Another horrific story from the nurse - Mothering Forums
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The Case Against Circumcision > Another horrific story from the nurse
notocirc's Avatar notocirc 07:46 PM 05-08-2002
edited by moderator due to lack of permission to reprint

jaylind's Avatar jaylind 08:33 PM 05-08-2002
ok well that served as catalyst for my daily crying jag...

when i was pg with dd and we didn't know she was dd or ds yet, i discussed circ with my dr. he is really quite neutral on it except that he does note that it's not medically necessary...i think his neutrality stems from the fact that at the local hospital they use nerve blocks for this...? he told me when he does it the babies always sleep right through it. i have heard of them either using nerve blocks or topical anesthesia.

while i still am adamantly anti-circ....i cannot understand why people who do it don't at least use anesthesia? : it just makes NO sense. not that circing at all makes sense but i think you KWIM....

i know there used to be a school of thought that said infants don't feel pain...and i know that's not been the accepted thinking for some time now and also with such CLEAR evidence that they do feel pain why in the HELL do they continue practicing circ this way????

man this makes me mad!

Rachel Fox's Avatar Rachel Fox 09:22 PM 05-08-2002

It make me mad too!!!!
I didn't get all the facts about cirrcumsision b4 my ds came into this world. My dh was circ'd at 22 bc his foreskin was tight. Of course the doc said he needed a circ. Turns out there are several other remedies he could've used instead of CUTTING IT OFF!!! It was very painful for him to walk and so on so I thought for sure my boy needed to be circ'd or he'd have the same problem as his dad. Well, we did it, and not a day goes by that I don't feel deep remorse and saddness over my decision. Henry had anesthesia, but boy, I'm sure it did not feel good after it wore off. If I have any more boys there penis's will stay intact. I only hope that maybe some day some good can come out of my mistake. That I can help other moms with one circ'd son make the decision not to circ the rest.

Kylix's Avatar Kylix 10:24 PM 05-08-2002
Mommy StormRaven's Avatar Mommy StormRaven 05:18 PM 05-14-2002
Long ago Dh and I decided to leave any boys we had intact - even though he isn't and thankfully our ped doesn't see any reason not to leave all boys intact as well so we don't have any arguement. But if we hadn't already decided (based on video we saw from our midwives for the case against circucision) we would certainly not do it now!
oneyellowbug's Avatar oneyellowbug 04:28 AM 05-21-2002
Oh how I wish that everyonr would know that is how it is. I honestly could not even read it, just skimmed it. I was sick!! One of my boys were circ, the other intact. I didn't know with the first. As a doula I try to make it my mission to inform my clients about the truth. How anyone could do it after knowing how horrible it is is beyond me. Sick! I am so upaset now. Just knowing that there are so many little babies that get tortured is awful!! I better go, I am very upset.

I will know go and read a happy post!! No offense, Notocirc.
notocirc's Avatar notocirc 12:26 PM 05-21-2002
"I will know go and read a happy post!! No offense, Notocirc"

None taken. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I find it so heartwrenching and stomach-turning myself that I sometimes have to stay away from debating this stuff for a couple of days just to get back on a happy track again.
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 06:50 AM 05-26-2002
I am fortunate that I have been able to take early retirement and have plenty of time to do what ever I want. The issue of circumcision came up about 2 1/2 years ago and caught my attention because I have a vested interest. I have studied it extensively since then, sometimes putting in 12-14 hours a day. I have corresponded with some of the researchers, both pro and con and I have found a great many things that the average parent would not find or would not know to investigate further. One of those things is the pain issue and I was disturbed at what I found.

In an American Medical Association (AMA) study to determine what pain relief was being used and what percentage of doctors were using pain relief, I found that:

1. Only 24% of doctors use pain relief for circumcisions.

2. Methods of pain relief include: Pacifier with sucrose, Tylenol, EMLA topical anesthesia, dorsal nerve block and subcutaneous ring block.

