Tag Archives: survivor

Who do you think you are?

Recently I watched the 100th program of the popular TV series, Who do you think you are?

ponderAppropriately, it was a review of some of the most notable of the 100 stories to date.  Two utterly poignant segments joined “survivors” ardent about unearthing the fate of their ancestors and family members.  An Anglo-African woman hoped to find some mention of her ancestors who had laboured as African slaves in Antigua.  Another woman’s relatives were among the Jews trapped in Belorussia during the Holocaust: it was known that 2 girls in her family had been killed horrifically, literally by the hands of German soldiers.

I recalled the absolute apprehension and determination of the children of adoptive parents wanting to find their birth parents.

Some of the Who do you think you are? programs I have found to be rather “ho-hum” – interesting but somewhat lacking in power and passion.  But not so the heart-rending search for what exactly had happened in utter blackness long ago and faraway in Antigua and Belorussia.  Sometimes despite deep sadness or horror we just need to discover what we can find out.  We feel a deeply personal and profound bond with imprecise stories about our kith and kin, with the general facts about certain people in other times and places.

My own search has certainly been nothing as emotional as that of the two women with links to Antigua and Belorussia, but it’s been passionate just the same.

People02But it has also reminded me that my early PS, surgery, hospitalization and parenting have affected me more than many other infant PS survivors.  Most seem never to even think about their PS episode, some can’t identify or even care or want to know about “that scar”.  And others recoil at the mention of what their first weeks were like for them and their parents – like the Facebooker who asked me to delete a photo depicting the starvation that some babies suffer before they are properly diagnosed and treated.  We each manage our life stories in our own way.

My parents were people of bygone times who kept from me the details of the infant surgery I had when just 10 days old.  Before I was 6 years old, I became desperate to know what had created what I later learnt was a surgical scar, running down the middle of my young body, and how I should answer the inevitable questions of the curious.

During my growing years I picked up enough from conversations and books to understand the essence and effects of surgical work, and what pyloric stenosis was.  It didn’t take that long to learn how to avoid the inquisitive queries: I avoided most by covering up and lied away the rest.  Meanwhile I learnt what I could do to remove what I believed was a length of white string caught under my skin… the answer was of course: nothing.  Sure signs of inadequate parenting, an insecure child, an introspective nature, and (I discovered later) signs of PTSD and OCD.

A busy working and family life, plus the now understandable reticence of the then available information sources meant that between the ages of 20 and 60 I learnt little more.  But “the need to know” was kept alive by my continuing episodes of feeling embarrassed, obsessed, and self-harming because of my scar and story.

Q mark2The advent of the internet with its free, rich and growing flow of information and its potential for community-building was a major breakthrough and gift for me.  It gave me many details which I had never heard or fully understood, and which I quickly recognized as some of the missing pieces of my puzzle.

Amongst much else I learnt –

  • most of what I now know about infant PS – and that there is an adult form of this condition;
  • how infant surgery was usually done before 1987 (and still is in the case of many circumcisions);
  • that the danger of infection before the 1960s had a major impact on hospital protocols and procedures – with great effects on all concerned;
  • that trauma (another “hush-hush” subject at the time) affected many of the babies and adults of those times;
  • that PS and its surgical repair leave many with life-long problems, for some minor but for others very disruptive;
  • that many medical workers were and remain ill-equipped to understand and fully help those who seek their assistance;
  • that healing occurs in many ways and that we each seek or find our individual path; and
  • that many of my approximate contemporaries who have had early surgery and are willing to network report psychological and related difficulties very similar to mine.
  • that although my parents both died in the early 1990s without ever engaging with me about what were some obvious “issues”, I have discovered that the very little they did tell me and the main import of what I have learnt since are a perfect match!
  • that I am part of a large number of infant surgery survivors who share my passion to connect our past and present: I receive a steady stream or comments from readers who value my sharing, explaining and honesty about what I have learnt.

woman at PCI have enjoyed years of interaction with countless others who had older-times infant surgery and were able and willing to share their stories.  This blog has triggered many of these passing contacts – and a few deep and revealing friendships.  Forum and social networking sites such as Facebook, Experience Project, MedHelp, Patient, and Topix have been valuable also.  Facebook alone has more than a dozen PS Support Groups (although only a few see significant traffic) with over 700 members!

Something deeply personal which I still don’t quite understand but sense I should is a powerful motivator.  Whilst appreciating and respecting those whose problems are much larger than mine, I too remain both passionate and thankful about what I have learnt about “my story” which my parents kept from me.

