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Thread: to circumsize or not to circumsize?

  1. #37
    Custardtart Guest

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    I had Max done at five days, when we were still in hospital. DH and I both come from families where, for religious or cultural reasons, the men are all circumcised, so it was always a given that any male child of ours would be as well.

    I had walked into the nursery and heard a baby crying in the corner - for all of three breaths - and then he was quiet. I looked over with interest, as I hadn't seen anything happening in that corner before, and the midwife told me that the baby was being circumcised, so I was actually in the room as it was being done, and the child showed very little discomfort.
    They DO use a local anaesthetic on the boys.

    I immediately asked the pediatrician, half-joking, if he could rack up another one after he had finished, and 30 minutes later with a consent form signed, Max was circumcised. I really lucked out - this guy specialises in circumcisions, and I just happened to walk in at the right time!

    It was practically healed within two days, and Max obviously suffered VERY little for it, only showing mild discomfort when his nappy was removed periodically for the first 30 minutes as the nurses checked that all was well, after that it was 'business as usual'.
    I had always thought that the hardest part of having a little boy would be going through the circumcision, but it was a lot less traumatic (for me, and for Max!) than I feared. I'd be very happy to recommend this doctor, who has rooms in Dandenong, if anyone wants to email me for details.

    Kerrie


  2. #38

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    It really is great to see this topic being disucssed and not argued.

    my DH isn't done, nor are my two boys. DS#1 has actually had a couple minor issues with his but nothing that wasn't over with after a few days. The first "issue" was a build up of the smegma (thats such a lovelly word) under the for skin. When I first noticed it, it looked like a swollen gland or something just under the skin. it didn't seem to bother him any but I knew it wasn't normal so I took him to the Dr. She told me that it was the smegma and was traped. She told me to use this cream on it and gently pull the skin back to help it retract. But if it didn't retract i would have to get him circ't. I was really uncomfortable with her directions so I did a bit of research on the net and ended up contacting a Specialist at teh childrens hospital via email. He directed me to a artical on the westmead childrens hospital website that detailed the process the penis goes through as a boy grows. It explained that this build up of smegma was NORMAL and the skin should NOT ever be pulled back, until the boy is able to do it himself. This build up actually separates the skin from the head of the penis. So I left it alone and sure anough it came away on its own withon a bout a week of it appearing. The next issue was just recently, he said he was sore and to llok at the head of his penis was rather red and puffy. I took him to the Dr and said really its nothing just keep an eye on it. The next day he was fine. The only worry I had that time was he had just started preschool the day before and I was worried that maybe a staff member had changed his nappy and had actually tried to pull it back while cleaning him. I mentioned it to the manager the next time we were there. But I really think it was just one fo those things.
    I don't regret not getting him done.

    One of my sisters got her boy done because she didn't want other mothers thinking she was being dirty with her child when she changed him in public "parent" rooms while out. I was like WTF?? she said you know when you pull the skinback to clean them..... I was like ahh no you leav eit alone... anyway.

    I have a seen a few little boys with it done and I have to say it looks odd. Both my boys seem to have very long penis's ( ds#1 would seriourly be close to an inch and half to 2 inched long) but the boys I have seen with it chopped have this littel stubby thing that seems to just poke up out of the skin. Maybe its just these couple that I have seen but if you ask me they look like little escimo's.

    Religous ( what exactly is the religous reasons?) or a medical reason is the only time I would agree to having it done.
    Its like docking a dogs tail, there really isn't a good reason for doing it...

  3. #39
    Custardtart Guest

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    "Religous ( what exactly is the religous reasons?) "

    FionaJill, in my case, circumcision is part of the law made with God under Abrahamic covenant to mark the Jews as God's people, physically and spiritually. Without wanting to get into any intense moral or spiritual debate, the reasoning is that as God has set his 'chosen' people apart spiritually, so he sets them apart physically.

    Many people of various Christian backgrounds (although certainly not all) also hold to this belief, although it is not required by law under the New Testament covenant, it has been accepted as part of the culture for generations.

    To NOT get my son circumcised would be turning my back on too many values to list here without getting into a very involved discussion!

    Many of the Old Testament laws are based on hygiene and cleanliness, remembering that the world was a vastly different place when they were made than it is today, and some of those laws now seem irrelevant in modern society, but they are still an intrinsic part of belief and lifestyle.

    "Its like docking a dogs tail, there really isn't a good reason for doing it..."
    This could be said of any ritual that pertains to a faith that you personally don't subscribe to. There are many good reasons for circumcision, they just don't apply to you and your family. It's sometimes very hard to type a written word without reading more into it than intended, so PLEASE don't take this as any sort of judgement upon your opinion, I'm just saying that because circumcision isn't relevant to you, doesn't mean it isn't highly important to others.

