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» Circ du no-way from a little pregnant
I've been reading the comments about circumcision over at Tertia's with great interest. It all reminds me of a conversation that took place during our childbirth classes. The teacher asked our class [Read More]

» More about circumcision from Caliban - Ian and Sarah on Life
I've been reading more about circumcision, not because I'm not sure of what to do when Franbert's born, but because it's fascinating to read the stories of parents who are misguided and believe it's the right thing to do. There... [Read More]

» The first cut is the deepest from Caliban - Ian and Sarah on Life
I've been reading more about circumcision, not because I'm not sure of what to do when Franbert's born, but because it's fascinating to read the stories of parents who are misguided and believe it's the right thing to do. There... [Read More]

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Well, since I (as yet) do not have a son, I can only speak to what I WOULD have done, had the situation arisen.

Like you, I would have left the decision to someone else, because I can see the merit to both sides of the argument. With our adoptions, I planned to let the birthmother make that choice. During our pregnancy, I - like you - planned to concede to Scott's decision.

I've always wondered how circumcision came about in the first place. Did some guy look down, and think... "Hmm... there seems to be some unnecessary skin here. Let me just cut that off!" Why on earth would anybody initiate a practice of arbitrarily cutting off part of someone's body?

(On a side note, I am also not keen on docking dog's ears/tails or removing cat's claws)

That being said, I understand the so-called hygenic reasons for having it done. And can also see why people feel compelled to do it, because that seems to be the "norm" in their area (i.e. not wanting their son to be an outcast in the locker room, etc.). If it weren't such a painful procedure, I'd be happy to let my son decide for himself, when he's old enough to make the choice (of course, at that point, what man would elect to undergo such surgery?!).

I'm sure whatever decision you make will be just fine, as Adam will never know any different. Hey... since your son's name represents the First Man (according to the Bible, and who SURELY was NOT circumsized), perhaps that would be reason enough to consider not having it done? To honor the namesake? ;-)

BTW, what do they DO with that extra skin, once removed? Are you supposed to put it under Adam's pillow for the Foreskin Fairy?

Wow... I'm blown away. Twice in a row I'm the first to comment??

LOL

No baby here.... but just a question regarding "looking like Dad or Grandpa".... exactly how many times does a boy see his Dad or Grandfather's willy?

Can't, unfortunatley speak for myself, but my sister, didn't have her son/my nephew circumcised. She's very "granola" (a homeoapathy doc/Ph.D) but made me read this book on why NOT to do it when I questioned her. I wasn't 100% convinced despite worrying about my nephew. And...a new/big phenomenon in the US...getting less and less these days. I wish I could say I had experience or a tough time making that decision.
Like with everything else, it's a very personal decision and I don't think too-too hard to explain to a son as he gets older but, but, but...I think it's best left in Marko's hands. Really do.
I don't know about you, but foreskin, well, it's not as aesthetically attractive and oh shit...i know nothing. hail foreskin, hail circumsion. you do what you think is best. that's all a mom can.

My first blog comment, ever.

We didn't circumcise our little boy. I figured he could keep all his parts, and there's no medical necessity for it. There's no "looking like daddy" issue for us, since my partner is female, but even so, how often do little boys see (and care) about daddy's bits?

Wow, I didn't know there was a country other than the US left that routinely circ'd for non-religious reasons. Shhhh! don't tell my husband...

We did not have my son circ'd, though his father and all his older male relative are, and likely the majority of his friends will be as well. I was not willing to risk the early bonding/breastfeeding period, and there is quite a bit of documentation that circucision can interfere with those things.

I also don't see the benefit. I know that many people go on and on about cleanliness and desease, but I'm sorry, every major medical organization in the world has come out either against routine circumcision or, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, have admited that the benefits are too minor to be considered to outweigh the risks, and do not recommend either way.

It's elective surgury that is not without risks. It removes a functioning part of the body. And it is an (basically) irreversible process done without the consent of the patient. The vast majority of the world is not circumcised and even here in the US the rates are dropping quickly. It just wasn't worth it to me. Plus many people say that sex is better for both partners if the man is intact.

I told my husband that if he wanted to have it done, it had to be after breastfeeding was well established (ie after at least 3 weeks) and it had to be done by a pediatric urology surgeon. My research showed that most of the horror stories come from whatever Joe Schmoe dr. is available at the time doing a lame job. If it was going to happen to my son, it was going to be done by the best, It's not a trivial organ we are talking about here.

I also told him he had to set it all up, find the dr., make the appointments, etc. If he'd ever actually tried, I would have fought it tooth and nail, but in the end, he just never got around to doing it. And now that my son is 19 months old, he says he just can't do that to him, though he wishes we'd had it done in the beginning. I don't understand why it would be better to do it to a tiny newborn, but whatever. End result: I won.

We are going to go for circumcision the day after delivery.

Some background about us first. We are both Muslims, husband an American Muslim revert and I am a born Muslim. We both live in my country Malaysia. My husband was circumcised before when he was younger as a christian. I forgot how young he was. In Islam, it is not obligatory to do it but highly recommended due to hygienic and health reasons.

The common Malay practise is to wait until they grow up a bit. The boys are usually between the age of 5 to 12 (as long as before puberty). Majority of the Malay elders (not all) think that it is not good to do it when they are baby because the bit might grow back. I don't have any scientific facts to prove or disapprove this.

My husband doesn't want us to wait since he said the baby will already be in the process of healing himself of his umblical cord. Plus, he doesn't want his boy to suffer through embarassment of doing it when he is older. We may not be in this country where it is the norm to wait. It will be done the next day after delivery by the surgeon at the hospital.

My DH was insistent on it. He'll want to be like daddy, I don't want jokes in the locker room, easier to clean, etc. Plus there's this show in the US called Nip/Tuck. It's about two plastic surgeons. Anyway, one of surgeons' sons is a teenager, and his parents didn't have him circumsised. Well, his gurlfriend doesn't want to have sex w/him, because she thinks it's weird. So he asked to be circumsised, but his parents said no. So he got on the internet to do it himself, and passed out in the middle of it.
I will warn you, though. When they bring him back and show you what to do with the gauze and the penis, and you see his bloody gauzed penis, grab something BEFORE you open the nappy. I had a huge incision, and when they checked during labor, I bled a lot. But seeing that was what almost made me faint.
My own blood is fine, but his....aaack.

Here is my own personal story about circumcision. My husband and I had always assumed that if we had a boy we would get him circumcised because my husband is. That was pretty much our only reason.

When our first child was born and turned out to be a girl, we were relieved not to have to make a decision. When I was pregnant with our second child, I did a bit more reading about it and found out that doctors are really leaning away from circumcising anymore, barring religious reasons, etc. But I was still undecided.

Our second child was born and turned out to be a boy, so the decision had to be made. The morning after I had Scott I was looking at my chart at the end of the bed and I noticed beside where it said "circumcision" it said "n/a". I thought that was weird as we hadn't discussed our intentions with anyone. I asked my doctor when he came in and he said that none of the doctors in our small city do circumcisions anymore and that we would have to make an appointment in the larger city to get it done. He informed us that while in our generation about 80% of boys were circ'd, now it is falling to less than 50%. After a bit more discussion between my husband and myself we decided not to get Scott circumcised. It was a big hassle, expensive, and not medically necessary, so we really were only left with the "looking like Dad" part, which just wasn't a good enough reason to subject our son to an unneccessary procedure. My husband actually was the one who said "let's not". Plus, my "mother bear" instinct kicked in and I became very protective of Scott's little penis.

