From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was certain that I was having another girl. It was my second pregnancy, and my first girl was still in diapers. My kiddos would be almost exactly two years apart. My sleep deprived, overwhelmed pregnant self immediately dreamed up visions of my two adorable little girls wearing matching frilly outfits and dimpled smiles.
Needless to say, when I found out I was having a boy, it was a struggle to be excited because he was going to be, well, a boy. I immediately felt like a horrible mother. I mean, who on earth is actually disappointed about the gender of their baby?!
It took me awhile to figure out the source of my distress, but once I did, I didn’t feel quite so horrible. (Only a little bit ridiculous. Honestly, the gender of the kid isn’t a big deal. All us moms really want is a happy, healthy baby!)
So here’s the deal with having a boy, especially after having a girl first. Boys are hard. There are so many things to worry about when having and raising a boy that I hadn’t had to even think about when I was pregnant with my first baby. Out of all of the new things to worry about, which included buying all new baby gear so that he would not be decked out in hot pink his whole life, there was one glaring question that, frankly, scared the crap out of me.
To circumcise or not to circumcise?
Such a terrifying question! For some parents, it is an incredibly easy decision, and there are no “what-if’s” involved. Unfortunately, I overthink things, and by “things” I mean everything! This dilemma was no exception, and I agonized over it for months.
My husband didn’t have very strong feelings on it one way or the other, so I resorted to asking everyone who had boys what they had decided and why. My mom, his mom, the neighbor, co-workers, you name it. If I knew them, I asked them. There is nothing as awkward as having a conversation that goes like this,“Hi! Can I ask you a personal question? Did you circumcise your son? Can you explain why or why not to me?”
My scavenger hunt for advice was actually really helpful, so if you’re having a boy anytime soon, it doesn’t hurt to ask everyone you know what their decision was. However, I’m assuming that most moms-to-be might not want to ask everyone they know in order to make a decision. In all honesty, there is nothing so terribly embarrassing to talk about as whether or not to circumcise your son’s private parts. It’s kind of private, you know?
When I finally exhausted my supply of people willing to discuss their kids’ intact or not so intact penises, I turned to the internet and discovered that circumcision is actually a very divisive, controversial topic. All of the opinions I found online were very passionate, but all of the nonbiased information is very unhelpful. There is no concrete medical opinion on what is best for the health of the child, so it is solely up to parents to make this decision. We simply have to weight the pros and cons and decide, and that can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.
In the end, I let my husband decide whether or not to circumcise our son, and everything turned out just fine. However, for all of you moms-to-be who, like me, need a little more information before making the circumcision decision, here are a few of the websites that I found to be the most helpful!
1. KidsHealth.org is a great, non-biased site that offers valuable information to parents:
2. The American Association of Pediatrics is another great resource:
As you and your partner ponder the difficult task of making this decision for your baby boy, always remember that your pediatrician is your best resource! Friends, family, and informational articles are always welcome advice, but the doctor is, as always, the expert!