Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lives Changed: A Willingness to Speak Up

By Christine Bauduin

 our newest whole son in his Daddy's arms

This is a glimpse into the story of how one person changed my child’s life and our family’s future.

I first met Enith Hernandez, from As Nature Intended, at a doula class we were both attending. Our instructor, Adriana Algieri, was gently guiding us through lessons in how to care for new mommies and teaching us ways to remain neutral in these new mothers' decisions of whether or not to keep their newborn babies intact after birth. It was a hot topic for all the doulas in the class. The first thing I did was fall back on my faith (Catholic) as a defense in my own decision to circumcise my sons. Enith took my statements and ran with them. She debunked each and every aspect of my well intentioned, but severely misinformed, reasoning. At that point in our doula training, Enith was not my favorite person.

As a result of all this new information that I was rather hoping to discredit, I was forced to go home and research my own faith. What I discovered quite literally shocked me. When I really looked into it, I came up empty handed in any ability to justify my reasons for circumcising our sons. I was wrong about my religious excuses, and to my surprise, there is an abundance of faith-based support for keeping babies whole as they are created. There simply were no reasons of faith to cut our sons. And Daddy wanting to cause pain and loss just so he can have a son who is as scarred as he is, now seemed utterly sad.

I started to realize that Americans are quite uncultured and clueless when it comes to their underlying reasons to circumcise. All the while, some in the medical profession have capitalized on this nation-wide ignorance by marketing a damaging surgical procedure that is painful for baby, and leaves him lacking and scarred for life. There are so many functions of the foreskin which are lost as a result of our unknowing.

At the time I met Enith, I already had five children - three of whom are boys. The last three of my children were birthed gently at home, but were taken away to be circumcised after birth. They have since had long talks with their father and me about their genital integrity. We have sincerely apologized for our lack of knowledge at the time they were each born. I believe they grasp through our honest examples that sometimes parents have great lessons they must learn from their children.

Over the course of the rest of our doula training, Enith and I nurtured what has now become a very strong friendship. Surprisingly, I was then blessed with fraternal twins - one girl and one boy. They were born at home and are beautiful tiny examples of miracles that do happen! After meeting Enith, and being pushed to understand the importance of my children's wholeness, I knew I would not circumcise another child. Our new son is perfect, just the way he was made.

It has been a beautiful, unexpected blessing to have befriended this wildly passionate woman, Enith Hernandez. My life is forever changed as a result of her willingness to speak up. And my sons and daughters are now blessed with a full understanding of human integrity and the ethical responsibility we have to protect children's whole selves. This is a big number of people (seven!) whose lives and generations to follow have been forever impacted.

God bless you, Enith. Keep enlightening families everywhere you go! 




To begin a faith-based investigation of your own, see these faith considerations on circumcision (Judaism, Christianity, and Islamic resource lists).

Hear from other parents who have apologized to their children for mistakes made at, I Circumcised My Son: Healing From Regret.

For additional information on the prepuce (foreskin), intact child, and circumcision see resources, sites, books, and articles at: Are You Fully Informed? 


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