Pregnancy and Migraines: Month 2

One of the many pregnancy tests at the fertility doctor showed that my progesterone was low. So, I was asked to come in the next day to re-test. I did and my result was slightly lower and I was prescribed progesterone inserts and told to take them until my first appointment with a new ob/gyn.

Two days before my ob/gyn appointment my husband and I had a terrible scare. We thought I was possibly having a miscarriage. All sorts of rational and irrational thoughts crossed our minds. It was after 1 am at this point and the doctor’s office wouldn’t open till 8 am. Since things didn’t look good I called the on-call nurse my insurance provides. She said if it got worse to go the emergency room but if I was holding steady then I should go see my doctor first thing. At a stand still, eventually I worried myself into exhaustion while my husband, unable to sleep, kept taking my temperature and watching over me – us. By 7 am we left to go stand outside the new doctor’s office. Right away a nurse said I would be seen next. The baby was fine but it turned out my progesterone was still uncomfortably low. I was told to stay on the twice daily progesterone inserts till I reached weeks 13 or 14. Relieved we went home and slept.

I woke with a terrible migraine, which frankly I knew would be the case after the massive sleep disturbances that night and the worrisome thoughts. Even though I’d already had my one Coke for the day, I took another and two acetaminophens. I was trying to get as close to possible to the ingredients in my favorite over-the-counter medication; all I needed was aspirin, which I was told I could not take.

I use my Cefaly daily; without it I’d be up creek without a paddle. Unfortunately, this month I’ve averaged a combination of 10-migraines/headaches a month. I don’t know if the drastic reduction in soda (caffeine) has triggered this but I read in the little booklet that came with the progesterone inserts that ‘headache’ is a side effect. In the photo above I am wearing my Cefaly I, which I keep in the living room. The Cefaly II is usually by my bed or in my purse. Sometimes a girl’s gotta reach for the first Cefaly she can find! Also, I placed my electrode slightly higher than it should be. I had an aura and was moments away from a would-be terrible migraine so I slapped the electrode on ASAP.

This second month I cut out television watching entirely and instead started listening to podcasts as a nighttime leisure activity. My energy has been low so I’ve been skipping going out with friends. I’ve spent most of this month saving my energy to do my job. I’ve also been saving my screen time for necessary computer work. Around the house I am in full migraine-prevention mode. For example, I make sure I have lunch with my back to the window so I’m not sitting in a darker area facing a bright light. I’ve been dressing in layers so I don’ t get too hot (or too cold). I’ve been washing and blow drying my hair daily instead of every other day because I feel relief from the pulling sensation from the rounded brush. The extra attention to little things has been time consuming and it hasn’t been very fun but it’s been effective. I started a countdown calendar for the progesterone inserts as a way to provide something, in the short-term, to look forward to.

And yet, halfway through this month I called my doctor to ask what I could take to abort a migraine. In the years I’ve been using Cefaly I think I’ve become a wimp. I’m soooo much better and my migraines are so infrequent and when I get them they’re less intense, so now with a baby in the mix I had a set back, a whopper of a migraine that knocked me out for 3-days. Beside myself on day three I left a message for my ob/gyn to please call me back. “How often does this happen? What do you usually take for a migraine?” she asked. I reminded her I use Cefaly as a preventive and I haven’t had any migraines this bad in forever. I told her my favorite rescue medication is that over-the-counter drug — the acetaminophen, aspirin, caffeine combo. And in the most surprising move ever she told me it was important I find relief and I could take it but only this once. An hour later I was back to feeling like me. (Note: If you are pregnant or trying to conceive please check with your doctor if you can use Cefaly. Everybody is different and it’s important that you follow your doctor’s specific recommendation for you. Also, just because my doctor said I could take my fave medicine this once, does not mean that’s cross-applicable; always check with your doctor what’s right for you.)

Just in case this is the first blog post you’re reading in my pregnant with migraines diary, I want to once again disclose that I am the PR Manager for Cefaly in the United States. My experience is genuine and I want to make sure I comply with any blogging rules out there. You can read more about my story here. If you want to read what happened during month 1 of my pregnancy, click here.

And click here to go on to month 3 of my migraines/pregnancy journey. Also, are you a migraineur who is pregnant or trying to conceive? Want to share your story? Please email Maria at m.coder [at]

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