Friday, June 28, 2013

Massage & Other Updates

Since my last post, I've had not one but TWO prenatal massages. They were absolutely heavenly. Why had I not done massage until now? Oh yeah...$$$ (but SO worth it)! My massage therapist has a pregnancy cushion so I could lay on the table and my belly went in the middle of the cushion. It was very comfortable and allowed her to press hard on my back, which she spent 45 minutes of the hour on because my back has been killing me. She pointed out that what I had been saying was hip bursitis from playing tennis in high school (which I did have years ago) may actually be quadratus lumborum pain on my left side. I'm glad she noticed that because all these years I'd been sleeping on my right side because of my left "hip bursitis" but that can actually make quadratus lumborum pain even worse; I read that you're supposed to alternate sides. I doubt any of this is related to my headaches, but it's good to know.

Speaking of headaches, during one of my childbirth classes we did various massage exercises where the partner tries out massages on the husband rarely gives me massages, even with the pregnancy, but with the peer pressure of classmates, he had to. *Evil laugh.* One technique we tried was pressure to the indented area in the middle of the back of my head. I had a migraine that day (and since I had a long class I took Tylenol & drank coffee which helped a little) so I'm not sure if it was the massage, the migraine, or both, but the next day when I touched that area it felt like how it feels when you touch a bruise. I told my massage therapist about the experience and asked her to only do a little bit of head massage to be safe. But I think for my next massage I'll ask her to concentrate more on my head and neck to see if it will help my headaches. The next massage probably won't be for a while since the baby is due any day now (official due date is Monday, July 1).

My headaches have been a little bad lately but it has rained or stormed here a lot lately so that might have something to do with it. I still haven't had to take Fioricet in a while, which makes me feel like I'm not harming my baby quite so much. :) The pain levels are definitely not as bad, and it's nice to have a break. We'll see if it keeps it up after birth.

Oh and I have a father-in-law update. If you don't read this blog regularly, my 91-year-old father-in-law moved in with us so we could take care of him. He's been a lot of work lately, especially for me because I work from home and since he's had a big appetite and more energy, he has been asking for things constantly (he's in a wheelchair). Jonathan and I decided it would be best to put him in a nursing home so we'll have time to rest and clean up the house before the baby is born. We checked him into one yesterday and then decided to move him to one closer to his daughter since she'll have more time to visit him (and the nursing home is in the country versus the city so he should be more comfortable there), so Jonathan may be moving him in on Monday. Yes, on my due date. And it's about three hours away. I'm going to stay home, rest and try not to go into labor or panic! We're not sure if it will be permanent or if he'll move back in with us after a month or so (I could write for hours about all the factors involved with that decision) but at least for now we'll have a short break.

So back to massage: if you can afford it, try it! There are lots of Groupon-type deals out there too, so it may be cheaper than you think. I could see regular massages helping my headaches, and it's better than going to the doctor and trying new drugs all the time. One word of caution, and someone mentioned this in a comment in my previous post: massage could possibly trigger a migraine. Too much stimulation can trigger migraine; for example, bright lights, loud noise, strong when you think about it, touch could have that same effect and could be too overwhelming, especially if other factors are already in play like the weather. This hasn't happened to me, but I've only had two massages. Just something to consider. I still say try it!

Monday, June 3, 2013


I'm on week 36 of my pregnancy with less than a month to go (unless I'm late), and my headaches and migraines seem to be a little better. I'm still getting about the same amount of headaches, but I only had four migraine days last month - which is more than before I was pregnant but less than the beginning of my pregnancy. The pain isn't nearly as strong so I'm not having to take as much medicine, which is wonderful. Hot black tea and an ice pack are still helping. It's weird that sleep has so much of an impact on headaches/migraine, yet lately I've been getting up to pee 2-4 times a night and it hasn't had a negative effect on my head. Of course, I'm lucky and am able to fall right back asleep.

One of the few things I haven't tried for headaches is massage. Well, I did have an acupuncturist who tried an intense neck/shoulder massage a few times and it hurt like heck and only lasted a few minutes, so I don't think that counts. The reason I haven't tried massage is the cost. My husband and I aren't suffering financially, but I haven't worked full time since I went back to school for graphic design, and now that I've graduated, I'm freelancing part-time while taking care of my elderly father-in-law, so I'm not bringing in much money. However, I have never been so sore in my life. My husband can't see my head pain (although he can sometimes tell that I'm hurting) but thanks to the pregnancy, my feet and hands are super swollen and I get so stiff sometimes I can hardly walk. My hip bursitis makes it even worse. So my husband has finally agreed that massage might be worth the cost. 

I'm going to get a prenatal massage - with lots of focus on the head/neck/shoulders so my head will benefit - this weekend. I'm sure it takes several massages to see results in the headache/migraine department, but I'm hoping I'll see at least a little difference from just one massage, and then maybe I'll try one or two more. Unfortunately that's about all we can afford right now, but if it does work, then if/when we have more money, I'll try it again and it might be able to take the place of doctor appointments and medications. I'll let you all know how it goes!