Monday, May 16, 2011


I don't know if I will ever forget today. I was still in my childhood when a friend told me about circumcision.  I couldn't believe it... it was difficult to imagine something I had never seen, well not until today.  Warning to the faint of heart, circumcision is the closest thing to mid-evil torture I have ever seen.  Everyone always describe it to me like it was really nothing but the whole process was more intense than I ever imagined... and feel compelled to record it.  At least, I wish at some point in my life I had some information about my own circumcision and I thought Henry might appreciated at some future date.  If nothing else but to demystify it.

WARNING: Information below if very graphic - read at your own discretion

Sara applied some medicine and gave him a dose of Tylenol before we left to visit our pediatrician. We had to sign a paper and the doctor gave us one last opportunity to back out.  I walked down to a small room with a dusty printer in one corner and examination table in middle.  Poor little Henry was strapped down to a white plastic table, that had the imprint of a little body with arm and leg straps. There was no turning back at this point.

Henry was screaming like he knew what was about to happen before the doctor did anything.  I held his little head in my hand.  They gave him a binky laced with medicine, which really didn't seem to calm him.  Two shoots were given to numb everything, the needle was very long and Henry's scream really intensified.  The doctor was very good at explaining everything to me probably because he had a student assistant with him. Then they took a long needle nose prier instrument and ran it around the inside perimeter of the foreskin, this was to help separate the layers of skin and to locate the tip of the penis.  Until this point I had always imagined a small amount of skin being trimmed back but to my dismay the length of foreskin was staggering.  The doctor then clamped down along the front of the foreskin with pliers.  I remember the clicking of tool as it locked into place.  We patiently waited for the blood vessel to contract to minimize the amount of bleeding.  It took about two minutes before it was removed.  With scissors the doctor cut along the foreskin where the clamp had been.  The skin was then pealed apart and back.  He noted the unusual thickness of his foreskin.  They cleaned everything out and noted a mole that would also be removed.

The next tool is hard to describe.  It kind of resembled a metal garlic press. A protect cup was placed over the tip of the penis and the foreskin was rolled back over outside and pinned back together with a safety pin.  Then another part of tool was slipped over to clamp around the circumference and was tightened over the foreskin.  Henry was still crying and was very sweaty to my touch.  The student assistant was allow to cut around the foreskin and the doctor came in and aggressively removed any remaining skin, separating the foreskin completely.  The clamp was finally removed.  The doctor cleaned up what little blood was there.  He then wrapped his penis gently with a bandage.  I ran down the hall to get a new diaper.  Finally he was unstrapped from the table and I put him in a diaper and held him in my arms.  He was covered with sweat but had fallen into a calm whimper. I  walked over to the room where Sara and Maggie were waiting and put him in his mother's arms.  It was surreal.  It was like nothing I ever imagined but I was glad I was able to hold his little head through ordeal and can't image not having been there.  What a crazy life experience.


  1. ...just when I was beginning to wonder if we made the right choice to not circumcise our kids. that's pretty horrific.

  2. So when Raymond was circumcised Jeremy wanted to stay in as well... but when he was about to pass out the nurse escorted him to the waiting room (Where I was). He also described it as the most barbaric thing he has ever witnessed.

    He came home declaring we will NEVER do that to another one of our children again. His mom, however, has helped to convince him otherwise since she works at clinic here in Blanding and says most of the kids who aren't circumcised as newborns come in as toddlers or preschoolers and have to get it done because they get infected. I would rather my child not remember his circumcision.

  3. I really teetered on writing it down and then worried about posting it but at the same time I worry about only writing down the pleasant memories. For some reason I appreciate the gruesome details human history. I don't know why so many topics are off limits, especially if those horrific details help me connect to my humanity. But there is a line... and I apologize if I crossed it.