Will I EVER stop feeling bad - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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for circing my son? It really bothers me, and makes me angry at myself for what I allowed to be done to him. For thinking I was educated, but really not knowing anything about it. I know it was a horrible thing to have done, but I can't change it now. And thank goodness there's no complications (that we know about anyways).
I'm definitely going to be trying to educate people about how barbaric circing is- I don't want anymore children to be subjected to this, and I don't want anymore parent's feeling as horrible as I do for having it done. So I guess my feeling bad IS doing some good- kwim? I'm actually a little upset that my friend who didn't circ her son didn't say anything to me about it. Well, not upset- I just wish she has told me how stupid it was to circ. She's very into "to each his own" and all that, but still...
I just really really really feel awful. I can't talk to my dp about it- it makes him feel pretty awful too (and I had left the decision up to him- so he's the one that made the decision to do it- not that that makes ME feel any less bad). Last night I was talking to him about how stupid people are, and telling him about the "needles don't belong near penises" post on here yesterday. I wasn't talking about circing OUR ds, just how stupid the practice is in general. Dp was in tears, and said he didn't want to talk about it, we can't change it now, and if we have the decision to make again, we definitely WON'T do it.
But it's kinda consuming my head. kwim? I don't know what I expect to find here- it's kinda silly to want to get reassurance from an anti-circ community. But at least I'm anti-circ NOW. Too bad it's too late to prevent my ds from going through it.....
Will I ever stop feeling so awful about this?

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#2 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 01:48 PM
 
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Oh, your post made me want to give you a big, comforting hug, and I don't even know you!!!!!

All I know is that time truly does heal. Eventually this will not be so all-consuming. I can't tell you not to feel guilty - I would never presume to tell someone else how to feel. But I hope that your crusade to inform other parents about RIC will help to ease your pain.

I'm so sorry you're going through this.

Ann

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#3 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 01:49 PM
 
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We all have made a mistake with our kids that we have a hard time letting go of. I know I have a couple and when I think of them I get really upset and I am working on forgiving myself. I am extremely anti-circ but I do understand that we live in a society were you can think you are informed on issues like circ, vaccines, breastfeeding and still not have a freaking clue. You know better now and are doing your best to educate other parents , that you should be truly proud of. I am so sorry you , your dh and son have all been abused by our system.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#4 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 01:55 PM
 
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I don't think that you'll ever stop regreting circ, but it may become a smaller part of your memories. As you son reaches age 2, 3, 4, and beyond, you will fill your mind with many more decisions and ideas and doubts about your parenting. I hope it stays at #1 of the "things I wish I didn't do" but you'll fill the rest of the list, I'm sure. That's not a cheery thought, but I think it's a truism of parenting.

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#5 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 02:21 PM
 
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When you know better, you do better.

Don't be so hard on yourself....be hard on the flippin' US medical community and drs for perpetuating this horrendous practice out of GREED.....in fact, make yourself feel better, go sue the dogsh$t out of the person that performed your son's circumcision. If I had a son and I had had him circumcised bc I was too ignorant to know there was an option, that's what I would do.
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#6 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 02:30 PM
 
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I hope this makes you feel better. to you!

The founder of NoCirc, Marilyn Milos, circ'ed her own sons. She had her children in the 70's, and had them circ'ed as a matter of course, without even thinking about it. After her kids got older, she returned to school to become a nurse.

While in nursing school, she witnessed her first circumcision and was appalled. She cried when she realized what she put her sons through. She became a maternity nurse and told new parents the truth about circ. Well, that didn't win her any favors from her bosses, and she was fired. After her firing, she started NoCirc.

Her story has a happy ending; she now has intact grandsons.

