During my first pregnancy, quitting smoking was a piece of cake. I finished a pack in the evening and decided I’m done. The following days were rough, though. But, my life consisted of going to work for six hours and doing nothing the rest of the day.
I spent a Friday afternoon and the entire weekend laying in bed. I was going through what can be best described as a person turning into a vampire. You know, crazy facial expressions, swirling around and staying away from sunlight. Every sound felt like someone was hitting me in a head with a baseball bat. By Monday, I was a brand-new person, determined to lead a healthy lifestyle for the sake of my unborn child.
So, what changed the second time that made quitting close to impossible for me?
For starters, there was a 19-month-old to care for. You know, demanding attention, patience, care and a full-functioning parent. The one that is not going to shut down for the entire day. The second thing, of course, were chores. You know, a million things you do around the house thneed need a functioning brain. Yet, I was still determined to cut back as much as possible, if not quit.
I have seen a large number of moderate and heavy smokers have healthy babies. For this reason, my initial decision was to smoke and not bother myself with trying to quit. But, actually being pregnant left me with fears and doubts. Yes, at least ten women I know smoked during the pregnancy, and all their babies are as healthy as mine was. But, there are still things I don’t know for sure.
I don’t know if or how many miscarriages these women had. I also don’t know what future holds for their little ones. I also have no way of knowing if I will be as lucky as they were. There is nothing in this world that can assure me everything will be alright. But, I still struggled. You see, I am one of THOSE people. What works for majority often doesn’t work for me. So I had to get creative. If you’re one of those people as well, You will find my experience helpful.
Religion and prayer
If you are at all religious, you might find praying helpful and suiting. It might give you strength to resist the cravings while staying functional. For me, praying was an important part of getting rid of smokes both times. It helped clear my mind, calm my nerves and preserving positive energy and motivation. If you are not religious, meditating, yoga or other methods of self-reassurance would help.
Smoking has triggers, and the strongest ones are social. I stayed inside for the majority of the day, limiting my activities to only what was necessary. If I had any social arrangements, I tried not to smoke before. I would feel less guilty about lighting up a few later on. Besides that, resting as much as possible and making sure I don’t feel stressed was what got me from smoking twenty to smoking 3 cigarettes per day.
Just one more- activity
What seriously helped prolong hours between cigarettes for me was doing “ just one more thing” before I light up. Whatever I could think of doing before lighting up, I did. When It came to the point of either running out of things to do or having spent more than 5 hours without smoking, I would reward myself with a cigarette. That was how an hour between smokes turned into three, and then to five and seven hours. Before I knew, I’ve trained myself to go through an entire day without smoking.
Change of daily routine
I had to change all my routines that encouraged or triggered smoking. It began with delaying my morning coffee and having breakfast first. Instead of resting during my daughter’s afternoon nap, I took up activities. This would be the time for me to have a cup of coffee with a few cigarettes over a TV show. I changed my routine to avoid triggering cravings. The toughest part of the day by far was the evening. It still is. With having finished all the chores and my daughter in bed by 9 PM, smoking was the most difficult thing for me to give up. So I had to make sure to go to bed as early as possible. This meant I would go to bed by 10 PM. I would only allow myself some quality time with my husband. No internet, social media or snacks in the evening.
I’m not going to lie. I still want to smoke like there’s no tomorrow ALL THE TIME. But, It no longer feels hard, painful or stressful. It doesn’t bother me anymore. It’s like having an appetite for fast food. You like it. You want to stuff your face with it. But you don’t. Instead, you grab an apple and the craving soon goes away.