Letter to my brother who is expecting... [I'M EXPECTING TOO!!] - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 02:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,
I'm so grateful for this message board... could some of you please take a look at this letter and let me know what you think? My brother and I are close, but this is something he & I have never really spoken about.
Any tips/suggestions are welcome, and I really do appreciate your insights.

-Mike


===========Begin Letter==============

Hey Bro,

I'm not 100% sure how to say what I want in this email, and its not easy for me to write. I hope you know anything I say comes from a place of respect and love. If there is anything in this email that you want to talk about (email or in person) I'd wholeheartedly welcome the conversation.

I'm really happy for you and _____ about having your first child, and I want you to know that I'll be there for you NO MATTER WHAT. If there is ever anything you need, simply say the word and I'll do anything in my power to help you as your family grows. I love you guys.



I know that in the near future (or possibly already) you'll be finding out if you are having a boy or girl. I know it's your choice to share that or keep it private, and I'd never ask you to share it if you didn't want to.

If you have a boy, you two will be faced with the choice of whether or not to circumcise him. When Sarah & I started talking about the idea of having kids, its something that I did a lot of research into because I didn't know much about it. Before researching all I knew was:

1) It was done to me as an infant (and I assume to you as well, but I don't know and won't ask).
2) It's something that parents choose to do or not to do to their newborn boys.
3) I always thought of it as 'something that is just done.'


That's the extent of what I really knew before ever starting to look into this subject. Since researching it I've learned a LOT... including:

1) There is no medical reason to amputate the foreskin.
2) There is not a single medical organization in the world who recommends routine infant circumcision.
3) The foreskin is not just 'extra skin,' but it is a vital portion of the male sexual organ, full of specialized nerves and cells. It plays an important role in the mechanices of intercourse and sexuality.
4) When you and I were born, about 90% of baby boys were circumcised in the US. Today, as more parents become educated on the issue, the number is about 50%.
5) The industry of circumcision is a multi-million dollar business, and doctors make a TON of money perpetuating the practice.
6) More and more health insurance companies are refusing to cover the practice, because it has no proven medical benefits.
7) The US is the only country in the world where this cosmetic surgery is regularly performed on unconsenting newborns. About 85% of the world's men are NOT circumcised.



You know how I love kids, and how I hate seeing any person (especiallly children) in pain or abused in any way. For me, the idea of strapping a helpless infant down, and slicing off part of his penis w/out his consent is a horrible practice. There is no way on this earth that I will ever allow such a thing to happen to my children, male or female. Nobody will take a scalpel to my children's genitals while I can protect them. My children will be able to make their own choices about any cosmetic surgeries, I will not take that choice away from them.

I'm writing this email because I don't know if you've ever looked into this issue, and I think it is a profoundly important one. All too often it's something that is decided on in an instant without any thought or consideration, and I would ask you to take that time to consider this.

I love you, I love your wife, and I'll love your kids no matter what. Those are the three main reason I've written this email.

Let me know if you want to talk at all, and I hope things are going well.

-Mike
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#2 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 03:07 AM
 
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I think that is very well said Mike!
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#3 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 04:50 AM
 
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Excellent! You don't come on too strong, but you don't come on not strong enough either. It's a great balance of concern for your future nephews and hard facts about circumcision. It comes across mostly as "hey, look what I found out and I'd like to share it with you!" Which is a good approach, IMO. Your paragraph that starts off with "You know I love kids" is very well balanced by the next paragraph that lets your brother know that you will be behind him regardless of what he chooses, and it really will make him think, I think

love and peace.

mama to two girls and due in November!
: Circumcision can never be undone :
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#4 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 07:32 AM
 
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Awesome, awesome letter. I, too, have a brother who is newly expecting (except I KNOW it's a boy and I KNOW that my brother was circumcised) and it's nailbitingly hard to find the right words. Such a difficult subject.

Good for you!

And it's so important to talk to the dads-to-be; I find the dads have more weight than moms in this matter, unfortunately!
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#5 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 09:46 AM
 
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That sounds excellent, Mike. I hope your brother and his wife make the right decision!
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#6 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the feedback everyone... I'm glad to hear that it seems like I'm taking a good approach. There is a lot that I WANTED to say but I don't want to come accross as pushy or overbearing at all.

My wife knows me very well, and she feels that sometimes I go overboard. My hope in posting this letter to the MDC board is that I'll find out if I'm being fanatical with this, or if my letter comes accross as simply sharing information and expressing concern.

((((((((HUG))))))))) to all those who are helping me with this.

I'm quite curious to see what others have to say, as I'm hoping to get a few more opinions on the letter.

Thank you!

-Mike
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#7 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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sounds great!

Obstruct livery vehicles!

