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

30 comments:

Lacey said...

It's so cathartic to get it all out isn't it? I really do hope the regret starts to fade for you. *hugs*

Jodi said...

I'm right there with you, only I had it done with 3 boys. They didn't have negative reactions like your son did, but I was SICK after the first one (I didn't even know I had a choice! I thought boys just automatically had it done!) and my husband wouldn't hear of not doing it with the others. I cried, begged, sobbed, but he wouldn't budge and I was too weak to stand up to him. :(. We divorced, I remarried and have 2 intact sons now, but still cry when I think about what I allowed to happen with my older 3. I don't think I'll ever forgive myself. They're 18, 16 and 13 now and I've been working on them, in hopes that they will know enough to not put their sons through it. Hugs to you and your little boy!

Lisa said...

((hugs)) mama, I can't even imagine. I thank God everyday that my dh was the one that said no way, because who knows if I would've had it done. When we know better, we do better.

The Stowers said...

You are SO awesome to share this story. And very brave. I cannot imagine the pain and agony that you must have gone through with all of this. I hope you can forgive yourself and realize that you really were doing what you thought was best. It is 100% evident that you love your son very much and that you are an awesome mom. :)

I hope you will keep sharing your story. It will have a HUGE impact on other mothers and fathers and the decisions they make with their sons. Before your story, I had no idea how a circumcision actually happens and I now shudder at the thought of ever doing it.

Thank you.

Erin said...

Thank you for sharing your story! As another commenter said, it will have an effect on others who may be considering this terrible procedure for their sons.

EoF said...

i didn't need convincing, but if i did, this would have done it for me. thank you for sharing your story - i will share with many others.

Kat said...

This is amazing. Thanks for writing it. I did not circumcize my son for all the very good reasons you mention! I think your post is brave and honest. I was lucky enough, when I was pregnant, to have friends push their anti-circumcision opinion without my asking and it started me on a path of research which ended with my decision to never do such a thing to my sons.

sixpaq said...

Thank-you so much for sharing your story! My son insisted that if we had a son he must be circumcized. I said no, explained why, but could not change his mind. I figured I'd argue about it later. We had 3 girls.Then for my 4th I ended up with an ultra-sound & he flashed me. It was definitely a boy. I knew I had to fight for HIS right to be intact. I told my husband that there was no way I had spent the past many years taking great care of myself and breastfeeding & making our own baby food, etc. to then give birth to a son & lop off a large part of genitalia. I told him I wouldn't argue about it...end of story. My son & his younger brother are intact. I likened it to forcing our teenage daughters to have breast augmentation to have smaller breasts so they looked like mine! (I have very small breasts, but very functional as they fed all 7 of my children and for a period of time I was nursing my twins & their baby brother!)

I had the advantage of having seen a circ. done when I was in a nursing program in college. (I quit for other reasons!)I knew exactly what happened & how it affected the baby.

If more parents saw that I think a LOT more boys would be intact. In Ontario, Canada the health care system no longer pays for circs!

You will now be protecting your future sons, grandsons as well as perhaps boys of others who read your story!

smquinonez said...

We "accidentally" didn't have our 1st son circumcised, he was severely jaundice and had some breathing problems, so when he was about 6 weeks old we went to the pediatrician and he said that he was too old for it to be done in his office that we had to see and pediatric surgeon and the pediatric surgeon is the one who told us that it was unnecessary and purely cosmetic and that he felt it wasn't a good reason to put a baby under for.
I am forever grateful for both pedis, It wasn't even an discussion with our 2nd boy.

Lots of love and understanding your way, I would have probably been in the same boat if I had seen different doctors or hadn't forgotten to ask at birth.

mungbean said...

Thank you for your blog. I was in two minds about circumcision (something that isn't that popular so much here in Australia) but this story has definitely opened my eyes. Great big mumma hugs to you. Stay strong xx
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Rachel Ching said...

Hugs to you and your baby. Thanks for sharing. Your story needs to be heard.

Wendy said...