We are very happy with our decision. There is nothing extra to do with an uncirc'd penis so far as maintenance, he has never had any infections, and a few months ago my husband accidentally saw a documentary on circumcision that scared the bejeezus out of him, at which he then told me that he was so happy we had decided not to circ. Scott.

While we had originally decided to circ., in the end intellectually we knew that it was an unneccessary procedure that always had the potential to go wrong. It just felt wrong for us to go through with it in the end, and I am glad that we did not. If Scott decides that he wants to be circ'd when he is 20, well then, his penis is no longer my concern!

So there is my own personal opinion. I know that you will make the decision that is right for you and your family, and hopefully no one will give you any grief over it. It is no one's concern but yours and Marko's in the end (well, and Adam, of course!). Good Luck!

I'm just a lurker but I follow your blog religiously and have great respect for you and what you think and feel. I have 2 sons and they are both circumsized because their father is. They are 7 and 6 now and neither have any concern about it didn't have any effects of pain or otherwise within minutes of having it done. I think its completely a personal choice and I would have complete confidence that Marko would make the best decision he could for his son. I do think that if my boys weren't circumsized they would have questions as to why they aren't like their dad. JMHO.

Well, from a shallow point of view... natural ones are sexier and more fun :) But that's just one woman's opinion, of course.

reading the first comment was funny to me ... i am a birthmom to a little boy who is now nearly 5. when he was born i refused to make a decision regarding circumcision, and left it up to his adoptive parents. my basic conflict is that i think the practice itself is horrifying and unnecessary - intellectually on par with female circumcision - i know that i, and many other women have basically "grown up on" circumcised penises and simply find them more attractive ... and i didn't want my little guy to be the freak uncircumcised boyfriend eventually.

I'm going to be weird and say I can't imagine why anyone would do this if not required to by their religion. That's the only reason I can make my peace with it, and I fully expect to cry through my son's circumcision anyway. Assuming I ever have a son.

I know, it's supposed to be easier to keep clean, etc. It just seems a rather extreme way to address that problem. But then again I probably need to toughen up, as I'm likely to cry every time they stick my baby's foot to take blood, too.

We had it done for AJ. The NICU doc wouldn't do it. He made it extremely difficult for my ob to try to do it. So, I had our pediatrician do it. She gave him anesthesia (local) He cried for like 2 seconds as they put him in the papoose that held him in place. The he was given a bottle during the procedure. Other then when he was first restrained, he never made a sound.

My ex had to have one done at age 2 because everyone in his family had it done, and no one knew how to clean it while his mom was in the hospital when he was 2. He is 33 and still remembers how traumatic it was. Also, while I agree as a nurse there are no medical reasons for it, you would be amazed at how many people (medical personel) don't know how to properly care for the uncut. They should, and I consider it gross negligence that they don't. However, it is pretty prevelant. I have seen more than one adult man have to have it done as an emergency.

During potty training, (where I am from anyway) boys tend to see dad's bits as much as mom's. It's easier to show the concept than tell and the kids get it.

Tertia-

We had both boys done. I learned a lot after the first one. I had my ob give me a scrip long before the baby was born for EMLA anestetic cream. I filled it. We had it in our hospital bag. We put it on our son about 40 minutes before he was done to numb the area. You can also ask about spray anestetic. You are so persuasive- I bet you could get whatever you want.

I know someone who had to have it done as an adult male because of infection. It was extremely painful for him as an adult and he remembers it. Neither of my children seem to remember their circumcision. I also nursed each boy as soon as the procedure was done. It was very soothing for them.

Good luck deciding,

Mason is not circumcised. His birthparents made the decision, his birthdad didn't want him to experience pain so early in life.
If we had been in charge (we adopted him when he was 1, after the fact) we would have made the same decision. Bert's dad wasn't circed, Bert was, he said it caused no trauma to look different from dad. Basically we felt it was unneeded surgery, and have heard that sexually it makes a difference to have foreskin.
We have had no problems, Mason is nearly 3 and everything is fine.
Since I don't have a penis, I don't feel really strongly either way, I probably would have let Bert make the decision.

Does he really need his genitals to match the rest of his family? That seems like a really silly reason to me, unless you're fond of frequenting nudist colonies. How often do you plan on him seeing dad and grandpa's penii- and catching good enough looks to be asking questions? Maybe I'm a prudish American, but that strikes me as a weird rationale.

That said, I think that circumcision's entirely painful and unnecessary. It's not needed for hygeinic reasons anymore, it really hurts the babies when they're undergoing it, it removes a ton of nerve endings, and also causes a hardening of penile tissue below the head that's not meant to be hardened. Every major American medical organization is against elective circumcision, and the rates have been dropping dramatically over the past few decades. The same appears to be true worldwide, but I'm not as familiar with that literature.

Remember- once a kid is circ-ed, he's that way for life. There's no going back and fixing it. If he decides later on that he'd rather be uncut, he's screwed. If you leave him intact now, he'll be able to make an informed choice for himself later- which should be his right. It is, after all, his body and his rights to it should be respected, regardless of his age.

If I ever have a son, I won't do it for that last reason, because I honestly consider that to be the most important. Since I'm female, I've never had this experience, but if my parents had arbitrarily clipped off parts of my sexual organs for some asinine aesthetic purpose that left my eventual sexual capacity diminished, I'd be enraged. My boyfriend is certainly none too happy about it.

I also let Dh make the decision since we were having boys. Our twins came first and they were circumsized. We've never regretted the decision. Of course I hated the thought of my babies being in pain but it's a very temporary pain. They did cry during the procedure but were never bothered by it afterwards.
Personally Dh and I both are put off by the look of an uncircumsized penis. Just our personal preference, not trying to offend anyone.
After our twins we had our third son and he too was circumsized.
And had we not done it my boys might have wondered why Daddy's penis looked different than theirs when they saw him getting out of the shower. It was an all around good decision for our family.

My decision not to was easy

- only 10% of boys in my country (Australia) are circumcised, so he'd look like everyone else

-Dad isn't, (except I'm not sure what they do about pubes if they're supposed to look alike -does Dad shave his balls until the child reaches puberty?)

-just couldn't face causing pain to a baby (which was the most important thing for me)

We didn't have it done for our son, mostly because neither of us felt there was a compelling reason to do it, and we weren't going to have surgery performed on our tiny little infant son without a pretty good reason. If my husband had felt strongly that we should do it, I'd have probably agreed, but he didn't see any need, so we didn't.

I have a question, by the way (it's a little TMI).

How does a circumcised man, um, well, pleasure himself, with no foreskin?

VERY UNdetailed replies PLEASE, if anyone feels like enlightening me.

(and on looks, to be honest, circumcised ones look very angry and semi-aroused to me)

I don't have an opinion or anything on "the cut" but I just thought I would mention to woodys girl of what they sometimes do with the skin afterwards.
I know someone who's job it is to go to the hospitals and pick up the skins that the hospitals save and she takes them to a facility where they use them for research. Just FYI. Not all the hospitals save them and "donate" them, but I know there is at least a couple around here that do.
P.S. Why isn't there a foreskin fairy?

All three of my boys are circ'd, but I would not have had the last one done had it been my choice. This isn't quite the horror story of the penis being cut off, but close enough (at least in my book). Our second boy (Connor) was born at home and so had to be brought into the hospital to have the circ done. Everything appeared to be fine, except that when I got him home and went to change his first diaper after the procedure the diaper was soaked with blood. Apparently the doc had cut a blood vessel and we were told had we not brought him back into the hospital he would have bled to death overnight. I refused to sign the consent for the circ on my third (Bennett) and made my husband do it because I just couldn't bring myself to make that call.

