teddy bear waving

What Being a ‘Mum to Be’ Means to Me

Am I really a mum to be? Yes I am and it feels so amazing.

While this is such an exciting time in my life, I’m not ignorant towards the topic of pregnancy loss, nor have I ever been since a I was child. Some women I’m very close to, have lost a child. It’s raw but it’s real.

I know people who have miscarried at different stages of their pregnancy, or  experienced a still birth. My mum fits into both of these categories, someone who I love so much and every day I think about how strong she is. I also have friends who have health issues which causes barriers for them to be able to get pregnant. I’ll always remember them and what they’ve been/are going through.

This post hasn’t been published to disregard anyone’s feelings, it’s simply to share how my mum to be journey is going and how it feels for me. Even my mum says, “Nothing should stop me from the light that pregnancy brings to your life, especially when it’s for the first time.” She (and Danny most days pre-pregnancy) has taught me how important it is to be happy and to focus on whatever triggers. Now, my first pregnancy is something beyond that. It’s an experience which I am sure I’ll never forget and I am learning to cherish every moment.

One thing I’ve always wondered is, what it’s like when you know you have a baby inside you. How does it feel? Does it change you? There are days when I panic, others when I wonder if I have exercised enough.

Doing everything I can

Anyone who knows me, understands that I did everything in my power to put my body in it’s healthiest state when trying to get pregnant. I wanted to sort some medical bits out, speak to my doctor and gynaecology department to check if I would be putting me/baby at risk if I was to fall pregnant. They didn’t doubt me, they offered to help and support me wherever I needed it. It’s like they knew it was my time. And I wasn’t shy to share the fact that we have always known we wanted a baby. I just never knew if it could happen because we hadn’t tried before without contraception. 

My GP was in touch a lot in the first trimester to check on me, mostly due to the fact that I have chronic hypertension. But more so, because my body was about to go through some big changes and I was bound to have questions. Before seeing the midwife, I remember asking him over the phone, “Am I definitely pregnant?” And he said, “Natasha, the amount of positive tests you have, there’s your answer.” I was in some kind of disbelief that we had been given this chance, something we have always dreamed of.

Getting pregnant has always been an image in my future ever since I was younger. I remember going shopping with my mum and I would always run to the baby clothes section, that hasn’t changed to this day. I’ve never really been afraid to hold a new born baby and I have always looked into their eyes and wondered what it would be like to hold one of my own some day.

Dreams do come true

And now, the dream is coming to life. The day I seen those two pink lines then the word Pregnant on a pregnancy test, my whole world froze for the most surreal moment ever. I remember thinking, “Wow, we have made a new life. A little one to call ours.”

For days I wondered how our baby would start to grow, what they look like, is my body strong enough to take this on? Is there anything I can do more of? What shouldn’t I be doing? The list of questions went on.

As much as there are hard days and confusing times during my pregnancy journey, I never for one minute forget how blessed I am. Since I have had a visible bump, I must look in the mirror at least once a day and smile. I talk to my baby bump, I sing, and we dance together.

I want to give our baby everything and more. They will know what it’s like to be loved, cared for, and how important a family is. Just the other day, I was talking to Danny and there was a little quiz on the pregnancy app I’m using. It asked about the qualities you would like your child to have, things to understand when growing up etc. Every answer we gave was the same, and we said them simultaneously.

We are already factoring our baby’s future into everything we do. We are good at working as a team and I can’t wait until we become an extended team of 3. We are both keeping busy and I am whizzing round the house tidying and cleaning as much as I can. What’s new there? Danny is doing a lot of painting, he has the patience of a saint. I won’t lie, I only did a small amount of painting in the nursery but still, I’m in 1000% house maintaining mode and doing my usual thing. In the process of my daily routine I have started to realise how clumsy I am… or maybe just a lot more than I already was? Oh and it’s official, my name is Tasha and I’m a chocoholic!

I stared at the room once it had been painted and I choked with emotions – happiness, warmth, and excitement. What was once our little office is now a room becoming our son or daughter’s bedroom. We have a white cabinet with shelves that has some toiletry bits on, story books, Winnie the Pooh storage boxes with clothes, that kind of stuff. Sometimes, I walk into the room just to remind myself that as each day passes by, we are one step closer to meeting our baby.

