Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Snip, ReSnip

This very controversial topic was brought up this past week by Ruby, brave soul.
Now, I'm going to go there.
We had ours done in the hospital by the OB on staff. One was perfect, one was not.
For over 8 months we've known a surgery was in our future.

Yesterday that day arrived.
It's a horrible feeling to watch your baby go down the corridor of a hospital being held by a pediatric anesthesiologist. Your heart aches knowing he is going to go under and have his pen.is sliced again.
He's fine. It was a horrible day and I spent all afternoon with a very sad, sleepy baby on my chest.
By evening he was ready for his dinner and smiling, if still very sleepy. He slept through the night and today is almost back to his old self. Children are amazingly resilient. But oh, how I wish we didn't have to find out like this.

Now, you would think after all that, we would be firmly in the "anti" camp. But, for reasons I'm not going to go into, we still aren't sure. What we do know, is that if we had to go there again and we DID choose to snip, we would do as Strawberry suggested and I would second: if you are going to go this route, use a mohel. We didn't even know this was an option for us, as we are not Jewish.

I asked my pediatric urologist surgeon if he saw more of this type of surgery from the mistake of an OB or a mohel. Without a doubt, he said, an OB. OB's are more conservative and often leave too much foreski.n, the cells become sticky and the skin grows back together. They rarely had to re-correct the work of a mohel.
We wish we'd known, we would've gladly bought bagels and lox for ourselves, had a small bris and been Jewish for a day.

If you feel the need to write me hate mail, go ahead. Just don't be a pussy and do it anonymously.


Rachel said...

Such a timely post since this procedure is absolutely required for us. But a certain someone keeps asking why we're not using a doctor, and I also thought it better to go with the person with the most experience, i.e. a mohel.

Strawberry said...

It's horrible that your little boy (and you, his parents) are going through this. I don't think hospitals should be doing circs at all. Here's a good article on non-Jews going to mohels: http://www.forward.com/articles/12351/

Jen said...

Tiff and I had many conversations regarding whether to circ or not... I was firmly in the do it catagory. For me, it is mainly a hygene issue, esp for a little boy without a dad who may or may not let mommy inspect his penis for cleaniness when he gets older. I think it is totally up to the parents. What I find most interesting is that your OB did it (?). Is that common? In our area, the ped's always do it because they are more well versed in baby parts. According to one nurse, she could tell our ped did it because I guess she is the best in the city. PureLuck. I sure hope little man is all good today--what a scary thing to see your baby going down the hall of the hospital!

Dre said...

Hmmm I wish I knew we had the mohel option, too. We had the pediatrician do it both times. First time I had some sticking issues but we worked through it.

I feel you on watching your son go down a hospital hall to have that done, though. I wheeled my second son down myself in his bassinet a few days after my c-section, and decided I could not stay to watch, and waddled my way back to my room bawling the entire time.

Pomegranate said...

Thanks for talking about it. I'm tagging this post for future reference.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about the need to re-snip. That must have been so hard to handle. You are indeed brave to post about it.

I've never been brave enough to admit that it was a non-issue for us. All of the males in our families (including the four boy cousins) are circumsized, so that's our family norm and what we were comfortable with. I can only hope it's the right decision for our little guy.

Next in Line said...

So sorry to hear about the surgery. I am happy that he is feeling so much better already. It must be a relief to have it behind you.

Now that I think about it, I don't think we had a plan about circumcision. I thought I was having a boy, but I think denial helped me to block out the whole controversy.

The Definition of Mom said...

So sorry that you and yor little guy is going through such pain! Hope all of you feel better soon.

Ps our little guy didn't get snipped, it's just really uncommon where I am from, so it's not even something that we would consider doing.

jessie said...

Poor guy! Ouch! Hope he heals well. I never would have thought about a mohel either

We didn't circ and reading this reaffirmed our decision for me.

K J and the kids said...

The exact same thing happened with my last set. one was good....the other had to have a re circ.
It wasn't bad at ALL and he recovered quickly. I hope it works that way for you as well.

Ruby at Breathedragon said...

I was hoping you'd chime in on this topic, Puffer! I'm sorry it had to be in the context of one of your little guys having to get re-snipped, though - no fun. :(

My nephew had this problem. The doc who snipped him was too conservative and now he has adhesions. I don't know if he will have to get re-snipped, but it doesn't look right...and it was the first thing that made me feel like maybe we should consider not circ'ing. (We are still undecided.)