Somebody up above mentioned problems with breast feeding after a circ and just for my circumstances it was exactly the opposite, all three boys nursed what seemed like 24 hours straight and really helped establish and bring in my milk supply.

Good luck with your decision and your births!

Well, I happen to know that we're expecting a girl, but even so, for what it's worth: My husband was circumcised when he was five or six, for purely medical reasons. He has no problems whatsoever and actually finds it quite convenient & hygienic. If he suggested circumcision straight away for a son - that would be fine with me.

let dh decide. we did not have ds circumcised so that he looks like dad. btw, dh and ds take baths/showers together and he knows his penis looks like dads but smaller.

Never really thought about the issue - always thought I would - until I married a Brit. He is adamantly against it and, actually, once I started doing research on it I realized it really is medically unnecessary. Most countries, aside from the US, don't routinely do it and I can say from personal experience it is not less hygenic or less satisfying being married to someone who is not.

Also, like an above poster said, i doubt my son will be looking too much at his dad's willy very much. Even if he is, the difference between a three year old penis and a 39 year old penis is pretty significant circ or no circ.

An answer to the question of what is done with the leftover foreskins:

http://www.foreskin.org/f4sale.htm

And Jan, that's one of the reasons circumcision was originally pushed, to discourage mastubation. Don't think it worked to well, though. I'm looking for the link since that was asked as well.

My twin boys were cut. Done in the NICU two days before they came home. Blane did not cry, but Dylan did. We did it to look like daddy and so it would not be so hard to keep it clean for now and the future. And to tell you the truth, being cut looks normal to me. But that is just me. I have friends that have sons that are not cut and that are cut and they are all for different reasons. But now you know mine. Not much pain. No problems afterwards. A little medicine after for about a week. That is it. And to me, they look normal.

Got it. A link to why circumcision became so popular in modern times.

http://www.cirp.org/pages/whycirc.html

And clearly I shouldn't have said "originally" as it is an ancient practice. I meant one of the original reasons for its re-emergence as a common practice in the West.


Although I'm not a boy's mother yet - if/when I have one he will be circumsized. My father was born in Eastern Europe and was not. However, for medical reasons, he had to have the procedure preformed in his 60s. It was very painful and unsettling to him then. So I'll be doing it to avoid that possibility.

We didn't have our son, Felix, circumsized. Mostly just because we couldn't think of a good reason to do it.
Looking like dad wasn't enough of a reason for us, because really, how many times will they be comparing parts? :)

For me once I read that babies sometimes have a hard time breastfeeding after being circ'd because they can sort of "shut down" for a while, the decision was made. I had spent many, many months trying to establish a breastfeeding relationship with my daughter (after a traumatic birth involving HELLP syndrome), and I was never able to breastfeed her.
I was determined that absolutely nothing would hurt my chances of getting to nurse Felix. So after reading up on it, I decided that for me it wasn't worth risking.

(Though I have many friends whose sons have been circ'd who nursed just fine.)

And I also wasn't into putting my itty bitty guy through any unnecessary pain. Now, 7 months later, I never even think of whether or not he's circ'd.

You'll do what's best for YOUR babies because you're their mama.

When we adopted our son from Vietnam (a place where I would imagine no male is ever circumcised), he was 6.5 months old. I had read all the lit about circ being optional at best and figured hooray, the decision has been made for us by the child's birth culture but no, my husband wanted him cut because of the whole "look like Daddy" thing. (Geo's dad was uncut. Go figure.)

Like another woman who commented here, I left it all up to Geo. I said, "Okay, you're in charge of the whole thing. You call up the pediatric urologist, you make all the appointments, you deal with the aftermath. I am not going to be part of this." Of course, it just didn't get done. Thank God for that.

Nico's penis will never look like his dad's. Not if he were cut, not when he grows up, just never. Toilet training was no problem. Come on! Give me a break. There have been no hygiene issues so far, and Nico is nearly four.

The only weird thing was at his 3 year doc visit, the female pediatrician got all up in our faces about how his foreskin wasn't retracting and how we should manually retract it every time we bathed him blah blah blah. Well, it sounded like BS but we tried for a few nights, poor Nico, he didn't want us fucking around with his cock! And I read up about it again online and of course the answer is NO, you NEVER try to force a kid's foreskin to retract, it's a natural process that takes years, and if there's no issue with urination there's just no issue.

Anyway. Nico seems to be enjoying his uncut, tiny dick immensely. If we'd taken his foreskin off, he'd be half as long! Now there's trauma right there.

From the point of view of someone who has enjoyed both circumcised and uncircumcised penises, I have to say that circumcised penises smell much nicer. And not to gross you out or anything, but a friend of mine slept with a guy who wasn't circumcised and I could smell it when I walked into their room to say goodnight - I am not kidding you, his dick was that stinky. Mind you, I think he was a bit of a hippie so hygiene probably was not his highest priority.
However, I don't think I would circumcise our future kids even though my boyfriend is circumcised- I live in Australia and I don't think it's very common any more. I would instead teach our little one to clean properly!!!
PS. To Expat - they pleasure themselves the same way - it still moves! :-)

When I had Matt, I had him on my own and was terrified at the thought of being "in charge of penis's in our family" so I opted to cut. Based on personal preference and first boyfriend experience. I also had an aversion to dark damp places I may need to springclean. When Brad came along Fred got to decide and he opted for circumcistion too (even tho' he's not). So now my boys (now aged 9 and 5) don't look like their dad but do look like each other, although they are certainly the minority of their peers - oddly they are penal obsessed but have never really spotted the difference - it's never been um "raised" as a topic or an issue. We are still very pleased with our decision. My sisters kids weren't and when the oldest was about 6 he had retraction problems and they threatened to cut but didn't and she's fine with her decision. Your Qtip syndrome would make me think it wise to go with Marko's cutting. They did it on the 3rd day just before we left hospital - it took 3 minutes and was less fuss than the umbilical cord. Just a guaze dunked in vaseline and gently wound around. It's the same mechanism as the lopping of a dogs tail. I must say at bathtime with friends mine look the most dignified and normal - but that's just my perspective.

this was an argument for me and my hubs too. i finally decided to go ahead. but the dr office here said it wasnt a neseccary procedure. so they scheduled it for whenever. my son was 2 months old when they finally got around to it. it sucked. it was hard for me. he shouldnt of had to go thru that. but its over with now, he is fine. i didnt think he needed it. it just seems so wrong to me. thats just my opinion. we did it anyway. wrong or not!! good luck! oh and you are totally rocken this pregnancy! good luck!!

We didn't with Hunter for the basic reasons, it's gential mutliation, it's unneccessary and the thought of handing my darling hard won little man over to a dr to have his penis snipped was unbearable

I did regret it for a bit during my ppd (it was just another reason I was a bad mother) now I hardly think of it, though my family is still appalled..I'm the black sheep of the family for doing it

While I second the notion that circumcision is outdated and essentially unecessary, my son was snipped. I had to bring him BACK to the hospital to be circ'ed after his due date, because he was premature. My cautionary tale involves men who have had circumcisions long, long after birth. A nine-year old relative of mine had to be circumsized due to infection. A boyfriend in high school had to be circumsized, due to infection. After talking it over with my husband, we agreed that the threat of having to snip a grown man's penis (with all of the ego attached) was worth a snip in infancy.

Just another FYI, though. Make sure you pull that foreskin back daily, after the circ! Make sure you pull it back after EVERY diaper change! This mantra wasn't drilled into my brain enough, and my poor son's foreskin reattached soon after circumcision. Ouch.

Well, we found out last week we were having a boy, and both have chosen to go for circ.

It's a hard choice, and if Bart had chosen not to circ, I would have gone with that. His father wasn't he was, and all his other boys are too.

