Ttc and migraines: Hi all. Im looking... - National Migraine...

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Ttc and migraines


Hi all. Im looking for some advise. I have suffered with migraines for over 12 years now. I tried everything and finally topiramate was my miracle drug. But now I have come off all meds as we are trying for our second baby. I had my first migraine from hell last night since coming off the meds and I didn't know if I could take anything so just battled my way through it in bed. So my question is; does anyone know how to cope with these migraines while Ttc? Any tips?

I know once we conceive the migraines will fade but what do I do in the meantime?


4 Replies

Hi Katemarie,

That sounds awful! I totally get where you are coming from. Here is my story, and hopefully you can gleen a little bit of hope, as well as the understanding that you are not alone in this misery. I know it all too well.

My two babes are now 6 and 4.5 years. I have suffered from migraines for 20 years now (since I was 15). For my first baby, everyone told me that I would get better once the hormones kicked in (my GP and neurologist). I was lucky with that one! They did stop, and my first migraine and only migraine was 2 days before my first son was born. Since I was past 20 weeks, the ER sent me straight upstairs, where my doctor said to give me a round of demerol and to send me home. That did the trick for me, but I was feeling "off" a couple of days later, staying in bed, and the moment I did get up, my contractions started - he was born 2 days early. It wasn't a piece of cake after, since you end up bottle feeding to get back on the migraine meds and being "forced" as my husband now calls it, to get him to help me with the baby because if I stayed up all night, then I would end up with a migraine (one of my triggers), another reason they were formula fed. I stayed up until midnight, then he would have his long sleep until 5 or 6am and my husband would take over. I didn't think it was that great a hard ship for him, given what I had been through, but apparently him feeding him and watching him from 6-8am, when he left for work, was devastating! (sarcastic). However, I had a relatively great time with my first, doing all the lovely bonding time things with your baby, so then I decided to have my second one a year later - with the consent of my husband! since I was doing so well (they are 19 mos apart).

Then all hell broke loose. First - my migraines over the years have gone from "bad headaches" with vomiting, to lasting 7-10 days and needing narcotics to relieve the pain. The joy of my first birth was amazing and I really did want two - to each have each others back in life. I think a sibling is an important thing, depending on the price. I pray everyday that my two sons don't get them. Ok - back on track. With my second pregnancy, I felt that I was pregnant just before my first son's birthday, but decided to take the test the day after, so as not to take the joy away from him. Well, within a few weeks the migraines were back with a vengeance. Again, I was told that they would go away. Well, I was physically sick, lying on the bathroom floor, with my growing belly, taking constant narcotics (Stadol) the ENTIRE pregnancy. I also ended up on a bunch of anti-depressants. I couldn't look after myself (barely eating crackers and gatorade, never mind prenatal vitamins!), I also quickly started to lack the ability to mind my first baby and husband, and had little family support. It take it this is where you are headed... I am not sure how often your migraines are or how sever they are, but mine were top class. My neurologist spoke to everyone other migraine specialist she could think of, and my GP sent me to a prenatal doctor. Everyone said the same thing. They will go away. For the mean time, keep taking the narcotics as necessary. This time around, I employed a midwife service, so that I wouldn't have to go anywhere, and they would be able to monitor me at home and at the hospital. My husband and I were both worried about the state that I was in, but this little babe turned out perfect. First, my midwife visited 3 weeks before the due date, took a look at me and found that I was 5cm dilated! She did a sweep and said that this baby would be born in a couple of hours, so get packed, call my husband and as soon as I felt ANYTHING (since apparently I didn't before!!) to head to the ER. I was 8cm when I got there, they broke my water at their convenience and he was born in less than an hour! I truly believe that this was my due after suffering so much through this pregnancy. The storm lifted and I felt GREAT! I was out of the hospital in less than 24hrs, and had my midwifes to watch over me. Well - to get to the point of this story - my son, now 4.5, was slightly smaller than "normal", well, he was 3 weeks early. However, he was walking by 10 months, talking a handful of words by 12 months (mommy, daddy, papa, more). He has was teasing his brother by the time he was sitting, at 6 months, grabbing at him or taking the toys that he knew his brother wanted! Eating solid foods like a champ. Like, I said, he is now 4.5 and there is definitely NOTHING wrong with him. He takes after my dad, for sure. He is so mechanical in his thinking, will draw plans on how to make something work (not that they would, but at 4, it is just about imagination) he can anticipate problems before they occur, something his brother doesn't - he just goes full-speed. He loves Duplo - hands down his favourite toy once he could use his hands and is now using the plastic Mechano, which is 7+ and given to his brother as a birthday present in august. So, PLEASE do not worry about taking narcotic drugs, if necessary. Don't take more than you need, but do take it. My son is more than perfect for his age. Not taking the prenatal drugs did leave me completely vitamin deficient, and I am thankful that I had enough folic acid in my diet (my doctor recommends that every woman of childbearing age to take it, just in case.. and in this case, you can see why. I had nothing left in my body, everything was given to the growing baby. Anyhow, I hope that my story gives you hope for your journey ahead. Do the best that you can do and accept help where ever you can get it. I am so very glad that topamax works for you. It never did for me. Unfortunately, this year, I was forced to take the fentanyl patch. It has greatly helped with my migraines, and I can still drive and live a somewhat normal life, but I am on narcotics daily. At least now, I get to spend time with my children. Had I had known what would have happened to me during and after my second pregnancy, I don't know that we would have made the same choice. For me it is hard to think about that about my child, but my husband is quite resentful, of me and my babes. I wish so badly that I were not sick. That I could watch my children, not miss birthdays, Christmases, thanks givings, anniversaries, that I could WORK to help support my family financially. This has been a huge burden to my entire family, both immediate and our parents. To me, it is time to forgive, forget, and move onto the future. They aren't babies any more, and life has changed significantly. While I may not yet be able to work, I am able to do things around the house, drive, pick up and drop off the kids, take my eldest out of after school care (I don't think that I can manage both of them at the same time. I am still learning.

