Circumcision Question — The Bump
December 2015 Moms

Circumcision Question

(TL; DR at bottom if you don't feel like reading!)

Sorry, ladies. I feel like I've had so many questions the last few days. I don't mean to be a total AW. I know circumcision has come up a lot in previous months but as our due date approaches this is still a topic of conversation for me and my husband and I need some advice after a conversation we had last night. I'm not looking for debate on whether or not circumcision should or should not be done, which is why I'm going to omit our opinions/decisions and just focus on the situation and what I should do about it. I hope I'm still able to get my points across well. 

So obviously circumcision is a big decision. As soon as we found out we were having a boy we obviously started discussing both options. For some reason I've always felt that my husband is better suited to make this decision and, while I do have an opinion on it, I've always felt comfortable deferring to him for the final choice. I guess I just felt that because he is a male and he had this decision made for him when he was a baby, and because he has dealt with the repercussions (for lack of a better word) of that decision, that he can relate to the pros and cons a bit more than I can and brings more to the table when it comes to decision making. So, I've told him from the beginning that I have an opinion (and I shared that opinion with him) but that I would back whatever decision he was most comfortable with. 

Well last night at dinner he told me that he's not 100% sure yet but that thinks he's made a decision on what he wants to do ... and that decision is the opposite of the opinion/preference that I shared with him. Obviously I knew this would be a possibility but for some reason I just never expected it to actually happen that way (naivety I guess?). 

Anyway, I asked him why he was leaning that way just to know what thought process he had gone through and all of his reasons were super vague. He mentioned this and that -- all sort of in passing -- and didn't provide any concrete reasons ... he just "felt" it was the right way to go. And for some reason, I'm struggling with this. I knew that our opinions might not match up but I didn't expect him, someone who has pushed to do research on SO many things the last few months, to not show up with concrete reasons for a big decision like this and to just base it on a feeling. But then again, I base a ton of my decisions on my gut/how I'm feeling so I can't blame him for doing that as well (that's exactly where my opinion/preference on circumcision came from too - simply how I feel about it rather than data).  

So I guess my question is this. Do I just say okay since I've told him from the beginning I'll support whatever he wants to do? Do I ask for more solid reasons from him so I can feel a little better about it? I guess I just really didn't expect that we wouldn't see eye to eye on this particular decision. I'm still feeling weird that our opinions don't match on this and I'm not sure if I should just suck it up or pursue the conversation more. 

TL; DR: I told DH from Day One that he could have the final say on the circumcision debate and now that he's made it (and our preferences don't match) I'm having a hard time accepting it. Wondering what to do.

Re: Circumcision Question

  • Hmm that is tough, I guess my advise would be to talk to him gently about your concerns on your behalf and give him a chance to do the same.
    But since you've already told him he gets final say I'd say stick to your word.
    See it the other way around, if you were having a daughter and there was a decision to be made over the vagina you'd be the one more informed - even if it is just a gut feeling- because you've got more experience in that department.
    I hope you can work through it and see eye to eye on the choice that is made
    mrs14678Beckah31LMJL
  • dec15mum said:
    Hmm that is tough, I guess my advise would be to talk to him gently about your concerns on your behalf and give him a chance to do the same. But since you've already told him he gets final say I'd say stick to your word. See it the other way around, if you were having a daughter and there was a decision to be made over the vagina you'd be the one more informed - even if it is just a gut feeling- because you've got more experience in that department. I hope you can work through it and see eye to eye on the choice that is made
    Such a good point. I would absolutely want him to trust my choice if it was a decision about female anatomy even if it was just a gut as well. 
    dec15mumnannananna
  • Loading the player...
  • Is he feeling a little confused because of everything he's gone through? (I feel like I remember you sharing a story on that crazy circumcision thread awhile back but I could be wrong.)

    I personally left it to my husband completely but we also shared the same views on the topic. Can you two sit down and do some research together? Maybe that would make it less confusing for the both of you.
  • I let my SO make the decision. I know nothing about a penis so I left the decision up to him. As pp said, if it was a female decision, I think SO would agree that I should make it. He decided he wanted him to get the circumcision, which is fine by me. He gave me some reasonings for it (he is circumsized being one of them.) however I didn't really feel it necessary for him to give me reasoning. Everyone is different though!! I hope you can see eye to eye and settle it together!
    VesperLove
  • Is he feeling a little confused because of everything he's gone through? (I feel like I remember you sharing a story on that crazy circumcision thread awhile back but I could be wrong.) I personally left it to my husband completely but we also shared the same views on the topic. Can you two sit down and do some research together? Maybe that would make it less confusing for the both of you.
    No, I didn't share a story. From what I know, it's never been a huge deal to him and this is the first time he's every really had to think about the fact that a decision was made for him and there were actually two ways it could have gone. I think that's part of what is hard for him. He's trying to figure out if he would have preferred the opposite outcome or if he missed out on anything or what. Which I totally get. 

