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The Harm I’ve Done

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. quitting4baby1
    quitting4baby1 avatar
    1 posts
    20 Aug 2020
    20 Aug
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    Hey everyone, 

    I’m 35 years old and started smoking when I was 14-or the age you are in grade 6. My friends were smoking and I was too young to understand the addiction and health implications. Both of my parents smoked which also made me think it couldn’t have been that bad. I carried on with smoking all throughout high school, my university years and beyond. Since smoking was apart of my life and so much apart of me I never had the desire to quit. For me quitting was never an option until I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I think in a lot of ways we feel invincible and untouched by the harmful effects of smoking until we feel or know something bad is happening to us because of it. Just hearing and knowing that it’s harmful isn’t always enough. Everyone has their own reason for quitting. As naive as this sounds, I didn’t know quitting would be so difficult. I knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park, but I honestly thought being aware of this pregnancy would make it easier- I’ve never been more wrong. I couldn’t quit cold turkey so I tried cutting down, I would literally buy a pack of cigarettes and smoke 5 or 6 of them, only to throw the rest of the pack out that same day- I would repeat this cycle again the next day. This went on for weeks so you can imagine how much money I wasted and how many cigarettes I threw out because I couldn’t kick the habit. I realized I couldn’t quit even though I was telling myself I would- it was killing me emotionally every time I lit one up. I would think about the harm I was causing this baby and how disgusting and selfish of a person I was for doing it. I smoked up until my 13th week of pregnancy. I’m now 14 weeks and 4 days pregnant and have been completely smoke free for a week today. My quit date was August 14th 2020. One day I sat down and researched babies born to mothers who smoked throughout their pregnancies and I think that’s what did it for me. I have so much guilt for not being able to kick the habit the moment I found out I was pregnant, but still proud of myself for having come this far even though it’s not really that far at all. I still worry about the damage I might have caused which of course stresses me out and makes me think about wanting to smoke. Smoking was my go to for everything especially stressful times in my life. I can’t think about that anymore, I can only think about how quitting was the best decision I’ve made for the baby. I struggle with cravings everyday and this new journey of quitting has been so difficult for me mentally, emotionally and physically. I constantly have to keep reminding myself that I have a life growing inside of me and how this life has no choice in regards to what I put in my body. I also have to think about the enormous amount of guilt I would feel if my baby is born with complications due to my inability to quit smoking. I’m so addicted that I keep telling myself once the baby is born I can freely light up again which really disgusts me, it’s like I don’t care about myself enough to stay smoke free or I don’t feel as though the smoking is really harming me when I know it is. After day 3 of of being smoke free I started to go through horrible  withdrawals- bad headaches, restlessness/irritability and sweating. I find the physical side effects have subsided somewhat but I still have the headaches every now and then. My biggest struggle now is the mental and emotional aspects of quitting- just wanting that cigarette. I’ve quit cold turkey which I never thought I would be capable of doing. Joining this group today and reading stories told by others has helped knowing I’m not alone in this struggle. All of you are an ongoing inspiration. This is a hard habit to kick no matter how or why you’ve decided to quit. I hope I can remain as strong as I have and wish you all the best on this tobacco free journey we are on. 
    Last modified on 20 Aug 2020 10:50 by quitting4baby1
  2. treepeo1
    treepeo1 avatar
    84 posts
    06 Feb 2020
    20 Aug
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    Hi quitting4baby1,

    First of all, I want to congratulate you for quitting cold turkey.  I quit cold turkey, too, and know how difficult it is, so good for you!  That is awesome!

    Please don't beat yourself up because you weren't able to quit right away.  I am amazed that you had the strength and fortitude to quit as soon as you did.  You started trying right away, and learned something through trial and error.  And you didn't give up.  You should be really proud of yourself for what you have accomplished.

    None of us can change the past.  All we can deal with is the present, and plan for the future.  Quitting smoking is the best thing you could ever have done for both yourself and your baby.  I know that the habit part of it is getting to you right now, but that will pass in time.  Every day that passes without you lighting up will make your quit that much more valuable to you.  Eventually, the withdrawal will subside and you will start to feel much better.

    Hang in there, quitting4baby1.  You can do this.  I believe in you and I am rooting for you!  Remember NOPE (Not One Puff Ever).  If you stick to that, you will be fine.  Trust yourself.  YOU ROCK!!!
  3. efram, quit coach
    efram, quit coach avatar
    197 posts
    29 Nov 2017
    20 Aug
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    Welcome, quitting4baby1! 

    I'm glad that you're feeling inspired. You are likely to inspire others as well! 

    I hope that you're able to think of reasons to also quitting4yourself1. This can help you to stay motivated and healthy once your baby is here. 

    There's another excellent resource offered by CAMH, called Pregnets (which stands for "Prevention of Gestational and Neonatal Exposure to Tobacco Smoke"). Their website includes a blog by pregnant women who are quitting. It hasn't been updated in a while but still may be helpful:

    Congratulations on your success, and wishing you ongoing strength, health and wisdom. 

3 posts, 0 answered