I'm going to throw up UPDATE # 144 - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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if this couple I'm working with has a boy. I'm a doula, had a prenatal with a couple tonight, she's due in 2 freaking weeks, they are a friend's brother and his wife, I thought they would come around, I really did, I thought they would be smart about it. Remember that article in my local paper? Apparently, it only proved to him that it's his choice, he's read the pros and cons, blah blah blah, completely shut down.

Oh please let it be a girl. I'll have such a hard time finding joy in that room if it's a boy.

I told her to check with her doc and find out about the pain meds they use, and told her nothing was unacceptable, as was tylenol, and to ask if dad would be able to go with baby, since he deserved to have someone who loved him in the room, and not to be surprised if she had problems breastfeeding. this was all when dad had left the room that I said this part. he was a complete ass about it and just couldn't get past the "well it's our choice, that's what we've decided, pros and cons, our choice" bs.

I have never worked with a family who circed before. I've worked with people who were undecided, but they come around. I have to stop working with people I know. That's when it gets hard. I give so much info, about half my packet is circ stuff.

I felt the air get knocked out of me when they said they would. The mom said something about "hopefully we'll have a girl and we won't have to think about that" and I said, " yah, aren't we lucky in this country that the girls are protected?" I admit it was a little sarcastic.: : : :

R~mama to 3

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#2 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 12:23 AM
 
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I'd send a loud and clear message to them a.s.a.p. You can tell them that you can no longer work with couples who choose to circumcise; starting now. You can also tell them that it violates too many human rights ethics for you. Many doulas wont do it, so you are not alone. Perhaps it will be an eye-opener to them. We absolutely can not continue to offer our support to the circumcising culture anymore....it just sends the wrong message.
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#3 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 12:28 AM
 
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deleted because I was told to leave this thread
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#4 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 12:36 AM
 
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If I were in your position I would completely refund them whatever they have paid and tell them that I simply could not work with them anymore. I really couldn't pin my hopes on a 50/50 chance. What they want to do should it be a boy is sick and wrong. I would not be able to see past that.
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#5 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 12:36 AM
 
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OMG, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. Its a terrible position to be in. I really hope they have a girl.
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#6 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 12:37 AM
 
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Oh, and I see you're in St. Paul. Just a little over an hour from where my sister had her son mutilated. High circumcision rate in that area, sociatal pressure is high.
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#7 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 12:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kldliam
Everybody knows it's the child's choice!
Indeed.
Children are a sacred gift we are entrusted with for a time, not property to be modified at our whim.
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#8 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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I think you should refund their money (however your contract is set up) and tell them there is no way you can support a mother through labor with the thought running through your mind about how, in a few short hours, that perfect newborn boy is going to endure having part of his genitals ampuated.

~Nay

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#9 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Coloradoalice- they aren't paying me, this is a sort of friend, they have no money and they are due any minute. I can't dump them. I wish I could, but I can't. Not only would it ruin my relationship with them, but with one of my oldest friends (dad's sister) and her parents. Them circing only ruins one relationship (me and them).

I've been having the "can I work with couple who..." debate for a few years now (not just about circ, other stuff too). One of my best friendds is also a doula and doesn't work with couples who circ. We talk about it all the time. I'm glad she does that. I've always thought (foolishly, apparently) I could help change minds; I've been fairly sucessful at it. I know of at least 3 boys who are intact because I was the doula, and a handful of girls who would have been left intact had they been boys. I was making a difference. But this one is killing me.

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#10 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 01:03 AM
 
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I'm sorry mama, that must be so hard
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#11 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 01:38 AM
 
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I'm so so sorry you're having to deal with this and so sorry for that sweet baby if s/he is born a boy. As a future midwife, this is one of the things I'm going to struggle with too.
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#12 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 01:40 AM
 
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That's such a hard situation. Have you thought about explaining to them that as a doula it's very important to you to support moms through the birthing process and to ensure babies have the gentlest welcome possible, and how deeply the possibility of their baby being born a healthy, normal boy and being subjected to such an unnecessary traumatic experience upsets you? Maybe letting them know that you've never had a client do such a thing before, and that you are really uncomfortable attending their birth knowing they're going to circumcise if it's a boy will cause them to rethink whether it's still the norm and/or how invasive/painful/harmful it truly is...just a thought.

(((Hugs))) Momma.

Jen
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#13 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnr3301
please, I'm hurting here. This is not helpful. I do not believe this "choice" should be left up to the parents.

Coloradoalice- they aren't paying me, this is a sort of friend, they have no money and they are due any minute. I can't dump them. I wish I could, but I can't. Not only would it ruin my relationship with them, but with one of my oldest friends (dad's sister) and her parents. Them circing only ruins one relationship (me and them).

I've been having the "can I work with couple who..." debate for a few years now (not just about circ, other stuff too). One of my best friendds is also a doula and doesn't work with couples who circ. We talk about it all the time. I'm glad she does that. I've always thought (foolishly, apparently) I could help change minds; I've been fairly sucessful at it. I know of at least 3 boys who are intact because I was the doula, and a handful of girls who would have been left intact had they been boys. I was making a difference. But this one is killing me.


