What made you decide to leave your son intact? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 73 Old 04-17-2005, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 5 brothers~ the first one was circumcised, the last 4 were not. My mother first opened the door for me to realization that circumcision is not necessary. She told me she would not have had my older brother circed, had she known it was not necessary. She also told me that an intact penis is easy to care for, and even told me her mistakes of retracting the foreskin to clean and then learning you are not supposed to do that.
Then when dd was born, my dh was in the nursery with her (while she was getting cleaned up), and he witnessed a circumcision. He said it was so incredibly awful, and that the baby screamed so terribly, that we would never do that to any son of ours. I agreed.
Also, while pregnant our OB told us that it is not medically necessary, so we felt even better about our decision. So it was never an issue with us. I feel very lucky that I had good information and support.
How about you?
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#2 of 73 Old 04-17-2005, 07:39 PM
 
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What made me decide? He was born with it, so he gets to keep it! Simple as that! I just figured if males weren't meant to have a foreskin, why would 100% of them be born with one?

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#3 of 73 Old 04-17-2005, 07:44 PM
 
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When I first found out we were having a boy, I wasn't sure if I wanted him circumsized or not. I thought, "Maybe it would be better for him to look like his dad, so he won't wonder..." But as I read more about it, I felt like it would be cruel to do so, but I still wasn't completely sure, my dh was uneasy about not having him circ. After he was born, and I heard him cry for the first time, I said "I cannot let my son cry out of pain for something that is so unneccesary!" He is so beautiful just the way he is!

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#4 of 73 Old 04-17-2005, 08:58 PM
 
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Okay, so I knew what circumcision was, in very basic terms for my teenage/adult life. However, I became truly aware of the facts slowly. First, as a teenager I learned that my boyfriend was circ'ed but his older brother wasn't. Years passed and we got engaged. I learned that he was NOT supposed to be circ'ed, but the doctors ignored my MIL/FIL and did it anyway. There was a lawsuit and they won a small sum of money. This was 1976. I later learned that his father and grandparents were all intact as well. My poor, lovely DH is the only one among them who was circumcised.

We discussed try to have a baby and I started researching 'everything baby' online. That is when I learned the real facts about what happens and why it's so awful. I showed DH what I found and he was appalled. He didn't know all of the details. He is very sad, but accepting about it and intends to restore. I dearly hope he does, for both our sakes.

I also had some real-life experience with intact men...but you'll have to search for that thread yourself. (And, no...it wasn't cheating. )

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#5 of 73 Old 04-17-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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As long as I can remember my mom talked about the horror of having to have my older brother circed at 3yrs old. The dr who delevered him didnt beleive in it and he beleived in bfing to. He was really ahead of his time this was back in the 60's. Well I am not entirely sure what went wrong but from what my mom has told me I suspect he didnt need to be circed at all just needed some meds for prolly a yeast. At any rate I still was against the idea of causing a baby pain. Something in me just keep asking why should I do this. Then when I got pg with my first I talked to my dh about it (he is circed) and told him that I would not have it done. It just didnt feel like the right thing to do. We had a daughter I never spoke to my mom about my thoughts on the subject cause I pretty much knew what would happen. Well when I got pg this last time we were trying for a boy. I ended up mentioning to her that I was not gonna circ. Well it pretty much hit the fan if u know what I mean :LOL

What it comes down to i feel if they r born with it it is ment to be there. I kept thinking about her saying much better to do it when they r born so they wont remember. Than to put them thru the pain later. And thinking well we r born with an appendix and we dont take it out at birth just cause it might cause problems later and other body parts to just dosnt make sence to do it "just in case". KWIM?
Now that I have the internet I have done the research on it and know that I was right to think this way. I still have no support for keeping my son perfect the way he is. And I know that my family his family and dh all r just waiting for something to go wrong so they can say I told u so. : but I am confadent that no matter what comes up I will be able to deal with it with the knowledge I have gained here and elsewere in my reading.

 
SAHMlady.gifread.giflovin' trekkie.giffan intactivist.gifwinner.jpg to loveeyes.gifenergy.gifDD 10/00 & superhero.gifmoon.gifDS 10/04 ribbonpb.gifIf your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumnocirc.gifCirc, a personal choice, Your sonsyes.gifbrokenheart.gif11/98brokenheart.gif6/99ribbonbrown.gifanti-tobaccoribbonyellow.gifThyroid cancer survivor. With cat.gif& goldfish.gif & (Boxer)dog2.gif wishing 4 whale.gif&ribbonwhite.gifsigncirc1.gifselectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gif

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#6 of 73 Old 04-17-2005, 09:40 PM
 
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I saw no point.

We are not religious, and circ is painful.

My son is 16, and ever 16 yrs ago, I knew there was no way you could snip off a body part and not have it hurt.

