A small novel to help in the healing process - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-01-2006, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My name is Rebecca. I was blessed with three boys and one girl. My three boys are circumcised and I have been doing research this past week about circumcision. I first started questioning it a slight bit in the last few months. My nephew is intact due to problems at birth and they were unable to circumcise him. I have found myself advocating keeping him intact without even really knowing why. I started thinking more on the subject after talking with Yoshua. I made a comment about the Case against Circumcision board and he let me know his thoughts. He is quite the advocate for keeping boys intact. We talked back and forth all this week through PM's and IM's. He even encouraged me to post on the board though I have to admit I was a bit intimidated by the idea. I was not sure how it would go over. I had a lot of things going through my mind at the time and wasn't sure of much of anything. I was also dealing with some unexpected feelings that came to surface which had little to do with circumcision; at least I couldn't initially figure out the connection. Yoshua was unwavering through all my questions and doubt. He always had a way of making his point without offending me or making me feel like I should be on the defensive. I have made the decision after much thought that circumcision is indeed wrong and unnecessary. I really have Yoshua to thank for encouraging me along. I have a thread in Case against Circumcision if you are interested in following a small part of my journey. Here are my stories.

My oldest son has a typical circumcision as far as I could tell. He is now eleven years old. I remember when he was circumcised in the hospital he was five days old. He weighed four pounds five and a half ounces. They weren't sure if they were even going to circumcise him because of his size, but decided at the last minute to go ahead with it. I remember being so upset when they brought him back to me and I changed his diaper the first time. It looked so sore and raw. I remember when the doctor came in to look at him and check the circumcision my son's hand inadvertently hit his penis separating the skin along the shaft from the head of his penis. I remember thinking that probably wasn't a good thing and the doctor even commented about that not being helpful. They just advised me to keep changing the bandage for a couple of extra days and he would be fine. We never had any other issues and his circumcision seemed to heal fine. However, now I wonder, after looking through some of the pictures, if he will have issues when he hits puberty. His circumcision looks very similar to this photograph I found on one the sites showing complications. http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/images/slide8.jpg. The remaining skin under the head of his penis is a bit tighter than the one in the picture. I always thought it healed that way from the way he hit his penis. I never even thought about it until now. I can only pray that he won't encounter problems as he grows and matures.

My middle son was circumcised at three days old. I never even thought anything of it. I just viewed it as a procedure that was done. He had what I believe is termed a loose circumcision. He didn't even appear to be circumcised most of the time. The head of his penis remained covered unless we pulled the foreskin back which we were told to do at each cleaning. He started having issues with adhesions when he approximately six months old. I was told by the pediatrician to just be sure I pulled his foreskin back and clean really well. He showed us how to pull the skin back so that the entire head was exposed. I remember how much my son cried and screamed when we did this to him. I was supposed to do this each diaper change so the adhesions would not return. I couldn't do it all the time, so I would try to do it once a week. He would cry for a day or two each time we did this to him because the skin was torn from his penis and it would cause pain upon urination. The pediatrician finally referred us to an urologist who recommended we have him circumcised again. He said the adhesions would keep coming back and the re-circumcision would prevent further issues. At eighteen months old my little boy was re-circumcised. After the surgery, we were brought to him and he seemed just fine. When the doctor came in, he wanted to show us how to care for his penis as there were eighteen stitches just below the head of his penis. You couldn’t see them when you took off his diaper because the remaining foreskin was still covering most of the head of his penis. The doctor instructed us to pull the skin over his penis and gently clean around the stitches. My son would scream and cry because of all the pain he was in, but we were told the stitches would become infected if we did not clean it properly. My son spent the next several years in fear of anyone touching penis. We taught him how to clean and pull the remaining skin over his penis, but we still would have to clean it sometimes for him. It took my husband and me to clean his penis. My husband would lie across him so he couldn't move and I would pull the skin back to clean it. I tried to by gentle, but it didn't matter. We continued doing this until he was close to five years old. He is now eight and he is in charge of cleaning his own penis. The head of his penis is still covered about halfway and he spends a lot of time pushing on his penis to get it back in what skin remains. He said it feels weird if it is out and he does not like the feeling. I would also get on him about doing this because it bothered me to watch him constantly pushing on his penis. I will no longer be reprimanding him for this as maybe it will help to save some of the sensitivity that I am sure will be gone once he grows and matures. I can only pray he doesn't loose as much as his brother who never had any skin covering the head of his penis.