So, this is what you can do: 1. leave any future sons intact, and 2. inform other people so they don't go through what you did. That's what Marilyn did; she turned her anger and regret into action. You can do the same.
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#7 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone (especially for not bashing me- but I didn't figure that would happen- you all seem like truly commpassionate caring understanding people).
fwiw, I'd consider myself anti-circ (now). Not just "well, you shouldn't do it, but it's a personal decision" kwim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by njeb
So, this is what you can do: 1. leave any future sons intact, and 2. inform other people so they don't go through what you did. That's what Marilyn did; she turned her anger and regret into action. You can do the same.
definitely will be doing those 2 things
I'm going to focus on turning my "regret into action." who knows how many people I will affect?!

I really hope I don't do anything that I regret more than circ'ing!!! But we're smarter now- about lots of child related stuff.

Quote:
Don't be so hard on yourself....be hard on the flippin' US medical community and drs for perpetuating this horrendous practice out of GREED.....in fact, make yourself feel better, go sue the dogsh$t out of the person that performed your son's circumcision. If I had a son and I had had him circumcised bc I was too ignorant to know there was an option, that's what I would do.
you know, that's funny was just thinking this morning that I'd write a nasty letter to my OB who performed the circ (gosh, how freakin stupis WAS I?) about how uninformed I was about it, and that it was her ethical responsibility to tell me that it was 1. an unecessary painful surgery 2. to cut off a normal natural useful body part.
Not to get anything out of it, just to make a point. kwim? Is it really possible to sue? Hasn't that been done before and lost?

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#8 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 03:25 PM
 
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There was a case in North Dakota not too long ago. A woman sued the hospital and doctor where her son was circ'ed. The circ turned out just fine - no complications, but when she later learned more about the procedure, she felt like she hadn't received enough information to give an infomred consent.

She lost.

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#9 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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I'm so sorry your family was abused by the medical system. I always say that doctors are the ones truly responsible for the whole circumcision thing.

I think your pain will ease when you get involved with the intactivist (anti-circ) movement. Some upcoming day you will talk a mother out of circ'ing her baby, and it will make you feel pretty good. It's like the good you do cancells out a little of the bad. You will always regret the decision you made for your son, but it will wane. It is like a grieving process, you heal over time, but always miss the person (or foreskin) that is gone forever.

*Hugs*

Edited to add that I totally support writing a letter to the doc who circ'ed your son telling him/her exactly how you feel about it. It will help you release some tension and guilt. And I want to suggest sticking the anti-circ icon in your siggy. You are anti-circ, you can use it.

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#10 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 03:49 PM
 
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Oh Becky~ huge to you Mama.
the pps are so right and I just have to echo the sentiment 'when we know better, we do better'.
you are an amazing Mama to your Sweet Babe! i hope you are able to give over this guilt and find peace soon . there are many things in my life that i regret, and they are things that could truly consume me if I let them, in fact there have been times when they have its a horrid way to spend precious moments, precious time .
Each day we try to do the best we can and 'when we know better, we do better'
be gentle with yourself Mama. give yourself some of your motherly love and understanding.

natural birthin', baby catchin', cloth addicted, intactalactavist mama of 12/00, 6/03, 10/07, 8/10 & our angelcubs three
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#11 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 03:59 PM
 
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Oh, yeah, and I just remembered something... I wrote a letter to the hospital after I gave birth to my son. The hospital had stuck the circ consent form in with the stack of paperwork they had me fill out when I got there in labor. I wrote them about the consent process being really uninformed, and that I already had no circ in my birth plan, which they had a copy of. I also made a point of it being wierd to HAVE to decline an elective cosmetic surgery. The hospital actually changed its policy because of my letter. I don't know exactly what they do now, but they took the consent form out of the standard paperwork.

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#12 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenOfThePride
And I want to suggest sticking the anti-circ icon in your siggy. You are anti-circ, you can use it.
good idea- done!

