Monday, January 6, 2014

Another Story

My husband is from an African country that practices routine circumcision. It's touted as safer and protective of HIV, etc. So he is circumcised.

Within an hour of our son's birth he asked "So when are we getting him circumcised?" and I just glared at him, the thought of cutting my perfect baby seemed foreign and repulsive. Besides, circumcisions aren't done on newborns where we live, you have to schedule an appointment and pay for it out of pocked (we live in Canada where everything else is covered). So we took him home intact but hubby was unhappy about it.

When we visited the inlaws he got his mom to try to talk to me about it, and soon his aunts and other random people from their country started harassing me, saying stuff along the lines of 'if we went to visit their country our son would be made fun of,' and 'when he was older girls wouldn't want to sleep with him,' etc.

I didn't have the spine to tell them to shut up.

My mother in law also works in a nursing home and she was always going on and on about how repulsed she was having to clean under the foreskins of her intact patients. After 3 years of this, I caved. My son needed surgery for an umbilical hernia, so during his preop we brought up the possibility of him getting circumcised at the same time. The surgeon was fine with it, she said she'd mark on the form that it was being done for medical reasons so we wouldn't be billed (my son had no issues with his foreskin). Hubby was elated. So the surgery happened. I still clearly remember the horror I felt when I saw my son waking up in recovery, how he whimpered in pain. I'm tearing up as I'm writing this.

His penis looked so horribly swollen. Like it wasn't bad enough that he had to recover from abdominal surgery, he had to deal with this too. When we took him home and the swelling went down, something didn't seem right. It didn't look like any circumcised penis I'd ever seen. It was extremely loose, you still had to clean underneath the folded up foreskin, so there wasn't much point to it. It looked so, so odd. His hernia also started opening up again. It was just an all around botched surgery.

With a heavy heart we scheduled another surgery, with a different surgeon this time (in hindsight it would have been better to leave his penis like that, rather than cut off even more). But he underwent the whole thing again, and this time it was a "success" (two months later he had an appendectomy, poor kid).

 He is now 7 years old and still has a stitch in place from the circumcision that bugs him from time to time. The doctor says it will be a big deal to remove it, so we're just leaving it for now. The whole thing was just disastrous, and I dread the day I'm going to have to explain to him what I allowed to happen.

Hubby and I split up a year ago. I can't believe I irreversibly damaged my child just to please the jerk. As I'm learning more about the side effects of circumcision, I realize that much of the problems with our love life had something to do with hubby being circumcised. He had to hurt me almost every time in order to climax. Oral or manual stimulation did nearly nothing for him, it had to be rough intercourse. For the longest time I thought there was something wrong with ME because I couldn't enjoy sex properly...

To all the parents, and especially mothers, contemplating circumcision for their sons, I have this to say: It's not worth it! I would even go so far as to say, it's not worth your marriage! More and more about the truth regarding this needless procedure is discovered all the time, once your son is grown it may very well be mainstream knowledge. Your son might question you, and what on earth are you going to say to justify this violation of his rights? That's the question I grapple with all the time...


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