But refusing to help them would send a strong message and perhaps they'd reconsider.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#14 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 01:48 AM
 
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I'm sorry.

I know of atleast one doula in St. Paul that will not work parents that intend to circ. In rereading your post - I'm probably thinking of your friend. Sarah?

Honestly, in your postition i would explain that I'm very sorry but I wouldn't be able to continue working with them. Offer to give them the names of other doulas. While I wish you could change everyone's mind- you can't. I think the stand doulas take in not working with parents that intend to circ makes a very strong statement.

I'm sorry you're hurting.
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#15 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 01:52 AM
 
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Willowsmama: I think the stand doulas take in not working with parents that intend to circ makes a very strong statement.
i couldn't agree more with you.
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#16 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 02:33 AM
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Would you continue to work with them if they were circumcising their daughter?

Long distance Mom to boarding school superstars E (9) and Layne (6).
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#17 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 02:34 AM
 
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Have they watched "the video"?
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#18 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 02:41 AM
 
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Is there any way to convince them to at least delay the circ for a few days, until after BF is well established?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#19 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 05:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
Is there any way to convince them to at least delay the circ for a few days, until after BF is well established?
: If they were convinced to wait a couple weeks then they could very well change their minds once they saw how perfect their (potential) little boy is. I would talk up delaying and reasons it's good to delay since the father is so adamant and won't listen to reason

's and good luck!

love and peace.

mama to two girls and due in November!
: Circumcision can never be undone :
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#20 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla
Is there any way to convince them to at least delay the circ for a few days, until after BF is well established?
This is what I'm going to work on.

Helen- yep, sarah. I've been leaning that way for so long, this just puts the nail in the coffin. And I agree doulas having this stand is powerful; I'v just always been of the opinion that I could help change people's minds, which I know I have, and that we need many people working at this issue from many perspectives. I just can't be the "mind changer" doula anymore. It's too hard for me when it doesn't work (this is the first time it hasn't worked).

Would I work with them if they were circing a dd? This is exactly what I've been trying to figure out. I'm torn about this, not because of the how I feel necessarily, but because of the timing. If they were due in 2 months, I would have no issue dropping them, they would have time to find someone else. If it wasn't friends, if they weren't broke, if they weren't so clueless.

I dreamt about it all night. I have to do something. I'll send her the link to the video, maybe say I'll talk to them after they watch it. I just don't know. This just sucks.

I have been nauseas ever since last night. I kept waking up and thinking about it. I'm a wreck this morning.

R~mama to 3

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#21 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 10:47 AM
 
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Oh, Rebecca, I'm sorry.

When my brother and his wife were expecting their first, my DH and I talked to her about circumcision. My brother has a circumcised son from a previous marriage, so I was pretty sure I knew what he would do, but she is a smart, thoughtful woman (she teaches special ed), and I thought we had a chance.

But she said they would circ if the baby was a boy (thank God it was a girl). DH and I told her it wasn't recommended, it was painful - the works - and still no go.

Now they're pregnant again. DH and I have been thinking long and hard about how to handle it this time around, and here's what we've come up with. I'm going to send them an e-mail (they live in another state), insisting that every pain control method be used (and explain them), suggesting that they wait at least a week to establish breastfeeding, and describing (in gory detail) aftercare and complications to watch for.

I'm hoping that will scare them into rethinking, but if not, at least the baby will have pain relief, and the parents will know how to care for him. Oh, and I'll also include a bit about loose circumcision - tell them not to be surprised if he doesn't even look circumcised, depending on how much foreskin is left.

My SIL knows how we feel, so there isn't much point in harping about it any more. The best we can hope for now (like you) is to provide the baby with the best possible care during and after his operation.

I feel for you, Rebecca, and I wish people would just LISTEN to us!!!

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

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#22 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 11:09 AM
 
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You can also tell them that it violates too many human rights ethics for you.
I just wanted to quote this. And I want to say this also. As far as getting families to change their minds, most families that I work with aren't sure about circumcision when they meet me. There are some that I "let" hire me not fully knowing if they are going to decide to circumcise. Their choice on where and how they give birth lets me know a lot about the way they view their baby. There have been two couples in four years (doula for 5 1/2) that I haven't worked with. One I could tell in the interview would not change their mind (dad's mind) and one was the awesome couple that floored me with wanting to do it. One had a girl and one circumcised. For both of them, I wouldn't have been able to support this great birth and then watch them mutilate their newborn helpless infant.

MY ethics are allowed into ANY decision I make. I get A LOT of crap from people who think I should support all families regardless. They can be pissed at me, but my family matters too. We (both of us) are effected by what we do. We don't leave a birth at the hospital/home. We bring it with us throughout our day. We process it and replay it, whether it is happy or tragic. For us, the mere thought of someone circumcising is enough to make us physcially throw up. You know in your heart that you are right. It is a huge step to make it a reality.

