Doula? Circumcision?

I’ve got two things on my mind as of late: doulas and circumcision. This is one of those posts I’m posting because I’d really love to hear your advice.

Doulas

We’ve been leaning away from getting a labor doula, peeking into getting a postpartum doula.

I’ll mention that the OB and I seem to be on exact same page, which is very reassuring. No induction at 39 weeks, but close monitoring of cervix at 40 weeks on…if it looks like I’ll be going into labor on my own during the week between the 40-week mark and the 41-week mark, we wait for that to happen. If not, we induce at the 41 week mark (first day of week 41). This is based on research about older moms, older placentas, etc., and the fact that I am on a blood thinner and we assume that it will become less effective at creating good blood flow to baby the older the placenta becomes. My OB does not want to induce any earlier than that because baby boys’ (moreso than girls’) lungs are still developing in late gestation, and we want to avoid CPAP machines, risks of pneumonia, and so on. But with luck we will not have to induce at all. She would strongly prefer that I go into labor on my own, and give birth vaginally (of course), because that is the least risky situation. A friend who is 41 had a doula who recommended this same plan as mine and my OB’s. (I don’t need advice on this bit, by the way—we have a solid plan.)

So, in short, I’m not feeling the need for an advocate.

DH and I are doing hypnobirthing, which means that he will be my intimate partner throughout the birthing process. I know people say that the doula is there for both you and the husband, though. What else does a doula do, aside from advocate?

One more practical concern: We are going to have very little help after baby is born, and DH is taking only two weeks off (and working afternoons on some of those days). So a postpartum doula would probably be an enormous help to us. We can’t afford to hire both a labor doula and a postpartum doula. So, if I have the option of only one, I lean toward a postpartum doula.

Anyone care to share how much you spent on your doula experience?  Other experiences with doulas? Recommendations?

Circumcision

First off, I’d like to say that I understand why this is such a controversial issue, and why it brings out strong opinions and even anger. But if you’d like to voice your opinion, in a nice way, and with respect to commenters who might not have the same view as yours, I would love to hear all sides of this. We have discussed it, and are struggling.

Any respected, peer-reviewed research articles or studies you recommend we read, on either side?

If you had your son circumcised, what led to your decision? Can you describe the experience—before, after, problems, no problems?

If you did not have him circumcised, what led to your decision? Any concerns now?

Thank you, as ever, for your indispensable help!

 

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28 Comments

  1. We didn’t circumcise our boys – there’s no medical need (I can send you articles if no one else sends them along). If they would prefer to modify their bodies when they are older that’s their choice, we didn’t feel like we should make that choice for them. No problems with them being uncircumcised! , And of the 16 other baby boys in my mama’s group only 2 are circumcised.

    Reply
  2. Sunetra

     /  October 29, 2014

    Your OB seems awesome and so progressive. If she’s on the same page as you and DH is going to be your intimate support, then I don’t think you need a labor doula. I know a friend who had her birth plan typed up but seems like if you’ve expressed all this to your OB, then you’re all set. Also, for this same friend, I feel her husband needed the doula more than her. Meeting your DH only once I have a feeling he’s going to be very strong for you. :) xo

    Reply
  3. Sissy7

     /  October 29, 2014

    Hi! I’m so,so happy and excited for you. Very exciting news.
    On the circumcision, we did have our little guy circumcised. It was a pretty easy decision for us because his grandfather was not circumcised (TMI), and explained some of the problems he endured later on. We just felt that for us, it was the best way to go.
    We had it done the day after he was born in the hospital. I felt so horrible at the time, like I was allowing someone to harm my precious guy, but after I held him in my arms I knew I did the right thing.
    The cleaning part can be quite nerve racking in the beginning. I wrapped his part with gauze that was soaked in neosporin ( spelling??) and Vaseline so the gauze would not stick to the cut. He healed very quickly and after about two weeks I no longer needed to tend to it.
    From what I hear, it is much easier to keep that area clean and clear of infections if they are circumcised.
    Like you said, this subject is sensitive to some people, I do not knock anyone for not having their child circumcised, it’s just what worked better for us.
    Hope this helps a little.