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#13 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 04:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deva33mommy

you know, that's funny was just thinking this morning that I'd write a nasty letter to my OB who performed the circ (gosh, how freakin stupis WAS I?) about how uninformed I was about it, and that it was her ethical responsibility to tell me that it was 1. an unecessary painful surgery 2. to cut off a normal natural useful body part.
Not to get anything out of it, just to make a point. kwim? Is it really possible to sue? Hasn't that been done before and lost?
If it were me, I'd seriously look into suing, but that's because that's how and where I feel that my anger and activism would be best served. It would be time consuming, most likely expensive, and mentally and emotionally taxing and frustrating, but that's just how I think I'd feel my time and energy were best spent (but who knows how I would feel if I really were in your shoes? this is really just speculation).

You might find your anger and sadness best directed in some other arena and in a different manner....in the letter you mentioned writing, in becoming very acitve in nocirc or some other anti-circ organization like someone else mentioned, in discussing the topic with local Lamaze classes or parenting groups, or even in just hounding the crap out of every pregnant woman you see (especially if you happened to be standing outside the doors of the local hospital or your ob/gyn clinc.....heh) until they decide to look further into the topic.

The point is that you'll feel much better about things if you become active in the anti-circumcision movement. You are absolutely right, it WAS the responsibility of your OB to let you know what the deal was with circumcisions.....here's the thing, though.....if he or she really informed you of the truth (thereby acknowledging the truth themselves), they wouldn't be doing circumcisions in the first place. I think I saw recently that the Journal of Medical Ethics published a piece on circumcisions....maybe you could include that in your letter. And then ask her wtf in the world she could know about male anatomy considering that she has certification and training only in female anatomy......eh, but don't get me started....
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#14 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 05:06 PM
 
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Great ideas above. I just wanted to say, no flames here - I thank my lucky stars every day that I learned the truth about circ before I had a son. And that my parents only had girls because we would have been circed for sure if we'd been boys.

My dad was born in 1938, made it to adulthood intact, but then chose to be circed while he was serving in Viet Nam at age 28 or so. The story I always heard was "infections" (something to do with the jungle ) but now as an adult my theory is that he gave in to peer pressure. My point is, having grown up with the idea that dad had to be circed as an adult because of "infections," I always thought that foreskins were disease prone, yucky, etc. I never slept with any intact men either so I had no basis for comparison.

But for finding Mothering.com and this board while I was pregnant, I might have circed my son under the well-meaning but entirely misinformed notion that I would be sparing him the trauma of adult circ.

So what I'm saying is, there but for the grace of dog go I in your shoes, and you won't get any flames from me.

I am becoming more active in the anti-circ movement precisely because I want to spare not only baby boys but also their parents the pain and guilt of circ.


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#15 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 05:18 PM
 
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There is a place in this movement where the truth hits you and you "get it," if you research and think about it enough. It's becomes so obvious that you can't imagine that you didn't think about it before.

It's like going to a morning matinee movie. Inside, it's all cool, dark and comfortable. The movie ends and you step out into the noonday sun, into the blinding white light. It's so obvious that it's blinding so that you can't see anything else until your eyes adjust. But eventually, they will adjust and you will be able to see clearly. Likewise, your mind must adjust to the blinding white light of the truth of circumcision and it will. It will just take a while.



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#16 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 05:24 PM
 
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Frank, for me that moment hit the day Dustin Evans' death was reported in the paper. Up to that point I was "pro-parental choice", even though my own sons were intact.

It had simply never occurred to me that a perfectly normal, healthy baby could actually DIE from circ complications. That single event threw me face-first off the fence and into the strongly anti-circ camp.

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#17 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 06:27 PM
 
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for being anti-circ now.

If you want to pursue the sueing route, have you thought about sueing not for money, but simply to get the word out? Sorry if someone already mentioned that idea, I haven't read all the posts.

~Nay

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#18 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 09:25 PM
 
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Think of it this way - if you do start telling others what you know now, you can save other boys. You won't have prevented your sons circ, but you can prevent the circ of other boys to balance out your circ karma so to speak.

