Editor’s note: In recognition of one year since surgery to correct my diastasis symphysis pubis, I asked a dear friend and my husband to write reflections for this space. This post was written by my husband. He’s written here once before, while I was in surgery. He intends for this to be the first of a series of posts aimed to help partners and care-takers of those with DSP.
One year down: The worst behind us
To be honest, diastasis symphysis pubis sucks. As a father and a partner, it hasn’t been fun watching my wife in pain on a regular basis. It’s not fun knowing that if we try to push things physically a little bit, it might hurt the next day. It’s not fun knowing that every step she’s taken in the last 19 months, somewhere in the back of her mind she’s worried about tripping, falling and ruining the progress she’s made.
She’s gotten a lot better since childbirth and the surgery that followed seven months post-partum, now one year ago today. We never could have predicted what eventually happened and even hours after it happened, we just figured her pain was what all women felt the first time they got up after labor to use the bathroom. She probably figured all the pain associated with her pelvis splitting open a few millimeters more than it should was part of the excruciating pain women speak of.
When I hold Michaela’s hand now when I see her grimace I still wonder what she is feeling. Is this pain as bad as that first walk up the stairs? Is it as bad as those days pre-surgery when she walked with short, closed steps to keep her symphasis closed? Is she being honest with me or trying to bottle things up and be tough.
My wife suffered physically and mentally because of this injury and from that, we all suffered. The last year and a half has been tough. The child carrier we bought to take our son hiking still sits unused in a closet. Our stroller isn’t getting the rugged treatment it was designed for and has to settle for casual strolls down sidewalks instead of being part of our half marathon training we want to start up soon.
I don’t want to sound cruel or resentful. I’m not. She is remarkably better and making improvements every day and I try to tell he that when I can. We are able to go on walks a few times a week and she’s doing great with her yoga.
Michaela was told that the first year after surgery would still bring pain as the body heals. Her skin was cut open, her muscles were pulled to the side and her bones were reconnected with a metal plate. There are all kinds of things that have to heal after such a procedure. Now that we are at the one-year mark, we’re hoping that what she was told is true.
We know we’ll never get our old lives back but we’re ready to build the life we want as a family.