When I asked him why he wanted circ and not uncut, he asked me how I felt about uncut penis's back when I was sleeping around.

So, that's why he is going for it.

Our baby boy is due February 23rd, and this has been the toughest decision!!! Ultimately, we decided that watching our daughter get blood taken at the hospital as a newborn was too horrendous for words, and this would be bound to be much worse. I just can't do it. When this little guy is finally born, I'm just going to hold him as much as I can and do everything in my power to protect him from pain. I hope he doesn't hate me for it later!!!

We did it because we did it... and he was to young to know it.. and we don't regret it.. and hopefully one day he wont resent us. Now that he will be 10 in 8 days and still wets the bed... probably a good decision without realizing it.

I have to counter the above poster who mentioned the uncut guy being stinky. Having experience with both, I actually had fewer "stink" problems with the uncut as I had with the snipped, perhaps because they made a larger effort to keep clean. And as far as looking strange to the girlfriend goes: I don't think I ever saw a penis limp before I saw it erect in this sort of case, and when it is erect the foreskin isn't always noticeable, as it retracts, sometimes all the way. Afterwards, if I was caring what it looked like limp, things were looking bad for the guy anyway. I have a daughter, but DH and I discussed a while ago that we wouldn't do it if/when we had a boy. I have a different breast size and shape than my mother and I wasn't confused or traumatized by this, so why would my son be confused if he looked a little different than his dad?

Luckily (the only lucky thing) my son was in the NICU for 2 weeks, and they did not circumcize him right away. I planned on having it done. Then while I was waiting, I did research. The next day I walked into his room and asked the nurse to tear up the consent form. Aiden is now 3 years old. We have had no problems. No infections. He potty trained at 28 months old. We have never had any problems with him not looking like Daddy. I am very happy with my decision, and I hope Aiden will be too. If we were to have any more boys in the future, they would not be circ'd. I am not a huge fan of leaving it up to the husband (or father) because most will not take the time to research (just my experience). I have been following your progress with Kate and Adam for many months. I am so happy that you are so close to your HBIJ goal!

We did not have our son circumsised, even though his dad is.

But on the other side of the argument a friend of ours in his 30s had to get the snip before he got married and it was very painful - esp in the morning if you know what I mean. I guess that a bub would soon forget, but they certainly wouldn't have the additional pain causing issue.

My son was circed when he was 2 weeks old. He was born in Germany and it isn't routinely done there, but we felt it was important. Not for the cosmetic reasons, but for the cleanliness. And, from the research we did, we felt that the teetering coorelation to penile cancer risks increasing were worth considering. They keep changing their mind, but if there is a chance that he would have a higher cancer rate, then why take that chance was our thinking.

I was right there with him when it was done. They used a topical anesthetic first, and he cried a bit when that was rubbed on. Guess he was freaked by losing feeling in his nethers. Then he used ladocaine. It was all said and done in less then 5 minutes. Gelled gauze for a few days and he was fine.

I have two boys, and they are both circ... Though I didn't watch the procedure, neither of them had any troubles at all. No blood whatsoever, just had to change the gauze and vasoline with every diaper change for a couple of days.

We had it done because it was done in the Bible... Plus, it just looks normal to me.

Hugs
Julie

P.S. It's almost January!!!!

i, too, left the decision up to mr. wixlet, who chose to cut. had he to make the decision again, i'm not sure he would have made that choice.

mollie (in case you're back and reading the comments), mr. wixlet is vietnamese (born in saigon) and is circumcised, so it does happen, but i'm sure it only happens at the request of the parents.

No kids yet, but I would probably have my son undergo the procedure. He might feel like "the oddity" in the locker room if he didn't have it done. Also, there is the consideration of when he starts dating girls that are also relatively inexperienced during the adolescent years. If he was to make the decision to undergo the procedure when he was a teenager, it would still probably be for the reasons I would have done it when he was an infant. I feel it would be better to avoid all that hassle for my son. Not to mention the religious considerations... but that's just my opinion. :) Good luck!

I just have to second whoever said anesthetic cream!! Absolutely use that. The rabbi at my parents' synagogue pushes for it at all circumcisions, now that there's evidence newborn pain responses resemble those of adults. I don't know why people believed for so long that babies don't feel pain, just because they can't remember it later, but that's a different rant.

You might want to ask if the doctor can put it on Adam beforehand, actually. My sister had a bit of trouble applying it for her son (not too thick, not too thin, getting the little piece of foil to stay on, argggh.)

We had "sort of" planned to have our chickabid done, but he was so sick after he was born and went through so much in his first few weeks of life that we couldn't do it. I didn't cope with his hourly heel pricks for blood sugar so I don't know how I would have coped with a circumcision.

I'm Jewish and live in Israel so circumcision is something pretty much taken for granted here. If we have a boy, he will be circumcised for various reasons that include tradition and an entire society of circumcised men- That said, I don't agree with circumcision at all. I cannot understand how or why it is somehow viewed as ok to cut off a piece of little boy, cause really, that's what it is. I also see it as very similar to female circumcision, it's just that society views it as more acceptable. If I weren't Jewish and living here, I would never do it.

It wasn't even an issue when my nephew was born - it just isn't done as routine here.

I take the view that it is completely unnecessary (all boys go through the trouble of developing one so it isn't an abberation) - just how often does a kid stand and stare at Daddy's knob anyway?

People look different. I don't feel (too) bad that I don't look like a supermodel, so I'm 100% sure a child will get over the fact that his little peepeepole is a tad different to someone else's.

My father was not circumcised (born at home on a farm in the 1930's) so if I had been a boy, I would not have been circumcised. I think my mom would have voted for it... however, like you, she would have left the decision about boy parts up to my dad.

I have two girls, so I have not had to worry about the decision.

Coming out of lurkdom for this one...

First and absolutely most importantly - it's actually almost JANUARY! Roll on HBIJ!!

As for the circumcision debate, like Lisa I'm also Jewish and also live in Israel, so it's basically a non-decision here. Living in a society where pretty much every male baby is circumcized on the 8th day unless there is a medical reason to delay, I've seen that a few things tend to make the procedure go more smoothly. First, and this is critical, make sure that whoever is doing the circumcision has a LOT of experience. You want someone who does this every day, not once in six months. Second, I would absolutely insist on the antisthetic cream. There's also some kind of gizmo out there that makes the procedure easier and faster (holds their willy maybe?). I hid in the other room during my son's circumcision (as is customary) while my poor father had to carry out his traditional role and hold my son. Dad is V squeemish, but even he said it really wasn't bad. Half a second and it was over, and he didn't even cry. The after-care was no big deal either, just an extra cream to use for a few days, and he was little "raw" looking. He was not particularly fussy and had no unusual complications. It isn't pleasant to think of the procedure itself, but keep in mind that you generally only hear the horror stories, not all the boring "happily ever after" ones...

Oh yeah, and we didn't have any bf'ing complications either...

*slinking back into lurkdom now, but continuing to very loudly cheer you on!*

First time commenter here:

We didn't circumsise our boy. My husband isn't circ'd so I really didn't see the point.

My cousin's boy had to have his foreskin removed at the age of 4 due to a lot of infections, which led his aunt to circumsise her son to hopefully avoid that situation.

I know that with the plastibel (I think that's what it is) there aren't any incisions and that it just falls off after a few days, but it still looked really sore for the poor babe.

Anyway, that's just my 2c.