3. The only one to provide ADEQUATE pain relief was subcutaneous ring block.

4. Only 3% of doctors surveyed reported even occasional use of subcutaneous ring block.

5. The doctors that did give anesthesia but did not use subcutaneous ring block gave as reasons for not using it: (A) Don't know how and (B) Too dangerous.

6. The AMA reported that 60-90 minutes is required for the anesthesia to become effective after administration.

7. I have never talked to a mother who said that her son was away more than 40 minutes.

My evaluation of this is even though your doctor tells you your son is getting pain relief, there is a good chance he isn't. If he is getting pain relief, the chances are slim that it would do any good. That is based on giving the anesthesia adequate time to become effective. Your son would have to be gone a minimum of ONE HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES for the anesthesia to become effective and to perform the procedure. Obviously less than 1% get EFFECTIVE pain relief even when the parents are assured of it.

How intense is the pain? Wisconsin pediatrician Dr. Robert Van Howe reports infants crying so hard that they rupture their stomachs and bladders. The infant foreskin is adhered to the glans by synecchia, the same thing that adheres fingernails to the nail bed. The foreskin has to be separated from the glans first and this is done with a blunt metal instrument. This is the exact equivalent of prying the fingernails off of one hand! The top of the foreskin is then cut with scissors from the edge to the junction with the glans. This is more pain than most adults would be able to bear. A metal or plastic guard is then put over the glans and clamped or tied with such force that the blood vessels are crushed or sealed permanently. After 5 minutes of this crushing force the foreskin is cut off with a knife. The amount of skin is the equivalent of skinning three fingers.

If this was done to an adult with no pain relief, the doctor would most definitely be sued for malpractice, assault and several other things and if he did it repeatedly to adults, would lose his license to practice medicine.

The stories from mothers is that for a week to ten days after the procedure their circumcised babies cry in pain from urine getting in the wound. There are also reports of pain and crying any time the area is touched for up to two weeks. So the pain doesn't stop after he leaves the hospital.

Is this what you want for your son? Does it matter if he won't remember it? Is this the way to build trust and bond with your son? Is this something you would consent to be done to yourself? Even if you wouldn't remember it? Especially if there is no medical reason to do it? And if there was a chance that it could have an effect on your sex life as an adult?


P.S.: I will be happy to share what I have learned in my research. Just E-mail me with questions. My E-mail address will be changing after the first of June.
rubylark's Avatar rubylark 12:25 PM 05-26-2002
Hi Frank, welcome!
You seem to have a wealth of info on this topic, so please be sure to update your email address in your user profile when it changes!
12-14 hours per day!? wow, that's impressive! If it is not too personal, what is your vested interest?
So, knowing what you know, what strategies do you find most effective to educate people about the reasons to leave a child intact?
Xenogenesis's Avatar Xenogenesis 11:09 PM 07-20-2003
Mona's Avatar Mona 11:39 PM 07-20-2003

That is the worst thing I think I have EVER read. I don't think I've ever had so much sympathy for the male species. What a horrible thing.
Thanks for sharing your story and I am so sorry that you have to witness this kind of thing.

I really don't understand how a male doctor (or a woman dr for that matter) could do this to a baby boy without any kind of pain relief. How utterly in-humane.

MFuglei's Avatar MFuglei 11:58 PM 07-20-2003

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh OH MY GOSH!!

First off let me say thank you. Secondly, that made me CRY! Finally, we'll NEVER EVER EVER EVER circumsize if we have a boy. EVER!!!
lilyka's Avatar lilyka 01:58 AM 07-21-2003
How could anyone do that to a child. i think it should be a law that parents have to stay with thier son when they have it done. I can gaurnee you that there would be fewer cirs. if parents had to look thier babies in the face while they did that.

that is the most horrible thing I have ever heard. I ma not positive but I ampretty sure dogs are treated better.
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 03:08 AM 07-21-2003
There is a veternarian on another board that I asked that question. She told me that if a vet circumcised a dog, they would be in danger of loosing their license to practice. She hadn't thought of it that way before but is now adamantly anti-circ.

