Monday, May 24, 2010

A hard post on a touchy subject

I keep putting off writing this blog post. I have put it off for months, but I just need to get it over with. It is just too hard to think about, let alone write about, and I know in a few moments I will be overcome by tears.

The date was November 2nd, 2009. That was the day circumcision very nearly cost my son his life. If we had waited a few more hours, I truly don't know if he would have made it.

My husband and I had come to the decision that we would circumcise Hunter, after many discussions and countless tears on my part. I had a very restless spirit about the whole situation, but knew that this was not my hill to die on and it was not worth my marriage to argue my point. I will readily admit that it took a LONG time to get over my anger at both God and my husband for what happened next. Part of my comfort is in knowing that part of God's plan was for this to happen to us, and I am doing my best to speak out and use this experience for good instead of focusing on the negatives.

We had finally agreed that even though we would circumcise him, it would not be immediately, we would establish our relationship with Hunter first, allow him to build up his own natural store of Vitamin K (along with the shot they give), and let him grow a little. He was 6 weeks old when the surgery date came along. I will state that, for the record, an intact penis is extremely easy to care for and keep clean.

I barely slept the night before, I could not bear the thought of what was about to happen to my precious baby boy. I fed him for the last time I was allowed to before it happened, and we headed to the hospital early. The urologist checked everything out, weighed him, and got him ready. I think the procedure itself started at 11 am. I walked him back to the room, saw the contraption they use to tie him down, and kept reminding myself to breathe. Amazing how difficult that was considering the circumstances. I wasn't allowed to stay during the procedure, after it was done Hunter was hungry and a little grouchy, but seemed otherwise ok. The doctor who did the procedure is a highly recommended pediatric urologist, and said everything had gone well, no complications.

This is where things started to get bad. I need to stop and compose myself for a moment before I continue.

I took him home and changed his diaper, taking off the disposable they had him in and replacing it with one of my cloth diapers. I cried a little looking at how swollen it was, with the little plastic ring around it. It looked like it hurt. There was a little blood in his diaper, so I looked at the sheet they had given me on after care. It said that was normal, and should stop soon. Ok, they know what they're talking about, he'll be fine.

A couple hours go by, during which my Mother in Law dropped by (and if I remember correctly she fed us lunch :) ). Another diaper change, this one is worse, looks a little scary. The diaper has blood, but there does not appear to be anything wrong. Mother in Law asks if this is still normal, I say yes but I'm starting to wonder myself. By this time I am exhausted, so Hunter and I take a nap, he sleeps a little longer than normal if I remember correctly.

This is the part where it gets really bad. If you can't handle stories with blood, you may want to skip the next couple paragraphs.

I changed another diaper, it was around 7pm. I will never forget the feeling of my heart skipping a full beat, and my stomach falling to my knees, as I entered a state of complete and utter panic. The diaper was literally saturated with blood. There was not a spot anywhere that wasn't soaked. I nearly passed out, saw spots in front of my eyes and had to put my head between my knees. I quickly grabbed the care sheet, and started to apply pressure to attempt to stop the bleeding, all while willing myself to not pass out or vomit.

Taking another pause to compose myself. The tears that did not happen in the moment are flowing quite freely now.

I waited the full 10 minutes the care sheet recommended while applying heavy pressure to my precious baby's bleeding wound. It continued to ooze, so I put on another cloth diaper, this time one that I was not worried about getting stained, called the doctor, and headed back to the hospital. This entire time I was repeating a silent prayer, please God let my baby be ok.

I honestly don't know how I kept it together to drive, but I did, I was at home alone while my husband was working. I called several people on the way, trying to keep myself calm and not break down. My husband first, he thought I might be overreacting but said he would be there as soon as he was off work. Then my Mom, and my Mother in Law, then my best friend Whitney. She told me later that she could hear the fear in my voice, and when she told her husband his first thought was "Jessica is not one of those people who freaks out, if she is freaking out we need to go up there because this is really bad". It meant so much to me that she met me at the hospital, I was in bad shape by then emotionally.

