Let me start off by saying before I had my first child I was 100% pro-Circumcision. I thought that “uncircumcised” -we’re actually going to use the word intact because that’s the correct terminology- penises were disgusting, even though I had actually never seen or knew that men stayed intact. I never took the time to research the pros and cons of Circumcision vs keeping baby boys intact because it wasn’t something important to me at that time in my life, only being 18 and then newly 19 when my son was born. I just thought that’s what people did -and HAD to do- when they had baby boys.
After Camden, my first son who doesn’t have hands or legs, was born a nurse came in my room and asked if I was going to have him circumcised. I replied with a strong “YES” while the horrors of the thought of my child being left with foreskin on his penis filled my mind. The nurse said “okay” and that was the end of our conversation. She never told me the pros and cons, the care that I needed to give to a fresh wound on my son’s penis, or anything else.
I don’t remember if it was the same day or the day we were being discharged, but my OB came in and said he wouldn’t be preforming Camden’s Circumcision. He said to wait a little while because he was still so small. -Now thinking back to that moment, I KNOW without a doubt that was fate. My baby boy wasn’t meant to be altered, but I didn’t know that yet. I went on to eventually plan Camden’s circumcision around his first birthday.
One day in a mom group on Facebook I got in an argument with a mother about circumcision. I said something along the lines of “I don’t want him to have a flap of skin on his penis that he’s embarrassed of when I still have to bathe him when he’s going through puberty.” And she came back saying stuff and how foreskin isn’t a flap of skin. -I had an intact baby boy and I knew absolutely NOTHING about his body. So I started researching. But I didn’t research because I wanted to learn, I researched because I was mad and offended about what this woman was saying and I wanted to find something smart to say back. I needed to protect my pride in my parenting.
As time went on I got more into equality and the Human Rights Movement. I saw where my son has been and would be treated unfairly. But one day I had a “light bulb” moment. If I want people to treat my son equally and for him to have the same rights as all other humans, I need to give EVERYONE the same respect I want for him. I wanted there to be a change. I then promised Camden that I would be that change and plant seeds wherever I go and in whatever I do, because he deserves to have ALL of his rights.
From that I decided that Camden wouldn’t get prosthetics or a wheelchair until he asked for it. I didn’t want to push anything on him because of my own selfish wants. I wanted him to learn that even though he doesn’t have hands or legs, he is able to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING he puts his mind to. I wanted him to know that I believe in him. I wanted him to know that God created him PERFECTLY.
Shortly after that I discovered I was a hypocrite. I wanted my son to have all of his basic human rights, but I was going to take one away from him. I wanted my son to know he was born PERFECT despite what others may tell him, but I was going to have a perfectly healthy part of him cosmetically altered.
I didn’t want to circumcise him anymore. But with my main goal as a parent being to raise Camden to be independent as possible, I worried it would prevent him from being fully independent while bathing. But thankfully I got the courage to ask a random person in our limb-different community: “If you were him what would you choose?” and he assured me Camden would be able to bathe himself all on his own because he was actually intact himself and never had problems!
From then on I have been very confident in my decision to keep Camden intact. He is 4 now and has not had any complications whatsoever. He also has a younger sister and brother that are intact as well. They’re all healthy, happy, and PERFECT. Just the way they were born.
I am now SO thankful for that woman in the Facebook mom group who snapped at my ignorance towards intact boys. That planted a seed in my brain that I didn’t know I needed.
If you want to learn more about why you should choose to let your baby boys keep their rights to their body, visit YourWholeBaby.org
3 thoughts on “Having A Limb-Different Child Changed My Stance On Routine Infant Circumcision”
Excellent article, Katie! Thank you for being open-minded with your decisions for your son and for standing up for his rights!
Yes! A million times yes! Good for you. Instilling confidence and giving unconditional love is better than making them think they need to fit in.
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