[Photo and narrative by my mother]


Dr. Pott was a general surgeon. Having a neighborhood medical practice naturally meant delivering babies too. Mothers and their babies stayed in the hospital for five, six or seven days at that time. In the case of a boy, circumcision was included in the $75 charge for pre-care, delivery, and after-care until the "six weeks exam." (That exam was a milestone in a marriage!) When the mother was up to it, perhaps at two weeks, she brought the boy in for his circumcision. I would take the baby from her in the waiting room and close the doors.


We had a padded Y-shaped board for the procedure. While I secured the tiny patient on it with wide muslin strips, Dr. Pott made a muslin teat filled with a spoonful of sugar moistened with paregoric. I offered it to baby while Dr. Pott inserted a small stainless steel bell at the operative site, then tightened a clamp over it. This was tough, and my heart bled for the patient. I usually put my face down on the side of baby’s, and did my best to coo like a mother. We watched a clock. A certain amount of time with the clamp in place had to transpire before the scalpel was used. When it was, finally, the procedure was bloodless and neat. The wicked steel apparatus was removed, and the site wrapped gently with Vaseline-coated gauze.


When baby was restored to Mom, we always told her how well it went, how good her baby was, and asked her to phone the next morning. The report we got was always the same: "No problem whatsoever, and little Johnny slept all afternoon."


No wonder!


Amanda2610 and kandsgallery faved this
  • Rachel Pace PRO 8y

    Terrific documentation!
  • carrie de azevedo PRO 8y

    Fantastic documentation, but GOOD GOD I'm so glad routine circumcision is no longer the unquestioned norm.
  • jewel o' the desert 8y

    poor little dude! no wonder he slept all afternoon, that paregoric did the trick, all right... :oP
  • Steven Martin PRO 8y

    Good documentation, but I think circumcision should remain strictly a Jewish ritual.
  • Jacob 8y

    I can honestly say that this suprised me more then any picture I have seen on Flickr in a loooooong time :)
  • Susan Harrison 8y

    The job had infinite variety and every day was more interesting than the day before. Thank you all for tuning in!
  • Roadsidepictures 8y

    I passed out twice while reading this story! ;-) Quite unexpected!
  • Susan Harrison 8y

    Allen, and others: just be thankful you're not a female having a "circumcision" in some African countries.
  • jewel o' the desert 8y

    good point, chalet... and you don't even get the paregoric there... :o(
  • Vickie Perkins 8y

    Oh boy!
    I wonder if this baby, all grown up, would like to see this photo!!
  • punchandsizzle 8y

    AAACK!!! sorry.....

    I love your stories.
  • Trish 8y

    Great story! Thanks for the pic too!
    Seen next to a fellow photo of Medical Shoots. (?)
  • sappyroo PRO 8y

    i gotta puke
    when he grows to be 18 yr old
    he will try to find out why he was mutilated
    brain searching for 400 million stress relieving brain cells will instead turn elsewhere
    perhaps littleton, perhaps virginia tech, perhaps taber,
    all were sponsored by god fearin boys,
    wonder why they were afraid?
  • eyelightfilms 7y

    Barbaric !
  • musicfreak00015 7y

    Children are not property. Cultures often make errors they dont realize, look at foot binding in China for example. Imagine if I took my hypothetical baby daughter into the doctor and asked him to remove some of that "extra skin" around her genitals. He would look at me in horror for asking to cut off the female foreskin, yet would not think twice if my hypothetical child was a son.

    Basically everyone should the basic right to control their own body. The fact that, that point is even at issue with some people is astounding.
  • sappyroo PRO 7y

    doctors who rip of genital flesh are PEDOPHILE RAPISTS
  • ~ Liberty Images PRO 6y

    Oh my! Did not expect this one!

    Though Chalet is right about the girls in Africa. Having read "Infidel" and that author's tale...goodness.
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Taken on June 2, 2007
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