    Reply
  4. futureMom

     /  October 29, 2014

    We had a doula for the birth. At my hospital you get the OB on call, so no guarantee you will get your own OB. We ended up with someone we had never met before. If you are sure to get your OB and your husband is really confident then you may be better to save the money for the post partum doula. My husband was really nervous and it was great to have the doula there to kind of take charge. She actually pushed the staff to get the doctor when they were kind of laissez faire, and it ended up I was almost fully dilated. I think I would have a doula again, just because of my husband’s personality, I appreciate having someone a little more pushy on the team guiding what is happening. I think we just felt reassured that she had attended so many births, too.
    As for circumcision, we had many second thoughts but chose not to circumcise. I think many from our generation were, including my husband, so it is hard to go against “tradition”. But we just felt it was medically not necessary and we hope he agrees with our decision when he is older!

    Reply
  5. futureMom

     /  October 29, 2014

    Oh, regarding the doula, also at our hospital, it is a well known fact that the OB only is called when the head is crowning and not a minute before. So your whole labour is without the assistance from the OB, just one nurse on duty assigned to you, and you don’t find out who that is until you show up. Plus, the shift changed during my labour, so I got a different nurse for the end part. So knowing this, we went for a doula, who we could at least meet beforehand, do the birth plan, and know that SHE would be there for the birth, along with whatever random staff were at the hospital that day. That was a major part of our decision to have the doula. It cost us about $1000 I think, including 2 pre-birth meetings, assistance at the birth, and one follow up meeting after the birth.

    Reply
  6. Doulas run about $800 where I live, in a relatively (for the South) expensive college town. My hospital also offers a volunteer doula program, so I figured I’d go with that. As it turns out, I am so glad I didn’t pay for one. I ended up with a breech baby and a mandatory c-section. I never even went into labor. From what I understand, you don’t get a refund if you don’t need a doula.

    Now of course you don’t want to plan for the worst! But if I were you, since you have a strong birth plan and a present partner, I’d skip the doula and spend your money on the post-partum doula. Now *that* is something that I wish I’d had. You have no idea how exhausting a newborn will be until you are there… but it’s unbelievable. Every one of my friends was in a haze the first two weeks. I will definitely be getting the pp doula next time! They also provide breastfeeding support, which I got plenty of from an LC but would have been helpful to have at home too, and can teach you soothing tricks which I had to learn sort of haphazardly. Much of being a mom comes from intuition, but other things are pretty standard to all babies and having someone who’s done it all before would have been really helpful for me.

    As for circumcision, it’s such a personal choice. I left it up to my husband, and he wanted it done. He prefers the aesthetic look of being circumcised (and in our case, it was religious as well, and we had a very meaningful ceremony and party afterwards, but we would have done the medical part anyway). There are tons of articles to support both sides. Basically, do what you guys feel you want to do. If my husband didn’t care and my parents didn’t expect a bris, I wouldn’t have bothered. Insurance usually doesn’t cover it anymore either, so check on that. It’s usually a couple of hundred bucks, in cash, at the hospital. My guess is that it’s more common where you live than where I live (NY versus the South), if that matters to you. Oh, and the first few days afterwards are a bit icky… I had my husband do all diaper changes for a few days because the bloody gauze, though small, was too much for me to look at. On the plus side, they used a local anesthetic and he seemed to feel no pain during or after (though he screamed a little because it was February and cold and he hated having his diaper removed).

    Good luck and congrats. And I really, really need to update my own blog. My son is now 8 months old and the best thing ever. I’m having so much fun with him that I can’t even decide what to write about. The shadow of infertility is still there, but I think it makes me appreciate my little guy even more.

