Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The biggest Regret...

I've put off writing this for SOOOOOO long, and it seems kinda silly that this should be my first post back in a LONG time but, I feel that tonight it is right. I know a few of you are going to support me in this post, a few are going think I'm freaking weird, a few more are going to think I should not be discussing such things in a public forum, some might take it like I'm judging them... but mostly this is not for anyone but me, and my soul, and maybe for Anton when he's older.

I chose to circumcise my son, not knowing anything about foreskin and the functions of it and not even thinking to research this procedure I choose to cut off a piece of my sons organ. The main reason so he didn't get made fun of in the locker room, and because this is what we do in America. I didn't know then that this would turn out to be the single most regret of my life.

When Anton was two weeks old Ivan and I took him to the clinic on base to have him circumcised, we filled out the paperwork and signed the consent forms, which said things like your baby might not want to eat after, might be fussy not sleep well, have some bleeding. And like any person who trusts Dr. explicitly I just didn't think, it was almost like reading your prescription medicine bottle, it can cause dry mouth, anal discharge, loss of vision etc. you just pop the pill in your mouth thinking that your Dr prescribed these for you so their safe. You don't question you just keep your head down and do what you *thought was for the best. We took Anton back to the room where they showed us the board that they strap him down arms and legs, spread eagle of course. Talk a little about the procedure then explain that you should leave the building for 30 min while they circumcise your baby because they are so loud that the parents can hear them in the waiting room and it tends to "upset" the parents. So we hand Anton over to the Dr, walk out and take a walk. While Ivan and I were walking I got the worst sinking feeling in my stomach, I tell Ivan I feel so weird not having Anton in my arms, I feel like he's in danger and I need to go and get him. Ivan tells me everything is ok, and we start to walk back. We come into the waiting room, and he's brought out to us with a pacifier in his mouth, bundled in a blanket. They hand him to me and immediately he starts screaming. I try to soothe him, nothing works, I hand him to Ivan and he quiets down. We are asked to wait for about 10-15 min in the waiting room so that a nurse can check his wound to make sure he's not bleeding too much and to go over how to care for the wound. About every 5 min now Anton bursts into screaming fits... not crying fits mind you SCREAMING fits. He refuses to nurse. They call us back open the diaper, it is red swollen bleeding he's crying again because he's laying down again spread eagle and having ointment put on. We take him home and every diaper change is pain and torture, his open wound is being touched by urine and feces, we try to be as gentle as possible, screams of pain wail out of him and not just at diaper changes. He doesn't want to nurse, or be held by me, he's ok with Ivan but still cried a lot. We both decided that we never want to ever do this again, if we have another boy. Of course the wound "healed" eventually like most wounds do. About six months later I read an article on circumcision, there were quite a number of things that HIT me.

Number one it was a NON MEDICAL procedure... it was essentially COSMETIC surgery. When I read this, my heart sunk... I basically put my child thru hell during the first weeks of his new life here on earth when he was the most dependent and defenseless, he counted on me to protect him and keep him safe from any kind of harm and I did the opposite I sought this COSMETIC surgery, the surgery that has NO medical benefits.

When I saw a picture of a baby in shock from having a circumcision I knew with out a shadow of a doubt that this happened to my son, he went in a calm and happy baby, and came out a baby who had fits of terrorizing screams, a baby who was dependent on a pacifier. He had that same glassy look when I first held him that I recognized in the picture of the baby in shock. Now as a toddler, anytime Anton gets hurt or feels abandoned he holds his breath until he literally convulses and passes out. I thought he had grown out of it as he hadn't done it in a while, but when he had a seizure and had to be taken to the ER and went thru the hole being poked and prodded, I think it set off an alarm in him. Because since we've come home he now passes out at least 2-3 times a week. Which we had it down to maybe once every two weeks. I know this behavior stems from his circumcision where he passed out due to the tremendous pain of having one of the most sensitive body parts literally RIPPED from him. And this is something I CHOSE for him.

