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<p>We just found out we are having a boy (yippee!), and while I am pleased beyond words there is one discussion that now needs to be had between my husband and I--the circumcision discussion.  I'm sure I don't need to explain my reasons to being anti-circumcision to this group, but in the brief conversations we've had I know my husband is very pro.  He stated to me that his main concerns are: 1. cleanliness; 2. looking like his daddy; and 3. "fitting in" with other boys and not being ostracized by girls.  Regarding cleanliness, my brother was actually not circumcised many years ago and had to be circumcised at a later age (4) because of ongoing infection despite cleaning the area--so my husband knows of a specific example.  2. & 3. I can try and give my husband all the "research" in the world but I am sure he's going by emotion and his own experience to guide him on this.  My initial thought is to say that I trust him to make the best decision for our son, but that before he leads w/ emotion I would like for him to read a few articles that describe my concerns.  I don't want to give him gory graphic info (as I think his knee-jerk reaction would be to be defensive), but I want to give him articles that make his really think through whether or not this is TRULY best for our son.  Can any of you who have been in this situation tell me how this discussion happened with you, and/or can you refer me to good, thoughtful articles?  Thanks for sticking with me through this long note!  </p>
 

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<p>we just found out that we are having a boy too. This topic hadn't registered on my mind yet - I'm still processing the whole "there's someone with a penis in my belly..." thing. (maybe I'm just weird. I don't know.)</p>
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<p>But I brought the subject up with DH when I was pregnant with DD, and we didn't exactly see eye to eye. </p>
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<p>I'm thinking this time, when I bring it up, I'm going to use the "the onus of proof is on you" tactic and the "it can always be done later but it can never be undone" argument. </p>
 

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<p>that's really tough. before we found out the sex of our baby, i was open to reading more about not circumcising and DP was unequivocally for it. we didn't really get to discuss it much because there was really nothing to discuss at the time. i hadn't done enough research to be able to hit him with all the facts and he was being pretty stubborn about it.</p>
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<p>maybe you could talk about how circumcision makes the penis less sensitive. i didn't know this, but i read a debate on another forum a few mom's had comparing circumcision to female genital mutilation and it struck me as very interesting. that could be a good starting point for you guys?</p>
 

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<p>When we had our first son, my husband was pro-circumcision for the reasons you stated.  After I had done some research and come to my own non-circ conclusion, we talked about it.  Ultimately I gave him the decision since he knows what it's like to have a penis and I don't.  All I asked of him was to do some research into the matter before he decided.</p>
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<p>A couple of weeks later he told me that despite his feelings of wanting his son to look like him, he couldn't find any scientific reasons to cut our son.  I was so relieved!  I don't think there's another way I could have gone about it with him to allow him to come to that conclusion - otherwise he'd have gotten defensive I think.</p>
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<p>With our second son we never even had the discussion, so I have to assume that he doesn't regret his decision.</p>
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<p>I hope you find what works for you!</p>
 

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<p>I highly recommend reading this <a href="http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/vulnerability_of_men.html" target="_blank">essay</a>.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>othersomethings</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280663/how-to-talk-circumcision-w-a-husband-who-is-pro-circumcise#post_16060462"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>we just found out that we are having a boy too. This topic hadn't registered on my mind yet - I'm still processing the whole "there's someone with a penis in my belly..." thing.</p>
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I'm so GLAD that I'm not the only one slightly freaking out about that!!  After 2 girls it feels WEIRD to have a boy in there!!</p>
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<p>About circ- I also made the agreement with DH that he could ultimately make the final decision about what to do with the penis since he has one and I do not.  He is STRONGLY opposed to circ.  His main reasons are because it removes a significant portion of the nerve endings in the penis.  I am thinking that more and more people are opting to NOT circ (especially since many hospitals do not do it and medicare doesn't cover it) that maybe when our boys are older it won't be as wierd.  We have a frined who I know is not circumcised (from Europe) I know just via hearing the guys talk but I don't know how to ask if it ever bothered him growing up in the states.  I'm sure he would be open to the discussion but its still kinda wierd to ask.<br>
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<p>my oldest was circd I didn't even know I had a choice.same wit #2 and number 3 I didn't feel strongly enough about it to make him different than dad and all 3 boys. but... i saw a video of one being done and BOOM just couldn't do it. my DH saw it too after I did. we never circd#4 and if we do have another boy we will not circ. for Daniel it was seeing how its done that made a difference</p>
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<p>In regards to  looking different in the locker room...consider where  you live.  Europe has low rates of circs.  In the States, the coasts, TX, NM, AZ have low rates too.  There are higher rates in the Midwest, but in my area circs are at 70% of boys and dropping.</p>
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<p>He's going to find boys who look like him and don't look like him where ever he goes.</p>
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<p>As far as looking different that dad, dad has been through puberty, so he already looks different. </p>
 

