A Big Day for Little Daniel

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So. This might not seem exciting to many people, and I’m not claiming it was exciting for me either – just kind of a big day in Daniel’s life.  We took him to the US Air Force Base that we always go to for his circumcision.  Here in the UK they have a “Circumcision Center of the UK” – there’s one of them, and it’s an hour and a half away.  We could have had it done there for about $150, but it was free on the Air Force Base.  They don’t do them at public or private hospitals in the UK unless it’s for a medical reason – and our reason would be considered “cultural,” since we choose to have it done because most people in America have it done.  They recommend in the US that if your baby’s father is circumcised then you should circumcise the baby so that he won’t be confused about why he looks different if he were not.  Over here, though, NO ONE has it done.  Some of the other wives of foreign students at John’s school were chatting with me when I went to the Royal Ascot a month ago, and apparently it’s a completely unheard of thing all over Europe as well.  I was aware that Americans were the only ones who still routinely did it (other than Jewish people – which is a “religious” reason for having it done, and also not one supported by the hospitals here), but I had no idea that the rest of the world absolutely doesn’t do it and thinks it’s weird.

That’s about all that needs to be said about the topic since it’s not one for which I can post a picture or anything – but the rest of the day was spent at the base as well.  We played around outside for a bit on a pretty lawn in the sunshine and then headed in for a late lunch at the Subway there, then over to the commissary for our last shopping trip (!) Hard to believe we are leaving here so soon!!  By the time we made it home it was 6:45pm, and I must admit to having become overstressed and a bit freaked out when I opened his diaper at feeding time.  This is my second boy, but I didn’t remember that I felt this sad for the little man the last time.  The kids played outside for a while and are now showering off their itchiness (incurred from some rolling around in the grass).  Since this post is mostly about Daniel, I decided to update you with a few Daniel pictures taken over the last couple of days…

Patience, Daniel, Claire, Gabriel, and Greer

Claire, Daniel, Patience, and Liesl

Greer, Grandma Rickwalt, and Daniel

Getting on time for bed now – just a few questions for you now!!

Did you/would you circumcise your son? (This is a big topic of contention in European countries right now, so it’s being discussed online here in America, too)

Do you drive long distances to go to a certain grocery store to save money or to buy certain things?

How long did you wait post partum (if this applies to you) to start running? I’m starting to feel the urge but know I’m not setting foot out there until I get a decent amount of sleep!

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10 thoughts on “A Big Day for Little Daniel

  1. In Kenya (and I assume most African countries) public health workers recommend circumcisions because there’s apparently a correlation between being circumcised and less risk of contracting the HIV virus. It’s definitely not an indigenous practice there, and also a big topic of contention.

    I just drove to Ala Moana to have my Fossil watch battery changed at the Fossil store. I don’t know if that counts as a “long” distance, but it did require some planning ahead. I will drive long distances for food I especially like 🙂

    I know you must be eager to get running again, but I think waiting til you have a good night’s sleep is a good plan.

  2. We didn’t do it. In the US, fewer than half of boys are now being circumcised, and that number continues to go down each year. So it is less common here now, too. The AAP recommends against it, unless medically indicated. Many insurance policies (including most government-funded/subsidized policies) no longer cover it.

    The history behind it in the US is that JW Kellog’s (of corn flakes fame) brother promoted the procedure during the American Victorian era as a way to discourage masturbation. Somehow his crazy notions caught on, and it became routine in the US — so much so that parents didn’t even give consent for it to be performed; it was assumed that everyone would want it done.

    It is only in the last decade that we’ve seen the trend break. This seems to mainly be due to parents opting to avoid elective procedures — and, for others, a belief that the foreskin has a function and is there for a reason (like tonsils or the appendix). Then still others believe the procedure is mutilation (and that’s where the debate gets contentious).

    There is some variation from one area of the country to another. It’s still relatively common in most parts of the midwest, for example, while the West Coast sees it a lot less.

