My husband and I come from a long-line of circumcisers. Both of our dads, grandpas, brothers, uncles (ect) have all been circumcised so we really never put much thought into it, it’s just “what you do”. We had our first son in 2001, back then our hospital still did them. I know we signed the consent form while I was in labor. Sometime after he was born they took him and did it, I was unaware. He just came back and I was startled at first when I opened his diaper to find it bloody and gauze covered. But of course knew why. We went home and that was it, it healed and we never had any problems. 5 years later we have boy #2, at this point insurance companies would no longer pay for them to be done in hospital so our pediatrician did it in his office. We could hear his screams for what seemed like forever from down the hall, after he was returned to me it was a good 45 minutes before I could get him calmed down and he cried till he was blue in the face. However, days later he was healed and all was healed and all was well.
3 years later we have boy #3. My views on a lot of things had changed and I was really very much so on the fence about circumcising, however my husband was not. He wanted it done. I had done my research and really felt it was just unnecessary and I remembered all that crying but like many moms I figured dad has a penis, he knows what’s best, right? Our 3rd son was a large baby (10lbs 8ozs), when I called our pediatrician to schedule he had concerns that he might be too big for their equipment, especially since they were booked out 6 weeks in advance for circumcisions (they only do 1 a day) and he would grow a lot in 6 weeks. It seemed like everything was trying to tell me not do this, including my gut instinct. But then 2 days later we get a call and they have an opening for us. So we go in and this time the doctor welcomes us to be in the room for it all. We stay and watch as they give him 2 injections in the side of his penis of pain relief and hook up the bell and walk away for a while. I was surprised because there wasn’t the crying that I remember with our second son, it was fast and really just didn’t seem as horrible as I had imagined. We take him home and change gauze as instructed 12 hours later and it all looks just like it did with the other boys, skin was back and the entire head of the penis was exposed. The next day I open his diaper to change him and notice it looks just like it did pre-circumcision except the skin is beyond tight all the way around his penis. I called the nurse and she says “oh that’s normal, no big deal, as it heals the skin will retract back”. Well, it didn’t. As the days went on it became obvious his penis was not like our other boys. At first it looked like they had cut the wrong skin, as if they had left the foreskin but cut the back skin -if you can imagine. It was really not pretty. I took him to see several different doctors, all who agreed, the cut was done poorly (and unevenly) and on top of that it did not heal right and they labeled it as a “botched circumcision”. The most recent doctor we’ve seen said it could have been so much worse and that we’re actually pretty lucky with this. They all suggested the same thing -wait and see. No point to doing anything until we know how growth will effect it and as long as he is able to urinate the tightness of the skin isn’t an issue, yet.
2.5 years later the skin has grown and it’s not tight like it used to be. To see him you would guess he was uncircumcised however the skin retracts to the point where you can see that he has a complete bridge -meaning the skin has fully fused (healed) around the glands of his penis and the skin is quite uneven. At his age it’s impossible to say if it will require surgery to correct it, we’ve been told that occasionally the skin can “pop” off when they get a little older and have erections/start exploring with things (much like it does with uncircumcised boys) or it could stayed fused; knowing that it healed as a complete bridge the doctor felt it unlikely that it would release on it’s own. He could never have a problem with it and be perfectly fine with it just the way it is or he may find it to be very painful as a teenager and need surgery to fix the bridge. Or he may opt for surgery purely for cosmetic reasons. At this point we don’t know if there was/is nerve damage and should he require surgery to correct it, we don’t know what kind of nerve damage that could cause. You hear of botching circumcisions but you never think it’ll happen to you, until it does. I think all men will agree that their penis is a pretty important part of their body and we’re left with a lot of guilt knowing that our decision to circumcise for no real reason at all could have a great effect on his sex life later on. Not something a parent wants to think they could have essentially ruined for their own child. So now expecting baby #4, should this baby be a boy he will remain intact. We learned our lesson the hard way and now firmly believe that you shouldn’t try to fix what isn’t broken to begin with. Hindsight is 20/20 and I sure wish I could go back and undo what was done, but we can’t so we just learn from our mistakes and hope that telling other parents about our situation could hopefully prevent them from being where we are now.