My son is now almost 11. I DID have him circumcised. Back then,it didn't seem to have the controversy that it seems to have now. At that time I did it for 2 reasons. To be same as his dad and for better hygene. Yes he did see his dads parts because it was his Dad who taught him how to pee standing up. In the hygene dept. I just thought it would be better because I didn't want to be pulling his skin down all the time to clean him and wondered how much he'd be inclined to do it at oh, say age 9 or 10 when boys barely want to bathe at all let alone take extra care with their foreskin. My Dad was not circumcised but ended up gatting some terrrible infections that led him to have to get the job done as a teenager. He said it was pure hell. My current husband is not circumcised and said he always hated it. He hid in the stalls when he was changing and would be in a stall rather then publicly. He's alot more sensitive during sex and iit usually goes alot um..quicker. He wished he was circumcised. And just to check (because of all that mutilation stuff) I asked my son (whose almost 11 now) if he was upset with me for making the decision for him. He laughed. I asked him if he'd rather of not had it done and he said no, he liked it just as it is now thank you.

Personally I think it's up to the individual (and I mean the person on the end of the penis not the mother/father). Imagine if we went around cutting people's ears off just because it was the done thing!

Hi Tertia,
I have three sons, none circumcised. My first partner was uncircumcised, having been born in the UK where it was only done for religious reasons. t the 'look like Dad' argument makes no sense to me. My teenage boys have never undressed in froMy second partner is circumcised, because Australia used to be a country where it was done routinely, although no longer. My boys have all seen their dads' penises, but a little boy looks so different from a grown man anyway, thant of other boys at school -- that just isn't done any more, so they haven't seen it as an issue, and anyway, most here are uncut now. I guess for me the informed consent issue is uppermost -- I wouldn't have let anyone mess around with my girls' genitals either.

Best of luck with everything

Expat: lube and a firmer grip.

I wouldn't, there is no good reason to do it and several good reasons not to, such as:

risk of complications from the surgery

impaired sexual response

several studies have indicated that babies that have been cut later suffer from some emotional problems i.e. harder to soothe, delayed bonding.

Also, I think it's mutilation and it's not my body nor my penis to cut. It's that kid's body in my opinion and thus it should be his choice not mine.

And personally I really really don't get why a kid's penis has to look like his father's, and if it doesn't will it really cause him much mental trauma to explain that his penis is different?

finally re: smell and infections, um that is usually related to hygeine issues and I think there are other ways to prevent bad hygeine less intrusive than sugery.

One word: SMEGMA!
O.K. I lied, I've got more words then that. Xavier was and we've never regretted it. For us the pros and cons were almost even (pro was ahead a bit because of afore mentioned dick-cheese) but in the end it was mostly to look like Mark. We take showers toghether and are naked a lot, plus there's the whole potty training issue. We watched it be done and he cried more when they took off his pants then the actuall procedure. And besides, even Adam does get mad about it later you can say it was Marko's choice, hahahaha. (hi marko!)
I would like to say how great everyone in this community is that we can all voice our v different views without any catfights.

I am delurking to make this post. I have had the urge several times. I didn't think anything would bring me out of the woodwork.

I realize that you probably won't read this far, but I had to throw my opinion in because though once I didn't care, I have become firmly upon the side of non-circumcision. Long before I was even pregnant, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was uncircumcised and he gave me some links talking about why a lot of people don't like the idea (and for the life of me, I can't remember what they are, sorry). I had never realized anyone cared either way. In one of these links one man detailed how he actually grew it back (well, extra skin anyway. The foreskin has a lot of nerve endings you just can't grow back). He felt like he'd had something stolen from him. Even though I think he was a little crazy, I didn't ever want my son to regret something so permanent done to him at such a young age. I figured if it meant that much to him, he could get it done later, but he couldn't get it back if I decided for him now.

My husband (as well as every guy I've ever been with) is circumcised, but we weren't terribly concerned about him looking like daddy, even though we now realize that during the young years there are probably going to be quite a few times when my son will be able to notice he looks different and may ask. We figure we have at LEAST another year before we have to come up with an answer to that one (he's 18 months old). :) Oh, and my husband, thankfully, didn't care really either way.

I was practically attacked at work when I told them I wouldn't circumcise. They swore I was dooming my boy to a lifetime of no sex, because women don't like it and heaven FORBID any mention of oral, because apparently uncircumcised men are "dirty." This actually worried me and caused me to go so far as to speak to my family about sex - ugh - because my father and all my brothers are "natural" (something I wasn't aware of until I was pregnant). They all said to me that it had never been a problem with them, ever, which, grossed out as I was, was a relief.

I was trying to keep this short, so let me summarize why else I decided not to:
- It is not medically necessary, and generally I don't like the idea of surgery unless you reeeally reeeeally have to.
- I am not religious
- My husband has problems with losing sensitivity. Who knows if being circumcised has something to do with it? A lot of people think that sex is better for a man if he hasn't been circumcised.
- My brothers are, honestly, the most digusting, dirty people on the planet, and if they have all managed to keep themselves clean for 19, 21 and 23 years, respectively, without ever getting an infection or any other problem that would cause them to have to get circumcised later (another boogeyman my coworkers threw out at me) then ANYBODY can do it.
- Considering how the rate of circumcision is dropping in the U.S. (I have no idea what it is in SA) odds are good that girls my son's age will be more accustomed to men of both...varieties and won't have any kind of aversion to uncircumcised men like my coworkers seemed to.


Good luck. I'm about a zillion miles away and I don't know you from Adam (haha) but I think about you and the babies all the time. Oh, and living as I do in the suburban metropolis that is Southern California, that picture of the ibex out your front door blew my mind. I told my husband "my goodness! It's like she lives inside the San Diego Wild Animal Park!"

I'm Jewish. Enough said. But if I wasn't Jewish, I would probably do it anyways...think about it this way...

If your child ever decides that HE wants it - it's MUCH MORE painful later on. See description on show Nip/Tuck. Not sure if I'd want my son going through that...if I ever had one.

Wow, lotta comments on this one. Tertia, you have read my blog? I live in the house of weenies. Four of them! All I can say is...
cut cut cut cut. With a caveat. In my country, the ob/gyn does it, not the ped. My first guy looked pretty good and didn't have too much trouble(now that he's 19 I think he's pretty happy -- and yeah I think he knows he looks like his mates)Middle's I didn't like so much...no serious pain or anything, but not as neat looking as I would have liked. When Youngest rolled around, er - as it were, I started asking around in the hospital. I explained to the nursery nurses that I didn't want just whoever was on duty to do it. After a few hours of me walking around discussing my one day old boys penis and how I wanted it to look, one nurse said: Oh. You want
THE YANKEE CLIPPER -- she pointed out a rakish looking guy across the nursery. She told me he did gorgeous work, and I couldn't help wishing he'd delivered the baby. Turns out she was right. Nice job. So. Perhaps ask around. At this point your babies appear to be healthy and perhaps(fingers crossed) the only thing you will be worried about is Adam's willy.
I know, I know, I should have had all kinds of religious/moral issues to discuss here...but I think you know by now that discussing important things is not my cup o'tea. I am much too flippant. In fact, I thought "the controversial cut" referred to your hair. Yes, I think you should cut bangs(fringe?) as in your bio picture -- they would look lovely.

My first hubby was uncircumcised. It was truly no big deal for me; he kept things very clean and once I got over the initial "oh my what's this?" It was a non-issue.
But for him, socially, he suffered a bit. His friends made constant remarks about it- he was definitely a curiosity and at times it wore him down. He considerered getting cut as an adult but the thought of the pain kept him away.

A coworker recently had his willy cut to shut his fiance up (scary how I know that, but he's a Brit and very matter-of-fact).

I don't think Adam will remember the pain nor will he miss his little "hoodie." As an adult though, he might regret it being there.
I say CUT!

