December 10, 2009

Raising Boys and Due Diligence

In the name of Allah, compassionate & merciful بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Peace be with you السلام عليكم

If my son ever reads this blog he will probably be VERY embarrassed but I must post about this topic as I am passionate about it.
Most if not all Muslim parents circumcise their baby boys nearly immediately after birth. This is how I feel about it.

omg! Do you realize that some hospitals DO NOT use anesthesia when performing circumcisions or do not wait long enough for the anesthesia to take place. I birthed at home so I didn't have to worry about it and I interviewed people to make sure that they were QUALIFIED and with EXPERIENCE as well as REFERRALS. You think this is a joke but it isn't! Its not like it will grow back and its no big deal. They only get ONE and we are thier custodians so do your due diligence. In high school I remember being forced to watch the story of a man who's circumcision had gone terribly wrong and a decision was made to raise him as a girl including giving him hormones. AGAIN, this is an extreme example but it is the example SEARED in to my brain.

Think about it this is very important aspect of being male and it will eventually have repercussions when he is old enough to get married. I know its gross to go there but lets be serious about body parts that don't belong to us. Also most parents don't go into the operating room with their baby boys. How else are you going to make sure it is done right? Do you realize that the people performing the operation are more careful when they think they are being watched?

We live near a very large Orthodox Jewish community with a hospital that had an excellent reputation. I wanted to make sure my son got the very best, most experienced individual OUT THERE. After interviewing people I realized that having my newborn in a hospital setting wasn't going to fly, specially since he would have an open wound and am scared of infections.

We started interviewing mohels (a Jewish man who has practice doing circumcisions) and ended up with a woman mohel. She was highly recommended by both my midwives (one of them was a practicing Jew and she knew her and said that the mohel was also practicing) and other mothers. She was very kind to me and calmed me down when I was freaking out about the whole thing. I also liked that she had an indepth post circ care set up and she and I bonded over having the same fears.

My son had his circumcision done at home with topical anesthesia by a professional, board certified nurse and mohel while being comforted by his father (14 days after he was born). There was no way I could be in the room at all. I was torn because I had just gone through an un medicated, gentle birth and I was about to let someone cut my baby. The moment it was done I ran to my son and nursed him.

She gave me instructions on how to take care of it. THANK GOD she told me NOT to add more anesthesia when she left (I was about to do it) as it burns the skin if there is an opening. She gave me her cell phone and house number where I could reach her if there were any complications. The circumcision my husband said was performed very quickly and neatly. My son urinated normally and nursed normally. I was shocked at how normal he was as I was expecting non stop crying. He healed in less than a week. SubhanaAllah.

little info on mohels
The mohel is specially trained in circumcision and the rituals surrounding the procedure. Many mohelim are doctors or rabbis (and some are even both) or cantors. However, all are required to receive appropriate training both from the religious and medical fields.
I also found out that the board that certified her for circs had a rule that before they accredit you the potential mohel must perform a circumcision on their own child or someone related to them. I felt more comfortable choosing someone like that because I felt they would be more careful with my son. (and yes I did make sure she had credentials)

I BEG YOU that if you give birth in the hospital PLEASE don't hand your baby off to the first person that comes knocking. Do your research and please don't leave your child alone while the procedure is being done.

[edit] she also had over 20 years (close to 30yrs) of experience. I prayed istikhara about it and I felt very good with my decision. Tie your camel and trust in Allah swt.


Gabby Hijabi said...

you have guts. I wish i could have birthed my baby at home, but to be honest i dont think i could have lasted through the contractions.

Before we left the hospital we had him circumsized. It took over a week for him to heal and he would become fussy whenever he had even the slightest bit or urine. If it was longer than 5 mins or so after he urinated he would start to scream.

The first few days I was afraid to touch him because it was an open sore (duh) and i didnt want to cause him more pain. ( i almost passed out when i changed him for the 1st time after because his diaper was almost filled with blood) I freaked out and i was crying. Hubby cried more than me. But he kept saying in Egypt (south) the villages usually do it when the boy is 5 or 6 yrs old, and most of all the boys remember it. YIKES!

Anyways they said i had to use clean gauze each time i changed him to clean the area with water only and then apply pet. jelly to the gauze for several days and "stick it" to his "panini" to act as a barrier so the diaper wouldnt rub against it.

I think your one strong woman for enduring labor at home!!!!

NtN said...

MashaAllah. I still love that you used a mohel. They definitely know what they're doing. :)

AlabasterMuslim said...

so we've seen the same documentary! the way you spoke about it was pretty accurate, the whole thing has been burned into my memory.
I've been researching about the mohels, (its been my dream since i was little to have my children at home), and i read part of their practice is to suck the blood from the baby's penis with their own mouth. ick. But hopefully thats not how they all work. The only thing i'm not sure about is if i could get one, since i'm muslim, and i do not want any rituals done you know....inshallah when the time comes everything will play out right.

AlabasterMuslim said...

Oh yeah, and i always thought that i would not want to see my son be circumcised... but now i think i will so that whoever is doing it will be more careful, inshallah.

.::Tuttie::. said...

@ Queen in the USA they do it when they are newborn. Once they get older there is virtually NO ONE willing to perform the circumcision. The only option would be to go to a Jewish Temple to speak to the people who deal with converts. As there are some men who specialize in performing circumcision on other adult males.

@ Al. all the other practices dealing with the Bris is only performed on the 7th day from the birth of the child and they don't just randomly perform it. My mohel just did the circ procedure and that was it. NO need to mention I didn't want anything extra.

Also mohels don't deliver babies they are just specialized in circs. It just so happened that the one I chose was a certified nurse midwife so she indeed would have been able to help me deliver and perform the circs but that is RARE.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Its rare to find a Dr. who will circumcise an older child. Apparently there is a Pakistani woman Dr. here in Portland who does it under the table. That said, I would probably research and see about having a mohel do it too if I ever have a boy.
I would have loved a home-birth but if freaked my hubby out, so we did a water birth at a birth center attached to a hospital. Still no drugs though woo hoo!

hispanic muslimah said...

I appreciate your honesty and that you brought this topic up.
I don't think many people think about circumcision until they have a baby boy of their own.
I had also heard of the man who had the circumcision done wrong and was turned into physically female by the doctors. On the circumcision topic, where I live there is a very large Muslim Somalian community. One of my close friends worked for a Doctor's clinic in our area that served primarily low income new immigrants. She told me of the horror she witnessed as quite a few African women came in with messed up genitalia and health issues from female circumcision.
In general, my feeling is the people prefer to pretend they are unaware about things that bother them...that is until something affects them directly.