They admitted me to the back almost immediately, and when the triage nurse saw that Hunter had bled all the way through the prefold diaper, she got things moving quickly and got us back to a room. Whitney arrived shortly after we went back. We saw a few doctors and nurses, this part is a bit blurry to me but Whitney may be able to fill in some details. I think I was probably in shock, I don't know how else I could have made it through this. They started applying pressure as well, and looking for some sort of gel foam that stops bleeding temporarily, then they took some blood.

This is when I knew things were really bad. Hunter was looking a little pale, and he didn't even make a peep as they stuck him with the needle. I started to be truly afraid that I was going to lose him at this point. Someone came in with his blood results and said he needed a transfusion and surgery to stop the bleeding as soon as possible, they had the on call urologist on his way. I was absolutely numb, I don't think I could comprehend what was going on. I offered to donate my own blood, but they have policies against that. Something about the blood of a stranger being pumped into my brand new little person just seemed so wrong to me, but I knew it was completely necessary at this point.

Around this time my husband arrived, I was so thankful to see him. I think it was around 10:30 pm when Hunter finally went back for his second circumcision surgery, this time under the full general anesthesia and in a very different set of circumstances. They removed the plastibell and completed the surgery with stitches. In the waiting room during the surgery, surrounded by my husband, his parents, and my parents, I finally broke down and cried. I just kept praying that my sweet baby boy, who was healthy and perfect 12 hours earlier, would be ok and survive this ordeal.

They brought him back after about 45 minutes, and set us up in a room for the night. They showed us that the bleeding had stopped, and I exclaimed that everything looked much better than it had earlier. My husband made a comment moments later about how it didn't look good at all, if he had seen it a few hours before he would've known what I meant.

Another sleepless night. He was hungry once he woke up and stopped being groggy, so I nursed him to sleep in the rocking chair in his room. He had to be on the monitors for a little while, but once he was off them I did not put him down.

I couldn't put him down. It hurt my heart too much to try.

So I didn't sleep, I sat in the rocking chair and held my poor injured baby the entire night. I think at some point I put on the wrap so I could keep him close to me and rest my arms. He had been through so much, he needed the comfort of knowing his Mommy wasn't going to let him go. I needed the comfort of knowing he was ok.

The days following were a struggle, both emotionally and physically as I made sure the healing process went smoothly and tried to catch up on sleep.

I am thankful for a few things: First, a God who holds us in His hands and sees us through even the darkest of circumstances. Second, friends and family who come together during hard times. Third, cloth diapers. Yes, that one may sound weird, but I read a story that was eerily similar to Hunter's, with the exception of the diapers. The baby in that story died because the parents could not accurately tell how much blood their baby had lost in the disposable diaper.

Even now, months later, the healing process is not complete. He has checked out as completely healthy, no one can tell me the reason this happened. No underlying bleeding disorders, no physical abnormalities. I am able to talk about it now without feeling quite as much guilt or fear, but they are not totally gone. Hunter's physical healing did not go completely as hoped either, he developed a couple complications (adhesions and a buried penis) that are fairly common after circumcision but could require surgery later if they cannot be corrected by gentle methods.

This is why I post circumcision education literature on my facebook and twitter accounts. I can not and do not judge anyone for deciding to circumcise their sons, that would make me a hypocrite and I know everyone makes the decision they think is best. What I can do is share the information I wish I'd had before the operation: it is SURGERY, and as such can cause major, even deadly, complications. If it were necessary for a child's health or well being to be without a foreskin, God would not have created them with one. It is not cleaner or easier to be circumcised, for Hunter it may be something he has to deal with for the rest of his life or at least for the next few years. As for the circumcision as HIV/AIDS prevention argument, as someone raising my son in a Christian home that is something I hope he will avoid by simply having good values and morals, not to mention common sense.

Please research your options if you are preparing for the birth of a son. If you are undecided, there is an easy out: let the one who will be living with the foreskin for the rest of his life make the decision. Yes, that will mean that if he decides he wants to be circumcised, it will be when he is old enough to remember, but it also dramatically cuts down the risk of bleeding.

I hope now that I have this off my chest I will blog a lot more often, emotional baggage was giving me a severe case of writer's block.