I was very unsure about circumcision and my husband was very pro-circumcision. He wanted any son to "be like him." I asked him how often he would be comparing penises with his boy. He couldn't really answer.

I don't know what the stats are in SA, but in the US it's almost 50/50 cut vs noncut.

In the end, we didn't have to make the decision and I still don't know what we would have done.

We circ'd my son. As a pediatrician, I always pointed out to people that it's medically unnecessary and totally a personal choice (unless there are religious reasons of course). However, as a medical student, during my surgery rotation, I was in on a circ of a teenage boy. I forget why he was having it done then - I think he had a genetic issue and there were problems that required circ'ing. But there was a problem with the anesthesia. He died on the table. They were able to get him back, but I just couldn't get that image out of my head. I dont' want my son to ever have general anesthesia for something I could have taken care of sooner and avoided those risks.

So, once again a very rare thing that probably shouldn't be a major factor, but for me it was huge.

But I also am just used to the way the circ'd ones look and DH was also wanting a circ for the matching reasons.

Enjoy the beginning of a lifetime of making tough decisions for your kids!

Haven't read other comments yet, but they look pretty lengthy, so I guess people are very opinionated about this.

We had my son cut. I felt that it probably was not the "right" thing to do, because it really probably is not medically or otherwise necessary. I copped out by leaving the decision to my husband, knowing that he would choose to have him cut. Most of my friends are Jewish, so I knew that they would all support the decision. I'm sure it hurt to get it done, but I'm also sure they don't remember it after a few minutes.

Didn't circ, for all the reasons other people have stated except the one about female genital mutilation, a comparison that bugs me because FGM is so much more severe, more painful, and NEVER medically necessary.
If I had a girl, I wouldn't pierce her ears when she was a baby. I don't think it's my place to decide to alter someone else's body. But I know ear-piercing in some groups is culturally important, so I'm not saying Boo hiss to everyone who has it done. I'm just saying I'm glad that's not part of my culture.

This is a subject that I have little experience with and I have no intention of trying to 'sway' your choice either way. I just thought I'd throw in my thought with everyone else's. :o)

I just found out in early december that I am pregnant with my first, so this is something I have begun to think about. My husband is cut, and I must say that I personally find the appearance of uncut penises to be...well, just not attractive.

That being said, I will elect to have this baby cut should it be a boy. I am sure my husband would agree, as he seems to have suffered no ill effects from his own circ. It also just seems to be more attractive and the thought of what nastiness can grow under there without proper cleaning...well, just yuck. Eliminate the problem if you can, I say.

Just my opinion!

We did not have our son circumsized, even though my dh is, because I personally find the "to make him look like Daddy" reason to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Would you have your infant daughter's clitoris surgically altered to make it look like yours? Have her labia removed because they "serve no real purpose"? The only reason circumsision is still an accepted form of child abuse and mutilation is that it has been done for so long that a lot of people simply act like sheep and do what everyone else did without giving it serious thought.

My son is 2 1/2 and we've had no trouble caring for his penis. It is easy to clean and keep clean. I've heard the argument that adult men have infections, sometimes so severe that they must have a circumsision done as an adult. That is unfortunate and most likely results from a lack of cleanliness. I've also read a study in which 100 circumsized infant males and 100 uncircumsized adult males were studied and it was found that the infection rate was almost identical - in other words, just as many circumsized infants end up with infections as uncircumsized adults. So with me the "avoids infection" excuse doesn't fly. And, personally, I could never cause my infant pain intentionally, and any parent that could sickens me.

All of that said, I will also say that it is a personal decision. What I have said is *MY OPINION* and not something I make an ultimate judgement of others on. Whatever decision you and your husband make will be beacause it is what *YOU* feel is best for *YOUR* child.

However - it is a decision that BOTH PARENTS should make together, like all other parenting decisions. Trust me - if your husband decides one way and you later wish the opposite had been done (especially if what was decided is irreversible!) you may very well come to resent him for his decision. Also, I know some circumsized men who have very strong feelings against whoever "did this to them" - it would be awful for that to focus only on one parent, as parents should be a united front.

We did indeed have our son circumcised. As in your house my husband is in charge of the penises in this house.

I mentioned to my mom (a L&D) nurse that I didn't know whether to circ if we had a boy, and she was all, "What's to decide?" So apparently everyone here still does it, and before they leave the hospital (although those who don't have a hospital birth might be the ones who aren't doing it). I was just relieved that we had a girl and didn't have to make that decision. There are good reasons for and against, and though the reasons for tend to be cultural, rather than medical, that doesn't make them invalid.

Incidentally, I am not a "crunchy granola" person. I had a hospital birth with an epidural, I don't homeschool, I don't attachment parent or any of the other buzzwords out there - before anyone goes and assumes that I'm so radical hippy and writes me off.

Circumcision lowers the risk of acquiring (and transmitting) HPV (human papilloma virus) by up to 63%. HPV in uncircumcized males is associated with an increase in cervical cancer in the woman they have intercourse with.

I spent 7 years with an uncircumcized mate and he was very proud of his European parents who had chosen to not "cut him." Unfortunately for me, he transmitted. The following years of painful cryosurgery and emotional issues surrounding my diagnosis of cervical cancer were difficult to say the least.

If I knew then what I know now....

There's a lot of comments, and due to time restraints I haven't been able to read all of them. On the off chance you make it this far, I think I have a different perspective to offer.

I have a son, and I also let my husband decide what to do. My husband was for circumcision, but not because he wanted our son to look like him. Quite the opposite. My husband is uncircumcised, and grew up being very ashamed of his penis. He hated locker rooms and actually is quite prudish. He did not want the same for his son. His 3 other brothers were also uncircumcised until one of them had to have the operation done at the age of 14 because of persistant infections. Can you imagine having it done at 14?

Anyway, just a different view. My husband often wishes his mom had it done for him at birth. Oh, and BTW, they took my son and brought him back in 30 minutes. He wasn't crying or in distress at all. He just slept. It wasn't at all traumatic for us.

We didn't for a very simple reason: It wasn't our penis. The penis belongs to my son, and he has the right to make decisions like that about his own body. So for now it's uncut. If he wants to get himself circumcized, or tattooed, or pierced when he's older, that's his right to control his own body (although if he gets his penis pierced I'd hope he wouldn't tell me about it). I wouldn't want soeone else to make decisions about my body, so I didn't think I had the right to do that to someone else just because that person was small.

After having taken care of a newborn, I am *so* glad we didn't do it, because it just would have been one more thing to worry about keeping from getting infected. But as I said, if my son wants to do it later (with proper anaesthsia and pain meds afterwards) it's none of my business.

In the US the current rate is about 50%, so neither kind of penis is going to stand out in the locker room.

My son is NOT circumcised. At the time - I chose NOT too because I've never been a fan of medicine or medical procedures NOT entirely necessary. However - as he gets older (he's about to be 10) I now worry a lot about whether or not he cares, or WILL he care? Will kids make fun of him? Will girls make fun of him? I hope he doesnt regret the decision I made. At the time? IT seemed a no-brainer.

Cherylb, what's the potty-training issue with circ vs. not? I've never heard of this. FWIW, my son is uncut and potty-trained earlier (basically on his own) than any of his cut friends (2 and a few months vs. not trained yet nearing 3). I'd never heard of any potty-training story.

We did not circumcise Zackary. All it took was finding a video of a circumcision on the net for Josh to quickly see it my way. IMHO, it is a medically outdated procedure and there is no 'good' reason to have it done. I agree w/most of the views stated above as to reasons why not to have it done...but in the end it is really a personal decision and whatever one you make will be the best for you and your family.

