I've let my sons down horribly. I knew what was right, I knew what my instincts told me was best, and I ignored that because everyone else told me I was wrong. Now my son is paying for it. I will NEVER go against my instincts again, as I've been burned both times I've done it with my babies (the other time is regarding vaccines). Both times everyone else said, "You're wrong. This is right." And I listened.
My ds is 6 months old. Before he was born, I felt very strongly that I wanted him to not be circumcised. My first son is circ'd (I was young, uninformed, and had never seen an uncirc'd penis, nor had my husband in all his locker-room years), so we just did it and I didn't think twice. I wised up with my second and knew what was best, but my husband (and docs, and parents....) disagreed. They all felt that he needed to be circ'd. I felt that I make most of the decisions, and I'd let my husband make the call for his son. I should have made the call, as his mother and main protector.
He was circ'd at a day old and, although I hated it, I accompanied him and it went off without a hitch. I felt horrible, guilty, like a failure as his mother, and I thought it'd go away. It didn't.
My son was at the doctor for his 6 month well-baby check yesterday. The doctor examined him and everything looked great. He took his diaper off and was examining his penis (I thought all looked fine) while I was down in his face, playing with him and making faces. All of a sudden he started crying, and I looked down and I thought that the doctor had popped a zit on his penis (since smegma came out). I was confused and a little shocked, and then before I could say anything, he went to the opposite side of his penis and RIPPED the skin that had adhered AWAY from the rim of his penis. It bled and my baby, of course, screamed. I was completely shocked, horrified, not really sure what had just happened.... The doc was explaining about adhesions, I think, but all I could do was cuddle my baby and replay that horror in my head. I walked out and have been dwelling on it since.
Not only did I fail him by not standing up to everyone about circing him in the first place, but I failed him by not stopping the doctor from doing this to him! He didn't warn me, didn't explain anything, nothing. Just did it, a foot away from me. I let it happen.
I wish I could go back and tell everyone that he will NOT be circumcised because there's no reason to do it! His body is way smarter than any doctor, and it's trying to heal itself now from the damage that I've done.
What do I do next? I've done research on adhesions, and I found that most of the time they resolve on their own, sometimes they don't. It looks like a bit of skin is still adhered on the very top of his penis, between the shaft and the rim of the head. The rest is raw and red and I've been putting vaseline on it and retracting at every diaper change.
Shannon, AP mom to:
Do the best you can. That is all you can do. Please do not feel horrible for going along witht he pressure everyone was putting on you to circumcise your son. You were nott reated fairly, and I am sure there was a great deal of fearmongering and misinformation making it hard to know the right decision.
As for now, don't let the doctor do that anymore. Be an active participant in your son's care. if your reseach indicates that the adhesions are best dealt with later if the remain a problem, stick to your guns. Doctors are supposed to be partners in our care, not dictators.
Thank you. I'm going to leave it alone and tell the next doctor (obviously, I'm switching!!) to leave it alone!!! We will deal with it when he's older if the skin doesn't retract on its own. It's already reattaching and trying to heal, despite my frequent gentle retracting/applying vaseline.
It is my fault, though. I knew the medical benefits were few and it was mostly for social reasons, and that's why I was against it. I should've dealt with the conflict that it would've caused with my husband if I'd refused to have him circ'd, but I took the easy way out.
My sister is pregnant with twin boys, and I previously tried to explain to her that the skin is there for a reason, and it's better to keep them intact. She really wasn't even interested in listening because her mind's made up to have them circ'd. I told her all about his appointment the other day and how common this complication is and how I wish I'd never done this to him. I'm hoping that will at least sway her into being open to keeping them intact.
Shannon, AP mom to: