A few things...
A friend had her son circumcised in the hospital soon after birth. It was a weekend and the doctor (a pediatrician) stated he was in a hurry as he came into the room to collect the baby for the circumcision. As the nurse and baby were returning the mom heard his cries from the hallway. The nurse handed her the baby saying "I don't think the doctor waited for the anesthesia to take affect." and then offered a few doses of baby Tylenol. So, maybe the doctor was in a hurry and didn't wait...maybe he didn't use anything at all. We'll never know. However having spoke to her the day after the circumcision and then now...months later...she doesn't seem nearly as upset as she was originally. I might use her tone to talk about when my baby bonked his head after loosing his balance while learning to stand. She lost that mama bear quality to her anger that her child was harmed.
Another friend went to a clinic situation for her son's circumcision. She states 'it was traumatic' and that the baby was brought back to her 'red, crying, and hoarse from screaming'. She too has lost the passion in her voice when she talks about it.
I visited a cousin and her new 10 day old baby. As we were admiring the new baby the cousin mentioned that he was circumcised 3 days previous. A while later I was holding the baby who was sound asleep laying prone in my lap. Suddenly his arms flailed outwards and he screamed. Cousin responded "oh, he must have peed. He does that when he pees...I guess he's still healing." She took the baby upstairs where he continued to scream.
I have friends who have gotten degrees and furthered their education and who also circumcised their sons. Every single one either claims that the baby was 'more upset by being strapped down' (versus the actual cutting/scraping/slicing/probing) or chose not to be present because they felt it would be too traumatic for themselves to watch. These are thinking, strong women. Many fought for their desired births, nursed etc. There's a giant disconnect with them.
Perhaps my son was just easy going as a newborn, but he never cried upon being undressed gently, having a diaper changed or even having his legs opened up as I did my mama-inspecting. I think that 'time heals all wounds' when it comes to moms remembering their sons the days following circumcision. Along with the worry over the umbilical cord falling off, cradle cap, and cutting fingernails...it just drifts away as time goes by and parenting becomes less chaotic as it is those first days.