Friday, August 31, 2007

Baby boys

Um...this is awkward, but I'd love to hear some people's thoughts on circumcision. Not really something I've ever had to think about before...

I don't have boy children, but a doctor I know told me once (and it seems reasonable) that if you do it, INSIST on local anaesthesia. Also, my friend known online at TulipGirl has four boys and knows about the different circ methods from experience so if you decide you want to, she can tell you about what kind of circ she would recommend over the others.
We did it so he'd match Daddy. Plus, here in Texas, it's still the norm. It might be different in Boston?

His was just cut off on Day 2. He didn't seem bothered at all, and it healed within a couple of days. I didn't have to do anything special to take care of it after we left the hospital.

I've seen every opinion imaginable on my BabyCenter board, so I'm sure whatever you decide will be fine.
Circumcision is rarely necessary. Beyond all of the new information breaking up myths, false information and scare tactics we did not feel that making the irreversible decision for our boys was right for us. If, when much older, they decide they want to be circumcised we will pay for it. At that point they will be able to more safely handle local anaesthesia and decide what they want to do with their body. I encourage you to read up on it. That's what I did and made the decision with my husband just a few months before our first was born. I had never educated myself on the subject and was completely clueless.

Myths and Facts:

Myth: Unmyelinated nerves do not transmit pain.
Fact: Not only do unmyelinated nerves transmit pain, they transmit the most excruciating kind of pain.

M: Babies don't feel pain because some of their nerves have not become myelinated.
F: Babies do feel pain, especially since they have more unmyelinated nerves than adults.

M: Local anesthetic makes the circumcision painless.
F: Injecting the anesthetic into the genital area is painful for the baby. Because the anesthetic wears off soon, the postoperative pain that lasts for days is just as bad for a baby who had anesthetic than for one who had none.

M: The baby's intact penis is harder to keep clean and take care of than a circumcised penis.
F: Because of the extra care that one must take in caring for and bathing a circumcision wound that is in the process of healing, and because of the frequent complications such as meatal ulcers that occur in circumcised penises, the intact infant penis is actually much easier to care for. It basically needs no care, no retraction, no nothing.

M: There are sound studies proving that circumcisions prevent urinary tract infections (UTI).
F: The highly publicized studies "proving" that circumcisions prevent UTIs have many flaws. No major scientific body has accepted these studies as proof that circumcisions prevent UTIs. In addition, contradictory studies also exist, showing no correlation between UTIs and circumcisions.

M: By age five the foreskin should retract on its own.
F: Normal, spontaneous, and sometimes gradual full retraction may take up to 17 years to complete. Under no circumstances should the infant foreskin be retracted, even in a gentle manner. It is simply not necessary.

M: It is difficult to teach a boy to keep his intact penis clean.
F: A girl's genitals are more difficult to keep clean than a boy's intact penis. Boys, like girls, can easily figure out for themselves the details on how to clean their own genitals.

M: Male family members will have psychological problems if some have circumcised penises and others have intact penises.
F: When the English abruptly stopped circumcising most of its population, there were no psychological problems reported about the circumcised fathers and intact sons.
-Julia Bertschinger, CCE, in Midwifery Today Issue 17

A few articles:

The first book I read:

Natural Family Living: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Parenting by Peggy O'Mara
I wrote a really long, smart sounding response and then my computer slipped and unplugged itself and because my battery is actually dead-I lost the whole comment. To imagine my face please refer to 'Simpsonized Lizard'.

So to reduce it down. Boys are circumcised because my husband is circumcised. At 4 and 6 this has become extremely important. It helps them to relate and identify with their Dad. I would have never guessed it was so important.
I agree with all. Match Dad, why not; but all the stuff about the fact that it does hurt, and getting anaesthetic hurts, also true.

...but babies get a ton of shots when they're born. It sort of sucks to be them. I think it's not a crime.

One of the big reasons everyone used to do it was for cleanliness, but now we know that the foreskin's a lot like the vagina - cleans itself and benefits from Not being cleaned with soap.

The studies ... I've seen a lot of them, and it does seem like the i have to say it again?...foreskin keeps germs near the penile opening, increasing the chance of infections (including AIDS). ...but all the more reason to teach safe sex practices?

And, if he has trouble with UTIs, etc., when he's older, Michele makes a good point- he can get it done then . Grown-ups get better anaesthesia.

All of that to say, There Are Pros and Cons. I was wont to just skip it - it cost $500 that my insurance wouldn't cover - but ...the Scott made the call to match.

I don't have those parts, and it seemed sorta half dozen of one, six of another to me, so I figured, whatever.
Oh, do note - I forgot that the only regret I had about it was the interruption of breastfeeding.

I was already having a hard enough time breastfeeding b/c of my C-section. They didn't tell me that it was typical for babies not to feed for up to 12, 18 hours after the procedure. THAT would've mattered, in my case.
We also decided to match daddy and so we did the circumcision with anesthesia. My son did not seem bothered at all and we did not have any difficulties or issues post-procedure.

Aidan has recently noticed that Daddy has a penis, too, and is very excited that he and Daddy both have this great part to their body. I have been surprised at how much he gets excited about this, and have been glad that we decided to have them match.
this is a lot of good info. thank you!!!
Andrew attended both procedures and both received locals. We had no side effects other than they have grown into stinky boys.
Three of mine are, one isn't. The "like Daddy" (and "like brothers" thing) hasn't been an issue--except a jumping off place to talk about theology and circumcision of the heart. *grin* At this point, I wouldn't circ future boys.

But, based on my experience, what I do recommend for those who choose to circ:

1. Use the mogen clamp method. You might need to call around and find someone who does. It's the quickest and easiest healing method.
2. Use a local--that should be a no-brainer. I think it is pretty routine now, because it was used for all of my boys.
3. The eighth day (as in the Bible) is about when the blood clots better. Vit K shots also help with that. That said, I no longer believe their is Biblical justification for circ'ing.
4. Stay with your baby to comfort, hold, sing. . . You may need to insist upon this with the doctor.

Hope this helps! Feel free to email me, if you have questions. We've had all three of the usual methods of circ'ing done. . .
First, sorry I missed your baby shower we had sick kiddos and didn't think traveling to see you would help them or you.

Now circumcision. Wow I had a whopping 2 months and 2 days to prepare for this. My husband did not want this done. He thought it should have been a decision he should have had. I think the opposite. I think it is my opinion to make that decision, first I wanted my boys to be like their dad. In the Bible we were told to circumcise. Never once in the Bible does he say to stop doing it. If you find it I would love to see it. I had 5 long weeks in Antepartum to look. He only says if you are not you can still get in Heaven. But again he never says no more. Plus when they decide they want to be like daddy and have the surgery it is considered major surgery and VERY painful. We struggled over this for 2 long months and Darren finally agreed to have them circumcised. My boys were in the NICU so they were not circumcised until 5 weeks old, just before they came home and they both did fine, and healed wonderfully.

I do understand the struggle since we went through it but I feel very strongly about having it done. If others choose not to, more power to them, I just knew this is what I wanted for my kiddos. I am sure at one point in time they will hold it against me but what don't they hold against you at least once in your life.

Again, I am really sorry I missed your party and meeting you.
hey, nancy! thanks for your thoughts. we missed you at the shower, but i completely understand--it would have been silly to travel with sick kiddos. i'll let you know next time i'm in the area!
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