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<p>We had this discussion several years ago. At first DH was pro circ, but not for any really good reasons (because I am, it's cleaner, etc). We kept discussing it and I think what really made a difference to him was talking about how absolutely perfect DD1 was at birth - would we ever consider cutting off a part of her body, unnecessarily, causing her tremendous pain? NO!! Why would we do that to a son?</p>
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<p>Now he talks to friends, and most recently my brother, about not circing their sons.</p>
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<p>We have a boy on the way after two girls and I am so relieved that we've already had this discussion and it's settled. It's stressful, even more so when you're  pregnant. I wish I had some actual advice... Keep us posted! </p>
 

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<p>It's not typically done in Europe. My second boy was born in Romania and I was anti-circumcision but didn't have to worry about it because they don't normally do them. My son is now almost 2 and has absolutely no problems. Might the problems with the 4 year old have been because someone retracted his foreskin? I know that is a true concern. Foreskin infections can be equivalent to a vaginal infection. They can be treated in the same way I believe. </p>
<p>I agree with the argument that it can always be done later. My hubby did end up being circumcised even though he's from Romania but not until later and it was due to an infection that probably could have been cleared up. </p>
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<p>I did circumcise my first as I didn't know anything else and thought it was basically expected but I found it a bit disturbing at times as his penis for now seems more sensitive than his brothers when he was wearing diapers or potty pants and his little wee wee would go up way more often than his uncircumcised brother. I actually don't think I've ever seen my second boy with that problem. Also, I found it easier to change diapers because the wee wee will just stay pointed down better with my second boy, so there were less pee leaks. </p>
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<p>Also, circumcisions can go wrong and I've heard of newborns dying from botched circumcisions. And newborns do feel the pain from the circumcision unlike what some believe.</p>
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<p>Those are things I would touch on with your hubby personally. </p>
 
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>malayasmommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280663/how-to-talk-circumcision-w-a-husband-who-is-pro-circumcise#post_16060435"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We just found out we are having a boy (yippee!), and while I am pleased beyond words there is one discussion that now needs to be had between my husband and I--the circumcision discussion.  I'm sure I don't need to explain my reasons to being anti-circumcision to this group, but in the brief conversations we've had I know my husband is very pro.  He stated to me that his main concerns are: 1. cleanliness; 2. looking like his daddy; and 3. "fitting in" with other boys and not being ostracized by girls.  <span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">Regarding cleanliness, my brother was actually not circumcised many years ago and had to be circumcised at a later age (4) because of ongoing infection despite cleaning the area-</span>-so my husband knows of a specific example.  2. & 3. I can try and give my husband all the "research" in the world but I am sure he's going by emotion and his own experience to guide him on this.  My initial thought is to say that I trust him to make the best decision for our son, but that before he leads w/ emotion I would like for him to read a few articles that describe my concerns.  I don't want to give him gory graphic info (as I think his knee-jerk reaction would be to be defensive), but I want to give him articles that make his really think through whether or not this is TRULY best for our son.  Can any of you who have been in this situation tell me how this discussion happened with you, and/or can you refer me to good, thoughtful articles?  Thanks for sticking with me through this long note!  </p>
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<br><br><p>If he was repeatedly retracted and cleaned wether he was ready to or not, that can cause infection not prevent it.</p>
 

