Friday, May 30, 2008

My baby is home

After running many tests and x-rays, they determined that Bryson had bronchitis. They were having a hard time getting it to break up in his chest. They also wanted him to go without oxygen for 24 hours so they finally weened him off of it Wednesday afternoon. They continued to do the breathing treatments every 3-4 hours through his whole stay there. He especially disliked the nose cleaning. As soon as they would enter the room, he would freak out and grab me. We would wrap him up in the blanket, but everytime he would get out. The nurses called him little Hercules because he is so strong. All the nurses were so sweet and so good with Bryson. I stayed up there all 3 nights and I am exhausted. The chair might be slightly comfortable to sit in, but definitely not to sleep in. Shane's grandmother was kind enough to come down on Thursday morning and met me at the hospital so I could go to work while she watched him for the day. Despite everything he went through this week, he was in a good mood. On Wednesday and Thursday they disconnected him from all the wires and tubes during day so that he could move around the room and he was into EVERYTHING! They finally released him late yesterday afternoon. It was so good to be home with him. He was quite excited to be home as well and dragged out all his toys as he ran around the house. He is better, but is still congested and breathing a little heavy. We still have to continue the breathing treatments so that put a damper on his night. By 6:30p he was exhausted so we laid him to bed and he crashed out. I took advantage of it and went to bed early as well. My MIL is here for the day so that she can watch Bryson while I work.

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts, prayers and kind words! Now I leave you with some pictures from his hospital stay:

Favorite Photo Friday #13

I love that smile

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

tubes, breathing treatments & hospital

My baby turned 19 months today, but unfortunately he is spending that day in the hospital. Bryson woke up Friday with a nasty cough. On Sunday, he had a runny nose and was congested. By yesterday, he sounded, looked and felt terrible so I decided to take him to an after hours pediatric doctors office. We were there 5 hours! They gave him 3 breathing treatments, but he was still wheezy and not doing well. At that point, the doctor decided to admit Bryson to the hospital. Definitely not the ending I was expecting. We arrived and our room was ready. They drew blood, did a chest x-ray, cleaned out his nose. The x-ray ruled out pnemonia and RSV. We did a breathing treatment every 4 hours since we arrived there and that was not fun! He really hated it and it took while to calm him down after. I stayed the night with him and he was very restless, so I am running on little energy. Shane met me there around 11a today so I could come home and work a little. I will go back up after work and stay again tonight. Before I left today, he was sleeping, but was having a little problem breathing so they put the oxygen tubes in his nose. It is the most heartbreaking thing to see. I will post more later.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday #12

That is my son walking around with a box on his head. He thought it was funny to run into things with that on his head.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Your support

I can't thank you enough for your support, encouraging words and advice. It is also comforting to know that I am not the only one out there feeling like this or dealing with this. Mom, I especially thank you for your comments. That and your support means more to me than you could imagine. Writing that post yesterday was so unbelievably hard for me. It was almost like admitting you have been defeated and feeling ashamed of it. I had wanted to write it for weeks, but yesterday, the weight of everything just broke me. I try to be so strong, but I am a very emotional person, so it doesn't last long. We all (at least I did) have this fantasy of a happy, well-behaved child and when the reality sets in, it's like a slap in the face. Let me start by saying, I in NO WAY thought being a mother or raising a child would be an easy job. I know it's the hardest job I will ever have. I just want to be a good mom and do everything in my power to make my son a good person and give him the life he would not of had otherwise. Having a child that had no attention, affection or love for the first 15 months of his life is a challenge. I don't think it's possible to love anyone more than I love Bryson, he just has to learn that. I also know that in time he will learn that I will NEVER leave him. I will be there to pick him up when he falls. I will be there when he is sick and nurse him back to health. I will be there when he needs to talk or gets his heart broken. Hell, I will even be there to wipe his butt when he's 20 if he needs me to (totally just joking). I know that almost 15 weeks ago his world was flipped completely upside down. Being a new parent is hard and it's an adjustment. I have lots of experience with other children, but none of that could have prepared me for the real thing. Those who don't know us think I have been Bryson's mommy for 18 months, but in reality, I have only been his mom for 15 weeks. I'm still new to this.

One thing I didn't elaborate on in the last post is the medical issues we have been battling with lately. Since we have gotten home, Bryson has had a very swollen stomach and it has only gotten worse. Some days his skin and stomach is tighter than others. Quite often he seems like his stomach makes him uncomfortable. The doctors at first thought it was due to the giardia or the chronic diarrhea, neither of which he has anymore, so that has been ruled out. I then thought it might be due to the Rickets, but that specialist said no. Now he has developed a lot of gas and when we saw the GI specialist on Tuesday she said neither of these were normal. She said it is possible that the giardia has caused him to be lactose intolerant, so we are to give him NO dairy at all (we had been giving him very little dairy till now). She also felt his stomach and noticed his liver was enlarged which concerned her. So now she wants to do more testing to find the source of all this. This is more testing and doctor visits that I stress about putting Bryson through. How much can he take because I know it's a lot for me to handle.

I think it's a combination of problems and I know we will work through it all. It's just some days are hard. Now I leave you with the reason I want to be the best mommy that I can be:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I have a lot of issues weighing on my heart lately. My mind is constantly running and I feel so worn down. I could sit here and tell you that everything is wonderful and that I have the happiest little boy, but then I would be lying. We have good moments and bad moments. I can't even say that we have completely good days anymore. I see others post on their blogs about how happy their children are and I'll be honest, I'm jealous. There are things Bryson does and I don't know why. Is it because he was institutionalized and has attachment issues, is it because he is a toddler or is there an underlying problem. I don't know how to tell the difference.