Also I'm sure some moms & dads would be more willing to listen to someone coming from the 'I did it and regretted it' - I'm thinking of someone who might see a typical intact-son mama as being 'holier than thou' or just wacky/crunchy/granola (insert your name of choice for informed people who actually think about what they do.) - maybe you could convince someone who wouldn't be convinced by someone else.

Thanks for sharing that you wish you had been told and that it would have made a difference to you. I am very hesitant about discussing the topic with pregnant friends or other family because I hate the conflict, and I already have that crunchy granola label on me. I try to lead by example, but its hard to do for circing because its not like everyone examines and discusses my sons penis at family parties.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#19 of 32 Old 10-07-2005, 10:03 PM
 
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Please listen to me. You haven’t done anything wrong as a parent. Just made one bad decision for your son. Remember we all are human we all make mistakes. Cant change the past. But you can change other peoples opinions of circumcision. Tell other people that want to know more about it. As to why you were wrong about your decision. It might help. Look in the mirror. Do you see a hate full mother who intentionally hurt your child. Or do you see a very caring mother who only wanted the best for her son. Who did everything she knew about it to find out whether it was the right decision. Who did it cause she cared about her son. The second part is the way I see you. A very carrying mother that feels bad about her decision. Its obvious who you are and you should be proud to be who you are. Coming to grips that you made a mistake and actually admitting it! That takes allot to do. I am sure I probably would not been as strong as you are.
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#20 of 32 Old 10-08-2005, 03:24 AM
 
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to you
It is so painful to hear of a momma's regret.
I too am grateful to hear that you wish your friend had talked to you. It somehow opens the path to sharing more out of love and concern than imposing on another.
Be gentle with yourself, you need loving too!
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#21 of 32 Old 10-08-2005, 12:17 PM
 
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You are obviously such a great mother - it takes a very big person to admit they made a mistake, especially with their child. Your son is lucky to have a mother who is willing to reevaluate decisions on new information, and admit she's not perfect.

I would DEFINITELY look into suing, and if you don't have the energy, DO write your OB a letter telling her how angry you were that she essentially performed malpractice by failing to inform you before getting your consent.

As a pp said, you have a unique ability to reach more parents, being someone who's been there, done that, and regrets it terribly. You won't come across as the high-and-mighty but as someone who just doesn't want anyone else to feel what they feel.
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#22 of 32 Old 10-08-2005, 12:38 PM
 
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I'm kind of in the same situation as you I guess. My oldest DS is almost 12 and he is cut. He had a "generous cut" which I am VERY thankful for now but still, he was circ'd. He has some minor problems as a little guy with adhesions but thankfully we have a great Ped. who knew to just leave them alone and that they would resolve themselves (which they did). With him we just knew NOTHING about circ and went on the advice of our OB who told us "whatever Dad is the son should be" so w/o researching we said okay and had it done.

Since then we've had two more DS's (and two DD's too) and they are intact. I have to admit that I'm really proud of our decision to leave them intact and make a decision based on what's best for our children instead of what best serves DH's ego. It was a harder realization to come to for DH but he came to it on his own in his own time. I gave him info and he did the work within himself to realize we couldn't do this again.

Do I still feel bad about circ'ing our oldest DS? Yeah, I guess I do when I think about it. I mean I wish we had left him the way he was, but we didn't and it's done now and I can't change that. We've had very long talks with him about it; why we did it to him and about why we chose to leave his brothers intact. He's VERY happy with our decison to not cut his brothers. The great thing about my DS though is that even with all the information he's still happy in himself as a person. He knows that not having a foreskin doesn't change the person he is inside. What makes him so special and amazing is his heart and his mind, not the condition of his penis. I look at him and I'm amazed at the incredible young adult he is becoming and know that even though we made a bad choice when it came to circ he's still a well adjusted, incredibly intelligent, loving, affectionate, deeply feeling boy.

You have the opportunity some day to make the same decision we made when it comes to future sons. A lot of people gave me a hard time about chosing to leave my other two sons intact after having one cut, but we know we've made the right choice and we're happy with it. I'm thankful that my oldest DS is the person he is and that he's happy with himself. I'm also sure that as DS's 2 & 3 get older they'll be happy with themselves too.

