At therapy last week I got a homework assignment: Write a letter to yourself, from your pelvis.
Maybe this sounds crazy, she said, and you don’t have to agree. But what do you think of that?
Here’s the kicker: I have to read it aloud at my next appointment. I have to put it on paper and say it out loud.
This is what I wrote on April 25. I think I have to write another one before my appointment because I keep coming back to reread it. Anyway, here it is:
I know we haven’t been on the same page lately and I wanted to reach out to let you know that I’m trying really hard. I’m on your team and I will catch up to Legs, Feet and Arms as soon as I can.
All of the attention you’re paying me lately is embarrassing and frankly, it motivates me to heal as quickly as possible. The common ground we share is looking forward to the day you can forget about me again. I just want to do my job and not be noticed. I promise.
What I’m writing now is difficult for me, but I need you to know: I did what was best for you and (the Little Guy) that day. I didn’t want to separate and I tried really hard not to. But he wasn’t going to come out unless I let go and I knew how badly you wanted your son. I wanted him to be healthy and I wanted you to be able to have him naturally. You did a lot of work to make sure you could do that — all of that exercise and Zumba was good for me. And for the baby. I think things would have been even harder if you hadn’t worked out.
If there had been a way for me to tell you that we weren’t going to make it without my accident I would have. I wish I could have let you decide if you’d rather have a c-section. And I cringe with Brain and Heart every time someone asks you that ridiculous question.
I wish that the people taking care of us would have investigated things more throughly right away. I wish I wasn’t racked with guilt over the amount of pain you were in and are in when the air pressure changes. (Maybe we should move to the desert?) But I admire your spirit and I want you to know you are doing the right things.
Every day I wonder what would have happened if (the midwives) would have touched me before they let you stand up. Would they have felt how large the gap was and done something right away? Would it have made you scream in such agony that your “pain is weakness” mentality couldn’t have been a mask? Would it have made a difference? We will never know.
Every day I wonder if I could have had the same results as the others you have met if someone would have sent us to physical therapy right away. Would I have been strong enough to close on my own with the proper exercises? Or would exercise have been too difficult? Would I have been able to stop your pain on my own? I will never get to know the answer to that. I will always have metal in me to remind me of the day I let you down but saved your son.
I was a hero and a demon that day – and I didn’t have a choice. There was no fanfare for me. Only you telling people in desperation that your “body did what it had to to get him here. Better me hurt than him.” I hated hearing you say that. Every time it was a reminder of the choice-less choice I made. I thought you would want it that way – him safe and healthy, you challenged but ultimately able to recover. But every time you said it I had to wonder if I made the right choice. If I hadn’t separated, would they have sent you to the hospital? Or pulled him out by his neck?
Every day I’m sorry that the binder wasn’t strong enough to push me back together. I tried to close up. You have to believe me. I didn’t want you to hurt and it makes me feel like shit that you think this whole mess was my fault.
I’m trying to stay calm here but I have to say it is no more my fault than it is the fault of Right Big Toe or Brain. I need you to understand that we are all in this together. Yes, I separated. Yes, I’m the one with the plate and screws now. But FAULT implies I had a choice. I didn’t have a choice – not a real choice. What happened kept the Little Guy safe. Would you have rather I had not separated and they have to pull him out? You’ve read about what can happen then.
I didn’t think so. See. I was looking out for you and your family.
Thank you for taking the precautions you did to make sure Uterus doesn’t end up carrying another baby. Don’t get me started on Uterus, but you did the right thing to agree to let (your husband) get the vasectomy. Having another fetus to nurture and grow would have been too scary for us. And it would have been a really difficult thing for (your husband and your son) to watch you be scared and sore and on bed rest for so long.
You’re doing the right things.
Now, I’m asking you to please accept what happened as part of the journey. Take from it the good – your healthy son, your loving, supportive and true friends and the knowledge that you really can survive whatever this life will throw at you. I know it is hard to think about this, but I have to because of the guilt I feel every day. But if you can accept it, and remember that no matter what we are on the same team, we can get better. We can be 100 percent again. We just have to stick together.
It’s my job as Pelvis to keep Back, Abdomen and Legs connected. I will keep Hips and SI Joints in line and give the new kids, Symphysis Scar Tissue, a chance to get used to things as long as you keep up the healthy diet, regular exercise and emotional therapy. Remember that you are doing the right things and we are in this together.