    Reply
  7. AndiePants

     /  October 29, 2014

    You’re well ahead of me, but we are thinking about the same questions, so i thought I’d share:
    1) We are planning to get a labor doula, even though we have a midwife we love. That said, it’s up to fate and who’s on call at our hospital, and my partner is a mess about both labor and my being in pain, so the doula is sort of more for her than me! We have interviewed 2 – one charges $700, the other is sliding scale $300-700. This includes two prenatal meetings, the labor, and two post partum support sessions.
    2) We are planning to circumcise, primarily because cicumcision lowers the rates of STIs in sexually active men. That said, I 100% understand and respect the decision not to, and understand why someone would choose that as well.

    Reply
  8. Paula

     /  October 29, 2014

    I have no advice on doulas (I had a c-section at 38 weeks 3 days due to placental calcification), but we did circumcise our son. My husband had very strong feelings about it, and though my feelings were not as strong, we agreed that it was the best decision for our family. We had heard horror stories, and the reality of it was nothing like that for us; he was taken from us, sleeping, and brought back minutes later, still sleeping and not the least bit uncomfortable. Caring for it was not difficult, and he had no problems at all. Best of luck with whatever you decide on both counts. :)

    Reply
  9. jonsie13

     /  October 29, 2014

    I cannot comment a doula. We never considered it. In the end, I had a c-section w/ a breech baby, but I just never felt the need for one in the slightest. My husband was back at work full time after 10 days & we had family visit, but no one stayed any amount time to help. To be honest, even though I wasn’t sleeping much at all- I thoroughly enjoyed those days with just my baby & myself. It was exhausting, but it was also very sweet. I had prepared lots of meals ahead of time, so I didn’t have to cook for like 2 months.
    Regarding circumcision, we did it. My husband felt strongly that we should. His reasons were simple. It will be easier to keep clean (boys can be gross, especially at the age when they start keeping themselves clean), also, my husband wouldn’t really be able to talk to him about any circumcision related penis issues. (Silly, right.) The bottom line is, we didn’t really have a good reason TO circumcise our son, so when we tried to imagine explaining having done it to him, I don’t think we would have had a solid answer to give him. “Just because” seems inadequate when you’re talking about a man’s penis. Haha.
    Our process was very quick & simple. They took him, he was gone maybe 20 minutes. When he returned he was not upset. Just tired, he was 2 days old.

    Good luck. My advice would be to go with your gut. You’ll know what is right for you. Neither choice on either account is right or wrong.

    Reply
  10. tracey

     /  October 29, 2014

    Where I live, very few babies have been circumcised for the last 40 years, and I have never heard of complications or anyone where it would have been of benefit. (My 3 teenage sons and husband aren’t.)

    Reply
  11. We had a birth doula. For $750 met with her twice before birth, she attended labor and helped out afterward for a few hours, and visited me at home a week postnatal. She was awesome and let me borrow her hypnobabies CDs. My partner has bad medical anxiety so I knew ahead of time I needed the support. The doula just did her magic– got water for me and held it up when I needed to drink, applied counter pressure, helped me change positions, applied wet washcloth to my forehead, used a heated rice sock on my lower back, was encouraging etc.

    We chose to circumcise for the reason Andie mentioned above. Both being female the male anatomy is not our forte so we also weren’t confident we could keep it clean. I’m glad we did, its hard enough as is to get the poo out of every cranny. I don’t think there is a right or wrong choice.

    Reply
  12. Davidah

     /  October 29, 2014

    We had a postpartum doula when our first was born and she was the greatest thing ever. We had her come 4 hours a day in the afternoon for about two weeks, I think. It’s a time of day when you can be frazzled and it let me nap and relax. She showed us how to give a sponge bath and just generally increased our confidence as parents. We also had a labor doula (for both #1 and #2). They were helpful, but I would take the postpartum doula over a labor doula.

    If you end up with a long, exhausting, or medicated labor, you may want to consider not having your baby room-in at the hospital. A good night sleep can be enormously helpful for getting off to a good start.