My son was born at home, not vax'd, breastfed, CD'd, and why would I screw up a nice, gentle homebirth with surgery?
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#7 of 73 Old 04-17-2005, 10:42 PM
 
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Ok, I don't have a son, but anyway...

This question is really weird for me,I grew up in Europe and until I moved here it never ever in my life occured to me people would circumcise their sons for different reasons that a medical one or religious one.If someone had mentioned that to me a couple of years ago I would have looked at that person like he was an alien.So, there you are..
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#8 of 73 Old 04-17-2005, 11:18 PM
 
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my body, my choice....

his body, his choice.

// nak
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#9 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 12:03 AM
 
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Well, my first son was done because my husband insisted and I was not educated on the issue so I reluctantly allowed it since I thought the daddy *had* to know better than me about this stuff. My son had meds for pain but they did not work because my dh said he screamed the entire time. He also had complications as the plastibell got stuck to his penis and the skin grew to it; so when they went to remove it (cause it did not fall off ) he bled horribly. He had infections and such and was just in so much pain for several weeks. I hated myself for letting that happen to my baby and vowed never again! I researched everything I could find and told my dh that it would not be happening to another baby boy of mine ever. To make a long story shorter... I have 2 more boys now and they are intact and if I ever have anymore they will be intact as well. This mothering board has been a wealth of information for me!

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#10 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 02:27 AM
 
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I read (in The Baby Book, which got lambasted in a thread here the other day) that it was not medically neccessary or recommended and almost never needed later in life, so, since I wasn't having the baby's tonsils removed 'just in case' (duh!) I didn't wanna cut up his penis. I had a bit of a go-round with DH, but once he knew what I knew, he was against it too.
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#11 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 05:25 AM
 
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I'm American (and both of my brothers are circed), but dh is British and intact.

It was never an issue. The first time I was asked whether or not we'd circed ds was when I called a friend in the States to let her know that ds had been born.

My reaction was instinctive and horrified - holding my sweet, defenseless newborn in my arms, I could not fathom why anyone would imagine I would hand him over to have part of the most sensitive part of his body cut off.

That began my obsession with the subject - but I was very fortunate to live in the UK and have an intact dh, so circumcision was never even on the radar screen.
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#12 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 08:56 AM
 
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I chose not to for a few reasons. For one, when I found out I was having a boy I had this instictual deep down sense of dread regarding the subject, but I thought to myself, "it is what is done so there must be a good reason", so I went on a hunt for things to ease my mind and tell me that there was a reason to do this. What I found was a MOUNTAIN of reasons not to, to my relief. With the information on my side I knew there was a compelling reason not to have it done.

Then I had to get over the "percieved social pressures" to do it.. "he will be different, he will be made fun of, girls wont like it" and then I looked at my own experiences. I was lucky enough (if you want to put it that way haha) to have experiences with three uncirced men in my "day". One born in the US, one born in Australia (living in NZ) and one born in England (living in Canada) and all three seemed perfectly happy and glad they got to keep their foreskin. They were 100% happy and had no desire to be any different. So I figured, even if my son is a bit different than his friends (I live in the SW so this is becoming more rare anyways) I truely believe he will love his whole body too, having never been the other way and will be glad when I explain to him I decided to protect him from pain and harm and social pressures to change him so soon after birth. I do consider myself lucky to have been exposed to the intact penis, I feel bad for soo many american women who cant even picture that possibility and cannot get over the unknown.

I also never had a problem sexually with my intact partners and saw it as definitely more help than hinderance *giggle*, I wish my husband was intact but I dont have the heart to tell him that. I am just eternally greatful he agreed with my research and is in 100% agreement about our boy and future boys, if it should be, to stay intact.

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#13 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 09:58 AM
 
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I found out what a foreskin was, what circumcision is, and that it's not necessary, all in the same conversation when I was about 10 years old. Just the basics, but it stuck.
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#14 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 10:10 AM
 
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I honestly never gave the infant penis much thought until Bradley childbirth classes. Once informed I became a believer in the "rightness" of Mother nature.


I also agree with Klothos, by leaving my son his foreskin, he has a choice. If after the age of 21 he wants it done, the decision will rest with him, not with me. I will have done my job as mother protecting his body until he was "old enough" to understand the issues.
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#15 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 10:20 AM
 
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I came across a a book in "new age" bookstore in New England many years ago. I don't remember the title but it talked about circ and restoration. It was a good education on the subject. I decided then to never ever to that to a child.

When I met my dh, I had been recently single from what I thought was my life long partner....boy was I WRONG! I was 30 and really angry to find myself wanting a family with no husband on the horizon. I decided I needed to raise the bar a bit and get all of my parenting/lifestyle questions on the table pretty quickly so I didn't waste time on the wrong dude! Very soon into the relationship, I asked him what he thought about homebirth/midwives, what he thought about breastfeeding & cosleeping.....and we were in agreement right from the start! When I asked about circ he said...and I quote: "No way....and frankly, I'd like mine back!" That was when I knew he was definately marriage material! We have a solid relationship and are on the brink of ttc our second child. We are hoping for a boy.