I am now much better to join the dots between my past and present!

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Reflecting on my 70th

Birthdays and anniversaries are times for celebration, and reaching “three-score years and ten” years is certainly worth a big three cheers! But they are important for reflection as well.

150926-25 sml

Renmark Reunion September 2015

Gratitude to God and to the most important people in my life over these 70 years are features I’d like to be emblematic of me.  I am still surrounded with so many loving and kind people, I have enjoyed wonderful peace and excellent health, and my contribution in several circles is still wanted and apparently appreciated.

Ten days ago Helen and I gathered to celebrate my 70th birthday with our 4 children, their spouses and our 11 beautiful grandchildren.  A wonderful 5 days . . .

October 6th is ten days after my birth-day and  marks the 70th anniversary of the life-saving surgery I had in the Netherlands.  I would not be writing this but for that day in my life!

Together with the country of my birth and background, my weary and expecting parents were struggling to emerge from the ordeal of World War 2.  And then I arrived, their long-awaited first child, but soon clearly defective: scary, uncontrollable and life-endangering vomiting (infant pyloric stenosis – “PS”).  And these were times when medical science was pretty rough and ready by today’s standards and when people didn’t dwell on what they’d rather forget.

Pic 12

Mother with me – October 1945

So October 6th marks what I now realise was the gift of a new and wonderful second start in life, but also the beginning of a life-shaping journey of exploration and discovery – outside of me and within.

Outside, my parents were unwilling or unable to answer my reasonable questions about the 10 cm scar on my belly, and this drove me to look for information elsewhere.  But until the advent of the web, this search yielded only cold textbook medical data about PS and the then 33 year old surgical fix for the condition.  And explanations of my deeper issues were nowhere to be found: there were no pointers to where these might be unearthed and no ways of identifying people who could help me to realise (as I do now) that my pain was by no means wacky.

Book coverWithin, I was tormented with private pain from the dawn of my self-consciousness until recent years.  Even now I am still working to piece my private pain-puzzle together, although the web has given me access to much information, clarification and to networking with fellow-survivors, all of which has enabled me to receive and share much healing.  Since 2012 I have blogged about my journey, and in 2014 a pediatric surgeon friend and I published a small book, in which he explained what many still regard as the elusive cause of PS and I outlined my personal experience of this condition. It so happens (in Australia at least) that October 6 falls in “Mental Health Week” – and my own story has certainly helped me to feel a sense of identity with people challenged by mental health issues.

Time changes things!  The past 70 years have taught us the value of openness in the home, the importance of both listening and speaking for healing, of collaboration in achieving goals, and (by no means least) we have learnt much about trauma.

70 years have also brought huge changes to surgical technique and to holistic care in the hospital and home.  Time seems to have done less to change the unhelpful attitudes of some in the medical profession – but that’s due to human nature being far from perfect.

What do these changes (and their lack in some respects) mean?

120327-07-WgHcThe kind of trauma symptoms I struggled with is rare among more recent PS survivors.  Their surgical scars are sometimes almost indiscernible, usually tidy and very rarely as gnarly.  Affected children’s and their parents’ questions are typically answered much more fully and sympathetically, and the children are helped to understand, “own” and even feel pride about their story.

As I see it, I have discerned this is the growth in myself.  I am indeed a survivor from a bygone era of medical practice and parenting, and my scar is an exhibit of mid-20th century surgery.  I know it’s not socially correct for a cultured older gentleman like me to proudly show off his scar as an 8 year old lad might… but I’m catching up on lost joys and enjoying it!

End-of-year reflection

This post was born between Christmas and a new year, surely a time of celebration, thanksgiving and reflection for all our readers, and amplified for many people like me by our Christian faith and values.

Being an infant pyloric stenosis (“PS”) survivor also adds to this time of the year: life-saving surgery leaves people like me with much more than the typical parent tales of the cute things we did when we were very young.  PS survivors of anywhere like my vintage (1945) usually have an ugly scar and were perhaps psychologically affected.  However, our scar also reminds many of us at least daily that our life was saved and greatly extended thanks to the admittedly crude surgery and long before we were conscious of it!

For me that happened more than 69 years ago, and the passing years make me increasingly grateful for a rich and happy life.

Song writer Robert Thompson supports Sheffield Children's Hospital.

