Friday, June 28, 2013

Resources by Men

Some of the resources on the "My Favorite Resources" list are by men.

However, I decided to also make a list of resources regarding circumcision that are all by men.  Some folks feel that this topic is dominated by women.  I believe that women should definitely have a huge role in this.   However, if you are interested to hear from men themselves, there are certainly plenty of places to hear from them!  Please note that while I have promised to keep what I post myself free of certain words and images, I do not claim that these extra resources have the same requirements.  I will add more so feel free to check back!

Not Just Skin, Ryan McAllister, PhD

Men Ask, "Why was I circumcised?"

Child Circumcision: An Elephant in the Hospital (video)

Uncommon Sense from a Common Dad

Penn and Teller on Circumcision  (Language warning!! Video)

Circumcision: Will You Make the Cut?

Chad's Story

Cate's story    (See comments-two men give good insights)

Dr. Sears, Pediatrician, Whether or not to circumcise

Circumcision, the Whole Story (Video-graphic pictures, in medical setting)

Circumcision: Our Bodies, Our Choices

Raising Our Sons: Support from Circumcised Fathers of Intact Sons

Global Survey of Circumcision Harm

Father has Talk with son about Infant Circumcision

To the Happily Circumcised American Man

Stop the Cutting

The Circumcison Secret

Birth of an Activst: Reflections from David Wilson

Men Do Complain

Hebrew for Christians-Should a Christian be circumcised?

Recovery from a Botched Circumcision

Intact Male Celebrities and their thoughts on the matter 

Realization of Circumcision

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Some of my favorite resources

There is so much great information out there about circumcision and reason to keep your baby intact.  Below is a list of some of my favorite articles and resources.

While I have promised to keep my own blog free of inflammatory/harsh words and graphic pictures, I can not promise the same for these links.

  • This first link is a video called "Child Circumcision: An Elephant in the Hospital".  It is a college class presentation presented by a research professor at Georgetown.  It contains some medical type pictures.
                 Child Circumcision-An Elephant in the Hospital

  • This next one is an article originally posted on the WHOLE Network, called "Why my Son is Not Circumcised".  It is a good solid article that covers all the main reasons that people consider circumcision, and why this mother did not find those reasons valid.
                 Why my Son is Not Circumcised

  • Next is "Doctors Opposing Circumcision", which is exactly what the title would indicate.  
              Doctors Opposing Circumcision

  • "Whether or Not to Circumcise" by pediatrician Dr.Sears
             Whether or Not to Circumcise

Circumcision, The Whole Story-by  Dr. Christopher Guest and Barrie Midwives.  Great explanation and medical perspective.  Graphic pictures, in medical setting.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Confessions from the Wife of a Circumcised Man, by Rebecca

Because of the Grace of God, my husband and I had saved ourselves for each other prior to
marriage. We felt very strongly that we should not defile the marriage bed by entering into a physical relationship outside of the marriage covenant. It seemed clear to us that God’s plan for marriage includes purity outside of marriage. Because of this, after we were married, the first few months were a huge adjustment to the physical intimacy of marriage. It was a beautiful time in our lives and we loved every moment of getting to know each other more intimately. We had our “issues,” but also quite enjoyed the process of working on them. Thinking back on our “honeymoon” years always makes me smile.

At the time I had no concept of what circumcision was or what it meant to me. I knew little about it and had known no other man but my husband so he was my whole world. As a newlywed, I often talked with friends who were also young-marrieds or newlyweds to learn if any of them had the same “difficulties” that I had as a newlywed. We often found we had some of the same issues and it was helpful to know I wasn’t the only newly-married-wife to experience these things! I was in good company.

And things continually got better as married life wore on. We have truly had a very joyful and happy marriage in every way, despite any bumps in the road along the way! We learned how to communicate and work well together in most areas.

Once we had our first son though, we were forced into researching circumcision so we could decide if we needed to have our son circumcised or not. After I came to the realization of what circumcision is and that it had been done to my husband, things that we went through as newlyweds and things that my friends had gone through as newlyweds all started to make so much more sense. I could look back on specific conversations with other newlywed wives and it all became painfully clear. In retrospect, it all lined up. The issues we discussed down to the nitty gritty details - it all came down to circumcision. I had no idea! It was so eye-opening and painful to realize that our sex life had been so negatively affected by something we didn’t even really ever think about or realize had any role whatsoever. It made me a little bit angry, but mostly sad. Sad for him and also for myself- that we’d never know what sex is like as God intended. I know there is nothing we can do about it and I have accepted that. I am grateful for our marriage (all aspects of it!) in spite of it all!

Because of what we learned, we are so happy to have left our son with all the body parts that God gave him and as strange as it may sound, we are happy that he will be able to experience a fuller sex life, as God and nature intended! Despite the lingering sadness for what my husband and I cannot have back, it makes us even more grateful and relieved to be able to leave our son intact!
Anonymous Elephant has joined the document.

Cate's Story: A Reluctant Dad, A Mom who said "Never Again"

When we were pregnant with our first child, we decided not to peek at the gender and just wait and be surprised. My husband was adamant about circumcising if we had a boy. I did a little research, but only on pro-circumcision sites.

 I deeply regret not researching more. I was just so relieved that my husband was on board with my choices about alternative parenting practices, like natural birth at a birthing center, etc. I thought I should give him this one thing that was important to him. We had a birthing center birth, so I found a pediatrician that performed circumcisions in her office. When the baby was born and we found out he was a boy, I started feeling panicky, but stuffed my feelings down. We had the appointment scheduled for 5 days after birth. Looking back, I am really glad we had breast feeding established and that the circumcision surgery wasn’t performed on his first day on Earth.