    I think I'm just feeling like if I bring it up with him again he is going to feel like I'm going against my word of just trusting his judgment and supporting his decision. But, while I do feel that I'm just going to go with him on this, I would like a little more information so I'll either be doing more research on my own or I'll find a way to bring it up again that doesn't sound like I'm trying to change his mind but rather just wrap my head around this other option a bit more. 
    ACarter0914LMJL
  • kcas123 said:
    I let my SO make the decision. I know nothing about a penis so I left the decision up to him. As pp said, if it was a female decision, I think SO would agree that I should make it. He decided he wanted him to get the circumcision, which is fine by me. He gave me some reasonings for it (he is circumsized being one of them.) however I didn't really feel it necessary for him to give me reasoning. Everyone is different though!! I hope you can see eye to eye and settle it together!
    Thanks for the response! I think you're totally right. There doesn't really need to be a reason. If he feels strongly about it then that's that. I would expect the same from him. It's definitely hard to have differing opinions on a big decision point but the fact is that it's not something that I am as qualified to make a decision on, and that's not a bad thing. 
  • tesarytesary
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited November 2015
    DH and I have different opinions on this subject but I have decided to let him make the final decision. My only request was that he researched both options. I am trusting him to make decision for our son since I don't have a penis. It is really hard for me to give up control on this though.
    VesperLove
  • I'm with some of the other PPs. I let DH make the final decision. I would have made a different decision if it was just up to me and I explained my reasoning to him, but he felt pretty strongly about it and I didn't as much, so he's made the decision. And, honestly, either way is probably fine, it's just a preference. There are pros and cons both ways. If one way was clearly better, there would be regulations or stronger recommendations from OBs and pediatricians one way or the other.
    VesperLove
  • I didn't really have a strong preference with our first son (or this one for that matter.) As everyone else has mentioned, you should be supportive of your husband's choice. I look at it this way; though I'd rather keep him natural, but my husband has gotten along just fine without foreskin.  

    Good luck with everything! 
    kristen2bLMJL
  • I'm not sure I have any advice, just a similar experience.  Let me start by saying that DH and I do not seek medical attention unless we absolutely have to, and we do not proceed with medical interventions unless we can justify to ourselves that it is fully merited. 

    I actually said the same exact thing to DH about circumcision and told him that it was ultimately up to him.  We were asked at each appointment if we were going to circumcise and my doctor gave me her recommendation, then suggested that we YouTube it, do the research, and then come to a final decision.  We did just that. Researched, watched YouTube, and researched again.  We discussed how we each felt about it and why we felt that way.  We were split on the decision, one to circumcise and one to not.  Because each of us felt strongly one way, he made the final decision to not circumcise because he could not justify it to himself as medically necessary.

    All of that being said, the difference between my situation and yours is that my husband gave me a firm and valid reason for why he wanted to proceed the way he did, and it doesn't sound like your husband has done this, at least not to the detail you need.  I would need more information from him as well to be comfortable with whatever decision he made, especially if I was at odds with that decision.  I think you should bring it up to your husband, let him know that you're still working this through in your mind, and ask him to elaborate more on why he's making the decision he is so that you can be more comfortable with it.
    VesperLove
  • Hmmm interesting! I'm surprised that so many of you left this decision up to your partners! I see the reasoning but it never even occurred to me. I figure, I'm growing and carrying this baby, it was my decision for sure. DH does happen to support it even though he felt differently at first. (We're staying intact). Anyways, if you're unsure, I would just have one more serious conversation about it. Sorry you guys are having a hard time! We are not agreed on names so I do know the feeling.
    VesperLoveGingermom15MorganW24himmc
  • I agree that you should stick to your primary promise, however, I do believe you need him to have a more concrete opinion. Tell him that. Even though you made it his decision, it's too big of a decision for you to just let happen without him having a reason for it. Did that make sense?

    You don't want this to become problem down the road. Remind him that even though you want him to decide, you need more than just "a feeling."
    VesperLoveJackJacktheCat
  • I let DH make the decision for Dom to have a circumcision. If I were on my own I would not have had it done, but DH was strongly for it so we went with having it done. Plus, his surgeon is a guy we were very comfortable with.
    Married 05.19.07 | Together since 03.11.00 | Dom Born 02.06.12 
    image 
    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers 

    Pregnancy Ticker

    VesperLove
  • Yeah, for me it would come down to how strongly I felt about it. If it was a disagreement I felt was worthwhile I would inquire more about the reasoning. If I could make myself be fine with his decision even though it was different than mine, I would probably go that way. I made the same decision to leave it up to DH, and he felt strongly one way early on, then recently changed his mind. That made me a little curious/concerned, and he can't seem to articulate a solid reason why he changed his mind, but for me it isn't worth the potential disagreement, so I am just accepting the "it's my gut" answer. It's obviously okay if you are different though and do think it is worth a disagreement.
    Beckah31VesperLove
  • I can relate. My wife and I don't agree however I know I will most likely agree because my only reasoning is that its not medically mecessary and nothing else. She has more than 1 reason.

