I first want to take a moment to say "Thank You!" to those who have emailed me or commented on Connected Mom regarding the loss of my grandfather. It has been a hard week, but I'm working on moving forward and concentrating on family and my caking.
This weeks' post was the first that has come somewhat easily to me. I've been playing catch up the past few days and running lots of errands; all that driving has given me quite a bit of time to think.
I've been thinking heavily about circumcision this week. I read a quote by Guggie Daly that made so much sense--
"I did not "choose" to keep him intact any more than parents "choose" to let their newborns keep their legs, arms, nose, etc. It's a non-decision."
Wow. That seems so simple, doesn't it?!
I thought about coming here and beginning this post with a sarcastic epiphany that would read somewhat like:
"Hey there! (Fill in here about my week, all those niceties, etc.)
I think I've come to a realization-- I've decided that after reading all the arguments 'for' & 'against', that circumcision really is the best and should be done as soon as possible after birth. Unfortunately, I chose to leave my son and daughters intact. Thanks to sites such as http://www.circinfo.net/, with their many helpful brochures available on a plethora of subjects in many languages, I have come to realize the immense benefits of circumcision.
I've decided that 8 months is too long to have ignored the risks of not having my son circumcised and he has an appointment with a urologist to have it done tomorrow. Finally he will 'look like his dad' while they stand side by side & compare for years to come. It's healthier & cleaner, and we all know that kids, let alone boys, need all the help they can get with that. Oh, & the locker room-- I'm sparing him the embarrassment, since everyone's doing it.
After a lengthy talk with my husband, we both feel that this is best for our son and have done extensive research. Actually, in doing all this research, we've come to realize that we really should consider circumcision for our other two as well. It took some digging, but I found someone who realizes just how important this opportunity at equality and removal of a source of distraction is."
I would then go on to tell you not to judge me-- that these were 'my children' and I needed to make these decisions for them.
It wouldn't be long before the intactivists would be crashing the server and trying to change my mind.
However, reading Guggie Daly's quote made me stop and think...
Are such far reaching tactics necessary? Why is the choice to keep our sons intact even a choice? Why is it *OUR* choice?
It is *not* my penis. It is *not* my husband's penis. It certainly isn't my relative's penis! It is Killian's.
The doctor who will perform it at my request is ignoring the fact that it is not my penis. Here's a list of reasons why that doctor shouldn't be so quick to do routine infant circumcisions.
I've done my research and, to me, circumcision is a non-negotiable issue.
However, I cannot write this without acknowledging that had Killian been born in 2002-- i.e., had Chloe been a boy, I would be writing a much different piece.
I would be writing about my struggle with guilt over circumcising one child (born in 2002) and not circumcising the other (2010). I would hopefully stumble upon this post at Dr. Momma/Peaceful Parenting.
If you take no other impression from me than this, please remember that I am not a persecutor-- my biggest hope is that as parents we simply strive to be better than we were yesterday.
I am a Christian. I am politically a conservative. I am straight and married. I am a stay at home mom. I eat fast food a *lot*-- I love a burger or a steak, too! I am a lactivist (pro-breastfeeding) and intactivist (pro-keeping our sons intact).
If you scroll down my Facebook friend list, you'll find wiccans, agnostics, catholics, etc. This is their choice.
I have my share of liberals and anarchists on that list along with other classifications that I don't even know, since my political savvy is a recent (since marriage) venture. This is their choice.
You'll see people who identify as things other than straight, who are single, divorced, or state "it's complicated". This is their choice.
A lot of my friends who are moms work outside the home. This is their choice.
I have vegetarians and vegans on my list. This is their choice.
For each of these instances, the choice belongs to that friend. It impacts that friend. Sure, there's a ripple, but in the grand scheme of things, it's a small one that can be changed with minimal effort if so desired.
On this list, in the grey area, are my friends who do/have formula fed by choice. I post pro-breastfeeding links and blurbs here and there, and that's about all I can do. At the end of the day, I too was a formula feeding mom once. I get it. Whatever your reason/argument/issue, I get it-- I may not agree, I may try to persuade you otherwise (especially if you've been misled by an ill informed nurse/doctor or friend), I may shake my head, but I get it.
The area on this list, however, that is a struggle for me is those that choose to circumcise.
Those that list their status as "poor baby--- has to go get circumcised today" or "just waiting on them to circumcise him then we can get discharged. poor little guy". Things like this make me want to scream "Don't you know--- you don't have to allow this!" or "Will you be watching!?" (I am a firm believer that you should at least have to watch a video with sound before allowing this to be done-- even better would be if it was necessary that you watch your little baby have this done.)
These moms, who buy 'the best' car seats, 'the best' diapers, 'the best' clothes, 'the best' stroller... don't make the best decision.
At the risk of losing half my friend list-- a circumcision performed as a routine surgery on a newborn is never the best decision.
You are changing something that is not yours to change. You are taking away something from your little boy that you can't give back. You are projecting your preferences on him and his future girlfriends/wife. You are choosing to ignore-- and allow your husband to ignore what was done to him and you are choosing to perpetuate that cycle.
You think sugar water makes this hurt any less-- did there really need to be a study to tell us that it doesn't dull the pain? Do you think it really hurts worse as an adult (often the response about why parents should have it done to their baby ASAP) or is a grown man just better able to vocalize in a manner we must pay attention to?
Cut off a piece of skin from your most sensitive area and stick a lollipop in your mouth-- all better right?
The good news is circumcision rates in the United States dropped to 33% in 2009, a steep drop from 56% just 3 years ago! Something to consider for those 'what will the guys in the locker room think' arguments!
Times they are a changin'-- which percentage are you contributing to?