    Kerrie

  4. #40

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    Kerrie just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your story! We'll be doing this in about 5 and a half months, so its good to knowl. I'll be chatting with my OB at my next appt to see who he recommends. Did they use the bell? I think its called? Were you able to stay during the procedure? These are probably all the questions I'll be asking the Dr that does Seth.

    Thanks for your help Kerrie!

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  5. #41
    Custardtart Guest

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    Hi Cailin, I just got your email and replied there
    In brief - I could have stayed, but I was on the phone and it was too quick - over by the time I was back in the room! I don't know if it was called a 'bell', it was a little ring that they applied under the foreskin that gently lifted it off over the course of two days. It was very clean and neat, and as I said, Max didn't seem to be in any distress at all after the initial checks - but then, he yells EVERY time someone takes his nappy off, so it might not even have been due to the circumcision, he could have just been yelling for the heck of it, my stubborn little man!!

    Kerrie

  6. #42

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    Kerrie,

    Thank you for that very interesting information. I appreciated reading it. I did not take any of what you said in any way judgemental.

    Actually looking back on my thread my tail docking comment was a little off the cuff and I appolygise to any it may have offended.

  7. #43

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    We were half half about it and were leaning towards doing it when we found out we were having a boy, but when he was in my arms, there was no way I could do it. So Elijah isn't done even though daddy is - which was only due to an infection as a child when he went swimming in some lovely NSW water...

    We discussed it with the paed at his 6 week check-up in case we changed our minds - he seemed a bit off that we were thinking about it and said that it's pretty much 50/50 with people doing it at present. He also gave me a referral for when he was 6 months to see a surgeon as he saw it as the only 'humane' way to do it, by G.A. (all his words not ours here). But we wont be doing it anyways.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  8. #44
    Fishchick Guest

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    I don't know much about the procedure of circumcision, but have read this thread with interest. If my bub turns out to be a boy, I'd like to be armed with all the info before DH & I make our decision.

    We're well aware of both sides of the moral & ethical arguments, but what are the facts of the procedure itself?

    How is it done?
    At what age/point is best?
    Do they use local or general anaesthetic?
    Is it a cut & stitch procedure, or is it a plastic bell clippy thingo?
    If it's the bell thingo, how does that work?
    What is the recovery time for bubs?
    Is it bandaged?
    How do you look after him in those initial days while healing?

  9. #45
    Custardtart Guest

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    Cailin suggested I copy part of the email I sent her to here, as she felt others might be interested.

    The pediatrician put a little ring under the foreskin that gently lifted the skin off after two days, it came away cleanly and there was very little blood. I'm sure if I asked I would have been able to stay, but I'd left him in the nursery for a blood check for jaundice and then answered a phone call, and by the time I walked back in it was already done! It only takes a few minutes - my information sheet from the pediatrician said an average of seven minutes, if it takes more than ten, the doctor is incompetent.

    Max experienced very little discomfort, for which I was very relieved as I'm sure you can imagine! My husband was totally freaked at the thought of changing his nappy for the first few days afterwards, I understood this so changed his nappy for the first three days, but there really wasn't anything 'icky' about it. By the time I needed DH to do a change, it was totally healed with no scarring - just a little red around the tip, as the new skin adjusted to being on the outer. No scabbing, no mess.
    The wound care is very basic and easy, just pop a bit of gauze lined with vaseline on top of the penis to stop it rubbing on the nappy for a week, and let it heal by itself!

    Further to that, Fishchick, they use a local anaesthetic, and as far as what age is best, I guess that's debatable - it's traditional for Jewish boys to be done at eight days old, the reasons are anyone's guess! Personally I'm wondering if it might not be because at that young age, the baby's system is still awash with a strong healing influence related to the birth? An operation which would cause major discomfort for an adult really seemed to be of very little consequence to Max, so I'm figuring that the hormones which help babies recover quickly from a birth are still in force and cause a quick healing - mind you, that's just my personal theory.

