I Did the Best I Could.

By Phyllis (Thu 22 Apr '99)

Just my perspective as a mother and a grandmother:

I have four grown children. Both of my sons were circumcised. The oldest in 1965 and I was never given an option or told that he could remain the way he was born. Back then it was just done. My husband is also circumcised so I thought nothing of it. When my second son and youngest child was born in 1977, I had read a section on circumcision in one of my pregnancy books (actually this was the only one of my four pregnancies that I read anything about the pregnancy and labor ~ I actually enjoyed it and now seeing my daughters and daughter-in-law and the volumes they have to read, I'm quite sad that this was not readily available to me during my childbearing years.) Well, I questioned the procedure with my doctor and he said that circumcision should be done on this baby if it was a boy as my oldest and husband were and that I wouldn't want him to *feel different*. I agreed, but mostly because I thought, who am I to question my doctor.

Michael is now 21 and he asked his father and I over Christmas break...."Why did you have me circumcised? You should have known better when I was born, I understand you're having David circumcised....but why me?" He gave us an issue of Men's Health magazine that had an article in it regarding circumcision and asked us to please read it. My husband I both did, he first and then I. I cried, so did my husband. I told Michael that I did question the procedure, but that I felt that I should listen to my doctor. He said he understood and that he has no hard feelings for us. To date, we have been only blessed with grand-daughters, five so far. I have given that article to both of my daughters and my daughter-in-law and asked them to please really think about this topic if they ever get pregnant again. I've also started researching this topic in complete detail, that is how I have come upon this board. I do know from what I have learned in the last few months and from the hurt in my sons voice when he asked us that question, if I were to give birth to another son today, I would leave his little penis alone.

I guess I just wanted to tell all you mothers and fathers the same thing. I am a good mother. I did the best I could. I just don't want you to feel the same way my husband and I did this past Christmas. Michael was right: we should have known better in 1977; and he is right: it is his body and it should have been his choice. If you are asked in 21 years why you had them circumcised when there is no compelling medical reason to, please tell them that you loved them and thought you were doing the best thing for them.

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