"How Can You Have Too Many Children? That's Like Saying You Have Too Many Flowers" ~ Mother Teresa

A Peek Into Our Hectic, Crazy & Loving Family of Eleven


Sunday, May 30, 2010


I decided to start with circumcision. It is the hardest topic for me to write about. It's probably my biggest regret as a parent. I would say that I feel guilty, but guilt is an emotion you feel when you knowingly do something wrong. It's not guilt. It's regret. Both of my boys (now aged 12 and 16) are circumcised. And I hate every single day that I put them through one of the single worst events that they will probably ever go through in their entire lives. And yes, I do truly believe that. To those that want to believe that the babies won't remember, or don't feel anything, I would just like to say " YOU go get yourself strapped down to a board, all spread out, nude, and have a chunk of your genitals cut off. Will you remember it? Will YOU feel the pain?" Not a pleasant thought is it? Why is it that people in our society refuse to acknowledge that babies are people? They have feelings. They feel pain. They will remember. It's your babys' body. Leave him as perfect as he was the day he was born. Leave him intact. He has a right to his body, his life and genital integrity. And to those people that just have the ridiculous thought that baby boys should look like their dads (which is what I was told by my mom when I was struggling to make the biggest decision, oops, I mean mistake of my life) all I have to say is, REALLY??!! REALLY??!! Never have my boys stood around comparing their penis' to their fathers'. NEVER. So, hows that theory work? It doesn't.
**I would like to edit my post to add something that I forgot to mention. A comment from a reader made me realize that it belongs in this post. I have talked with my sons about circumcision and the choice that their Dad and I made. I have apologized to them, probably more than they want to hear. I can only hope that they forgive me and that I have changed the cycle within our family. I hope that they take this knowledge that I've aquired and will apply it when they too have their own baby boys.

Alot of my Facebook friends are very anti-circ. I've been lucky enough to gain alot of knowledge through them and learn some very interesting facts. I'm going to post as much information here as I can. I'm hoping to post alot of links so that everyone can research at their own pace.

Please, keep one thing in mind as your traveling along in your parenting journey, especially when it comes to things such as circumcision :

Research. Learn. Educate yourself. You are your childs' voice. You are his strongest advocate. Make your decisions wisely.

All links below are clickable

Circumcision Video (graphic)

Flesh Eating Disease, Herpes, HPV and Meningitis increased with Circumcision

Very graphic pictures of a circumcision gone wrong

Dr's Case Studies and Meningitis

More case studies from The Internet Journal of Pediatrics and Neonatology

Circumcision causing UTI's

Risks and Complications

Plastibell complication

Letter from the ACS/AAP regarding the cancer/circumcison theory

Study showing how infant pain changes the way they perceive pain as adults

Study showing that infants remember and feel circumcision pain

Dr. Sears on circumcision

Which do you cut?

Stories from mamas

Babies opposing their cicumcision

Can you do it?

And if all those links aren't enough to convince you, think about when your baby boy grows up. You want him to be healthy, successful and happy. Sex is a huge part of our adult life. It's hard to think about your baby boy being an adult and having a sexual relationship, but one day he will. The following are "adult" reasons to leave him intact.

Compare the intact penis with the circumsised penis (some may consider this graphic)

What is lost due to circumcision?

The function of the foreskin

The funcation of the male prepuce

Video of a computer generated model of the function of the foreskin during sexual activity

Mobility of real foreskin

I would like parents to reconsider what they might have been told about the male prepuce (foreskin). The laymen term "foreskin" has been directly used in American culture to wrongly downplay how much health tissue and nerves are amputated. It is not "just a snip of skin" but a complex organ of muscle, immune cells, bands, nerves, blood vessels etc that are vitally important for protecting the body from viruses/bacteria and sexual function.

