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My son is circed................

1179 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  hakunangovi
and I regret every minute of it. Everyday when i see he poor little penis I just want to cry seeing what I have done to him. When we talked to our ped. he told us that he saw no reason for it and that he himself kept his son's intact. Dh and I decided to do it so they would "look the same". I knew I had made the wrong decision when the brought my baby back to be after the procedure was done and i opened his diaper and saw what they had done to him, what *I* let them do to him.
How could I have been so stupid? I now have to live with the guilt for the rest of my life. I have already decided that if we do have another son I will keep him intact, but was curious abuthat to say to ds when he gets older and asks why I did this to him.

Please don't flame me for this. I just need a little advice on how to handle my guilt and how I should explain to ds why I allowed him to be mutilated.Ds (Carter) is 2, so I have been dealing with this for quite some time. You guys seem like a very supportive group, this is why I came here (just joined today, although I have been lurking for quite some time).
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I guess I would tell him the truth, that you at the time thought it was very important that he "look" like his daddy. Then I would tell him that after you thought about it more you realized you were wrong and had made a mistake.
If you didn't know exactly what a circumcision was and how it was done, I woud tell him that too. Tell him you didn't fully understand what you were having done, only if that is the truth though. Again, I would be as honest with him as possible, age appropiate of course (I assume you aren't going to discuss it with him yet).
I think it is great that you have decided to leave any other sons you have intact!
You may want to read through the thread I've posted above. You'll see you're not alone, there are LOTS of mothers here in the same situation as you.

I think honesty would be the best policy with your son. It sounds like you weren't really aware what circ was, as you were shocked seeing him after. Tell him that you chose what you thought was the best thing at the time, but you've since learned differently and saw no need to do the same thing to his brother. Apologize for making a choice that wasn't yours to make.
I don't think he'll be mad at you. I haven't seen any grown circ'd men mad at parents who admitted they were wrong/apologized. The only ones I've seen who were angry, had mothers saying "so what, get over it". It doesn't sound like you're that kind of person at all.

I don't think beating yourself up over this will do any good. Turn your anger at the doctors who did not discourage you, who (apparently) did not inform you, the medical profession that claims they only circ because the parents want, yet asks 6 times if you want to circ! Those people had no business even offering you the choice. a first-time mother it is so EASY to assume they know what they're doing and wouldn't even mention circ unless it was a good thing.....

Is DH on board with leaving future children intact? If yes, wonderful. If no, ask around, we have lots of info you might be able to use.

Enjoy your little boy, he is very lucky to have a mom who obviously cares very much for him.

Blake 4.16.04
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mama. There's a Maya Angelou quotation that a lot of us around MDC get a great deal of comfort from - it goes something like, "I did then what I knew how to do. When you know better, you do better."

The only thing I have to add to the great advice you got above is don't be shy about letting your friends and family know about your heartache and regret. Circumcision is a cultural artifact in our country - I and practically every other person I know grew up thinking it was normal and desirable. Some of us were lucky enough to stumble across the truth before our babies were born, others, like you, weren't - and our doctors aren't telling us the cold hard truth for fear of stepping on our toes. I thank my lucky stars every day that I came across MDC before my ds was born, or he might have been circed too.

The only way things are going to change is if we speak up and let everyone know how harmful and unnecessary circumcision is.

to MDC, and
to you and your boy!

ETA: Carter is an awesome name!
I so wanted to name my son Carter, but my dh objected because I used to have a huge crush on a guy named Carter (IRL, not just on ER!)
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So sorry to read of your sons loss and your feelings of guilt.All you can do for him is admit your feelings about the issue now.When he is older you can let him know about restoration.It can not bring back all the losses,but it will certainly help.Hopefully he will keep his future son's intact. You might have a harder battle with your dh who(if you have another son) might insist on them all having mutilated penises.That is crazy ofcourse.Just put your foot down and say no.There are a few threads on familes that have 1-2 mutilated boys,and then choose to leave their next son normal.
Best wishes for you!
Also keep in mind that it may be possible for your son to sue his circumciser when he turns 18, even though you consented to the surgery. The more lawsuits that take place, the faster circumcision will end in this country. Contact Attorneys for the Rights of the Child for more information.

