What’s So Great About Granola?

****Before you start reading, I just want to let you know that I am not writing this post to offend anyone. I am not writing this to say that people made wrong choices or judging anyone in particular. This is just a post about my decisions with two interesting topics, one harder than the other. If you take offense, do not post in the comments, because that is NOT my intent. I am writing about what I have learned and what I have decided for me and my family. Not yours, and not anyone else’s. SO if you are offended, get over it, and realize this isn’t about you****

A lot of the people I follow on twitter are of a mainly ‘crunchy’ crowd. Natural childbirth, cloth diapering, not circumcising, unattended childbirthing women. They ask me a lot of hard questions, and they have helped me wonder about a lot of different things most days.

Last night, I posted a tweet that read, “Why is there so little faith in a woman’s body? Is it so hard to trust that a woman’s body knows how to give birth?”

I didn’t get any comments on it for a few hours. When I finally did, it was an anti-circumcision group that responded, “What about the baby boy’s body? His penis does not need surgery”. I have fought with a lot of the anti-circ women and a lot of the time it just ended in an ugly debate with them calling me selfish and all that stuff. This time I told them I still hadn’t decided and I would eventually make the choice that was best for me and my family.

Instead of arguing with me about it, they took what I said! That at first said a lot to me. If they didn’t want to argue, that in itself was amazing. I asked them a few questions, and she sent me a link to a new circumcision photoshoot a doula had just done. She has some amazing photographs of birth and cesareans that are extremely powerful considering they are just photographs. I had heard about the circumcison one and couldn’t bring myself to look at it. Since the person I was talking to had been so nice, I decided to take a look.

(This is the link.. beware it is truly graphic)

I took a look at the photographs, and the power of them had me in tears. I had seen videos and other photographs of circumcision and none of them had hit me this hard. She has such a way with images and it is absolutely incredible.

After I saw these, I only had one thought in my head, “This will never happen to my children.” I hadn’t thought about the different ways of it, or the reasons, I just had a gut reaction to it. After this reaction, I talked to an amazing woman (devaskyla, you rock!) and was able to talk through it.

Now, this analogy might not make sense to anyone else, but this is how I view it. (And I know there is a difference between a cesarean and a circumcision, just bare with me).

I saw the pictures of that little boy strapped to a table with tears running down his cheeks, and all I could see is myself. I was strapped to a table while my child was cut out of my body. He was strapped to a table while they cut off a piece of his body. I had no comfort during the surgery except my husband holding my hand. He had no comfort during his surgery except his pacifier.

The only thing I could think is that if I do not want to have to have an unnecessary surgery for myself, why would I want to make my sons go through an unnecessary surgery, even if they won’t remember? I still have nightmares about my cesarean and what happened afterward. I know it is different for a baby, or people say it is, but what if it isn’t? What if they truly remember, just don’t know how to announce that they do?

I don’t want to get into the reasons for a circumcision. There are tons for and against. For me, it’s not about better sex, or cleanliness, or an open sore on my baby. It’s about putting my son through something that in my mind is as unnecessary as my cesarean was. I know they aren’t on the same playing field. I’m not a retard (even though I’m sure some people would think that or I’m completely crazy).

So, after watching this, I turned to look at my husband, and asked him “What would you think if I told you I don’t want our sons circumcised?” He looked at me and said, “I have a penis. You don’t. It’s my decision.” I looked at him and asked if he wanted to see some photos. He then laughed and said, “I know you research a lot. If you want to do something, I don’t care either way.”

I thought it would be tons harder than that!!

So, onto the second subject. A lot of the moms I follow cloth diaper. I have always had my doubts, even though my mom cloth diapered me. The one thing that got to me is how gross it is. But once you think about it, my job is pretty gross to some people. So gross shouldn’t really phase me!

All the women I talk to that cloth diaper talk about how much cheaper it is. Cheaper is always nice haha. The other parts were that their babies got fewer rashes, potty trained faster and better, and they had less leaks out of their diapers. My daughter would leak out of so many diapers when she was little. I hated it. If I could just stop that with the next, I’m pretty sure I’m on board!

With this one, I turned to my husband again and asked him, “What would you say if I wanted to cloth diaper our next.” He looked at me and said, “When did you become such a hippy?” I laughed at him, knowing it was true, and he just said, “As long as you do the laundry, I don’t care.”

So, we are going to try cloth diapering with our next too!!