You are wonderful! Thank you for speaking out.

rlantley said...

Good for you for speaking out against the atrocities being inflicted on our sons!

Your story was read by intactivist without a son, who now walks away with a mothers firsthand point of view. THank you.

Jette said...

QAAaQaq (My son just typed that first part). Thanks for sharing. I left my son intact. When one of his pediatricians saw him at one month, she said "I think these things are supposed to retract." Even some doctors don't know what they're doing when it comes to this. You'd think that at least the screaming would wake them up to reality a little bit. I, too, have a reaction when a friend says they're having a boy. I want to save the boys. It's not the same happy feeling I get when I hear a friend's having a girl.

Megan, Ivan and Anton said...

Thank you all so much for the support, it is amazing to me how many people who are out there that are trying to keep our sons intact! I appreciate each and every comment and story, it does honestly help me in knowing that just because I judge myself for my mistakes doesn't mean everyone else does!

Lana said...

Thank you for sharing and thank you for your honesty. Your pain is palpable... :( Remember that Marilyn Milos, one of the greatest Intactivists of all, has 3 circumcised sons.

http://wn.com/Marilyn_Milos__NOCIRC

Hugs to you, momma.

Bridgette said...

Megs, because of you, your nephew (if you ever get one) will be intact! Thank you!

Rock A Bye Sweetie said...

*HUGS* Thank you for sharing your story, it needs to be told. We (people in general) need to stop blindly following doctor's orders and question things. People don't because they don't hear enough of stories like yours. I hope letting it out helps you forgive yourself for the mistake and move forward in helping educate others. As for the fainting issue, my niece used to have the exact same problem. She eventually learned not to hold her breath by us reminding her every time she got upset, even if it was very slight, to breathe. He is very small and probably will not understand what you mean, but hearing it repeated he will learn that it's something he needs to do even if he doesn't quite know what it is he is suppose to do. Once he knows what breathing is practice breathing when he is not upset, do it like a game, so that when you are telling him when he is upset he knows what you are talking about. *HUGS* again!

Passionate lady said...

I am right there with you. I totally and utterly regret circumcising my oldest son. He suffered some complications. Here is a link to a letter i wrote to my son. You are NOT ALONE

http://llm8221.blogspot.com/2011/03/letter-to-my-circumcised-son.html

Stephanie said...

I commend you for speaking out! Know that because you are so brave to speak up about the horrors of circumcision, you WILL save other babies from the same horror.

*hug*

Maren said...

Informed consent is truly the answer. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story. I have kept my two boys intact because my Bradley Methods instructor shared that she didn't cut her boys. If it wasn't for her I don't want to know what would have happened.

By sharing your story I know you will save many :)

Meggie, Skye and Sofia said...

i live in England where its very very uncommon to circ a baby, however my family on my dads side have circ'd all their boys! my fiancé and i have 3 girls so never actually ever thought about circ but then last year we had a baby boy, he was poorly at birth with fluid on his lungs so was in special care baby unit, i researched circ because i wanted to know what reasons there were for it, i asked my father why he circ'd my brother and it plainly said 'well because its cleaner' i pointed out the truth that its not actually cleaner and it can cause death but my father is stubborn and wouldnt listen at all, he just kept repeating 'its cleaner'
my boy was born perfect and thats the way he will remain as far as im concerned, in 2009 i had a 10% chance of dying from both lungs collapsing so ive made damn sure that should anything happen to me in the future that my family cannot take my son and have him circ'd, now i need to work on my brother to make sure he doesnt circ his future kids and therefore break that 'family tradition'
you are so brave to speak out and your pain is so clear but at least you know now and any future baby boys will benefit from what you now know, its also clear how much love you have for you son!!! (((hugs))) xxx

