Monday, 23 May 2016

Gestational Diabetes

I need to just get a few things off my chest as just write about how much I hate being pregnant. I know some people may read this and think well at least you can get pregnant, and yes I'm fully grateful for that but please don't feel like you need to hate on me for hating this pregnancy. 

So if you have read any of my previous pregnancy related posts you will see that it has been a bit complicated but, apparently not difficult enough as I now have gestational diabetes. I thought just going for the test and drinking the nasty drink would be the only time I had to visit the hospital on a Wednesday, unfortunately not I'm now there Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Each visit I have to leave work early and I can't go back as clinic is normally 2-3 hours depending how busy etc. So I feel like I'm letting work down which I know shouldn't bother me that much as it's something that is out of my control, but I love my job and the people I work with and I feel like maybe they are getting sick and tired of my crap too.  Another annoying factor of being a part time resident on the ante natal ward is, parking!! each visit can cost me up to £5.20 then there is the petrol and the sitting in traffic for ages in Leeds. 

When I had my first appointment for my gestational diabetes I felt like I could do this, like I could just cut out so much and crack this without meds. I was angry that I had yet another restriction on this pregnancy, I felt like the only thing left that I could enjoy was taken away from me. The first week I did what I could and although I was starving I felt that I was doing well, no chocolate, smaller portion size, the odd glass of pepsi max and eating less in general. However each time I tested my blood glucose levels they were not what they needed to be at at all. This is when I began feeling like I am now, like I'm just useless. It's isn't just the diabetes making me feel this way, my body has issues and having a baby is one of them, my thyroid is useless which can cause issues if not managed properly throughout pregnancy, my cervix can't do it's job without medical intervention and now my body has some kind of a useless work ethic in making insulin. 

When I went back to the hospital last Wednesday I had the baby checked, she is doing well she is 5th on the 95th percentile if you understand all of that, I don't but I know that she is doing fine so that's good. However when I saw the consultant she was awful basically told me I'm doing crap at managing this diabetes and then gave me some tips on how to try and get my levels down, which are totally impractical for a few reasons for example I eat breakfast and lunch at work so going for a half an hour walk after eating is not do able, neither is preparing a full meal for lunch rather then sandwiches and other pack up food. She also said that if I'm hungry it is tough I will have to ignore it, at this point I'm angry and wondering if she has ever been pregnant!! She then prescribed me metformin and said if things do not improve by next week that I will go on insulin. When she told me I would end on insulin she also informed me that I should maybe take this more seriously as insulin will make me fat, I was hurt that she thought I wasn't taking this seriously and the threat of me getting fat would some sort of a difference. I have been trying real hard not because I want to avoid getting fat but because of my baby!!! Anyway my levels have not improved and I also found out by one of the midwives (who was giving me my weekly pain in my arse) that the medication for my thyroid and the progesterone injections will affect my blood glucose levels anyway. So why am I still trying because all I'm doing is failing no matter what I try, eat or do. 

This pregnancy has fully knocked me and I'm sick of people saying well just think of the end result and it will all be worth it in the end. That may be so but it's bloody hard and being told I can't enjoy a tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream on top of the other don't do this or that really sucks, this baby wants ice cream and so do I damn it. I have nothing left to enjoy as I can't even plan how I would like my labour as my diabetes dictates that as well, even though I knew I would be getting induced I thought I would still have a bit of the birth plan to pick myself but nope nothing.   

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Vape Direct Trek Starter Kit

So, when Jade became pregnant I used it as an excuse to kick the cigs. I started using E-Cigs instead. I have recently teamed up with the guys at Vape Direct to test some of their starter kits and liquids. I was offered a choice of 3 kits. I went for the Trek, mainly due to the style of the design, it stands out as superior when put against other starter kits on the market. The package arrived quickly and soon as I unboxed the product it was clear to see that this was a company aiming to make a great first impression, the product was in it's own foam casing to protect it during transit. Also with many other starter kits on the market you get a battery, mouth piece, coil and tank. Cheap and cheerful. Vape direct however go one better. They provide 2 coils and 2 mouth pieces. A round one and a flat one. I found the E-cig to be very light and compact which is a huge advantage for someone like me who keeps the device in my pocket most of the day. 

The physical set up of the device could not be more simple. 3 simple parts that screw together. The device came already screwed together. To fill the tank, which is very generous but I will touch on this more later, could not have been simpler, the gap between the air pipe and the chamber is big enough to put the tip of you bottle in and fill up. I was extremely impressed with the time it took to prime the coil. I know many people prime coils in different ways. My method is to drip a few drops of liquid into the top of the coil and then a few drops into the holes around the bottom of the coil, screw the tank back onto the e-cig and cover one air hole, drag on the devices without powering it up about 15 times then leave it for 5 minutes or so. I purposely wanted to test how the coil would react to an incorrect or rushed priming process and much to my surprise the coil did not burn out, the flavour of the liquids were still extremely good and the intake was smooth. I only left the coil for 2 minutes without any dry toking. As I touched on previously the tank is actually rather spacious in comparison to other kits at 2ml and the device does not drain the liquid at a quick rate meaning that your liquid last longer and minimises the amount of re-fills. I recently tested how easy it was to change the coil and once again, no issues to report. It was extremely simple and required minimal priming.

