Monday, February 1, 2010

Question (sometimes of the day, sometimes of the month)?

Question, my faithful Tales readers... and, of course, the always-welcome newbies, too:

How do you feel about circumcision?

I have a dear friend who is pregnant with her first child, a boy. She has been researching why people get their boy nuggets circumcised. Since I am not a member of the Mommyhood yet, nor do I have a Lady Gaga, I turn to you for answers. What say ye?

PS - For the record, I don't think the Divine Miss G is a hermi. But if she were, I wouldn't give a flip. Long live the poker face, disco stick, paper gangsta and bad romance.


  1. I IMPLORE her to check out the following sites:

    Bottom line, these are medical FACTS:
    *The male foreskin makes up 1/3-1/2 of the skin on the penis (about the size of an INDEX CARD!--That's a lot of skin!)
    *The foreskin contains: 3-4 ft of blood vessels, 240 ft of nerves & about 20,000 specialize sexual nerve endings
    *There are NO medical organizations IN THE WORLD that advocate for circumcision
    *Every other mamal on earth has intact genitals, and about 85%+ of the world's male (human)population does
    *Circumcision is excrutiatingly painful at any age & research has shown that newborns feel the surgery much more than adults and yet, are left without ANY effective pain relief!

    Obviously, my views on this subject are pretty clear.
    Bear in mind, that I was raised JEWISH, so this was something that I was brought up to believe was not only a blessing, but something that was done without asking any questions at all. When I started researching this topic several years ago, I was actually looking for good reasons to justify doing it, were I ever to have a son. ALL I could find were VERY good reasons to leave him the hell alone!
    I mean, I'd never think of cutting off part of my daughters genitals. So why would I do that to my precious little boy?
    The decision to keep my son intact is truly one of the best decisions that I've ever made in my life. It's something that I thank God for every day. Knowing that my son has never had to endure painful, inexplicable cosmetic surgery without anesthsia is comforting, to say the least. I truly think that he's a happier, more peaceful child as a result.

    Good luck to your friend with this very important choice! It's one of the toughest decisions she may ever make.

  2. I have a daughter, but when I was pregnant and didn't know yet what I was having I researched circumcision quite a bit. If we ever have a boy he will not be circumcised. I know this can be a touchy subjects for moms....cicurmcision vs. no circumcision. I think it's kind of right up there with breastfeeding vs. formula. Everyone usually has pretty strong opinions about it. I say do what is right for your family.


  3. I have two sons. With my first, insurance didn't cover it, and we said, "why spend $300 on an elective surgery? If he wants it done when he's older, he can have it done. Plus all the 'he was born that way, why mess with it? it must be there for a reason' rationalization, and the pain factor.
    Along came son number 2. No question, no discussion, we decided to have him circumsized. The care and upkeep of a non-circumsized son is a pain. Son #1 is always getting diaper-rashy red, we have to "pop it out" to clean it in the tub and after, put diaper cream on it, he used to scream every time we had to pop it out, and begged to have it popped back in. He's better about it now, but now it's getting awkward to have to do that to a little boy, not a baby. And he's not eager to do it himself, I assure you. Getting him to wash his hands is struggle enough, nevermind his penis. Son #2's procedure and recovery seemed like a piece of cake after the years (that continue) of fighting to keep #1 clean and healthy.
    Now I've said too much, hopefully he never sees this. It'll be interesting to see what happens when one boy's is different than his father and brother.

  4. Just as a comment to the previous "Anonymous" who has the two sons (but not directed at YOU in particular--just to put it out there):

    NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER retract the foreskin of an intact boy for ANY reason! Boys are born with the the foreskin fused to the shaft of the penis to help keep it clean & protect the head of the penis (since it's meant to be an internal organ, like the vagina). Every time the boy urinates, it gets "washed" as much as it needs to be.
    Retracting the foreskin before it naturally seperates is like ripping ones fingernails off! (It's attached by the same kind of membrane) It can cause pain, swelling, bleeding, infection & painful scars/adhesions to form!

    The only person who should ever retract the foreskin is the boy himself, when he is several years old (or a teen) and it's completely seperated on its own. And at that point, soap should never be used--just plain tap water. After all, it's made up of the same type of tissue that the vagina is made up of.--Soap is too harsh & ruins the pH & can cause irritation & infection.

    Again, only clean what is seen!

  5. I left the decision up to my husband. He wanted his son to be "just like him". I'm fine and comfortable with that decision. My son didn't really cry, and apparently only lost one drop of blood. The doctor said, "it is like he was made to be circumsized". (Whatever that is supposed to mean... I think she meant it in a good way?!?)

  6. It was the hardest decision I had to make...and we had him circum. Now I wish that I hadn't. He has not had any problems with it, I just didn't have the resources and knowledge I have now. Everyone I asked said to do it, except my midwife, who I should have listened too!! Our next son (if we have another boy) will not be done. The websites listed with a previous comment are excellent.

  7. This is (clearly!) such a hot topic right now. It's one that I have been on both sides of.
    When we were expecting our first child, we fully planned (and had made tentative arrangements) to have the surgery (had she been a boy). After her birth, I began my Childbirth Education training & so I started to learn a lot about it.
    By the time that we found out we were expecting a little boy, I had already begun to question it quite a bit. But we really started researching it (both sides) before we made a final decision.

    I found that it's one of those things where, the more you learn about it, the more you're against it.

    Though it was a very difficult decision to make, we decided against the surgery & I am really happy that we made that choice.
    I can really empathize with moms who regret choosing the surgery for their sons. I think it's great that we, as a culture, are really starting to talk about this more openly than we had in years past. Knowledge is power, after all.

  8. Ok, my first son, from my first marriage, husband was insistent that we get him circumcised. My 4th child (and last child) was a boy, my 2nd husband didn't care. He's not. He's from a small town in Mexico where they don't practice it. We ended up doing our 4th son so that the boys didn't feel funny that they looked different from each other.

    Now, if I had the chance to do it all over again? I wouldn't have done the first son in the beginning. From what I have studied now there is no real valid medical purpose to doing it. My mom always sites cleanliness as a reason. If you show the boy how to take care of himself, he's not going to have any more issues with cleanliness than a circumcised boy.

  9. Yes, it truly is a personal decision.
    But since you're looking for opinions: My son is not circumcised. I don't see the need to cut off perfectly healthy skin, ever. I would never dream of doing the same to my daughter. Think of all the nerve endings being permanently severed... disrupting a potential source of enjoyment for your son years down the road. The early years for my son required just a little (very little) effort to keep things clean... now, at age 11, it's a non-issue. He knows what to do to stay clean. As for... 'He has to look like his dad..." again, not an issue. His dad understood the reasons to not circumcise and supported them... and if my son ever asks, I'll simply say... I didn't see the reason to cut off skin from an extremely important part of your body. Moms to be... Don't feel pressured to have it done, just because some others have. Most males, worldwide, are not circumcised. Have a healthy boy... and simply enjoy and be in awe of him.

    And please, Almost Mommy, lose the "nugget" reference. They are children, not nuggets. Children. When you become a mom, you probably won't call them nuggets.

    P.S. Lost in Translation is a most excellent movie.

  10. My husband is Jewish and after much conversation and research - even he read the articles - he still decided - along with his family and after meetings with our Rabbi - to go through with it. It was done on our Dining Room table as part of what I must admit is a beautiful and very emotional ceremony.

    Without this I do not think I would have done it, but I have no regrets.

    BTW found you on Pregnant Bloggers Club and I am now following! Just had my little baby!