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#8 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 01:40 PM
 
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hi mike, i love your letter. here's the one thing i would change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by futurefathermike View Post


If you have a boy, you two will be faced with the choice of whether or not to circumcise him.

i would instead say 'if you have a boy, you may be faced with pressure to circumcise him'.



maybe it doesn't need to be changed really, but you asked for feedback, and i think to say 'whether or "not" to circumcise him' sort of places circumcision within the realm of a normal thing to do.

nothing in the rest of your letter does that IMO, and if you leave it as is, it will be fabulous. i'm just a stickler on 'default language'.
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#9 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 02:44 PM
 
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LOVE IT!!! Let us know what decision they make.

Melanie
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#10 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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I also like Unoppressed Mama Q's suggestion...
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#11 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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Great letter!

Couple of comments: there is not a single medical organization in the world *that* recommends RIC

I would provide a link or two. Maybe to the Men's Health article -- that one seems to be a great balance of facts, not to mention a description of the procedure with pictures, so you get the emotional impact of the video and good facts on circ from a mainstream source.

http://www.noharmm.org/separated.htm

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#12 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 05:26 PM
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I'd also write how painful it is for the newborn and that there are some real risks of complication.
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#13 of 20 Old 11-27-2006, 06:26 PM
 
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i think the email is very well written. i agree with pp that while it doesn't come on too strong, it still comes on strong enough. sometimes it's hard to acheive that balance, but IMO you did a good job of it.
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#14 of 20 Old 11-30-2006, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for the feedback thus far!!! I really appreciate your insights and ideas.

I'm feeling pretty good about the letter, but I'm torn on the idea of providing links with info.

I DO want to put links because it'll back up my statements and give him a jumping off point for researching on his own.

I DON'T want to put links because the email is meant to be personal, from brother to brother. I'm afraid including links in this initial email will take away from that.

I FEAR that if I don't include links.. he'll just write back and tell me he'll think about it... and then a follow-up email with links will seem pushy.

Any suggestions? Tips on what links to include if I do so?

Thanks everyone!

-Mike
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#15 of 20 Old 11-30-2006, 06:25 PM
 
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Great letter, Mike! And a pat on the back for you for making the effort to educate your brother.

I understand your hesitation about providing links, but I think it would be worthwhile to back up what you are saying. Here's a link I really like:

http://www.circumstitions.com/Itsaboy.html

It's very informative, in a conversational sort of way, and answers a LOT of questions (with additional links, if desired).

Please let us know how he responds!

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#16 of 20 Old 11-30-2006, 10:52 PM
 
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I would not at all go overboard on links, but I would consider this as your one an only shot at it (worst case scenario, best case is that you pursue it in a conversation, but if he has a completely closed mind, this may be your only shot).

So I would include a link. My vote is for the Mens Health article I linked above, for the double whammo of facts + pictures (worth a thousand words).

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#17 of 20 Old 12-05-2006, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, WOW! Just found out that my wife and I are expecting our first child! (After being told in August that we'd never have kids)

Excitement is catching on, we've got our first doc's appt tomorrow and we'll know more then.

I'm really excited, and I want to send this letter to my brother while everything is fresh and exciting still. I've made a few edits based on the new information, and I'll probably send it out to him later this week. Any feedback would be great, and thanks to everyone so far!

Warmly,

Mike






===========Begin REVISED Letter==============

Hey Bro,

I'm not 100% sure how to say what I want in this email, and its not easy for me to write. I hope you know anything I say comes from a place of respect and love. If there is anything in this email that you want to talk about (email or in person) I'd wholeheartedly welcome the conversation.

Given that fact that you and I are BOTH expecting kids now... I think there is a lot we can talk about, and a lot we can help each other learn as we become new parents.

I'm really happy for you and _____ about having your first child, and I want you to know that I'll be there for you NO MATTER WHAT. If there is ever anything you need, simply say the word and I'll do anything in my power to help you as your family grows. I love you guys.



I know that in the near future (or possibly already) you'll be finding out if you are having a boy or girl. I know it's your choice to share that or keep it private, and I'd never ask you to share it if you didn't want to.

If you have a boy, you two will be faced with the choice of whether or not to circumcise him, and there is a good chance you'll be pressured by some to have it done to him. When Sarah & I started talking about the idea of having kids, its something that I did a lot of research into because I didn't know much about it. Before researching all I knew was:

1) It was done to me as an infant (and I assume to you as well, but I don't know and won't ask).
2) It's something that parents choose to do or not to do to their newborn boys.
3) I always thought of it as 'something that is just done.'