Every time I see mums and dads pushing babies in their prams by the river at home, it makes me feel so happy. That’ll be us in the summer!

This is such a special journey. The next highlight will be finding out baby’s gender which will probably be the topic of my next blog post so keep a look out.

My First Pregnancy

This is my first pregnancy. I have a little human growing inside me and I’m thinking of how blessed we are. Our own baby, our child, our perfect everything. This is one special stage in our lives that we have always dreamed of.

Those feelings for the first time

I have been amazed by every moment so far, even those strong hormones taking over and changing my body in more ways than I could ever have imagined. The sickness part, obviously wasn’t fun but it reminded me that our beautiful baby boy or girl are inside and those hormones are well and truly doing their thing.

Thinking about my mum

All my life I have looked at mum and wondered how she stays so strong? A woman who has lost children but also brought 3 (me and my two big brothers) into the world. She wants nothing but love and happiness for us. To say she has been through challenging times doesn’t even cut it but through it all, she has been a mum, and has always been there.

My mum reminds me how precious the relationship is between a mother and her children, especially as I have gotten older. She makes me think of the love she had for granny (her mum).

My mum’s morning messages are everything. When we can’t see each other at the moment, those rows of emojis she adds to her texts make me smile. She knows how to send voice notes now too so we always have a little laugh, if not with those, over the phone to catch up.

Thoughts and feelings around my pregnancy 

Questions run through my mind, how will I do this or that? But the truth is, no one ever truly knows what they are doing. I believe it all comes to you naturally and we all have our own ways. No doubt I’ll need to have more patience than ever and I might be a little sleep deprived from time to time. That’s something you hear when you announce your pregnant from quite a few people. Does that really matter though? We are bringing a new life into the world. A gentle, miraculous, little one. Now, THAT, is worth everything.

I love seeing my belly grow and I felt little flutters quite early on. The stretches are incredible, although sometimes I’m looking for ways to soothe the aches. As long as our baby continues to grow and stays healthy, that’s all that matters.

One thing I have learnt is to embrace being pregnant, especially after that first trimester when your emotions and the “Am I feeling okay today?” question travels through your mind. It really is an up and down rollercoaster. But now, I want to shine and take away any worry. I want to smile every day and keep looking after our baby, keeping them warm and snug.

I’m so glad I have you

Throughout all of the new things I’m experiencing, there’s no one other than my Danny that I would want by my side. The most understanding (even when I’m speaking in true Tasha language) man there is. His level of care and love he has is endless. And he wants nothing but the best for me and our baby. Truth is, we already got it because we have him.

If you have any comments you would like to share as a first time mum, please add them below. You’ve got this!

woman's hand holding a sparkler

Holding Onto the Things That Make Me Happy

These last 6 months have been different, almost surreal, but there’s hope that we are heading towards the better side of things now. Under no means has Covid-19 gone away. However, the restrictions have eased compared to how life was in March. There has been so much negativity in the news, people’s spirits haven’t been as high which is completely understandable. I have been one of those people from time to time. I’ve also faced new challenges with my health trying to figure out what’s happening. Right now, apparently there are ‘no answers’. Although that’s not good enough, I like to think I will get there. As we approach the last 4 months of 2020, I want to share the things I’m thankful for and looking forward to.

Seeing friends and family more

It’s always nice to surround yourself with friends and family. When Covid-19 took that away, life was pretty hard. Calls, texts, and FaceTimes, just weren’t doing it for me anymore. No hugs or kisses. I’m that person who loves a good hug. I love to smile with my friends and family, have a laugh, and be as random as I always am. It’s good that I have been able to see much more of them recently and catch up. A couple of friends are buying houses this year and I am over the moon for them. The excitement is very real!

Making the most of challenging times

Luckily for me, I continued to do all of those things above with Danny. The smiles, hugs, being silly together, comforting me when I cried, holding my head up when I felt down and low. The biggest encourager on my running journey, and the best company to have when we worked from home together. I am so thankful for the last 6 months, for the way they have brought us closer to one another. I think seeing each other at work was the only way we had never seen each other before. So, I feel like all kind of experiences and emotions with each other are complete! Wow, I miss our adventures together but I’m so excited to re-book New York for next year (fingers crossed) and to see what the future holds for us.

