Rebecca Sanders

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Rebecca Sanders is a regret mom who wants to share her story with others.

Thinking back I was so stupid...
I will start by saying I do not remember where I learned about circumcision. It may have been when I was a candy striper in Pomona Valley Hospital at 13 years old. That would be around 1991 I guess. I worked on labor and delivery and I remember walking by a room with windows and a doctor had 2 babies strapped to boards side by side. I remember one of the babies was a girl though. To this day I don't understand what I saw as I walked by. I knew what he was doing to the boy but not the girl.

Flash forward to December of 2002 I was pregnant with my first boy. My daughters were 6 and 3. I had checked into rehab and found out I was barely pregnant with my son in May of that year. I was finally trying to get my life together and would be a single mom still. The absolute only thing I knew about having a boy was that you were supposed to get him circumcised. I really believed that. After I had him in the hospital and before they sent me home to rehab with all 3 of my kids, I asked about circumcision. Now, thinking back I am betting that the nurse was against it. I wish she had said something. Instead she told me that MediCal no longer pays for it because it is considered cosmetic. I was so confused. Then she gave me the name and number of a doctor and told me that he charges $100 and it had to be done by 10 days old. I made the appointment for my son's 10th day on earth. Thinking back I was so stupid that I really didn't realize that what was about to happen was going to hurt my baby.

I remember that there was no explanation of the procedure. He strapped my son to the board and cleaned the area. It was just me and the doctor in there. Then he gave him shots all around his penis and my son jumped at the first shot and started screaming. Then he said he had to leave him sitting to wait for the shots to work. I don't know how long he was gone and I just held Noah's hand and told him I was sorry. Then he came back. I remember he took 2 clamps like tweezers and stretched out his foreskin and my son started screaming. I got weak in my knees and I realized it was too late to stop and I wanted to stop it. He began to cut and he said "I know it looks like I'm cutting a lot but he has a lot to cut". Then he took a little plastic ring and stretched the remaining skin thru it and over it and put a pin to hold it. He grabbed a string and tied it with all of his strength around it. I was shocked that there was something to be left tied to my son's penis. The doctor just looked at me and said it would fall off in a few days and no big deal. I asked a counselor at the rehab why would they have left something on his penis and they just shrugged and said it will fall off. And it did a few days later and I think I blocked out his recovery and even getting home that day because I don't remember. Here is the worst part....for years I defended my decision I thought women who didn't do that to their son were lazy or ridiculous. Just like all of the defensive cutters that I confront now.

13 years later i got my tubes untied so that me and my husband could have a baby. I am so thankful that she was a girl because my eyes had not yet been opened. One day I was scrolling on Facebook and I can not remember who shared the video or why I clicked to watch it but the man speaking completely changed my mind. I am the type to be able to admit whenever I was wrong and live by the words "know better do better". After my mind was changed I got pregnant with my 2nd son. My daughter got pregnant with my grandson around the same time. I spread the information to her and she kept my grandson whole as well. I'm not sure other than that how many babies I have saved but I will continue.

Recently i started to speak about it to my now 16-year-old son. One day he came home with his 4 friends he always hangs out with and he tells me that they are all intact and anti-circ. He says he isn't upset about being circumcised but he wishes he could have experienced having a foreskin because he can't go back and experience both. My infant son is 5 months old now and his foreskin hasn't attacked him yet. I can't believe that I was ever so brainwashed. I also want to add that my mother was completely pro-circ and my daughter made her sit down and watch American Circumcision. After that I did my birthday fundraiser on Facebook for bloodstained men. The next day I noticed I had met my goal. My mom had donated the full amount and thanked me for opening her eyes to such an important issue. (—Rebecca Sanders)

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