That's the extent of what I really knew before ever starting to look into this subject. Since researching it I've learned a LOT... including:

1) There is no medical reason to amputate the foreskin.
2) There is not a single medical organization in the world that recommends routine infant circumcision.
3) The foreskin is not just 'extra skin,' but it is a vital portion of the male sexual organ, full of specialized nerves and cells. It plays an important role in the mechanices of intercourse and sexuality.
4) When you and I were born, about 90% of baby boys were circumcised in the US. Today, as more parents become educated on the issue, the number is about 50%.
5) The industry of circumcision is a multi-million dollar business, and doctors make a TON of money perpetuating the practice.
6) More and more health insurance companies are refusing to cover the practice, because it has no proven medical benefits and is officialy a costmetic surgery only.
7) The US is the only country in the world where this cosmetic surgery is regularly performed on unconsenting newborns. About 85% of the world's men are NOT circumcised.
8) As with any surgery, there are inherent risks in the operation including scaring, adhesions, bleeding, infections, and other 'mistakes' that will forever change a male's life. (Not to mention taking care of an open wound for the first several week's of the baby's life.)



You know how I love kids, and how I hate seeing any person (especiallly children) in pain or abused in any way. For me, the idea of strapping a helpless infant down, and slicing off part of his penis w/out his consent is a horrible practice. There is no way on this earth that I will ever allow such a thing to happen to my children, male or female. Nobody will take a scalpel to my children's genitals while I can protect them. My children will be able to make their own choices about any cosmetic surgeries, I will not take that choice away from them.

I'm writing this email because I don't know if you've ever looked into this issue, and I think it is a profoundly important one. All too often the decision to operate on a newborn is something that is decided on in an instant without any thought or consideration, and I would ask you to take that time to think about this.

I love you, I love your wife, and I'll love your kids no matter what. Those are the three main reason I've written this email.

Let me know if you want to talk at all, and I hope things are going well.

-Mike

P.S. here's some links of interest...
http://www.circumstitions.com/Itsaboy.html
http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...cumcision.html
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#18 of 20 Old 12-05-2006, 02:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by futurefathermike View Post
Ok, WOW! Just found out that my wife and I are expecting our first child! (After being told in August that we'd never have kids)

Excitement is catching on, we've got our first doc's appt tomorrow and we'll know more then.
That's AMAZING news! Congratulations, and many sticky/healthy vibes for the baby and your wife!

Overall, looks great, just a few typos. What did you decide about links?

Quote:

===========Begin REVISED Letter==============

Hey Bro,

I'm not 100% sure how to say what I want in this email, and its not easy for me to write. I hope you know anything I say comes from a place of respect and love. If there is anything in this email that you want to talk about (by email or in person) I'd wholeheartedly welcome the conversation.

Given that fact that you and I are BOTH expecting kids now... I think there is a lot we can talk about, and a lot we can help each other learn as we become new parents.

I'm really happy for you and _____ about having your first child, and I want you to know that I'll be there for you NO MATTER WHAT. If there is ever anything you need, simply say the word and I'll do anything in my power to help you as your family grows. I love you guys.



I know that in the near future (or possibly already) you'll be finding out if you are having a boy or girl. I know it's your choice to share that or keep it private, and I'd never ask you to share it if you didn't want to.

If you have a boy, you two will be faced with the choice of whether or not to circumcise him, and there is a good chance you'll be pressured by some to have it done to him. When Sarah & I started talking about the idea of having kids, it's something that I did a lot of research into because I didn't know much about it. Before researching all I knew was:

1) It was done to me as an infant (and I assume to you as well, but I don't know and won't ask).
2) It's something that parents choose to do or not to do to their newborn boys.
3) I always thought of it as 'something that is just done.'


That's the extent of what I really knew before ever starting to look into this subject. Since researching it I've learned a LOT... including:

1) There is no medical reason to amputate the foreskin at birth.
2) There is not a single medical organization in the world that recommends routine infant circumcision.
3) The foreskin is not just 'extra skin,' but delete it is a vital portion of the male sexual organ, full of specialized nerves and cells. It plays an important role in the mechanicdelete es of intercourse and sexuality.
4) When you and I were born, about 90% of baby boys were circumcised in the US. Today, as more parents become educated on the issue, the number is about 50%.
5) The industry of circumcision is a multi-million dollar business, and doctors make a TON of money perpetuating the practice.
6) More and more health insurance companies are refusing to cover the practice, because it has no proven medical benefits and is officialy a cosdelete tmetic surgery only.
7) The US is the only country in the world where this cosmetic surgery is regularly performed on unconsenting newborns. About 85% of the world's men are NOT circumcised. The remaining 15% are almost entirely Muslims or Jews who circumcise for religious reasons.
8) As with any surgery, there are inherent risks in the operation including scarring, adhesions, bleeding, infections, and other 'mistakes' that will forever change a male's life. (Not to mention taking care of an open wound for the first several weekdelete 's of the baby's life.) It is also very common for circumcision to interfere with breastfeeding and bonding.
HTH!

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#19 of 20 Old 12-05-2006, 03:55 PM
 
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CONGRATS to you and your wife!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think your letter is great!

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#20 of 20 Old 12-05-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Best wishes to you and your wife for a comfortable and uneventful pregnancy, a healthy baby, and a positive response from your brother.

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

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