My little sweetheart joined me almost 2 weeks ago, on her due date of all days. My contractions started on the Friday evening and she wasn’t born until Sunday late morning, a 40 something hour marathon and the toughest work I’ve ever done. They say the tough stuff comes with the best rewards and looking at my daughter’s face I can see how for once “they” are right. The labour luckily went just as I had hoped and planned and was all natural (that is to say without an epidural). Proving to myself and those around me just how strong I am and what I am capable of.
But the tough work didn’t end there. I am currently in my second week of breastfeeding and wow, this might be even more difficult. I’d like to say that I never judged those who do not breastfeed, like my mom and practically her entire generation of peers, but deep down I did have many judgments. Now, even as committed as I am to continuing to breastfeed, I am counting the days until I can pump and others can help feed my child as it is such draining, emotional, full-time and full on work that is tougher than I ever thought it would be. Again proving to myself every feed of every day that I am capable of more than I thought/think sometimes.
So, this must mean I can stay quit. I can continue what I have started. A smoke-free life. Not just for my baby but for myself long after my baby is not breastfeeding. I can apply to the same practices I have been in both labour and breastfeeding: take it one contraction/feed/craving at a time, ask and build support around myself through friends and family knowing what I need, and access whatever services and programs I can find to help me learn methods for staying quit.
Next week I will get a bit more into available services I will be using to help me stay quit.