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<p>FYI--In the essay I posted earlier, it explains that while men give all those reasons mentioned, what it really comes down to is the fact that if they are circ'ed and you choose not to circ your sons, they will generally take this as you saying  that you think something is wrong with their own penises.  They MUST circ their sons to prove that what was done to them is preferable, and therefore their own penises are preferable.   What they really need is reassurance and validation that you love them and you love their bodies just the way that they are.</p>
 

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<p>Cleanliness: The intact penis only needs to be wiped off at diaper changes just like you would wipe a finger. There is no need to ever retract the foreskin to clean under it as it is attached to the glans until it naturally separates. In some boys, retraction may not occur until PUBERTY (or even later) and that is considered fine and normal. Once the foreskin does retract, your son can be taught to rinse it in the shower or bath. Soap is not advised as is can actually cause infection just as soap in the vagina can cause an infection.</p>
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<p>With a boy that is circumcised, the raw wound on the penis becomes exposed to the painful burning of urine and feces getting on it in his diaper. As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection, bleeding and death.</p>
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<p>Looking like Daddy: No two people have the same genitals. A baby's genitals are never going to look like an adult's genitals. Is your husband planning on shaving off all of his pubic hair so he can match the baby? We do not get our daughters breast implants so they can have the look of developed breasts like mama has. The only thing my 8 year old intact son has said about his circumcised father's penis is that he feels bad someone cut part of it off! To me this argument has absolutely no merit at all. If the child ever does ask why his father doesn't have foreskin, someone can gently explain that when Daddy was little, they thought it was okay to cut off the foreskin but now they know there is no reason to do that.</p>
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<p>Fitting in with other boys: Lately it has been reported that the circumcision rate has dropped to only 33%. Your son would have plenty of intact friends. We all have a lot of things on our bodies that make us different physically and it's silly to expect that we all should look the same. When I was in school, if any of the guys were caught checking out other guy's stuff in the locker room, they were not regarded favorably.</p>
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<p>Women: In my group of friends and family, we prefer a partner with an intact penis. Since more boys are being left intact, the girls that grow up in this generation will likely view an intact penis as the norm.</p>
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<p>Here is a link with plenty of resources for you:</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.thewholenetwork.org/the-library.html" target="_blank">http://www.thewholenetwork.org/the-library.html</a></p>
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<p>I also suggest visiting The Case Against Circumcision forum here on MDC as there are many resources there. You might want to take a look at the thread where parents talk about why they regret circumcising their sons. </p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>1 - cleanliness - there are far more boys who are uncirc'ed who have no problems than those who do. It's unfortunate that you have your brother's story there so  close at hand, but maybe you can find information on rates of chronic infection necessitating later circumcision (This <a href="http://www.circumstitions.com/Utis.html" target="_blank">this one</a>, maybe). Also, this isn't really an argument. Your son might also get an infection on his toe, should you cut that off now too? :)  (sorry if that comes off sounding snarky, I totally don't mean it that way!! :) )</p>
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<p>2 - Looking like daddy - my 2 DSs have never noticed that they look different. We've never pointed it out. If they ever do notice, we'll explain that DH's penis had part of it cut off and we chose not to cut their penises when they were babies. We don't think they'll mind that :)</p>
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<p>3 - Fitting in - As others have pointed out, circ rates are dropping. We're in the midwest and i know many, many moms with boys who are not circ'd. Could be the crowd I run in, but it gives me hope :D And, as they get older and start doing lockers and whatnot, we'll talk to them about how to defend themselves against possible criticism (things like "why do you care what my penis looks like?" or "Why are you looking at my penis anyway?" or "My parents didn't cut/mutilate me when I was a baby. I'm sorry yours chose to.")</p>
<p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/health/research/17circ.html" target="_blank">http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/health/research/17circ.html</a></p>
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<p>Here's a couple articles. The first one is strongly anti-circ, but cites many studies you may be able to point to, to back up your points.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.intactamerica.org/dangerousmistake" target="_blank">http://www.intactamerica.org/dangerousmistake</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.listen2yourgut.com/blog/circumcision-good-or-bad/" target="_blank">http://www.listen2yourgut.com/blog/circumcision-good-or-bad/</a></p>
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<p>If it comes down to it, you can always ask DH to wait and not do it in the hospital, and have your ped do it a week or two later. It's possible in that time he may change his mind, once he's grown used to seeing the uncirc'd penis during diaper changes and whatnot.</p>
 

