Mom Monday: Dispelling Common Myths Surrounding Circumcision

First, let me tell you how controversial this is in my family and my husband’s family. It’s like which football team you like to the maximum- but I’m here today to do some dispelling of myths and discuss why most major religions do not indicate that foreskin removal is a way to sanctify your child… Although lets be honest, wouldn’t it be awesome if by having your child’s foreskin cut off they will be a perfectly behaved saint and go straight to heaven? I did a lot a lot of research regarding foreskin removal (aka, circumcision) before Judah was born. I was left confused and with one eyebrow up at all the facts that bombarded me via the internet… Something that I hadn’t cared about at all before was such a major issue to people.

First, I’m going to address this religiously, for my own religion and myself. If you are a Christian, undoubtedly you believe the Bible and the stories about it’s customs in the past. Customs like marrying the man who raped you out of wedlock and stoning women who had affairs. Things we don’t practice on a regular basis because they simply do not apply to our society and thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus. To get into heaven, you have to accept Jesus into your heart and strive to live according to his teachings… You don’t have to have part of your body removed. End of story. There is no doubt in my mind that back in Jesus’ day, circumcisions were routine, and probably really great for babies since many of them lacked access to soap and water… which are a big part of our society today. The lack of soap and water alone is a pretty good reason to have your child’s foreskin removed to prevent infections… However, it’s also important to look at the major continents and places now days that do not circumsize and still have healthy, happy babies who do not routinely get or die from infection. Less than 1 percent of uncircumcised male children will have a problem with reoccurring infections. It’s not a common occurance, and usually it’s not really related to being uncircumcised in itself. Usually it’s related to either poor cleanliness, improper care, or a poor immune system. (Too much sugar promotes yeast infections in all people, since bacteria and fungus thrive in sugary environments). It’s kind of like tonsillitis. You don’t have your newborn’s tonsils removed on the idea that they will ‘maybe’ have a problem with reoccurring tonsil issues in the future… So why is circumcision routinely done to newborns? It is a surgical procedure, it is absolutely painful, and YES, babies can die from it or be maimed for life if it is done wrong or an infection occurs.

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Actually, an estimated 220 infants die from complications of circumsicion every year. That’s as many deaths as SIDS is responsible for. But that’s a whole different conversation about the coverups in the medical community due to personal beliefs. Boys who are circumcised are more likely to have sexual health problems too… Including excessive dryness with their partner (making relationships more uncomfortable) and earlier development of Erectile Dysfunction. This is probably because when you remove a foreskin you are removing nerves. Not just some nerves, either. You are removing billions of nerves- and then you are exposing the part of the penis to the outdoors that was supposed to be protected from exposure to protect sensitivity. So, at first, it will seem like there are no different issues… But after a while, issues can come up. You cannot undo a circumcision. That is the saddest thing to me in the world. You cannot give your child back the nerves or the protection that they had at birth. You had a part of their body removed that cannot be replaced.

So as I walked into the appointment to have my son’s foreskin removed, I felt queazy and strange. I wasn’t doing it because I was worried about infections… I was doing it because my husband had it done and his parents said it was the right thing for my son… But I felt immediately that it wasn’t at all the right thing for him. They took him back and I heard him scream as they numbed the area- not painlessly, but immensely scared painful scream. I had texted Nick and asked if we had to do it. He texted back “Don’t do it if you don’t think we should.” I ran up to the front desk and say something along the lines of “Please stop the circumcision I don’t want it done.” and then a few minutes later, a very very shocked doctor and nurse returned with my tiny son in tow and placed him in my arms. They showed me the injection site (what a huge bruise!) and handed him to me. I had asked the doctor before “Is there a medical reason to have this done?” and he said “No.” There is not a medical reason to have it done, so why would I have it done. It’s not a part of my religious beliefs… And if my son is concerned about being ‘different’ from his Dad- I can explain to him why we decided to let him choose what he did with his body.

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Most uncircumcised boys do not have any issues with being that way. In California 80 percent and upwards of infants are not circumcised, and this is a growing movement across the country. Medicaid assistance no longer covers the cost of circumcisions because of the fact that they are not medically needed. This crud out there about prevention of STD’s and aids is completely ridiculous. The only way to prevent these things is to wear protection and to not have high risk intercourse. Sex for females is an important thing to mention as well. Most women who have experienced both (which I have not and will not) say that sex with a person with an intact penis was not only better but more romantic and gentle. They describe it as more comfortable and more pleasurable all around… Whereas much of the time males who are unintact are forced to go faster and harder and with how tight the skin becomes it can actually hurt the woman in the process, and then men can have excessive dryness and cracking and bleeding and all sorts of fun… Which has happened in our world. Making this choice for my son was the best thing I feel I could have done as a parent. He is almost three and has had no infections. I don’t regret my choice, and I am so glad I made it. It is important to research and be confident in a choice that is absolutely irreversible.

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  1. Amy -  February 12, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    Thank you for this. I’m going to bookmark this 🙂 I left my son intact, and faced alot of “why would you do that?!” from people. Because I see no reason to cut off a perfectly healthy piece of his anatomy, that’s why!

  2. Robin -  February 12, 2013 - 1:06 pm

    what an amazing story you have. I commend you for sharing it and for saving you son!!! You are a hero to him and to me and to many who believe that “not your body, not your choice” is the only way, there is no personal opinion. I love that you are able to set aside your family expectations and to think logically and protect your son from a painful experience.
    You are one strong mama.

  3. Becky -  February 12, 2013 - 8:32 pm

    Good for you for saving your son!

  4. Erin -  February 12, 2013 - 10:23 pm

    What an incredible story! My heart sunk when I read that you brought your son in to be circumcised, then my heart was in my throat when I thought you may have been too late trying to stop it…I almost cried when I got to the happy ending! Seriously, amazing story. It’s like something out of a movie (“Stop the circumcision!!”), and literally JUST IN TIME! Thank you for saving your son, and for sharing this wonderful story. God bless you and your family!

  5. Erin -  February 12, 2013 - 10:28 pm

    P.S. You should totally share your story at Saving Our Sons. They would probably post it on their FB page, which would encourage and inspire thousands of their readers. This is the most dramatic (in a good way!) story of saving a son I’ve ever heard. The part about your last minute decision is so powerful. It should be shared and reposted everywhere.

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