When I was a girl, I spent a lot of time wandering the shorelines of Sandy Hook along the Shrewsbury River at the Jersey shore. I felt very close to the horseshoe crabs I discovered there. They wore armor and trailed a spiky tail yet were quite vulnerable as they could be easily overturned, their undersides unprotected by a shell. Similarly, I had a vulnerable underside. As a baby 3-weeks young in 1952, I underwent a surgery for pyloric stenosis (the closing of a stomach valve near the small intestine). This operation affected me and my family very deeply, and I am still understanding the myriad ways in which that surgery determined the future course of my life.
When I was a very young girl wandering those shores, interacting with the creatures of the sea, I found a community of creatures where I seemed to belong. Because of my difficult early beginning, I felt alone, an outsider, and was extremely shy. I was an odd creature like the crabs, and I too loved the sea. I spent many hours interacting with them. Now when I look back to those early musings and experiences, I understand the girl I was so much more–the girl trying to come to terms with what had happened to her early on.
This blog is my attempt to find other adults who have undergone infant surgery. I want to compare notes. I want to emerge from my aloneness and find others willing to explore how an early operation and their family’s reactions to it have shaped their lives. I want to share the story of my journey so far, hoping others will find meaning in it. I am hoping that you will share some of your stories with me. Will you join me?