Friday, June 8, 2012

Cleveland Clinic's Pediatric Surgeon Says NO To Circumcision

By Natalie Rivera © 2012

Carlo's onesie reads, "I was made perfect. My parents kept me that way!" 

When I had my first son 10 years ago I had no idea what circumcision involved. It was just the 'thing to do' so I did it and never questioned anything about it. My son was not crying when they brought him back post-circumcision, so I thought it was 'no big deal...' That's the lie we are told as uninformed parents. What I did not know is some babies scream and fight while others slip into shock from the severe pain of genital cutting. It's not 'just a simple snip'... the foreskin is fused together with the glans (head) of the penis and must be cut apart with a surgical knife. It must be dug open and cut off. There is no such thing as a non-cutting method of circumcision. I feel horrible for allowing someone to do this to my first precious baby. I did not do my job to protect him, and I am so sorry.

This time we had a homebirth. A few weeks before my second son, Carlo, was born (January 2012) I was calling around to find someone to do the procedure (I still had not looked into circumcision and actually thought people who called it 'mutilation' were insane... After all, I was not cutting his arms or legs off!).

I called the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital (Ohio) and when I asked the nurse about circumcision the pediatric surgeon said he wished to speak to me. He got on the phone and explained the entire circumcision procedure to me. This was the first time anyone had done so. He said that in his medical and personal opinion he would NOT circumcise. He said that if it was his son he wouldn't have it done. More and more people are leaving their sons intact today and by the time my son is sexually active the norm will be INTACT. This physician also mentioned that God doesn't make mistakes and there is no medical reason to circumcise. He reminded me that it is purely 'cosmetic' and almost exclusive to the United States.

I decided that if a surgeon (who would be making money off of this procedure) advised not to do it, I'd better look into things further, so I did some research. I read up on the 'pros' and the cons of circumcision and I watched a video of it being done. When I showed my husband he immediately said, "No way are we going to put our son through that!" I talked with a few people who have intact sons and husbands and they all assured me they are GREAT the way God made them and wouldn't want to be any other way!

I'm so thankful that someone took the time to inform and educate me on this subject. It saved Carlo from this mutilation... Yes, I said it: mutilation. When it comes to circumcision, we need to step up and speak out on behalf of our sons, because if they could speak at birth, they would say NO!

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Natalie Rivera mothers her four children and homeschools in the Cleveland, OH area. She hopes that by sharing her experience and volunteering with Intact Ohio, other expecting parents are encouraged to look into circumcision before their own baby boy arrives. Natalie says she will always be thankful to this surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic for taking the time to speak with her about the realities of circumcision, and sparing her second son. She and her husband are two of the multiple thousands today in North America who are becoming informed and keeping future sons intact.

Read more from parents raising both circumcised and intact sons at I Circumcised My Son: Healing From Regret.

Research, resources and references at Are You Fully Informed?




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