Monday, 9 May 2016

Second Trimester - Bliss!

Second Trimester = Week 13 - 28





Me at 23 weeks with my brother and my friend P


If you've been following my blog you'll know the trauma that I went through for the first trimester of my pregnancy. If you missed that post you can read it here

For all the women who are yet to be Mums and totally put off by my previous blog post - fear not! It gets better, it really does! I felt pretty amazing all throughout my second trimester and have been so excited to write this post because I hated how the first one seemed to be all doom and gloom. Now for the happy, positive stuff.......!

So week 13 of my pregnancy I arrived back in London (officially in my 2nd trimester) still feeling quite poorly but excited for my first ultrasound scan to see my baby. I was incredibly nervous the night before, so much so that I couldn't sleep and the next day and was vomiting more than usual which in hindsight was probably down to the nerves. Although I'd only been pregnant for 13 weeks, I felt so protective and already worried about the little human being growing inside me.

As I lay down on the hospital bed with my Mum to my left (my bladder about to burst!) my heart was racing. The sonographer spread the warm jelly on my lower abdomen and we were off! There my little baby was. Moving and wriggling around... I'm actually welling up writing this, reliving the emotions... I can't even explain the pride and joy that came over me seeing my little baby moving around. Michael & I had created this little life, and it was real, right there in front of me. I wished more than anything he could have been there to see our baby but I promised to send him pictures and updates as soon as I got out. The sonographer confirmed that everything looked fine and bubba was healthy and growing at a good rate. That's my baby, I thought with pride!

It was such a great feeling to finally know what was growing inside me and narrowed down our baby name search.

I was still sick until the beginning of week 14 when the nausea miraculously stopped.
Just.
Like.
That.

I woke up one morning and I didn't feel like I was out at sea. I didn't want to jinx myself so I didn't celebrate until week 15 when I was still feeling good. I was able to eat as normal (with the exception of spicy food) and my skin started to glow, my bump was growing steadily and I genuinely just felt so happy! Finally!!! I caught up with friends and allowed myself to get excited at the prospect of becoming a mummy.


At 27 weeks


I bought my first purchase from Zara, the cutest little outfit that I just had to share with you all....


You can find this cute outfit on the Zara website here


I think this will probably be baby's returning home from the hospital outfit. And you could probably guess from the colour scheme that....


WE'RE HAVING A BOY!!!!

So excited! I had my second scan at 20 weeks where they told me the bigheaded baby inside my womb is a boy! I had guessed anyway but it just made it seem more real. Now when I talk to my belly I know it's a boy in there and the connection feels even stronger. It was so nice when Michael came over in March because we booked a private scan and they showed us our boys private parts :-) proud Mum & Dad moment!

                            

I'm now in my third trimester and looking forward to giving birth to our baby and finally meeting him.

Last trimester update coming soon.

Love, Tanya xo

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

My first trimester - Pregnancy Hell!



My first trimester. Where do I start?

Firstly, I didn't know if I was going to make it. And if I did make it, would I ever be the same?

How did you find out you were pregnant?

My period is always regular so when I was about 4 days late I decided to take a test. When I first saw the words "pregnant" on that stick I can't describe the emotions that I felt. They ranged from despair, shock, anxiety and fear to joy, ecstacy and excitement. Michael and I had been relatively careful so I wasn't entirely expecting it - surprisingly though, as I built myself up to go and buy a test, I found myself feeling that I'd be disappointed if it said negative? We both had planned to start trying but not until after our wedding which would have been just under a year away for us.





What were your first symptoms?

Before I even found out I was pregnant, I was going to the loo about 4-5 times during the night. Michael was like to me..."Is everything alright? How long have you been like this?" to which I responded, "Only since I got to Dallas"! I was worried maybe I had a urine infection then joked that it could be that I was pregnant - to which we both laughed off :-/


BRUH.




Was the first trimester what you expected?

Hell no. I don't think anyone ever talks about just how hard your first trimester can be. You have those women who simply breeze through it, like one of my friends literally had no nausea or sickness and could eat whatever and whenever she wanted. THEN there's the unfortunate ones like me who SUFFER!

By about week 6 of pregnancy, my breasts were so sore I had to hold them whenever I got in and out of bed or walking down the stairs because they were that tender. I had to pee about 4 to 5 times every single damn night. But that was NOTHING compared to what else was in store for me. The nausea that hit me at 9 weeks. My gosh. I woke up each morning feeling like I was on a boat out at sea during a thunder-storm. I was so so sick. I'd open the fridge and the smell of food was so bad I'd run to the toilet and throw up. Then I'd go to brush my teeth and at the point of brushing my tongue .... I'd vomit...AGAIN! By this point, I'd feel weak, belly growling, my eyes bloodshot from throwing up but I still had to pick myself up and go to work and try to act normal because obviously I didn't want anyone to know that I was pregnant.


