I was so anxious about the idea of circumcision that I actually hoped for a girl. I didn’t get a girl. I got two beautiful boys instead, and therefore had to make the decision twice. Though our sons were born four years apart, my partner Abbie and I gave equal consideration to the question of whether of not to circumcise with each one.
With our first son, Tommy, I had nightmares that if we chose circumcision, the doctor would make a mistake. I knew the statistics were low, but that rarely soothes an anxious mom-to-be. I worried the procedure was obsolete. When I looked around the room at my friends’ sons, many if not most were uncircumcised.
About a month before Abbie was due to give birth to Tommy, we visited my parents out on Long Island. At dinner, we talked about interviewing pediatricians in our Brooklyn neighborhood of Cobble Hill. We were looking for a doctor who struck a balance between holistic and traditional Western approaches to medicine and childcare.
We had a few things down. Abbie planned to breastfeed—or at least to try. We understood that antibiotics were at times necessary to treat ear infections. We believed in and felt adamant about vaccinating our child.