~ Patti
mom of 5
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#23 of 32 Old 10-08-2005, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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About sueing, we REALLY don't have the money. I'd definitely have to start working- and honestly, my son is better off with me staying home with him. kwim? But oh, I'd love to if money were no object. I am definitely writing a letter (I've been thinking about what to say all morning now ) and I may mention in my letter that I ought to sue. But that's all I can do as far as that goes.

KatScarlett- thanks for your story. There is no chance in the world I would circ another baby, but it's good to hear that it hasn't negatively affected your first ds. He sounds like a great kid, too

and thanks all for saying that I sound like a good mama. I try- and yes, I re-evaluate what I do all the time- and I am not afraid to admit when I'm wrong. And I have to say, that there are a lot of things that we ARE doing right. I sincerely doubt in 5 years I'll wish I had spent more time being considerate of ds's wants and needs!!!! lol. So...that's good.
And you know, the awful part is that I WAS hesitant about it. I DID look into it. But *everything* I read said "it's a highly personal decision" ugh. So, I guess in my mind if it's a highly personal decision, then it must not be BAD. I should have known. But that's taking me down that useless road of wasting my energy feeling bad. So...I'm going to take that energy and put it into letter writing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo
Also I'm sure some moms & dads would be more willing to listen to someone coming from the 'I did it and regretted it' - I'm thinking of someone who might see a typical intact-son mama as being 'holier than thou' or just wacky/crunchy/granola (insert your name of choice for informed people who actually think about what they do.) - maybe you could convince someone who wouldn't be convinced by someone else.

Thanks for sharing that you wish you had been told and that it would have made a difference to you. I am very hesitant about discussing the topic with pregnant friends or other family because I hate the conflict, and I already have that crunchy granola label on me. I try to lead by example, but its hard to do for circing because its not like everyone examines and discusses my sons penis at family parties.
Wow! I can/have made a difference in 2 ways! I've thought of that before, that I may have a bigger impression because I did it and really regret it, and I won't come off as "I'm trying to make you feel the way I do" but rather as "I really don't want you to make the mistake I made." And even though I'm quite anti-circ now, I really do understand how someone would think that it would be a good idea (given that they don't have all the info) kwim? So I can be understanding too.

And definitely- share your opinions about circing! I'm sure it wouldn't have taken much for me- just hearing from one person/source that it's NOT just a "personal decision." I can almost guarantee that if someone had told me that the foreskin was a normal, natural, useful body part THAT would have been enough. And if THAT didn't do it, all they'd have to have done was after that mentione that surgery would cause pain to my newborn baby. So even just mentioning that stuff could really change someone's mind!- that doesn't even really go into any controversial stuff. How could one argue with those points?

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#24 of 32 Old 10-08-2005, 05:26 PM
 
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Becky, I can relate to your feelings of regret, although our situation is different. When I was pregnant with my son I decided I didn't want him circ'd but dh was VERY pro circ. It was something we argued about most of my pregnancy and it was extremely stressful. To make matters "worse" our dr. even told us that circing was not necessary and that the AAP did not recommend it. Even that did not change dh's mind. In the end, I gave in for the sake of peace in our marriage and I will never stop regreting it. I remember meeting a French woman in the waiting room the day we brought him in for his circ and when she found out why we were there she was completely horrified. Ds is almost 29 months now and although the intense anger, hatred, etc. I used to feel towards dh when I thought of how he made me circ ds is gone, I still am remorseful. You could say I could have just refused to let him be circ'd, but when you are emotional after giving birth, it is easy to just give in and be convinced it is the right thing to do. Especially since dh is circ'd and he says he has no regrets.