The main arguement I use when discussing circ is that regardless of whether you believe in a higher power or evolution, we are here to procreate, and no design of procreation would include a flaw in the reproductive organs. It really is a perfect design!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#16 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 10:21 AM
 
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When I was pregnant with my daughter, and facing the decision, I had reluctantly decided to leave the decision up to her (circed) father (the "he has the penis" theory, that I now loathe). We were definitely leaning towards not doing it (I mean, really, when you put the "cultural" nonsense aside, and just read the procedure as an objective, sane human being, it sounds like torture, plain & simple).
We had never made a final decision on it, which was ok because we had a baby girl. But I know myself, and I know that if she had been a boy, there is no way in hell I would've let them take him away from me knowing what they were going to do when it came right down to it.

Between that baby and this baby (6 years), I became way more educated on the matter. It was a no-brainer this time, and I told my fiance (different person than my daughter's dad) that our little boy would be circed "over my dead body".
He's from the south, and had never even heard of anyone NOT circing--he just assumed it was something we'd do--, but he quickly realized how serious I was, agreed to read some information, and agreed with me that we would not circ. To be perfectly honest, even if he had "put his foot down" about it, I would not have signed the consent form and "overruled" his wishes, and dealt with the consequences. There is not a snowball's chance in hell that I would let someone do that to my son.
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#17 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 12:15 PM
 
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When I got pg with ds, I knew nothing about circumcision and assumed we would do it. Then on BabyCenter I went to the circ debate board and got mired in all the "does it prevent UTIs, does it prevent cancer" arguments. That was very confusing, but then I saw the pictures of circumcision, and that was it. That is why it is so important to be able to advocate using pictures and videos - it generally works! I told dh no way would my baby be circ'ed and we fought for awhile so I just told him I would divorce him but our child would not be circ'ed. He knew I was serious so he read the material and now is a huge intactivist.

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#18 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 12:45 PM
 
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Here in Scandinavia male circ is viewed with same horror than female circ. No one does it(you couldn't probably even find a doctor willing to do it here). My DW is American but she was against circ even before we met.

My American MIL asked if we were going to circ our son(she is a nurse) and was very happy that we didn't.
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#19 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 12:49 PM
 
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Honestly... : I knew nothing and really had never even thought about circumcison when my son was born. I was youngish, single, the pregnacy was totally unplanned, and I don't think it ever even occured to me that my baby might not be a girl. :LOL I had a homebirth, and a crunchy NP so circ never came up.

When my son was about 4 months old and I was introducing him to his paternal grandmother she asked me if I had circ'd him. I had this moment of totally confusion...I guess until that point it had never even occured to me that that was something I might do...or that other people did. I answer "Why would I do that?" Paternal grandma got all huffy and walked away.

But that conversation is what started me researching, and led me to be intactivist

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#20 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 12:57 PM
 
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I let my dh decide and he didn't want to do it. :

I probably would have had a really hard time doing it even if dh wanted it done. I think part of the reason he decided against it was he could tell I didn't want to do it. Cutting your child's genitals just seemed like such an awful thing to do even without doing any research.

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#21 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 12:58 PM
 
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Two things! A great deal of respect for mother nature and an awareness to question circumcision which was given to me via an ex-husband who was angry about being circumcised.

I asked a similar question almost exactly a year ago. If you would like to read the posts (and there are many) here is the link http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=151410

I think it could be very informative to parents who haven't given it much thought to read stories like these.

I look forward to hearing more stories.
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#22 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 01:08 PM
 
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I remember having a conversation with my mother at some point when I was a teenager about circumcision (I don't know how it came up!). She told me that had I been a boy, I would have been circumcised... but then when she was in the hospital after having me, she saw the circumstraint board, and turned *immediately* to my dad and said "if we have another child, and it's a boy, he's not being circumcised." (They didn't have any other children, tho.)

Then, when I was dating dh, we used to go to bookstores (we are dorks!). One day he picked up a magazine and read an article... in retrospect, I realized he picked up a copy of Mothering! :LOL At any rate, after that day, he was very anti-circ, and actually went and confronted his mother about why she had him circumcised! She parroted out all the old stories, and when he informed her that they had been discredited, she just shrugged and said "Well, it's still cleaner. You will thank me one day." (That day hasn't happened yet, obviously!)

So it was pretty much a non-issue - both dh and I knew we didn't want to circ. We found out more about it in Bradley classes when we were pregnant with dd, which further solidified our decision.

