Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Okay, I'm pretty sure I never wrote about this before. One decision people expecting a boy are faced with is whether or not to circumcise their son. This is a personal decision and honestly one that I don't feel SO strongly about for other people--I could care less what other people do because I really don't think it matters THAT much (in comparison to breastfeeding, for instance, in which I'm a pretty serious "lactavist" and feel pretty strongly that everyone at least should give a try with it because it is SO important).

But, though I could care less what other people decide to do, I decided quite a while ago that sons of ours would not be circumcised. When I brought this up years ago to James, to ask him what he thought, he said:

"Well, I don't know. Aren't kids supposed to look like their fathers?" (James is circumcised).
"Honey, I don't know how many baby penises you've seen, but they don't look like adult penises. Trust me. There is nothing you could do to make them look the same. Adult penises are huge and hairy. Baby penises are tiny and hairless. No child would ever look at their father's penis and think it was nearly the same anyway."
"Hmm, I don't know."
"Well here, let's watch this youtube video of a circumcision being performed to help you decide." (I tried to find an "unbiased" one to post here but didn't feel like spending that much time looking--feel free to shop around for your circumcision video of choice, though, or watch this one with the sound off so you can't hear the commentary (or the baby screaming in the background).)
Anyway, 20 seconds into the video James is like: "Turn it off, I agree, I agree, we won't do it, just turn it off!" (LOL)
"Okay Honey." I said, and we've been in pretty serious agreement about it ever since.

More specifically and personally, I feel like I've spent 9 months growing my son in my uterus. God/The Universe (call it what you will) spent 9 months building his body step by step, following a very specific blueprint. When he is born and put onto my chest and I look down at him, I know he will be the most beautiful and perfect person I have ever seen in my life. Every part of him will be perfect, and I don't feel the need to mess with what God made. Or put him through an unnecessary cosmetic procedure in his first day/week of life.

With this being said, sometimes there are good reasons. If it is part of your religion and you feel strongly about it--or if you feel strongly about it for some other reason . . . I heard one story of a women, and her husband was uncircumcised as a child but had some physical abnormality that made it painful for his foreskin to retract. So he ended up being circumcised as an adult, which was obviously a way bigger deal than as a baby. So if they had a son, they were planning on having him circumcised because they could make the assumption that their sons could have a similar issue. Okay, sounds like a good reason to me.

But personally, "looking like the father", or "because other people are", or something like that, I just don't buy it. You don't keep doing something unnecessarily just because it's been done before. I try to look at each of these parenting decisions outside of the context of "what other people are doing", because I'm not a freaking lemming.

With this being said, since the Academy of Pediatrics changed it's stance on circumcision about 30 years ago to reflect the fact that it is an unnecessary cosmetic procedure with no basis in medicine, the rate of uncircumcised boys has been steadily on the rise. In the U.S. now, about half the boys in our country are uncircumcised--obviously this varies greatly by region. But if you are expecting a son, there is no need to circumcise just because you think he will stand out if you don't. Who knows, where you live, he might stand out if he is.

So that's that. We'll all get to enjoy Little James' foreskin for many years to come. (Hmm, that sounds a little weird but you know what I mean, hehe).


Jessica said...

I couldn't have said it better myself! :) Great Post

mpence said...

I totally agree with you! I am so so so glad that my son was #6, and not much earlier! I didn't even realize there was a debate at all until my 4th, and DH and I didn't talk about it (we just assumed we would circ!) until our 5th!

We decided to leave him intact, and it has been just fine! The only issue we have had is with MIL, who realized right around his first birthday (the first time she babysat and changed his diaper!), that he was uncut...and thought it meant her son was resentful that she circ'ed him, which has absolutely no basis in reality! We made our own decision based on the research we did...

Ella said...

Yay for intact penises!

My husband, when we started talking about this issue early on in my (first) pgcy, was DEAD set against me - he was adamant that he wanted any son of his to be circ'ed. It was a sore topic between us so when we (finally!) found out we were having a girl, we were both relieved and never talked about the issue again.

THEN, the day after Eliza was born, they took her back to the special care nursery area to do the hearing test and DH went with her. While they were back there, he saw the area where they circ baby boys (and he saw the tools, the board they lay them on, etc.). When he got back to the room, the first thing he said to me was "we no longer have a problem - I changed my mind about circumcision". He said after having Eliza and becoming a dad (only 24 hours before, lol), he realized he could never do that to his little baby! And now he's swung waaay over to my side about the issue - he even talked to two of his friends whose wives were pg with boys and convinced them not to circ!

justadrienne said...

Wow Ella that is really cool that he changed so much!

Thanks for all the support, people! I know Little James is going to be just perfect the way he is born, hehe.

Amy said...

Rob is circ'd and has had some issues from it, but we still had the same conversation as you. In Oregon it's considered a cosmetic procedure and insurance won't cover it. So I asked Rob "you really want to spend $400 on an unnecessary procedure on our newborn son that you yourself wish had never been done to you?". So we don't. I don't judge other people who do, but I think all things should be researched and not blindly done, ESPECIALLY a surgical procedure on an infant. In the words of my surgeon "it's the removal of a body part, and any body part removal IS major surgery, even if it's a tiny organ or piece of skin".

Liz said...

I left it up to DH, so Peter is circumsised. Even after complications from his (leading to repeat UTIs), it was important to him. I, OTOH, really didn't want it done.

justadrienne said...

I think there is definitely a growing trend toward not doing it, which is a good thing, IMO.

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