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DocsNemesis 09-04-2006 06:52 PM

Update! Her little guy is doing great. His foreskin did readhere and the swelling went down and looks fine again. She said it looks like the way it did before the circ started. So hopefully he wont have any issues as he gets older.
The good news is that her dh has said ok, we will not be getting it done and he seems genuine. She has finally showed him some of the info that I showed her. And no future boys will be circd either.

So, I have a friend online who I had been debating with as far as circing goes. She was very sure she wanted it done, as did her dh, we kept arguing right up until the end. So she had her baby a week ago and I hadnt talked to her for a bit, you know, trying to let her enjoy her babymoon. Well, she emailed me last night and said she wanted some advice.
She took her baby boy in to be circ'd when he was 3 days old (so about 4 days ago now). She said she got really nervous but she didnt want to be one of those parents who waits in the waiting room, so she went in with him. They strapped him down and, naturally, he got upset. The doc put EMLA on and then proceeded. Then when they started the seperation part, he absolutely flipped out (big surprise, right?!). She actually told the doctor to stop, he did, and she unstrapped him, picked him up, and WALKED OUT!!! YAY!! She left her dh standing there and refused to go back in-she said she couldnt allow her baby to be hurt like that. Apparently she didnt believe me when I told her it hurt because she knows I am against it and she has had so many other people tell her oh, the baby doesnt mind it, they barely cry. I am so happy she had the courage to stop the procedure and leave.
So now here is what she is worried about. He had his foreskin completely seperated from the glans and the tip all stretched out. She has been reading up on the care of intact penises and she is worried because everything says not to retract and that forcible retraction can lead to infections and other problems. I told her not to retract him at all anymore and to give him tylenol for the pain, but I wasnt sure what else to tell her. Is there anything she can do to help minimize the risk of infection? Anything to aid in the healing process? Also, what kind of risks are there as he gets older? She said there is no way she is having him circ'd now, she is just worried. Any advice for her? TIA!

babygrant 09-04-2006 06:56 PM

Good job mama!!! Tell that other mama she made a very wise choice!!

As far as the seperation, I believe the foreskin will readhere to the head, just leave it be!

babygrant 09-04-2006 06:57 PM

Sorry forgot to ask, what did the husband do??

pdx.mothernurture 09-04-2006 06:58 PM

Well, the reality is that during the beginning of the procedure they actually put hemostats on the edges of the foreskin opening to stretch it open so they can introduce an instrument (like a blunt probe or scissors) between them to break the natural adhesions. With a scissors, it's a lot more traumatic and I would think the inside of the foreskin gets pretty...scratched up.

That being said, if she leaves the foreskin alone and lets the swelling go down and it has a chance to heal, it's mostly akin to a single forced retraction. If she doesn't let anyone else mess with it, he *should* theoretically be okay.

It's too bad she didn't believe you, and really disturbing (but not surprising) that a topical anesthetic (EMLA) that takes at least an hour to have any affect was applied seconds before the procedure started. Do they not read the product insert? The literature? Or, do they just not care? It seems like using an anesthetic is just a formality to satisfy the parents.


DocsNemesis 09-04-2006 07:01 PM

Um, it sounds like he isnt too happy about it but she wears the pants in the family He admitted though that he didnt want to see him crying like that and that obviously the pain meds werent working too well. I think he is hoping he will have problems and "need" it done later.
Oh, I forgot, he also had that first clamp put on, but she said that it already looks like normal in that area already or at least close to it.

MCatLvrMom2A&X 09-04-2006 07:04 PM

She can put breast milk on it for one thing and make 100% sure that he is never retracted again. It will most likely heal with no problems. The band around the end was damaged as well as the whole head of the penis but the amazing thing about the human body and especially babies so young is there recouperative power.

By the way EMLA cream should never be used as numbing for a circ.

I forgot to mention that a very diluted solution of tea tree oil is very good at keeping bacteria out.