Also, what "Huntsville" do you live in? Just wondering if you're close to me.
I regretted having my 2nd son done. I felt I didn't know any better with the 1st so that was ok to let go. But my 2nd? I knew better. I stamped my foot down and ds3 is intact.
When/if the time comes, I will be honest with my sons. 12 yo has never commented on the differences in his brothers, DD hasn't either. Except she did ask what a circ was and I said ds2 is, ds3 ins't. (both in diapers at the time)
I think this baby is a girl, but I do hope for a boy, just to leave him intact. When you know better, you do better. That is all we can do.
A & A, I am from Huntsville, AL.

Thnks you guys so much. I will have no problems with dh as after he saw Carter's poor little penis he was quite shocked himself. I told him the next one is staying intact and he is fine with that. I think the one thing that made me feel so bad is, when Carter came back to me after his circumcision my parents were in the room with us. My dad saw what was done and said, "I never understood why fathers do this to their sons, it has never made any sense to me." I do not know whether my dad is intact or not, but it kinda took me by suprise and left me thinking on this for quite some time.

Originally Posted by beckyh
when Carter came back to me after his circumcision my parents were in the room with us. My dad saw what was done and said, "I never understood why fathers do this to their sons, it has never made any sense to me." I do not know whether my dad is intact or not, but it kinda took me by suprise and left me thinking on this for quite some time.

You should talk to your parents about it.The more we talk about it the more we realise how wrong it is and we might save other boys from this unnecessary trauma.Ask your dad about his status.It is nothing to be embarassed about. I have talked to my mom about it,as well as my brother who is intact.Definately encourage your son to restore and take legal action later on(if he wishes).
I'm bumping this up, I know, but I had to physically HAD TO.
I am the mother of (almost...he's allowed to come out this weekend!!!) three boys. The first two had their foreskins amputated. This new one will not.
I understand your guilt...I live it daily. Circing my sons is one of my greatest regrets as a mother (tied only with not bfing my oldest child...). The more I learn, the more I want to hate myself. The worst part for me is that *I* signed the papers....I gave the permission. I was the one championing the surgery, giving the "good reasons" it should be done (all anecdotal, mind gma had cervical cancer and my gpa was never occurred to me that there is a HUGE family history of reproductive cancers in the women of my family).
So now, I'm facing the birth of my third son, who will be left blissfully, beautifully intact. And I've fought my dh every step of the way. Mostly because "he won't look like his brothers and me". Fortunately, I've convinced dh of the fact that ds3 might not look like anyone in this house, and really, who cares about penile differences, anyway??

Before I hijack your thread, let me get back to the topic...
I understand your pain. I, too, will be faced with the "How could you do this to me, Mom" questions when my boys are older. Even if it never comes from them (dh assures me he never asked HIS parents), it will always come from me. The only thing we can do is be honest with our sons...I didn't know any better. If I had, I would have never done that to them.
The only thing we can do is be honest and sincere with our explanations and apologies. And be thankful that we eventually learned better...I can't imagine going through an entire lifetime believing that circ is a good idea. If I couldn't save the foreskins of my sons through my own ignorance, hopefully I can save the foreskins of my grandsons.
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Grnbn, you just go ahead and hijack away. You have the permission of the alpha male :LOL of this board. Stories like yours are valuable and important on this board and we welcome them no matter where they are posted.

We all make our mistakes and we have to make the best of them. When you are given lemons, make lemonade. When you learn too late about circmcision, you make sure that you teach your children what you have learned so that you can leave a legacy of genital integrity for your descendants. That is a legacy that will live generations past your lifetime and generations of your family will appreciate your wisdom.

Hi Becky!- Welcome to MDC. I would like to comment on your dad's reaction... but first I'll have to tell you my story.

I have two kids, a boy and a girl- my son was born first and he is intact. The reasons why he is intact has probably as much to do with the cosmos as it does with me doing any research. I just happened to grow up in certain circumstances which allowed me to find out about the value of genital integrity. My parents were artists, so there were art history books in our home- and the very first nude males I ever saw were in classical art- intact. I lived for a while back and forth between in Europe and USA, and had European and American boyfriends, I majored in figurative sculpture in college and developed a whole new feeling about natural anatomy in the everlasting asthetic of the human body.

I married an American man from Kentucky. His father was a Cherokee Indian, and his mother was a horse girl from the Applachian foothills. They trained racehorses.

When I was pregnant, my husband swore that our son should be circumcised to look like him, that it must be done! I objected and said that this would never happen... that I could not allow my child to lose such an important part of his body. The arguments would downspiral as my husband would feel the implication that HE was sexually damaged.... and he would become more angry, more defiant, and more desperate. He would say "You hate me!" It was NUTS. All I wanted to do was not cut the baby... and now I'm being accused of hating the love of my life!! This is the way that circumcision damages.

