I am new, pregnant with another boy, and need help with hubby! - Mothering Forums
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The Case Against Circumcision > I am new, pregnant with another boy, and need help with hubby!
lactationmom's Avatar lactationmom 11:35 PM 05-07-2003
I hope this isn't redundant, I just came across this topic (I have been lurking breastfeeding and diapering) and am VERY glad, very timely for me. Here is my situation:

we have a almost 7 yo daughter (the circ issue was there when preggo with her)

we have a 2 1/2 yo son (I fought and fought and fought then just gave up when I saw the problems it was causing, sucky I know but as important as it was for me to NOT have it done, it was equally important to hubby to have it done). I talked with the ped the morning of, was pretty upset but made sure he used anesthetic and brought him right out to me to nurse afterwards, it still sucks to this day when I think of how bad it was for my little guy (no matter if he DOESN"T remember it, like my hubby says!).

We are expecting #3 late August, just found out it's another boy. Oh boy, here we go again. I am treading lightly and bringing it up here and there, trying to reinforce how important this is to me. I am offering to my hubby that he can totally name our son whatever he wants (even jr, God forbid) if he lets me 'win' this battle (again, it's a battle).

Why does it have to BE a battle with some men???? Anyway, I am determined to win, I won't sign the forms when it comes time and will fight it.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation and how did it end up? Did your hubby come around? Now I have to give him some credit, he wanted me to wean at 6 months (why I have NO idea, I nursed for 2 1/2 years though!) and the cloth diaper idea is just starting to appeal to him too. So, he is getting there (he is very conventional). I guess I just wanted to share my story and vent, and maybe get another moms point of view if they have been there/done that.
Sorry so long, thank you for reading!


somemama's Avatar somemama 12:51 AM 05-08-2003
Personally, I'm glad I didn't have that battle with my dh. But I was determined to fight if necessary.

I just told my dh that "we're not circ'ing him." End of story. Dh didn't argue and it didn't happen.

You don't have to convince your husband. Just tell the doctors you're not circ'ing your son, period. It won't happen without your consent. Trust me.

But here is a link for info to print out and leave where your dh will see it:

Sarah's Avatar Sarah 01:24 AM 05-08-2003
Heather- It doesn't have to be a battle, just say no. Tell him that you won't sign any forms, and if he wants to try to convince you, against the reccomendations of all the world's medical orginzations than he can be your guest. It's that simple. Have at it honey- you can try to convince me, I am going to relax and enjoy some lemonaide while I gestate this perfect little miracle created by the amazing dna you gave to me with your most excellent lovemaking- and because of the miracle of DNA, the penis that you gave him is going to look exactly like yours did before someone got a knife on you... you should be proud of what he will have which comes directly from you and not from someone who would reduce that.

Why do some men have to be this way- because they have a deep need to believe that what was done to them was justified, read ALICE ******... any book- run a search for her name- you will see the patterns- it will make sense to you. Your husbands behavior actually has a name now I recently saw it used by DOC- it's called "Adamant father syndrome" It would almost be funny if it hadn't been used in a letter to the AAP to refer to a virtually unrecorded behavior pattern that anyone in the circumcison industry knows full well is their best salesman... there is nothing like a father's desired belief in the rightness of his own circumcision to get the next generation circumcisied despite all medical knowledge to the contrary.

Have I been there? Yep. "Look like his father." (little did he know then- his dad was INTACT) I would have left him before I allowed anyone to take a knife to my child. He settled with it before the birth. Five years later he is restoring his foreskin. He is apalled to think of some of the things he said and his behavior- he almost feels like he was posessed- because the way he was acting was not him- it was an insane traumatized and irrational person trying desperatly to avoid learning the truth.

Love Sarah
Xenogenesis's Avatar Xenogenesis 04:52 AM 05-08-2003
Learn, Learn, Learn.

Learn about the male anatomy in particular the function of the foreskin.

You might want to begin with printing the following fully-referenced article leaving it handy for you to refer to often as you like. On the night stand, in the bathroom, on the coffee table, etc. taking care to exhibit that you are indeed doing your homework. Paraphrase or say : "Did you know....." giving him the truth about the issue and ample opportunity to dispell the myths in his head. Spoonfeed him a teeny bit at a time so he can digest the facts carefully. You will glean from his (eventual) responses what it is that concerns him foremost. Come on back if you need to talk about this again and again. We're listening.

Sara29's Avatar Sara29 09:37 AM 05-08-2003
I agree with the "No I won't allow it.End of discussion."