It was definitely an interesting night. Two decisions that I have been debating for months suddenly came so easy. And now I keep thinking about how I couldn’t possibly know it before now. It all seems so perfect.

******* Now I guess it is open to comments. Remember, I do NOT want any bashing. If you bash it, I will delete your comment. If you put your opinion in a nice way or if you comment without being a brute, your comment can stay. This is a personal decision for me and my family. This has no baring on your family, or people you know, or what you have done in the past. This is just about me! *******


16 Responses

  1. I got goosebumps as I was reading (the first part on circumcision). And I'm not sure why, but it made me cry. Blame the preggo hormones! 🙂 Anyway, I was also sent that website with the incredible pictures. We still decided to circumcise. I truly admire your decision and I think I started crying because it was a REALLY hard decision for us to make and we still don't know if it's 100% the right thing to do… you know? You just hope you're doing your best. And when I read something as compelling as this post that's against circumcision, it puts all that doubt in my head about what we're doing. Not that that's a bad thing! I mean, your post was written wonderfully and respectfully. As I said.. it's just a reallyreallyreally hard decision and I wish it would have come to us easier as it did for you once you saw those pictures.Anyyywayy! Congrats on the 2 decisions, I know what a load off your shoulders it is once you get things like that figured out! Best of luck 🙂

  2. "I saw the pictures of that little boy strapped to a table with tears running down his cheeks, and all I could see is myself. I was strapped to a table while my child was cut out of my body. He was strapped to a table while they cut off a piece of his body. I had no comfort during the surgery except my husband holding my hand. He had no comfort during his surgery except his pacifier."WOW that makes my heart ache! I see the connection and I think its a good one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, wonderful post!Toni

  3. Oh, also, I did see your tweet last night ("Why is there so little faith in a woman's body? Is it so hard to trust that a woman's body knows how to give birth?") and although I didn't reply, I thought about it for quite awhile. It is sad… but I, for one, have total faith!!!

  4. You know I am one of your few not so granola friends. I am a happy csectioner. (though I will admit the water birth you just posted was amazing). All three of my sons were circ'd. I was not too thrilled about it but dh was adamant.Since odds are if we are blessed with another child, it would be another boy, we have discussed this at length over the years and dh is starting to lean toward not doing it. I shudder to think that my first was circ'd with NO pain meds. I was a first time mom and had no idea what the norm was for this. I Just assumed they numbed the area. I was heart broken after to find out they did not.Its a matter of personal choice I guess.

  5. I completely agree that if I don't want to go through an unecessary surgery, that I shouldn't want that for my child either. I am so grateful that I had two daughters first and not a son, because I know that we would have just chosen to circ, just because it's what most people do and because my husband is. I have a much different perspective now, and as I see it unless there is a good medical reason to do it, I'm not going to allow it to happen to my child. If he decides when he is an adult that he wants to be circ'ed than he can make that decision at that time.

  6. I just don't understand how someone with such strong opinions and view points would try to ward off negative comments. Most times I disagree with you every now and then and I wouldn't sit here and blatantly try to hurt your feelings but I wouldn't be cheering you on either. Make your blog private and select all same minded people if you feel that way.It just confuses me.

  7. Brilliant, brilliant post!

  8. Jasmine- I believe she was not wanting to be personally attacked for her decision, by requesting people not leave negative comments. If you are for circumcision, I think she'd welcome your point of view and your comments… as long as they can be presented in the same respectful manner that she wrote this post in. There's no need for either extreme (hurting her feelings OR cheering her on) if that's how you feel about it.

  9. Reading your blog made my Friday. Thank you.I was circumcised at birth and grew up to be the typical male. That is, I didn't show emotion and, other than for extreme pain, I didn't cry. You know, the strong, silent type.I am restoring my foreskin and I am surprised at the difference in my emotions. I got choked up reading your blog. I looked at Patti Ramos's pictures and my eyes welled up as I felt the baby's pain. For the first 50 years of my life I never responded this way. I can only attribute these newfound emotions and empathy to my restoration. Not only am I restoring my foreskin, I am restoring my life that I lost in that circumstraint so many years ago. I like the person I am becoming. I hope your son appreciates your decision.