In the beginning I thought that it was the sexual anatomy which was the great loss, but over time, I have changed my mind on that. I now feel that the way that circumncision harms our culture, our relationships, our feelings about each other and ourselves... that damage might even be far worse. A new mom who feels sorrow whenever she sees her beautiful child's body.... that is a terrible wound... perhaps worse- than the surgery. And that sadness might also carry over to him as well. (why are europeans so comfortable with nudity and americans are so ashamed?) How does it set the stage for your maternal empowerment into society when in the very first days you made a mistake you can't undo? Well- it doesn't! It sets a precedent that you can be bullied... and they have the mark to prove it. Our culture is harmed when there are so few parents who will take on the administrations which destroy our families. When the grown-ups have already been bullied by "the lockerroom" when we are expected to drop our son's into the helplessness of mob rule. This will come in handy when the t-ball team is going to meet in 99 degree weather in black uniforms, when they want to pass random drug tests in your son's school, or when they want to draft him into an unjust war... "they" are going to keep testing your limits and your boundries... and they do it from the very start. We see the harm in a father's horror, or shame. A grandfather's dissapointment. A mother in law's insistence. A doctor's inability to be honest, or objective. A culture which is, like my husband once did- loudly proclaiming- "NO DAMAGE HERE!" all the while we are hiding our shame, zip-lipped and turning our backs to the soundproof room where they do that to our sons.

My in laws- they did not consent to circumcise my husband. My MIL was knocked out on post c-section drugs and my FIL was not even in town. It was done because the hospital had a habit of doing it. My husband was circumcised- just like all the other boys in the nursery that day. My in laws were ashamed of what happened. No one was circumcised on either side of the family- they never would have let it happen had they had a chance to stop it... but their shame over their child's loss- kept them silent. Then they circumcised the younger brother to keep that silence unquestioned, because they were hoping that really the doctor did know best.

When I had to tearfully struggle to defend his grandson's genital integrity- against his own accidentally circumcised son... my son's INTACT grandfather said not one word. Grandmother, sister to four intact bothers, wife of intact man, daughter of intact father... she said not one word. (they did not know the struggle was happening... just as my husband did not know that he was the first man in his family to bear this mark) No one stood up to help me defend this child from this cultural compulsion. It was just fate on my side (and my son's side) that had left me with a knowledge base strong enough to actually be willing to walk out over this. Had my feelings gone only so far as "it's painful"... my son would be circumcised because of the fierce pressure put on me to comply and keep peace. If I harbor any resentment- it's to the people who were "polite" and minded their own business and did not speak up in defense of my child.

Your dad did that to you. He held it all in until it was too late, when his dissapointment could not help you or his grandson. I think, before you do any worrying about what to say to your son... you have to figure out what to say to all the people who let you down by not giving you the benefit of their own honesty. And you need to encourage them to start speaking up so that other people are not in the position that you are in. Give them permission to talk about you... tell them- "I want you to tell every pregnant woman you see that you thought you had to be quiet and mind your own business and that I regret circumcising my son every day- and only after I circumcised him- did I find out how many people would have supported me in a decision to leave him intact... that if people were more honest with us, we would not be feeling so sad about what we allowed to happen to our son. You tell them how you felt when you saw inside that diaper. Do that for me from now on."

Write to the hospital and to the doctor who did it. Tell them how you feel, that you did not understand what you were getting into. Were you shown a film of a circumcision? What was on the consent form? Did anyone tell you about the sexual function of the foreskin? Did anyone tell you about how to care for an intact boy- how easy it was? Or that circumcision is not recomended by any medical soicety?

over and over- informed consent is benefits, risks AND alternatives... was the option of NO circumcision offered as a totally safe and reasonable alternative? Were you solicited for a surgery no one needed? Did they give you the impression that you were authorised to elect unnecissary surgery for someone? You weren't... not unless there is an indication or an emergency! The people who set you up- and you were set up... they were violating some very well laid out professional guidelines in order to do a circumcision... common or not- it's still outside their guidelines. They should be sued, but if nothing else- they should be told that you would LOVE to sue them for what they did. It might make them think twice about turning that conveyor belt on.

Love Sarah
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Sarah, what an outstanding post !! You have an amazing way with words - and a lot of really great advice.
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