Can someone educate us please? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-21-2003, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I are disagreeing on whether or not to have our boy circumsized. We still have until October to decide but we really should sit down and discuss it.

He's adamant that he be circumsized. When I ask why, I'll get roundabout answers about tradition and all that. We're not Jewish so there is no religious reason for us to do it. Dh says that he's conceded in a lot of areas (like "letting" me have a homebirth : ) and that he wants to have a say in this. I.E. He wants to make the decision.

I've told him that it's not a HUGE deal to me if he is circumsized but I don't really feel right about it. Admittedly, I'm ignorant to why so many people feel it's wrong. So that's where you come in.

Educate me so I can pass it along to him. I know this is an anti-circ forum but if you could give me some links/sources that are educational on this matter, I would appreciate it. I don't mind conceding to dh on this issue, but I would like for him to be informed at least before he makes an abrupt decision. DH is very stubborn and it isn't easy for him to accept change or things that vary from the "norm." I hope you can help us make a decision! Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2003, 07:16 PM
 
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Others will post far more info here, but I had to comment on the "norm":

On the East Coast (I see you're in Maryland), fewer than 40% of all boys are circumcised now. Therefore, circumcising your baby will make him NOT the "norm". He'll be in the minority if he's circumcised. I live in Massachusetts and many, many of my "mainstream" friends have left their boys intact, or have a 4 or 5 year old who was circumcised but they left their 1 or 2 year old (or new baby) intact because of changing ideas about the role of circumcision.

My DH is circumcised, my 4 yo is circ'd, but our 15 month old is intact.

If your DH wants to make a decision, give him the NAME to choose, not the foreskin! If you're going to go through a beautiful, drug-free, supportive homebirth, why would you take your natural baby, born as nature intended, and then have a part of him cut off because of...a habit society developed based on poor moral ideas and incorrect medical assumptions?

My DH too wanted "objective" info on circumcising. It REALLY upset him that EVERYTHING he found was either militantly talking about "genital mutilation" or conventional pro-circ MDs who dismissed the latest studies as being "inconclusive". To this day he feels he never really found any solid, objective material, but decided NOT to circ mainly because the foreskin is there for a reason, so why not leave it there?

He's a pro-intact person nowadays, BTW!

Good luck to you,

Mel

edited to add: I told DH he would HAVE to watch a video of a baby being circumcised if he really, really pushed me to circ. He wouldn't never admit it, but he never watched it, and I think heart of hearts he knew he couldn't stomach it. And if he couldn't stomach it, how could he do it (again! we were so stupid the first time!) to his son?

And I think he also knew, frankly, that if he COULD sit through and watch and still want to circ, I'd view him as a monster. So perhaps you could set the condition that your DH watch a circumcision. As part of being an educated, informed parent, it's a logical thing.
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Old 07-21-2003, 07:26 PM
 
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I think this site is a good place to start:http://www.cirp.org/

besides searching mothering for info.

You have to birth somewhere,and if you feel being at home to do that with be the safest and most productive place then makes sense to birth there. I know I could never labor effectively and have a safe birth in a hospital.
In regards to making a choice on cutting the penis: since there is absolutely nothing wrong with the penis your son is born with you are simply putting your son at risk both short/long term if you decide to cut him.He is the one that looses out. No one has the right to do that to him,not even his parents.

Best wishes!
Sara
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Old 07-21-2003, 07:31 PM
 
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Hi,

Congratulations on your pregnancy. I am excited you are having a homebirth. I suppose you are doing it because you want to do what is best for your baby. I also believe in education, and there are a lot of good articles referencing scholastic journal articles which support leaving your son intact. A couple of them are right here on the mothering site, just clik under "articles" and circumcision" and you will find them. I am sure others will post the links.

Anyhow, speaking of a gentle birth, you may want to observe a circumcision, since that will give you an unbiased look at what the operation entails. You can see one at any hospital, or there are vidoes here on the internet http://www.intact.ca/video.html, so as a first step please take a look at it.

Also, be aware that any surgery entails risk. This is something I have not disclosed previously on this board, but through my work ( I am a federal law enforcement officer) I investigated a case involving a baby boy that died from a circumcision which was performed by an inexperienced MD. Obviously, this was an extreme case, but its important to know that it does happen, and it certainly made an impression on me.

ANyhow, I am sure you will get plenty of reponses. But please take the time to read the info and make sure you watch a circumcision and let us know how you fare

Lise
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Old 07-21-2003, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the resources!

Okay I thought of another argument he might use: What about the risk of infection later on in life? You know, the adults that get infected and have to get circumsized?

Also, he thinks that since they use anesthesia, it's no big deal. It won't hurt anyway.

Any good comebacks?
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Old 07-21-2003, 10:58 PM
 
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This reply is going to sound patently absurd at first but I believe when you think about it, it will make a lot of sense. Ask what they would cut off if your husband got an infection on his penis. What would they cut off if you got an infection on your vulva? What would they cut off if your son got an infection on his arm? The fact is that infections are not treated with amputations except on the penis. Now, why is that?

Less than 25% of babies get any pain relief at all for their amputations. That statistic is from the American Medical Association. Even if the doctor tells you that he is getting pain relief, the chances are very high that he won't.

Here are three sites that you husband can't argue are anti-circ:

British Medical Association says parents request is not enough:

http://www.bma.org.uk/ap.nsf/Content...rcumcision2003

College Of Physicians and Surgeons warn physicians about performing circumcisions:

http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/sask2002/

Doctor's Group addresses AAP Statement on Circumcision:

http://faculty.washington.edu/gcd/DO...r10-15-02.html






Frank
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Old 07-21-2003, 11:04 PM
 
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It's simple, really.
Wherever it is that you two would choose to have your baby altered, you both need to go there first and see an actual circumcision performed by the individual whom you would have do your baby's surgery. That way you'll both know exactly what will be done to him and how.
Then you will be truly informed about the procedure and can discuss it.