Song writer Robert Thompson supports Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Early this month I came across a weblink to a British newspaper article that reminded me that being a PS survivor affects many people this way.  A local songwriter penned a Christmas song (Would you believe Father Christmas has a twin?) and created a CD around it to raise funds for kidney research at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Reading this also reminded me how many PS people who mention their survival story online also express their gratitude for being a survivor, despite their often strong feelings about a disfiguring and embarrassing scar and ongoing trouble with what are suspected as being long-term effects of the condition or the operation.

We all agree that our world is far from perfect, and that the same is true of our bodies and emotions, even without having had infant surgery.  But life can be pretty good despite this!

Thank you also to my readers for your interest, encouragement and responses.  Best wishes for 2015!

Networking about infant pyloric stenosis (1): links

For those who have had surgery for infant pyloric stenosis (“PS”) the online social media and discussion forums have been a Godsend.

Being a 1945 PS baby, for most of my life I was able to compare notes with only a very few others who share my PS-related joys and sorrows.  But worldwide networking has arrived and flourished since the advent of the internet in the 1990s.

Parents now compare notes on their baby’s PS, the surgery, and what followed.  Many regard it as the most traumatic experience they’ve ever had, too often made worse by the lack of awareness, sloppy diagnostic work, and even arrogance of their doctor.  Many tell their tale or join a Facebook Group hoping to increase the general awareness of PS, the most common condition of infancy which is usually dealt with surgically.

blog-writing1Survivors are typically keen to break out of their sense of aloneness.  We can now compare our feelings over the surgery and scar: we had no say and have no memory of our first crisis, but we can now meet others with the gnarly or deeply sunken scar which most of us hated, especially in our earlier years.

Many PS survivors also want to learn about a list of ongoing problems which some have and which seem to be related to their stomach operation, although doctors don’t agree or want to know about this.  After all, the paediatrician and the surgeon assured our parents that the operation was easy, quick, almost always immediately successful, and that there are no long-term problems after PS and the surgery.  “If only!”

Facebook is the most accessible and popular address and has at least six large and small PS Groups and they are actively used by both parents and PSers.  Unlike web forum sites, Facebook Groups can only be accessed by registered users; they just need to type “pyloric stenosis” into the Search box to get a list of Groups.

Forum sites like Experience Project, MedHelp, Patient UK, and Topix each have one or more discussion groups for PSers.  These four links are to each site’s most popular discussion on PS matters, and a search there will usually give you links to other discussions on that site.

Expectant and recent mothers share their experiences, concerns and questions on specialist sites including BabyCenter (in the USA), BabyCentre (in the UK), and also in other countries.

Readers interested in any of the PS-related issues are to be encouraged to “visit” some of these online locations.  Consider sharing your story and help increase the public and medical world’s rather too common ignorance of PS!

In the next few posts I want to pass on some samples of the important information that is shared on the pages of some of Facebook’s PS Groups.

John’s life-changing infant surgery

As I observed in my previous post, reviewing 2012, one of the heartening things has been the growing number of people connecting with this site to tell their infant surgery and PTSD stories, to network, and some to interact as trusting friends – as those with a shared experience or passion will often do.

This post moved me deeply and conveys the message of this blogsite so well.  I am sure it will bring home to many of our readers that infant surgery was usually and can still be traumatic, both at the time and in its after-effects.  Whilst I am thankful that anesthesia and pain management are now much safer and more advanced, John’s story certainly underlines many things for me.

This week’s post belongs to John, who writes…

Thank you for your blog.

I had infant surgery for a congenital cataract at age 8 months in 1975.  I now know from your blog and from other research that the surgery was conducted without anesthesia.  In the recovery room, my eye was bandaged and my arms were taped to boards so that I could not bend them to tear at the bandages.  I was sent home in this condition and remained bound, I believe without pain medication, for one and a half to two weeks.

I am wearing blue, am about six months old and have not had any surgery.  I appear to be a normal healthy baby who is happy.

I am wearing blue, am about six months old and have not had any surgery. I appear to be a normal healthy baby who is happy.

Here I am wearing white, I am about a year old and have had my first surgery (at about 8 mos.).  You can clearly see how severely I was affected.  I appear to be younger in the second picture than I am in the first.  I am holding my head and my body, in particular my left arm and leg, in a very un-natural way, and I am squinting with my left eye--the eye which was operated upon.  In looking at the picture, I feel like I must still be trying to get away from the pain.

Here I am wearing white, I am about a year old and have had my first surgery (at about 8 mos.). You can clearly see how severely I was affected. I appear to be younger in the second picture than I am in the first. I am holding my head and my body, in particular my left arm and leg, in a very un-natural way, and I am squinting with my left eye–the eye which was operated upon. In looking at the picture, I feel like I must still be trying to get away from the pain.