  1. So sorry that this happened to you and little hunter. This must have been very hard. Jude has the adhesions and buried penis as well, so we may be having that surgery as well. I only have my boys circumcised cause I don't want them to be self concious or made fun of but I understand why people opt out on it.

    1. Don't risk your sons lives because you think other people will pick on them. Accept them as they are, and focus on changing the bullies, not the bullied. Your children are perfect, and don't need changed to please the rest of the world. If the rest of the world has a problem with your newborn sons, THEY need to be changed, not the baby, risking his life on the circumstraint board. Just something to think on.

  2. Thank you. I hate that the self conscious thing is even an issue, I don't know how much it will be soon. The most recent surveys estimate that it's close to half intact and half circumcised in the US. Not to mention that every middle school boy I've ever met wouldn't DREAM of commenting on another boy's penis for fear of being called "gay".

  3. Thank you for this!!! wow (((hugs)))

  4. Thank you for posting this, so great to be able to share a sad experience to help others avoid the same! Hunter is so lucky to have such a responsive, caring, loving mum!

  5. I am so glad that you have shared your story. I wish more parents knew the real risks before they just casually decide to do this needless surgery on their new babies. :)

  6. Followed your DS link!

    This story made me cry so hard! (((hugs)))

    We circ'd Monkey without complications but 1 of 3 of my nephews had complications and I'm seriously considering not doing it again if we have another boy!

  7. I met you on twitter, didn't know you had a blog and as I was reading this I realized it was you. Thanks for posting this, It will help many parents with their decision.

  8. I can't imagine going through something like this, just reading it made my stomach turn for you and your precious boy. I'm so glad he is alright!

  9. It's very brave of you to share your story. I'm a RN and you'd be surprised how many boys have complications after a circumcision.
    I'm glad your son is okay and I hope you don't harbor guilt over this.

  10. I love you and keep you in my prayers both as a wife and mother! The good Lord will use this to make you more like Him. I'm glad you were brave enough to post this!!!

  11. What a terrible experience! Thank you for posting and sharing your story so that hopefully others can learn from it. I know I have. If I ever have a boy I know without a doubt that he will STAY INTACT!! Thank you!!

  12. In the Philippines, NOT being circumcised is taboo. It's not because of any religious practice or belief but more on hygiene - it helps eliminate the smegma, a foul-smelling cheese-like substance that tends to accumulate around the foreskin of the penis. Doctors here are very careful and meticulous with the procedure, which is almost always done when a boy reaches the age 9 and up. Very few parents allow infant-boys to undergo the procedure and wait until their kid is about to hit puberty. Very, very few experience complications at all.

    I'm sorry about your boy. Hope he grows up to be a healthy individual. God bless!

  13. Smegma is a natural lubricating/self cleaning substance that builds up in the folds of girl's genitals too, but I don't see people going for sewing us up just to make it "cleaner". If the boys are taught proper hygiene (retract, rinse, replace), there is no cleanliness issue in civilized society.

  14. OperaDiva is correct about smegma.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Educating parents about circumcision is an important part of my cirriculum. I met you atour first Tarrant Co. Birth Network meeting. I'd love to share your story by linking to it from my blog but wanted to ask your permission first.

    There is loads of info on my blog about circumcision. Thank you.

  15. That would be baby showers, not nanny showers! Ha!

  16. Donna, yes please feel free to link to my story from your blog!

  17. Tropa,

    In Japan no one allows their little boy to be mutilated, and no one has any trouble with 'smegma', probably because we prefer to have a daily bath rather than risk our boys losing their penis or their lives.

    You don't cut parts of girls' genitals because of vaginal secretions that smell nasty when left unwashed, do you? I dearly hope you don't.

  18. A few years ago, in British Columbia, a baby boy bled to death under circumstances very similar to your case.

    Routine circumcision is a crime against nature that has deprived tens of millions of American males of the epicenter of the normal male sexual experience. Last century, something on the order of 100 million North American infant boys were routinely circumcised without any anesthesia whatsoever. This should have been criminal. Often, the parents were not consulted. This combined lack of anesthesia and parental consent, I call the American Foreskin Holocaust.

