I don't know how to start this. My heart hurts every day for the mistake I made that I can never take back. I cry every day and hope that my son can forgive me for the uneducated decision that I had no right to make on his behalf.
January 2011, my son was born perfect. My labor was unmedicated and fairly quick. I was proud of myself and my lil babe for doing so well. He was 8lb 3 oz of gorgeous chubby baby! He nursed right away and was very happy. My jewish husband always assumed that our son would be circumcised. I never questioned it. I didn't know I should. I didn’t think there were risks. I was so ignorant. I hardly even thought about the procedure until that day.
I have 4 younger brothers. Two are circumcised & 2 are not. My mother never really explained too much about it, she just said that my grandfather wanted his grandsons circumcised and then when she had the younger 2 boys she didn't want it done. The only experience I'd ever heard about the care of any of my brothers penis', was my youngest. I can remember at least 5 times in his childhood when he'd had an infection. He would cry and say his penis hurt. It would be red and inflamed. And my mother told me it was because the opening of his foreskin wasn't big enough when it was separating from the glands? I never thought too much about it at the time, but 8 years later, when I found out I was having a son, I remembered my brother's hard times and I sure didn't want that for my son.
So when the doctor came in to talk to us about our son's circumcision, all I could think about was how this was the safest best option for him in the long run. I asked the doctor how many he had performed before and begged him to be careful because my baby only gets one penis & there was no going back. He joked that this was his first, then reassured me that he had performed hundreds before and he would do just fine.
He even almost tried to tell me it was an unnecessary procedure, but he sure didn’t warn us of any risks or any dangers. We had asked permission for my husband to be present to say the Jewish prayer while they performed the circumcision. There was no way I could've been in that room, I said. Now I wish I was, because I'm sure I would've stopped it! I can not imagine seeing my perfect baby strapped to a table...
My husband was in the room while they physically and permanently mutilated our son. When my son came back to the room, he wouldn't nurse. I asked if this was normal and they assured me it was. They assured me he didn't cry and everything went perfect. They used something called a plastibell and told me it was safer. A plastibell circumcision leaves part of the plastic ring on the head of the penis for healing. It falls off on its own around the same time as the umbilical cord. I asked about how to care for it and they told me not to put anything on it!
I was surprised because I did remember a friend having a son not that long before and she said something about lots of vaseline. But I asked again and they said the plastibell required no extra care and not to put anything on it, it would heal on its own. Not to wipe it with a wipe, but drip a little warm water on it from squeezing a wet paper towel. That's it. No further instructions, no warnings, nothing to look out for, not how to care for it after the plastibell fell off. Sent us home...
So the first week was "fine". But when the plastibell ring started to fall off unevenly I got nervous. I called everyone I knew that had a son and asked if they were circumcised with a plastibell and if this was normal. A friend of mine stopped by who had 2 sons who had this type of circumcision and said it looked "normal". At our 2 week check up the Dr said it was ok and not to worry. Still said we shouldn't be putting anything on it. So when the ring came all the way off I was relieved. Everything seemed to be alright? But I've never taken care of a circumcised penis before! I noticed there was still enough foreskin to cover the head of his penis. Once a day I would pull it back just a little to wipe it clean. I never pulled it back too much because I didn’t want to hurt him. Everything seemed fine.
At about 3 1/2 months I noticed a small part of the remaining foreskin was reattaching to the head of my son's penis. When I asked the Dr about it at his 4 month visit, she said not to pull it apart because it would cause scarring and cause him pain in the future. So I was sure not to pull it apart! Well then I started to notice it attaching more. Every time I talked to my mother about my concerns, she would tell me I was “obsessed with his penis” and she was sure it was fine. This of course made me feel worse. Was I “obsessed”? I don’t know. How could I not notice it? I changed him 10 times a day!
We saw a different Dr at our next visit and he told us to separate it, but I was concerned about scarring like the other Dr had warned us about. So I did not. I started to do some research online. From what I’ve read, it seems like he has penile adhesions. Some sources say to separate it at home and some say he’ll need surgery.
At about 8 months I took him to a ND because I wanted to try out a more natural health care provider. Even though it was going to cost me $200 out of pocket for our 1st visit, I was excited to talk to someone more on my page. When I called to make the appt and spoke to the ND on the phone, she assured me that she could address every question I had, including his circumcision. Well I was extremely disappointed with our visit. Not only were we rushed and hardly had enough time to remember all my questions, but when she looked at his circumcision, she said “I think it looks ok, but I’m not a penis expert” Really? Ugh, we never went back.
A few months later I made an appt with our Dr for a referral to a urologist. I wanted to talk to someone who looked at penises all day. I needed an answer! Our Dr wouldn’t give us a referral. She said if he wasn’t in pain, not to worry about it. She said to give him a warm and then gently separate it and then apply vaseline. At this time he was 10 months old. He would not sit any kind of still for me to try to separate it. I still try on a daily basis. It is only an uncomfortable situation. I am terrified of making it worse, but don’t trust the Dr’s to help us. I am terrified that he will need another surgery to correct this!
He is now a year old. I am going to make another appt with our Dr to try to get a referral to an urologist again. I don’t know if I will trust what they say if we do get the chance to go after all the different answers.
He is my perfect little guy and I am so mad at myself for putting him through this. I feel like a failure of a mother! How could I not protect him. How could I just let them do a surgery on my one day old PERFECT baby without doing any research???? I am so angry at myself, I can’t stand it. I make myself sick to my stomach wishing I could go back to that day and change things.
Has anyone had their son go through this? What was the outcome? I feel so lost and don’t know who to trust.
I have permanently mutilated my perfect baby boy. I regret it with my whole heart and soul."
|Plastibell circumcision method|