Unfortunately our experience with circumcision is not an uncommon one. We did what we thought was best for our child at the time. Looking back and thinking about the knot in my stomach as they wheeled my beautiful son, not even 24 hours old, to the nursery to cut him makes me want to throw up. It's such a raw emotion that comes up. I KNEW something wasn't right about it; “Why does this need to happen” was running through my head. I knew I had made the wrong choice, but it was too late. When my precious baby came back to me about 45 minutes later, it was confirmed. His eyes were glossy, he was sleepy (what I later found out to be possible shock) and he refused to nurse. We never got our nursing relationship back either, little did I know, this is common among babies that have been cut.
Luckily our son was left with quite a bit of foreskin, so most of the head of his penis is covered. That still doesn't change the fact that I consented to have something done to him that was purely cosmetic. It doesn't change the fact that when I change his diaper, I think about how he looked when he was wheeled back and how I was told, “he was a champ”. Most importantly, it doesn't change the fact that I consented to something that I shouldn't have had any say in. It was NOT my penis; it should NOT have been my choice.
There is still a bright side to all of this. Andrew has saved any future siblings of his from being circumcised. He has turned his Mommy in to someone who is now armed with information and willing to share. He has made his extended family aware of the dangers and aware that no health organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision.
In the future, if he asks why we made the choice for him I am going to tell him the truth. I am going to tell him that we made the best decision with the information we had available to us; that we were uneducated on the topic, that we are so sorry for taking something away that could affect his life in many areas, be it sexual or just his daily living.
While I will always regret signing that piece of paper to have my son cut, I am working hard to forgive myself. I keep reminding myself that "You do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better you do better" (Maya Angelou.)