With the upheaval of the results of my first trimester blood screen (hint: higher than normal likelihood of birth defects. Boo.) I still found a silver lining in the cloud. Since we're passing on the invasive genetic testing . . . we're getting a rad, sci-fi ultrasound!
Normal babies get the grainy black and white scans you're used to seeing. They are boring 2D images of . . . is that a foot? Heart, check. Lungs, see ya in the lobby. But us - we're getting the latest, greatest most supersonic ultrasound Northwestern can cook up. It will be technicolor (not really) and made of Epcot-exhibit-worthy technology. We'll be able to see if that child has a mole on his or her thumb. This also gives us a much greater opportunity to see something definitive between the legs.
I was pretty excited about this until I realized we may see something new and definitive between the legs. Like a penis. Which means a son. Which threw a ton of bricks in my lap as I realized for the first time ever, I could be faced with the jarring decision of whether or not to circumcise my child.
I'm not trying to criticize anyone's decisions or turn the world on its end, I'm just trying to gather facts. Here is my mind so far:
The pros to circumcision
- His nether regions will match 90% of other white American males
- Apparently it is easier to put a condom on a circumcised penis. Not that I care now, but when I have an 18-year-old I'm sending off to (an Ivy league, scholarship funded) college I want it to be easy to make the right decision. Like not making me a grandma in my 40s.
- I'm not a guy, but they say on the interwebs it's a hygiene issue. Let's pretend I'm not mortified right now. Exhale.
Arguments against circumcision:
- Why are we systematically mutilating males for no apparent reason when there are federal laws against doing such things to females?
- Just because everyone is doing it, doesn't make it right. See: Segregation, the Holocaust, restaurant employees not washing hands.
- If my son wants it done, it can always be done later. The key here is consent. Surgically removing 20% of the surface of a sensitive, healthy organ isn't reversible like piercing your ears.
- According to some theories, Pfizer is staying in business selling Erectile Dysfunction drugs because of circumcision. The "natural" man has a fully functioning organ. The western man has a mutilated organ that has been desensitized over time after being robbed of its protective gear. (Also, the western man probably has devalued real estate, a sinking 401k and a nagging wife. I'd be taking fun drugs too!)
Hey, maybe I am embarrassed to think and write about this. How do you think I felt googling "uncircumcised penis" with my husband? But if I've learned anything about this mom stuff it's that your own ego doesn't matter anymore - just a healthy baby. And maybe avoiding mom jeans.
"Not cool, Western Civilization." - baby