Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
DH migraines and a newborn(30 Posts)
This is kind of random but is really bothering me so i'm wondering if anyone has dealt with similar and can offer views.
DH has suffered with migraines since he was a child. He's had various tests and treatments and nothing has really helped him manage them. He has found with painkillers that he tends to get rebound headaches so tries to manage without. They vary in frequency and intensity but usually they come on quickly and he has to take himself off to bed, be in a dark quiet room and just battle through.
8 months ago DH and I both suffered pretty severe trauma. He has recently been assessed as having acute PTSD and has just started treatment. He is off sick from work as a result. The past 8 months have been very difficult and as a result his migraines have become more frequent as we know stress is a factor.
Last night DH had the worst migraine he has had for a while. He was literally writhing around in agony for hours. It came on really quickly as we went to bed. It was so heartbreaking to watch him suffer. I sat up with him, brought him ice packs and anything else and just kind of held his hand or rubbed his back. In the end I went down to sleep on the sofa at about 4am as I was knackered.
Here is my issue (finally!). I am currently 22 weeks pregnant. I'm starting to get really anxious about how we (or I) manage his migraines with a newborn. We don't currently have a spare bed although we intend to get one for the small bedroom, the second bedroom will be the nursery. But I am worried that when the baby is here and in our room and DH has a migraine, we are going to have to find a way of DH being able to go to a quiet dark room and me being able to look after the baby properly. Do I just say to DH that if he feels a migraine coming on, he needs to take himself off to the spare room to wait it out so that he doesn't disturb the baby and vice versa? I'm sure he would do that no problem but it feels so mean to say that to someone in agony. On the other hand, whilst the baby is still in with us, do I just go in the spare room with the baby, meaning moving the crib and other bits? Once the baby is in their own room, it won't be such an issue, I am really just concerned about what to do in the first six months or so.
I appreciate this probably sounds like a really stupid and irrelvant problem, just get DH to move rooms i'm sure you'd all say which does make sense but he was so bad last night, he literally could not move. Also, since we experienced this trauma my anxiety levels are super high and I find myself really over thinking and worrying about things that may not be a big deal, I have a real need to plan things out in detail as a sort of control mechanism now. I'm sure we will be able to find a way through when it comes down to it but I really just wondered if there was anyone with experience of similar who has some suggestions. Also if anyone has a cure that would be great!
Migraine sufferer over 30 years here. Tried a lot of treatments also. Finding Imigran nasal sprays (prescription only) have changed my life.
I use one, have a lie down and can be up and about in an hour or 2. I can now manage the dc and go about my day. Very little side effect wise. Maybe driving not a good idea after use - think the info says not to.
You don't want to be clomping about moving cribs in the middle of one of his migraines, and I'm guessing you don't want to move yourself and baby to the spare room for six months (or longer).
I think the best plan would be to make the spare room DH's 'retreat' where he can go to ride out the migraines. You could borrow it sometimes if he's well and you're getting a break from baby yourself.
Might also be worth trying the GP again, depending on whether he's totally exhausted his treatment options or not.
Chronic migraine sufferer here, so I know just how debilitating it can be to live with this. I understand how hard it is to watch someone suffer with something that you can’t fix (for want of a better word), and how hard it is when it impacts your life too.
As pp have said, maybe make the spare room the retreat for your DH when he has a migraine for the time being. If it doesn’t work, you can reassess. Also, he needs to go back to his Dr and get a prescription for proper migraine medication. Migraine meds aren’t painkillers so shouldn’t produce rebound headaches. I’m taking zolmitriptan which at best kicks the migraine to touch, at worst lessens the pain, and for me, is mostly somewhere in the middle of that. I’ve also been given botox as that can be a game changer to some sufferers (it didn’t work for me sadly, but I’m glad I tried it at least), so he needs to discuss this with his Dr too.
