Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Letter to my circumcised son

Dear Hunter,
Do you know that your father and I tried to conceive for almost a year and had no luck? When I did got pregnant with you, I was so happy. Word can not even explain it. I was so careful during my pregnancy, maybe even overly so. I researched many aspects of having a child, but one aspect fell threw the cracks. We didn’t know if you were going to be a boy or a girl. By the way I “knew” you were going to be a girl. Seems silly now, I know. At the hospital I filled out all the paperwork and one was for circumcision and I am ashamed to admit it, but your father and I didn’t think anything of this at the time. We thought of a few things a little before though…one being every male is pretty much circumcised. Two That there were health benefits(reduced infections and diseases) . Three, no doctor would perform this unless it was a needed preventative measure. I have made many mistakes in my life and none I would really change, but this one I would. I would take that consent form and rip it to shreds. I sadly admit I didn’t read the fine print and it was kind of confusing, but again, I just went to number 1,2,3 and sign away I did. I birthed you and held you close to my chest after your birth. I was in shock you were a boy. Later the next day after lots of snuggles, I handed you over to the doctor for your circumcision with no apprehension at all. Frankly I think because I was brainwashed and like the saying goes “ignorance is bliss”. You were gone awhile and when you came back to the room you seemed “ok”. I changed your bloody diaper, but again I figured this was a means to an end. This would protect you. We took care of your penis exactly as we were suppose to. Always pulling down the remaining skin and using lots of Vaseline. It wasn’t until check ups when the doctors had to detach your skin that was reattaching that I was sent into my first shock. You screamed a horrid horrid scream and you bled. One time I took you over to your grandparents, so you grandmother can attest to the sight we saw in your diaper…quite a bit of blood. More than a little. I almost took you to the doctor and maybe I should have, but the doctor said a little bleeding was fine. I think he should have been more specific, because looking back it was more than a little. We dealt with these reattachments for a while. When you were maybe 9 months I met some mothers who were intactivst and did NOT believe in circumcision. One actually said that the procedure was one of insanity. I took great offense to this. How dare she…I was protecting you, not harming you. I defended circumcision for months after that…until one day I sat down and really dug into research. I cried and I cried. These “crazy” intactivst were right. I was shocked, absolutely shocked to find out the AAP doesn’t recommend routine infant circumcision. They said the potential benefits(so not guaranteed) DID NOT outweigh the risks. WHAT? Why are doctors performing this surgery then.? All other surgery on children the opposite is true. The benefits outweigh the risks. I was shocked to find out that in many other countries circumcision is just not done(except sometimes for religious reasons). In Europe the Circumcision rate is almost nil. What, again! Then I read about the little boys that died from this surgery. DIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess even though I knew it was a surgery, I didn’t view it really as a surgery. If that makes any sense. So, I knew after all this, that no other boys would be circumcised. So now came the hard part, convincing your dad. Although, to be fair, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. Maybe it would have been if you DID NOT have complications, but since you did, he agreed after a few discussions. I did have apprension about saving your brother…I mean I knew no matter what we would NOT circumcise him, but I didn’t want you to think we cared more about your brother. He kind of just got the luck of the draw being the youngest. I know that sucks and isn’t a good enough reason FOR you, but it is what I have. I want you to know though, that in protecting your brother, I was also apologizing to you . I was saying, I do this for him, but I do it for you too. Maybe that won’t make sense to you, but it did in my head. I loved him enough and you enough to save him. I will regret that I didn’t save you and didn’t look into this matter more closely. I am hoping you will forgive me and knowing your nature you will. I have saved a few other babies from circumcision as well. Those babies are for you too. I do this in your honor. Of course I do this for them, but you are always in my mind when I handle this delicate subject.