    Kerrie

  10. #46

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    Thanks for sharing again Kerrie, I had been told by a gf it was very humane so I'm glad to hear it hasn't changed. Yep I think the plastic thing is the bell from memory. Its confirmed to both Marc & I that we are in fact making the right decision. I'll talk to my Ob and see who he recommends, I'll also double up and call the hospital and see who goes there.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  11. #47
    mooshie Guest

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    in response to you questions fishchick here are some answers to which may help

    my ds was done at 1 day old, it was a co-incidence atm the doc was in the hospital at that time and was willing to do it, i also felt better about having it done whilst we were still in.

    my ds had the cut done, we could have had the bell done by a different doc but that meant going back to the hospital as an outpatient a week later and as i said earlier i just wanted to be in hospital at the time.

    the only time ds cried was when the nappy was taken off and he had done quite a big meconium poo and it took a while to clean him up before the procedure was done - can't remember re anthestic, i think he did have a local but i am sorry i really can't remember.

    ds was breastfeed straight after and settled - in fact he was more unsettled after his heel***** testing.

    he was bandaged for 2 days and this was removed by the doc before we went home

    care at home was for 1 week after each nappy change was to dab a bit of vaseline on some gauze and drape it over the penis before a new nappy was put on. there was no bleeding or complications whatsoever.

    i thank everyone for their input on this discussion, to tell you the truth i was a bit hesitant about posting earlier as i feel alot of people do judge you if you circumsize your son but it was our decision and i am glad we made it. i did find a couple of the midwives at the hospital were not as "chatty" to me when they came in the first 24hrs every 15mins for observation of my ds after the "op" which was quite hurtful at the time.

    as for my ds - well he has started asking me probably about 12mths ago why his "doodle" looked different to one of his buddies, i just said to him that everyone is different in lots of different ways and since that time he has accepted it as out of our circle of friends he has realised that about 1/2 the boys look like him and dad and the other 1/2 look different.

    anyway thanks again to everyone for not being judgemental on parents like us that choose to circumsize our sons for various and different reasons.

  12. #48

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    My four boys have not been done as I couldn't bring myself to do it...they range in age from 11 to 3 and so far I have absolutely no regrets..

    Having said that i am all for whatever we decide to do as parents, wheter it be for religious reasons or others..


    Jan xx

  13. #49
    kriscee Guest

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    my son was a general ana. he was just under 6 months when he was done due to recurrent uti's. Here is what happened (this is posted in another forum so I have just copied and pasted it here). He had the plastibell...

    Well, our day was pretty full on. Got up and made sure DS was fed by 7:30am. Tried to feed him some boiled water at 9:15am but he just screwed his face up at me and refused to drink it - don't blame him really.

    Left for the hospital at 10:30am. Admission was for midday (we live a fair distance from the hospital). I didn't think DS would cope very well without a feed for so long but he did amazingly well. Was admitted at midday and told we were second in line as they do the youngest first and there was a baby who was younger then DS so that baby would be going first. So they told us we were looking at about 2 - 2:30pm for the procedure. We got a private room for the day in the women's unit and all the nurses were really lovely. Took all his vitals etc. and everything was fine. Healthy boy.

    The anaethetist popped in at about 1pm to ask a couple of questions and give me the estimate for the bill. He was great - really friendly and easy to talk to.

    We were then told that the pedeatric surgeon had had to book in another baby before us (12 week old for a hernia) and therefore we were knocked back to third in line so we didn't actually get in until 3pm. By this stage DS was starting to get a little bit cranky as he was tired and hungry but was still really good.

    I walked down to the theatre carrying DS and got dressed up in the very fashionable theatre gown, cap and shoe covers and sat with DS on my lap while the nurses played games with him. The urologist came over and told me that it wouldn't be long and explained how to look after him once all of this was done.

    Carried DS into the theatre with the anaethetist and a couple of the nurses and was able to stay with DS until they knocked him out with gas. They just put the gas over his mouth and he slowly drifted off over a couple of minutes. The anaethetist tried to keep my mind otherwise occupied with some stories about his kids etc. Once DS was out to it, I went back to our room and waited about 30 mins.

    Got called back to the recovery room and took his bottle with me. He was crying when I got there but mainly because he was hungry and also a bit because of the after effects of the anaesthetic. They let me jump on the trolley bed and put him on my lap and I fed him there and then. He was still pretty groggy from the whole thing so drank a bit, dozed, drank a bit more. They monitored him for the next 20 minutes or so. While he was in theatre they had put a drip in his arm and one in his foot for fluids. They had taken the one out of his arm before I got there and left the one in his foot for fluids. But it wasn't bothering him at all.

    The nurse showed me what they had done with the circumcision while I was in recovery with him and it is actually quite neat. I was expecting blood and gore but there wasn't any. Just a clear plastic ring tied off with some sort of string. That was it.

    So we were then wheeled back to our room and told that we needed to wait another hour and a half before we could go just to make sure that he recovered from the anaesthetic alright. Which he did.