According to the medical literature, infant cataract surgery remained a “controversial procedure” with no standard technique or outcome (or even measurement of outcome) until the early 80’s.  My surgery was one of thousands performed between about 1960 and about 1980 when a viable procedure was finally developed.  Prior to 1980, all infant cataract surgeries were, to say the least, experimental.

My outcome was poor.  I never gained vision in my left eye and suffered three more surgeries by the age of ten – one, another experiment to remove scar tissue that had grown into the space they had tried to open in the first surgery; the other two for acute angle glaucoma, a very painful and (although not known at the time) common side effect of infant cataract surgery.

As part of the experimental protocol, I was subjected to aggressive vision therapy during my toddlerhood.  This “therapy” (again with no known outcome) consisted of my wearing a contact lens in the blind eye and for several hours a day wearing a patch over my “good” eye.  The patch effectively rendered me blind while I wore it.

At age 26 I ultimately lost my left eye due to the earlier surgical trauma and now wear an ocular prosthesis.  Last year I received a diagnosis of PTSD and have been seeing a very experienced trauma therapist for 20 months.  My prognosis for a full recovery is very good; however, things are fairly hard right now.

My PTSD cost me my job and my marriage.  I am employed again (as a web developer with a flexible schedule) and rebuilding.

I suppose I am writing just as a way to reach out to the nascent community of survivors of this special brand of torture.  I am not certain that many of us have survived into adulthood, or survived the PTSD if we did.  Others may not know the truth of what happened to them.  I think that many things are coming together now to help us all connect: the Internet, changing attitudes that allow old things to come to light, and the tendency of PTSD to manifest very strongly in one’s thirties–the age bracket of those of us in the “last wave” of infant surgery without anesthesia.

It is good to know that I am not alone.  The last six weeks have been especially hard.  Your blog has made it a bit easier.

Peace,

John

Pyloric stenosis – and the cross of Christ

Regular visitors to this blogsite probably know that for almost all my adult life I have been a Christian pastor and preacher – and even a mission administrator and church historian, all good tutors in many ways.

Not until after my retirement did I think of working out how the story of my escape from death at 10 days old by pyloric stenosis (PS) could be used in my work as a Christian teacher.

I have often mentioned how thankful I am towards God for this gift of my life, to my parents for what they endured, and to the medical people who did their best for me and countless others under tough (1945) conditions and using rather basic surgical techniques and hospital routines.

I wanted to avoid repeating the truths that we might expect Christian PS survivors to utter: that life and all good things are gifts of God, and that both nice and ugly things can be used by God to build compassion and character.  All true, but…

Two posts earlier this year got me thinking.

Chris Welch blogged about his PS, arguing that the Christian church has PS: it enthusiastically drinks in the death of Jesus on the cross as the means of God’s forgiving us, but vomits out the “we are crucified with Christ” bit.  “All gain – but no pain please!”  True?

Then Wendy Williams wrote about her English students reading and reflecting on some of her myincision posts, and their at times soul-searching, heartening and affirming responses.

Two Sundays ago and following the Church’s agreed Lectionary (3 year cycle of set Bible readings), I spoke about Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus (see John’s Gospel ch. 3 vs 14-21).  I spoke from the heart more than from prepared notes, and said something like this:

Although the Bible often talks about God’s judgment, it is significant that when Jesus talked with Nicodemus he spoke only of personal choice.  Don’t blame God or deny the obvious, we judge ourselves, the verdict is in our hands.

Jesus referred to the bronze snake Moses had to put on a pole and commend the people to look up to it as a sign of their decision to trust God rather than grumble.  Some trusted their leader Moses and survived.  We are told that those who did not died.

Jesus linked this old story with his approaching death on a cross: “This is like the way I will be lifted up in crucifixion so that that whoever puts their trust in me won’t die but have life.

A snake and a crucifixion are ugly things, and people can argue they don’t need that, that I’m living an OK life and don’t need God or forgiveness or Jesus to die a horrible death for me.  But by the snake and the cross, God says to us, “sin” IS an ugly word but it’s real.  Trusting God, or a bronze snake or a man dying on a cross may seem silly, even ugly ways to deal with my failings, foolishness and imperfection (summarised as “sin”) – but the choice is ours.