Anyway, there is good news!! Dh has come around and agrees that circ is not necessary (still doesn't think it is barbaric because he is circ'd and knows no different). We won't be circing any future sons and he is very sorry what he put me through emotionally, and of course what we did to ds. Ironically dh seems to regret more the pain he caused me than ds-again I guess because he is circ'd himself and doesn't think it is a big deal. Sorry to write a book, I just wanted to let you know you aren't alone and there are many people out there who understand the pain and regret of circing our sons.

Blessed mama of four
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#25 of 32 Old 10-08-2005, 07:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deva33mommy
About sueing, we REALLY don't have the money. I'd definitely have to start working- and honestly, my son is better off with me staying home with him. kwim? But oh, I'd love to if money were no object. I am definitely writing a letter (I've been thinking about what to say all morning now ) and I may mention in my letter that I ought to sue. But that's all I can do as far as that goes.
You may not need to have any money depending on the strength of your case. Attorneys involved in this issue will often take a case to make legal precedence and will take the case on a "contingency basis." That is, they will take your case if they think there is a fair or good chance of winning and there will be no up front attorney's fees. The attorney gets his fee only if he wins the case for you. No win . . . No fee. There may or may be some minimal costs such as the fee to file your case . . . probably less than $100.00 and there may or may not be some costs for other things like copying cost to get birth records, but all minimal and some attorneys will negotiate and loan the money for those. If you are interested in pursuing this, I would check this out.



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#26 of 32 Old 10-08-2005, 07:40 PM
 
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Deva I feel bad every time I change a diaper. My son is only 6 months old & even though I knew about circ I was not getting around it due to my religious DH. I can;t tell you the feeling will ever go away, I can only tell you that you are not alone.

I am searching for a movement in the Muslim community like that which has been started by some Jews I know in Israel, for example, some people opt out of the bris milah (religious circ on the 7th day + a naming ceremony). Some Jews now do something called the bris shalom. Shalom means peace & there is no circ involved.

I don't think I could ever forgive myself. The only up side is that DH is now even questioning it & searching for religious doctrine commanding it. We, over my dead body, would not be circing anothe baby.
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#27 of 32 Old 10-08-2005, 09:52 PM
 
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Becky,

I just wanted to say that my circed son is now 10.5 years and I felt a great deal of relief & forgiveness when I was able to apologize to him after his brother was born.

I did not choose to circ my son (the dr. thought the consent had been signed, because the nurse told him it had, performed the circ and then had to deal with my husband. I have never before or since seen my dh SO ANGRY) but I was able to explain it all to him and apologize. I also asked him to promise not to circ his children when he is a dad. He promised

Maybe when he's older you can explain it to him? Tell him you're sorry, etc. I hope if you do, that it is as helpful as it was for me.
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#28 of 32 Old 10-09-2005, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for that, Frank. I'm going to look into it a bit more. I read in another thread that they aren't allowed to solicit circ'ing. Well, the doc was the one that brought it up. So that's one thing.
Also, I was looking around for some legal stuff, and it seems that part of "informed consent" in some states is that... well something about if I had known certain facts that I would have decided against it. Like if I had known that the foreskin was a USEFUL body part. I'm not certain she even went over the risks of the surgery. I really want to see the consent form I signed. I bet they'll send that in response to my letter- lol.

I gotta go- ds is pouring birdseed all over the kitchen floor!! lol

But thanks for that- it certainly would be nice to set some sort precedent.

Becky

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#29 of 32 Old 10-09-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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I don't know about soliciting consent . . . I think that would make a pretty weak case but it could be a point in court along with other things to build a case.

Unfortunately, case law is established in judicial circuits, not nationally, so it is not uniform and the laws can be slightly different all over the country. Right now, the gay marriage issue is being fought out all over the country with different judges coming up with different things. That issue is high profile enough that eventually, there will be a pretty much homogenous law all around the country but it will be a long time before that is true of circumcision issues. That is why we need lawyers.




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#30 of 32 Old 10-09-2005, 12:58 PM
 
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Here's a link for you to check out: http://www.arclaw.org/

Maybe they can offer some advise.

Good luck and
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