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Pregnancy & Smoking

For the past 12 years, I had been a habitual smoker. I started off with one pack lasting me a week or sometimes more. The addiction escalated over the years and soon it became one pack to last two days; at times that wasn't even enough. I loved my mornings with cigarettes and coffee. It was the best combination for me - I could sit outside enjoying my smoke, stick after stick, for hours on end. I think this kinda took a toll on my health because I'd find myself having difficulties breathing sometimes. But it didn't matter that much to me, because smoking had become such a big part of my life. I smoked when I was enjoying and having fun, I smoked when I was stressed, I smoked when I was bored, I smoked when I was sad, I smoked when I was busy. There was every occasion to smoke everyday.

And then I got pregnant.

In a way, we planned for the baby. We wanted and were eager to start a family of our own. So we were elated when we found out I was pregnant.

The first three months were easy to get through. I didn't entertain that many thoughts of smoking, maybe because I was busy with a lot of major decisions, but largely because of the morning sickness. At times I'd be tempted, but I overcame it easily. Besides, everytime I smelt cigarette smoke, I felt like throwing up. So I knew it was a no-go for me.

Fast forward three months later, the morning sickness slowly subsided. The temptations slowly came back - stronger than ever. The withdrawal symptoms became more terrible. I would feel like slapping anyone who smoked near me, giving myself the excuse that it was because they stank, when in actual fact I believe it could be because I wanted the stick much more than them. I realized that quitting smoking had left a void inside of me which was nearly impossible to fill. And whenever the urge hit, I'd feel a dreadful, sinking feeling in my heart. It was only much later, like only recently, that I realized I only feel this feeling whenever it is time for my habitual smoke.

But I cannot, and I will not, do it.

Each time I feel baby Dino's kicks, I know I cannot do anything that may put his life at risk. I don't even dare to travel, for fuck's sake, much less touch a stick of cigarette. I remind myself constantly of how he would suffer in that little sac of his if I were to inhale just one breath of cigarette smoke, and immediately dismiss that idea. This little growing bean is just too precious, and I know I love him more than I love myself - so how could I make myself happy (albeit temporarily) at the expense of his life?

4 months smoke free, and counting. I guess it is safe to say I have successfully quit smoking.

This is just the beginning of my motherhood journey.

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