There is an ACTUAL purpose for the foreskin!!! It is an amazing and miraculous purpose, it does exactly what God designed it for. Every male mammal was born with a foreskin, it's not useless, it's also not just a piece of skin the clip off. (which is what I thought, I compared it in my head to a skin tag being removed by scissors so NOT the case) The foreskin is FUSED to the glans (head) of the penis, like your finger nail is fused to your finger, in order to remove the foreskin you literally have to RIP it from the glans. Rip it, those words just play over and over in my head... I didn't know at the time that the foreskin is fused to keep out all debris, and to help PREVENT children from getting UTI's and infections as long as the skin is not forcibly retracted ( this is why there is SO much mis information out there, boys were being forcibly retracted, the foreskin pulled back and being ripped from the glans before it naturally retracted which causes a lot of problems such as UTI's and um PAIN!!) In fact little girls are way more likely to get a UTI than an intact boy. But we just treat them with antibiotics. There are A LOT more functions of the foreskin, I encourage you to look them up!! This is just the one that struck me the most!!!

There were warning signs that I just didn't see until 6 months later when I had clarity... I had a friend and we were both having boys and she said she was leaving her son intact. Why didn't I ask why? Why didn't I ask my German pediatrician why they didn't circumcise in Europe? Why would I even think it's ok to take a newborn who likes to be bundled and swaddled and held and strap him down spread eagle? Right there that is the most unnatural thing for a baby who has just spent 10 months warm and cozy inside his mommy, and now his arms and legs are being strapped down? When a consent form says it's normal for a baby, a 2 week old baby mind you, to not want to eat you have to ask yourself WHY?? Why is this normal, what is making a baby who usually wants to eat every 30 min or so, not want to eat at all?? Why is it ok for a baby to have problems sleeping after the procedure? Why did I not wonder why they had given my son a pacifier, how much pain was he in that they decided to stick something in his mouth to suck on to help alleviate it and WHY WHY WHY is this OK. Why did I not question any of those things? Why did I not listen to that voice that was telling me that my baby was NOT OK? Why didn't I listen to my motherly instinct? I had little nudges here and there, small hints left for me to ask why, and find the answers BEFORE anything ever happened but I failed to heed those little nudges and hear those little murmurings of motherly love that told me my baby was being harmed. WHY?? Why did I take this perfect little human, someone whom God entrusted with me to protect and love and cherish ALWAYS. God gave him to me perfect, in his image and I forever altered him. I'm sorry, so so so sorry.

A lot of people won't ever understand where I'm coming from, and I honestly hope they NEVER have to understand where I'm coming from. Sometimes I very selfishly wish I could go back to those first 6 months when I didn't realize what horror I inflicted upon my perfect little guy, but I know that I can't. I think about this at least every day. Yes I can laugh and go on play dates, but when I hear of a friend or family member that is having a boy all I can think about is helping or saving that boy, because I didn't protect my son and I feel like I have to atone for that horrible mistake I freely choose to make, for another human being. A choice I had no right to make. Nothing anything anybody says will make it go away or hurt less, I fear the day that I have to sit Anton down and tell him what we choose to do to him, and the frivolous reason why. All I can hope is that he realizes that I do love him and I am more truly sorry than I have ever been of anything in my entire life, and that I hope one day he will forgive me. I can't be silent, I'm not trying to step on anyone I'm not trying to stick my nose in, I'm just trying to atone for the mistake that keeps me up at night and wakes me up with bad dreams. I would feel sick if someone I know ever went through this, and I had a chance to say or share with them and I didn't because of fear, fear of not being liked or loved or thought of as a good patient, the same fear that lead me to not question WHY and that ultimately lead me to circumcise my son.

So I hope this is coherent as it is very late for me anyway. I just couldn't sleep until I wrote some of this down... I know there will be more over the next few years as I sort thru my feelings and as I purge other feelings and thoughts, just a warning I guess, that this isn't the last post.

Please if your having a boy, please please do your research... a great website is DrMomma.org