My youngest son was circumcised at three days old as well. He has a loose circumcision as well. He had always appeared to not be circumcised. I used to have family ask me why we did not circumcise him. When I said we did, they would always say they did not take enough off. We did not have the adhesion issues with him as we did with his brother. He seemed to do just fine. I made sure to be more diligent in pulling his foreskin back and cleaning it because I feared a repeat of what happened with his brother. My youngest son is now five years old and I can say he had picked up on his brother's cues to push his penis in the remaining skin. The head of his penis is just now starting to be seen most of the time. He is intent on keeping the foreskin over it as much as possible. I used to reprimand him as well for "messing" with his penis. Now, I remain silent and pray for him as well. I have more regret than I ever thought I would for subjecting my boys to this unnecessary procedure. There is nothing I can do now, but pray they will understand and forgive me when they realize what I allowed to happen to them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this small novel of mine. It has actually helped to write it down and I hope it makes some amount of sense.

Rebecca

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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Old 07-01-2006, 12:46 PM
 
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I think it takes a very strong person to admit wrong especially when done to their child. So I for one am very proud of you, FWIW. Thank you for sharing this journey with us (I lurked on your other thread) and much healing to you.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had originally started typing up some questions for Frank and then ended up with a small novel. I think once I started typing it went from there. I just wanted a put down all my feelings in one place. Anyway, I sent a copy to Frank and he thought it would help other mothers if I posted it on here. I have to admit it helped me more to write it all out than I would have thought possible. It was difficult to push the send button because I never really intended to post it anywhere. I don't know if I could have been as honest if my initial intent was to post it on this board.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:35 PM
 
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I admire your courage and your commitment to this process, which must be very painful. My heart broke as I read through your sons' experiences - I'm so so so sorry! I am all the more grateful for the many Intactivists who gently and carefully help people heal from this.






- Kira
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Old 07-01-2006, 02:27 PM
 
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Old 07-01-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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you are brave to examine what you did so honestly, and why. thank you for sharing this, rebecca. the more people think about this the better.
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Old 07-01-2006, 03:06 PM
 
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Rebecca,

I just wanted to say 'Hi' and let you know that I think it is very, very brave of you to come here & say what you've said.

It is extremely difficult to admit that we've made a mistake, especially where our children are concerned.

My older son, Spencer (11yrs) is circ'd. It's a long story, but we didn't consent to the procedure & it was a mistake by the nurse & the doc doing the circ.

I wasn't an intactivist then, but I am now. My younger son, Thomas (3 in October) is intact. Spencer never mentioned that he noticed differences until I brought it up several months ago. I basically apologized to him for not protecting him & asked him to promise me that he would do a better job protecting his own children. It helped resolve some, but not all, of my guilt and regret.

I just thought I would share that with you in case something similar would help you in your situation.

Take Care,
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Old 07-01-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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That was heartbreaking. I am so sorry for you and your boys. Thank you for writing this and sharing it with us. I hope you'll stay and be a part of the board.

I know this has been and continues to be painful to go through... Please do not get upset, I mean NO disrespect but I could not help thinking how completely (er, is there a better word than brainwashed? Please substitute it in your own head) parents are about this subject! Reading through what happened with your second son, can you believe you went through with your third son's circ? I mean, it was horrible for ds2, and for you, and dh- but the 'horror stories' about leaving a child *intact* resonated with you so much more that you still felt it had to be done to your third son! Family, society and the medical field had pulled the wool over your eyes so successfully that you did not see you had your very own horror story from *circumcision* on your hands. Wow. Again, I am not trying to be offend you, I am just so shocked and dismayed at how deeply the bias against intactness can run. I am so glad you have overcome that! You rule!

Many kudos to Yoshua on helping you so much! I am just chuckling to myself about your comments on his sensitivity- I have seen another side of him run posters off more than once. Good job, kinder, gentler Yoshua.

~*Kristi*~
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Old 07-01-2006, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom
That was heartbreaking. I am so sorry for you and your boys. Thank you for writing this and sharing it with us. I hope you'll stay and be a part of the board.