I’m sorry that you are both having such a tough time right now. Can you perhaps see your GP too, with a view to getting on a waiting list for CBT, which can be helpful in helping manage anxiety. Wishing you both the very best of luck.
you need to have a chat with him really
He needs a room with blackout blinds that he can go to. I’ve had migraines since I was a child. I’ve had to manage migraines that leave me nearly blind, vomiting and writhing with again with two young children before now. (Single parent). You will find a way to manage them, as a parent you have to. I’m now in daily beta blockers but still get one every 6-8weeks.
There are many many treatment options, and he needs to push his GP forto follow the NICE guidelines on this.
Chronic sufferer here - was denied permission to continue to with the adoption process as a result, so I understand the seriousness of this.
Trying to think what I did when the DC were really young, I do remember phoning DH at work (he works 40 min drive away and asking him to come home) as I was lying on the floor with a baby on a changing mat.
I take topiramate as a preventer and sumatriptan if I feel one coming one now. Your DH need to see a migraine specialist there’s loads of different treatments out there he could try. I also have a blackout mask as well. He could make himself a wee nest in the spare room to sleep it off.
Thanks everyone, I will of course speak to him about this properly once he feels better. He's still not great today although a lot better than last night. I think we need to get the spare room organised asap, from a selfish perspective that will help me feel better. Currently it has two desks and chairs in it plus other bits as we were both WFH until DH was signed off so a clear out and bed in there is priority I think. He's pretty fragile at the moment with everything that's happened so I do feel bad that I am saying that he basically needs to take himself off to another room and get on with it. Almost like i'm banishing him for something he can't help but I don't really want to sleep separately for six months or be moving a baby and equipment around.
In terms of treatment, I am receiving professional support for my anxiety which is helping but this is unfortunately not going to be resolved quickly. For DH, he has been prescribed migraine meds in the past and one in particular had very severe side effects. He suffers from depression and his last bout was exacerbated by migraine medicine making him suicidal. He is understandably wary now of medication.
But I agree he needs to go back to his GP, and see what else is an option. He was looking into Botox but we couldn't afford it and now we probably can, i'm not sure anywhere is doing it.
@SoddingWeddings thank you, that is interesting, I'll have a look at the NICE guidelines. I just wish there was some magic cure, sorry to others who also suffer from migraines.
He needs to go to the spare room I'm afraid and with the greatest respect I think you need to have the discussion now about the level of support you can supply him when he's going through an episode.
You will not be able to stay up till 4am after broken sleep to comfort him and he needs to be understanding about this.
Have you got a support network to step in and help you if he's incapacitated? I'm very sorry to hear about your trauma, as someone who served anxiety in pregnant and then PNA I would suggest speaking to your HV when you have your first meeting in a few weeks as it would be better for you to have a support plan in place to try and help manage this if your anxiety is exacerbated by the changes in hormones after birth (not trying to scare you )
He needs proper migraine meds - ridiculous that he's suffering like that and you're staying up to nurse him. I suffer from migraine and sumatriptan really helps get rid of them.
you are talking about your husband as if he is a child, planning on where he will sleep etc.
he is your partner, and co-parent of your coming child.
you two are the head of the family and need to plan, arrange, discuss, agree together.
i understand he is ill at the moment, but i think you need to give him the respect he is due as your husband and father to be.
I know that you were being kind, but really the babying will have to stop and he will have to learn to manage on his own. My DH suffers, but straight away takes 2 pink migralieve and goes to a dark room and sleeps. I leave him well alone. You will have a baby to manage. You will both have to have a plan if it happens when the baby arrives and he is on his own, an Alexa would be handy " ring Sheflies".
I mean a plan for if he is on his own with your baby, an Alexa would be useful.
migrane sufferer here.
he needs to return to GP - there are many treatments available.
I have botox on the NHS every 12 weeks - continued through COVID thank goodness as i barely function without it.
When i do get a migrane i inject Sumitriptan (in an auto pen) and it brings relief.
