At therapy today I did a lot more standing on one leg.
These balance exercises are good for me. In the midst of them I feel myself getting stronger. But they are my biggest challenge. When I am throwing a ball at a trampoline and catching it again I have to fight to keep my balance. I have to use my whole core to make it work. It is difficult. But it doesn’t hurt.
Those exercises also feel like a sort of metaphor about the thin line between joy and sorrow, over-flowing love and shattering pain.
The birth of my son and the separation of my pelvis will be forever linked. The experience was instantaneously the best and worst thing to happen to me to that point. I’m sure in some ways I will always carry that in my head and wonder, just a little, how things might have gone differently.
- If I had not separated my pelvis, would my son have stayed “stuck” and suffered injury or worse?
- If I had gotten an x-ray sooner, would we be hiking now?
- Was I too stubborn in the early days?
But at the same time I know that things have worked out for us in many ways.
- My son breast-fed for his first seven months. That would not have been possible if I had surgery earlier.
- The one birth experience my husband and I will share occurred in an environment we chose, felt confident in and would recommend to anyone.
- Our marriage and our friendship have grown even stronger than I knew was possible because we have been pushed and pulled in all sorts of ways.
Finding balance was something my Dad and many others in my “village” as a child talked about often. To him — and because of him, to me — balance doesn’t simply mean time for work and time for play. It means finding peace within yourself and keeping it. It means recognizing that there can’t be happiness without sadness, laughter without tears or dirt without rain.
Nothing brings home that message for me more than the experience of giving birth to my son and separating my pelvis. I believe it is because of those lessons that I have never blamed my son, or anyone else involved in his delivery, for my diastasis symphysis pubis.
For some reason, standing perpendicular to that trampoline on one foot, tossing that two-pound ball and fighting like hell to stay balanced helped me see how far I have come. Yes, there have been dark days, tears and screams. But in the four weeks since I started physical therapy I have gone from not being able to use my legs, to needing four legs – if you count the walker, to my two legs, to being able to stand, catch a ball and throw it again all on one leg. It is liberating! And it is a reminder that every day is part of my journey in this life and every day requires balance.