I will begin by saying this thread is hypothetical! But wondering how other mothers would approach this...
When my first DS was born, it was a surprise. REAL surprise. As in - the first time DH & I were ever together (he was my boyfriend then), the condom broke, & we were pregnant. I literally never took a pregnancy test until I was 12 weeks because I'd only had sex once!! I was 18 then, and then I was 19 when he was born. It was a very complicated pregnancy and he was born 4 lb 11 oz (IUGR, preeclampsia, & hole in his heart)... but healthy. Just him being alive was such a miracle and so overwhelming. Plus I was young and clueless.... I knew NOTHING - nothing, nothing, nothing about parenting, let alone circumcision. After all, I was a girl, my younger sibling was a girl, and none of my friends or siblings had their own children yet.
So when the nurse came in on day one and said "Is he going to be circumcised?" I just stared blankly at my DH. She decided to leave us alone to talk about it and it turns out - he knew as little as I did. All he knew was that he WAS circumcised. We asked our parents, but all THEY knew was that they circumcised their boys.... (none of them seemed to have a reason why or why not). So (yes, I am ashamed..) we basically said "Sure, circumcise him".
Here we are 33 months later, and DS is a happy healthy little guy. But now, DH & I are married, and we are adults with a clue. We now have new addition DD who is 3 months and DH just got a new job that also gave me the chance to have a new job.... SAHM! We are starting to talk about and think about when we'd like to have another baby (we're not ready just yet, but we've become responsible planners ), and we're covering a lot of things that are new issues for us now that we are AP/NP parents. Today while taking about whether or not we are going to vaccinate DD, we stumbled across whether or not we will circumcise again if the next baby (or any future babies) is a boy.
If you had to name your top 5 reasons NOT to circumcise, what would they be? And have any of you ever been in a situation where you have previously circumcised a child, and then not his sibling? I don't know how I would explain why he is different from DS & DH.. but I also don't see that as enough of a reason to do it. Any thoughts here?
Sleepy, running, wife to DH 08/09 - Mama to DS 8/08 & DD 1/11
"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. " - Japanese Proverb
SAHMlovin' fan to DD 10/00 & DS 10/04 If your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumCirc, a personal choice, Your sons11/986/99anti-tobaccoThyroid cancer survivor. With & & (Boxer) wishing 4 &
If that were the case in our family, though it is not, I would explain to them just like I do other things. When you know better, you do better.
My top 5 reasons were/are...
1. Instinctual. It just didn't feel right. We had no rhyme or reason and we didn't know anything with our first baby, but something about circ'ing him didn't feel right.
2. As per my beliefs, it's not Biblical. That was important to me to find out. I actually studied it out in the hospital with my mom and mil. LOL
3. It's purely cosmetic.
5. It's his body and not my right to take something away and make a decision that is not mine to make.
Tina ~ SAH- head Mama to -
DS (07/'03), DD (05'05), DS, unplanned UC (01/'09), DD (06/'11) ...
SURPRISE! New little one, due Sept. 2013
1. It's not my body, so it's not my decision.
That was really all that mattered. :)
Other reasons included that it's completely cosmetic and not recommended by any medical organization. So why do it?
we were in the same situation about 2 years ago before I got pregnant with ds2. We were just casually discussing it, dh and I, and I told him if we ever had another boy we would not cut him. We got into a HUGE fight about it, but then forgot about it since I wasn't even pregnant anyway. fast forward 2 weeks, and surprise! I am pregnant! It was not discussed the entire pregnancy except to ask our HB OB if he performed the procedure, which he did. Fast forward to the birth, which was amazing and perfect and everything we wanted, and the topic never came up. So I was relieved that I won by avoidance! He is now totally an intactivist, and we both regret circing our first son. But when the time come where they possibly ask why one and not the other, we will just tell them that we were very ignorant, and when you know better, you do better. I don't give reasons for not circing, to me it's just abuse.
None of the ideas expressed above are actually mine. They are told to me by Luthor and Ferdinand, the five inch tall space aliens who live under my desk. In return for these ideas, I have given them permission to eat any dust bunnies they may find under there.
First of all, I applaud you for even considering leaving any future sons intact. Many parents who have circumcised once refuse to even consider an alternative - I think they may be afraid they will learn that they made a mistake that they can't fix. You are a wise 22-yr-old!