I know there must be some people around here who do still circumcise, but fortunately, all my children's little friends are whole & intact!
So I'm not surprised to hear that over 60% of the boys in MD are natural--I thought it would be higher, actually, but then there are some pretty anachronistic counties here!
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Old 07-21-2003, 11:46 PM
 
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Hi there Christy and congrats on your son-to-be! I posted a whole bunch of info under the thread "sister inlaw to circumcise", or something like that. I just posted it but I have a case of "Mommy brain" tonite so I can't recall the exact title.

My dh wasn't too sure at first either (hes circed) about leaving our ds intact. Now though he is very happy with our decision and is willing to voice his opinion at any given opportunity.

Thats my guy!

I hope you will find what you are looking for. Take care and have a great birth!
Tara

P.S. If you have any more questions, let us know.

Tara Momma to Callum and Gavin
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Artsymom
Dh and I are disagreeing on whether or not to have our boy circumsized. We still have until October to decide but we really should sit down and discuss it.
Hi Artsymom

Other folks here have provided various links. What I can say is that I'm intact, and the foreskin and the frenulum are the most pleasurable parts of the penis - circumcise, and those are gone forever.

As for problems - I've never had any, nor has my brother, no has anyone else I've known. I live in South Africa, BTW, where the circ rates have always been much lower than in the US.
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:47 AM
 
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Two excellently educational, fully-referenced articles :

Quote:
"Protect Your Uncircumcised Son: Expert Medical Advice for Parents Issue 103, November/December 103
By Paul M. Fleiss"
http://mothering.com/10-0-0/html/10-...rcson103.shtml

Quote:
"In one of our most-requested articles, Mothering explores why circumcision is hardly ever necessary, and how parents can empower themselves to avoid ceding to the "claims" of the billion-dollar-a-year circumcision industry.

The Case Against Circumcision
Issue 85, Winter 1997
By Paul M. Fleiss"
http://mothering.com/10-0-0/html/10-...cision85.shtml
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Old 07-22-2003, 12:03 PM
 
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If you are ambivalent about circumcising, you don't know all you should about the function and anatomy that is destroyed in a circumcision. I mean, if your husband was telling you that he wanted to cut up your daughter's vagina you would be freaking out right?

Questions for both of you to ask:

So- what does the foreskin do during sex?

How did those early doctors think they could stop masturbation by cutting off the foreskin?

What is theridged band?

What is the frenulum?

How is the foreskin cut off?

How come there are no stitches?

How do the nerves and veins heal after that?

What happens when an internal part is put on the outside?

How big is an adult foreskin surface area?

What happens to the parts of the nervous system dedicated to a body part that is gone?

What happens if a child's first sexual experience is violent?

Why do circumcised men want to circumcise their children?

What is meatal stenosis?

How do you care for a circumcision wound?

How do you care for an intact boy?

Who circumcises?

Who does not?

Are Italians, French, Swedes, Brazilians, Russians, Japanese... known for being awful lovers? Are the handicpped by their normal male sex organ?

What is a skin bridge?

How big will a penis grow?

How much skin is needed for a comfortable erection?

Are the genitals of a newborn swollen?

Is the foreskin attached?

Are you sure that it is worse to have genital surgery as an adult than as a newborn?

What portion of circumcised men are not happy about that?

What portion of intact men are not happy about that?

Who has options?

Does every man's erection grow the same amount?

What will you do if your son's penis is harmed by the removal of too much skin?

Will you be satisfied if his circumcision does not reveal his glans?

Do you feel that your feelings for circumcision are in line with your general attitude toward life and children? Is genital cutting a part of who you are? Are you a penis cutter?

The risk of a circumcised boy needing surgery to correct a botched circumcision is GREATER than the risk of an intact boy ever needing surgery on his penis. By circumcising, not only do you obviously not avoid a surgery, but you increase the risk for a LATER surgery... and a terribly harmed sex organ.

Show these pictures to your husband- ask him if it is worth it- can he justify what he wants to do against what this child went through because his perfect body was not good enough for his parents.


http://www.infocirc.org/fourn.htm

Love Sarah
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Old 07-22-2003, 12:28 PM
 
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Oh. I'm speechless. Oh.

I don't think I'll sleep tonight!
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Old 07-22-2003, 01:05 PM
 
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Great post Sarah.I think those are excellent questions a parent should ask themselves when researching genital cutting.I am going to file that along with the post from the nurse about the student circs.Have my dh answer each of those questions should he ever bring up circing our boy in the future.. I remember those pictures of that poor little baby.What he had gone through that could have been avoided had they just left his normal penis alone.
sara
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Old 07-25-2003, 08:35 AM
 
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I suggest your husband and you watch a video of a circumcision. This will show him exactly what happens and the severity of the cutting. Better yet, if you can see a IRL circ" then it could have larger impact. You probably wouldn't have to go so far. BUT, you may have to hold his head while he pukes though. Also. have HIM give you *REAL* facts on why you SHOULD do it. The skin was meant to be there that is why males come in the world with it. PERIOD! Ask him too why this is so important to cut your precious baby.
HTH
~ Earthmama
Let us know what happens!!!
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Old 07-25-2003, 11:46 AM
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Dr. Fleiss also wrote an excellent book titled What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision ,

Both of you should read it.
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:08 PM
 
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Bump.
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Old 01-06-2004, 01:52 PM
 
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Artysmom, congratulations on your HBAC! What did you and your husband decide about circumcision?

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