Me at 3 months for my Christmas work do. No bump yet.


"MORNING" sickness is a LIE.

The sickness lasted ALL day. I couldn't understand why this was happening. I has assumed that you feel a little sick in the morning, possibly vomit and then you're fine? No no no no. I'd be at my desk and then around noon I'd get so hungry but the smell and taste of food made me gag so I was unable to eat which of course in turn just made me feel more sick. The only things I was able to stomach and keep down were plain toast with butter, plain rice and clear coloured drinks (so I resorted to drinking a lot of Sprite to give me sugar and energy) Basically anything with a taste or smell I couldn't eat.



I eventually ended up on Ensure drinks which are a protein shake designed for really sick people i.e. cancer patients. Michael was so worried about me during my visit in December that he went out and bought me a whole box and they literally SAVED ME!!!! When I couldn't eat I would just drink them through a straw and luckily through that I was able to muster some energy to function like a normal human being.


How did you feel during the first trimester?

I felt miserable constantly and then guilty at myself for not being excited about being pregnant. I kept thinking to myself, "what if this lasts for the whole 9 months - how will I survive?". I had no energy to do anything except for drag myself to work and throw myself into bed when I got home. Michael would call or try to skype me and I just wouldn't be in the mood despite missing him :-( All I can say is thank God that by week 14 my nausea subsided and I was able to eat normally again. (well most things - I still can't eat anything spicy and don't really enjoy meat right now either)




Travelling whilst pregnant?

I was 11 weeks when I flew to Dallas and I was dreading it. I got to the airport and managed to get some fruit down me. I plodded off to buy my DVT socks - ain't nobody trying to get blood clots and the risk is higher when you're pregnant. I took one of my anti-sickness pills that my GP had prescribed me to prevent needing to throw up whilst on the plane and also stocked up on lots of snacks for the flight such as crackers, lots of water and some fruits as I knew I'd probably struggle to eat the food on the plane. And I was right. I couldn't stomach the food, but the snacks kept me going. It was depressing not being able to drink the wine because I usually have 1 or 2 glasses on long haul flights to relax me while I watch a film and also knock me out. All in all though, I was relieved to get off the plane, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

I'll be posting second & third trimester updates towards the end of my pregnancy. Stay tuned!

Mwah xoxo





Wednesday, 6 April 2016

I'm ALMOST married...and we're PREGNANT!!!



Guysss!!! This blog post is well overdue, so apologies on that front. If you follow me on my twitter or instagram you'll most likely already know that on 19 March Michael and I had our traditional Ghanaian engagement. I also revealed that I'm 5 months pregnant (now six!)

The day was beautiful and I felt so blessed to have a man who felt that the Ghanaian traditional way of doing things was just as important as I did - despite not being of a Ghanaian background himself. 
I was soooooo nervous, I honestly never realised how intense and emotional the day can be. I was so anxious for everything to go well but also just couldn't wait to be reunited with my man. Michael left me in the morning and went to my parents house to get ready. They then headed off to the venue where the ceremony takes place at which time I was at the hotel with my bridesmaids getting ready (and trying not to have a panic attack!)
For the ceremony to begin, Michael had to present two bottles of Schnapps, some money for my family, an engagement bible for me, some Ghanaian fabrics and my engagement ring. The Schnapps is by far the most important gift - In the past, and to date, the drinks are used to pour liberation. Liberation is a prayer to the ancestors and God.
Elders from both families begin the marriage ceremony with a prayer and introductions. The groom, although present, does not speak in all of these proceedings. The designated spokesperson does the negotiation on his behalf.
Only once everything had been presented and accepted from my family, could I then be bride brought to the gathering. We used decoys  to ‘tease’ the groom (for entertainment purpose).  So my bridesmaids were taken in before me and Michael was asked to verify if this is indeed the bride. I was told that he demanded them to stop playing games and bring out his woman! Lol! So once I was finally taken in and he he confirmed that I was his bride, I was then asked three times by the chief if I agree to marry the groom. I said yes! 
Prayers were said and blessings were given. We were then offered advice from elders in the room and presented with the engagement bible as a symbol of how important God should be in our married life.
It was truly beautiful.




There are so many exciting things happening right now that I can't wait to share with you all.

In my next blog post I'll be talking about my experiences during the first and second trimester of my pregnancy and what there is left to look forward to!

Love, Tanya x

Thursday, 24 March 2016

How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work






LDR




I've been thinking about writing a post like this for a while, but wanted to wait until I felt like I've done a fair stint in a long distance relationship ("LDR") first. It's been almost a year now - Michael and I are happily engaged and extremely excited about the life we are going to start together so I guess now is the right time to share my survival tips with you all.

