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Smoking when pregnant harms the babyThis is the rest of my story about giving up smoking, you can read the first part here.

My second step was the plan. I am not good at getting (or even accepting) help, which is why I was going to do it myself. No classes, no doctors, no tablets, no patches.

I started to smoke fewer cigarettes a day, from 10 down to 7, then to 5, then to 3. I cut down all the social smoking and was allowing myself a cigarette when I really wanted it, not out of habit or because someone else was smoking around me. It took me about 3 months to get down to 3 cigarettes a day.

During all that time I was convincing myself that smoking is bad for my health and that it’s ruining my body. I was trying to stop thinking of it as a pleasure or a lifestyle and instead think of it as a disease that needs to be cured. I also told all the people I know that I’m trying to quit – not to get their support, but to leave myself no escape. I had no idea whether or not it will succeed, but my mind was made up and there was no way back.

The next step was to start smoking halves of cigarettes, and it worked for a while. I was scared to think of the day when I finally stop and won’t touch the smokes for the rest of my life. I think that kind of decisions can frighten anybody. Lucky for me, one day I went to a party and everyone was smoking. Having spent all night in that smoke, I didn’t feel like lighting a cigarette in the next morning. Or the afternoon. In the evening I thought I might but decided to go to bed early instead.

That day was THE DAY.

The next day I wanted to smoke but kept distracting myself, trying to stretch the non-smoking period for as long as possible. I stayed away from smoking areas and people with cigarettes. Everyone in my family was so happy and kept praising me and I got loads of support from my friends.

Still, for a long time I felt as though I was denying myself a pleasure, I missed the feeling, missed the taste, the way it was relieving me from stress. Every time I got upset I wished I hadn’t quit smoking. I was also afraid that I’d gain weight if I try to replace the cigarettes with food or sweets. That never happened but the fear was there for a long time. The nights when I was dreaming about lighting a cigarette lasted even longer.

It has been over 3 years since I stopped smoking. I don’t miss it all that much now, nor do I dream a lot about it. Sometimes I do, but I’m far too busy looking after my one year old to think much about it. Once glimpse at him justifies it all for me, he is so worth it. I am glad I gave him a chance of good health.

What was your greatest sacrifice for the sake of your babies?