I would love to hear more about your story. I don't have many friends, as I am sure you can imagine, and it is hard to find someone on here to share such a similar circumstance and find out how they are managing it.

Take care, look after yourself, the rest will fall into place, in this day and age. Best wishes,



Katemarie in reply to Hidden

Sara thankyou so much for your story it means a lot. Your journey sounds so horrific and I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. Life sometimes is not fair. I'm so pleased your sons are doing so well. Your youngest sounds like he is excelling so much. You must be very proud.

With regards to your husband, I so wish he was a bit more supportive to you. I know what it's like when you have the most horrendous migraine and having to deal with a toddler ontop of that. It's one of the hardest things in world.

I'm very lucky where I have a really supportive husband and Always sends me to bed and he looks after our daughter and me until I am well enough.

I'm so nervous and scared about having another as since coming off the topiramate the migraines are increasing daily. If they get that bad I will take a shot of sumatriptan.

Although my neurologist said that sumatriptan is safe to use during pregnancy something in the back of my mind is telling me to not take anything. But after reading your story I shall feel a bit more at ease if I do need something.

I'm in the same situation as you in regards to not many friends. I would love someone to talk to who understands completely what I'm going through.

We don't go out that much as every time I do I get a migraine.

I don't drink or go to parties as yet again it will bring on a migraine. So me my husband and our daughter are always at home when we are not working.

I'm fortunate to still be able to work but this is only part time. Anything more I don't think I could deal with it.

We shall be trying for another baby once I have finished my monthly pmt (currently on now) which I can't wait to be over as my migraines peek a week before pmt and during the week of pmt so I just know I'm going to struggle this week.

I'd love to keep in tough with you and maybe get your advise on things when we finally conceive.

Again I'm so grateful for your story and wish you all the good health in the world. And to know that you have support from me.



Hidden in reply to Katemarie

Hi Kate,

Thanks for your reply - most never do. It's nice to hear someone in the same boat. I would caution against using any of the triptans though, as their job is to constrict blood vessels... all of my doctors stayed away from that one. I hope that your pregnancy goes well. Do NOT stress about all of the medications; I'm sure if they put you on triptan they would be monitoring bloodflow, so really, let the doctors do what they can and if they don't know, ask if they could call another doctor for a second opinion, third... :)

The other hurdle, is hoping that your migraines do stay on track AFTER the pregnancy, and that you do have a VERY supportive system - talk about it with your husband. Since I was so well after my first, a second didn't seem a problem, and 4 years after my second I was asked for a divorce. You REALLY need the support. I don't have time now, but I will read what others have said and see if there is some advice in there for me!! GOOD LUCK!!


Hi, I am in the same boat. Suffered terribly in first pregnancy with migraines, daily headaches and severe sickness for whole pregnancy which left me with ongoing headaches after on a daily basis. 4 years on and having tried everything from Botox to cranial nerve blocks I am starting to manage slightly better. Have cut down amount of triptans and codeine and maybe this is helping. I took a lot of codeine in first pregnancy and this may have been what made my migraines so much worse after due to rebound headaches. This was all I was told I could take. I am very surprised you have been advised sumatriptan is safe as I have been told not to take any triptans. However I have read a lot that suggests sumatriptan fairly safe but doctors don't seem to want to reccommend. I did take many anti sickness drugs in pregnancy also.

I am now TTC again as feel I could manage whilst my daughter is At school and have friends who would help out. I have been diagnosed with elhers danlos and pots and have been told to increase salt and water which maybe helping me at present.

I also use a headache hammock pillow and bio freeze stick as non drug options which help. I am hoping I can get through this pregnancy without too many drugs as do not want rebound headaches again. I think it I had to I would risk the odd sumatriptan after 3 month period but would not use regulalary.

good luck tt.

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