I hope that I'm able to help at least one person, because I know that I certainly struggled at the beginning and would constantly be reading up on other people's experiences and PRAYING for a happy ending.

Before I met Michael I was adamant I wouldn't even consider dating somebody outside of London. Funny how life works. We knew it would be difficult, and in an ideal world, the both of us would obviously have preferred to have fallen for someone that didn't live 5,000 miles across the world, but since meeting each other we knew we wouldn't just be able to walk out of each others lives - we had to at least try to make it work.

I should also mention that I can be the jealous type and need lots of attention so I've definitely had to adapt. So here's what I've learnt since being in a long distance relationship about not only surviving one, but how to flourish in one.


Establish boundaries from the get go

Being miles apart allows room for insecurity and jealousy to creep in. Straight away, Michael & I made it clear with each other that if we were going to give us a go, that we would be exclusive to each other until the day we decide to call it quits. Even if you don't decide to do the same - make sure you both know where you stand and what is and isn't acceptable within the parameters of your relationship.

Book a flight


LDR


Michael and I try not to let too much time go without having a date to look forward to (usually seeing each other) It's expensive and might not always be an option for everyone, but we have somehow managed to always have a flight booked to see each other - the countdown app gets abused, and we're forever counting down the days. It makes it so much easier knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel and we'll be with each other soon. We also agreed between ourselves never to go 3 months without seeing each other but everyone will be different. Personally for me, this agreement keeps me sane.

Plan something together

We try to have a little project together during the time we are apart to keep us busy and this also allows us to bond. At the moment we are doing Bible reading Marriage plans together which has been fun and is helping to bring us closer together spiritually and emotionally. We're also currently planning the engagement so that keeps us busy and is something for us to look forward to! Other things you could do together could be as simple as planning a special skype date, helping one another look for a new job/house, planning a vacation, watching a series together online or on Netflix and talking about it, reading the same book, etc...

Make a decision

How long are you willing to be long distant for? Who is eventually going to move to who? Where will you live? Get talking about these things... the sooner the better.

Trust

There is absolutely no space in a long distance relationship for doubt or mistrust of your partner. NONE whatsoever. If you do not trust this person vehemently with every fibre of your being then I'm sorry to say but this relationship is not going to last. Imagine being 5,000 miles away from someone you don't trust? You'd drive yourself mad! It's not worth your sanity...



Funeral

Patience

Okay this one here is a hard one. Especially, if you're like me and you want everything now. When you're in a long distance relationship that's just not going to happen.  You want a hug. Now. You want to go on a date. Tomorrow. You're horny and need some loving. Yesterday. Sorry to break it to you but unless you have got that billionaire money and a private jet - it's not going to happen. So you really need to find some inner peace within you to give you the strength to accept your current situation and deal with it the best you can.  You need to be able to accept that instead of a long hug you might have to settle for a quick facetime call instead. If you can really find peace with that and learn to appreciate and embrace your relationship for what it is - that means really making the most of what you have right now and not comparing yourself to people around you who get to see their partner whenever they want. If you can accept that - and still look at your relationship like it's the most beautiful and special thing in the world to you - I think you'll be just fine.

Xoxo







Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Contact me

I love love love receiving emails from you guys and I always respond so keep them coming in! Xx

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Okay ladies, now let's get in formation



If you ever had any doubts before that Beyoncé is THE Queen... tonight she shut that down! She's making it very clear that not only does she support the "Black Lives Matter" movement but that she is unapologetically in LOVE with being black "I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros. I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils." Bey didn't hold back at all in this video, she's telling black women to stand together in formation, the police need to stop killing us, that she's all about her black man and her black baby (looking cute rocking her Afro) which was a big f*ck you to all the ignorant people saying she should sort out Blue's hair, it's too "picky" and comparing her to North... she's sick of people trying to attribute her hard work & success to an affiliation with the Illuminati ... & for me the most powerful image of all was the young black boy in a hoodie dancing in front of the police.... He uses his talent as power against them, and they end up surrendering to him... Along with the message on the wall ... "Stop Killing Us" This for me was such an important message for our youth and also a strong tribute to all of the Trayvon Martin's, Michael Brown's, Tamir Rice's... The list goes on, R.I.P. Oh yeah, and she drowned a New Orleans police car!

This video is life.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Bride to Be!

bride



I'm officially engaged!! It happened over the New Year whilst I was in Dallas visiting Michael and was a lovely and welcome surprise. I can't believe I'm going to marry the man I've always dreamed and prayed about. So excited and can't wait to share with you all our Traditional Ghanaian Engagement pictures which will be taking place in March this year! 

Mwah xoxo

(credit to the talented Peniel Echill for the illustration of the bride)


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

My first time in Texas...!