Why would we treat a dog with more respect than we do our own children?

~Megan~'s Avatar ~Megan~ 04:25 AM 07-21-2003
Thank you for posting this. I shared it with my almost 13 yo brother, who is visiting, and his eyes have been opened.
Kirsten's Avatar Kirsten 05:40 AM 07-21-2003
When pregnant the first time, dh and I originally agreed to circ (without any research - ugh) but luckily I ran across a no-circ table at a birth provider talk I went to. That changed my mind and I spoke to dh. He still wanted to circ. We were adamantly in different camps. I told him I just could not agree to it. He only wanted to to avoid it happening when baby was older (he knows one adult and one teenager who had it done - the teenager didn't speak for three days after due to being so traumatized). Of course I didn't agree to that as it makes no sense to put every baby boy through that just to avoid a couple adult circs here and there. Luckily we had a girl so mute point.

Before we got pregnant again, dh had the misfortune of seeing part of a circ (we were in the hospital visiting friends who just had a baby and he was standing outside the circ room with his friend/baby's father). A nurse opened the door to go out during the procedure and my dh saw/heard what was happening in there. He came back to the room where I was visiting with baby's mom. He was white as a ghost and obviously upset. When we got in the car to go home, he told me we would NEVER do that to any boys we may have in the future.

We now have three girls so may not ever have the opportunity to make the great decision to leave a son intact. But we would! And I try to educate - though like midwifery - it is an uphill battle to bring what is obviously a FANTASTIC way to the general public. We just have to keep at it and eventually the tide will change. It already has to some extent but not enough!
taralee's Avatar taralee 07:57 AM 07-21-2003
it is common practice in australia to not circum. the gov't and main stream dr.'s all convince parents to not circum. and that has been the situation for about ten years i think. so may that give some peace of mind?!
HeatherSanders's Avatar HeatherSanders 09:07 AM 07-21-2003
I had to stop reading . . . I'm feeling light-headed, sick to my stomach and want to cry. The description made me physically uncomfortable and I'm so appreciative that Kenny is intact and that Jeff and I were able to find the information we needed to make that decision.

I nominate this for the archives. It needs to be read over and over and over by those parents considering it.

THESE ARE NEWBORN BABIES and their GENITALS for God's sake! How I would love to see that doctor strapped to a board and writhing around while the procedure was done to him without anesthesia and in front of others SLOWLY as a form of TRAINING.

Seriously, I need to go throw-up.
hakunangovi 08:13 PM 07-21-2003
Monica, why in the world do the doctors at your hospital remove the frenulum when performing a circ. Good grief, that's the only good bit left !!!
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 11:04 PM 07-21-2003

In a clamp type procedure the frenulum is obliterated anyway. The clamp severs and seals the frenular artery that supplies blood to the frenulum, thus the frenar nerve dies and is absorbed by the body. Even if the frenulum (the functional equivalent to the female clitoris) were left, it would not function. It would just be a tag of skin hanging there. Circumcised men have no idea of the value of a functioning frenulum. I take it from your comments that you are intact and highly value your frenulum.

Tinijocaro's Avatar Tinijocaro 11:25 PM 07-21-2003
alissakae's Avatar alissakae 02:21 AM 07-22-2003
That is absolutely heartbreaking
acystay's Avatar acystay 03:24 AM 07-22-2003
I'm 18wks pg w/ my 2nd baby. It's a boy and when I was pg w/ dd I thought I'd circ. if she was a boy. I read an article my Bradley teacher gave us and decided no way.

I'm in tears reading this story. I'm so glad you posted this. I'm sure if those mothers had been present while this was going on they would have felt much different about the whole procedure.

God Bless you for doing this! I think you should post this story everywhere that you can!
HeatherSanders's Avatar HeatherSanders 10:12 AM 07-22-2003
I forwarded this page to my husband at work. There is a guy there that says that as Christians we should circ b/c of Abraham . . . etc. . .