    I am happy to say that this Holocaust is ebbing, as parents are now consulted, and local anesthesia is now good (albeit not yet standard) practice. But the slaughter of foreskin and frenulum persists, grounded in the inability of many American parents and sex researchers to understand the normal workings of human sexuality.

    If there is one thing I stand for and believe, if there is one thing I am prepared to devote every bit of strength that God has allowed me to retain despite my advancing years, it is an end to that moral abomination that is routine infant circumcision in the United States of America. And what happened to your son is one of many facts underlying my determination.

    So help me God.

    "Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise." (Martin Luther)

    I have been married for over 20 years and am raising daughters. My wife is the only person with whom I have been intimate. I am intact.

  19. Thank you for sharing. I have a baby girl, but felt sick to my stomach thinking about something like this happening to her. Hopefully your story will help others to not make the same mistake. I wish someone consulted me before chopping part of my penis off. I will spend my whole life not knowing what it is like to be physically whole. Unfair. It shouldn't be a legal option.

  20. I am so sorry for your pain and for your son's. I have to comment that the intact penis is NOT hard to keep clean, in fact at the newborn age all you should be doing is cleaning it like you would a finger. No retracting of the foreskin, etc. My husband is intact, my 2 sons are intact. Just as God made them. Also,for those who circ for relgious reasons, circ was not originally the complete removal of the foreskin, it was a minor slit it just marking those boys/men for God. Here is a great link regrading this: PLEASE do your research! Hugs and Prayers for all those suffering from the ramifications of a messed up procedure!

  21. I am very sorry to read what happened to your family.

    I am so amazed that this practise continues in the US. I am from Europe, where its only done when parents want it done for religious reasons or when its medically necessary, which is rare.
    I do hope that people who consider circumcision will also look into the consequences long term with regards to sexuality and what the consequences are for both male and female.
    The lube industry loves circumcised men as the foreskin prevents the fluids from drying up, so a foreskin is also useful for more pleasurable sex for man and woman.

  22. Thank you for sharing! I am glad that you're little guy is doing OK considering. It is through sharing experiences and information that the rest of America will start to wake up. 80% of the world's men have foreskins and they are all just fine! I am from New Zealand and I had never heard of it before I moved here.

    My husband also wanted to circ. and I *was* going to allow it but it kept me up at night, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I knew I couldn't allow that to happen, that I would be riddled with guilt for the rest of my life. So he is intact, as nature intended.

  23. I cried as I read your story... I can't imagine the pain you went through but I am glad your son is okay.
    I agree with Nathalie - would we mutilate our daughters because of their natural secretions? Let's step up as parents and educate our sons on the proper ways to clean themselves; daily showers using correct techniques and safe sex practices to protect our sons from UTI/STD/HIV.

  24. Thank you for writing this post; it was very brave for you to come and out discuss it. Complications from circumcision are anything but rare, but they are vastly under-reported, and parents are almost never fully informed about the risks when they decide.

    Your post will (hopefully) educate parents as to the real risks of this cosmetic and unnecessary procedure.

    Thank you again.

  25. Thank you for sharing your story. My little boy is not circumcised, and it cost me my marriage. But, as I look back, I realized that my husband was very abusive to me, and he was quickly getting more violent. It was very difficult to stand up for what I believed, but I am really glad that the issue came up, because it helped me to get out of a dangerous relationship sooner than otherwise.

  26. Wow, I am so sorry this happened to you and your son and I hope he recovers with no long lasting effects. I am Jewish so there was no issue for me, my son had to be circ. We had a mohel (usually a rabbi but not always who is trained in circ). It was a 2 second procedure. Although I was quite nervous about, the mohel cleans off the baby's penis, quickly cuts off the foreskin and then puts on antibotic cream with the lidocaine-- my son only cried for like 10 seconds. It was no big deal, I hear more horror stories about doctors doing the circ. Sandra Bullock had a mohel come to her house for her son to be circ-- Supposedly women who have sex with uncirc males have a higher percentage of cervical cancers..... I am not familar with the plastic thingy you spoke of. I am sorry you both had to go through with this....

    Hugs from Maryland

  27. Thank you so much for posting your story. A friend linked your blog on fb. I think you are so courageous to share it. As the mom of an intact son, I applaud you for trying to get the word out about the possible risks of circumcision. With rates on the decline through much of the western world, I hope the US follows and routine infant circumcision for purely cosmetic reasons becomes a thing of the past.