Knowing that home is my favourite place of all

Home is my happy place. I mean, I am missing the getaways but I am glad that I have a home full of love. It’s been just over 18 months since we became homeowners and this December will be our 8th Christmas together. Time goes so fast and I’m so lucky that I get to build many more memories together. Unfortunately for Danny, that involves catching all of the spiders. I get over them… then it’s like I’m scared again because they are bigger each time *cry*. I love maintaining our beautiful home and continuing to make decisions on the little touches that make it our own. And as much as I love summer, I’m really looking forward to the cosy autumn/winter nights in as we approach Christmas. Let’s face it, it’ll be here before we know it!

What’s making you happy at the moment?

Follow Tasha’s Lifestyle on Twitter @tashalifestyle.

visiting granny and grandad at the cemetery

The Importance of Memories With Your Loved Ones

Memories and experiences shape you into the person you are today. No matter your age, you have your own story. So far in life, there have been some difficult situations I have experienced, fortunately outweighed by the good. I’m a firm believer in taking something good from a negative event.

Family is everything. I love the bond I have with my mum, dad, and brothers. We have shared so much together, tough times and also some of the best times. I think we will always have each other and I’m so glad.

This last month or so has been a reflective time for me. Maybe a lot of things come down to my emotional nature, that’s what got me started on this blog almost 5 years ago after all. It got me thinking, you waste too much time wondering what if, I wish I could have… and so on.

You can look back, dwell in sorrow, or smile and grow stronger. I must admit I still cry no matter how many years go by but that’s just in my nature. I’m still much stronger than I used to be. Danny’s endless love for us and our life always gives me something to hold onto. Whatever may come, we face it together. I have lost count of the amount of times he has held me when I have hit such low points.

Life is what you make it…

You can’t predict the future, nor can you force things to happen. However, you can hope and think positive. Life can throw twists and turns. How you deal with them, is down to outlook. Take someone who you were very close to and the day you lost them. You feel raw. A piece of the jigsaw that made your life whole is missing. It is also a very confusing and a lot for your heart to take.

I remember I was 7 years old when I lost someone I loved for the first time, someone I was very close to, my granny. I couldn’t prep for school plays or assemblies. I didn’t understand how you could just lose someone. It was painful enough seeing her unwell in hospital. I cried at home. I cried at school. I cried at my friend’s house.

Someone taught me how to braver and stronger – my grandad. I used to think seeing granny’s face in my dreams was scary, waking up to the reality that she was no longer here. Grandad always said, she is always going to be there and when I look at the sky at night she will be one of the stars twinkling bright. I haven’t stopped paying so much attention to the stars since. When I lived at my mum and dad’s, I always thought she was there each night in the same spot. Although I’m in a house of my own now, I still smile when the stars are out at night.

When grandad passed away, I may have been older but it didn’t make it any easier. My heart sunk harder than I ever thought it could. You see, he always shown us that Granny’s life was around us. Having his hugs, holding his hand, and sharing the most exciting adventures was everything. He brought anything he could to life, the light always shined, and he was my hero.

Together, granny and grandad were a significant couple, not just as grandparents, but because they were special in their own ways. Granny – a beautiful woman, so playful always making us laugh, caring, always looked out for you, and the best kind of granny ever. Grandad – he gave you his heart and soul, he was the strongest man. Not once did he stop loving any us differently, and he did everything in his power to give you the best in life, most of all, his love. Together, they were one in a million.

There’s always something to give back

My mum and have have always understood that dreams can come true if you fight hard enough and that love keeps everything alive. Through my dad’s protective streak and being the person I can always turn to for help, to my mum’s loving nature and showing me that I should always “hold my head up high”, no matter what life throws at you, plays a part in the person I am today. But it goes without saying, granny and grandad helped me to see that, life is what you make it and more.

I’m always on the look out to see how I can support charities in memory of the those who were very special to me. A few that are close to my heart are Cancer Research UK, Tommy’s and The British Heart Foundation. I wonder what my next charity challenge will be?

I hope this post inspires you to reflect on what the most important people in your life have taught you and how you should always hold them close to your heart.