Anyway, not to get this moved to Spirituality, but my husband and I try to point out the NEW TESTAMENT of love & grace.

But that said, this man that feels this way works with my husband and I told Jeff to have HIM read it as both of his sons have been circumcissed. Jeff said that the guy couldn't get past the first part. Jeff told me he couldn't read past the first child's circumcision - he was having to move around and literally 'physically uncomfortable' as well.

My husband is not intact and he says that it was completely insignificant to him once he read and saw the actual surgery and understood more clearly that it isn't a hygiene issue.

This story is so powerful - really it is - it will make people think!
turquoise's Avatar turquoise 01:08 PM 07-22-2003
Those poor babies!!!!

I just have to point out that if these parents could see what was being done they may have changed their mind. Is that the real reason Dr's don't want parents to watch? And the teaching that prolonged the pain! I feel sorry for you too for not being able to tell the parents what their poor babies just went through! It would take everything in me to keep myself from nocking that dr in the head and running out of the room with the baby! Thank goodness they had a sensitive person like you to cuddle them afterwards someone who witnessed and understood the trauma they just experienced...."first do no harm". Cosmetic surgery witout anestesia is harm.

If I remember right there is something on the release form that you sign saying that interns may be present and participate in the procedure and the operation may be used in their that correct? Most parents don't even think about that.

I know when DS was circ'd I asked for dh to be present (frowned on by dr - so we were talked out of it) and asked for anestesia (talked out of it becuase of "reactions to fairskinned boys") I hate to think that one of those little babies could have been DS! If only,if only, if only, the AAP had changed their stand a few months earlier! When we checked, AAP was still saying it was recommended for hygenic reasons so we thought it was a necessary evil. (they issued the new report in March '99 litterly only weeks after we had decided!)
so_silly's Avatar so_silly 04:02 PM 07-23-2003
That just breaks my heart. How do doctors end up so cold and disgusting? How can you ignore the pain and screams of a helpless baby?

Off to hug my boys...
2much2luv's Avatar 2much2luv 02:24 AM 07-27-2003
How very sad. I thank the Lord everytime I read something like this that I had a girl first because I did not know better at the time. Oh my gosh. I really feel like throwing up. But thank you for sharing this. How painful it must have been for you to see....
notocirc's Avatar notocirc 12:36 PM 07-27-2003
I just wanted to make sure everybody knows that the stories I shared a year ago weren't personal experiences (I'm not a nurse) but rather the experiences of a nurse who frequented another board I was posting on at the time.
If anyone wants to use the posts to educate others, please feel free to.
Christy1980's Avatar Christy1980 02:36 AM 07-28-2003
My DP's mom is a NICU nurse, (now at the EVIL kaiser hospital in fairfield CA : ), but she used to wrk at a hospital here. Anyway, in the cafeteria, she heard one of the Dr's talking about either having just done a circ, or was about to do a circ, and she asked him, "If it isn't neccessary, then why do you do it?" The male DR said (with a big smile), "because that's what puts hair on your chest and makes you a real man."

She left the table in obvious disgust. I don't think she had a comeback for him or anything, but i need to ask her.

What a crazy answer. I wonder if he tells the parents that, too? That's just a disgusting attitude to have.

but the good thing about her working at the hospital was that she said 60% or so of her NICU baby boys here in FL left the hospital intact. I guess the parents decided their poor kids had already been through so much, an unneseccary surgery was just overkill. I have to ask her about this cuz i'm not sure, but I think when the parents came to visit, She would pull them aside and give them the facts so they wouldn't do it. she's sneaky that way. I'm sure in CA, she doesn't even have to worry about it.
Sara29's Avatar Sara29 10:34 AM 07-28-2003
The male DR said (with a big smile), "because that's what puts hair on your chest and makes you a real man.">>>>

Should have said circ actually reduces the function and size of the penis and makes them less of a real man!!!!

Ofcourse this belief is not uncommon.All over the world boys/people are taught circ=manhood.

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