To Cut or Not

Who wants to talk about circumcision?  Anyone?  Yah, probably not the most popular topic around.  But, considering I’m having a baby in a little bit I figured that I should think about this very subject just in case.  What I’d love to hear is YOUR story.  No, this is not an opportunity for anyone to criticize those who have made the opposite choice or to share why those who do are evil.  I would love to hear what your chose for your little guy and why.  Plain and simple, no judgements attached.  Maybe that’s impossible?  Regardless, please try and be nice. 🙂  I know some of you are just as feisty as me.

I heard that the statistics are about 50/50 for boys being born these days (which I found quite surprising actually) so hopefully I will get a good amount of responses from both sides.  And, since I’ve changed the diapers of some of your little boys, I know that not all of my friends have made the same decision.  I think I know what The Doc and I would decide, but figure any information is helpful.

The floor is open, people.  Comment away.

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18 thoughts on “To Cut or Not

  1. Does this mean you’re having a little baby boy?

    We had the same debate about 3 weeks before our first boy was born. There were arguments for both sides. I was surprised to find out the 50/50 myself when we asked our doc.

    Interestingly enough, it was my mother-in-law who made the most sense. She suggested he should look like his daddy. Awkward in-law conversation, but very logical.

    That’s how we made our decision.

  2. This is another reason I’m super glad to have two girls.

    It might depend on the area. Seems my doc still does about 90% of the boys. Maybe its a southern thing?

    We’re split in this household. I vote no. He votes yes. The whole — look like the daddy thing (which I think is silly… because, let’s be honest, at the time when they are comparing they better no look like Daddy’s anyway). I say that I change the most diapers so I’d be the most affected by the vote. And babies crying because of something I did to them makes me break down. I don’t think I could handle it and a hormone shift at the same time.

    Thankfully, we haven’t had the issue. We at least got to an “undecided” stance with Pumpernickel… so he’s not as adament as he was before. 🙂

    I’m really interested in hearing your stance.

    1. (Here is a friend’s comment from Facebook that I thought I’d share here too)

      We did our research and I have a lot of my own feelings about the situation, and since you asked… 🙂

      #1, I couldn’t imagine putting my newborn baby through such a painful and unnecessary procedure. I figured if I couldn’t even bear to watch a circumcision video (my hubby did), I couldn’t possibly bear the thought of doing it to my own child.

      #2, it seemed like a very personal, very final decision for us to make for someone else (even though it is not as common, he can decide for himself later in life and have the procedure done, though he cannot decide later in life to have it undone.)

      #3 The look-like-my-daddy decision never held a lot of sway for us b/c what about plain old genetics (Daddy has brown hair and brown eyes but son has blond hair and blue eyes, I am very tall but my Daddy is not, I have freckles but Daddy doesn’t, etc), also interracial adoption and other skin color variations. When it becomes a very BIG deal, our boys will be exposed (so to speak 🙂 to lots of different looking boys with different looking units in the locker room, half of which resemble their own only in cut vs. uncut, but most of which are very, very unique (so I’m told, not that I have a lot of experience in that area! LOL!)

      All that said, the majority of our friends have chosen to cut because their husband either insisted or they thought their child should look like them, or because “that’s what everybody else does.” We did not want to make our decision that way, and so did just what you are doing, requested input and did the research ourselves. Personally, #2 was the clincher for me. It is a very personal decision that I didn’t feel like was mine to make, nor my husband’s, but ultimately it is up to my child when he is mature enough.

  3. (Another comment copied from Facebook)

    We DID! Our main thing was that we wanted our boys to LOOK like their daddy…and he is, so we did. It was kinda a simple decision for us because of that reason!

  4. We didn’t with either baby boy. It seems like unnecessary pain for our little ones. Our ped. said that in the Northeast, it’s 50/50, but the MidWest/West, it’s about 90(circs)/10.

  5. I’m fine either way, but I wouldn’t be in favor of intentionally leaving the decision up to the guys. I’ve been in the surgery setting for years and many many boys are brought at all ages for many reasons to get circumcised – babies who couldn’t have it done at birth due to other complications, toddlers and school-age who developed balanitis and needed it done to prevent infection, and teens who elected to have it done. The older the child gets the morel painful it is and the longer time required to be out of school or even taking narcotics, plus the awkwardness and/or fear that progressively oldere boys experience. All that to say, I recommend making the decision on their behalf when they are born. Their fresh virgin skin heals quickly and diapers are great for minimizing pain If you decide to do it.

  6. We did it, mainly because I was worried about infections down the road if we didn’t. Probably not likely to happen, but just in case! Our pediatrician came and did it in the middle of the night while he was in the hospital and told us that Caleb might sleep a lot more than normal the next day, be fussier, etc. We didn’t notice any difference! He was awake the same amount that he had been awake the first day or so (which still isn’t much) and didn’t seem fussier at all. So we had a really positive experience, but I can imagine they’re not all like that. Good luck deciding!

    So does this mean you’re having a boy??