Like Sarah said let him try and convince you.We all know there are NO valid reasons.

I was as conventional as they came until I had children.For some reason I chose the path of homebirth,extended bf/tandem bf,non-vaccination,intactivism.Dh is still conventional so all my choices he really did not agree with.

I ocassionally get circ related books and leave them around for dh to read,but I don't agrue about the issue. Would I leave him if he tried to circ my son? Definately!
I understand the need for peace and all that in the family home,but it seems like you had to live(and think about maybe daily) with the results of a choice he forced on you(and your son) and you are not at all happy with it.Does your dh ever discuss his sons circ? Was he present for it?

I say hold your ground.There are others on the forum with one circed and the other not,and it is NOT an issue for the boys-more so the parents.Best wishes.
I pray for the day when circumcision is not even offered as a choice!

lactationmom's Avatar lactationmom 10:19 AM 05-08-2003
Thanks for all the replies, really!

Someone asked if he saw the circ on our son, no he didn't which I am sure would have made some of a difference, yet I didn't mention that my hubby is a MD, soooooooooooooooo...............................he has seen a lot of them done (he is a internist, no peds or OB). I am a past labor and delivery RN so I personally have done things I hate to now admit, like pass out those stupid formula bags, ugggg... so we both are evolving as we go along, which is good!

The 'end of discussion' is good, but we are a couple and I want to have both of us agreeing, and it will happen I believe with time and persistance!

Thanks to you all, will keep you posted.
homebirthing's Avatar homebirthing 12:09 PM 05-08-2003
There are some really good books to get. doctors re-examine circ is one of them. Leave that out for DH to read. I know that there are a lot of people who give up or quit fighting, and I know that it is a hard battle, but you are right!! and your son will not be in the minority. 50% of America is no longer doing it. I can guarentee your son will know others who aren't circumcised. And so what if his penis is different then his brother. They won't care a bit. You are awesome and we are all VERY VERY PROUD!! of you for standing up for your perfectly created son.
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 12:23 PM 05-08-2003
That you husband is an MD. Here are some articles he can relate to. All of these links are from doctors to doctors which surely will ring some bells for him:

Postion statement from the British Medical Association: (very good)


Letter from Doctors to the AAP:


Memo to physician members warning about legal liability risk of circumcision:


I would be very surprised if the above did not make an impact on him. Let us know how it goes.

lise brit's Avatar lise brit 03:28 PM 05-08-2003

I understand what you say about being a couple. It's important to have a good marriage, especially when you have children. All I can tell you is that YOU have to be your baby's advocate. He can not speak for himself and can not defend himself, and the only one who can do that for him is YOU. YOU are his mom. Iwent through the same thing myself and wanted us to agree on this issue, because obviously you want to keep harmony in the home. But I also knew, that the most important thing in the world were my sons' well-being. Once I kept that in mind, the rest was easy. So, just keep at it. I know you will do the right thing for your son.

Lise Brit
shelbean91's Avatar shelbean91 03:46 PM 05-08-2003
I was very relieved when I found out dd was a girl and not a boy, b/c I didn't want to have to circ. At that point, though, I probably would have done it and accepted that it was just something you do and get over it. I hadn't heard of this site- or any other support sites- and the parenting mags and books really don't talk about it as an option. There are lots of 'how to care for the penis after circ' but not stating that you don't even have to have it done. Every male I know is circ'd- and my dh doesn't know anyone who is intact.

After dd was born, I started finding parenting websites and realized that circ is not mandatory and I have the decision to make. When dd was about 5 mos, I mentioned to dh that if we were to have a boy, I don't think I wanted to circ. He said 'WHAT?! Why not?' I just responded that I didn't think it was necessary and left it alone. I just wanted to get a baseline assesment of his attitude, I guess.

I found out I was pg again and was worried about how to bring up the issue. I didn't really think about it until I found out we were having ds at about 17 weeks- I just figured out why fight about something that isn't even an issue yet. After the u/s, I wasn't sure how to bring it up- there never seemed to be a good time.

I ended up having ds 5 weeks early. Dh was there for the delivery, of course, but he didn't spend too much time with us the next couple of days b/c he had to be home for dd. The nurses asked if I was going to circ- I said I wasn't sure, I needed to discuss w/dh. The next day, I still hadn't talked to him and we were leaving that day- since I hadn't talked to him, I told the nurse we weren't going to do it. I figured if we wanted to do it, we could always do it later, but couldn't ever undo it, kwim?

