I'm a Stay-At-Home-Mom with Migraines: Here's My Plan
I’m a Virgo. This makes me a sensational planner with a fabulous attention to detail and an amazing knack for being right. Virgos are also modest. I’m not sure my Zodiac sign explains all my personality traits, but the stars were aligned when it came to the planning part. I tried to have plan in place so I could know what it might be like to have a baby while having migraines. Too bad Virgo’s don't have the ability to predict the future.
Increased migraine frequency after having my baby
When my husband and I first talked about starting a family, my migraines occurred four times a month. I was planning on being the primary caregiver, so we talked about what would happen if a migraine struck. We figured we could manage with his flexible work schedule and the help of friends or a babysitter. Six months after having my beautiful baby boy, my migraines became more frequent. I sought professional help, but this was a slow process offering no immediate relief.
Fearing migraines would interfere with parenting
What I’d envisioned as mother-and-son bonding time became days filled with the fear of not being able to take care of my son. It was painful in my head and my newly-developing mama heart. I’d believed all moms had been gifted with superpowers that enabled them to push through any illness, but I guess none of those moms had migraines.
Coming up with plans for migraine attacks
My Virgo-like sensibility took over, and I began planning for migraine attacks. I had strategies in place for all types of situations. For example: If I had a full-on migraine mid-morning, I’d be asked to function until my husband (or a mom-friend) could come over. The minutes felt like days, as my head pounded like its own clock. Sometimes, I’d have to sit my little one in his Pak-n-Play, run to the toilet and vomit, only to run back to my son and scoop him up again. Luckily, I was usually rescued after a couple of hours. All my friends knew of my condition, and we had a babysitter I could call for possible evening emergencies.
Taking advantage of lazy days
On days when my abortive medicines worked but I felt like I was functioning in an invisible suit of wet dish towels, my kid and I would try our best to have a lazy day. After he grew out of his two-a-day naps, movie time took the place of one nap, and then we played in his room when I could. On a Maybe Migraine day, we definitely watched more TV than I wanted to, but we sat together talking and cuddling, so I’m hopeful I didn't completely rot my child’s brain.
Grateful for my support system when plans don't work out
Before my son was born, I believed that with a fabulous plan I’d be safe from any migraine attack. I was only partially right. While planning certainly helps me to be the best caregiver I can be for my son (especially when he was smaller), my migraines don’t always stick to the plan. Luckily, I have a support system in place that helps.
How much has your migraine disease changed or evolved over time?