Circumcising My Son Is My Biggest Parenting Regret

I couldn’t believe it when the nurse told us they haven’t approved circumcision as a procedure. After that moment it’s been over 6 years. By then I have experienced so much, but I knew absolutely little at the hospital that day.

The nurse was willing to take our son for us to be circumcised, if we wanted to, however she wanted to make sure we knew we had the choice to make. I would have known how gruesome the process was that I was about to let them do to my newborn baby if I had only had time to do research. Yet I have not, and we have told the doctors to go ahead.

It tears me away to think about the pain we chose to bring into our family. It was entirely inappropriate. And then, weeks later, a pediatrician would have to pull back the healing skin, essentially a second circumcision, as his body tried to repair itself. When I remember the fact that infants feel pain just as we do and even have a lower pain tolerance I am literally in tears. God gave him to us to be perfect, and we wounded him in our ignorance.

Not only have we exposed our little baby boy to intense pain twice, but now evidence suggests that too much pain can have lasting effects in children. A research in 2015 suggested that “regardless of cultural context, circumcised boys are more likely to develop ASD before age 10 than intact boys.” Evidence also suggests that when babies feel pain in the first weeks of life, they may become chronically hypersensitive to physical pain and may even impair immune function. For example, circumcised boys in their six-month regular vaccines have been shown to experience higher rates of pain than boys who have not been circumcised.

The more I read, the more I know, the more I feel that I was doing my son a gruesome, awful thing. Would he be “well done?” Certainly. I am sure he’ll grow up to be a well-adjusted and highly functioning member of society. Is he being traumatised? Perhaps not. But that day, we were taking something from him. Besides taking away a very vulnerable part of him that would have given him happiness later in life, we took a moment that was supposed to be one of faith and comfort, handed him over to a stranger and asked him to do something unspeakable for his body.

I wish someone could tell me how much I ‘d regret the decision. I wish someone had told me how much pain my little baby was going to get in and the possible lasting consequences of this pain. I wish someone had told me that leaving the boys intact is becoming increasingly common. Despite the number of circumcised boys in the U.S. falling to 55 per cent in 2015, if left unchanged, my son wouldn’t be the odd one out in the locker room.

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