My best friend is an ob/gyn. She told me that the discomfort of the procedure absolutely pales in comparison to the agony of being born (and when you think it about it, you can imagine it must be painful having those massive muscles squeezing you through an itty bitty opening). Now, I realize you're having a section, but I think you should set aside the furor, and do whatever you think is right. My son is circumcised...and right or wrong, we thought it was important to look like Daddy. I think the majority of boys in our area are circumcised...and that also factored into our decision. I only half-heartedly believe the health benefits, but see value in those, too. Do what feels right.

As a mom of many, i dont really belong here but im inspired by your love for your babies!

That being said, i have five boys, all circumsized. We did it partly for the sameness issue as well as it is easier to clean and my husband didnt want to have the risk of having them have to have it done as a teen or older adult.

I had absoulutely no problems with bonding, nursing or any of that. And no complications from the surgery either.

But i did leave the decision primarily up to my husband as you are doing as well.

May your beautiful twins continue to grow strong and healthy!

I don't have much advice, but I do have a funny story.

When my mom had my brother 12 years ago the hospital offered to do it. She said they took him to the next room over, he cried, and was done crying by the time they brought him back to her seconds later. I'd never heard of it causing nursing problems, but I know he was fine.

When she had my other brother 10 years ago she lived in a different province that didn't do them at all. There was something wrong with it, and it used to balloon when he peed. I'm sure there is a very medical term for it, but it just looked painful. When she moved back here her new Dr told him he'd have to have it removed. At 6.

Now, my brother is very "free". He's not ashamed of his body at all. In fact I'm sure it would never occur to him to be ashamed of anything. Modest he is not. We happened to pop by my mom's a few days after his surgery and there he was running around bottomless. "Want to see my new penis?" For months he was offering to show ANYONE. He was so proud to look like his dad and brother. He loves his new penis.

When/if we have our son(s) I've already found a specialist in the area. If the doctors there aren't used to doing them anymore (like here) I was told I'd be much better of having a Mohel do it. So I found one that also happens to be a Dr. He uses a 3 step numbing process. E-mail me if you want the link to his website so you can ask your Dr for the goods.

I don't have a son, but I have a husband that is uncut. The extra skin doesn't bother me and goes away with an erection anyway, so it really goes down to how you want a flaccid penis to look.

I have 2 boys, one circ'ed and one not.
The 2 year old was and the doctor who did it did not do it completely. So he still has some skin.
We did it with him to "look like Dad" but since it wasn't done correctly, we decided not to do our second son.
The baby is 5 months old and I am glad we didn't do it. Both boys spent time in the NICU and especially with #2 I just couldn't see putting him through any more pain than I had to.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Been lurking for a while! But ditto on the HBIJ sentiment!!!!

Out of lurkdom just to post my 2 cents. Although...I don't think you'll make it past the first 75 comments. :)

We have twin boys that are 16 months old. Both were circ'd at birth. We didn't see the procedure, they cried a bit afterwards, but are fine now. Honestly, it wasn't a big decision for us. My husband is circ'd. He said he doesn't miss his foreskin...although he doesn't know what he's missing, I suppose. And I think he enjoys sex enough. Hee, hee.

Best of luck to you. Just a few more days until January! You're doing an awesome job! :) I had my boys at 37 weeks. They were 6 lbs 4 oz and 6 lbs. One was vaginal and one was a c-section. That was f*cking lovely.

My son was circumcised. However, I insisted that in addition to the injection of local anesthetic (which they sometimes give too close to performing the procedure and is not entirely effective) that they use EMLA foam - a numbing topically applied foam, a minimum of 30 minutes prior. I told them if they weren't going to do that not to perform the circumcision. It eased my mind a bit. This too shall pass...

I refused to sign the consent form.

Even if there is just a little, tiny, microscopic chance that my son could end up with either, 1. a misshapen penis, 2. no penis at all, or 3. bleeding to death (which happened in Florida in 1993), that's too much risk for me. I couldn't live with myself if something happened. Sure maybe only 1 in 100 million or whatever something goes wrong, but that is too high of a risk for me. Actually even if there were no risk I wouldn't subject my child to a painful surgery for cosmetic purposes.

There is some good info at this link, if you're interested.

http://bbs.babycenter.com/board/baby/1196

Both my boys are circ'd, because both of my ob's recommended it. Yes, my doctors gave good reasons FOR it, and both had their own boys circ'd. I hate the whole idea, still don't know if I did the right thing. But if we hadn't done it, I would be conflicted about that, too. Perhaps having your husband decide is a good way to go.

My little boy is all natural...no cutting here and absolutely no problems. At the time that he was born in the U.S., the pendulum (sp?) was swinging back toward NOT having it done. We were told it was about 50/50 at the time and that most doctors were no longer performing the surgery. In fact, we would also have had to go to a different doctor, different hospital, etc. and we lived in a major city!

Because it was 50/50 at the time, I'm not at all worried about him not looking like his mates. As for not looking like his papa, it hasn't even been an issue. He's more interested in why grown ups have hair down there and he doesn't!

On a final note, Everything we read said it was medically unecessary.

All that said, I think I can speak for the blogging world when I say that we can't wait to meet the twins! Well, we can wait until they are fully baked, but we're all very excited for you!

I had strong opinions, but the first one was: the parent actually in posession of a penis makes the decision for our son. And Calder wanted Wilder circ'd. That was the operating assumption right up until the day of Wilder's discharge from the NICU, when I changed his diaper and realized the circ hadn't been done. I had a moment of absolute panic, believing this was going to prevent us taking him home (trying to avoid sentences with the words discharge and release there...). Turns out, when asked by the nurse, Calder had decided "the baby's been through enough." Three weeks of IVs and heel pricks and NG tubes put Calder right off the idea of scalpels in the genital region, apparently.

Since you are going to circ Adam, let me just say that the numbing creme has been shown in studies not to do its job. The doctors need to use an injectible pain relief. And falling deeply asleep after the procedure? That's the #1 way infants react to extreme pain. It was treatment of preemies in the NICU, watching them retreat from pain through sleep, that woke folks up to the idea that maybe circ's weren't so painless after all. So make sure Adam gets good pain management.

Also, in the US, an unbelievably large number of circ's are done by OBs (70+%), not by pediatricians or urologists. This is INSANE, and explains entirely why pain management for circ's is so pathetic in this country.

Oh, yeah: I was anti-circ. The hygiene issue struck me as a red herring: I have to keep my genitals clean, and it hasn't been any sort of hassle that I can tell. Higher rates of HPV and HIV in uncircumcised men? We will teach Wilder to use condoms to prevent STDs and unplanned pregnancy whether he has a foreskin or not. I guess being uncirc'd will help put the fear of God into him on this one. Looking like the other boys in the locker room? People are always overestimating the circ rates in the USA. Unless you live in the rural midwest (where circ rates approach 100%), chances are your uncirc'd son will be in anything from the 40% minority to the 80% majority. The 80% uncirc'd number prevails in major urban centers--think the Bay Area, New York, Chicago....The regional rates are about 60% Northeast, 56% South, 80% Midwest, and 40% West. Asian, and Latino, and Black men in the USA have historically been circ'd in lower numbers than Whites, although the rate for Black men has been rising. We've lived in two university towns now, and the boys in our playgroups have been about 60% uncirc'd, I think.

I've read studies that show US women have an aversion to performing oral sex on uncirc'd men. That WOULD be too bad for Wilder, but on the other hand, the foreskin has approximately 25% of the total penile nerve endings, so he sacrifices quantity for quality. Or he dates a lot of women from other countries, which would be fine.

