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Old 10-10-2012, 09:21 AM   #31
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Re: What were your medical reasons for circumcising?

Originally Posted by mibarra View Post
My personal feeling, not having a son yet and only lightly researching, is that I need a good reason to remove a part of my child's body, ESPECIALLY without any local anesthetic or numbing agent, which is how it's often done. And that you can always circ later but you can't 'uncirc'. It is not a religion issue in our household
Actually the standard is to do it with a local anesthetic, I'm not sure if the technical name is a nerve block but it's an injection not just a local.

That there is anesthetic doesn't make it a great idea, but it's been decades since people thought newborns don't feel pain.

Just to cut through a lot of the bull ... Here's our experience.

This was a really hard decision for me, as I'm converting to Judaism. In the end I decided that it was better to have the burden mostly on myself, than to have my kid growing up within a culture where he doesn't quite fit, and having him debate later on whether to have it done. A lot of Jewish boys who are not circumcised end up electing to do it later in life, when it's a major surgery with a much much higher risk of complications.

I made a lot of calls to choose the doctor to do it, and asked about the procedures (I didn't find any that don't do the injections). I found a pediatrician that is also a mohel (person who does Jewish ritual circumcisions) and we did it in his office (since I wasn't converted by then, a traditional bris was out of the question).

My son was 16 days old, so he was much more "aware" than a newborn. He also was born at home, which makes for a more alert and aware baby. I was concerned these would mean he'd be in more pain or more upset.

His Dad & I went with him, which I think is critical if you choose to do this. They had a cup of sugar water and had suggested we bring a binkie, but LO didn't like binkies so he kept sucking it off his Dad's finger.

They put him on a little table and velcroed his legs down, and I was supposed to hold his arms. I held his arms and talked to him, and his Dad kept giving him sugar water off his finger (the sugar water and the sucking have a calming effect).

The doc made a circle of injections around LO's penis, about 2" away, I think that was novocaine to numb the whole area. Then if I recall correctly he injected a numbing agent into the penile nerve.

LO didn't really register most of this, just a blink with the first novocaine injection. The doctor put a metal thing over his penis, pulled the foreskin up, and then used something to cut the skin. LO didn't react at all to that.

What he did react to, which I guess is common, was cleaning it up afterward. He didn't like that but to put it in perspective, it was a cry about like when he had a wet diaper. Nothing at all like a cry the day before when he'd gotten a drop of alcohol in his eye.

Then we nursed as soon as LO was off the table. And shortly thereafter stuck LO in a car seat for a 2 hour drive home. No problems with the seat buckle hurting him.

We got good aftercare instructions. A few hours later I went to change the gauze and he was bleeding a bit. Like the doctor said, pinching it lightly for 60 seconds stopped that. LO did NOT like having the dressing changed the first time but did well with later changes. I quit using gauze because it clung, and just used our cotton diapers with a cotton wipe loosely over the goop.

I used Herb Pharm Trauma Oil for healing. It has Hypericum (St. John's Wort) which is a pain reliever, and arnica for bruising and calendula for healing. I mixed a bunch with lanolin instead of using Vaseline.

We also used cotton diapers with a wool cover.

Our (anti-circ) midwife checked on us the next day, and was shocked that the circ was less than 24 hours old, because it was healing so well. It healed fully in 5 days, which I guess is unusual.

I still really wish my religion had abandoned this practice, and would not dream of doing it if it weren't for religious purposes or medically required (I do have cousins who always end up needing one, and the one who had it done at 6 counts it among his worst memories). But I also think (because I've seen the statistics) it's less harmful and risky than a lot of things we always do, like taking a healthy pregnant woman to the hospital instead of letting her deliver at home.
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