    I really wish parents would also consider that this procedure is being done on a minor who cannot give consent to it and that ethically it is questionable...As a society, do we bring in our infants for tattooing? Do we bring them to the plastic surgeon just after birth because they need a nose job? It's his body. Leave the question of surgery up to the individual. So what if that means years? If he truly wants it, he will be able to provide his full informed consent to it. It should be his choice and no one else's.

    Here is another site for anyone who would like to read some more information:

    Thanks again for being so honest and open...kudos to you and peace to your family.

  28. I am so happy to have read about your experience! Well, happy isn't exactly the right word, perhaps joyfully relieved? I currently have 2 sons, both of whom were circumcised at birth. I could weep for them now, having made that decision. There were no complications, nothing "bad" happened; I just regret having done it as there was no reason for it. My husband and I have already decided that any sons we have in the future will not experience the same thing. Hey Nicole! I haven't talked to you in forever! Sharing your experience only solidified our decision. Peace and Blessings to you and your family!

  29. I've been meaning to comment on this for weeks...bad friend...
    It was indeed a scary night. I'm so thankful that you called Joseph and I to come up to the hospital with you. I'm so glad God took care of Hunter, you, and the whole situation. There was alot. of. blood. I cried too, as I read this. Knowing the pain, the tears, the strength it took to relive those memories and put it into words. I hope and pray that we'll consider not circumcising if we have another boy. Even though we didn't have any major complications, it still wasn't pretty when the circ was falling off and ds was in severe pain. =0(
    Thank you again friend, for educating people, Mothers, on what can happen. Thank you for fighting to bring about something that's so routine that the complications are hidden. I dearly love you and your sweet Hunter!

  30. I am circumcised. Now I am restored. I will never ever allow my sons to be cut. My job as a parent is to protect my children, hopefully you can come to terms with this. I don't have kids yet but in the future I will fight tooth and nail to keep my children intact. If my wife thinks otherwise, our marriage will not last.

  31. "I can not and do not judge anyone for deciding to circumcise their sons, that would make me a hypocrite"

    No it wouldn't.

    Many times the word hypocrisy or hypocrite is used in a manner that isn't quite accurate. A hypocrite is someone who espouses one thing while *at the same time* is also doing, saying, or thinking, the exact opposite.

    You are not a hypocrite. You have simply learned from your mistake.

  32. And the reason this child had to be put through this risk was?

    What was the live or die medical condition?

    Was it his healthy penis?

    Or the intentional wound which had been inflicted on him?

    I've read quite a lot of people online say "oh, the plastibell method is the safest, they don't even cut." Well where's your precious plastibell now? I have links to several horror stories associated with this so-called "plastibell."

    Like female circumcision, male circumcision is genital mutilation, and it doesn't matter what tools are used. It doesn't matter that a child "can't remember," that's no justification.

    When are people going to get this?

    I don't blame parents for doing "what's best" for their children; but I do indict doctors in misinforming parents and performing needless mutilations they have no business inflicting on healthy, non-consenting individuals, let alone let parents make a "choice."

    This story is absolutely horrendous. Who knows how many others like it exist but people keep quiet about them, allowing the myth that "circumcision is risk-free" to be perpetuated.

    This child was lucky; others have died. At least 100 babies die a year due to circumcision. 250 at most.

    The foreskin is NOT extra skin; it is normal, healthy tissue that all boys are born with. Without any medical condition that indicates it, performing it on healthy, non-consenting individuals is not only mutilation, but charging money for it is medical fraud, and it violates the most basic of human rights.

    America was HORRIFIED that the AAP had endorsed a "ritual nick." Yet, why do we put boys through worse?

    This story is absolutely heart-breaking.

    Charging money for non-medical procedures on non-consenting individuals is medical fraud.

    Unless there is a medical condition to treat, doctors have no business performing circumcisions on healthy children, let alone letting parents make a "decision."

    The medical condition of a fresh, needless wound happens AFTER, not before circumcision.

