Circumcision: Please Don't Fail Your Son

By Chelsea (last name withheld at author's request) © 2015

I am in tears as I write this. It is going to be one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I think it is necessary.

Nearly 7 years and 2 months ago I was sitting in a bed listening to the music of the hospital. The humming of the blood pressure monitor, the tweeting of the machines, and the shuffles of nurses' feet. I was terrified and excited. I would soon be bringing my first child into this world. I would finally get to hold my sweet precious baby boy, kiss his little toes, stroke his perfect face, and change his diapers.

I labored without medication for hours. I finally caved and got an epidural to ease the pain as I was transitioning. Not much longer I thought. Who will he look like? I wonder if he will have any hair! So many thoughts raced through my head.

"It's time to push! Your baby is coming!"

No more terrifying words had ever been spoken to me. I pushed and pushed and once I had passed his shoulders, I reached down and pulled my perfect, beautiful, sweet 7lb 7oz boy to my chest just after 1:00am. I held onto him and knew in that moment that I was changed forever.

This tiny little human who I had grown inside my body meant more to me now than anything else in this world. They cleaned him, weighed him, I nursed him, and stared at his precious face in awe.

Then they took him from me.

They told me he would be fine. They said it was best. It's cleaner, it looks better, it's just what everyone does. He won't feel it.

These were just a fraction of the things people, including my own family, had told me that played on repeat in my head - they lied.

After what seemed like forever they brought my baby back to me so that I could nurse him. I sat up in my bed anxious to hold him and take in his sweet smell again. "He slept right through it," the nurse said - she lied.

When she handed him to me my heart dropped. He didn't have the same sweet expression on his face anymore. No, now he was red -- he looked exhausted and sad. What did they do to him? What did I do to him?

I tried to nurse him but he couldn't. He had fought too hard. He was too tired. So I went to change his tiny newborn diaper for the very first time and nothing could have ever prepared me for what followed.

As soon as I opened the little Pampers Swaddler he let out the most horrific scream I've ever heard. I will never forget it. The sound of excruciating pain. Then tears began to stream down my face as I looked at the bloody stump and open wound that was now my baby's penis.

I removed the saturated gauze and placed it in the little pool of blood inside the diaper, and as he screamed in pain I cleaned him the best I could, replaced some new Vaseline laden gauze, and a white diaper that would soon be as crimson as the last. I wrapped him in my arms and I wept. "I'm so sorry," I cried.

But they told me this is normal. They said it would be better this way. They lied to me.

He hadn't slept through the slicing and the crushing, he had gone into shock and passed out from the pain because there is no amount of safe anesthetic that can be used on a baby to numb the pain, but they didn't tell me this.

It's cleaner this way, right? They lied to me again. How could I think that an open bloody wound in a urine and feces filled diaper could possibly be cleaner?

It looks better. How did they know what my boy would want his penis to look like? This wasn't their decision. It wasn't MY decision. That wasn't my body. What right did I have to let them mutilate my son?!

They took him from the safety of my arms and strapped his arms and legs to a board. He cried. He cried because it was cold, he cried because he needed me, he cried as they forced a blunt metal tool into his body to destroy the tissue that held his foreskin to the glans much like a fingernail is attached to a finger, he cried when they crushed his foreskin, and he cried when they began slicing at his body until he finally passed out. He cried for me and I wasn't there. He needed me and I slept. He bled out and I had been the one to hand them the knife.

I didn't do my research, I just trusted what everyone told me. They were wrong.

In less than 12 hours after I brought my perfect baby into this world, I had failed him. I failed my son.

Please don't fail yours.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

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