Archive for September 5, 2009

Fighting the Cigarette Demons

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I quit smoking cold turkey shortly after I found out I was pregnant with Nathan, and I promised myself and my son that for both of our sakes, I would never smoke another cigarette again. It’s not worth the risk to my health, and more importantly, it’s not worth the risk to Nathan’s health. Terrifying new studies have recently surfaced about Third Hand Smoke, which is an even more toxic and dangerous killer than the more well-known Second Hand Smoke.

Until recently, no one knew about the dangers of Third Hand Smoke.

Third Hand Smoke is considered especially deadly for infants and small children because their developing brain is uniquely susceptible to extremely low levels of toxins… and third-hand smoke is layers of toxins that have been deposited on furniture, toys, carpets, clothing, and hair by cigarette smoke, which the baby then ingests by touching or crawling on those surfaces.

Even hugging a baby with smoke-laden clothes could be as hazardous as smoking in the same room with the child. All the more reason for me to kick the habit… for good. The Surgeon General states that there is no risk-free level of tobacco exposure… There are 250 poisonous toxins found in cigarette smoke and even tiny levels of exposure are associated with diminished IQ. Nathan’s life is more important to me than those cigarettes will ever be, and I am proving it daily by sheer willpower.

I’m not going to lie, quitting smoking was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. Since I was pregnant when I decided to quit, I couldn’t take any stop smoking aids, and I had to deal with the physical and emotional withdrawals. Physically, it felt like ants were gnawing away at my muscles, having little picnic with razor sharp teeth. I had cold sweats, tremors, nausea, and felt like the withdrawals were wreaking havoc on my body.

Those symptoms lasted nearly a week.

Emotionally, I thought about smoking a cigarette every 2.35 seconds… the urge to give up and give in was overwhelming. It consumed every waking thought. Paul was a wonderful and essential support person for me; if it weren’t for him, I don’t know if I could have beat it…

It was a war of pure will power. I won.

For more information about Third Hand Smoke, here’s some additional links:

Third Hand Smoke- The Dangers Smoke Residue Poses to Small Children

What is third hand smoke? Is it hazardous?

Third-Hand Smoke – The Dust Finally Settles – ABC News

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Talkative Baby

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N70rZBUbHU

Nathan likes to talk. A lot. Granted, he can’t say any actual words yet, but he tries. He’s quite the chatterbox in the evenings, usually right before bed when he has a full belly and has gone through his bedtime routine of a diaper change, reading one of his favorite stories, and singing a song or two. Right now, he likes Paddington Cleans Up; Wynken, Blynken, and Nod; and Chicken Little.

He likes to sit, or should I say lazily recline, in my lap and hold the edge of the book with one hand while pointing and grabbing at the illustrations with the other. I sing a variety of songs to him ranging from You are My Sunshine to our National Anthem. He likes them all and will usually bounce along with my attempts to sound on key, chubby cheeks jiggling to the rhythm.

That boy must have a sense of humor to deal with me singing. I used to sing quite well when I was a younger… but years of smoking cigarettes affected my voice.

Twelve years, to be exact.

I know, I know, what was I thinking?

I’ll tell you. I thought I was cool, and once I started smoking, I couldn’t stop.

However, as of right now, I have not had a cigarette in 491 days and 14 hours… saving us approximately $1,942.13 and avoiding around 8,632 of those oh-so-relaxing, sweet smelling, mouth watering, stress relieving cancer sticks. At my worst, I smoked three packs a day. The smoke I emitted on a daily basis rivaled that of a racing freight train. At my best, I smoked a pack a day.

Now, even after over a year of being smoke free, every time I smell smoke, I have to fight the urge to smoke one. My brain says, Oh just one more… it won’t hurt. Just one. My soul says If you want to live long enough to take over the world, then you’d better not. Since I prefer world domination with Nathan by my side, I fight the urge.

I am stronger than the cigarette. I have my son and our precious conversations to live for.

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