Princess, you've hit a nerve, as you can see - it's hard to hear experiences in this without collecting opinions as well, but at least you are getting informed and listening to the stories on both sides.
Both my sons are circ'd. With DS1 it was just the "norm" and he was circ'd in the hospital the day after birth. With DS2 I had done a little more research and was leaning toward not doing it, but I caved in under family pressure - since we were already home from hospital I had him done at his pediatrician and thus, stayed with him during the procedure. He was about two weeks old at the time. I hoped, from what I'd read and been told, it would be a minor thing - I had asked and been assured that the doctor would use a local anesthetic which I assumed meant my child would feel no pain.
Not to overstate the case, but if I could go back and change ANYthing, it would be this decision, because I will never, ever forget the sight and sound of my son screaming during that procedure. It was nothing like his normal cries of hunger or discomfort - it was a heartwrending wail of fear and pain.
The local anesthetic didn't do much, if anything, and the doctor only informed me afterward that such ineffectiveness is fairly common, because the nerve they have to hit is so small (and the shot itself is traumatic for them). I assumed it was just a quick pull-and-snip procedure, which it isn't, at all. There is cutting, peeling skin back slowly, and crushing it off so as to stem the bleeding, and the whole thing takes about ten to fifteen minutes, during which my son screamed until he turned blue. Three years later, I am shaking just typing it out. It is honestly something I will never forgive myself for allowing. His recovery took about a week, as well - his glans oozed and was very tender for much longer than I expected - longer than it took DS1 to recover, for sure.
I am not making judgement calls on parents who have done their research and decide in favor of circing because they truly believe it has benefits that outweigh the risks. But I do think, in America at least, that a lot of parents just go along with it out of ignorance - since it usually happens in another room and a while later we are handed a sleeping baby, not realizing that the reason he is sleeping so soundly is that he is recovering from severe trauma - and if all parents were required to be present with their babies while it happened, routine circumcision would plummet out of favor within a generation.
While it's true that some boys need to have it done later for various reasons, we don't routinely remove the breasts of all women just because some of them get cancer eventually. Circumcision has a longer recovery period if it's done later in life, but the chances of /needing/ to have it done are small, and at least then it is done in a humane fashion under general anesthesia.
One thing I wish I'd done is watch a video of the procedure beforehand - you can find them on youtube.
You might see if you can convince your husband to do that with you. It
was cowardice on my part that prevented me from watching, and I should
have had the guts to watch it happen to someone else's child before I
let anyone do it to mine. The points about genital integrity and a child's autonomy have great merit, but for me it will always come down to the knowledge that I allowed my sweet, beautiful baby boy to endure agonizing pain and terror for the sake of what is, in the end, mostly a cosmetic procedure. So, if he'd slept peacefully through the whole thing, as some people's sons seem to do, would I be as passionate about this topic? Maybe not. But you asked for experiences - so that's mine.