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’m not long into my second trimester but 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 3 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!

teddy bear holding a paper red heart

Our Little Dream Come True…

For many years, Danny and I have dreamed of having children one day. We haven’t been shy when talking about the subject, nor have we had conflicted options about how many and when. Throughout our relationship, we have talked about real feelings – including personal experiences, both happy and sad. We have grown to understand each other’s deepest insecurities, worries, upset, and we also visioned the things we see for our life together.

Our relationship isn’t a love story you see on TV or in the films, it’s ours, and that’s what makes us who we are. Our closeness is something that others can talk about but no-one knows how it feels other than us. Danny is the person who can light up any of my days no matter how bad it might have been. He is the one who holds me and reminds that it’s going to be okay. He is the one who on many occasions, I have looked out to the garden and imagined us with our child smiling and playing.

How do I put it all into words?

I don’t quite know how to describe it but I’ll try to explain it the best I can. The more I knew we wanted a child I began to take pregnancy tests whenever my periods were a little late. Now, this might sound daft as I have always been on contraception but I felt sad whenever the test revealed ‘not pregnant’. Due to some health issues and side effects, we decided the next move was to get the copper coil removed. This was a huge step in our lives to take and we knew it was our time to try.

Before I knew it, my period hadn’t arrived but we thought it could be another, “We will take a test and my period will arrive shortly afterwards! That particular weekend, I felt a little unwell. It was as if a migraine was attacking me in a way I hadn’t experienced for a couple of years. I didn’t think much of it and got some rest once I got home. Then there were other little things happening with my body which felt different. Being the eager person I am, I bought two pregnancy tests.

I can’t tell you how many tests I have done over the years. Both for ‘just checking’ reasons to ‘I wonder if we are pregnant’. On this day, I was staying calm and waited patiently. After a couple of minutes, something happened that I had never ever seen before. I looked towards the test and I seen 2 little pink lines. Am I… pregnant? I was in disbelief but couldn’t stop smiling. I had to tell myself to keep the hope aside and take another test for reassurance. And a few moments later, 2 pink lines again. I was amazed and couldn’t stop staring at both tests. My eyes began to water and I felt the warm, fuzzy feeling rushing through my body.

Positive pregnant results on tests

If this wasn’t enough to give us an answer. I took 2 further tests, you might think I am crazy but I just had to believe it 100%. Is our little dream coming true?

I took a deep breath and kept that glimmer of hope and I did another test, this time a Clearblue one. It didn’t take too long before the test digitally shown the word ‘pregnant’. Danny’s reaction was all part of the heartfelt moment too and he was the impatient one waiting for me to do another test. He immediately responded, “Seriously?!” with so much love and happiness in his voice, later to say, “I want to tell the world!”

We found out the amazing news in the very early weeks. This was one of the most special and standstill moments of our lives. Danny couldn’t stop smiling whenever he looked at me. I still keep looking at a little keepsake box we bought that have the tests inside.

Taking all of this in has been as still is, one of the most miraculous moments of our lives. No doubt, the rest of the journey will continue to feel this way. I think for me, the fact we are finally here had me feeling so emotional. Over the last 2 years, we have been through a lot, I have some health issues which Danny has supported me through. It turns out taking out all of the medications, having many appointments, and a procedure or two, and letting my body be its natural self, has given us one of life’s greatest gifts, a son or daughter who is growing inside me.

It didn’t take long for many symptoms to kick in which I won’t go into detail about but it’ll all be worth it for a our little bundle of joy who will enter the world in summer this year. I couldn’t ask for a more devoted and supportive partner by my side. My financé! I am going to have get used to saying that.

Everything is going well and baby is healthy. I have the best doctor and midwife looking after me. Everyone we have told has been so happy for us, even if most of our closest friends and relatives did cry.

The day of our baby’s first scan

Due to Covid, Danny wasn’t allowed to come to my NHS scan and this was really hard hitting, especially as it’s my first pregnancy. However, nothing was stopping us from experiencing the moment of seeing our baby together for the first time. We did some research and came across a place called private clinic called Window to the Womb in Salford. As soon as we read the reviews and I spoke to someone who had a friend that had been, our minds were made up. We emailed to be sure that I could bring Danny along. Once they confirmed I could, we went online and booked our appointment.