We had ds circumcised. I let my husband decide, and I'm still regretting it (our son is only 11 weeks old, so I guess I'll get over it eventually.

I do think it's uneccessary, and I know that it affected our breastfeeding relationship at the beginning. My bf experience in the hospital wasn't good, and it was partially because he was circ'd his first day instead of his second and was zonked out most of the day.

Each family has to make the decision for themselves, I just wish I had insisted on leaving him intact.

The regional rates _of circumcision_ are about 60% Northeast, 56% South, 80% Midwest, and 40% West. According to Wallerstein and Bollinger, 55% of US newborns were circumcised in 2001.

http://www.cirp.org/library/statistics/bollinger2003/

both of my sons are circumcised and it wasn't even a topic that was open for debate before or after their births.

When my son was born, I deferred to my (now X) husband. He chose the circumcision. I never questioned his decision, never played devil's advocate, never researched the controversy.

Why?

I have no idea. Do I regret it? No, not really. My son has yet to inform me that he remembers the event. When/if he does ask about it (possibly when he is expecting his first and his wife defers to him?) I certainly hope the Xhubby remembers his reasons.

We thought we were having a boy, so we discussed this, and came to the conclusion that there is no point in having it done. My brother and sister in law have 2 boys, dad has been snipped, but both boys haven't. At the pediatricians advice (they use the same dr. as we do) there is really no point, and in the States, it's split about 50/50 with the trend leading towards not doing it.

Apparently cleanliness is not the issue it was once thought to be, and socially, it doesn't matter anymore either..

so we figured, there just isn't a point!

(yes, and we've heard the horror stories too.. eek!)

We have a 5 month old son. (And two older daughters) When I was pregnant I was very much unsure whether I wanted him to be circumsized or not. I did copious amounts of reading on it - since I was a bit "on the fence". However, my hubby felt strongly that our baby boy should be circumsized so that he was never teased later in life.

I decided my mate, as a man, would have more insight on this topic than I would and went along with his decision.

Still worried about the baby feeling pain, I read about Jewish Bris - some people feel the tool the Rabbis use (and the 8th day after birth) are better / less painful to the baby.

But then, I delivered our baby boy a nearly 5 weeks earlier than we expected - so my planning was cut short. When he was born, he had a bit of respiratory distress (being early and all) and a Pediatric Cardiologist was called to see him. Rather frightening experience, but the bright spot in all of it was that the Cardiologist, after declaring our son just fine (his bluish tinge was determined to be bruising, not lack of oxygen) talked with us for another 15 min. or so about circumcision. We liked this doctor very much (our personalities matched well) ..and he and his wife had also debated this with their (now 6 yr. old) son.
He decided that it seemed that the trend was growing friendly towards uncircumsized boys - and they went "au naturel" and didn't have their son circimsized immed. after birth. However, later their son, in PRE-SCHOOL (yes, that early on) became self-consious about his 'unit' and after just a couple of urinary tract infections (which this Dr. was unsure were truly related to being uncircumsized or not) -- they decided to have their son circumsized after all. At age 5. Which then required general anesthesia and a painful recovery. Moral of the story, according to this Dr. we liked very much was that it was best to circumsize when the baby is newborn, and that there are still many more circumsized than not.

And lastly, after talking with our pediatrician and also the cardiologist about considering non-ritual Bris - they told us they've attended (watched) many a Bris - and that the tool the Mohels use is in fact the very same tool used by the doctors.

As a side note, when our newborn son was circumsized this past July..he actually wailed in protest as he was undressed, but then fell asleep DURING the cut. He never fussed or seemed uncomfortable after the cut, either. We just kept lots of vaseline on his sore part, and it healed v. v. quickly.

Oh, and one last side note.. I've lived abroad in two other (Asian) countries.. and in both places saw people ridicule an uncircumsized male. There is actually a word for it in Japanese (to be uncircumsized) and in our circle of friends there was one guy who was uncircumsized.. and every time everyone was out drinking it never ceased to come up and they always gave him crap for it. I guess I wouldn't want that for my boy..

Just my humble two cents worth.
-Carolyn

Thought I'd pipe up because a lot of posters said they didn't have sons and didn't know when the son would see Dad's stuff anyway to compare....

We had son circumsised the day after he was born. They took him away, he was gone for like 15 minutes (?) and when they brought him back, he wasn't even crying. (they did use a local) The first 2 times he urinated, he fussed just a little bit - then I removed the diaper and put on a new one, and he was fine.

About seeing Dad's stuff...I send my son in w/Daddy to take his shower (we have a double shower). It's easier that way (I know lots of parents that shower w/their little kids , moms and dads both). He uses his bath paints in there while dad's shaving etc. So he does see Dad's stuff. It's easier and quicker than giving him a bath, and he can splash his little heart out because we have shower doors. he does take baths once in a while, but it's usually a shower.

We started giving him showers when we traveled for the first time after he was about 8 months. The thought of traveling w/my son and having him take a bath in a tub that I didn't clean myself is terrible (hotel or family - babies get a lot of tub water in their face and mouth - That's just gross). We toted a baby tub until we realized he could shower w/Dad.

We chose Dad because he's stronger and more able to hold onto slippery baby than I and it has just carried on.

My husband is circumcised and was ADAMANT about none of his 3 boys being circumcised until they could make the decision as adults. The 26 and 28 year olds are happy about their dad's insistence on them not being circumcised; they've never experienced any social or medical reprecussions from the decision. As for our 8 year old, he appears oblivious to his foreskin. Besides my husband's insistence, you would have had to tear our son out of my cold, dead arms as an infant to cut part of his penis off so it wasn't really even a decision.

Uncut penises are, for the men of my generation, at least... gross. They stink. They taste AWFUL. They are unpleasant in just about every arena. My brothers had so many problems growing up. Two just weren't clean, but one tried everything he could and still had persistent and incredibly painful infections. Some of my male cousins also had infections regardless of how hard they tried to keep it clean.

Circumcision was started because God decreed it for the Jewish people. Christians are "free from the law" because they are saved by grace, but any law in the Bible is still good for you.

Our sons will be circumcised for one more reason. My husband is lazy. I cannot see him taking the necessary time and effort to make sure our sons know how to be clean, and to make sure they are. I for one, will not be checking my sons' parts after say, 5 years of age. Therefore, for their own safety, they will be cut.

I've got two boys, and both were circ'd. I too left it up to my dh. He had a strong persuasive reason to do it. In his first marriage, his brother in law required the surgery at age 25, due to multiple infections. Dh went with him and said that it was excruciating. He never wanted his children to go through that at an older age, but he was adamant that it be done after birth. I don't have a penis, so I didn't feel like it was my decision.

As an interesting aside, though, two of my girls were born with fused labias. I had to make the decision to either have them slit or not, and, whoot, that was a tough one. With my first, we tried weeks of estrogen cream, and finally decided to cut. Watching the doctor gown up, put on protective eyewear, and gloves, was almost more than I couled stand. It was one quick slice, but still.....

The second daughter had the same thing and at least I was used to it.

Good luck! You are sooooo close. Did you ever dream that you would be having this conversation?

My husband is circumcised, my son isn't.

When my son was born he was aboslutely perfect to me - every little bit of him - and I couldn't imagine snipping anything off - not even a little bit of skin... I figured he was born the way he was meant to be and in the absence of religious reasons I wouldn't have him circumcised.

As for not looking like Daddy... my son is now 5 years old and once asked why Daddy doesn't have a foreskin. We explained that Daddy had the skin cut off when he was a baby because that's what used to be done, but that it isn't always done anymore... and my son was fine with the explanation. (BTW, a little boy's penis looks very different to a grown man's, circumcised or not!)

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