  10. Wow! I talked to my hubby about it and he says "I don't have an anteater." So I think we'll get it done if our baby is a boy. I respect anyone's decision either way, and I think that's the thing… it's different for everyone. We've all just gotta respect eachother's decisions.My hubby is open to TRYING cloth diapering too, but I think the thing is that… We've gotta try it. I'm not gonna stock up and say that's what we're doing… DONE. We've gotta see what works for us.I'm not SOLD on the fact that it's WAY cheaper, I've read comparisons that show if you just use it on one child the water bills and stocking up on all of the sizes makes it about equal. Now if you save them… That's another story. But again… I thin it comes down to what you'd like to do and what works for your family. :)In regards to your tweet… I didn't see it, but I think it just comes down to the fact that everyone's different. Some people would rather just not "feel pain" and maybe lean towards drugs, I don't think that necessarily means they don't have faith in the woman's body, maybe they just don't want to do it "naturally" ;)I know some people may NOT have faith in the woman's body, but I don't think that's the meaning behind everyone's decisions in the way they choose to deliver.You have a passion for pregnancy and delivery which I think is beautiful, but I think for a lot of people.. They don't relish in the labor process. They just want to get their baby out in whatever means possible, safely, and care less about the details.

  11. It's it the most amazing feeling when you are so unsure of everything, and learning and then it all clicks. Your heart falls into this smooth comfortable place where you know what feels right. For me, some decisions took years to form and click, while others instantly. Funny about my husband, I think I have this 'out there' idea to chat with him about (think unassisted birth, elimination communication etc) and he is like "Well, what else did you think we'd do?" His support and open mindedness surprises me. When you find something that soothes your heart and matches with your family, it is a beautiful place to be. I'm so happy you've come to somewhere together with your husband. Warmth and love, Amber

  12. I know this is a bit of an older post but I wanted to add my congratulations to you for leaving your boy intact. I have such a hard time understanding why circumcision is so common in the US, as opposed to pretty much the rest of the first world, but I find it encouraging to see that more wonderful parents like you are giving it a second and third thought and choosing not to. Hopefully, one day infant and child circumcision will be history with the choice left to the individual. So congratulations and I hope your post gets others to think because the more people write about this the more people think about it. And I believe the more people think about it the more likely they are to realize, as you have, how pointless circumcision is. I admit I haven't even looked at the photos you linked. Even though I found some of her other pictures fascinating, to as see such a thing is too much for me to bare. (they were taken down anyway). Again congratulations to you and your lucky son. 🙂

  13. Circumcision has always been the personal choice of the parents. There are many considerations to take in before deciding what is right for the child. Reigion used to be the main one, however times have changed and now it is a matter of a question of cleanliness as well as ostracism. I do not envy the choice that parents need to make. Thank you for your insights.

  14. Thanks for your courage to write about your experience and decision on whether to circ or not. I was circd at the age of three and I can tell you it was a horrible and life altering event that should not have happened. I tell my self that part of me died that day! I'm 17 now and I have to live with the negative effects of my grandmothers decision to disfigure my body.

  15. To Bobby – the only "cleanliness" factor to consider is that intact penises are actually cleaner. Similarly, the "ostracism"/locker room argument is worn out. Our children all differ in a number of ways – there is no reason parents should cut their infant boy's penis to make him "match" his peers or his father. That's ridiculous.As to your post itself: awesome. This part: "I saw the pictures of that little boy strapped to a table with tears running down his cheeks, and all I could see is myself. I was strapped to a table while my child was cut out of my body. He was strapped to a table while they cut off a piece of his body. I had no comfort during the surgery except my husband holding my hand. He had no comfort during his surgery except his pacifier."made me cry. The sad fact is that over 90% of circumcisions in the US/Canada are STILL done with NO anesthesia. And then the babies rarely get pain meds after the procedure. It is people like you – people who aren't afraid to speak out – that are changing out cultural perceptions of this unnecessary medical procedure.Thank you for sharing your story.

  16. Interesting post…just saw a link to it on twitter
    Today, outside of the Islamic and Jewish communities, circumcision is uncommon here in the UK. According to current National Health Service guidelines, circumcision for religious or cultural reasons should only be carried out and paid for on a private basis.
    If parents give their consent for a baby to be circumcised (usually privately) then the baby usually has a local anaesthetic cream applied as its safer than a general anaesthetic. Adults who request non therapeutic circumcision usually have a general anaesthetic. Interestingly here in the uk the general consensus is that non therapeutic circumcision carry more risk of complication than advantages.

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