Your DH needs to ask to be referred to neurology or a headache specialist.
What alexdgr8 said. Is this a typical dynamic between you both? You sound almost scared of upsetting him by asking if he’ll go to another room with a migraine.
As a parent of a baby who suffers from migraines, trust me that he will be glad to take himself off to the spare room in quiet darkness alone instead of remain in the same room as the baby.
This seems a really weird thing to get so hung up on when there’s a ready solution right there... Are things okay between you? Is he nice to you?
I agree with PP
Spare room is great retreat. Get a bed, black out blinds, etc
Don’t feel mean, when I have a migraine all I want is to be left alone in a dark quiet place and just be checked on every few hours. You can check on him, bring him a cold pack, etc with a newborn.
I also agree he should go back to GP and ask to see a neurologist. There are many types of migraines. They will test to see which he is having and the best thing to try. As others have said, they’re not pain medications. My migraines are post traumatic injury type so there are different medications for that compared to classic inherited stress type migraines.
I hadn't really viewed it as babying him to be honest, more looking after and comforting him when he's in agony, the same as he would do for me. Maybe it is babying. I do leave him alone and let him sleep often but last night was just so awful I felt terrible seeing him in that much pain. I don't agree that I'm not respecting him but I do dealise I can't continue to do as much for him and we need to realistically talk about what will happen with a baby.
@Sharkerrrk I'm afraid you're way off base there. I'm not at all afraid to talk to him about this or anything. I probably am treating him with kid gloves right now because he's struggling but we do have really good communication. He has literally been my rock these past eight months, I don't think I would have survived without him and I'm really not exaggerating there. As devastating as it has been, I think our relationship has got stronger as a result of this trauma. I said in my OP that I realise this is probably a stupid non issue to most people but for me it is a big issue because it is really worrying, probably because of my anxiety.
I'll sit down and have a chat with him this weekend about it all and tell him how anxious it's making me and see what plan we can work out.
*because it is really worrying me
I’m glad I’m off base
Good luck with the chat. It’ll be tough for you coping with a newborn alone during his frequent migraines so don’t feel too much like you’re somehow putting him out not being as attentive as usual.
Hi, I get migraines and I wouldn't care where I lie down as long as it's dark and quiet. Also has he tried Botox, I had this for stress induced migraines and it made a massive improvement.
I get migraines and the best thing for me is to go to bed, in a dark room with as little disturbance as possible. So I think your solution will be fine. You'll still be able to pop your head in on him now and again. But honestly, I need to be left alone tbh
My husband gets migraines and we have a six month old. He actually had one two days ago. He went to the spare room to lie down in the dark and I looked after baby. It's not great but it's totally manageable, I promise! Baby is soon going to have the spare room as "his" room so in the daytime DH would go to our bedroom instead and I would just avoid going in there and disturbing him if possible.
My sister gets really bad migraines. Over the years she has found that most meds don’t help her. What she does now with a bad one is take suppository painkillers, anti nausea meds and a sleeping tablet.
DS suffered with them for a couple of years. His were stress related. Acupuncture helped. Didn’t completely eliminate them but he stopped being sick with them.
Magnesium supplements can help some people. A doctor and chiropractor I went to when we lived overseas both told me that when I had a bout of them. They had both been to the same conference on headaches.
Chiropractic treatment stopped that particular bout I had. I had five in a week which was unheard of for me. Final on felt like is hung around in the back of my neck so I went to the chiropractor and had a couple of sessions of treatment which sorted it out.
The Migraine Clinic in London is good. They are a charity and you can make an appointment to see them.
In your case I would definitely get the spare room ready so that your DH can take himself off there if needed. Doing that should actually help you both deal with it. He will know he has somewhere to go to sleep it off if possible and you will know you can get on with looking after the baby.
I’m sorry you both had such a trauma too and hope that you manage to get the help to deal with the aftermath.
Please login first.