On the way home from the hospital is when I told dh I didn't do it. I just said it wasn't necessary and if he wanted it done, he could watch the video of it being done and take him to the dr to have it done and do all diaper changes until it healed. (I knew he would never do that.) He usually defers to my parenting decisions as I'm the one who does the research and reading on the issues. He trusts my judgement.

His biggest arguement was the 'locker room' and that he should look like everyone else. I told him that circ rates are about 50% now and that's not a good enough reason to go through major surgery. I never realized (before kids) that is really is a major surgery, I thought it was a little cut and that was the end. I was really ignorant and I'm glad I had time to evolve as a parent before being faced with this major decision.

The interesting thing is that when ds was about 4 mos old, we had to contact a ped urologist for some stuff. Our ped, when giving us the referral, mentioned ds may need to be circ'd to correct these issues. DH was very against surgery by this point- turns out we didn't need it. The folks at this board helped me through that.

I think dh just neeed time to get used to the idea. Intact is not the norm in his world, so to do something different just took a while to settle in for him. I was so nervous to discuss, but I knew it was something I wouldn't do and just stuck to it. I know it's hard to disagree with dh, but it's really the safety and well being of my child that made me be able to do it.
lactationmom's Avatar lactationmom 04:49 PM 05-08-2003
OK, those are some posts I can use to help me, thank you VERY much and thank you FRANK for the medical sites, you are right about 'relating to..'-my husband is very influenced by science and facts, not emotions (such as myself). I will print these and give to him, I honestly think he will come around on his own and agree with me, and I honestly know our son will not be circ'ed, it's just not happening. I want him to be an advocate, just like he has somewhat become with breastfeeding, and not giving in to me like I did to him 2 1/2 years ago (which doesn't feel good, KWIM?).

So,,,,thanks to everyone who gave me sound, usable advice!!!
lactationmom's Avatar lactationmom 12:32 AM 05-09-2003
ANYONE have a link where stats show a 50/50 rate of circ to non-circ or the most current rates? I discussed this tonight with hubby, printed off ALL the articles, and he wants to see the 50/50 (or very close to it) rates I told him I had heard of.

Xenogenesis's Avatar Xenogenesis 12:55 AM 05-09-2003
Yoo-Hoo, Frank. Where Are You... ?
PuppyFluffer's Avatar PuppyFluffer 01:16 AM 05-09-2003
I did a google search on "circumcision statistics" and came up with several sources. I do not know how to insert links in a message here, so cannot do that for you. Try the google search or wait for Frank! He'll know just where to send you!
Sarah's Avatar Sarah 01:17 AM 05-09-2003

The rate in the south and midwest is still very high, this link is to the reports from Medicaid- (of course this tells the medicaid trends and not the trends of the privatly insured) In SC the rate is almost 70% ... but- if you read the full text report (highly recomended) you will see that:


"The average spending per state was over a half a million dollars. The data clearly indicate that the circumcision rate is higher in states that reimburse a higher physician fee. Of the 34
states for which the annual Medicaid circumcision percentage rate could be determined, the circumcision rate in
states that paid doctors less than $50 was 20.25%. In states that paid doctors more than $60, the circumcision rate
nearly doubled to 38.04%"

SC reimburses more than $60

For rates from the center of disease control- broke down into four regions:


it shows 64% circumcised in the south before leaving the hospital (this would include the majority of privatly insured circumcisions)

This chart is neat because it refers in terms of percent intact rather than percent circumcised:

love Sarah
Sarah's Avatar Sarah 01:24 AM 05-09-2003
I forgot to mention- North Carolia no longer will pay for infant circumcisions with medicaid money- neither will Montana, Arizona, Missouri, California, Oregon, North Dakota, Nevada, Mississippi and Washington

Karen- are you a groomer?

love Sarah
LavenderMae's Avatar LavenderMae 01:28 AM 05-09-2003
Here is a link to circ stats.

Too late:LOL.

Heather, more parents are deciding to leave their sons intact , so eventhough the circ rate is high here (in SC) your son will not be the only intact boy.
lactationmom's Avatar lactationmom 01:33 AM 05-09-2003
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, perfect, exactly what I needed.
PuppyFluffer's Avatar PuppyFluffer 02:26 AM 05-09-2003
I'm so glad this info helped and I applaud you for your educational journey with your dh.

Sarah, yes, I am a pet groomer!

Can someone PM me and tell me how to use the link feature and the quote feature too. (I'm an awesome dog groomer but a real computer rookie! )
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 10:45 AM 05-09-2003
Thanks for providing the link Sara.