  7. We did with both boys, although I’m a bit traumatized by the 2nd. Numbing meds didn’t work for Baby Boy #2 and I could hear the little guy wailing all the way to my recovery room. Ugh. Lesson learned for that is know the pediatrician that does the procedure (we delivered at a hospital where we didn’t know the staff).
    To be honest, I didn’t weigh in a lot on the decision because I’m not a dude. Hubby Haus made the decision for both of us after prayer and research.

  8. One more thought… we thought about doing it later, but we figured being born was pretty traumatic for a kid, so why not get all the trauma out of the way at once? So within a couple days, he had a couple super rough experiences with being born and getting circumcised, and then it was all uphill from there with lots of snuggles and lovin’!

  9. We have with all 3. Our main reason was hygiene and prevention of infection. Luckily Cody and I are both on the same page and didn’t really have to think much about it. None of our boys seemed to have problems with it. And if memory serves, it only took a few minutes to do. They used numbing cream and I think a bit of sugar water on the paci. All of our boys were back to sleep and comfy cozy by the time they made it back to the room. Afterwards, there is a little bit of care, but none of it seemed to bother the boys either. Do I feel bad thinking about the pain? Sure. But I know that none of them remember it. 🙂

  10. (more from Facebook)

    I agree with Nikki- it is completely your decision and there isn’t a right answer, except for yours, however, like she mentioned, the procedure is much more painful for adults due to sensitivity changes. I never even thought about insurance, but that is a great point! Also, there are hygiene issues to consider as well. But again, whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be the perfect decision. 🙂

  11. (Facebook again)

    Hey Amy, Just happened across your post. A good friend of mine just had to have her 15 yr old circumsized do to a medical issue, and it was really painful for him, and took more than a week before he was “back to normal” in that area. I didn’t have to make that decison for my boys, and while the thought of putting a newborn through that pain would be hard, the thought of putting an older child, or adult through that seems much harder. But obviously it is a personal decision, and one without a right answer! Good luck!

  12. (Facebook- I’m including multiple here because I’m feeling lazy)

    I circumcised Dorien for his wife. She better be thankful.

    Whoa! Wondering if I should feel like a lame mommy in that I pretty much put zero thought into the “cut or not cut” question. Still don’t have any strong opinions to share with you on this one….

    Ditto the “look like daddy”. So we knew we were going to snip, but what we were not at all prepared for was the after care! I’m happy to give you the gory details and tips if you like. 🙂 And know that re-attachment is common. We cared for all 3 boys exactly the same and one had half re-attach (which was easily fixed at the urologist and much less intense after care).

    Amy, as you know, we have five sons. Claudia is not on Facebook, but I went and asked her what she would advise you to do and she said, “Absolutely, just do it.” There are too many reasons to enumerate here, but the two of us certainly agree on that issue.

    (this one is from the same person who made the comment with three points above) I just wanted to add that I totally agree it is an individual decision. I see it as one of many big decisions we have to make as parents. There is no one right answer, but when it comes down to it, we just do whatever we feel is best for our child, based on our experiences. That is the best we all can do! I do appreciate a good conversation on an important topic. 🙂

    We did it after a lot of research and contemplation. It’s so hard to look at what the recommendations are, because honestly, they have changed back and forth since I was preggo with James. Different developed countries around the world differ on it-big time. P.S. my sister did not do it to her son (daddy is a European).

  13. Yeah, the statistics really vary by region and ethnicity. I don’t think that should be a big factor, though.

    All I have to add is that both of our boys were out of our room for just a few, few minutes and looked perfectly happy when they came back. Obviously it couldn’t have been terribly traumatic for them. And that one friend had a son who had to have his fixed a couple of years later and that WAS traumatic. So if you’re gonna do it, do it now.

  14. Ok, I wasn’t going to weigh in but here’s my opinion. People either do it for “looks” or out of fear or because they don’t want a kid to feel “different.” None of those reasons really resonate with me. I’ve heard just as many stories about circumcisions becoming infected as the non circumcised. Because this is a family blog, I’m not going to call it “gm” but over the years I begun to think of it more that way. I understand why people do it but I’m glad the trend is swinging away from it.

  15. My wife and I were talking about this issue recently after a friend mentioned she was considering not circumcising if she has a boy. My personal experience was not being circumcised as an infant. The first time I pulled my foreskin back to clean under it in the bath tub, my foreskin swelled up and wouldn’t go forward, constricting the head of my penis. We had to go to the emergency room where it took them about fifteen minutes of shots and pulling with forceps to put my foreskin back over the head.

    After that trip I was always washing under my foreskin with soap and water, but in college I got a yeast infection under my foreskin which also resulted in tearing the frenulum which attaches to the foreskin. The doctor said that the foreskin creates a moist, warm environment where bacteria can easily grow. I ended up being circumcised in college to prevent any more infections.

  16. I won’t go into the research and reasons that we chose not to circumcise b/c I know you’re not looking for debate.

    But thought I’d contribute that Caleb (now 6) does not look like his daddy in that area, and it has never been a problem. I think Caleb noticed it once, asked about it, and Matt explained why we chose to leave him intact. There has been no sense of confusion whatsoever over not “looking like” daddy. Nor is Madi confused that she doesn’t have fully developed breasts, etc. Kids understand a lot more than we give them credit for.

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