It’s our last night in Omaha for a while and my husband went out to the bar with friends. I am THRILLED that he let himself go out and have fun.
Obviously having a baby changed our social life. But my separated pelvis has obliterated it. At home he never goes out, never does his own thing. He’s too worried about me. But today he trusted that the little guy and I would be taken care of at his mom’s house.
He won’t go crazy — he drove himself and we have to head home pretty early in the morning. But I hope he has a few beers, plays some darts and remembers what it feels like to kick back.
Diastasis Symphysis Pubis has tested everything about our relationship. I communicate differently (I am not as patient and I tend to think he knows what I’m thinking without my saying anything more than I should.) My interests have changed (If it’s going to hurt, you’ll have to convince me.). My needs have changed (There are TONS more of them). My ability to give has changed (I can’t do something extra to be nice if it requires lifting, walking, bending or reaching.) And our physical life as a couple has gone from extremely healthy even in the final month of pregnancy to virtually nonexistent. That puts stress on both of us. We miss each other and there is really nothing we can do about it.
There is no position that I can be in for more than about a minute. (I can’t even sleep lying flat.) Even laying next to him so I can use my hand can be difficult. I can’t lay comfortably on my side for more than about two minutes and putting a pillow between my legs provides no relief. The one time since January that we attempted sex I had to keep my knees together. It was incredibly awkward because it forced his upper body to be far away from mine. But it worked. I focused on how the good feeling was stronger than the bad. But the pain lasted longer than the orgasam. A lot longer. In fact, soon afterward is when we noticed things seemed to be getting worse again. That was in mid-May, nearly four months after my son was born and eight weeks after my body’s natural healing and hormone regulation was supposedly finished.
This dramatic change to our quality of life is a major reason I sought the opinion of an orthopedic surgeon. We are 31. We’ve been married for less than two years. And the jokes about how married people never have sex stopped being funny in February.
If you are suffering with the pain of DSP/separated pelvis, your partner is, too.
One thing I have learned since starting this blog is that I was not as honest with him as I should have been about the pain I feel and what makes it worse. When he would playfully smack my behind I would say it hurt, but I didn’t explain that it jarred me and made me feel like I had been shocked in my back and across my pubic bone, down into my thighs. When he hugged me tight and starts to turn in a circle like we’re dancing, I didn’t explain that twisting wrenches my pelvis and it’s all I can do not to scream out.
These are the things I have tried to do to keep our relationship healthy:
Be the best communicator you can be.
Show affection in completely different ways. I try to pay him more compliments – always genuine. When I have energy in the morning I try to do a chore so he has one less thing to do. They aren’t great, but he needs to know I care and appreciate everything he is going through.
Don’t blame. I have never said this is the little guy’s fault, or his fault for getting me pregnant. We decided together we wanted a child, we have one who is healthy and brings more joy to our lives than I imagined possible. What happened to me is just something that happens sometimes. But it was necessary to get him here safely. What mother wouldn’t put her child before herself?
Listen to him when he says you’re doing too much, need to see a doctor, need more medicine, etc. Your partner knows you like no one else. That expertise is worth something.
Encourage him to take “me time” away from you and the baby. Everyone needs a chance to recharge.
Remember that taking care of yourself ALLOWS you to take care of your family. (I’m working on this one.)
Recognize your love as an important part of your recovery. Whether you end up needing surgery or will walk with a cane for the foreseeable future, you are in this together.
He has been my rock, my biggest fan and my shoulder to cry on for six months and 27 days. He will be there surgery day. He will be there everyday of those 12 weeks in the chair, and throughout physical therapy. And when I am better, we will be better.
We will get our whole life back.