It Can’t Hurt to be Prepared

My son will be born sometime in the next seven weeks, and I’m anxiously attempting to get everything ready. My husband, bless him, has dealt well with a wife whose ideas of preparation include making and freezing soups (two months in advance); stocking up on toilet paper, Ziploc bags, shampoo, laundry detergent, and stamps (two months in advance); and purchasing Vaseline and infant Tylenol (also two months in advance). I’ve seen a few eye rolls, and I did have to explain why I felt it was necessary to purchase the infant car seat/stroller system and the wearable infant carrier at 32 weeks, but overall I think he sees my preoccupation with preparation as a benign symptom of the eighth month of pregnancy. For me, however, it is something much more.

Based on my pregnancy, labor, and delivery 10 years ago, I already know that I have to have a c-section this time around. As a second timer, I’m not too worried about the surgery itself. However, I am very aware of the limitations it will place on me afterward: I cannot climb up or down stairs for two to three weeks (which will be difficult seeing as we live on the third floor); I am not supposed to do housework for at least four weeks; I cannot drive for six weeks; and I’m not supposed to lift anything heavier than my baby or begin exercising for up to eight weeks after delivery. For me, this basically means I’ll be living on my couch for the first four to six weeks with an infant attached to my breast.

I also have migraines, and those migraines often affect my energy levels, my speech patterns, my vision, my concentration levels, and my ability to handle light and noise. They often come on quickly, ramping up to excruciating and debilitating within as little as 20 minutes, and they’re most frequently triggered by lack of sleep, changes in eating schedule, lack of exercise, stress,  dehydration, and hormonal changes – all commonly experienced by the mothers of newborns.

Taken together, these two things (the impending c-section and the ever-present threat of migraine) mean I absolutely must be prepared for my return home before we’ve ever even left for the hospital. The more plans and preparations I can make now, the less I’ll have to worry about or tend to when we get home. Granted, if everything goes according to plan, I still have seven more weeks to wrap up any last minute food prep and laundry tasks, but – as many of us know – things rarely go according to plan, especially when infants or migraines are involved. Adding them together seems to ensure a chaotic start.

I can only hope my relentless drive to prepare helps in the months ahead. I’d hate to spend the first couple of months of my son’s life curled up in pain, unable to soothe his cries because they hurt my head too much. Just in case, though, I’ve decided I’m going to start experimenting to figure out which earplugs block the most noise. We’ll call it one final pre-baby preparation.

5 thoughts on “It Can’t Hurt to be Prepared

  1. I’m so glad to have found your blog. I’m currently 20 weeks pregnant, and absolutely bone-weary from low-level migraines that just don’t seem to go completely away. I’ve been frustrated to find so little information out there about pregnancy and migraines, so at least being able to read someone else’s experience helps, at least emotionally (which can sometimes be more than half the battle). Thanks so much for sharing your journey!

  2. I have just found your blog and as a fellow migraine sufferer it helps to hear about others’ experiences. One treatment that helped for sometime, though my migraines are recently returning due to high stress, was a distance healing session with Seka Nikolic. I very highly recommend her – some great books too but the healing session was amazing! Inspiring and uplifting. Wish you all the very best with your new baby. Best wishes

  3. Hi I have just found your blog, and it has been a comfort to me in the last few weeks. I am a new migraine sufferer since entering my second trimester of pregnancy. I have the vommity kind – no aura thankfully and once they come on they last for about three days. I began to keep a food diary to see if I could find a trigger and well, I believe I have found it! The only food I have eaten at the onset of each attack is chocolate unfortunately this is also the only food I crave. Anyway, I just wanted to share as I was curious to find out if you had established any kind of trigger?


    • Kelly,

      It does help to know we’re not alone. I hope your migraines begin to ebb as your pregnancy progresses. I don’t really have any established food triggers, though harsh lighting (as in doctors’ offices, hospitals, schools, and office buildings, etc.) and weather changes are almost always guaranteed to bring on one of my migraine attacks. Stress and lack of sleep are also big triggers for me. I’m glad you’ve been able to identify at least one of your triggers (though I’m sure forgoing the chocolate isn’t much fun). I found that keeping a migraine diary in the beginning of my illness really helped me understand the specifics of my disease. If you keep it up, you might identify some other triggers you hadn’t expected. Wishing you a pain-free and joyful pregnancy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s