  • The Foreskin,which comprises up to 50% (sometimes more) of the mobile skin system of the penis. If unfolded and spread out flat the average adult foreskin would measure about 15 square inches( the size of a 3x5 inch index card). This highly specialised tissue normally covers the glans and protects it from abrasion, drying, callusing(keratinisation), and contaminants of all kinds.The effect of glans keratinisation has never been studied.
    [1. M. M. Lander, "The Human Prepuce," in G. C. Denniston and M. F. Milos, eds., Sexual Mutilations: A Human Tragedy (New York: Plenum Press, 1997), 79-81. 2. M. Davenport, "Problems with the Penis and Prepuce: Natural History of the Foreskin," British Medical Journal 312 (1996): 299-301.]
  • The Frenar Ridged Band is the primary erogenous zone of the male body. Loss of this delicate belt of densely innervated, sexually responsive tissue reduces the fullness and intensity of sexual response.
    [Taylor, J. R. et al., "The Prepuce: Specialized Mucosa of the Penis and Its Loss to Circumcision," British Journal of Urology 77 (1996): 291-295.]
  • The Foreskin's 'Gliding Action' , the hallmark mechanical feature of the normal natural, intact penis. This non-abrasive gliding of the penis in and out of itself within the vagina facilitates smooth , comfortable, pleasurable intercourse for both partners. Without this gliding action, the corona of the circumcised penis can function as a oneway valve, scraping vaginal lubricants out into the drying air and making artificial lubricants essential for pleasurable intercourse.
    [P. M. Fleiss, MD, MPH, "The Case Against Circumcision," Mothering: The Magazine of Natural Family Living (Winter 1997): 36-45.]
  • Nerve Endings transmit Sensations to the Brain: Fewer Nerve Endings means Fewer Sensations. Circumcision removes the most important sensory component of the foreskin - thousands of coiled fine-touch receptors called Meissner's corpuscles. Also lost are branches of the dorsal nerve, and between 10,000 and 20,000 specialized erotogenic nerve endings of several types. Together these detect subtle changes in motion and temperature, as well as fine gradations in texture.
    [1. R. K. Winkelmann, "The Erogenous Zones: Their Nerve Supply and Its Significance," Proceedings of the Staff Meetings of the Mayo Clinic 34 (1959): 39-47. 2. R. K. Winkelmann, "The Cutaneous Innervation of Human Newborn Prepuce," Journal of Investigative Dermatology 26 (1956): 53-67.]
  • The Frenulum is the highly erogenous V-shaped web-like tethering structure on the underside of the glans; frequently amputated along with the foreskin, or severed, either of which destroys its function and potential for pleasure.
    [1. Cold, C, Taylor, J, "The Prepuce," BJU International 83, Suppl. 1, (1999): 34-44. 2. Kaplan, G.W., "Complications of Circumcision," Urologic Clinics of North America 10, 1983.]
  • Muscle Sheath: Circumcision removes approximately half of the temperature-sensitive smooth muscle sheath which lies between the outer layer of skin and the corpus cavernosa. This is called the dartos fascia.
    [Netter, F.H., "Atlas of Human Anatomy," Second Edition (Novartis, 1997): Plates 234, 329, 338, 354, 355.]
  • The Immunological Defense System of the soft mucosa. This produces both plasma cells that secrete immunoglobulin antibodies and antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as the pathogen-killing enzyme lysozyme.
    [1. A. Ahmed and A. W. Jones, "Apocrine Cystadenoma: A Report of Two Cases Occurring on the Prepuce," British Journal of Dermatology 81 (1969): 899-901. 2. P. J. Flower et al., "An Immunopathologic Study of the Bovine Prepuce," Veterinary Pathology 20 (1983):189-202.]

    And a special thank you to my Facebook friend, Guggie Daly, for all her valuable information


  1. Thank you for sharing your experience, knowledge and research. I'll be sharing your post!

  2. I will also be sharing this! Thank you

  3. also sharing this!! awesome post!!

  4. Nicole - found this linked on Facebook. I too, deeply regret circumcising my two boys. I try to share what I've learned since making that mistake with everyone I can, in hopes that they won't have to experience what I've gone through, and they won't have to one day (as I have) apologize to their sons. Thanks for taking the time to bare your heart on this issue and try to educate people before it's too late.

  5. Thank you for sharing all of this research. I am so glad that none of my boys are circumcised. When our first boy was born, we had planned to circumcise, but our pediatrician was against it! He asked us to explain why we were for it, then proceeded to unravel all of the studies and support we had researched. In the end, we chose to leave our little boy intact. As the mother of five boys, I am so glad we never started.

  6. I'm not sure what I would have done if my husband had been circumcised. But he's not even American...

    Anyhow, when my son was born, I saw no reason to circumcise him. My mom asked me why? I said, "Why should I?" And my midwife, when she asked me what I wanted to do, filled my mom in on the details of why it wasn't necessary.

    My brother is a CNA. He thinks I'm crazy not to circumcise my son. He says that a circumcised guy is easier for the CNA to clean. That's the only reason he can come up with. As if I'm worried about when my son is 80 years old and so senile he can't clean himself!!

