Home Home About Zen Mama Contact

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In Hindsight

Guest Post by Denise W.
my mom and my son's "mammy"

Hindsight is 20/20 - never has there been a truer statement. I didn't gain my 20/20 hindsight until 19 months ago. My son is 32 years old and, unfortunately, I had him circumcised at birth. I didn't even know that I had a choice to circumcise or not until my daughter had my grandson 19 months ago and told me they were going to leave him perfect and intact. We had several discussions about the reasoning behind her decision - everything just made sense and clicked. She had me look at a video that I could not watch through its entirety. I was in tears through the part I could get through. I NEVER had ONE person - not my doctor, my parents (by the way, my dad was intact), a nurse, my husband - tell me I had a choice!

(uncle and nephew - hopefully the cycle stops here)

After reading, watching videos, listening to my daughter and watching my precious, intact grandson who did not have to go through what I put my son through I was physically sick - I actually vomited and have cried myself to sleep more than once. I want so bad to yell at someone. I am so mad at myself! To say that I had a flood of emotions running through me when I found out the horrors of circumcision is an understatement. I love my son with all my being and would never do anything intentionally to hurt him, but I did! I just want to hold on to my son and tell him how sorry I am. There are a lot of regrets I have with raising my children, but if I had been given the chance to listen to the facts this would be one less regret I would have had.

I wonder why my husband and I didn't have a discussion about circumcision? We talked in detail about the birthing process. I made a conscious decision to have both of my kids naturally, because I did not want to put any drugs into their systems, so why did I not think there were choices I could have made when it came to mutilating my son? Why was there no discussion about the circumcision of our son? I feel like I let my son down as his parent, at a time when he didn't have a voice and I was the one who could have, should have, spoken for him, but didn't.

My mom told me about three months ago that she felt circumcision was "barbaric." Why didn't she talk to me about her feelings back then? Why didn't my dad talk to me about being intact and what his feelings were about circumcision? I knew nothing about boys and their penises. I grew up in a home with one sister, never any brothers, so there wasn't much conversation going on about male anatomy. There were those, though, who could've said something, who could have prevented my son's trauma (and mine), but sat idly by rather than chance an uncomfortable conversation.

I WISH I had known then what I know now. But because I can do nothing about what I did to my son, I can, at this stage in my life, share my story and also give them reasons why circumcision is not the answer. I will NOT be silent now, when I am armed with knowledge and a true understanding of the truth! I urge you to speak up as well.


  1. The woman I married discovered intact when, as a pubescent 12 year old, she studied the diagram of male anatomy in the Britannica. Something was depicted and named there that she had never seen while playing with boys as a preschooler. When she was a college sophomore, she began dating an Austrian for a number of years. She has told me that very quickly she put behind her, forever, the American obsession with the bald penis. When I met my future wife, she was fully accepting of my intactness, which has never been an issue between us. Considering the place and time in which I came of age, I am very very fortunate.

  2. I am so sorry Denise that you went through this emotional hell once you realized circumsion wasn't the best for our sons. I went through a similar stage when I realized vaccines aren't the greatest and I had vaxed my daughter through 15 months. My husband kept telling me everything happens for a reason and we aren't perfect as human beings. It still was hard to get over. Thank you for sharing your story. And your grandson is adorable!