No Programs for New Moms

So at the end of my last blog I mentioned that I would blog next about services and programs available to quitting, and staying-quit, moms. A while back I saw a flyer at my midwives clinic advertising a Toronto Public Health program called Fresh Start, that offered “an exercise and education program” for new moms trying to stay quit post partum, but unfortunately I have had one hell of a time trying to track down anyone who knows anything about this program, that apparently no longer exists. Continue reading

I CAN Do Anything

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.  Continue reading

Identity and Being Part of a Club

With my due date around the corner, this will probably be my last post as a pregnant woman. I’ve just become used to being a part of this club and have really loved the experience of being pregnant, connecting with other moms and their experiences, the knowing looks and even the advice from random strangers in the street. Thinking about the next club I will be a part of, the mom club, has got me thinking about identity and how our circumstances and shared experiences with peers shape that identity. I once heard it said that the world of adults is separated by those who have kids and those who don’t, and I have certainly never crossed such a huge threshold before in my life as the one I am about to cross—from child to parent. Continue reading

Top 10 Fails and Top 10 Wins in My Battle to Stay Quit

Ten ways in which I feel I am failing my quitting smoking battle:

  1. I feel like I am running out of time to do the work of convincing myself to stay quit after the baby comes.
  2. I have been putting off setting up supports and a plan for dealing with triggers post birth (not so much on purpose but there are just so many other things to prepare and complete before the big day that I haven’t given much time to this one).
  3. I still see myself as a smoker in many ways.
  4. I fear that once I am not sharing my body with my baby all of my reasons and reasoning will go out the window.
  5. I attribute all my will power to being pregnant and don’t allow myself to own/be proud of what I’ve managed to accomplish so far because I am filled with self-doubt about my ability to stay quit.
  6. I don’t know how or what I should be doing to prepare myself for staying quit on my own after the baby comes, i.e. I feel lost still.
  7. People keep warning me about the sleep deprivation to come and that terrifies me because I crave cigarettes the most when I am tired and my resilience is low.
  8. I still want to smoke and feel like if I knew when that would just go away forever that I could at least count that down but the fact that it feels like I will struggle with it forever is debilitating and frustrating to say the least.
  9. I’m still dreaming about smoking.
  10. I’m still thinking about smoking in my waking hours as well.

10 ways I am succeeding in my quitting smoking battle:
Continue reading

Expanding Sacred Space

This week I decided to make a vision collage of my journey to stay quit.


The egg represents my womb, which I have managed to create as a smoke free environment in the best interest of my baby and which I hope to expand to include the rest of my family and myself. Along the outside bordering the smoke filled space and the egg, reads:

sacred space no smoking beyond this point sacred space… Continue reading

Stop Should-ing on Pregnant Women

It’s hard to be a pregnant feminist (read: pregnant woman). All the demands and restrictions, shouldn’ts and responsibility; it’s enough to drive a woman to smoke!

We shouldn’t dye our hair, have too much sugar, soft cheese, rare steak, certain fish, many kinds of herbs and teas (one site I consulted listed pretty much every herb and included ginger and “medicinal amounts of garlic”, whatever that is.), one friend even told me (unsolicited) that he read somewhere that I shouldn’t drink pop. We shouldn’t have vigorous sex, or bend over in certain ways later into our pregnancy, or sleep on our backs, or stomachs or change the cat litter, or be around paint fumes, or be in a hot tub or carry heavy things, etc etc. When I googled “pregnant women shouldn’t…” I learned we shouldn’t actually  “eat for two” (in case we might have misunderstood that expression and just listened to our bodies) and of course the most frequent and stern of warnings and judgments are reserved for pregnant women who drink!  Continue reading