    Good luck!
    Davidah

    Reply
  13. Doula: Labor hurts in a way that scared me (and I do not scare easily). She was the calming voice who reassured me what I was feeling was normal, was x or was y. Labor hurt with no drugs, and I totally recommend a doula to keep reminding you that you are OK (hubs will freak out when he sees you in pain). Just my two cents.
    Circ: Left that decision up to my husband. It was the only decision in the whole pregnancy that was his only to make, and I trusted him on it. We circ’ed our boys. Hubs stayed with both boys during the procedure, and continued to be the main monitor of the circ even today (because even at age one, there still needs to be a&d put on it occasionally.

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  14. I think a postpartum doula is an excellent idea. You’ll need that extra help and devoted attention. We had a labor doula and while we didn’t end up needing her as an advocate, she was invaluable to me leading up to and during labor. It was such a relief having someone I could call at 2am anytime I felt anything different or anytime I felt uncertain. But if you have to choose between labor and postpartum, sounds like you’re making the right call.

    As far a circumcision goes, if we had had a son that is a decision my husband would have had the responsibility of making. He and I actually come down in different sides of the issue, but it’s more important (in my opinion) that he is able to explain/defend it to his son. Good luck!

    Reply
  15. We have a friend who will be a doula if Callie finally decides what she wants to do. She just want it to be her and I and the dr. to keep it more intimate. BUT she still hasn’t made a definitive choice. I’m pretty fortunate that I get maternity leave for a second mother at my job. I’ll be taking at least 8 weeks of the 12 for FMLA and leaving the other 4 for dr’s appointment and sick babies (with daycare in the first year it’s bound to happen. So 2 months at home, we don’t feel an ABD is necessary. And our parents (all 4) are retired and live next door and a 10 minutes drive away. Lots of help! And as far as circumcision goes, we did our research, but like many ladies have already said, it’s more of a personal thing. Medically it’s not necessary, but I’ve heard from one of my closest friends and my uncle (who both had circumcisions in the tir 20’s) that they wish their parents would have done it when they were younger. They both had pretty bad infections that led to them being circumcised at a much later (and painful) time. We chose that we would. And lets be real..they look nicer!

    Reply
  16. While I didn’t have a doula OR a boy, I have opinions on both (surprise, surprise!). I really wish I had a labor doula. My husband was a perfect advocate and he, my OB, the midwife, and the nurses knew my preferences. He read the Bradley method book to help become a good coach. But– I had an “atypical labor pattern” which became scary and overwhelming to me, and no one was there to reassure me it was OK/normal/I wasn’t going to die. So I freaked and things went differently than I had hoped. That’s probably not typical, but I do feel like a labor doula could have helped me stay in control.
    I never considered a post-partum doula, and don’t think I would need one. My girl was high maintenance too (severe reflux where we had to pretty much watch her constantly and suction her mouth to prevent choking). We had lots of people stop over and visit the baby, but the only help we had was my mom cooking us some meals. I’d personally spend the money on food/meal deliveries or a cleaning service!!!!

    I did a lot of research about circumcision before we found out we were having a girl. I was already against doing it, but DH wanted the facts, so I researched & shared the info with him. It’s no more difficult than keeping a girl’s vagina/labia clean and in my opinion, it’s unnecessary, unnatural, and painful. Aesthetics isn’t a reason to take a knife to a baby, IMO. Boys will not feel self conscious about it if it becomes a more popular decision to not circumcise. Kids/teens struggle with being different, no matter what the reason. The medical research showed a slight increase in UTIs for uncircumcised boys (very slight). Wasn’t enough to sway me. Also, I believe teens should be taught to use protection during sex– I don’t see the circumcision as preventing STIs.

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  17. Infant male genital cutting (“circumcision”) offers only debatable or disproven slight reductions in rare diseases of late onset that can be better prevented by other means, or treated as they occur. Claims that it “reduces the risk” of this or that don’t stack up when you look at the numbers. Even by the cutting-advocates’ own figures, it would take scores, hundreds or even thousands of circumcisions wasted for every one case of the disease prevented.