The whole elevator ride up to the doctor’s office, I felt so anxious. I really wanted to grab my baby and run, but I stuffed those feelings down. After the initial check up, she said it was time to start the circumcision. I had wanted to stay in the room, but changed my mind last minute. My husband stayed, and I waited outside the door. I began to hear an infant cry while waiting outside the door. I wanted to go back in to him, but was afraid to startle the doctor and make her botch the surgery. The crying seemed to go on and on and on. I started to cry and hyperventilate. The nurses brought me a cup of water and chair. It was the worst 5 minutes of my life. When they told me I could go back in, my baby wasn’t tear streaked, he was very calm. I asked him, “but wasn’t he crying?” and the told me he didn’t cry at all (my husband had let him suck on his pinky that was coated in sugar water. It’s supposed to have a calming effect on babies). It turned out that the cries came from a baby in the next room was getting her 2 month vaccinations, but the way the sound traveled made it sound like my son. I was so relieved he didn’t cry. We took him home, I nursed him and he fell asleep. He slept for a long, long time. I roused him to try and nurse him about four hours later and checked for excessive bleeding, but he fell right back to sleep. He probably slept 8 hours straight. I called my mom and asked her about it, but she said he was probably just sleeping off the local anesthesia and when you’re sleeping you’re healing.

I later found out he was most likely in shock. Oh my poor little baby. In the following days, he would cry every time he peed, I can’t imagine how much it stung and burned him. I would cry every time I changed his diaper, his little penis just looked so angry and sore.

No one had told us to pull back the skin around the head of the penis, we weren’t given much post surgery care instructions. He had a very loose circumcision, and the skin started to re-adhere but I had no idea. By 5 months, it was totally reattached but I never realized it. It started to leak pus out of a little hole where the skin hadn’t re-adhered on the side of the penis. I did a little research, and figured out what had happened. All the re-adhered skin was trapping germs and skin cells inside. According to my research, the skin needed to detach or it could cause a lot of problems later on in life when he started to have erections. I soaked the area in a warm wash cloth over the course of a few days, and it started to detach. That was when my real regret started to sink in, his penis was just trying to go back to the way it should be. When I was researching all this, I found lots of web sites against circumcision, and my eyes were really opened. I began to feel so sad
regretful about what I had done.

When my son was around a year old, I told my husband I regretted it. I told him all the things I had found in my research, how it’s just a cosmetic surgery with no medical benefits. I told him I felt like a dog owner that had her dog’s ears clipped just so they would look a certain way. I told we were no better then the parents that have their daughter’s genitals cut in Africa, we just had a sterile surgery instead of one on a dirt floor in a hut. Needless to say, that didn’t go over well…. We kind of just left it at that for awhile. We had planned on starting to try for another child when my son turned two, so right around his second birthday I dropped the bombshell. I told my husband that if we were to have another boy, there was no way on earth I would allow him to be circumcised. I would fight him tooth and nail over it. I told him it mattered so much to me, that I was willing to not have another child and leave our son an only child so it wouldn’t have to come to that. 

My husband and I do not argue ever. We have a very peaceful marriage, and usually never disagree on anything. We decided it would be better for us to forego having another child then to risk having another boy and having a giant rift between us. I was heart broken. I did not want only one child. But that is how important not circumcising again was to me. There were many nights I cried over it, and my husband would hold me as I cried. We just couldn’t see any other way. My husband was very, very adamant about having his son(s) match him. I did ask him could I gather all my arguments against it and present them to him at one time so I could say I tried everything. He allowed me to do that. I tried to keep my emotions out of it, and just present facts. Facts like circumcision only began in this country as a way to curb masturbation in young boys. Sex doesn't feel as good without a foreskin. Babies die from circumcision, it’s just not a well reported thing. The rate of parent's circumcising is dropping, so the whole “locker room” argument isn't true anymore (and our kids will be home schooled, so that’s a moot point anyway). The New Testament of the Bible states it’s not necessary, so the whole “God requires it” argument doesn't work (and if you look at the way it was required in the Old Testament, it’s very different form the medical circumcision of today. Back then it was just a ritual cut, not slicing off the entire foreskin).  It didn't change his mind, but I felt like I had done all I could. From time to time, when we’d be out in public and see a little newborn, I’d just look at my husband with sad eyes and he would know what I was thinking; that I wanted another. People would ask us, “so when is the next one coming”, and we’d just tell them we were done.

By the time my son’s third birth was approaching, I was finally coming to terms with the fact he really was going to be an only. I had prayed for an “oops” baby, but had even quit doing that. We were getting past the baby stage with him, he was sleeping through the night, weaning, and potty learning. I was starting to look forward to the next stage of our lives. One day, we were riding in the car and I threw out one last time, “I really want another baby”. And to my very great surprise….he said okay. OKAY!?!? What??? Did I hear right??? He told me, “I’ve really been thinking about it, and if you’ve done all this research and really come to the conclusion that it’s best to not circumcise, I will concede to you. I still want any sons we might have to match me, but I’ll give that up so we can have another child. If we have a boy and they ever ask us why they don’t match each other, you have to be the one to explain it to them”. I was in such
shock. I just started crying and hugging him, I couldn’t believe he told me that in the car. I just wanted to jump in his arms and kiss his face. I loved my husband so much in that moment. I know how hard it was for him to “give in”. I guess he just needed a lot of time to process to everything. I floated around on cloud 9 for days. I was so ecstatic he had changed his mind. We started trying right away, and got pregnant on the first try. I went from never thinking I was going to have another child to pregnant in just a matter of weeks. What a whirl-wind. My husband really wanted to peek at the gender this time, and….we are having a little girl! She will remain intact, just as every child deserves to be.