You two will never know how much I love you. You are both the light of my world, you make life worth living, you shed a little light on even my worst and most stressful days. It is with a heavy heart that I am going to express my feelings about what I allowed to be done to you. You were both born so perfect.
J, when you were born I was only 19 years old, my 19th birthday to be exact. You were the best birthday present a mother could ever wish for. But I was, unfortunately, uneducated on several motherhood topics, and allowed myself to be pumped full of drugs, which is where our story begins. I had a muscle relaxer to "take the edge off" while I waited for my epidural. Once you were born you had to be taken to the nicu, my temperature had spiked right before delivery and they wanted to make sure I had not passed on an infection to you. You were in the nicu for almost a week, despite them not saying what was wrong with you. They pumped you full of antibiotics, but every time I asked what was wrong with you they gave me the run around and couldn;t give me a diagnosis. I regret allowing you to be taken now, it was obviously not needed. I don't remember exactly when your circumcision took place, I don't even remember being given papers to read or sign. No doctor came to talk to me about the risks of the surgery, and all I had heard was that it was necessary, end of story. Nobody bothered to tell me about any complications, or that it is a purely cosmetic procedure. I, of course, trusted the doctors word. After all, they went to medical school and I didn't, so they must know best, right? If I had known that I would not have put you through that. The only detail I remember is that you had the plastibell procedure, I remember the bell coming off and seeing your swollen and red penis. I remember feeling horrible for you, but I thought it as just one of those things that baby boys had to go through, for health reasons. Your entire birth and our hospital stay is a complete blur, I hardly remember any of it, and I blame the drugs they pumped me full of. Looking back, I think they preyed on me since I was a young mother on medicaid, and because of that you were the perfect guinea pig for the sick and twisted doctors that perform this unnecessary procedure on defenseless baby boys.
Almost two years went by, and we decided it was time to try for another baby, so you could have a sibling. It didn't take long at all for me to conceive. You were three years old when we found out we were expecting another boy. This time, I decided to do things slightly differently. I spent countless hours on the internet, researching vaccines and trying to decide if I wanted to continue vaccinating you or your brother when he was born. I finally made my decision, to discontinue all vaccinations for you and to never vaccinate your brother. But I spent so much time researching vaccines that it never occurred to me to research anything else. After all, I should have known just about anything I needed to know about parenting babies and toddlers by then, right? Since I had done it all once before.
M, you were finally born in December of 2011, a perfect baby boy. I didn't get the muscle relaxer during my labor with you, but I did get an epidural. Your birth and our hospital experience is a little clearer, but still kind of blurry. I had a different doctor with you, one that I had truly loved throughout my pregnancy, she had been so kind and courteous during my pregnancy and delivery. The morning after you were born she came in to talk to me about your circumcision, she told me she would be performing it that morning. I do not remember signing a consent form, I just remember feeling as if she knew best since she was a doctor and that it was not my place to question it. So once again, I allowed my second precious baby boy to be taken back for a circumcision. You were gone for about an hour, I remember her telling me that the procedure was quick and she would bring you back to me very quickly. I was beginning to get worried when you were wheeled back into my room in your little bassinet. The first diaper change after your circumcision was awful. I remember seeing your swollen and red penis. I believe you had the gomco procedure. I felt bad, but again I thought it was something that had to be done.
Fast forward to when you were 10 months old, M, I stumbled on a intactivist page on facebook that had links to articles and even videos of a circumcision being performed. I watched a video, sound on, and the pain I felt for that baby, for both of my sons, was so incredible. It was a paralyzing feeling, I watched in disbelief as the doctor sliced into the skin of the poor baby's penis, and the screams that came from that poor child was almost to much to bear. I broke down into tears, watching as the baby struggled against the circumstraint to no avail. After the doctor sliced the foreskin and began to tear it from the penis I remember hearing him say "he's got himself all worked up now", and that comment just made me want to scream. Of course he got himself all worked up! He was in the most excruciating pain he will ever feel, with only topical anesthesia and sugar water for comfort. It was then that I began to research on circumcision, and I only wish I had taken the time to research before you or your big brother were born. I am so sorry, both of my precious boys. I did not know better, I should have but I didn't. My heart hurts for what I allowed to be done to you, for what I allowed to be taken from you. I will do everything in my power to make it up to both of you. I will not rest until male circumcision is illegal just as female circumcision now is. I love you, and I am so very sorry. You cannot know the anger I feel at the medical establishment, at the doctor whom I had loved so much during my pregnancy with you, M. I don't even remember the doctor I had with you, J. It wasn't the one I had during my pregnancy, it was the on call doctor. I do not know if it was him or another doctor that performed your circumcision. I am so sorry boys, and I will do what I can to make this right.