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<p>I have a son who is not circumcised but circumcision wasn't even an issue for discussion because no one in my ex's family or my family is circumcised (he's of European background and my family is British/New Zealand).  It won't be an issue for me this time as no one in my partner's family is circumcised either (he's American).</p>
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<p>Regarding cleanliness - my son is nearly 4 yrs old and for about 2 years now he's been cleaning it himself.  It's never been an issue.  He didn't like me cleaning it so I told him to do it himself.  I taught him how and he's always done a good job - he's had no issues.  As long as boys keep cleaning it properly it shouldn't be an issue.</p>
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<p>As far as boys looking like their Dad.... well they are not going to look anything like their Dad until they go through puberty.  Boy's penises look very different to man's penises so this isn't even an issue IMO.  If anything it's more important that they look like their peers - though I doubt they spend a long time looking at eachother's penises... idk.  Here in Canada the trend is not to circumcise, so if boys are circumcised they will be in the minority.</p>
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<p>There are always anecdotal cases of boys having to be circumcised when they're older for various reasons.  <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Most</span> boys who aren't circumcised are just fine that way. </p>
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<p>The other thing I feel strongly about is that you're cutting something very personal off their body.  Shouldn't that be the child's choice?  It's the same reason I didn't have my daughter's ears pierced... it should be her decision to permanently alter her body (it will be her choice when she's old enough to make that decision).  Just as important when we're talking permanently altering a penis!  Men who are circumcised lose sensation in their penis when they're older from all the constant rubbing on their clothes... so they don't have as much feeling with sex.  That doesn't sound like fun!</p>
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<p>There is some good information regarding circumcision on the <a href="http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/pregnancybabies/Circumcision.htm" target="_blank">Canadian Pediatric Society</a> website.  It's not pushy and it's not too long - has statistics... might be something your husband would read and not feel like he was being bullied.</p>
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<p>Good luck!</p>
 

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<p>I had actually prepared myself to battle my DH about this very issue when I pg with DS. However our discussion somehow went very smoothly. My main reason for not wanting to do it was because it wasn't my body. I have real issue that parents get to make this decision in the first place. It's not my penis, it's not my husband's, why should either of us have a say in cutting off a completely normal, healthy, functional part of our child? I think that if baby was female people would be horrified to suggest performing cosmetic surgery on them as infants.</p>
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<p>DS ended up being born considerably early and we spent 6 weeks in the NICU. They asked us once if we wanted it done because it would have to be scheduled 2 weeks in advance because there was only one neonatologist on staff that would perform circ's. This was at a large Children's Hospital in the Midwest....so my assumption is that at least among preemie's at that particular hospital the rates are probably lower than average.</p>
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<p>As a side note (and I hope I don't offend anyone as that's not my intent!) I don't understand why many women say their DH/partner gets to make the decision just because they also have a penis. Why does that matter? I'm not being snarky....I honestly don't get that thought process though.....especially if your DH is circ'ed.....he doesn't know what it's like to be intact anyhow so he has no personal experience to go on to make an unbiased opinion.</p>
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<p>All this said, had my sister not introduced me to MDC I am 100% positive my child would have been circ'ed as I didn't question the medical establishment a whole heck of a lot before I read some of the threads here. Thanks to all the wonderful women who led me to do my own research and protect my DS from surgery!!!</p>
 