I guess I'll be looking into the mohel, though!

Andrew and Brooks said...

I had 5 brothers and 3 were cir'ed by a Mohel....1 was done in hospital before my parents knew about Mohel's and 1 wasn't done at all b/c of a blood disorder. Having the Mohel due the cir. was so "cool" (if you can call it that) He came to our home and allowed my parents to invite whoever they wanted to be there (they choose special people that they wanted to be a significant part of each boy's life). My mom would let the baby suck on a cheese cloth dipped in sweet wine as a slight pain reliever(as directed by the Mohel), then they would lay the baby down on a special board that the Mohel brought, but my parents could stay and hold his hands and head, and within 2 sec (it seemed like) he was done and my brother would be back in my Mom's arms! They always cried, but were comforted so quickly, that the crying never seemed bad. The Mohel would then stay around for a while to make sure it was doing okay before leaving.

It was such a wonderful and spiritual experience (although we aren't Jewish) that I had planned on having my son cir'ed by a Mohel. But when he was born 8wks early and spent 45days in the NICU, I was too emotionally raw to do one more procedure to him. Especially knowing it would hurt him more than in his first wk of life. If we have another boy and he is doesn't have the rough start like our first son, than we do plan to cir with a Mohel. (Although I learned after the fact, that once a preemie weighs enough, a Mohel can and will come to the NICU to do a cir.)

Mommies Making Miracles said...

oh goodness... I hope your little boy is feeling better.

This was such a hard choice for us to make.... We researched and talked to friends and researched more and talked to doctors... Ugh, what long talks we had about this topic. In the end, you have to do what you feel is best for your child. I can see both sides of the topic...

vee said...

Sorry you have to go through that.

No flaming, but just a question - I'm a Brit and, outside of religious communities, circumcision isn't really on the radar for most parents - it's just not something people even think about doing. I wonder if you, or any other commenters, can shed any light on the history behind why it's such a big deal in the USA? Cheers.

Aly and Elroi and Avie said...


Circumcision became popular in the US in the late 1800s as a means to cure masturbation. Now the two most oft-used arguments for it are ease of cleanliness, and "so he can look like his dad (or everyone else.)"

We didn't circ b/c we thought it was unnecessary and should ultimately be his choice. My partner is a sociologist who studies sexuality and gender so this issue was a done deal before we even met. I don't judge though--this or any other parenting decision.

Strawberry said...

The United States is weird and hangs on to outdated trends that it seems most other 1st world countries have let go of sooner. I'm surprised at how religious the US still is. When I look at other places, like the UK or even Spain, though people are still religious, it doesn't seem as pervasive as it is in the US. We still can't adhere to the separation of church and state here- crazy. Anyway, beyond the religious aspect of it, in the mid 20th century, circumcision was touted as the main way of keeping a penis clean. That idea is still with us decades later. It's like, we don't trust boys or men to clean themselves in the shower and to prevent icky problems, we just cut that bit of skin off. It's pretty crazy. Rates are thankfully falling now, but still hovering around at least 50%. And the number one reason people state for having it done is cleanliness.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you had all had to go through a re-snip.I hope he is feeling better.

I also hope you didn't get any hate mail. It's a very personal choice. We are all just trying to do what we think/hope/pray is best for our children.

Bridgwest said...

Good luck with the surgery - it is probably more traumatic for you than it is for your little man.

We choose not to snip our boys (now 15 and 5). It is increasingly rare here in Australia and in my state it is quoted at about 5% in 2008. Despite the low rate we received strong disapproval from people who had no business being in our business, so I totally respect your right to choose and admire your courage for raising the topic.

All the best for the upcoming surgery - may it be painless for your little man and not too awful for you and Chicken.

vee said...

Thanks (and sorry for hijacking your comments, Puffer!!)

tbean said...

Sorry that one of your little guys had to go through another procedure. We were on a hospital tour a week or two back and the nurse was explaining that the obs do the circs, rather than the peds, b/c obs are trained as surgeons, whereas a general pediatrician is not. We're torn about this one too...should we need to make this call. The mohel is a great piece of advice I had not heard before, thanks for that.

TBG said...

I haven't had a chance to read your whole story, so I don't know if the boys were in the NICU at all... Mine were for 4 and 10 days for a little fluid on the lungs kind of thing. Nothing too serious, thank the Lord. That said, our Neonatalogist did the boys' circs, so if yours were in the NICU, I'm surprised that isn't who did theirs. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us :)