    Infant circumcision causes a DELIBERATE WOUND. It IS harm, and yes, it IS mutilation.

    It took your experience for you, and hopefully your husband to see the light. How many, after reading this will continue to dilude themselves with double-think...

  33. To Jacky: Just so you know, there is a growing group of Jewish people who are opting not to do this to their children.

    Actually, not that I think you would care, but I have links to quite a few mohel horror stories; just because you're Jewish and a mohel does it doesn't mean Jewish children aren't at risk.

    Just last year there was a couple of cases where the mohel cut off the glans and it had to be re-attached. In the most recent story, a poor child is on the verge of losing his entire penis.

    Just because a child "can't remember" does not justify doing attrocities to him. Remember that a baby girl wouldn't remember it either.

    Quite a lot of Jewish people I know say that circumcision doesn't jibe with the principles of Judaism. Including, Leonard Glick (Marked in Your Flesh), Dr. Dean Edell, and Elias Ungar-Sargon.

    When Jewish people are calling for this tradition to end, it's gotta be telling you something.

    No offense to you or your religion, I just think that like other traditions, such as killing a bullock for sacrifice, selling your daughter into slavery etc., this has really got to end.

    Hinei ma tov uma naim, Shevet achim gam yachad.
    Shalom alechem.

  34. May I share your story on my blog with a link back to yours? The suffering that you and little hunter went through needs to be shared with other parents BEFORE they decide to circumcise their sons. here is my blog:

  35. my husband and children are uncircumcised. my husband told me that no one made fun of him growing up. there are also uncircumcicised. i have asked and none of them were made fun of either. a few have said that they were asked about it when they were older. its a shame that people feel its ok to put their children through a painful cosmetic procedure so that they look like everyone elses past mistakes.

  36. Thank you for sharing your story and I'm so thankful your precious baby is ok. I have three girls but my husband and I had decided before delivery to not circumcise, if we had boys. I agree with you more parents need to be aware of the risks and make informed decisions and not just do it because everyone else is :(

  37. Danielle, yes please feel free to share my story!

  38. Thank you for sharing your story. Reading it made my heart break for you and your son. Yet, it's so necessary for others to hear it, so that they may fully understand the risk involved. My oldest son was circ'd; my younger son was not. Thankfully, there were no complications; we simply realized (through careful research) that we had made a mistake. I hope you find peace and that you heal from this terrible ordeal. May I share your story on my blog?

  39. OperaDiva, it's so very brave of you to share your story. I can't think of any parent more courageous than one who has circumcised and is willing to admit it was the wrong decision in order to help others. I have no doubt that your attentiveness & strong maternal instincts saved Hunter's life.

    What I find so very hard to fathom, is how someone, anyone, can read a story like this and the information available on circumcision and still see it as an acceptable option for their son. This is unnecessary cosmetic surgery - at *best*, a boy is left with a scarred penis which is missing some of its functionality. I've seen parents blogging who have had their premature boys circumcised straight out of NICU - after all that nurturing just to keep them alive. It rips my heart out.

    These are the effects on sex from circumcision: (warning, sexually explicit for demonstrative purposes)

    This is what is lost during circumcision:

    This is how some men who were circumcised as infants feel:

    This is what happens during circumcision:

    This is a great collection of resources:

    This is a community of Jewish parents who have made the decision against circumcision:

  40. Yes, to everyone who has asked, please feel free to share my story on your blogs! I would appreciate it if you would comment again here with the link though :)

  41. Congratulations for sharing your son's and your horror story, very hard to recount I'm sure. Good for you for getting him back to the hospital too! A less alert and aware Mom could have had a dead baby on her hands.

    Hope you remind your husband that your concerns, rights and obligations on your son's care and rights have equal value and that if the thought of hurting your son something is hurting you so much he should darn well respect you and let go of his vanity.

    Why should he make his son suffer for his vanity when he could have something to be much more proud of by restoring anyhow?

    One way to ensure no pressure from a wannabe lookalike Dad is to make it a condition of marriage that there will be no mutilation of any sons (or daughters) as part of the engagement discussions and review it all the way up to the alter.

