Regret Moms Remember 

"My name is Jessica and I'm a regret mom. I live in North Carolina with my husband and our four children. A daughter and three sons. My oldest son sadly is a victim of MGM (male genital mutilation). Eleven years ago I gave birth to my first son, Brice. He was beautiful; absolutely everything I ever wanted. They laid him in my arms and I was overjoyed! My perfect baby! He was so content, a picture perfect baby. I delivered him with the help of my midwife. Normally after having a baby with a midwife you leave the hospital 24 hours after delivery.

We had to stay until there was a doctor available to perform his circumcision. On Brice's 3rd day of life we paid $350 to have Brice's body surgically altered for what we thought was in his best interest. Because its "cleaner," "healthier," "it's just what you do when you have a boy." A doctor came in and told us about the procedure, I don't remember much about what he said. I do remember my husband jokingly asking if we could keep the foreskin. The doctor looked at us like we were crazy.

I now know that he looked at me that way because he knew exactly what was about to happen to my child and we thought it was some simple painless snip and were joking about it. Looking back it makes me sick to my stomach. I asked about how they numbed him and he said with a topical cream. I think about how Brice had to lay there, strapped down, helpless, screaming for me while someone severed his flesh with a topical cream being the only pain block. My poor child. I was supposed to protect him. I failed. Everyday I regret it. Every single day. I wish I would have researched. He has forgiven me but I will never forgive myself. He was perfect, no need for disassembly. Since then I have had two more sons. I thankfully have done my research and kept them just as I made them, whole. They've never had a single issue. Know better, do better. They've never had a single issue. Know better, do better."    -Jessica Henderson

"I was 25. I never gave circumcision a second thought. I read the benefits outweighing the risks claims, and the cleaner, easier, that it was just a snip, they slept right through it. The only time it was talked about was when he nurse was telling me, at a prenatal visit, that some insurance didn't cover, but mine was. I actually said something stupid like, "Why wouldn't they cover it? That's crazy." Jump to birth. I remember them wheeling him back in, red eyes, and a little white residue on his lips from the sugar. I remember him crying and screaming every diaper change. Made me cringe.

Jump to joining some mama groups. I came across the movement. I read what they said. I tried defending what I choose for my son. The more I was tying to defend myself the more the movement was starting to click. Throughout a couple of months I went through some stages of denial and anger, etc. I did more research and looked at the other side of the spectrum. I have since fully informed myself and accepted I made a mistake. I now know the benefits of the foreskin far outweigh any claimed benefits of circumcision and that the claimed risks of the foreskin are human errors and misinformation of care. It is important to accept and admit to help end this lie in our society."     -Angela R.

"I REMEMBER PEELING HIS BLOODY PENIS OFF OF HIS DIAPER, and crying, and asking my mom what they did to him. She said, ‘All boys are born with a birth defect, and they have to have it fixed.’" 

"I am a regret mom... I became an intactivist over a period of about 15 years. I had my son circumcised in 1989 out of ignorance and because of some really dumb advice from my OB (to match dad). I had never considered the matching argument, and being 18 and unmarried and embarrassed to be pregnant felt shame at not considering something "everyone else" thought of.

As soon as I opened his diaper and saw his painful, bloody penis I was horrified and felt I'd been tricked. I was so stupid I didn't realize it would be so traumatic. And I instantly thought how stupid- what man cares what his dad's dick looks like? I concentrated on getting him healed, and felt that even though I wished it hadn't been done, I didn't think there was any permanent harm. Fast forward a few more years to becoming an OB nurse and getting exposed to circumcision again. I saw so many parents make the same mistake I did- deciding to circumcise out of ignorance or incorrect assumptions that doctors did nothing to correct. I started doing more research and that's when I discovered that circumcision is harmful to the structure of the penis. I could no longer keep silent."

“I watched the procedure in horror and have never let another person make decisions for my children other then me. Everyday I think of the pain he suffered. Now I hold my perfect and intact baby boy desperately wishing I could make it all better with my oldest son.”

"As a mother who cut her son, who witnessed him regress in NICU (yes I cut my 31 weeker )... we (regret parents) failed our children. I am haunted with the sounds of his blood curdling screams... horrible life shattering screams that still ring through my ears. The image of his trembling body when they handed him to me is forever burned into my mind like salt in the wound. If I am tortured so horrendously by these things, I can't begin to imagine the horror of actually going through it."

"I circumcised my son against my better judgment. I was 19 years old and I let his Dr. and my fiancé make that decision for me even though I knew it wasn't right. I sat in the waiting room of the pediatrician's office crying so hard I was shaking when they took him back for the procedure. I could hear him crying and had to leave the waiting area, but no matter where I went in that office I could still hear him. Then seeing his newborn penis all cut up, bloody and swollen afterwards killed me. I wouldn't change his diaper after, I made his Dad do it because facing the horror I allowed the Dr to do to him was too much for me. His dad left me 4 days later, and I was alone and had to change his bandaging. What I saw for myself the first time I changed his gauze bandage broke my heart and what hurt most was I sat there in the waiting room while a knife happy Dr mutilated my newborn son! That day I knew I had to do whatever I could to inform young teenage Mom's like myself that they don't have to make the same mistake I did....that shit sticks with you. It's been 15 years and I can still remember everything about that circumcision like it was yesterday....never again."