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<p>My ex-husband is Jewish, so our DS was circumcised - i didnt want to do it - but i had an entire family citing 5000 years of 'tradition' so i folded.  It was terrible, that poor baby cried so much over the next week - it was so obvious he was in pain. </p>
<p>My second husband is not Jewish- when i broached the subject of c'cising he was on the fence- again, wanting baby to look like Dad, not be rejected by girls etc..etc...Then a friend of ours described how their sons c-cision was almost botched, - something about a clamp not opening back up when it was supposed to.  After just hearing that a clamp was required to perform this procedure my DH#2 was horrified, did some of his own research - found out exactly what happens and is now a huge advocate <strong>agains</strong>t c'cising. </p>
<p>I think you need to bring this subject closer to 'home' with your husband - i think many men would freak out and resist a clamp on their penis!  When he really has to confront <em>exactly</em> what he is doing to his young baby - he may be able to get past all the reasons and just leave him alone!  Good Luck!</p>
 
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<p> </p>
<p><br>
There's some really great info on this thread, and I don't need to repeat it, but I encouage you to HAVE this conversation with your husband, and have it many times, if need be.  Ask him to consider the information you can bring to him about the cons of circ'ing.  I find, in my experience with friends and family, that most men come around when provided with some good information, even though most are circ'ed themselves.  Locally and in Ontario, only about 40% of baby boys are circ'ed now, so those uncircumsized boys will be in good company.  A pp'er made a good point that there will always be other kids who look and don't look like them.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>puddle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280663/how-to-talk-circumcision-w-a-husband-who-is-pro-circumcise#post_16061288"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>FYI--In the essay I posted earlier, it explains that while men give all those reasons mentioned, what it really comes down to is the fact that if they are circ'ed and you choose not to circ your sons, they will generally take this as you saying  that you think something is wrong with their own penises.  They MUST circ their sons to prove that what was done to them is preferable, and therefore their own penises are preferable.   What they really need is reassurance and validation that you love them and you love their bodies just the way that they are.</p>
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I think this is really quite true. My dh, when finding out about other's who've circ'ed, will say 'I don't understand. they must have security or self-confidance issues'. </p>
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<p>In our own case, we chose not to circ our firstborn b/c our dr. shared excellent info with us that it wasn't necessary, offered no benefits, and was outrageously expensive.  Obviously, we said, 'meh, not thanks'.  No big deal, really.  As time went on we began to feel more and more strongly that an intact penis was much more 'normal' and healthier.  Our son has never had issues, of course.  After the birth of my daughter, we accidentally, seperately overheard another baby being circ'ed, I even heard the conversation between the dr. and nurse before the procedure.  When I came back into my room, where my husband sat with my daughter, we were both in tears and so traumatized by what we heard.  We will never feel nonchalant again about it :(</p>
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<p>Lastly, anecdotally, regarding 'comparing' penises between father and son (father circ'ed, son isn't), my ds has NEVER noticed daddy's penis looks different despite often bathing together (it obviously looks different anyway, just like my vagina looks different from my daughter's), but he has asked why a friend's was so 'small!' in the tub, lol, and what kind of penis it was. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>othersomethings</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280663/how-to-talk-circumcision-w-a-husband-who-is-pro-circumcise#post_16060462"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>we just found out that we are having a boy too. This topic hadn't registered on my mind yet - I'm still processing the whole "there's someone with a penis in my belly..." thing. (maybe I'm just weird. I don't know.)</p>
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<p>But I brought the subject up with DH when I was pregnant with DD, and we didn't exactly see eye to eye. </p>
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<p>I'm thinking this time, when I bring it up, I'm going to use the <em><strong>"the onus of proof is on you" tactic and the "it can always be done later but it can never be undone" argument. </strong></em></p>
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<p>I agree with the above.  My husband is (thankfully) against MGM and is currently going through foreskin restoration but if he wasn't I would never make it his decision.  The default is how the baby was born and if he wants to surgically alter that then HE can try to convince you.  If your son wants to "look like dad" he can make that choice at the age of consent instead of being robbed of the choice as an infant.<br>
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