Life Migraine

Family Planning with Chronic Migraine | Part One

April 11, 2019

Image Credit: Siv Storoy

The summer of 2016 I was engaged and fighting baby fever every single day. We got married at the end of 2017 and talked about waiting two years before starting our family. So, I channeled my baby fever into reading, researching and educating myself and I came across BirthFit. I learned that a healthy pregnancy begins before conception with a solid foundation of fitness, nutrition, mindset and connection. This aligned with my whole life and I was so excited to have some guidance.

As chronic migraine began to steal more and more of my time, I started to notice some patterns that reminded me of my mom’s health. She battled Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism for almost a decade before being diagnosed. She was bedridden, depressed, and absent. Not to mention obese, verbally abusive and had deep physiological issues.

I think it’s fairly common for individuals to have certain traits from their parents that they fight to not inherit. Coming from a toxic environment, especially after 4th grade, I was very aware of the shift from good to bad. Awareness of my body and health — through counseling and self-evaluation, I continue to work hard to be a healthy and good person.

This work has not left me immune to the anxiety and fear that started to creep in while lying in bed with a migraine. Or the depression of being inactive, feeling out of control, and not the present spouse or friend I wanted to be. My husband can be aggressively reassuring and helped me see how I was everything my mother was not. I can say now that I am in a better place. But to get where I am now, I had to shake off these new feelings of inadequacy and so many questions that began to arise around motherhood.

How can I be a loving, present, patient mother with chronic migraine?

Recently, family planning has been a hot topic between us. I have been expressing a lot of these fears for awhile now, and I don’t mean to sound like a broken record… but sometimes I have to talk out loud to fully process it.

What if migraine doesn’t get better? What if it gets worse? Our kiddos will probably have migraine too! He bluntly interrupted my spiraling and said “It doesn’t matter, they’ll probably will. We’re going to have kids. You’ll be fine.” Wow — I thought to myself. How rude and insensitive! He knows what I’ve been through, how could he say all of that? I told him I didn’t feel like he was being empathetic or sensitive and he took a step back, apologized, and adjusted. With gentleness he asked me, “Do you think you’ll regret not having a family?” The simple answer was yes, of course! This doesn’t make the fears go away… but he reassured me, like he has done many times, that no matter what happens he’ll be here, we’re a team, we’ll get through whatever is thrown at us together.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” — Charles R. Swindoll

Migraine continues to teach me to release expectations and go with the flow, which I’ll admit I’m a go with the flow type of gal, so it comes naturally. However, it hasn’t been easy to adjust, learn and move forward from the way things had been prior to chronic migraine. I still have a lot I’m working on. I want to outline what I’m actively doing in another post (part two) to prepare for pregnancy and motherhood.

In the meantime, I would love to hear from you! What are your thoughts around family planning with chronic migraine? Are you already a parent, and if so do you have any tips or coping skills you can pass on?

Also, look out for a Wellness Warrior interview with a chronic migraine mamma, coming soon!

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