    The one possible benefit of circumcision is that it may reduce the risk of transmitting certain STDs. There does not appear to be greater risk of receiving an STD, but some studies suggest that one can be passed more easily if the male partner is not circumcised. These studies are not conclusive enough for the AAP (or any other medical body) to recommend that all boys be routinely circumcised, though. The jury is still out. And condom use is even more effective against more STDs — and should be worn anyway — in scenarios when disease risk is a factor (i.e. outside of monogamous relationships).

    Anyway, it seems that these are the elements of the discussion I see batted around the most.

    We decided to leave the decision up to our boy and his penis. They already appear to have an established relationship, and we’ll let that be between them. 😉

    • I’m surprised with myself for not researching it more before my boys were born – but I think it’s because my first was a girl, and that’s when I did most of the pre-baby research. Thanks for the thoughtful response, though – I have – since being here – started read more things about some of what you mentioned, but it really never occurred to me not to do it until talking to so many her who find it so odd to circumcise. I think we’d do it anyway, though, for religious reasons if not for cultural ones – not that we’re Jewish, but we figure God must have told the Jews to do it for a good reason 🙂

  3. Corey,

    It’s interesting that you bring this up. We did circumcise Philip and I honestly thought everyone else was circumcising their boys too. I thought it was what mothers with boys did. Then, I started reading blogs and getting on natural parenting websites and realized it is a serious topic of debate.

    I don’t know whether I would’ve changed my mind having read all the articles about it prior to having Philip but it is definitely food for thought. Roughly 70% of the World is uncircumsised. Crazy, huh? And, like the previous poster mentioned, the statistics in the US are now a little over 50% (from what I’ve read).

    As far as the grocery store question, we are lucky to have my favorite store close to where we live. I would, however, drive pretty far in order to avoid having to shop at certain “box” stores (I won’t name names).

    • I know! I didn’t realize it was such a hot topic either! You would think I’d have researched it since I read everything I could get my hands on – or so I thought – about so many things before having our first baby – but that was a girl, so maybe that’s why it never surfaced. We were adamant about waiting til the 8th day so Vitamin K levels would be at their highest and because that’s when God had people doing it, but the thought of not doing it never crossed our minds. It wasn’t til moving here that I started to realize how rare it is outside of the US.

  4. We didn’t circumcise our little guy. My OB said only 50% of his patients do it (I was worried he might think he looked different than other kids). My father in law is a urologist and recommended that we not do it, as did our peditrician. We also live in Austin, which is probably more granola than most places. 😉

    I waited six weeks before running as my doctor prescribed though I felt good enough at four weeks. I did discuss it with my doctor who strongly advised me to wait and explained possible complications so I did. (I also had a c-section, so there’s a longer recommended wait time to resume exercise.)

  5. We didn’t circumcise with our boys either. I left it up to Tim and he was really against it. Someone made that argument to him about his boys being “different” than him, Tim pointed how silly the argument was since he’s not going to be standing around in the nude with his sons. I must admit I was greatful to not be put through (or have the boys put through) that trama too. I remember having talked about it with forgien officers at the Post Graduate school… they thought all americans were crazy to circumcise. It’s funny how this isn’t even something I would have lent a thought towards if I had never had a boy, ya know?

    • I know – I think it is so odd that it’s such a foreign concept over here and still so normal in America (although getting less and less normal all the time) – and that one would never know unless there was a conversation with someone from another country, and they had a boy! Hey it looks like we should be able to stop in on our way by – maybe for a meal or something like that? All I can say is- you’d better have some of those no-bake chocolate-peanut butter-oatmeal cookies waiting for me!! Hahahaha – I was loving those things this pregnancy!! 🙂 By the way, if you’re interested in the history of the circumcision stuff in the US – read my friend’s comment further back — she had lots of interesting things to say –

      • That would be so great for you to stop by… what are the dates you’tr travelling through? We are going to a wedding Sept. 15th in Michigan (one of my brothers is getting married) and are a little uncertain of when we’ll return. We can totally do a meal and the cookies will be a must! we could even send the kids to the pool for an hour if you want them worn out 🙂 let mw know!

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