When my son was born nearly five years ago, the topic of circumcision was one that was mounting, though it wasn’t nearly as much of hot topic as it is now in 2011. The decisions surrounding the birth of my first child were focused around whether or not to get an epidural, finding a decent pediatrician, and how exactly I was going to vaccinate my son. My birth plan requested a serene atmosphere filled with the music of our choice, my staunch refusal of any formula supplementation, and how many people exactly that I wanted in the room when my son arrived.
Circumcision simply wasn’t something that was high on my radar in terms of research, and we made a purely emotional decision to circumcise him so that he would look like his father. In complete and total honestly, I personally have never seen an uncut penis, so the thought was not only foreign to me but seemed “abnormal”. The one thing that we stress so much about as new parents is making sure our child is “normal” and healthy, and somehow feel as though we can control it before we become parents. I didn’t want my son starting out on the wrong foot, so to speak.
When Jack was born, the most traumatic moment of those first few days wasn’t the three-foot-long needle they stuck in my back, or the fact that he was born with meconium aspiration, or the excruciating pain & emotional stress when he wouldn’t nurse. The very worst part of those first few days in the hospital was his circumcision. He was a bloody, screaming mess — and so was I. I couldn’t believe that I had put my brand new, perfect baby through such a medically unnecessary, painful procedure. It was nearly more than I could handle. It took everything I had to remind myself that this was a typical procedure and his recovery would be swift and ultimately the most appropriate decision for our family.
We are due to welcome our second son in a few short months, and my views surrounding circumcision have changed drastically. I have done research, spoken to parents, looked at the statistics and read up on circumcision until I was comfortable making the decision this time around.
In December, 2011 we plan to bring our completely intact son home from the hospital. He will look different than his older brother, and he will look different than his father. His sister will most likely be the only person that will be bold enough to say anything out loud, but that will be something he’ll have to get used to anyway. My only reservation about not circumcising this time around was the fact that he would wouldn’t look like the other males in his family, but honestly I don’t believe that it will affect him adversely and if it does he can make that decision on his own when he is old enough.
It is predicted that in 2014, circumcised boys will be in the minority in the United States. While my generation is vastly different, I am open-minded enough to consider the fact that the way things were routinely done for years doesn’t make it the only reason to agree to do something; especially inflicting pain upon a brand new baby for medically unnecessary and mostly cosmetic reasons.