Soon after I was born, I had an operation to save my life, I was vomiting myself to death, my parents were told I needed this surgery, and I was too young and small to spend time looking for alternatives.

When I was younger I hated the scar I carry, and felt ashamed and embarrassed about it.  But I’ve come to realise that what is ugly may be necessary if I want to be here today.

In reading about what happened to me I came across the story of one family from about the same time.  Because the parents hated the idea of surgery, they lost 2 sons to the same problem as I had.  When the third child had it too, they decided he’d have the operation, and he survived.  These parents learnt that when you have this condition, it’s no use hating an operation, a permanent scar on your baby, or blaming the doctor for what he said, or blaming God because your prayers were not answered.

For me what is hated and ugly is now a picture of an important truth.

John tells us that Jesus said:  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light.  (vs 18-21)

Don’t blame God for a problem that cannot be denied or avoided: Jesus says here that the choice as to what we do is ours.

After the church meeting (of some 50 people) one man told me that he’d also had the operation for PS.  He detailed something of the circumstances of his surgery (about the same time as mine) and was grateful for the way I’d been able to link it with Jesus’ teaching about the cross of Calvary, an ugly but life-giving truth.

It all made me realise again how supportive belonging to various communities is for us all: especially when we can get them to intersect.

Grateful for life

Having written over 40 posts for this blogsite about the hazards of infant surgery for both the parents and the baby, it’s time to lighten up and quote some of the great infant surgery survivors who help keep me smiling and grateful.

One woman on one of Facebook’s pyloric stenosis Groups wrote about her dear sister: she even got her OK for a photo and wrote –
Living proof your pyloric stenosis child will grow up strong and healthy.  The scar, the bouts of reflux: it really doesn’t stop them doing anything… even belly dancing.  It’s scary for you parents just going through it, but remember your child will not remember any of it! xx  Thank you Sandra for letting me post the picture.

Someone else also mentioned the effect on her as a parent –
My DS [dear son] had surgery for Pyloric Stenosis when he was 5 weeks old and we were in the hospital for 3 days.  Honestly, I think it was easier on him than it was on me, LOL!  I wasn’t so worried about the procedure, but the anesthesia scared me to death considering he was so small (normal baby size, but young).  Of course he did fine and the problem was solved immediately.
Try not to worry and know that the doctors are professionals and do it all the time.  I know… easier said than done.
 Hang in there and good luck!
On a funny note, when they let us in the recovery room, DH, my father, and I were all standing around DS’s little bed.  Most of the other patients in there were adults, all waking up.  Well, DS had the monitor thing on his finger and it fell off, which I didn’t realize.  All of a sudden he got a flat line on the screen, and I of course flipped out.  I can only imagine what the people who were half out of it thought.
 

From a relieved parent –
My son had Pyloric Stenosis also.  He was 7 weeks at the time.  A 20 minute procedure put an end to two weeks of pure hell for us.  He was fine two hours later and eating without projectile vomiting 3 hours post-op.

This forum Comment is from a Survivor who shared in her parents’ gratitude for the work of the local Ronald McDonald house –
Twenty-six years ago a little girl came into this world much, much too early.  She weighed 3 lbs 14 oz, and required emergency surgery to correct pyloric stenosis, a deadly malformity of the intestines.  Her mom, dad, and grandparents spent over a month in the local Ronald McDonald house while this little girl recovered in the NICU.  Finally, 6 weeks after her birth, this baby left the hospital dressed in cabbage patch doll clothing, because nothing else fit.  If not for the generosity of the Ronald McDonald house, my parents and grandparents would have had a MUCH harder time coping during those critical first weeks of my life. Yes, the little girl was me.

This Comment was in response to something I wrote –
I think my dad had that surgery, and somewhere in the same time frame as you Fred, but not quite 10 years earlier.  He has a similar scar, all I know is that he was an infant and his dad was himself a doctor, so I don’t doubt that he made sure that his baby boy got the best care possible.

And she got this telling yet grateful comment in further response –
I know it made a huge impression on my mother-in-law, she describes seeing him tied down and his arms tied out, then going in the ice and turning blue.  But the only effects on him were positive – he could eat!
It’s amazing to really get an impression of how far we’ve come just in people’s lifetimes.
Interesting that there’s still no known reason, it has a tendency to run in families (hubby’s uncle had it too) and is more common in boys.

