Controversies

Not only are there endless amounts of baby supply options out there, but there are also other important decisions about baby-raising that should be somewhat determined prior to Vegas’ arrival, or so suggests Dr. A.  Controversies, if you will.  You know – breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding, circumcision vs. non-circumcision, cloth vs. disposable diapers, etc.  I suppose there’s a ton of other ones out there as well (organic vs. non-organic?), but those are the few that come to mind that we’ve talked about.  Surprisingly, I think we have a significant lean in some decisions, while others, the jury goes in and out.

So here at 18 weeks, let’s see where we stand:

Breastfeeding vs. Bottle-feeding:
We’re planning on breastfeeding, but are also prepared to bottle-feed if someone (me? Vegas?) isn’t cooperating.  This is actually a first for my side of the family, as my mother didn’t breastfeed, and neither did my sister with any of her three kids.  All five of us were brought up on a soy-based formula.  Why soy?  I have no idea.  I suppose I could ask my mother, but that would involve calling her, and intentionally engaging in a conversation.  My wife’s family is a breastfeeding bunch, so I’m looking in their direction for tips and pointers.  So we’d like to breastfeed, but overall, we’re mentally prepared to go with bottle-feeding if that’s where things end up.  As an aside, identity-wise, I think it would be nice to put these boobs I’ve spent so long resenting to work.  Get to work, boobs!  Chop, chop!

Cloth vs. Disposable diapers:
We used to feel really strongly about cloth diapering, and I think to a point, we still do, but recognize that since neither of us will be a stay-at-home-mom, Vegas will eventually end up sporting disposables while he’s in daycare.  Ultimately, our approach will be a hybrid of cloth and disposables – cloth for the first two months we have him home with us, and a mix of both when it’s daycare time.  Since we don’t have a washing machine with a hot water option (seriously?) and we have questionable-at-best 1950’s plumbing, washing the cloth ones or using the flushable disposables aren’t really options, unfortunately.  The cloth diapering would be provided by our local diaper service, which is practically run out of our neighborhood.  Another reason for the cloth diapering at home is to prevent trash.  Oh sure, blah blah landfill blah blah, but it comes down to the fact that we pay for our trash pick-up, per trash bag.  There’s no dumpster nearby that we chuck our trash bags into at our convenience, nor are there condo/homeowner’s assoc. fees to cover trash pick-up.  The garbage man comes once a week, and will only take bags with pre-bought trash stickers on them, which run $1.05  for a 13- gallon (average kitchen can) and $2.10 for a 32-gallon (large black trash bag) sticker.  That shit already adds up.  Get it?  That shit?

Circumcision vs. Non-circumcision:
This one changes daily.  It seems like everyone has a strong opinion one way or the other, but I’m personally just not sold on either.  I’m currently taking an informal poll on my endless supply of close men friends whom I can ask these questions, but they are also no help.  All of the ones I’ve talked to have been circumcised, but that was “in the 60’s and 70’s, when they didn’t ask the mother – they just did it, man.”  And none of them have sons.  And all of them would or have made fun of uncut guys they’ve known.  All of the lesbian moms we know have gone non-circumcision, after all, there’s no daddy to need to look like.  This might sound creepy, but I’m trying to think of teenager Vegas and his first pants-off experience with another person, which is awkward no matter who you are.  It could be that, come that time, Vegas is in the next generation of guys whose parents had a choice, and chose to non-circumcise, so there’s less of a stigma.  It could be that a girl shudders when he drops trou.  But I don’t have a crystal ball, and this is an age-old and worldwide controversy.  So yeah – the jury is still out.  And mostly, I think we’re hoping Vegas is a girl, thus getting us off the hook.

We reserve the right to change our minds about anything between now and June, and, well, in some instances, we’ll need to make up our minds on some things first before we can go around changing them.

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Posted on January 22, 2010, in everyday. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I must weigh in. Sorry.

