My husband was recently diagnosed with “Mommy Thumb.” The pain started about a year ago and got worse over time. But he is confident it will get better.
He’s also in physical therapy for a stress fracture in his foot from all the extra walking, and moving, that came soon after our son’s birth and my diastasis symphysis pubis. This new diagnosis is a reminder of how completely useless I was for so long. My husband did so much in our son’s early months. And I was as still as possible wishing it would just stop. He took care of himself, our son and me — pulling me through days so dark I am only now recognizing their depth.
He’s always so reassuring. “You don’t need to write about it,” he said. “It’s not your fault anymore than it is his fault,” he said, speaking of the Little Guy and tapping into my Momma Bear emotions that spring to the forefront when anyone mentions that all of this was his doing. (This is why I internalize it all against my Pelvis. Even though I’ve felt good for several days in a row, I still hate Pelvis.)
But I’m not very good at saying in words how much I appreciate everything he has done for me and for our family so I feel like I need to write this. (Eventually, he will read this.) There are days that I believe with absolute certainty that I would not be here right now if not for my husband. There were times soon after my son was born when I told myself I would give it a year and if nothing had changed then I would quit. I didn’t tell anyone. Not even my husband. But he encouraged me and supported me no matter what. He celebrated good days and held me when I cried myself to sleep. After surgery he helped me count down the days until I would be able to stand. Today he reminds me what’s really at stake if I don’t want to go to the gym. Because of him, I stopped waiting for things to change and called begging for an x-ray. Because of him, I was able to get out of bed and go to work, and hold my son, breastfeed my son and sometimes even smile and laugh. He helped me do all of those things in a time I would not have done them on my own.
Today, when I change a diaper I think of all the hundreds of diapers my husband changed when it was too hard for me to stand there to do it. Or too painful to be on the floor to do it. We are who we are right now because of everything we have been through. We are stronger. But we are tired.
Babe, I’m sorry about your thumb, your foot and for not being able to laugh at your crazy sense of humor when I hurt. You don’t deserve to hurt and you don’t deserve to get snapped at on those bad days. I love you.