    Most of the world does very well without infant male genital cutting. The British Commonwealth did the experiment, circumcising a majority of babies in the 1950s. We found it did no good and have virtually given it up – with no ill-effects whatsoever. Our genital health is, if anything, better than that of US men. The US continues doing it from custom, conformity and money – not “health”.

    The right to ownership of one’s own body is a basic human right, implied in the US Constitutional guarantees of equality, security of the person and protection from unlawful seizure.

    Since cutting part of the genitals off is permanent, it is not something that should be part of “parental choice”. A circumcised man has no idea what he is missing, while a mother knows what it’s like to have everything, so the decision should not be left to him alone. We hear about people who have trouble with their foreskins, but not about the vastly greater number who don’t.

    The risks of infant male genital cutting are understated and under-reported. They include
    aesthetic damage
    – skin-bridges
    – skin-tags
    – scarring
    – unevenness
    – excessive skin removed (There is no dotted line, no “right” amount to cut, so no two circumcisions are the same, and nobody will know for sure how it has turned out until he is a man and using it. Any tiny mistake is magnified when he grows up. The frenulum is a tiny membrane connecting the foreskin to the glans. Doctors and mohelim take or leave the frenulum according to their skill, whim or luck. Circumcised men call their frenulum “the male G-spot”.)
    phimosis
    hairy shaft
    haemorrhage
    meatal stenosis (narrowing of the urinary opening, very common)
    meatal ulcer
    de-gloving
    urethrocutaneous fistula
    infection
    – MRSA
    – hepatitis
    – tetanus
    – bladder infections
    – septic arthritis
    neuroma
    epidermal inclusion cyst, requiring more surgery to remove
    blockage of the urethra
    buried penis
    penoscrotal webbing
    deformity
    necrotising fasciitis (galloping gangrene – very rare)
    priapism
    gastric rupture
    oxygen deprivation
    clamp injuries/plastibell ring injuries
    loss of glans
    ablation (removal) of the penis and
    death

    Reply
  18. I started to write responses to each comment, and then realized that I was saying the same thing over and over…

    So, instead, I’ll say, in a nutshell:

    —I hugely appreciate the time you all took to write such thoughtful, thorough responses!!!
    —Thank you for being so informative, and for disclosing your personal experiences with detail.
    —Listening to you all I felt like I was in a birth circle, surrounded by friends. As you know, I sometimes feel rather isolated here, and it makes a big difference in my life and my experience of pregnancy to hear from you.
    —We still haven’t made any solid decisions on either front, but hearing from you has helped us further along the path toward decisions, yay.
    —XOXOXOX

    Reply
  19. Ria

     /  October 31, 2014

    I had my 3 boys all via c-section so I can’t comment on Doula’s.

    We did not circumcise our boys, my ex-H is Armenian and they don’t circumcise, I’m British and none of the men in my family were circumcised. My OB was Greek so he was thrilled with my decision not to circumcise. As for infection issues, this may be a bit TMI but my ex-H was taught how to pull the foreskin back and clean properly by his father so he taught our boys to do the same. All are in their 20’s now and have never had a problem, along with my incessant nagging to use a condom…I don’t care what the girl says, use a condom!!!

    But, it’s a personal decision and is ultimately up to you and your H. I’m re-married now and my husband is circumcised so, had we had kids together, I’m sure we would have circumcised our son. I’ve always heard it’s best if the son looks like the dad down there!

    Reply
  20. MN

     /  October 31, 2014

    Me and my husband are from different European counties (France and Finland) and live in Europe. I have never dated anyone who has been circumcised as it is simply not done. The whole idea that leaving a boy’s penis in its natural state would be somehow ‘risky’ is, quite frankly, off-the-wall. In all the European countries I’ve lived in, I’ve never heard that guys, even when they were kids, would have had problems with the hygiene of their genitals. And I’ve lived my life surrounded by brothers and nephews (who all know how to clean themselves -as do the girls. :) Transforming a child’s genitals for no medical reason goes against my common sense and my sense of justice. I really think that this is a cultural tradition, a very deeply embedded one, and that is the real reason why so many would still do it -even against their better judgement.

