I Want Him Back
By Joy W.
It was three years ago when my husband and I found out we were having a boy during my anatomy ultrasound. There was no question in either of our minds as to whether he would be circumcised. We happily checked "yes" to circumcision on our birth plan without a second thought. It was the normal thing to do. All our friends who had recently had baby boys had circumcised them, and my husband was cut as well. I honestly assumed that the foreskin was a defect that had potential to harm my son's health and had never felt the need to research otherwise. In our minds, it was the "right" thing to do, and we believed it would be best for our baby boy.
A couple months later, I befriended a mom through a local online yard sale group. I added her on Facebook and suddenly my newsfeed was overrun by articles and photos promoting "intactivism"- in other words, allowing baby boys to keep their foreskin. I balked at these, thinking what a ridiculous cause to support! Every man gets circumcised- it's necessary. If it were harmful, surely doctors wouldn't perform the procedure. I told my mom how silly these posts were, and even considered blocking this new friend from my newsfeed to avoid the "propaganda" she was spreading. To me, it was absolute nonsense.
Then one day, out of sheer curiosity and the desire to be reassured of just how crazy the notion of intactivism was, I began reading the articles, viewing photos, and following links. I began researching and was shocked by the truths that I discovered. I found out that the foreskin serves an important purpose in protecting the glans and in providing for normal sexual function. I discovered that America is the only developed country that performs non-religious routine circumcision (other countries find us cruel for doing so) and the rates are dropping significantly. I viewed a video of the procedure which showed how painful and traumatizing it was for the baby. I reread my Bible to discover that circumcision is actually spoken against multiple times throughout the New Testament. In short, I realized how wrong I was in my thinking and pleaded with my strongly pro-circ husband to reconsider. Several intense arguments ensued. In an attempt to keep the peace, I very reluctantly agreed to the procedure.
Our son was born on July 16 at 7:02pm. That evening, I was informed that his circumcision was scheduled for 6:00am the following morning. I couldn't sleep that night because I knew what was coming. When they came in to take him, I signed the form with my heart literally aching in my chest. He was wheeled away and I began to panic.
I remember sobbing and telling my husband, "I want him back. He's so beautiful! He's perfect just the way he is. God made him this way for a reason! I never even got to see all of him. All of his perfect little parts. Please, please bring him back!" Finally, FINALLY my husband listened. He left the room to have the nurse retrieve our son.
Our sweet baby was returned to us having only been given the penile shot (which I later learned is highly ineffective as it is almost never given time to "kick in"). What surprised me most was the incredible joy and relief expressed by all of our nurses. Our charge nurse exclaimed, "I'm so glad we got to him just in time!" Another told us she had chosen to not circumcise her sons either. Yet another told us how happy she was that he was returned to us untouched. He was referred to as non-circ, so that the nurses wouldn't have to be concerned about bloody diapers or post-surgical care. His pediatrician gave us all of the proper intact care information ("Just wash it like a fingertip- never, ever retract.") For all the world, it seemed as though the only practitioner in the hospital who was pro-circumcision was the doctor performing them.
I have never in my life felt such an immense amount of relief as when my sweet baby boy was placed back in my arms, still whole and unaltered. I helped change his next diaper and surveyed all of the beautiful little body parts I had not yet seen. I was in awe.
My husband no longer worries about our son looking like him. In fact, it has come to be seen as an opportunity to explain to our son that, no matter what society says, God did not make any mistakes in forming his body. He will be taught to clean himself when it is appropriate, and that is all. In fact, I found out shortly after my son's birth that ALL of the men in my family are intact, never having had any problems with infections or being "different" (read: normal).
I am so thankful to that mom for taking the time to educate others like me who truly didn't know any different. She led me to invaluable resources that helped save my son, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I can only hope that my story will encourage other moms to protect their sons' bodies and give them the gift of being whole and unaltered, exactly the way they were so lovingly made to be!