yulia_r said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story! You are a very brave and honest person!
Our son is intact (as is our daughter), but I too have the biggest regret of my life as well as the feeling I failed my son, the very baby I was meant to protect with my life. My regret is due to partially vaccinating my son before I knew anything about vaccines, before I started researching the subject. Five years of research into the subject of vaccines now, and I feel that if I could go back and change just ONE thing in my life, I would have taken my baby and run away from the pediatrician who BS’d us into vaccinating. I stopped all vaccines when my son was 8 months old (and he seems to be "fine" aside from his chronic eczema, the first three outbreaks of which were always right after the shots), and our daughter is completely vaccines free. Yet, not a day goes by without me kicking myself for not doing my homework before I allowed this poison to be injected in my baby. My son is nearly 6yo now and I have apologized to him for not protecting him from this harm. I know it is very hard, but let's try to forgive ourselves and tell our stories to other parents-to-be, so they know better. I SO wish someone told me when I was pregnant, but no one did. One very smart mama did mention to me that their two girls were unvaccinated. And much like you, I never asked why. I come back to that day over and over in my mind…I SO SO wish I had asked. We both did what we did out of love, let’s remember that. We just did not know better. Now, when we know better, we do better! HUGS to you, brave mama!

Jonathon said...

Don't beat yourself up too badly. Daddy deserves some blame too since he also failed to protect his son.

Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully it will help other parents-to-be to wake up from the delusion that circumcision is anything other than a form of genital mutilation. For the babies who don't die from complications, the result is physical, sexual and psychological disfigurement.

Kathryn said...

Thank you for this post. I just want to reassure you that your son will not blame you. I've seen lots of hate-filled circumcised men among the intactivist movement, but the ONLY ones who've directed that rage at their parents are those whose parents refused to acknowledge their feelings, or worse, outright ridiculed them for it. Most of the men seem to focus on the medical establishment and the society at large that continues to act as if cutting the genitals of ANY minor is okay or even good.

Jenny Cruz said...

Glad its over. I can't handle the pain of seeing my son/daughter crying in pain. And oh, about your regrets, well, sometimes its more easier if we ask those who had first experience in married life or family issues. Though I can't blame you, perhaps some lapses was also on the doctors side. You can seek more help on Cosmetic surgeon Los Angeles.

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Sarah said...

Hugs to you mama... one of the reasons why I feel so strongly about circumcision is because circumcision hurts mothers (and fathers) too- right at the moment when we are getting our feet on the ground in our new role as mothers- it pulls the rug out from under you and challenges your role as protector. It's as if the first thing society tries to do when your baby is born- is to cross a line that can't be uncrossed...to put you in a place that is disempowered. Circumcision got hold of our nation when mothers had absolutly no say against the doctor Gods, and fathers were excluded from the birth process- isolated in waiting rooms. Now that parents are gradually taking back their rightful place in the birth process- they are just starting to question circumcision- which often gets a free ride into the next generation through the acceptance without questioning why the father was circumcised.

Stephen said...

Your story brought me to tears. About two years ago, my mom told me about when I was circumcised. My reaction was apparently very similar to your son's. I have taken steps to fix my lack of foreskin as best I can, but I know I will always wonder what it would be like to have the original. I applaud all the moms who said NO, and to the moms who regret their mistake. For the people who think uncut guys get made fun of, it's really not true. Now that I look uncut, I'm viewed as a novelty. Cut guys want to see what it looks like and uncut guys are in a sort of club...a club that is actually pretty big here Orange County, CA. The only thing we can do now is move forward. It's just such a shame that forward thinking seems to be so rare in the US regarding this issue. Great job Megan :)

RD said...

Anton will be the last. Your descent by him and any eventual children you will be blessed with, will be intact. And that is cause to celebrate.

The villains are the medical school profs, who teach future doctors to circumcise, even though there was no credible evidence that circumcision achieves anything in the First World. Moreover, almost everything claimed for circumcision is much better accomplished by condoms or fidelity.

Medical school profs also don't bother to count the damage routine infant circumcision has done to adult North American penises. They claim that there is no evidence that circumcision impairs sexual satisfaction when the burden of proof should work the other way: don't circumcise unless there is good evidence that it doesn't matter for sex. I have never heard of a medical school prof circulating a questionnaire among women who have experienced both kinds of men.