At just over 2 weeks old with a 10-day stint in the NICU, our newborn boy is doing better today than ever. This was not the case 2 days ago. Don’t get me wrong, he is perfectly healthy but he had to endure a very traumatic episode. This was the code red ordered by his parents. Circumcision. What an awful ordeal for him to have to go through. Like his brothers before him, this is all the evidence they need to turn on us.
If you haven’t already prepared yourself for the graphic nature of this article, you may want to do so or turn back now. My wife and I made this difficult decision with our first boy as I wouldn’t know how to prepare him for taking care of it otherwise. I don’t remember that much about the procedure with my first 2 boys and I’m assuming I just blocked it out. I must have repressed it along with memories of well, I don’t know, they’re repressed.
My better half and I made the decision and discussed if we wanted to be in the room as we would never want our little man to feel abandoned. My wife volunteered feeling that it would be good for him to hear her voice. I chose to run a few errands. I clearly got the better end of the deal. Our family doctor told us that medical opinion is that it is better to wait a little while (in our case 2 weeks) as opposed to having it done within the first few days of life. We were told that this would be less painful and the bulk of the evasiveness would be from the initial numbing medication.
The good doctor told us that she was very particular about her circumcisions and would make every effort to make this as painless and quick. While it didn’t seem that way, we trust our doctor immensely as she takes very good care of our family. Plus I think if any doctor was to say it’s going to be horrific, a lot of blood and pain goes along with butchering your boys genitals, they may invite even more apprehension and a lawsuit. I’m assuming its hospital policy, but they also told us that the foreskin becomes hospital property. Fine by me.
We were told also that most insurance companies will not cover the circumcision, because they consider it a purely cosmetic procedure. I call shenanigans. While it may be for aesthetics, there is certain care that goes along with it. We weren’t by any means happy to do that to our boys, but it’s human nature to follow suit with history claiming it as a necessary procedure. My argument may have holes in it, but it should be covered under a state employee policy and having worked for an insurance company, I know not to trust them. As far as medical opinion goes, you’re dealing with someone with a business degree (if you’re lucky) behind a desk making important medical decisions, acting as if they have the 7 years+ of school and the knowhow to pass judgment on our health. Shenanigans.
I have a good friend who just recently also had a baby boy and we discussed circumcision. The reason we had this discussion was to make our 3rd friend who was hanging out with us at the time as uncomfortable as possible. We also discussed breastfeeding and episiotomy. He was totally uncomfortable. Well, this was his first baby and when we discussed the circumcision, he said he thinks he’s going to wait until the boy is a teenager and can make his own decision. So I said, ok, he will never get one then, right? How do you pose this question to a teenager? The response will likely be… “Wait a minute, you want to know if I want to do what to my penis?!”
I know that there is a religious aspect to the procedure also. This is certainly not the case for us. Some people go to great lengths to reform the foreskin with piercings and weights to grow it back, but it actually just stretches the skin. Their argument is that there is a great deal of sexual feeling that is taken away when snipped. When questioning the procedure to a nurse, she said recently that they had a 36 year old man come in to have it done. Maybe this was for religious purposes or he was a nutbar. Or…maybe things weren’t going so well for him in the relations department. Dude, you’re not trying hard enough, no pun intended. I’m 36 and if I was in these shoes, I think I may take the route of the teenager and become a run-away.
If you have a son, you may have been faced with this difficult decision. Right now for me, when I change the diaper of my 2 week old son, I just hate that he has gone through that as I would never want to hurt him. Soon, like the NICU, this will be a thing of the past and maybe someday he will forgive me.
This is my first post without pictures for obvious reasons.