DocsNemesis 09-04-2006 07:04 PM

Oh no, sorry, I should have specified. She said they waited a half hour after the cream was put on, probably still not long enough, but better than others I have heard. It sounds like it really didnt seem to make much of a difference though-he was still in very obvious pain. I TOLD her to watch the circ video during her pregnancy and she said she did but it really doesnt sound like it now. Or maybe she thought that since her son was getting the EMLA cream it wouldnt hurt him like that baby, who knows?

enstar780 09-04-2006 08:03 PM

Wow!!! Good for her. Since it appears that no incisions were made, it only got as far as the seperation, it should heal back to hopefully as good as new. As long as she does not try to retract it again, hopefully it will be okay. There is an increased chance of infection I hear, after a forced seperation, but I dont have any advise about whether anything should be done. There is, anyway, probably a lesser chance that it will become infected than if she had allow the mutilation to have been completed, fewer or no incisions. You should give her some copies of the Intact Care Agreement, the articles by Paul Fliess, and the AAP Care of the Uncircumcised Penis and so on:

I think it is sad that the father would *want* something to go wrong so the child would have to be cut. Thats awful, to want something bad to happen to a child, either MGM or a medical condition. I dont of course think there is any reason to circumcise an infant, besides perhaps frostbite or gangrene. The implications of the foreskin in everything is likely spurious. There are non invasive treatments to solve problems when they do occur. Problems with the intact genitalia are uncommon, for instance boys have less UTI problems than even girls, 5 to 50 times less, neither girls nor boys should have parts of their genitals cut off, and certianly dont warrant mutilating and destroying a part of a childs body like this, especially his primary erogenous zone that is responsible for almost all specialised sexual pleasure (see the lost list

~Megan~ 09-04-2006 08:50 PM

What an amazing mama! So many of us let ourselves (and our kids) be stepped on and we don't speak up. She has incredible strength!

DocsNemesis 09-04-2006 08:53 PM

You're preaching to the choir, lol. Believe me, I know!
Since she she wasnt worried about any of this previously, I told her to talk to her pediatrician and to make sure that they are anti-circ. I warned her that IF something does happen and he does get an infection, she really needs to take him to a good pro-intact doc, and regardless she needs someone for the rest of his childhood. She said his foreskin is very inflamed still. I told her just to watch out for any obvious signs of infection-fever, pus, etc-but that the inflammation is to be expected. I told her not to retract it again nor let anyone else touch his penis again (besides himself) ever. Hopefully he will heal up and be fine!!!

blsilva 09-04-2006 09:07 PM

Oh, God, I just got chills reading this story! Good for her!!!!! I know what its like to walk out of a dr's office, against medical advice, and its so scary!
I'm so not a dr, but I think it would probably heal on its own. I don't know how advisable this is, but when my ds was about 12 mo, he retracted his foreskin before it was ready (he was pretty rough with it) and it got really red, and I was worried about infection. I put Neosporin on the outside, let it heal, and it did. I don't know if that helped at all, or if its even a good thing- I didn't know this site existed at the time, and knew no one else I could ask, so I was kinda on my own, but it seemed ok with mine.
I second the person who posted that if there are any problems, she should find a good, pro-intact dr! If she took him back to the original one, he might take on an I-told-you-so attitude, and convince her that the only way to fix it is to circ him.:

loving-my-babies 09-04-2006 09:15 PM

Originally Posted by pdx.mothernurture

It's really disturbing (but not surprising) that a topical anesthetic (EMLA) that takes at least an hour to have any affect was applied seconds before the procedure started. Do they not read the product insert? The literature? Or, do they just not care? It seems like using an anesthetic is just a formality to satisfy the parents.