Now, I'm really glad that it was dd who was born in a hospital, and ds who was born at home, if for no other reason than we didn't have to worry about circumcision being performed without our consent.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#23 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 01:36 PM
 
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I remember as a teenager hearing my mother say that if she had known what circumcision was, she would never have allowed it to be done to my brother. She said they took him in another room and then she heard terrible screaming and they brought him back. She had no earthly idea what circumcision even was. She always said if she had another son she would never allow it -- she only had daughters after that tho.

I have known a couple other people over the years to say circumcision is unnecessary. When i went exploring on the topic myself, long before I was ever TTC, the AAP statement that it's a cultural choice rather than a medical one was plenty of information for me. Why would I subject my child to a painful surgical procedure for no medical reason?

DH is circ'ed but when I brought up not circ-ing with him he pretty much listened to my opinion on it and said "okay." I think he didn't have an opinion one way or the other before I told him about it, but he agreed pretty readily that he didn't want to put our baby through any pain!
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#24 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 02:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae
What made me decide? He was born with it, so he gets to keep it! Simple as that! I just figured if males weren't meant to have a foreskin, why would 100% of them be born with one?
:

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#25 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 02:49 PM
 
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Seeing pictures of a circumcision being performed in a book I was cataloging. I worked at the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, IN as a student. It left quite an impression on me. I did further research when I was married and we were talking about starting a family.
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#26 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 03:09 PM
 
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I never gave it a second thought. I figured mother nature put it there for a reason, who am I to say she was wrong in doing so.
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#27 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 03:38 PM
 
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I have always been opposed to them for as long as I can remember. I can remember 2 instances from when I was quite young (under 10 years old) that helped make up my mind. One was when I was around 8 and I saved up my pennies to order this anitomically correct baby doll from a magazine. When he arrived he was intact (I SO wish I knew where I found that doll!) and I asked my mom why he didn't look like my brother did. I can't remember her answer but I do remember it was a change of subject LOL. I just thought the doll looked natural and like he should....then a year or two later we went to visit my aunt and uncle who had just had a baby boy. I can replay this memory clearly in my mind. My aunt asked my mom to help her change the diaper because she needed help with circumsicion care (I wondered what this big word meant), I asked my mom what a circumsicion was and she showed my my mutilated nephews penis and how she had to apply vaseline to his raw wound so it wouldn't stick to the diaper. I don't remember if I verbalized it or just thought it but I know I at least though, "well why did they do that to him, what made him like that?" When we got home from that visit I remembered my doll and somehow put 2 and 2 together and realized the tragedy of it all. My nephews poor mutilated penis oh so vivid in my mind. I then thought to myself that I would never do that to my child (ren). It was many years later before I thought on that again. I was in nursing school on on a OB rotation, I was having a meeting with a teacher when I was told a child would be coming in for a circ. they offered to let me watch and I said no way, that I was against that. I stayed in the next room over and continued to talk to my teacher....then I heard the screams, the blood curdling screams, the most horrific thing I had and still to this day have ever heard. Screams of pain...I felt like I was going to be sick and I left the room. I mourned for that poor child and for the un-necessary pain he was left to endure. I couldn't make myself go back in his mothers room (hard to do since I was working on the OB floor) for fear I would yell at her in an attempt make her realize the horror that her son had been through. That only solidified my stance all the more and I swore to myself then and there that I would NEVER do that to my son. Years later when I was married and became pregnant I told DH how it was and explained to him that it was not an option. He was reluctant at first since he was circed but I showed him the photos and the stories and told him it would only happen over my dead body.....

So here I am with 3 intact children, able to learn of the horrors from others experiences and to save my own children the unnecesary pain and suffering that is part of this barbaric procedure.
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#28 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 05:37 PM
 
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We left the little one the way he was born.

We had the doctor and the lady from the Lamaze class confirming that a circumcision is not necessary. I am also not circumcised myself and therefore from experience that everything still works just fine that way.

We had some people mentioning that "it" looks much nicer when being circumcised but I think the trade-off for that is way too big. If you are being judged by someone on how your penis looks, that other person has much bigger problems than what you think.

Christoph
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#29 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 06:39 PM
 
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I just figured it wasn't my penis, therefore it wasn't my decision :LOL
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#30 of 73 Old 04-18-2005, 08:18 PM
 
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Two reasons: 1. I come from an intact family. My father and brother were left as nature intended them, and my brother told me he was happy he wasn't circ'ed. My father passed away when I was 11 years old, so I never found out how he felt about it. I don't think he would have told me; his generation was pretty close-mouthed about such things. :LOL
2. My midwives were very well-informed and educated us about the issue. I was especially impressed with my Jewish midwife who went against her religion and left her sons intact. I figured if she could leave her sons whole, then so could I.
I am soooo happy that I never circ'ed my sons. They're grown now, and they like their bodies the way they are.
I am also elated that so many young mothers are questioning circumcision and are choosing to leave their sons whole. Congratulations to ALL of you!
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