    My advise would be to uphold your promise. I can absolutely understand 100% that as PP have stated as a mans decision on their own body parts weights more. I do however (and can relate) that you have valid feelings that need concrete information to feel at peace with your acceptance. So I recommend you begin the conversation reiterating once again that you will support his decision, you just need him to take some time to articulate the reasons behind them aside from gut.
    VesperLove
  • **super lurker - first post**

    I also like so many others of you have left this decision up to my husband, but in the end we are on the same page. I think you do have to trust his decision since that's what you told him you would do... However, to me from reading your post I would probably be struggling more with it since he admitted he's not 100%. If me and DH were in the situation where he choose the opposite of what I was thinking but I knew he was 100% on board with his decision I would completely trust him no more questions asked, but it might be worth bringing up again just to put your mind at ease and if nothing else it might push him to be more confident in his decision.


    VesperLove
  • So I had always thought if we had a boy I would let DH make the choice (as everyone here has mentioned, *generally* speaking the not pregnant partner is the one with the penis, so he would know ... right?). My last two pregnancies this was easy to adhere to since they were both girls. This time around, we had a little boy. And suddenly I wasn't sure that I could live with myself by just handing the reins over to DH about something that could do more harm than good. I agonized over the "but I don't have a penis and he does and obviously he would know best" line of thinking.

    But I also knew my DH had done little to no research on the cons of having the procedure done (or as to why we actually do circumcisions routinely in the U.S.). So, I told him I would back his choice if a) he did some research for both sides of the argument and b) watched a video of an infant being circumcised (and I wasn't asking him to watch one of the "shock value" ones - just a routine one).

    After telling me for months that we would for sure do the procedure (and me saying that while I would have a hard time when they took him away for it and while it was healing, I would respect DH's choice - BUT he still had to watch the video and do his research). About a month ago, I asked him what he thought and if he'd looked any more into the research for both options. He said he had decided to leave our son intact (much to my surprise).

    I don't know where you stand with it. I think it is fair to tell him that while you will stand by his choice you do need to know why the choice was made for you to be able to be ok with it. If he grumbles say you aren't backing out of anything but you just need to know the actual thought process behind his decision so you can feel 100% about your "mutual" decision. Sure - DH and DS are the ones with the equipment but you are the mother who has to be able to say she was happy and confident in the choice (one way or the other).
    VesperLovedec15mumLMJL
  • I agree with a PP that I also wasn't just leaving this up to my husband because he has a penis. I gave him final decision powers on our son's name but not his penis. Just because I don't have one doesn't mean I don't want a say in what does or doesn't happen to my son's body. Now we do happen to agree, or more so he "doesn't care". He knows I've read and thought and stressed over this decision way more than he ever would so I would be more informed than he.

    My brother and SIL have 3 boys and apparently they also had a hard time agreeing. My brother was adamant for circumcision and my SIL hated her babies in pain. So much so she's said for the first week or two of their lives she will not change a diaper and my brother has to do ALL the diaper changes because it upsets her to see the healing penis. So because of that i think it's important for you and your husband to come to a conclusion that you're both comfortable with and neither are compromising so one isn't resenting the other if there is an issue (with either outcome).
    [Deleted User]VesperLove
  • Relationships are hard, conversations on super tough subjects are even harder. I would recommend you sit down and be frank. Yes I respect your feelings, yes I want to make this decision together with primary input from you, but I really want to understand where you are coming from on this issue, tell me more about how you are feeling about it.
    BabyFetus Ticker