I know. This is so ridiculous. My daughter has asthma and some allergies and a few weeks ago we went to the allergist and she needed a skin test (allergy test) dh and I didn't want to do it because of the pain, so the doctor offered EMLA cream on her back. They left it on there for about an hour before doing the test. She didn't feel a thing but it was barely a little skin scrape (no bleeding at all) as I put the cream on her back I thought "I can't believe they use THIS for major penile amputation surgery"

MCatLvrMom2A&X 09-04-2006 09:36 PM

Neosporin should not be used on the penis since for some it can be highly irritating.

Kathryn 09-04-2006 09:42 PM

Thank God she was in the room.

minkajane 09-04-2006 10:38 PM

Originally Posted by Kathryn
Thank God she was in the room.
Many, MANY parents refuse to be in the room because they don't want to see it. Then the nurse brings their son back and says he slept right through it.

to this mama for realizing she made a mistake and even better, doing something about it!

yequanamama 09-04-2006 11:13 PM

Maybe she can find an intact-friendly ped or GP in her area and talk to them about it?

TigerTail 09-04-2006 11:28 PM

Is it a wonder they don't want parents in the room?

PS If it was me, I'd skip the Tylenol & give baby ibuprofen.

pdx.mothernurture 09-05-2006 12:27 AM

Thinking more about this, I'm surprised the doctor was so quick to stop the surgery. You'd think he would have at least tried to convince her that it was too late or something, particularly because of liability issues. I wonder if this doctor may be reluctant to circumcise? Do you have any idea who he is?


Sijae 09-05-2006 01:10 AM

No new advice really but since she is probably quite receptive to advice right now I would REALLY recommend the DOC video on the prepuce (foreskin) it is so fascinating and really explains what it is, what it does and how it works. There aren't any pics of circumcised penis's in it or pic's of circumcisions so it's not emotionally difficult to watch. I recommend it so strongly because it will really show her how important it is to protect it (especially if he experiences problems due to the aborted circ) and impress on her what a lucky escape her little guy got.

she can see it at:


DocsNemesis 09-05-2006 01:34 AM

Originally Posted by pdx.mothernurture
Thinking more about this, I'm surprised the doctor was so quick to stop the surgery. You'd think he would have at least tried to convince her that it was too late or something, particularly because of liability issues. I wonder if this doctor may be reluctant to circumcise? Do you have any idea who he is?

Actually, he was quite pro-circ. He was the main person telling her that it was the best thing to do, that he wouldnt even cry, yada. It sounds like her mama bear instincts kicked in and nothing was going to keep her in that office. It sounds like she basically jumped at him and grabbed his hand, telling him to stop and then unstrapped him and ran out. Like I said, she even left her dh in the room. I would think that they were both telling her to stop, but after she left and her dh went out to the car, she refused to go back. I dont know a name though...she lives in Florida.

smeep 09-05-2006 01:50 AM

I think her best bet is to leave it alone and wipe VERY gently. Also, she can squirt a little breastmilk on it. She doesn't need to move the foreskin to get the breastmilk under there, but just aiming it at the tip should help. That will help prevent infections.And tell her to make sure that she doesn't let him sit in diapers, especially poopy ones. It will adhere again most likely. And tell her to nurse, nurse, nurse!!!!!

It's sad that she had to learn the second hardest way (I guess the hardest would be going through the whole thing) but at least she saved her baby!!!

LadyMarmalade 09-05-2006 06:05 AM

Wow, I'm so glad she saved her baby.

I'd guess that it's probably as traumatic as an extremely violent forced retraction. Some breastmilk would be perfect - tell her to squirt some onto his penis as often as possible. Stress to her the importance of NEVER retracting. Also, he should have as much diaper free time as possible - fresh air will help him heal more quickly. Being closed away in a dark, damp diaper probably isn't best for healing.

Mavournin 09-05-2006 08:47 AM

Wow. Tell your friend she is amazing.

She will probably wind up being a great voice for other mothers. If only more people would take the initiative to be there during the procedure, I imagine we'd hear more stories like this one.

dynamohumm6 09-05-2006 09:12 AM

Originally Posted by Mavournin
Wow. Tell your friend she is amazing.