  7. Thank you for the informative post. I am a son who was circumcised when I was born. I hold no ill will toward my parents because they did not know better at the time. Unfortunately, many young men are not so forgiving.

    I suggest that at an age appropriate time, you apologize to your sons. Not only will this help you get over the regret, but the boys will most likely appreciate that you did the best you could with what you knew at the time. I know I would have appreciated hearing about this from my parents.

  8. Restoringtally...Its so nice to get a comment from a man about this subject. Thank you. I have apologized to my sons. We have talked about what circumcision is and why I made the choice that I made and why I would never do it again. It was a good talk to have and I hope that they have forgiven me. And I hope to have changed the cycle with their future children.

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  10. Brava! I have added a link from The Intactivism Pages, which you already link to, and thanks.

  11. Important discussion and topic. I am grateful for the fact that education and awareness are helping to support families choose to say no to circumcision. 36 years ago,I felt pressured to have my son circumcised. I take responsibility for not having the inner strength to go against the norm even as my heart was breaking the morning this surgery was done on my baby. I have apologized to my son. But I still feel pain and regret for what I did. Believe me, I am a strong advocate for leaving baby boys intact and try to pass on research information and literature and speak up against circumcision whenever I have the opportunity.
    Thank you for sharing your story. And thank you for bringing this subject to light for more and more families!

  12. I am an RN, when i was in nursing school, i saw circs during my OB rotation and i was literally crying standing there just desperately wanting to help those babies. it still bothers me, 4 years later. my son was born 12 weeks ago and every time i change his diaper (12 times a day!) i LOVE the fact that i left him intact. my circ'ed husband is super supportive. he says he's more of a hippie than he'd ever imagined he'd be.

    i cant wait to read the rest of your series,, i love reaffirming my decisions and reading about ppl who feel the same. our daughter is 2 yrs old...since her birth we're anti-vaccine, co-sleepers, breastfeeding, baby wearers, cloth diapering, avid chiropractic supporters, etc.

    anyway, to family/friends who question me, i just tell them that its HIS body and if it bothers him so much that he can decide to get circumsized (under general anesthesia) when he's old enough to make that decision. which i KNOW he never will because its crazy to think that any man would chop part of their manhood off! LOL

  13. Thank you for sharing. I've read before that "we make the best choice we can with the information we have at that time." We can't change the past. You've surely saved many baby boys from the same fate by speaking out about a heartbreaking topic that so many Americans never even consider.

    We have three intact sons. My husband and stepson are circumcised. Initially, my husband wanted to circumcise our firstborn. He was concerned about him being "different" from himself. There was no way I was going to allow my brand new, perfect baby to have part of his penis removed!!! My husband didn't have strong feelings one way or the other at the time, so thankfully, he was willing to leave our son intact.

    My husband has since said many times that he wishes he still has his foreskin, and our intact boys are horrified at the thought of part of their penis being cut off. My mother in law told me that when she had her boys, the hospital just automatically circumcised them and didn't even ask the parents!

    As we bring this issue into open discussion, many more parents will actually think about it, and hopefully research. I can't imagine how anyone who educates themselves on circumcision could still choose one for their son. This elective surgery still persists as "normal" because many people do not question it and think nothing of it.

    Just like baby shots and hospital births, formula and day care, many common child rearing practices are NOT good! Just because "everybody does it" doesn't make it good and healthy for our children.

    When we take time to learn about these things, we realize it's best to leave things alone. There is no reason to interfere with what God creates. Momma is designed to grow and birth and feed and care for babies who don't need to be injected with poisons and their body parts removed to be better than they were at birth.

  14. I want you to know that despite circumcising your boys, you are a good mother because you are willing to educate yourself on the issue and change your viewpoint based on the (obvious) facts.

    I am 22, and I learned the truth about my body a few months ago. My Jewish father and Methodist mother don't believe a single thing I say about it, refuse to read any material, and have threatened me financially and emotionally if I continue to talk about the issue. It's really far worse than I can explain.

    My mother even threw up in the car one time when I tried to talk to her about it because she was so emotionally upset AT ME for bringing the issue up; to her, the issue was equivalent to me threatening to change my name and never speak to them over her forgetting to get me a candy bar or something. It was that trivial to her. Too sad for them that one day I will change my last name, end my Jewish last name's heritage of baby penis cutting, scorn both parents to hell, and forget them so I can move on and build a real, reputable human lineage with my own family.