When I published my post “My Sons Don’t Match” a few days ago I didn’t know what to expect. It was frightening to put something so personal, both to me and to my sons, on the internet. That knot in my stomach told me I should. I knew it could help other mothers who might be afraid not to cut their second (or third, fourth, and so on) simply because they had done so to their first. And it might even help a first time mom make the decision not to cut at all.
I’ve been around the internet long enough to know that the topic of circumcision is enough to cause riots in comments. Because the topic was about my own family, my own children, and my role in the event that causes me so much pain, having strangers weigh in was terrifying. I knew the bad comments would sting a million times worse on this post than any others I have ever written.
When I hit publish my whole body was trembling and I waited for a comment. The first comments were on my Facebook Fanpage. At each positive comment, thank you, and commiseration I started to let go of the shaking and I breathed a sigh of relief.
When the first mother commented that her unborn son would be saved from the knife thanks to my post I knew it was all worth it.
Comments continued to pour in, both on the post and on Facebook. 95% were positive and quite a few brought tears to my eyes to hear mothers regretting their decision as much as I do. Most were urging me to move on from the guilt. Others offered ideas for when my boys ask about the differences in their parts. Surprisingly, many other families had gone through the same situation and sometimes the boys never even noticed the difference. Same for sons not matching their fathers.
I would also like to thank the mothers and fathers who emailed. I’m especially thankful to the intact men who have emailed me experiences and words of advice. My website doesn’t get a lot of male traffic so that feedback was very welcome.
Reading these comments has affirmed my decision for my second son, and has even given me some peace over the decision we made for my first. As much as I regret circumcising him it is done and the only thing to do now is hope he will understand why I did what I did and forgive me. Luckily the rates of circumsicion are now dropping and by the time my boys are old enough to undress in a locker room I have a feeling each of my sons will have “penis brothers” around them.
The biggest realization has been that our medical system failed my family. I was not given the proper information or facts about circumcision. Perhaps other hospitals and care providers do offer unbiased facts on both options but mine did not. Would we have changed our mind? Maybe…. or maybe not.
This post would have never seen the light of day if it weren’t for Gina from The Feminist Breeder. I’ve been writing this post in my head for months and never had the courage to put my fingers to the keyboard. I started it once and cried so hard and had no strength to finish so I erased what I wrote. The mere fact that she mentioned the C word publicly gave me a boost of courage. If she could face the potential shit storm of haters then so could I. So thanks Gina!
The response to my post gives me faith in humanity and the internet. When things could have taken a different road, parents (for the most part) respected me and my family.