    I have two boys. One is cut, one isn’t. I didn’t plan to have either of them cut, but my first, who is now 10, developed (or had?) phimosis, which means there wasn’t enough skin to retract. It wasn’t noticeable when he was little, but by the time he was 5 he was having discomfort. So he was circumsized at 6, his choice. The doc said we could have stretched it, but Jack decided he’d rather just have it off. The procedure and his recovery were super easy.

    Second boy is now 6, with enough skin he could pull it up over his chin if he wanted.

    I think that there’s enough diversity now that which ever you choose, there won’t be much in the way of prejudice in the locker room or from sexual partners. So your choice is really about how you want him to look, or whether you want to leave that choice to him. My general feeling was “you can’t take it back,” if you get my drift.

    Also: cut and uncut look the same when it’s stiff.

    🙂

    • Thanks, M. 😉 (and I echo Meridith below) I appreciated the perspective. It seems like it’s becoming less of “the norm” nowadays, which gives me hope for said diversity, and it eventually becoming a non-issue, really.

  2. for what it’s worth Madeline, I LOVE it when you weigh in.

  3. I’ve not posted before, but I’ve been following your blog, and if it helps, I work in a daycare and it’s pretty common either way for boys to be cut or not. So by the time Vegas, if he shows up penis-having, is dropping trou in the locker room or in a more personal situation, I’m sure it won’t even be an issue! 🙂

  4. Hi, I’ve never posted here before (and I choose the circumcision question…hmmmm). I’m pretty strongly anti- for lots of reasons, but as far as the ‘what about when he’s older’ question – my 16-yo nephew was not circumcised, and he’s pretty much in the majority in his age group. I’ve talked to him about it, and because boys sure do like their parts, he and his buddies *do* talk about it, and there seems to be no stigma either way. Of course, we live in the hippie-granola SF Bay Area, but I think that whoever your kid ends up pantsless with will probably be aware of varieties…

    • It’s interesting – other than my straight male 30-something friends, I’ve yet to find anyone pro-circumcision, aside from folks with particular religious views. You’re fortunate to have a teenage nephew’s perspective (not only on this, but I would suppose on lots of items). I grew up in an all-female household, and have zero experience even being in the same room with a penis, so personally-speaking, I’m in completely uncharted territory. Thanks for the perspective! 🙂

  5. Hi! I found this blog through someone posting link to another of your blogs on another blog site called tumblr.com. I read a few that night and have been going through your archives and quite frankly enjoying the hell out of it. I feel compelled to help out here as I’ve experienced grown-up penises both cut and uncut (only 2 uncut, however), even though I’m four months late to this show.

    They do look different when erect, but they look less different when the foreskin is pulled below the rim of the head. Uncut ones have more hygiene-habits associated with them because of smegma…and guess who gets to clean that until he’s old enough?

    As far as sex goes… One guy liked handjobs that involved moving the skin back and forth over the head, the other thought that was painful. In case you don’t know, a-penis-in-pants-all-day can get sweaty, and an uncut PIPAD can get downright smelly b/c of the smegma. Not knowing you’re going to come in contact with an uncut penis might be a little jarring, but knowing someone is uncut is kind of a curiosity builder (it could make him more popular!) I can’t tell any difference between cut and uncut during sex.

    So, I’m sure this convo has cemented your lesbianism even more than it was before. Good luck with the baby and I’m sure you’ll be great parents! 🙂

    • Hey there,

      Thanks a lot for your input… I need as many perspectives as possible regarding the circumcision decision, and I can find one thousand articles pro and anti everything, if I look hard enough. But mostly, it’s nice to have folks’ real life experience with these things – especially things so foreign to me, like a penis! 😉

      I’m all for making him more popular and perhaps mysterious, but then again, I also unfortunately Googled “smegma.” Can’t I just hope he’s a she and get out of this decision!?

      PS – Welcome to the blog!

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