Next, I second Nickki's statement above - when you know better, you do better. There are lots and lots of things that parents do today that were different from what their parents did - we put our babies to sleep on their backs, we put carseats rear-facing for a lot longer, for example. When I was a kid, practically everyone had their tonsils out; now tonsilectomy is much less common. Did our throats change? No - but our understanding of how the tonsils work has changed.
The same is true of circumcision - with the added complication that there is a lot more myth and misunderstanding regarding foreskins than tonsils.
Rather than ask "What are the reasons to not circumcise", I suggest you approach it from the opposite angle: "What are the reasons TO circumcise?" You will quickly discover that no medical organization in the world recommends infant circumcision for medical reasons; the potential benefits do not outweigh the risks and harms. So the reasons to do it are social and cosmetic.
I've heard from a lot of parents in your situation. When the older one asks why baby brother's penis looks different (which will probably happen eventually), you gently explain that when he was a baby, you thought it was best to have his foreskin removed, but since then, you've learned that it isn't necessary, so you didn't have it done to Baby. Most older brothers respond with gratitude that Baby didn't have to have an operation, and it isn't a big deal.
My reasons for leaving my sons intact (this was 17 years ago, before we had Internet access, so there was no research involved):
1. That's got to HURT! We didn't want to cause our babies any pain.
2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
3. Circumcision is a social custom that we didn't feel obligated to continue.
4. It can always be done later; it can never be un-done.
5. Baby boys are born with a foreskin - it must be there for a reason (even if we didn't know what the reasons were at the time).
Again, I congratulate you for giving this topic careful consideration. You are a good Mommy!
If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.
Glad to see this post. Im actually in a similar situation Ds #1 was circumcised and now we have DS #2. I didn't want DS 1 to be circumcised but gave in because of DH. DS2 was born just 2 weeks ago and unlike the first born we left the hospital with him intact. We however planned to have his pediatrician do it at his 2nd week check up. My DH and I did not even discuss circumcision during the pregnancy it wasn't until he was born that it came up. I was against it but felt that we would go through with it just as we did with DS 1.
After having him home with us I really got the chance to think things though, day by day as I held and nursed my little I felt more strongly that this is something I could not allow. Surprisingly when I told my DH I did not feel good about this he said if you dont want to do it we dont need to. Normally we would have circumcised him today but we just couldn't
Oh Azik'smom! I am so happy to hear this! Congratulations on the birth of your son- and congratulations to you and your husband for allowing yourselves a fresh start with a new baby and freeing yourselves from the cycle of circumcision. What a relief it is that you are letting this day go by with nothing but cuddles and nursing.
I always pray for people who leave the hospital with an appointment at a later date for circumcision, pray that someone will say something, or that the light will fall just the right way on their baby sleeping, maybe a song will come on the radio, or they will remember something they were trying to put out of their mind- I hope they will suddenly snap awake to what it is and slip free from all the holds circumcision has on them. I dream of mothers who call their pedi in the AM and say, "We aren't coming in." or maybe even crying in a waiting room... suddenly gather strength and pick up that punkin'seat- and walk right out- not even offering the receptionist an explanation... I pray for little miracles like that. I hope that with peace and privacy at home their fractured emotions from hospital disruptions will collect into a storm of love and that love will say- "this baby of mine is perfect just the way he is."
I am so happy for you and your family that you had the peace to think and gather your courage and put your feet on the ground. The hospital circumcision practice catches mothers when they are literally flat on their backs... I always imagine that if we could just delay circumcision long enough for mothers to be standing- many more mothers would stand their ground.
Congratulations again! -Love Sarah
I wrote the 50 reasons, but if I were to pick 5:
1 - It's his body and should be his decision.
2 - Penile skin removal is risky - babies have died, been seriously injured (beyond the loss of their foreskin).
3 - It's not necessary; there is really no medical indication for foreskin removal other than "male live birth." Not good enough for me to let a doctor cut my son.
4 - 99% of guys with foreskins are happy with them, but if he's not happy, it's reversible - he can always have his foreskin removed on his own terms.
5 - I'd rather look my adult son in the eyes and tell him I left the choice up to him, than have to apologize for skinning his penis without a *damn* good reason.