Introduction to me and my story

Over the next few months, in this blog I will be describing my experiences of quitting smoking before, during and after pregnancy.

First things first: I am a twenty-eight year old mother of three beautiful little girls, ages three (almost four), one and a half (almost two), and just six months. I married my best friend who, I’ve known for the past five years. I started smoking at the age of ten, something I don’t recommend. I plan to explain this to my girls when they are older. I have tried to quit many times and could never really get up the self-esteem to go longer than a month.

I am currently enrolled in a stop smoking clinic in Hamilton ON. When I started at the clinic I was smoking upwards of fifteen to twenty cigarettes a day. Now, three weeks in and I am down to around five to ten a day. When I started I was not very confident that I could quit smoking, but in that short amount of time I have cut my smoking in half and my confidence had gone up from a five to a six. I feel like I can really do it this time.

There are many things that have affected me. The big one is stress: there is money, work, kids and things that are out of my control. I know it’s harder when people say things to you like “just quit”, or “just put them down”. But it is hard to quit and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. My first stress factor is my girls. Don’t get me wrong I love them all with every fiber of my being, but three under the age of four can be a lot. But even more stressful is that my children are currently in the care of Children’s Aid Society because someone (we don’t know who for sure) has abused them. Another big stress factor for me is not having my own income. Since my oldest daughter was born I have been a stay at home mom. My husband is the sole income earner in our house. It is pretty embarrassing to ask for money to buy tampons and food.

I am going to end this on a lighter note by saying: it is a hard road and a long one, but I know I can do it with help from friends, family and complete strangers who blog about quitting smoking. If you need someone to talk to, please feel to talk to me. Not only can I help you by listening to you, but you can help me by talking with me. We all need help sometimes, there is no harm in seeking it out.

Good Luck.

Lucy H.

On My Way…

Hello, I’m Melissa. I just turned 37 years old and I am exactly six months pregnant. I am also a smoker trying to quit.

I started smoking when I was 14 yrs old during March Break and haven’t stopped since. I thought for sure when I became pregnant I would quit and that it would be easy. That’s not the case – it’s as hard as ever for me. Drinking was easy to stop, I don’t even think about it. But smoking for me is different. I tried stopping on my own and going “cold turkey” but couldn’t. Continue reading

Breaking habits

As humans we are habitual creatures. I am a person who likes routine and structure in my life. Therefore, being habitual allows me to fulfill the need of routine and structure. Cigarettes have been a habit that I used to structure my life. For example, I would have a smoke after my morning tea, after a large meal or when I was stressed. Basically, smoking helped to break the day into manageable increments of time. My day would start by waking up, having my tea and a smoke. Then at work, 1030am would roll around and I would have a smoke break. Lunch time…well, you get the idea. Continue reading

Chocolate or Cigarettes

Today I found out that I am at risk for gestational diabetes. On my glucose tolerance test I came in with a 7.9, just above the safe ceiling of 7.7. Which means I will need to take a follow-up test in a little over a week to see if I have gestational diabetes. If I do, I will not be able to have the birth plan I am hoping for at the Toronto Birthing Centre, could have a host of problems both short and/or long-term for myself and the baby, and could end up needing a c-section. This is the opposite of the drug-free birth of my dreams/nightmares (ha!).

How does this relate to my quitting smoking journey? Continue reading

Smoking After Giving Birth

I wanted to think I would have a seamless transition of staying an ex-smoker after childbirth. Sadly no, that was not the case. Here are some reasons why:

Even though this birthing experience was slightly shorter than my first and second, bringing another person into this world is hard work! After the stress and worry was finally over (for that phase of parenthood) I really, really had the urge to “calm down”, “take the edge off” or “reward myself” with a cigarette.

  • I’m not exactly one that loves staying hospitals and a couple quick “mommy-breaks” were needed.
  • Once we got home, there was still a need for that mommy-break.

Continue reading

Letter to My Unborn Baby

Dear Baby,

The expected due date for your arrival is Dec 27, 2014. I cannot wait to meet you. Words cannot describe how special and important you are to me. However, today I am writing you this letter to try to express a tiny glimpse of my affection towards you.

Little baby boy, you have been my strength and my inspiration. When I received my results of being pregnant, my attitude and decisions in life changed drastically. I have a natural need to protect and give you security. I love you more than you can imagine. Continue reading

Health Care Providers & Me (While I was pregnant and smoking)

I touched on this subject briefly in a previous post regarding my first pregnancy, but felt that it was something I wanted to elaborate on.

When I was pregnant last, with my youngest, I found that it was the most irritating speaking to health care providers about my smoking. More so than my two previous pregnancies.

When I first discovered I was pregnant with my last son, of course I went to see my nurse practitioner to confirm, and get a referral for an obstetrician. Once it was confirmed, she did the usual history ‘interview’ with me, one of the questions being if I was still smoking . I was honest with her, and told her that I was still smoking, and how much a day. She did NOT criticize, she did NOT give me a look of disgust, nor did she look at me like I was a bad person. Continue reading