“You love me. I know you do because I've heard you say it through the muffled walls of your uterus for months now. You took your vitamins, got as much rest and exercise as you could manage, and did everything with my well-being in mind. For as long as I have been aware, you have fed me nothing but the best, and every time I told you I wanted something special, like ice cream or jalapenos--you delivered, because you are the best mom.
I made my journey out of your womb and when I opened my eyes and saw the light I was frightened. The world was cold compared to the warmth of your body. But moments after that fear entered me the familiar warmth of your skin comforted me. It felt sright to be in your arms, looking into your eyes. Your eyes, the only thing I could focus on, were the most beautiful sight to me. They were emanating with the same love I felt within my own tiny body. I listened contentedly as I nursed while you oohed and ahhed over me, calling me perfect.
You counted my toes, my fingers, marveled at my size, and talked with daddy about who I looked most like. The whole time I was listening, hearing every word and I had not a care in the world. I drifted in and out of peaceful sleep, waking momentarily to meet my new family, and although I couldn’t express it, I was the happiest I had ever been. I thought nothing could be better than the soft, quiet solitude of your body, but I was wrong. The kisses, caresses, and voices I heard more clearly than ever before were so wonderful, I can’t imagine anything better than this, and I can’t imagine anything being wrong with this world.
At some point I heard an unfamiliar voice, slightly harsher and colder than those of my new family. I had no idea what the words mean, but the voice said, “Are you ready to have your baby circumcised?” The source of the voice passed you and daddy a paper to sign, you did, and the person took me from your warm embrace with a final kiss on the forehead from you.
While you waited they took me away, and you may never know what happened after that. They took me into a cold room and strapped me down to a table. Being used to the close, soft feel of a blanket wrapped around me and the warmth of your arms, this scared me. I wanted to curl into the position I have found so comfortable for all of my short life, I wanted to pull my knees into my chest and curl my tiny fist and suck on my thumb. I couldn’t, so I cried. I cried hard, mommy, but no one would listen to me.
Instead, one person removed my diaper while the other put a rubber paci in my mouth that was covered in a sweet substance. I admit the sweetness was momentarily nice and I stopped to suckle at it for a moment. My unfocused eyes shifted back and forth to the best of my ability while I tried to make sense of what was going on around me. I was still very scared. I did not yet have the ability to push the paci from my mouth so when they started to put liquid where my diaper used to be I wanted to cry out again but couldn’t. Instead I suckled harder at the paci, my eyes wide in fear. “I don’t know what's happening, this isn’t right!” I thought to myself, “I want to be back in my mother's warm and cozy arms, and taste the subtle sweetness of her milk, not this awful sugar.” I let out another muffled cry, and a nurse patted me on the head and told me to “Buck up” and “It'll be alright, honey.”
But it wasn’t alright! I didn’t think it could get any worse than this, and then I felt a sharp, stabbing pain that jolted through my entire body, followed by movement in my diaper area. I heard the clanging of metal, and searing hot pain radiating for what seemed like hours. I gasped through the pain, not knowing what else to do with my limited experience and began to scream, the sugarcoated pacifier falling by the wayside. I screamed louder. Feeling the doctor tear my foreskin from the glans was indescribable; my body began to shudder violently as I cried.
|©The Saturday Evening Post|
The nurse was there, rubbing my head and talking softly but her words were drowned out by my cries. My chest heaved and my tiny voice shook with the intensity of my cries. I took another deep breath, preparing for another protest to the excruciating pain surrounding my penis, but I couldn't muster up enough breath or strength to emit so much as a squeak.
The doctor was now cutting my foreskin away with a scalpel and I could no longer cry. I couldn't breathe softly as I had for my entire life. I could barely breathe at all. I was left gasping for air, unable to make a sound. The nurse said “Now, there's a tough boy, that isn’t so bad is it?” But it was that bad. I just couldn’t express myself and I could no longer control my body. My brain, in an effort to suppress the pain, told my body to shut down.
|©The Saturday Evening Post|
The nurses, doctors, and even you might have mistaken this to be a peaceful slumber, but don’t be fooled, it was a last resort, a final attempt to preserve my well-being. I no longer had control of my actions and my entire body went into a shock, my eyes focusing on the ceiling in a trance while a single tear trickled down my cheek.
When I came-to again, I was back in your comforting arms, and everything had returned to normal again, or as normal as it could be, anyway. There was still pain radiating in my diaper, peaking with every movement I made. Because my experience in this world was limited to mere hours, I had no idea what was going on, what had just happened, or where to begin to express to you the way I felt. The comfortable world I thought I knew had just shattered into a million pieces, and my trust for the big people around me was hesitant at best. I knew something terrible had just happened, and my body was still fighting the shock away.
I didn’t want to nurse anymore. I didn’t want to feel the burning in my diaper. I wanted to return to the place where nothing had ever hurt me before, a time when I didn't know pain. I wanted to go back to the place where literally every fiber of my being was created, including my fragile foreskin. I vaguely recall the moment you first held me and counted my fingers and toes. You told me I was perfect and beautiful. Why did you change me? YOU created every inch of me, every cell in my body. You didn't make me wrong, mommy. You did make me perfect, you were right all along.
While my mind may never be able to reflect clearly on the surgery, somewhere within my memories it exists. It's too pivotal not to remain. The surgery was the first bad thing that happened in my life, the first time I felt a massive amount of pain, the first moment I was not comfortable and content. And it was unnecessary, because you created me perfectly inside you. There were no alterations needed.”
|©The Saturday Evening Post|
© Summer Davis. Summer is a 24-year-old intactivist who lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, son and five dogs. She is currently working on her Master’s in Administration of Justice and Security.
Summer was introduced to intactivism through the efforts of her now best friend, Katie. They met through an online baby forum during their pregnancies. Summer was shocked that Katie was going to keep her son whole. Summer ended up having a girl, but continued to learn about routine circumcision over the next 3 years. In 2009, Summer conceived a boy and at that point resolved to keep him whole and to share information with other mothers on the issue.