    Reply
  21. Laurel

     /  October 31, 2014

    The number one thing I learned about my birth plan, is not to get married to it, as it can lead to much disappointment. Thankfully I took that to heart, as I ended up having an emergency Csection.
    As for the circumsision- our hospital encouraged it without coming right out and saying so, as when I asked questions, they did speak of the medical benefit. Whether or not people want to admit it, there is a reduction in infection with a circumcision. You can absolutely find articles supporting both sides- and we were open minded about either option going into the birth. We tried to look at the facts, and not be swayed by the strong opinions people can have about it. I ultimately left the decision up to my husband, who chose to have it done after much research. Our little guy slept right through it, and the gauze was left on for a week- again when the Dr took it off at his 1 week check up, he was completely unphased. Whatever you chose will feel like the right decision for you!

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  22. Sonja

     /  October 31, 2014

    I have cared for patient’s that have had to have later circumcision for medical reasons and they did indicate that circumscion as an adult was quite painful. I think the people that end up needing it later in life probably wish it had been done before they could remember it but with proper care/hygiene those people are few.. So, like so many have said it is a personal decision.

    Reply
  23. We’re on a very similar page–I’m planning on taking a hypnobirthing (specifically hypnobabies) starting in January and I’m satisfied that Mr. MLACS and Dr. Angel will be all I need, so not intending to hire a doula…except maybe a postpartum doula. Now, you may not wabt to think about your son as a grown man having sex but…
    Circumcision is a *lifestyle* decision, not just a health decision or just a baby/little boy decision…
    As for circumcision….I’m a “worldly woman” in that I like sex and I’ve had a lot of partners (over 50, less than 100) only a couple of whom were uncircumcised. They were bashful about it and quite frankly I disliked dealing with the foreskin when giving oral sex–so they didn’t get as much action from me (and frankly, plenty of women wouldn’t give them the time of day, hence their feeling bashful/apologetic).
    What is unsavory about it? There is a slimy discharge under the foreskin that is akin to female wetness but more viscous, and it often smells even if they are cleanly–I don’t want it in my mouth. The boy must be more diligent about cleaning himself and why give him the extra work & worry? You said your son is well-endowed, so, why not let him be proud of it instead of feeling bashful? Not that he needs to be a porn star, but I think you get my drift. XOXO

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  24. MN

     /  November 2, 2014

    I just have to add another comment. Uncircumcised penises are not smelly. :) I feel like I can say that with some conviction, having been quite ‘worldly’ myself. Also, the standards of hygiene -or oral sex for that matter- are not different here compared to North America, if someone should think that. :) The lifestyle question is also a funny one. So really, men with uncircumcised penises are just behaving bashfully and can never really live a life of sexual experimentation, freedom and popularity? Perhaps this is a cultural perception, or perhaps just a personal opinion, but it’s not much more than that really, I can assure you of that. :)

    Uncircumcised penises are not covered by folds and folds of skin. Foreskin is normally a very neat and easily moving part of skin, which for the large part moves away by itself in erection. I have come across one that had an excessive amount of loose skin -and even that one never smelled. And the man in question had a very healthy self-confidence about his genitals, no need for bashfulness. :)

    Also, these mysterious infections that are blamed on the foreskin I’ve not heard of before. Surely they are caused by the more general types of fungus, bacteria or, for example, STD’s but get blamed on foreskin much more than necessary partly as a means of justification for the tradition of circumcision..? Nothing a good hygiene and protection couldn’t protect a man from and nothing that a circumcised man could not get either, right?