Now onto the liquid, I chose to test their Black Cherry, Vanilla Velvet and Juicy Apple all in a 6mg (0.6%) of nicotine. At a 80:20 split it is very good for people who want a smooth vape with big clouds. I have tried similar flavours in the past and unfortunately they are always either too overpowering or the flavour is non existent. Vape Direct have managed to find the perfect balance. The flavours are well defined and they are quite easily an all day vape. The bottles are child proof meaning no little ones can get into the bottle without pushing down and twisting (a bit like medicine bottles) My personal favourite was the Juicy Apple flavour, The flavour reminded me of biting into a apple on a warm day, that refreshing mouth watering taste you get. Strange I know but it is the only way to describe it really. The black cherry would be ideal for someone who like bitter and dark fruit flavours with the vanilla great for those who have a sweet tooth.

In my honest and unbiased opinion I would recommend Vape Direct and especially the Trek kit to anyone considering kicking the Cigarette habit and joining the Vaping community. They have a wide range of kits and liquids for vapers of all levels from new starters to seasoned veterans. 

*This product was sent to me for the purpose of this review, this in no way impacts my opinions and all opinions are that of my own. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


When it comes to festivals I think of Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and loads more that focus on music and us adults. I haven't been lucky enough to go to Glastonbury or Leeds yet but I have been to a few smaller scale music based festivals. I'm sure you will agree with me when I say that festivals are not a place for children, lets face it we all want to let our hair down and have a couple of hours without the kids! and seriously there is not really anything for them to do. It would be great if kids had there own festival where they could just be kids tantrums included. 

Well there is one. Hoorah!! We had never heard of it despite it being a stones throw away, we lucky got to go this year. The festival is called Geronimo, we went during the May bank holiday at Harewood House Leeds they also have the festival at Tatton Park in Cheshire on the 29th and 30th of May (check here for tickets). The festival is aimed at children and has some characters from Cbeebies Jared was very excited to see Swashbuckle. There are also several performers walking around and is certain zones doing their acts. Really we could of done with going on both days as we missed some of the performances which is a shame but there is just so much to do and Jared chose everything that he wanted to do. The first thing we did was watch Swashbuckle, me and Liam couldn't see the stage at all but Jared was sat on Liam's shoulders and loved joining in with the singing and the accompanying actions. It was fantastic to watch him and all the other children get so involved. 
Like any festival there were stalls to visit selling various things, we were all very excited about the bubble stall. They had a machine that made smoked filled bubbles so when they popped it looked like the ground was smoking, of course Jared wanted the super cool smoke/bubble machine. We settled on a tube of touchable bubbles. There was a stall to make a T-shirt and one selling slush puppies in so many flavours but this was for Jared and he didn't want to stand and look at stuff to buy, not when there was a man standing on two horses riding around an arena. We only caught part of that performance but from what we saw it was brilliant. I mentioned that were many performers walking around for example we saw a nun (not a real nun) playing a piano which moved around and there was a drumming puppet which always had a crowd round them. We loved the drumming puppet and think he should go on Britain's got talent even if he doesn't win I'm sure he would make so many people smile because it's just fab. 
If that wasn't enough to keep you entertained then you can take part in activities which were mainly in tents, great to also dry off for a bit. We discovered that Jared is very creative we stopped in a tent where there was loads of things to make. We found a place to sit opened up a few little packets of Mr Maker plasticine and got making.  Jared really enjoyed playing in the music area with recycled/scrap material musical instruments. Just like me he was drawn to the drums, clearly the best instrument for making as much noise as possible and expressing yourself. After making some music we were all rather hungry and decided to queue for lunch, this is the only part of the day we didn't enjoy. We queued for two hours to get some food which was slightly over priced, it didn't seem to matter if you wanted corn on the cob or burger and chips the queue was ridiculous, I'd recommend taking a picnic. After our food Jared was desperate to go panning for jewels, every jewel he found he got to keep.  
Another great thing I loved about this festival was how parents could just enjoy being with their children. When we are at home it is so easy to get lost in doing housework, cooking or some other boring grown up thing that we often miss out on playing with our children and helping them discover their own little personalities. Me and Liam both work full time and although we do a lot with Jared I feel like we could be more involved, we take him to places but how often can you join in? Liam got to play with Jared and do Dad things that we can't do where we live due to not having a garden etc there were a few little balance bikes with an obstacle course which Liam helped Jared round, they then spent a while fencing. I can't explain how nice it was to just stand back and watch them play and laugh. There is so much more to do at Geronimo but I just can't fit it all in without waffling on, I haven't even mentioned the animals or the adrenaline zone. This is definitely something I would urge all parents to at least look at and if you can just take your kids they will love it a quote from my son when asked if he enjoyed it "It's the best day everrrrr" he sang this from a song that features on one of his favourite cartoons (you know which one).