So after aaaallll the waiting, the countdowns, the frustration of missing Michael, the time FINALLY came for me to get on the plane and go and see my boo. Not only was I excited to see my love but I would also finally get to meet his wonderful family, including his gorgeous son who I'd only had the chance to see on skype so far. I was excited, anxious, nervous...I even started arguments with him a few days before my trip because I was so on edge!!! It sounds ridiculous I know but once it got to the day before I was due to fly out and I realised nothing could go wrong... I was smiles all day.

When I got there Michael had booked us into a lovely hotel that had a kitchen and living room...and wait for it...he cooked dinner for me and had bought me my favourite wine and all the snacks I love! This was the most perfect first night I could have asked for and proved just how well he knows me.

I had such a wonderful time. The people are so so so friendly, something I'm not used to living in London (where people think you're crazy if you even smile at them let alone say hello). We would go out and people would ask how we are and what we're up to.

I've not been back a week but I'm already missing Michael and his family like crazy. We have 6 weeks until I go back. Let the countdown begin.

Below are a few snaps I managed to take.






Cocktails for $3? Oh, I'll be back...!


I ordered pancakes for room service and they were as big as the plate! I couldn't believe it. Delicious though...












A view of the city from our hotel. Far from country ay?




Monday, 19 October 2015

Sorrryyyy

I haven't posted anything new in so long and I feel guilty about it almost everyday. I started a new job at a law firm last month and it's pretty much taken over my life. As soon as I settle in properly I plan to post lots of new and (hopefully) exciting stuff! I fly out to Dallas on Friday morning so I'll definitely share my travels on here.

Much love

Tanya xoxo

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Dinner at The Ritz, London


Last month I finally got a chance to visit the renowned Ritz Restaurant. It was my Aunty's birthday so she invited us along to celebrate with her.

Before I even begin, let me just say... WOW. What a truly fabulous evening it was.

As soon as you step into the hotel you immediately feel the luxury and grandeur of it all. You have to walk past the Palm Court where they do their afternoon tea and it's simply wonderful, especially the piano player and singer right opposite it. As you approach the restaurant entrance you are greeted and asked if you would like to leave anything in the cloakroom. Another touch of much appreciated service.

As you walk into the restaurant there is no other way to describe it except for stunningly breathtaking. The decor is extremely grand and rich in history. The table setting itself is very pretty - not too much but still very glam. Another thing we noticed and really appreciated is that the tables were not close to  each other at all. We couldn't hear any one elses conversations and felt comfortable knowing that nobody else could hear ours (despite being quite a loud bunch) The piano player and singer in the room really added to the feeling of luxury and decadence. The beautiful wine we ordered also helped (lol)

Our waiting staff were great! After being seated we were served our champagne within minutes! There was no waiting around at any point of our dinner and the petit fours were exquisite.

Honestly, if I could afford it, I'd visit this restaurant every week... It was such a lovely experience, and I'd highly recommend it for anyone in London - it's a must!








My beautiful Mum & aunty with me











Loin of lamb, caramelised shallot, mint & broad beans


Desert - Chocolate souffle



I wish I could play...



The birthday girl

Monday, 24 August 2015

Love in London

My love came to spend his birthday with me in London.

Excited was not even the word when he text me to say he had landed. I was already at Heathrow Airport arrivals, nervous and doing breathing exercises.

When I finally saw him walk through with his suitcase, my heart skipped a beat (cheesy I know)

We set off straight away to our lovely boutique hotel and had some welcome celebratory drinks on their lovely balcony terrace. How cute was the telephone in our room?


In true American fashion, Michael went and bought another glass of wine for me at £6, gave the waiter a £10 note and told him to keep the change -__- It's safe to say after the telling off I gave him, he didn't tip anyone such an amount for the rest of our trip.


Of COURSE I had to take him to Nando's the next day for lunch! He loved it and I was thrilled. 


We had an English breakfast but all he'd eat is eggs and bacon, smh. Baked beans seems to be a foreign concept for Americans.


Our room didn't have a mini fridge so this was a common occurrence in our sink most nights, Michael would go and buy me wine and then fill up the sink with ice to keep it chilled lol. We had the most perfect nights in with wine, snacks and movies.  


On the first and third night we went to visit my parents and brothers. We sat outside in the garden both times and had a lovely dinner. It was so perfect.


Michael's birthday, I took him to Sushisamba at the Heron Tower. The views were amazing 



This desert was EVERYTHING



So we tried to go sight seeing and made it as far as the Natural history Museum. It was raining so bad I was relieved when my baby suggested we grab a bottle of wine and head back to the hotel to snuggle and watch movies.



It took me a while to finally write this post but work has been so hectic. I'm missing Michael so much but I'll be in Dallas in October so I'm hoping and  praying the time just goes by quickly.



LDR's are hard but so worth it <3