    Maurene White, Montreal

  42. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm sure the only reason circumcision is still so prevalent is a lack of knowledge. If people knew just how valuable and useful the foreskin is, and had to watch a circumcision video prior to having their son circumcised, I'm confident the number of parents opting to amputate part of their son's penis would plummet.

    I have 3 intact sons, and my husband and stepson are cut. My husband had the same concern about our first looking "different", but he was fine to leave him intact and didn't pressure me to change my mind. With all we've learned, he wishes he was still intact as well.

    I'm trying to gently share information with others. I don't want to come across as judgmental, which I'm not. We can't change the past, and I don't want to cause people to feel guilty. I do want to see people learn the truth to save future babies from this horrifying experience.

  43. Jacky, you're wrong about the cervical cancer link to foreskins. If circumcision protects women why do you think Iran has such a big problem with cervical cancer? The reality is (as Menczer pointed out in the Israeli Medical Journal in 2003) that most Jewish women have a gene which protects them from cervical cancer. Just like many have a gene which puts them MORE at risk of breast cancer...(we don't ascribe that one to circ do we!?) Remember also that a huge number of Jewish women live with an intact man - of the immigres to Israel from the former Society Union one third chose NOT to get cut. Of those who moved to the US, it seems a majority remained intact.

  44. Thank you for taking the time courage and strength to tell the world your story. It deeply moved me. My son is not circumcised. I never thought it to be an option. I feel God gave him everything he needed and that's that for us. You are an amazingly strong woman.

    Jacky, I have cervical cancer. I have never had sex with an un-circumcised male. Please explain how I got cancer. I have a lot of Jewish friends reconsidering circumcision. The old practice was not to remove the foreskin, but nick it and the Rabbi would suck the blood from the prepuce. Wow!

    I firmly believe that it is HIS BODY HIS CHOICE. If my perfectly intact son decides to have circumcision SURGERY preformed when he comes to that age, I will support his decision. As for the fathers wanting the sons to "look like them" that's a bunch of crap. The rate of circ's preformed in the USA now is only about 55%...and those are the babies born in hospitals! There are a growing number of home births out there. My son will grow up intact and will be the majority in my group. I am glad I am able to give him ALL the options to make his own CHOICES.

  45. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm so sorry your family had to go through this. May your story be a light to other families searching for advice on this issue.

    There is so much misinformation out there. I have listened to countless women tell me their son's weren't "cut" so it's okay. Not true. Our sons are being mutilated and we aren't even researching what is being done to them. Did you know that many, many parents are not actually present during the circumcision (in hospital). They don't even know what goes on. And their babies are alone, being mutilated - it breaks my heart.

    Foreskins and intact penises are NOT dirty. Smegma is not abnormal. It is there for a reason. Basic hygiene can help with any build-up or odor. The smegma is there to lubricate and protect the penis. The foreskin is there for a reason. God, Nature, The Universe - whatever you believe - created that foreskin for a reason, and not to have it cut.

    Sex with uncircumcised men is not going to reduce your risk of cervical cancer. Studies linking circumcision to a reduction in STI's are flawed. One should also look at the funding of those studies...

    This country...this world...would be up in arms if we started cutting the labia of girl babies so that they can look like their friends in the locker room in high school. Should we give all of our daughters breast implants so they don't feel bad when getting changed for gym class? Should I cut the labia of my future daughters so they look just like me down there? My son doesn't have the same eye color as me. Should I get him contacts? His teeth are different than mine. Is 4 too young to get him veneers? This idea of mutilating our children so they look like daddy or to fit in at's sick. Sick.

    My husband - a Jew - did not want our son circumcised. He doesn't feel the need to have our son's penis match his own. They bond on other levels, not by penis matching. And what does one do when the boy grows up and his penis still looks different than his fathers? It may be bigger. It may be smaller. So? Do we cut them down then, too? Do we get them implants to enlarge them?

    I pray that this world continues the trend of not circumcising children...boys and girls.

  46. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Even after I shared my story with friends and family, they still do not understand. However, I bet they might look at it differently if I share yours. Even though, it is very unfortunate that this happened to your son, God does always turn the bad into good. Like you, I will forever advocate keeping boys intact.