The day finally arrived. The scan appointment was later on in the day so we were counting down the hours. We kept ourselves busy throughout the day and before we knew it, the time had arrived. Once we got there and read some information, filled out some details etc. we were ready to go into the scan room. The sonographer was so lovely and made me feel relaxed. Everything went quiet, then a few seconds later, there was our baby on the big screen. The tears came strolling down my eyes, Danny squeezed my hand and we smiled together. This was one of the most surreal and magical moments. Ever since we got the video and photos, we can’t stop saying, that’s OUR baby.

For all of the years we have talked about and pictured starting a little family, it’s so special to see it all happening. Just a week later, a real little bump has appeared. The changes a woman experiences with her body is truly incredible. I am cherishing every moment and cannot wait to experience the rest of my pregnancy journey. Here’s to our little summer baby. We love you with all of our hearts.

And On Our 8th Christmas, We Got Engaged!

In the midst of this Covid era, it’s nice to have the people you love close to you and it’s important to have things to look forward to. For what has a whirlwind of a year, 2020 has been somewhat different for us. We have enjoyed every minute of the extra time spent together. Mine and Danny’s love for each other has grown stronger than ever in a way I never could have imagined. Every day he brings more light into my life. And to my surprise, this light was only just beginning to shine.

On Christmas Day this year, things were certainly very special. Danny always brings experiences into my life which are magical but this one was different on our 8th Christmas together.

We went downstairs to open our presents. It was a quiet Christmas morning until the moment where I screamed as I opened a new pair of Stitch pyjamas. We had breakfast together, then get showered and got dressed.

Danny shouted up to me to tell me he forgot, there was another present downstairs for me. He said it was on the Christmas tree so he finally got me to go downstairs and over to the tree. I wondered, “What am I looking for?” so I turned to Danny quickly not knowing what I’m supposed to do with this bauble! He told me to look at it again, closer. Then I seen it. My heart started to beat faster and I slowly turned around to look at Danny, down on one knee! Glistening right at me was the most beautiful engagement ring. Our song was playing in the background and the candles were lit.

I see other people post about engagements and imagine what the feeling must be like. Then I stopped to think, “Wait, it’s happening to me.” as our memories of friendship over the years, and falling in love came flooding in. I smiled and cried some more. The moment in time froze and felt it like the world was ours. From two kids in primary school, to smiling as we passed each other in the college corridors, to being lifted in the air over puddles in the rain, to lots of adventures, to THIS.

By this point, I couldn’t take my eyes off Danny. He said some heartfelt words for a few minutes and before I knew it, he asked the question, “Will you marry me?”

“YES! YESSS!” I said very emotionally. We kissed and hugged each other so tightly. I couldn’t believe my eyes and the whole feeling. I never thought my heart could be any fuller.

Holding hands with my engagement ring on

Danny spoke to me all about how this had been planned for a very long time. His original plan was to propose to me in New York but Covid got in the way of that. Regardless, it couldn’t have been any more amazing than it was. Just me and him, in our own home, together. The moment was an absolute dream and I keep having to remind myself that it’s all very real.

I really do believe that we feel a kind of love that’s only for us to share. I remember being 19 years old when Danny asked me if I would ever marry him one day. Apparently he has known since then. Ahhh! The most wonderful man in my life, my best friend, has asked me to marry him! I cannot wait for the rest of our lives together.

My engagement ring has been sent to the workshop to be resized and won’t return for a few weeks but that’s okay because we have a lifetime together. I couldn’t ask for a more kind-hearted, generous, and handsome man to have by my side for the rest of my life. Here’s to nothing but positivity for 2021 and all of our years to come.

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.

two pink balloons in the sky

What the Last Year Has Meant to Me

The last year has been an incredible journey. It brings me to think about 28th February, a date that will stay in my mind for all of the years to come. On that day one year ago, me and Danny became homeowners. From the moment we officially received the keys to our first house we knew that a new adventure was about to begin.

