Maybe I made this decision more complicated than it needed to be, but I was really torn. My heart was saying “no, don’t go through with the circumcision, leave him intact” but my head was reminding me of this time in high school when the gossip started swirling about this boy who was not circumcised. Being in Louisiana, it is still much more common for boys to be circumcised. In other parts of the U.S., like areas of California for example, it’s changing for intact to be a more popular choice. While I’m not a medical professional, those who I spoke to assured me it was not necessary but rather an elective procedure. Supposedly there is a slightly higher chance of a UTI in males who are intact, but with proper cleaning that is negated (primarily an issue as they mature and don’t need help with baths), but there is a slight chance that circumcision would cause an angled urine stream.
Not being a male myself, I left the decision up to my husband.
I left the decision to my husband with the condition that if he chose to circumcise that he would change the diapers after the procedure until it was healed because I was already dreading the swelling and vaseline situation. He decided he wanted to go through with the procedure.
I was thinking through everything, told it was a relatively short procedure. We did this as an outpatient thing 11 days after he was born, and I cried several times during the initial waiting process. The pediatrician even double-checked with me to make sure I was alright I was crying just that much. Of course, the baby was crying when we got back to him just a few minutes later and my go-to answer of nursing him to calm him down wasn’t working. I cried even more. I felt so much regret and blame with myself for the pain I caused him.
When we got home, I was left to change the diapers. Each time I applied vaseline, he cried. It was like a reminder of the pain he was in each and every time. I was truly an emotional mess for days. And call me naïve, but I was unaware that I would have to continue pulling the skin back for about 2 years so the skin wouldn’t regrow before it was considered fully healed. On that same day, we had the procedure done, really just mere minutes after, I knew that if I should ever have another boy I would not do the circumcision again.
So here I am, with our next baby. Also a boy.
I am quite at peace with the decision to stay intact this time. Emotionally I could not handle doing a circumcision again. My husband is on board with this also. I am getting some questions from those who know our story about what our decision would be this time. Some even ask what I am going to tell them one day if they ask why one is circumcised and the other isn’t. Honestly, I don’t have a well-thought-out speech to give them. Just the same stories mentioned in this very post that lead me to each decision and I hope that will be enough.