She will probably wind up being a great voice for other mothers. If only more people would take the initiative to be there during the procedure, I imagine we'd hear more stories like this one.
Ditto that. I takes a lot of balls to do something like that - and I've got $10 that says she becomes quite an intactivist after this.
Poor baby, though....I hope he'll be okay

coloradoalice 09-05-2006 11:32 AM

Originally Posted by pdx.mothernurture
It seems like using an anesthetic is just a formality to satisfy the parents.
I think this is such a true statement and I wish we could convey that to parents who insist on circumcising and say they will use anesthetic. I tried to explain it to my sister, I tried to tell her they consider a sugar pacifier anesthetic. I tried to tell her if they use an injection it needs to sit for at least 10 minutes. I tried to tell her the cream takes about an hour. And you know what she said to shut me down? "My doctor does these all the time and she knows what to do. I'm not gonna worry about it."

coloradoalice 09-05-2006 11:37 AM

Oh, I forgot.....

Good for your friend. I hope her little guy heals up just fine. All the advice here sounds great!

And tell her I am going to tell others her story. It's very powerful!!

pdx.mothernurture 09-05-2006 12:16 PM

I think it would be wonderful if, eventually, you could get her to write her entire story down...her inner struggle, going against her instincts (presumably) at the insistance of her partner, hesitating until the last minute, feeling compelled to go in with him, her reactions to seeing her baby in pain and rescuing---yes, rescuing!---him from cosmetic, genital reduction surgery at the very last moment...then taking him home, helping him heal, dealing with the guilt, dealing with her partner, etc.

Perhaps if she knows it will help other parents facing the choice, she might consider it. If not now, maybe in the coming weeks, months, or years.


DocsNemesis 09-05-2006 12:45 PM

I will ask her if she can do this. She isnt doing a whole lot of emailing at the moment. Apparently he isnt jaundice like my babies and as such, is being a typical newborn, lol (my babies slept through their first 2 months of life ). Anyway, I am pretty sure she will write it down for me and then I will post it here when she does. I told her about MDC and this area so maybe she will pop in here herself! I know that what she did was awsome which is why I wanted to post it here. I am so glad that she was convinced that she at least needed to be there-if she had been sitting in the waiting room, the dad and the doc surely would have told her that he slept through the whole thing or something and then her next boy would have been done too :
This is why I am going to be attending my friend's nephews bris and possibly her son's as well (I am still working on her, but I am not hopeful). I dont want either one of them to be able to stand there and tell me that it didnt hurt and that their babies slept through the whole thing (which is what my friend told my happened with her twins, that they didnt even cry-with no anesthesia, the doc lied and told her he gave them oral ansethesia which had to have been either tylenol or sugar water). I am even going to video tape it for them. Then when her boys come to me when they are older I can show them "this is what was done to you!" I am so encouraging them to sue. Ok, I have gotten off topic, lol.

kldliam 09-05-2006 02:50 PM

what an incredible story. I never heard anything like it. The forced separation of the sealed foreskin from the glans must have been horrible for the child. I am happy she ended it. You must have been there in her head the whole time. Good job!!!

MoonJelly 09-05-2006 05:03 PM

Yay Mama!!!

I have always felt that if the parents choose to circ *shudder*, they at least have the responsibility to be there and watch.

I will never forget the time I was at my birth center of all places : for a post-natal follow up. I guess they will do circs there. I had to witness a couple bringing their baby in for a circ and the mother sending Dad in there with the babe while she sat in the waiting room, because clearly she couldn't handle watching it. I was just apalled, like, if you can't handle seeing what is happening, why are you going through with it?! And, yes, I had to hear the baby screaming and I was still shaking on the drive home. :

Maybe if more women were present for the procedure, maybe more would take their babies and run out of there.

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