The Bollinger 2001 link also provides some other interesting information such as the tremendous increase in the circumcision rate of immigrants - Up to an 800% increase! It's obvious that some doctors are doing a hard sell to these parents. I've seen several reports from immigrant mothers reporting doctors that circumcision is "The Law!" and all children must be circumcised.

That same link also shows the 229 circumcision related deaths in 1999.

These numbers were collected from The U.S. Centers for Disease Control/National Centers For Health Statistics.

PuppyFluffer's Avatar PuppyFluffer 05:28 PM 05-13-2003
Lactationmom, Any progress with your husband and the circ decision? Just curious!
Quirky's Avatar Quirky 06:15 PM 05-13-2003
lactationmom, definitely show him the Paul Fleiss article that Last Minute linked above - it's fully documented, and Paul Fleiss is an MD/MPH, so good credentials there.

Also see Dr. Fleiss' book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision (Amazon link ).

Finally, your husband is an MD: challenge him to prove to you that the surgery is necessary for any medical reason. Ask him what other cosmetic surgeries he'd be willing to perform on his newborn. He should have the burden of proof of justifying this medical procedure rather than you having the burden of proof to dejustify it.

Good luck, I know how hard it can be when you and your partner disagree about something so important!
somemama's Avatar somemama 09:41 PM 05-13-2003
Originally posted by Sarah
I forgot to mention- North Carolia no longer will pay for infant circumcisions with medicaid money- neither will Montana, Arizona, Missouri, California, Oregon, North Dakota, Nevada, Mississippi and Washington

Neither will Utah.
lactationmom's Avatar lactationmom 03:34 PM 05-14-2003
I feel very comfortable in the fact that my husband will come around and not only 'give in' to me, but agree with me. I have backed off this week, we have been busy in the yard (fun!) and doing family things, but it will come up again, soon. I have ALL the articles and stats and even forwarded them all to his work e-mail so he could read them without me around. His real 'justification', if you can call it that, is that he and our son are circ'd and it justs make sense to have another son the same (obviously this is a dumb point, I pointed that out) and that they don't remember it (I said, he wouldn't remember if we had his arm chopped off either, but it's still barbaric just the same).
You know, it's just years of conditioning, years of thinking one way, and it will just take a little time to see the big picture. The good thing is, once he does come around, I know he will be an advocate, which in medicine is a great thing.
PuppyFluffer's Avatar PuppyFluffer 07:40 PM 05-14-2003
Well, if you want to tackle the "He won't remember it" statement, I have more food for thought. There is a book out called Babies Remember Birth. I believe it is by a guy named Chamberlain. There is another wonderful book called Love Start by Eve Marnie RN that is really good too. It talked about pre-birth bonding the baby's ability to input information before birth.

In Chamberlain's book he takes people back thru hypnotic regression to their birth experiences and it is amazing what they are able to recount - colors, expressions on people's faces, things said and how they felt (with an adult vocabulary to describe the experience). He does not talk about circumcision in his book but I wonder if any of his research touched on this? I don't know when this book was published but I read it several years ago.

Good luck with your discussions and I'm so glad you are persuing this with your husband.
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 08:31 PM 05-14-2003
I think the answer is to make circumcision reciprocal. If you circumcise your child, at any time later the child gets to forcibly remove as much of your genitals as he wants by what ever procedure he chooses. That would put an end to circumcision with in a month.

lactationmom's Avatar lactationmom 11:56 PM 05-14-2003
Thanks Karen!

HA HA HA Frank, that is great!
Xenogenesis's Avatar Xenogenesis 12:16 AM 05-15-2003
I truly am enjoying this discussion ! Your general attitude is refreshing, lactationmom. I totally agree you are *saving* a lot of babies because of his position and his colleagues. Bravo !
lactationmom's Avatar lactationmom 09:30 AM 05-16-2003
You will ALL be very pleased to know you have not only helped me, but countless other families as they ponder this 'decision'.

I was talking to my midwife yesterday and told her about posting here and the response I received (all the links). She asked me to send them all to her, so she can print them to show/give to ALL HER NEW PATIENTS (and this midwife is the only one in the state of SC to open a birth center, she is very popular and reaches women in SC, Georgia and NC!!!). YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She was very excited to get the articles and said she planned to give them to every new parent, or at least have them read a copy (copywrite laws).

PuppyFluffer's Avatar PuppyFluffer 11:18 AM 05-16-2003
That is so wonderful! Thank you for being so active. Who says one person can't change the world! You can certainly change the world for someone.
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