here. Update! I convinced my husband!!! orngbiggrin.gif We are leaving our little boy intact! We had a big discussion after we saw a tiny baby girl (like, newborn) getting her ears pierced in the mall. I said no way, that I wouldn't do that to my DD unless SHE asked me to get her ears pierced. DH gave this huge sigh and said "yeah, yeah, yeah, I KNOW" It was so loaded I could tell there was more beneath it. He said he wasn't ready for the "battle" because he "knows I don't want to circ" and that he has to do his homework first to go against me. (greensad.gif)

So I told him (later) that I had read a lot and went in thinking that yes, we were going to circumcise our son, but that the things I read cleared up a lot of misconceptions for me, and that I was very opposed to having it done. I said he could read for himself, and then we could talk. I said that I had two main articles that were stand outs for me, in terms of what had the biggest effect on me. So, I put these two pages up on DH's laptop and sat next to him while he read:

Nine Davids 50 Reasons to Leave it Alone

Circumstitions-- It's a Boy! Now What?

He read both and said he had no idea about XYZ, etc. He clearly had quite a few reasons up his sleeve, but these two articles gave him the info he needed. (He NEVER would've taken it from me, it always has to come from a "reliable" source... greensad.gif

But I am SO RELIEVED that we are on the same page and have FINALLY made a decision! Thanks, mamas for all your input!



p.s. I told him (later) that it was a darn good thing he came around, because there was no way I was going to let it happen anyway. (Kind of joking, kind of not... redface.gif)
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#12 of 15 Old 04-21-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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joy.gif

 

Woo hoo! Congrats! Now you can go on to more important things. Isn't it a relief? I was actually really upset after we had ds that such a big deal has to be made out of it in the first place. Now it is a bit of a joke between dh and I. Still a touchy subject. He still doesn't want to go into the details, but he feels like we did the right thing.

 

 


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#13 of 15 Old 04-30-2011, 09:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauchamp View Post

OP here. Update! I convinced my husband!!! orngbiggrin.gif We are leaving our little boy intact! We had a big discussion after we saw a tiny baby girl (like, newborn) getting her ears pierced in the mall. I said no way, that I wouldn't do that to my DD unless SHE asked me to get her ears pierced. DH gave this huge sigh and said "yeah, yeah, yeah, I KNOW" It was so loaded I could tell there was more beneath it. He said he wasn't ready for the "battle" because he "knows I don't want to circ" and that he has to do his homework first to go against me. (greensad.gif)

So I told him (later) that I had read a lot and went in thinking that yes, we were going to circumcise our son, but that the things I read cleared up a lot of misconceptions for me, and that I was very opposed to having it done. I said he could read for himself, and then we could talk. I said that I had two main articles that were stand outs for me, in terms of what had the biggest effect on me. So, I put these two pages up on DH's laptop and sat next to him while he read:

Nine Davids 50 Reasons to Leave it Alone

Circumstitions-- It's a Boy! Now What?

He read both and said he had no idea about XYZ, etc. He clearly had quite a few reasons up his sleeve, but these two articles gave him the info he needed. (He NEVER would've taken it from me, it always has to come from a "reliable" source... greensad.gif

But I am SO RELIEVED that we are on the same page and have FINALLY made a decision! Thanks, mamas for all your input!



p.s. I told him (later) that it was a darn good thing he came around, because there was no way I was going to let it happen anyway. (Kind of joking, kind of not... redface.gif)


 

I went into researching circ thinking I would... Now, there is no way ever. I am happy for your little baby boy :) He will get to experience life with less pain and trauma. Great for you mama!!


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#14 of 15 Old 05-05-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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I'm so proud you managed to change his mind!joy.gif
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#15 of 15 Old 05-05-2011, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

I'm so proud you managed to change his mind!joy.gif

Thanks! Me, too. I am so relieved. He can be really stubborn and never believes facts he gets from me, they always have to come from a certified third party. eyesroll.gif

The funniest thing he said after he read the two links was (after reading about the sexual function being compromised by circ) "All I could think when I read *that* was gee, thanks Mom!!!"

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