    Reply
  25. Emily Erin

     /  November 3, 2014

    I have girls, so I will stay out of the circumcision debate. However, I will say that I was very glad to have had a doula for 2 of my 3 births. I also did Hypnobabies, so I felt pretty comfortable in my birth choices, etc. I was very glad to have the doula, because the midwife just came in for the last few minutes to actually help get the baby out. Having someone who had been through the birth process a few times and who was familiar with hypnosis for birth was good (I had nurses come and just *look* at me because I was one of the few women they’d met who had chosen to birth without meds; I say this just to illustrate that while the nursing staff was knowledgeable, they were not familiar with the type of birth I planned to (and did) have). We paid $700 and got 2 (or maybe 3) visits prior to delivery including a visit from my my spouse called “the labor squad” (I was 5 days over with my first) and they did accupressure, massage and spent roughly 2 hours trying to help ‘get things started’. She was also on call for me if I had any questions.

    In retrospect, I wish that I’d had one for my 3rd birth when my homebirth midwife didn’t take me seriously when I told her that I was in labor and so left my home because when she arrived I was only 5 cm dialated (but she didn’t check before she left 2 hours later) and so it lead to her arriving back at my house 30 minutes before my daughter was born, 4.5 hours after she’d left the first time. If I’d had a doula, I think that she would have had the presence of mind to ask the midwife to check me before she left and then I’m pretty sure that she’d have stayed, and I’d have been able to have the birthing pool water birth I wanted instead of using my bathtub.

    I have never had the post-partum doula (although mine did encapsulate my placenta for me, bring a lasaganae and do 2 follow up visits in the 2 weeks after birth), so I can’t speak to that– I am sure that would be helpful too.

    Good luck in your decisions; I am sure that they will be good ones that will work for your family.

    Reply
  26. Kali

     /  November 5, 2014

    Hi, so happy to catch up with you.

    I have never been there, but without a partner, I know I’d need a doula. If and when it ever happens, my mom would come out, but she’s a mess with medical procedures, and not a comfort, not an advocate.

    As to circumcision, I have no religious reason to do it, so wouldn’t if I had a son. I just don’t see a good reason. Most men in the world are uncircumcised. My first boyfriend was uncircumcised, I assure you there is nothing odd about an intact penis. In fact it may keep the tip more sensitive by protecting it.

    I don’t know about the medical arguments. Any body part can become infected. So of course, for the few that get infections, they wish it was removed earlier. But they are few, and it seems overkill to routinely do a surgery to remove part of an organ to prevent an infection of it that is far from common. I think it’s cultural bias disguised as medical reasoning.

    However, if I had a Jewish or Muslim husband, I would accept circumcision–it’s deeply embedded in their cultures; while I wouldn’t choose it without a reason, I also don’t think it rises to the level of cruelty or anything. There are few significant negative repercussions–most of the men we know that were born in the U.S. above a certain age are circumcised and they’re not walking around suffering damage or anything. If it was important to my husband FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS, it would be a no-brainer. I would have a problem with doing it just because the father was circumcised–he didn’t have a choice, it was routine in the U.S. when people my age were born, and he couldn’t know the difference between having a foreskin and not having one.

    I’ll be excited to hear about the little guy’s arrival!

    Kali

    Reply
  27. We got a doula for my second and I wish we had one for my first. I live in the DC-area and they can fun around $1000 easily but I would mine for next to nothing since she is a doula-in-training. Look on the doula certification site and they can send you a list. These are women who need finish their hours in order to be officially certified. I suggest you either spring for the full doula (if you can afford it) or at least get one in training. You still interview and get everything you would from a fully-certified doula. Not to freak you but my first labor was all-natural and very long. We didn’t have a doula and my husband had to take the full brunt of everything. I wish we had one. It makes a big difference. I haven’t read your posts in a while but if you have a tribe helping you, it’s not as necessary.

    Reply
  28. I just read your full post and the comments. I did hypobirthing as well with my first and ended up with a two-day labor and several hours of pushing. Please get a free or cheap doula. I don’t know your husband but you do not want to force him to be your only support if this labor goes long. Also, google some basic belly-dancing. It is a god-send in labor. Nothing works better than belly-dancing and I used it for my second (much shorter) labor.

    Reply

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