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Friday, December 9, 2016

The Blessing We Don't Wish on Anyone

I got a call for a bris which included the question, "Our baby was sent to the NICU. Will this delay the bris?"

The proper answer to this question is "For what reason was he sent to the NICU?"

If the baby was brought there for observation and as a precaution because the doctors were concerned about something, then the next question follows, "Did they just observe and run tests? Or was any intervention required?" Because if he required antibiotics, then the bris date would likely be pushed off.

In this particular case, as the doctors did nothing but observe, they were just being cautious out of a concern, which was likely based on a need for the baby's system to mature ever so slightly, which is not a sign of illness, but just a simple sign of normal development.

So I told the mom, I think the bris will be taking place on time.

Her response: "So when will the bris be?"

If she called me Tuesday, and her baby had been born the previous day, I told her, "This coming Monday. In six days." To which she responded, "Oh boy..." indicating there is not enough time to prepare.

Of course, there is enough time, it's just overwhelming. But she is coming from a situation where her previous son (same mohel as this time!) had some issue which caused his bris to be delayed a week. Her most recent memory of bris preparation is having TWO WEEKS from birth until the bris.

Since the bris typically takes place on day-8 of life, from one perspective it is a blessing to have a little more time to prepare for the celebration.

On the other hand, that "blessing" usually means there is something wrong with the baby that is causing the bris to be delayed. And any kind of medical situation is not the kind of blessing we wish for a newborn.

Things happen. Hopefully the doctors are amazing at what they do. And all little boys should be able to have their brisses in a timely fashion.

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