    DD May 2005
    MC Nov. 2012
    MC Aug. 2014
    Chemical Feb. 2015
    VesperLoveJackJacktheCat
  • My OB gave me good advice when we found out we were having a boy. She said for couples that can't decide or reach an agreement about circumcision, her recommendation is to do for the son whatever the dad has. Little boys will ask questions and it makes things so much easier if father and son are the same. She also mentioned that she won't perform a circumcision if the parents can't agree.
    VesperLoveJackJacktheCatmrs14678TomekiaB
  • I don't think it matters if the person making the decision has a penis or not. It is a medical decision so I think a review of medical facts is the most important thing. Just my (unpopular) opinion but that's how we agreed we'd approach it and after a thorough review of medical info we came to the same conclusion.
    MorganW24mj6247
  • I agree, Ill let my husband decide. I let him decide also with our first son. I think you should both sit down and really list out the pros and cons or what it is that has you both unsure. I've heard if you do decide to have your child circumsized that it's best to do it while they are an infant than wait later on. Another idea would be to meet with your doctor and have them list the pros and cons. I've met doctors who went both ways on the matter, so it'll be good to get a medical professionals opinion. Stay away from google. It's just a headache. Best of luck, and I'm sure whichever route you take it'll be what's best for your son.
  • Cmagno said:
    I don't think it matters if the person making the decision has a penis or not. It is a medical decision so I think a review of medical facts is the most important thing. Just my (unpopular) opinion but that's how we agreed we'd approach it and after a thorough review of medical info we came to the same conclusion.
    I see where you're coming from and totally respect that. For us though it was hard to negate the social impacts of it as well. While not nearly as important as the medical facts, the social arguments still can often weigh the decision. And for those, I don't think that I had the same perspective that he would have. I didn't have this decision made for me and potentially wish it had been different later. I have no idea if it really matters if you look the same as your dad. I have no idea what goes on in a boys' locker room and if they really do make fun of differences. Those are only things that he can share perspective on so I felt as though I didn't have the knowledge or background to truly make a case in those respects. We could both do the medical research but he would always have the one-up when it comes to those other potential arguments that for us were also a part of the decision making process. 

    That being said, while I did the medical research as well I didn't find it to lean my decision much one way or the other.r. I've read medical information that supported both sides and neither side really stood out for me. I found myself basing my preference simply on what I had experience with (with DH, etc) and what would make me most comfortable ... and to me, that wasn't reason enough to push for one particular side. Which, in the end, is why I was okay leaving DH to decide. 
  • @VesperLove that's perfectly fair, because the medical facts really don't lean one way versus the other. The American academy of pediatrics stance on the subject is really to have no stance at all. They have come to the conclusion that the deciding factor really is social and it's a choice for parents to decide because the pros and cons are pretty equal.
    BabyFetus Ticker

    DD May 2005
    MC Nov. 2012
    MC Aug. 2014
    Chemical Feb. 2015
    VesperLoveLMJL
  • I'm not sure if every man has a different experience with this but if it helps my husband said he never even gave one thought to circumcision his entire life. He said he never even knew that was a "thing" that was done until he was in middle or highschool...this coming from a guy who IS circumcised haha
    I'm saying this because I've asked him the questions you mentioned asking your husband like if he ever wished his parents made the opposite decision. And that was his response, he literally never put one thought to it and if he was missing out because of his lack of foreskin.
    So yeah, I think socially it must depend on the guy or the family? He also never saw other people's penises growing up. I suppose this helped us with our decision because if there was really peepee comparing sessions going on in locker rooms (in his experience) we'd maybe decide differently.
  • Interesting discussion. We have only discussed it once or twice--and by that I mean I asked DH what his thoughts were and he looked like a deer in the headlights. Religiously my parents chose it for my brother (christian) and my DH's family (Jewish) should have had it done ceremoniously but they didn't due to the political climate at the time where they lived (DH moved to the USA as a teen). Anyway, since DH isn't but really should have been based on his heritage I'm not sure what the right answer is...but I dread the thought of the healing process. I know DH's uncle actually had it done as an adult due to their religious heritage. To further complicate or maybe simplify things we are overseas and it is less common here I don't think we feel strongly enough about it to fight the local medical providers about it if they are resistant to the procedure.
  • Like a PP mentioned, I'm surprised so many people left this decision up to the guy! We made the decision like most of the decisions we make, which was basically just us both sharing our opinions and weighing out pros/cons. I felt much more strongly about the subject than my husband and had done more research, but I definitely didn't force him to agree to anything.

    While it's something I feel strongly about, I would have considered doing it the other way if my husband felt really strongly about it for specific reasons.

    I don't think it matters that you told him he could make the final decision and now you're not sure if you feel that way- it's human to change your mind or to realize you feel more strongly about something than you thought you would. It sounds like you're less concerned about the fact that he has a different opinion than you & more uneasy about the lack of reasoning and research.

    Definitely share your discomfort and see if further conversation helps!

    kathleeeenroseCmagno
  • I planned to let my husband make the final decision, with discussion first though. He had two very specific reasons for his preference so we went with it. My gut told me to do the opposite of him, but since he has personal experience I decided to respect his wishes. Our doctor said that in our region the rate is about 50/50 and there wasn't strong medical evidence supporting one over the other so I'm ok with this being a decision on preference rather than medical necessity.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards