Someone unknowingly made a lifelong choice for me 42 years ago.
I am a mom of two boys and a wife of eleven years, who had something taken away from her by the hands, or signature, of my husband’s mother. What right did she have to have an intact husband for 45 years, and then take that right away from me? What right did she have to take away something that would have given us a more pleasurable experience together? She had no right, and she has no remorse.
It is hard enough to keep a marriage together when you have every tool in your arsenal, let alone someone thinking it is their right to rip part of it away.
I have kept my two boys, two and ten, safe and fully intact as they should be. It is not my choice to make. It is not a parental right. It is a human right. No thanks to the doctors who pushed circumcision on me for the extra income it generates. To those doctors that refuse to tell, or research the truth, I say shame on you. The Physician's Hippocratic Oath states: “I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.” Can any doctor that performs this painful and harmful surgery say that with complete confidence? First, do no harm.
I think now of my boys and their future partners. I have done this for you. I fight this fight every day for you.
There will come a day very soon when young doctors will stand up and say this procedure is wrong. It will come. What will happen on that day when parents realize they have altered their sons and their partners lives because doctors are not giving us the information we need? I would hate to be the mom who circumcised her son the week, day, or hour before the American Academy of Pediatrics finally admits wrong doing.
If it was not for my oldest son being born weighing only four pounds and being in the NICU for twelve days, he would have been cut just because the doctors said circumcision had its benefits. Shame on me for not doing one keystroke of research on the matter before making my “choice”.
Now I am the person who will tell you that you don’t have to do it. I am now the person who will give you any and all information I can to anyone who will listen. Question the motivations of the medical professionals. They are neglecting to give one piece of information to parents about what a wonderful and perfect part of our boys they are ripping away, and then selling our son's functioning body part for medical research and cosmetic products. How can anyone claim informed consent when the foreskin's functions are not even discussed? I was asked in a hallway after an NST appointment, being shown two photos, which one I would prefer. Yes, you heard me right, in the hallway. How can I make an informed “choice”?
If your only argument is cleanliness stop washing your hair for a few days. If it is so much easier to shave your head, I welcome you. But know this… it will grow back. Your son’s penis will not. I have two intact boys. No care is needed. Do not try to retract or wash inside with soap. Do not let any medical professional retract the foreskin. They will try. I am not sure what the fascination of our medical professionals are with intact boys, but it happens every day. Keep your son within an arm’s length at all times during an exam, in case you encounter someone that does not know proper care of an intact penis. I know, I was there and had to stop it. The average age of a child who can retract his foreskin is 10.5 years. The separation of tissue to allow retraction sometimes occurs in infancy, sometimes in adulthood. The only person who should ever retract a boy’s foreskin is the boy himself.
What about the significant percentage of boys permanently injured, disfigured, or who have died due to this procedure? What if complications arise for your son due to this procedure, what will you say? “Well, it had to be done.” Or “What have we done?”
I am determined to change one mind. Will it be yours?
Please share this information as you see fit to educate anyone who will listen. I am not a doctor, just a wife and mother. We know better now, now do better. Save our sons and question routine infant circumcision.
Photo credit: Picture This Photography & Design of Brimley, Michigan.