Originally Posted by TrennaII
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.
This is not the standard. The standard is a cream, a numbing cream. That is what most of the local hospitals use here and what most use, but only 25% of babies are given any pain medication prior to having part of their genitals amputated. 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.
It still should be HIS decision. But then again I don't think parents should be able to make permanent changes to their childs body for any reason, religion included. I forget where but there was an article I saw about the original circumcision vs circumcision today. The original rite of circumcision was a nick in the foreskin for blood letting, the circumcision we practice today was started by religious zealots to try to stop young boys from playing with their penises and to cure the soldiers in the WW who were out in the field without soap and running water for weeks or months. Also, no offense, but why would you not want your son to like himself for who he is? I mean where is this penis comparison happening? Do people really sit around and compare penises?
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.
He was crying because he had an open wound on his sensitive genitals and it burned when they cleaned it. Also, I have witnessed circs and I can tell you, your experience is not the norm. Babies scream, pass out, writhe, it is the most distinct and worse cry i've ever heard.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'm glad he did not experience any complications, alot of babies DO. My nephew almost bled to death.
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.
So your integrity and choices should be respected, like where and how you want to birth but your son had no right to genital integrity? I know plenty of people who are Jewish who do not cut the genitals of their babies. Alot of kids who have issues with foreskin were forcibly retracted,adhesions form and then you have problems. However, I can name you 6 men I know right now that have NEVER had an issue with their foreskin. I don't believe YOUR chosen ADULT religion gives you the right to remove an important, large, functional piece of skin from your childs's body.