To Circumcise or Not…
…that is the question. Or was.
Now I don’t know much about foreskin. I mean it’s probably not that pretty–but seeing as he’s a newborn, you can hardly tell what is what on my dude’s shaft. All these baby boy parts are new–as in foreign–to me.
About a week before my C-section, Phil suddenly–and out of the blue–announced that he didn’t think he wanted our boy circumcised. Huh? I mean, I know it’s a trend right now to not snip. We have plenty of friends who didn’t. But I just assumed we would. If the medical community recommends something, we usually listen.
Ultimately, I decided I’d leave it up to him.
We enlisted a few opinions, got some super funny responses from our Jewish friends (which I can’t post here), who offered to come and do it themselves. Then the subject sort of died.
Fast forward to Emmett’s arrival. Our doctor–who is Jewish–said, “You are planning to circumcise, right?” I said, “I think so….” while at the same time Phil, said, “I’m not sure.” Dr. G looked from one to the other, not ready to get in the middle of a marriage dispute. He then said he didn’t feel strongly either way, but suggested we talk to the pediatrician.
The pediatrician, also Jewish, basically said that the pros of circumcising barely outweigh the cons. And the American Academy of Pediatrics has now backed down on their hard-line stance of pro-snipping.
I, being the compulsive clean freak that I am, was worried about the cleaning of it. I was under the impression you had to pull back the skin and wash it regularly. Not so, said doc. You just leave it alone. The night before it was scheduled, we were still trying to decide (yes, we left that and the name decision to the very end. We’re not very good planners). We sent out texts to a few of our Brooklyn neighbors, looking for confirmation on the cleaning thing. Perhaps the west coast doesn’t clean and the east coast does? Nope. No difference. They concurred with the doc. Leave it alone.
Then we called Phil’s childhood friend. A good Catholic Wisconsin boy, who is a tad conservative (unlike all our liberal hippie friends who didn’t snip). He is also an ER doctor in San Francisco and didn’t circumcise his son. We put him on speaker phone in the hospital room and had him spell out the reasons why. They were exactly the same facts the pediatrician told us. Emmett grunted a few times. Did he agree or not? I couldn’t tell.
We hung up and I asked Phil what he thought. It still wasn’t something I felt strongly about either way. But Phil began to rant about how barbaric it seemed. And pointless. He said when he looks at Em’s penis, he just can’t imagine having anything cut. Okay, calm down, I said. Let’s not do it.
In the end the only thing we ended up snipping was his frenulum. The shaft is intact.
A few things:
- On the argument that Em will look different than “daddy”…neither of us really buy that nor care. I mean, the dude isn’t going to be showering with Phil when he’s 13 and beyond. And until then, we just explain it to him. Nowadays they say that the locker rooms are 50/50 with skin on and skin off–at least in the places we’ll be living like NYC or LA. Maybe not rural Iowa.
- Studies show there are higher HIV rates in Sub-Saharan Africa in uncircumcised males. However, I don’t think we’ll be living on that continent anytime soon. When he’s old enough, we teach him safe sex. Just like we would regardless.
- The pediatrician also said there is a higher rate of bladder infections in uncircumcised boys the first year of their life. However, he explained the rate is still so small; it’s kind of a moot point (our ER friend confirmed that as well).
Truth be told, I’m far more concerned right now with how to prevent him from peeing on me. When I take his diaper off, it’s like a race against the penis-pee clock. Even if I place a cloth over it, he wiggles and the cloth falls off. Any advice on that?
And what’s your take on circumcising?Add a Comment
Tags: American Academy of Pediatrics, Catholic, circumcise, circumcising, circumcision, foreskin, Jewish, newborn, newborn baby, pregnancy, pregnant, uncircumcised | Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Must Read, Newborn Care