    I have a question for you that I am very curious about. Why exactly did this happen? When you went to the hospital, did they find a reason for the bleeding out? Please let me know, because when I talk to others, I want them to be informed. Thank you.

  47. @antisheephood, they never figured out why it happened. No blood disorder, no low vitamin K, nothing significant at all. Hunter just happened to be one of the babies who experience this horrible complication. Unfortunately there are no statistics about circumcision complications, so I can't say "1 in 1,000", although I would guess it's that many or even more who have bleeding complications.

  48. Thank you for replying. I wanted to let you know that I took at poll at a parenting forum to see if either of our stories make people reconsider circumcising and that there was a link to your story. Just in case you were wondering why you had an increase of activity on that post. LOL. I am sorry if you received any rude comments, because of the poll.

  49. a* ... wow, I must have been asleep when posting. Sorry for the mistakes!

  50. I grew up in a family where circumcision was the norm and so did my husband so we were automatically going to circumcise our boys. We now have two intact little lads solely because in our country its near impossible to find anybody with the skills. After reading this I'm glad we never had the opportunity!

    I'm so sorry you had such a horrific experience!!! Thankyou for sharing xx

  51. The more and more I read the more and more I regret circumsizing my son and I know for future sons I will NOT be circumsizing. This is just heartbreaking and I'm so sorry you had to go through this mama. But I am so glad that your son is OK now.


  52. My 12 year old son was circ'd because of my husbands wishes as well. He should not have been. When he was born he had an intestinal problem and had to have major surgery to fix that. Was on a respirator And feeding tube and all. When he was ready to come home, that was when they wanted to do the circ. I didn't want it done, he'd been thru enough, but my husband insisted and I felt terrible. If I could go back, I would never have done it, and haven't done it to my younger boys! Good luck and God bless little Hunter!!

  53. Quit beating your kid... You crazy Christian bitch.

  54. Wow. I don't even know how i got to this blog, but your post is powerful. I see it was some time ago, and wonder how you and Hunter are doing now. I hope you are both are strong, and that he thrives now. I don't yet see where the corporeal punishment remarks fit in, but all of it seems to be a generally bad situation. I hope that you have had much healing. I don't know if you have someone to listen to you or not, but i'm good for that, if you need an ear.
    Otherwise, your story, which you struggled to get out and caused you great pain, shows great courage on your part. I have no doubt at all that you've grown from it. It is very often true that such circumstances and pain brings us thru the fire that leads us thru great trials to great growth. Hurts like WOW, but sooooo worth it if you can make it thru. I'm believing you did. *smile* I'd love to hear your update.

  55. Thank you so much for sharing your story so bravely. Were it not for caring and courageous voices such as yours, my husband and I would not have been convinced of the harm of circumcision. If someday we are blessed with a son, he will certainly remain intact, as God made him

  56. It may be in the comments somewhere already, but I'd like to be sure that it's here and the information is accessible. For those who may consider circumcision for religious purposes, don't make assumptions based on what others in your religion believe on the matter. For a long time I thought circumcision was something necessitated in the Christian Bible. At that time I still thought it was just a snip off the tip that was beneficial and didn't do any harm. Turns out that I was dead wrong about both.
    Circumcision does a LOT of harm. I won't go into details there (we're all capable of researching ;P), but just know that the foreskin is there for a very, very good reason (such as protecting against the infections and diseases that doctors tell you circumcision prevents). My main focus here is the religious side of circumcision.
    For Christians, it is actually sinful to circumcise for religious reasons. Circumcision was originally a small incision in a male baby's foreskin, sufficient enough to draw a bit of blood to symbolize purification. This is nothing like what we call circumcision today. Circumcision was part of the covenant between God and his chosen people; it was never meant for non-Jews. And for those who consider Jesus to be a savior and the bridge between us and God, circumcising for religious purposes denies Christ's sacrifice for us. He is our covenant, and there is no room for circumcision in the Christian covenant with God. A few verses in the Bible that support this information are Galatians 5:2 and Galatians 6:12-15. Another verse (1 Corinthians 12:18) states that God created the body and arranged all its parts just the way He intended them to be. A male baby's foreskin should not be considered a mistake on God's part and needing the intervention of men to fix it.