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Please don't make our same mistake

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
On a glorious autumn morning my sweet son was born into a family full of love in the peaceful surroundings of his parent’s bed. Jack came into the world with much to say and introduced himself in a very boisterous way.
The peace and tranquility ended on day 16 of his life. On that day, the tears and hurt began. My husband and I took Jack to have his circumcision performed at the office of a recommended urologist. We naively believed that this was “just a routine procedure”. My husband filled out the paperwork while I nursed Jack in the waiting room. We were called back and asked if we wanted to stay in the room while the doctor did the procedure. We both wanted to be there for him and I wanted to be able to nurse him for comfort right away. Jack was strapped down and the doctor numbed his penis. He screamed in pain and I felt my stomach drop. A few minutes later the doctor did the cut and the nurse commented, “That’s a beauty.” The doctor invited my husband to take a look seemingly proud of what he had just done. We were told to put Vaseline dressings on at each diaper change and dismissed to go home. I again nursed my little man and then buckled him into the car seat. Jack cried for a few minutes and then fell asleep from the stress of it all. When we arrived home we were greeted by my mom and Jack’s big brother and sister. We cuddled on the sofa for a little bit and then my mom took Jack into my room to change his diaper before we sat down to dinner. I heard my mom yell for me in a frantic voice. I rushed in to see what was alarming her and was shocked to see Jack had bleed through his cloth diaper and the diaper cover. There was a lot of blood and it was still oozing out of the circumcision site. I yelled for my husband to call the doctor right away. It was now about 5:45 pm so when he called the doctor’s office no one answered. I insisted he keep trying and then attempted to call myself 3 times. When it became clear we would not get through to the doctor I called Jack’s pediatrician. He instructed us to apply very firm pressure to his penis for 10 minutes and if the bleeding did not stop to go to the emergency room. After 10 minutes it was clear that this was not going to be enough to subside the bleeding. We jumped in the van and rushed to the emergency room. By the time we got to the ER Jack had lost a lot more blood. I was holding him in the waiting room and my jeans were soaked with his blood, the blanket I had wrapped him in was soaked with blood, his little socks were soaked with blood. When we arrived they assessed the situation and asked us why we had not called the urologist. We informed them we could not reach him. My husband continued to hold firm pressure on Jack’s penis while the ER staff decided what to do. They were able to contact the urologist and decided to use a liquid to try to stop the bleeding. The ER doctor told us it had a 50/50 chance of working. The bleeding slowed down for a few minutes and then picked up again. The bed and the towels on the bed became saturated with Jack’s blood. My husband and a paramedic in training held pressure to Jack’s penis while we waited for an ambulance to transfer us to the ER where the urologist who did this to Jack had privileges. It seems we chose the wrong ER unknowingly since we were not told what to do in the event of an emergency. The urologist on call at the ER we originally went to refused to fix the mistake of another doctor. The ambulance crew arrived and was instructed that it was necessary to continue to apply pressure to Jack’s penis to slow the bleeding. The EMT that would be sitting in the back of the ambulance with Jack and me insisted that I buckle him into his car seat rather than hold him in my arms on the stretcher. Against my instincts I complied. When we got situated in the back of the ambulance the driver turned on the lights and began to drive quickly to the next ER. The EMT in the back said “You can kill all that.” At which time the driver turned off the lights and began driving the speed limit. Inside I was screaming “What? No, we need to get there quickly.” But, I thought the EMT knew best since he was the medical professional. I was sitting next to Jack’s car seat and keeping a close eye on him. I commented that he was bleeding through the towels and the EMT came over to take a look then sat back down. A few minutes later I repeated that he was losing more blood and was answered with a “Mmm.” I then questioned why Jack was looking so pale and why his lips were turning blue. The EMT responded “There could be a lot of reasons for that.” Again I dumbly trusted the medical professional. I assumed we were safe because we were in the back of an ambulance. During the 45 minute drive to the ER (which could have been less than 20 minutes had the driver left the lights on and gone fast) I continued to comment on Jack’s blood loss and color. The EMT only checked the monitor for oxygen levels. When we finally arrived at the next ER the paramedic on duty there took one look at Jack and said “His color is awful. We need to get an IV in this baby right away.” They put in the IV and placed an oxygen mask on my baby’s face. I was terrified. My husband and I were both sobbing and stood there holding onto one another and asking God to “Please spare our son. “ I looked down to see his car seat full of blood. We felt completely helpless and so guilty that our baby had to endure this. The urologist that had performed the circumcision came in and placed four sutures in Jack’s penis. He had cut the frenula artery when performing the original surgery. The bleeding finally stopped. The ER staff then drew some blood to run Jack’s hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. They came back low but not low enough to warrant a blood transfusion so we were monitored for a couple of hours then sent home. We were told to have the blood work done again the next day. I did not want to cause Jack extra stress so I asked my midwife to please come to the house to take his blood rather than driving him back to the lab. She agreed and said she would drive the blood right to the hospital for testing. When she arrived, she checked his heart rate and breathing and drew the blood. She left and on the way to the hospital she called Jack’s pediatrician to discuss his condition. She then called me and informed me that they both agreed that due to his rapid heart rate and breathing as well as his listless state that I needed to call 911 right away and go back to the ER with Jack. I did just that and this time had an amazing ambulance crew. My midwife was there waiting for us with the lab results that Jack’s hemoglobin and hematocrit had dropped dramatically since the night before. The ER wanted to run their own test so Jack was poked again. The results came back the same. We were then sent by ambulance to a hospital with a pediatric unit. We were admitted to the hospital and spent 23 hours there being observed. His levels were checked at 5:00am the next morning and were on the rise so he did not require a blood transfusion. We had to stay until 8:00pm that night because he was still very lethargic and nursing poorly. He lost 5 ounces and needed to show the doctors that he could eat well before we could go home. The next two weeks we had follow up appointments and more blood work to make sure Jack’s hemoglobin and hematocrit continued to rise. He has to take iron supplements until his levels are normal again. All of this because we believed the lie that circumcision is “just a simple procedure.” During the time our son was meant to learn that his world is a safe and loving place, he had to endure needless pain. Please consider what happened to Jack before you decide to have your son circumcised.
post #2 of 26
I'm so sorry! Thank you so much for sharing your story here. Hopefully it'll make it difference to another little boy.
post #3 of 26
That is absolutely terrifying! I'm so sorry you went through that.

