Many of us parents face circumcision regret. My Precious Love I am Sorry is my story.
“Can I go with him?’
“No” she answered, “and trust me, you would not want to.”
“Yes, I do.” I insisted “I want to be with him.”
“I am sorry, you cannot.”
“Does he receive anesthesia?”
“He is numbed and he cannot really feel it. Even if he does, he will not remember it.”
As I handed over my beautiful baby boy, every part of me wanted to scream “NO, YOU CANNOT TAKE MY BABY TO CUT OFF PART OF HIS BODY.”
But I knew, this was standard procedure. This is what everyone did. I did not have the option to say no. So I let him go.
I cried. I could think of nothing but what was happening to my precious love the whole time he was gone. A kind nurse assured me it was the baby blues, and that it was common for me to be crying.
Owen was returned to me far too long later. My arms were ready for him before he was brought through the door. And I did not let him go again. For six months.
I did not know, but I knew. It did not feel right. Not for me and not for my son. I should have trusted my intuition and questioned what was happening.
Every day I think of those moments in the hospital when Owen was not with me. Every day. They were life changing for me.
It would be years before I found validation that my intuition was right, and even then I would not be able to read all of the reasons why. It is still too painful. But I have learned enough to know that routine infant circumcision is wrong. I know that the reasons we do it do not make sense, and that I allowed my baby to be mutilated.
It might be more comforting for me if I perpetuate the myths. It might make me feel less sadness, anger and grief about my own choice. It might allow me to suppress my grief and anger.
I am writing this today to say that I made a mistake. I was wrong. And I will not let my need for solace stop me from sharing my story so that others may have the option to consider the facts instead of the myths.
Sharing this story will piss people off, even some of my friends. I wish that were not so. But if I were to pretend this is insignificant, it would be an injustice to babies and their parents everywhere.
And now it is my choice. I can continue to pretend that this one day nearly five years ago was not defining for me, or I can admit to my mistake and work hard to make sure others have all of the information to consider.
Clearly, I am opting for the latter and I hope that you will respect my experience. It is valid, informed and factual.
Mostly though, I hope that you will be kind. Because whether you “agree” or not, this was a trauma that my son and I will need to process for a long time to come.
Click here for more information about the realities of circumcision.
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