Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's a Boy!

I have two children - a girl and a boy. My daughter was born first, and I was so excited to have a little girl: dresses, braids, someone who might notice new earrings. It's not that I didn't want to have a little boy, too... it's just that I was hoping, in my heart of hearts, to have a little girl first.

There was another reason, too: circumcision. I read & thought and thought & read about pregnancy and birth... and then I discussed, discussed, discussed choices I had for birth with my partner, my care provider, my family & friends. I didn't know what I thought about circumcision, beyond the gut feeling that I didn't want to do anything that would hurt my newly born child. My husband didn't know what to think either, other than he had been circumcised, so it seemed to him that it would be an okay choice to make for our son. But! Since Madelyn is a girl, we didn't have to hash it out, and I could focus on learning about birth and breastfeeding. Thus, in addition to my joy of having my little girl, I was also relieved.

Well, when I got pregnant again, it was with my son Owen. I already had learned a lot about birth and postpartum, and was ready to tackle investigating circumcision and the process of explaining my uneasiness to my husband. I had always said - hey, I don't have a penis, this is a decision I'll defer to him on. But when it came down to the fact that he favored circumcision, I realized I couldn't just go with the flow on this one after all (hardly surprising - me not going with the flow!).

So I asked him - please look at some of the research I've done, and then make an educated, informed decision, like we've tried to do all along regarding medical care and parenting choices. Reluctantly, he agreed. I did some research, shared it with him, and did the best I could to give him the space to make his decision.

I wish that I could have shared this excellent website, It's a Boy, with him then - it's factual, non-confrontational, not full of upsetting pictures or biased propaganda one way or the other, and answers the most common questions about circumcision.

Another good resource is this video, The Prepuce, on the Doctors Opposing Circumcision website. It is a clinical take on this issue instead of an emotional one.

I've listened to a lot of clients confront this issue - some couples have been in agreement, others not; some have decided to keep their sons intact and others have decided to circumcise. In fact, one of the dads in a class I taught about a year ago, blogged about the decision process: Circumcision Decision to Circumcision - The Decision to Circumcision - The Final Post - be sure to read the comments, too! So, I try to answer questions and point families to unbiased, understandable information, and then I let it go.

I'm so happy to have this new website to add to my list of resources!

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Blogger Kathy said...

Thanks for the "It's a Boy" link -- I'm going to add that to my sidebar.


February 12, 2009 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger GeologyJoe said...

Im glad I can help.

February 18, 2009 at 7:29 PM  

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