I know this has been and continues to be painful to go through... Please do not get upset, I mean NO disrespect but I could not help thinking how completely (er, is there a better word than brainwashed? Please substitute it in your own head) parents are about this subject! Reading through what happened with your second son, can you believe you went through with your third son's circ? I mean, it was horrible for ds2, and for you, and dh- but the 'horror stories' about leaving a child *intact* resonated with you so much more that you still felt it had to be done to your third son! Family, society and the medical field had pulled the wool over your eyes so successfully that you did not see you had your very own horror story from *circumcision* on your hands. Wow. Again, I am not trying to be offend you, I am just so shocked and dismayed at how deeply the bias against intactness can run. I am so glad you have overcome that! You rule!

Many kudos to Yoshua on helping you so much! I am just chuckling to myself about your comments on his sensitivity- I have seen another side of him run posters off more than once. Good job, kinder, gentler Yoshua.
No offense taken. Honestly, circumcision was never even discussed in my family or anywhere else for that matter. I can't even blame societal brainwashing. Maybe, in a way it was brainwashing because I never really heard the alternative (intact) as a truly viable option. When my boys were circumcised it was just what was done. No questions asked. I don't recall anyone ever mentioning an alternative. When our youngest was circumcised, I still had no real understanding or knowledge of the possibility of leaving him intact. I just figured the issues Zachary was having was due to the difference between doctors in how the circumcision was done in comparison to his older brother. I never heard the term loose circumcision until I found this forum in 2004. Again, I wanted to ensure you no offense was taken by your post and thank for your honesty.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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Old 07-01-2006, 07:43 PM
 
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Hi, I have to say that you have so much strength to reexamine and be so open about what you have experienced with your sons. That would be a great post to put up in the "mothers who regret circumcising..." up in our sticky section up there.

Sending you lots of hugs.

Christy

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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Old 07-01-2006, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by phatchristy
Hi, I have to say that you have so much strength to reexamine and be so open about what you have experienced with your sons. That would be a great post to put up in the "mothers who regret circumcising..." up in our sticky section up there.

Sending you lots of hugs.

Christy
Thank you and I would love to put the post in the sticky section above.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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Old 07-01-2006, 08:36 PM
 
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I'm assuming that you did post in the regrets thread.... You will make a difference. There ARE so many of us on this board who read through that thread and that cemented out decision to leave our son intact.

It is a very hard thread to read- and I just know that I was 'this' (sooo very) close to being one that woiuld have regreted it.

Please don't be hard on yourself because there are many reasons that the blame is shared and those many reasons are what this board is all about. I want to make sure that ALL parents and health professionals are given the information that exists. Knowledge is power. Just one instance of truth causes people to stop and think-- adn that is often ALL that needs to happen (circumcision is not the only issue out there like this, of course)

and sometimes it happens after the fact-- but it can NEVER happen too late unless one chooses to ignore it. AND you did NOT do that.

Hugs-- you ARE brave and a great mother.

Jessica

Jessica..lady.gifintactlact.gif Falling in love all over again..... 
Dhprivateeyes.gif, Joshua rolleyes.gif Rebeccagrouphug.gifand dog2.gif.    candle.gif for Laura
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Old 07-02-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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Old 07-02-2006, 10:32 PM
 
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Rebecca, your very personal story is sincerely compassionate and deeply moving. It brings tears to my eyes and think it should be read by EVERY parent who are either pro-circ or "on the fence", since it's an eye opening experience of problems resulting from routine infant circumcision and the desire of those inflicted by the damge, unconsciously wanting it reversed (your sons' desire to cover their glans again). While I can't say (and hope to never say!) I know how you feel, I truly hope you don't beat yourself up over past mistakes made not as an intent to cause harm, but by lack of education (I guess there's no easy way to sugar-coat that description) which you can't be faulted for. You just simply didn't know; it's really only those who DO know the harm and do it anyway that can be faulted.

I'm POSITIVE you'll teach your sons the truth about circumcision in a compassionate way that educates them, yet doesn't make them feel like there's something wrong with them. And, when adults, you or someone can always educate them about foreskin restoration (like NORM.org) to get back the coverage the youngest two desire now. I hope your oldest son is able to restore, too, if desired.

I wanted to close by saying I admire your faith, too. You sound very grounded in reality and accepting of other concepts, so you can be the better person your faith asks of its followers.

Chase

---
http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/5...rcumcision.htm
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