Never A Dull Moment Around Here

Well, as I mentioned in a recent post, we had a weird situation with Mordecai’s circumcision. I’m back to share the story and report that it got even more crazy. There’s never a dull moment around here, so let me explain!

Because we had Mordecai at a freestanding birth center instead of a hospital, we knew he couldn’t be circumcised at the birth center. The midwives just don’t do circumcisions and we were home a few hours after his birth.

Usually, the birth center schedules the circumcision for a couple of days after birth with a doctor who works with them. Wellllll, a couple of weeks before his birth, we got an email that the doctor that performs the circumcisions for the birth center couldn’t perform the procedure due to supply chain issues with circumcision kits.

So, we were told that we had two options:

  1. Have the circumcision done at the hospital by a urologist when Mordecai is over six months old, but he has to be put under anesthesia and it’s a tougher recovery the older the patient is.
  2. Have a Mohel, which is a Jewish Rabbi that performs circumcisions, do the procedure in our home on the eighth day of Mordecai’s life.

So, that was kind of unexpected! I personally was like well, maybe this is a sign we shouldn’t go through with it? Jimmy was pretty firm on having it done, and I read about the risks of urinary tract infections in boys/men who aren’t circumcised. It was just a weird situation, you know?

On top of that, our insurance wouldn’t cover it because it wasn’t done by the birth center’s doctor, so it was considered “out of network.” We ended up having to pay $400 out-of-pocket for something that is usually covered by insurance no problem.

We took everything into consideration and decided to go with the mohel. The rabbi actually thought we were Jewish when we told him Mordecai’s name, lol. Anyway, he came to our house on the eighth day or Mordecai’s life and did the circumcision.

Newborn baby laying in bassinet

Our little guy resting after his circumcision

It was totally traumatizing for me. Jimmy somehow stayed in the room to watch, but I stayed in the living room and cried and cried and cried while I heard Mordecai crying. Ugh. The rabbi was so kind, professional, and friendly. It was just a tough thing to go through!

After it was done, the rabbi showed us how to care for the wound and followed up with us at the one and two hour mark after the procedure as well as 24 hours after. We hit the 24 hour mark with no problems and thought we were in the clear.

We went to bed and woke up to change him in the night and his diaper was filled with blood. Like completely filled. We weren’t sure if he was still bleeding, so we gently wiped him up and saw more blood just running down his legs. We put another diaper under him while we called his pediatrician and he filled that one with blood, too.

The pediatrician told us to go straight to the emergency room at Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital. We didn’t know if we had time to arrange care for Sadie since it was 1:00 am, but the doctor said we could as long as Mordecai remained responsive we could find someone to watch her really quickly.

We called Jimmy’s mom and she came over in about 15 minutes while we packed up. We prayed so hard as we drove to the emergency room. When we arrived, my heart sank as I saw the waiting room was literally completely full and a screen on the wall said the wait time was over six hours.

We checked in and once the staff saw our baby was ten days old and actively bleeding, they brought us into a triage room right away. The nurse opened his diaper and the first thing she said was “that is a significant amount of blood.” Not what I wanted to hear after he had already bled like that in two other diapers.

She applied pressure to the wound with gauze but it kept bleeding. She went through a few packs of gauze until finally the bleeding stopped about 20 very tense minutes later! The emergency room doctor was worried about blood loss and the spot where he was bleeding from, so they decided to draw his blood to test his hemoglobin and clotting.

Newborn baby in emergency room

She also started an IV line in case he needed corrective surgery from a urologist. I was told not to feed him in case he needed surgery right away. At this point, they admitted Mordecai to the hospital and we settled in for a long night.

It was tough not feeding him because I knew he was in pain and wanted comfort and was hungry. We gave him a pacifier with sugar water to tide him over. I also got majorly engorged, lol.

Once Mordecai was admitted, we were moved to another room. There was a recliner, and Jimmy and I somehow squeezed in it and took a cat nap in between nurses taking Mordecai’s vitals and checking on him.

Husband and wife sitting in recliner in emergency room at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Once the bleeding stopped and everything was under control, I was able to feed Mordecai! Relief. Every diaper change was was nerve wracking, though. We weren’t sure if we would find a ton of blood and an open wound, or if things had stayed stable.

The staff at the hospital was amazing. Every nurse was so kind and helpful. One nurse brought us coffee and water, another offered snacks and made sure Mordecai got his daily vitamin D drops, and a lactation consultant visited us to make sure the hospital stay wouldn’t impact our nursing journey. She even brought me fresh nursing pads.

Newborn baby in hospital crib

While we waited to be seen by the urologist, I grabbed us a late breakfast in the hospital cafeteria and a woman paid for our breakfast. She must have seen how disheveled I looked and was so sweet. She told me she spent two years in the hospital with her son who had aplastic anemia and needed a bone marrow transplant.

She rubbed my back and told me everything would be okay. Hearing her story helped put things into perspective for me. I knew Mordecai would be alright in time and that we were in good hands.

We were seen by a pediatric urologist that afternoon and he cleared Mordecai to go home! He won’t have any last impact from the bleeding and the doctor said that the circumcision looked like it was done perfectly. The wound just decided to bleed and we’ll never know why.

Newborn baby in a gray hat

We went home totally exhausted from a full night and most of the day in the emergency room. It was just so scary and tiring. I felt so bad Sadie had to wake up without mom and dad there after her life has already been flipped upside down. Bringing a newborn into the hospital when flu/RSV/COVID cases are skyrocketing was also stressful.

At the same time, there were so many blessings amidst the hardness. Mordecai ended up just fine, we had help from family in a time of crisis, we had access to an amazing hospital with wonderful staff, and even strangers were kind to us. It all ended up okay!

15 comments

  1. Oh my goodness, Allie- what a scary and traumatizing situation for all of you. I am so glad to hear Mordecai is doing ok – sending you a hug! Glad you had some amazing nurses too- makes a huge difference.

  2. I’m so glad everything turned out well! I pray things go smoothly, moving forward! 🙏
    Glad you’re back home, and God bless you all! 💕

  3. Oh my goodness, Allie! I’m in tears for you all over here. How absolutely terrifying! I’m so glad he is okay now, but wow. What an experience!

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