On a side note: Did you report the ambulance crew? That was definitely not proper procedure.
post #4 of 26
You are a courageous mama for telling Jack's story. Tell it far and wide. Not just that circumcision is "no big deal" but that a mother MUST listen to her intuition and common sense, even if it means defying or challenging medical professionals.

My oldest son had a serious birth defect that was not diagnosed until he was 18 months old. I had noticed signs (and brought them to the attention of his pediatrician) from the time he was 2 weeks old. Fortunately for us there were no adverse consequences of the delayed diagnosis, but there could have been. That taught me that moms need to speak up in loud, insistent voices as advocates for their children, even if it means ruffling some feathers.
post #5 of 26
and . I can't imagine how terrified you and your husband must have been. Thanks for sharing your story.
post #6 of 26
Oh Mama My heart breaks for you and your little boy. Please make sure you tell this story to anyone who will listen... and even to those that won't. It's horrible that your little boy went through this but maybe some good can come out of it by saving hundreds of other little boys.
post #7 of 26
So sorry to hear you went through that and don't be afraid to share it so people can know how recent those complications are so far it seems that hemoraging is continuing to rise so fast due to circumcision complications a couple years ago I only saw one hemoraging case but this past year I have heard around 3 hemoraging cases!
post #8 of 26
Originally Posted by MommytoB View Post
So sorry to hear you went through that and don't be afraid to share it so people can know how recent those complications are so far it seems that hemoraging is continuing to rise so fast due to circumcision complications a couple years ago I only saw one hemoraging case but this past year I have heard around 3 hemoraging cases!
I think part of it could be attributed to the surgery being passed off to residents more and more. I know it wasn't the case with the OP, but my son's was done by a resident (they told me this AFTER) and I've heard it's really common to "watch one, do one, teach one" or something.
post #9 of 26

How is your little one doing now?
post #10 of 26
This is the third or fourth near miss I have heard about. We all know about the recent incident in Indiana where the baby died. I know of another one in Idaho where the baby died a couple of weeks later, apparently due to prior bleeding. None of these incidents have made it into the medical literature and none of them will. Parents considering circumcision need to know that the danger is very real. Any pediatric urologist who is honest will tell you of similar incidents of at least near death. The medical profession is entirely dishonest when it claims that the risks of circumcision are negligible.

Thanks so much for relating your painful story and for warning others about the risks. Many will now think twice and may well decide to leave their sons intact.
post #11 of 26
Dave- The really sad part- not only do other parents and other doctors not learn about how often these things happen- and what the outcomes are... I get the feeling that a lot of the time- the baby's own parents don't even know how close a call it was!

I saw a story of excessive post circumcision bleeding on another message board- the mom took the baby to the Doctor who did it and they were able to get the bleeding stopped in the office. The Dr. gave the mother his personal cell # to call if the bleeding started up again "to save her a trip to the ER" and the mom was gushing in her post about what a kind and considerate doctor he was to do that. OMG!! Cover your tracks much?
post #12 of 26
Thank you for sharing your story.
post #13 of 26
oh poor baby jack. thank you for putting this out there.. sending healing vibes
post #14 of 26
I'm so glad your LO is OK!
post #15 of 26
Thank you for your courage in sharing your story. It takes a lot of courage not only to share your story, but to admit that it's not just a freak case of something bad happening, but a procedure that should be done away with. I hope you spreading your story does a lot of good in protecting other boys.
post #16 of 26
I thought I was going to be sick reading this. I'm so sorry your family went thru all that, but esp. your sweet baby boy.

Thank you for sharing, as these butcherings need to be known about!
post #17 of 26
(((monkey mamma))) and (((baby jack)))
post #18 of 26
You are so very brave, Mama. Thank you for sharing your story. My heart is breaking for all you and Jack had to endure. Please do share your story as often as possible...it may save some little boys this pain and trauma
post #19 of 26
Holy cow! That is so horrible. I am so glad I found this website. I had no idea about circumcision before finding and reading Mothering. If I have a son, I will definitly NOT get him circumcised. It is just too scary and too much pain! I am so glad that your son is recovering. I am sorry you had to go through that, though.
post #20 of 26
*hugs* mama. thanks for sharing your story. stories like this are why my kiddo is intact. my mom's friend had a similar situation happen with her newborn son. it chills me to the bone to think about it...
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