How Quitting Smoking made me a Better Mother
Updated: Apr 13
It is said that a woman is the culture-bearer in the family. She carries traditions and legacies from one generation to the next. However, there is something I would like you to ponder about - Should every habit or legacy be passed on to the next generation? I am breaking that chain! My child will not bear the same legacy - They will not grow up in a smoking environment! And that’s my promise to myself. My grandmother and mother were smokers, but I will not let that fate befall my child. I will save them from the agony that follows. I am Teresa, and this is my story on how and why I quit smoking and embraced motherhood and a healthy future for my child.
Where it all started
My mom once told me that her mother i.e. my grandmother fought really hard for her rights - to work and even to exercise her freedom. And as a sign of rebellion, my grandmother started to smoke. Looking back, I think this is a really horrible reason to start smoking. This is not feminism.
My mother too somehow imbibed similar smoking habits. Maybe because she used to hang around my grandmother a lot. “My Body, My Rules” she used to say. No one ever stopped her and she did not care. I don’t think she ever thought about the ill-effects of smoking, because cigarettes were all the rage at the time.
She suffered from multiple miscarriages, because of smoking habits, but she blamed it on stress. And after years and years of trying, I was born. But I was not a healthy baby. I faced my own share of problems.
Effects of smoking on me and My Smoking Story
I was a prematurely born baby. Due to weak lungs, I was kept in the incubator for 2 months. Even as I grew up, I suffered from serious asthmatic conditions. Constant visit to the doctors was a part of my daily schedule because I was always falling sick.
I could never participate in sports and physically exhausting exercises because I was always breathless. I also developed fluid in my ears, which affected my hearing to a great extent. I used to criticize my mother and yell at her all the time. If only she had quit smoking before she gave birth to me.
Despite all the swearing that I would never smoke, fate caught up to me. I hung out with the wrong kind of crowd and there was no one at home to stop me. I was a wild teen or young. At every party in town, you could find me smoking and drinking at the bar with my pals. I had become my mother, but I was in denial. ‘I can surely quit smoking before I have a baby. Let me enjoy until then’, is what I used to say to myself.
And the bell had tolled for me and my body. The damage was done. Every time I tried to quit, I used to find an excuse to get back at smoking. Eventually, post marriage, I had reached a point where I could not conceive.
The Process of Change
On consulting my gynecologist, she informed me that smoking had affected my fertility, due to which, I was unable to conceive naturally. Realization struck. I had followed in my mother's steps. I was so heartbroken that I went into depression. I lost interest in life and everything around me. I had failed. I had become the monster I had sworn not to become.
My husband was a great support system during this time. He helped me get my senses back in place and we decided to try IVF. In the clinic, the staff had asked me to fill a form. It contained information about lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking and medical history. Having looked at my cigarette consumption count, the doctor there advised me to quit smoking first. She said, and I quote, “You know what it is like to bring a child into the household of a smoker. Why don’t you do one thing? I know of a program that helps you quit smoking. It is called QuitSure. Give it a shot and come back to us after 2 months. We can start with the IVF procedure as your body will be healthier and will be able to receive the processes well.”
My Quit Smoking Journey
I had decided to try this program out. Scouring through the internet, I learnt that it was a 6-Day quit smoking app based program that used behavioral technique to help a person get rid of their addiction.
What really upset me was that my mother still refused to support me in my quit smoking attempt. She was very dismissive of my efforts. In fact, she went as far as saying that I was a disappointment to her because I was weak for not being able to handle ‘smoking’. But I paid no heed. With my husband’s support and desire to embrace a healthy motherhood, I started the programme.
A lot of myths were dispelled when I started the program. They explained their concepts with so much ease that my brain caught on to them right away. It was also then that I realized that my mother would never understand the importance of quitting smoking because she is still clouded by her misconceptions.
I used to call the coaches at all odd times, bugged them with questions, shared my history with them too. But not once did they judge me. They were very supportive. And the best part of it all, was that this program never made me feel guilty about my smoking habit. Instead, they lauded me for my decision to start my quit smoking journey because not many people are able to get over the blinds of denial.
On the 6th day, I smoked my last cigarette, and crushed the butt under my feet. I felt free, like shackles that were bound for generations have now been broken!
Today, it's been 2 months since I delivered my little princess. It was a healthy pregnancy, the IVF procedure was successful! Thank you QuitSure. Thank you for helping me break the chain of smoking in my family! Read how QuitSure has helped users become better athletes.