From a survivor thankful for medical progress –
I was born with a congenital defect in my stomach (called pyloric stenosis) that would probably have killed me as an infant.  A simple bit of surgery allowed me to survive and I haven’t had a single problem since (the only sign of it is a small scar on my belly that I’ve had all my life).  That may mean that my survival allows me to pass that gene onto offspring … but I’m glad that wasn’t part of the decision. J

And a parent –
Hi – our son had an operation 2 weeks ago (for pyloric stenosis also) and it was really scary at the time.  I kept looking at the paediatric surgeon’s hands, which were absolutely enormous, and thinking there was no way he could possibly put them inside my tiny baby!  But when the dressing came off I couldn’t believe the tiny, neat scar he was left with – they truly do some amazing things.  Our surgeon and anaesthetist were both really lovely and reassuring (and more importantly seemed extremely comfortable and confident in what they were doing) which made all the difference.

From a mother –
During Harry’s recovery I kept comparing how he must feel with the way I felt after my c-section, but he didn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort at all after the first day.  As another parent said, kids really are amazing.  Through it all I have no doubt Harry coped far better than we did!

And another parent –
My first born son had it 13 years ago.  He is a triplet who was born at 34 weeks at 4 lbs.  He lost down to about 3 lbs once he started the projectile vomiting.  He had the surgery at about 4 weeks old (so only 38 weeks gestation) and he did fine.  He spent two nights in the hospital (one the night before surgery and one the night after).  He was a new baby following the surgery and immediately started putting on weight.  He also had reflux so he continued to spit up but not projectile vomiting, like with pyloric stenosis.  He is now 5’8″ and weighs 140 lbs at 13.  He has two or three tiny scars on his belly about 1/4″ long where they went in.  Just make sure you get a definitive diagnosis and if he has it, the surgery will fix it.  I know any surgery on your baby is scary, but worth it if it helps.

This has to be from a really happy survivor –
Put simply, pyloric stenosis is when the pyloric valve between the stomach and intestines doesn’t open properly, leading to malnutrition and possible death.  The scar from the surgery which saved my life grew from 1 centimeter to 4 inches over the course of 34 years, articulating a seam between two unfortunate layers of belly fat, the result of too many beers and not enough miles on the tread mill.  My mother, who gave me life, also saved it 12 days later, as neither my father or the doctors believed her tale of a dying infant.  She cried her way to the emergency room, and here I am still.  The scar is an em dash on my belly — always reminding me of who I love in this world the most.  To read a line on one’s palm is to know the future.  To read a line on one’s body is to know the past.

Another light-hearted story, written a few years ago for Thanksgiving Day –
Life was good for the first three weeks of my life where I learned that crying was the only needed form of communication!  It helped me get everything I could ever need, and all at break-neck speed.
After these first few weeks, I began vomiting up the majority of milk I was fed, and in no ordinary fashion.  My family recalls vividly a time where I threw up 15 feet away from me.  I ruled!  My mother, obviously very worried again, called up the doctors’ office and described my problems.  The response she received was something along the lines of, “We understand that as a new mother you’re very worried about your child spitting up, and whether or not they’re getting enough to eat… blah blah…”  After this continued for what was (hopefully) only another day, my mother brought me to the hospital where they found out that I had
pyloric stenosis
So, at the age of three weeks, I went under the knife and voila, I’m all fixed.  Now I just have a nice ol’ scar on my belly from where they sliced me!
Now, while I obviously don’t remember any of the things I’ve just said, I am still deeply thankful to all the people that helped me and my family during my grim first couple of days, and then my third week of life.  I am so blessed to have had the care and the opportunity to be in an environment in which I received excellent medical care, an opportunity that sadly many people do not have.  I’m also extremely thankful to God for healing me and putting me in the necessary situation to get such great medical aid.

A final understanding and reassuring comment from a mother –
My son was doing a lot of throwing up at about 13-14 days old and like you, every time he would eat he would throw it up.  He had Pyloric Stenosis and had to have surgery.  This is a muscle in the stomach that lets the food in and it is not opened correctly.  The surgery is what the doctors say is “routine” although to a new mother, nothing that requires cutting your baby open is “routine”, but actually, right after the surgery he was like a new child and he has been healthy ever since.
He is 2 years and 4 months old and hasn’t had any problems since.  He has a very small scar to the right and above his belly button.  The doctors at first just told me that “babies do that” (throw up that is), but I researched it until I came up with the diagnosis myself and then presented it to them and they finally took the right tests and sure enough that is what it was.  So don’t let the doctors just push your concerns aside because you’re a “new mother”.  There is something to be said for a “mother’s instincts”.  Good luck and God bless you and your baby.