Many people tend to look back on accomplishments at the end of the year. However, now is the perfect time for me to have this reflection.

The good and the bad times

Becoming a homeowner plays a part in the things I’m about to tell you because in my eyes, it makes you more grown up than you could imagine. But there are also other things along the way that have happened, good and bad, that have given me the strength I needed today. It’s been the best year of my life but it hasn’t been exciting for the whole part.

The loss of uncle Dom was the hardest time; seeing him just after he lost his life to cancer literally was the biggest gulp I’ve ever had to take. But whenever there’s loss in your life, you think about the things that should be celebrated and just how much things and people mean to you. There are bound to be times of silence but there are also many moments of happiness and they are the ones that you should hold onto. They help you to move forward and value all of the great things in your life.

Talking of moments of happiness, since I moved into this house, I don’t think I’ve ever sang so much in the bath or shower. Usually I can’t even stay in the bath for more than 10 minutes because I struggle to relax. Things are so different now. I’ve learnt how to relax… a lot more than I used to anyway.

Times of worry

I don’t think anyone really knows how much I worry – it’s a great deal. I have coping mechanisms now for certain scenarios. However, the biggest lesson I’ve learn is how you react, standing your ground and keeping your head up high. Surrounding myself with the people who accept the random and craziest parts of me is the energy I need. What’s more, to say I’m lucky to have that one person who understands when I need have my own space, but to be there 24/7, is so comforting for me. Without that, I wouldn’t have shaped into the person who’s here today writing this post.

The last year has been brought me huge career progression. New and exciting things have always scared me. I don’t have a fear of commitment, it’s more the thought of failing something or someone. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t doubted myself this year. I’ve probably done it far too many times. But what’s important is keeping your focus and staying on track for the things you know you can do. Having faith in yourself is step number one. If you’ve got that then you’re onto a good start.

No disguise – just us

The best of all though, has to be the experience of living with Danny. Many people will throw things at you like, “Oh you’ll learn so much about each other…. you’ll do each other’s head in.” Guess what, learning more about each other is what it’s all about. Being there for each other and seeing each other in all kind of lights, is what should make you love them more. We’re talkers, we don’t hide our emotions. Calling each other names isn’t our thing or slamming doors, it’s about communicating when we’re in a disagreement and understanding each other’s perspective.

That’s always been us though, doing our own thing. And Danny has always told me to be proud of who I am, regardless of what anyone else sees in me/us. Having each other is what we need.

There will always be challenges

Neither of the above have passed without a challenge. But what’s life without hurdles that you pass to help you grow into the person you are today? Together, me and Danny work hard to maintain our home. We plan together and still save together to enjoy life’s biggest adventures, whether it be physically and emotionally. The last year especially has shown me that we don’t have a ‘still’ point. There’s always more to feel. And I think that’s so important and for us, acts as a big part of who we are and how our relationship is built.

It seems surreal at first, when things happen that you didn’t expect, or in a bigger way that you could’ve imagined. I never thought I’d see myself as a manager, nor have did I imagine to become a homeowner at this point in my life. But things can take time, special milestones even longer. And I’m so glad I let time play its part. I’ve never rushed into anything because, well, why? I’m a believer in having patience and seeing where life can take you. Sometimes, you can blink too fast and miss the best things that life has to offer. I like to experience and feel everything before coming to decisions that affect my future.

Then and now

I remember the days when me and Danny were just friends and he always pictured taking me on dates, watching his favourite film together, buying me flowers… so much has happened since then. I couldn’t possibly write it all in a blog post.

It’s been crazy! There’s so much more to look forward to this year. New York in June has got to be the best thing yet to come. And I’m going to see Alicia Keys in Kraków (because she’s in Manchester when we’re in New York)! On the day we return from New York, it will be uncle Dom’s anniversary and that makes me realise how scary it is to see how fast time passes you by.

If you take anything away from reading this post, remember to love the small moments, the ones that can’t be replaced, the ones that wouldn’t feel the same with anyone else. Take new situations with an open mind and give it all you’ve got. Talk to someone if you’re feeling down and most all, be happy and be kind.