And you will be in this place again, but luckily you won't be the doula.

We need more then one nocirc doula here, Rebecca!

Sarah - intactivist

wife - mother - midwife

CIRCUMCISION

The more you know, the worse it gets.

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#23 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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sarah- it's always helpful for me to read words I've already heard, so thank you for typing that out.

I've sent out a request for another doula (we're on a Yahoo group with many doulas in the Twin Cities), so hopefully I can find someone for them. As I was talking to Sarah on the phone earlier, crying, I realized I can't do it. I'll find someone else for them, but it's not fair to anyone involved if I am hoping for a particular outcome at a birth. This couple has so many other issues, and I've really been putting myself out there for them in a way I wouldn't for anyone else, and it's not fair to me, in the end it's not fair to them, and none of this is fair to the baby. So I'm out. I really hope my friend and her mom don't hate me, but I can only control my own feelings, and make a stand where I can.

I told her to look into the pain meds available for the baby, but you know in the end, that only touches on one of the problems I have with circumcising. Yes, I have issues with hurting newborns, but there are also life long ramifications, so insisting on adequate pain meds and someone with the baby is a bandaid.

Sarah also reminded me that my crying at the thought of this is the normal reaction, they are the ones with a weird way of thinking, not me. That helped. (and she liked my siggie so much, she changed hers, didja notice? )

R~mama to 3

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#24 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 12:30 PM
 
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Wow. I am really impressed at how you are handling this. You have gone as far as you can and I think that this couple should realize that. It's unfortunate but if they are insistant on mutilating their son after birth it puts you in such a horrible position. I hope you can find someone to work with them.

There are such ramifications to working with pregnant moms aren't there? It's amazing how knowing what I know, the way I view people, especially those that are properly informed, has changed. I litereally cannot stomach anyone who knows all the facts and does it anyway. It has ruined my relationship with my sister and probably my mom also. I have a friend that is due around Christmas and they circumcised their first, but I know she didn't do much research into it. They aren't going to find out the sex, so I have to be proactive. This time she will be informed, and if she does it I'm sure it will ruin our friendship. I have a hard time even dealing with people who did it out of ignorance. I have a noticable physical response towards those that are informed and do it anyway. It just makes me so sad and angry.
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#25 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 01:20 PM
 
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Good for you mamma. Your standing firm sends tingles down my spine. I hope mabie they realize how serious their decision really is. I was ignorant about circumcision when I was pregnant with my son as well. Luckily my husband is a wonderful strong man who would not hear of it. Now, like your siggy says, the more I learn, the worse it gets. I am horrified that circ. is still being practiced and thank each day that my son is intact. Out of ignorance, it would have been so easy to go the other way. You truly are sending a very clear and powerful message. Thankyou.
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#26 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 01:43 PM
 
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are they Christians?


if so PM me and I will PM you a write up on scripture indicating why people who believe Jesus is the Mesiah shouldn't circ.

Partner to :Jessica(??) papa to Jake(7) and : Kaiya (2)
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#27 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 02:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kldliam
I'd send a loud and clear message to them a.s.a.p. You can tell them that you can no longer work with couples who choose to circumcise; starting now. You can also tell them that it violates too many human rights ethics for you. Many doulas wont do it, so you are not alone. Perhaps it will be an eye-opener to them. We absolutely can not continue to offer our support to the circumcising culture anymore....it just sends the wrong message.
ditto that.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this, mama
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#28 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 03:09 PM
 
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Oh, Rebecca, I'm so sorry that they (and really, the doctors who continue this barbaric practice and society as a whole) have put you in this position. It sounds like you're making the decision that will allow you to be at peace with yourself. You shouldn't have to martyr yourself for the sake of a couple who cannot take their cultural blinders off and act in their baby's best interests rather than their own.

I know that if I were doula or midwife to a couple who were planning on circumcising their baby (of either gender) I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. The baby is a human being with human rights and no baby deserves to be cut.

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#29 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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[QUOTE=nd_deadhead]Oh, Rebecca, I'm sorry.

Oh, and I'll also include a bit about loose circumcision - tell them not to be surprised if he doesn't even look circumcised, depending on how much foreskin is left.

I wouldn't include that. IF they are of the mindset that he MUST be circ'd they could actually REQUEST a tight circ because they heard that loose circs don't look circ'd......................
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#30 of 146 Old 08-18-2006, 05:07 PM
 
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[QUOTE=momto3boys]
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead
Oh, Rebecca, I'm sorry.

Oh, and I'll also include a bit about loose circumcision - tell them not to be surprised if he doesn't even look circumcised, depending on how much foreskin is left.

I wouldn't include that. IF they are of the mindset that he MUST be circ'd they could actually REQUEST a tight circ because they heard that loose circs don't look circ'd......................
Hmm, I hadn't thought about that - it's a good point.

Perhaps indicating that they are done differently now (compared to 1968, when my brother was born, or even 1992, when my nephew was born) might avoid that trap.

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

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