    So my instructions are to put a cream (is actually eye ointment) on the ring 3 times a day until it runs out. Am also supposed to put some vaseline on a nappy liner everytime I change his nappy to make sure nothing sticks. If it does I have to soak him and the nappy liner to get it off. Am to keep putting the vaseline on for another month and have to go back to the doc in two weeks to make sure everything it ok. Was also told DS will be a bit cranky for the next 24 hours and to keep up the panadol if this is the case. Also, the ring will fall off anywhere between 7 - 10 days and as it starts to fall off it will get a bit red and swollen.

    The next day DS was acting as if nothing happened at all. Was completely himself. Didn't need any further panadol.

    After the op I gave DS salt baths twice (sometimes three times) a day. was paranoid about him getting an infection which can be one of the complications with circumcisions. Also kept putting the ointment on three times a day and new nappy liner with vaseline at every nappy change.

    Sometimes when he did a big poo it would go all over the plastibell, so I always gave him a bath to make sure it all got washed off.

    it is quite worrying to go through because you don't know what to expect or how well your child will cope with the procedure. in my case, DS coped really well. he never once cried from any sort of pain from the procedure in the following days. As the plastibell started to separate from the rest of it, it got quite red and swollen and where the plastibell was tied off, the dead skin goes white. It also starts to look a bit weepy/pus-like as it separates also. The plastibell also tended to slide out a bit when I gave DS a bath and about 12 hours after I noticed the separation starting it came off completly in the bath. DS bumped it and the last bit let go. Almost had a heart attack!

    Checked him over (i got a bit of a shock when it came off) and all seemed to have healed alright although I did notice that the underside was quite red and raw looking - a bit bloody in fact. I started to stress about that and worried that he might have an infection. Worried all night about it, DS wasn't though. Ended up ringing the doc this morning to see if he could check it for me to make sure it had healed alright. Doc said it was fine and that rawness would go away after a few days. Doc also advised to keep pulling the foreskin back to make sure it doesn't re-adhere to the glans (which can happen) and to clean out all the smegma left underneath. Am to keep up the ointment until my second tube runs out and the nappy liners with vaseline and go back for another checkup in a month.

    OK - that was my post. Phew! At the moment we are going back to the surgeon on Thursday for what I hope is his final checkup. Doc just wants to make sure it has healed properly - which i think it has.

  14. #50

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    I appreciate reading everyones views about his topic, but my delimma is DH and I have TOTALLY opposite views, and get very heated and passionate about our way, and have discussed this on and off for 7 years,when our first children were born, and have not managed to agree yet.
    I disagree, as there is no religous grounds, for us, and there is no medical reason, IYKWIM, I think you dont whip out the tonsils, or the appendix just in case. and as a nurse have seen some of the side effects of things that go wrong.
    DH on the other hand is adamant that his son, will look like him, I mean I think this is a lame excuse for surgery, I mean would you get you child operated on, so they had the same nose, or ear shape etc??? NO so to me this is the same, BUT he is very very very determined, I dont know how to cope with this, I now have a 2month old son ( first after 3 girls) and the subject hasnt been broached for 2 months, but I dont know what to say when it comes up again, I have tried the logical approaches,

    DELIMMA!!!

  15. #51

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    Have you tried telling him that if he wants it done he has to organise it, take him along to the Drs to get it done and do all the after op care and nappy changes?
    One guy I know of changed his mind when he was told he would have to take care of everything.

  16. #52
    kriscee Guest

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    what about getting him to do a bit of internet education. there are plenty of websites around opposing circ's. a lot with very graphic details and pictures, what can go wrong etc. that might be enough for him?

  17. #53

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    thanks so much kriscee for your story, it was really good for me to know all the details of how it is done and the recovery etc.

    DH and i have pretty much decided to have it done if we have a boy, so now we will just wait and see. the good part is that my OB, who i have a lot of trust in, does the procedure, so at least i know who will be doing it.

    thanks everyone for your input,

    Linda

  18. #54

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    Hi - we had Alex done last week by a fantastic doctor in the outer eastern suburbs of Melb. He went through all the goods and bads for over half an hour, but we both pretty much knew it all, and what we didn't know doesn't really apply in Australia.

    I'm not sure of the actual process, we didn't ask, but Alex cried for a bit when it was done and then he fed and fell asleep.

    It was done for a combination of reasons and I'm fine with it. I only know one woman who had her sons done and her doctor was booked out months in advance and would not do them after 7 weeks of age. You pretty much had to book in when you found out you were having a boy !

    This doctor was recommended by my OB.

    Cheers,
    Barb.

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