First off, Bryson has more energy then any child I have ever seen. He doesn't stop, ever. He honestly can't sit still for longer than 30 seconds, unless he is confined and even then he is trying to get out or move. I'm not exaggerating. Nothing grasps his attention for long either. If he is playing with a particular toy, that might last for a minute before he is off to another toy. That cycle continues. He wants 100% of your undivided attention at all times. This makes cooking dinner, getting dressed or anything else very difficult. At home, he wants to be held all the time, preferably standing up. We hold him a lot, but it's impossible to hold him all the time. If we are anywhere but at home, he doesn't want to be in our arms at all. We can sit and play with him in our lap, but he gets in out of our lap continuously. I HATE taking him to doctors appointments because he can't sit still and I am constantly chasing him. I usually start out by keeping him in his stroller for as long as possible though he will scream and try and get out the whole time. If he is sitting on the table in the doctors room's, he is trying to tear the paper, stand on the table or get into all the cabinets. Yesterday he had a doctors appointment and by the time we got home, I was wiped out. There came a point while at the doctor's where I was ready to hand him over to anyone that would have taken him from me.

He is cranky and cries a lot of the time. I know he is teething and is having some stomach issues, but at times it rarely feels like he is happy. He throws fits over anything and everything. He will throw himself on the floor and scream. I can't tell you how draining this can become. There are days I want to lock myself in a room and cry. I find myself doing everything to not lose my patience with him. Speaking of screaming, he does it often. Not because he wants something, he does it just to do it. These can be ear piercing screams. He will also go up to other children, puts his hand on them and screams. Needless to say, this often scares the child's parent and then I get the dirtiest look.

He doesn't seem to grasp what no means. Maybe children at this age do not understand the concept yet. If that is the case, please excuse my inexperience. With anything, we can tell him no over and over, but it doesn't faze him. For example, he enjoys playing with the vertical blinds on our sliding glass doors. He has already torn off 2 panels. At least once a day, we tell him not to play with them. Does it bother us that he is playing with them, no. Do we care if he rips anymore off? No because we plan on replacing them. That's not the point, we don't want him to think he can pull on anyone's vertical blinds. He eventually has to understand that it is something he cannot do. We have recently started time-outs. I know he doesn't understand what we are doing, but he doesn't like having to sit that long in one spot. The whole minute and half, we are placing him back in his spot over and over.

He often takes out his frustration on me. Sometimes he smacks me with a toy, other times he flails his arms and scratches me. The newest thing is he will grab my arm and try to bit me. Some might suggest that we should limit our activities outside the home, but believe it or not, change of scenery usually helps his mood. He doesn't seem to want to sit at our house for long. Others might say it appears he has attachment issues, which might be the case. I know attachment is a long process and doesn't happen overnight. I can say that he is definitely a mommy's boy, he loves affection and he makes amazing eye contact.

With all that said, I love my son more than I thought it was ever possible to love someone. I wouldn't trade him or his baggage for anything in the world. There are just days that I feel so helpless and lost and feel that I am failing him as a mother. I am looking to others for any insight or advice that they might have to improve the situations we are dealing with. At this point, I am willing to try anything.

What tarot card are you?

I stole this from Christen's blog:

You Are The Hermit

You posses a great deal of wisdom and the ability to see people for who they are.

You are always looking ahead at the future, developing visions.

A loner, you tend to travel by yourself through life, seeking your own truth.

You don't crave material things or fancy titles. You have no baggage.

Your fortune:

It's possible that there is a unknown guiding figure in your life, ready to help you.

All you have to do is find this person and seek their advice.

It's also possible that you need to start seeking the meaning of your own life.

Either way, there's some deep thinking you need to undertake, and it needs to be done soon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


As I sit and watch my son run around the house, I think of how thankful we are. Not only because he was brought into our lives, but we are also thankful to another family. There was a family before us on our agency's waiting list for Novosibirsk. This other family received Bryson's referral first, but for whatever reason, they turned him down. As he gives me hugs and kisses, I can't help but wonder how they could have ever turned down that sweet face with those gorgeous big brown eyes. I am sure they have their reasoning and for that I am thankful. If they would never have turned down Bryson, he would have never blessed our lives the way he has. He has been our son for 15 weeks and it's hard to imagine a time when he wasn't here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday #11

Bryson wearing daddy's shoes

Thursday, May 15, 2008

He got stung where?

Yesterday before lunch time, I got a call from Bryson's daycare. Apparently they were outside on the playground and a bee stung him on his eyelid. Yes, his eyelid. I couldn't get out of my house quick enough because all I could think of was my poor baby. His eye was swollen by the time I got there. I put a call into his pediatrician and was told to bring him in just to have it checked out since it was in the eye area. Thankfully we learned he is not allergic to bees, but what an awful way to learn that!


This morning

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's day! Mine was extra special this year being that it was my first. Through all the years of infertility, it was hard imagining that one day I would actually be a mother and be able to celebrate this day. This year I am unbelievably thankful that I was able to and I feel so lucky to be Bryson's mommy.

On Friday, I received my first handmade Mother's day gift from Bryson. I was so excited to get this gift that I called everyone and told them. He made me some bath salt which was in a bag that he put stamps on and attached was a sweet poem with his little hand prints on it. Naturally, the poem brought tears to my eyes as I read it.

On Saturday, we met my MIL for lunch. We had a very nice time and I know that she was happy to see Bryson since she doesn't get to see him that often. Sunday we spent the day at my mom's. We took Bryson to the park at the end of my parents road, barbecued and swam in the pool. It was a nice and relaxing day. Bryson also got me a few other gifts: a teddy bear holding a picture of him and I (courtesy of my MIL) and a beautiful bouquet of roses (courtesy of Shane and my mom).

Friday, May 9, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday #10

I know I posted this picture on a previous post, but this picture is just so precious to me.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Development update

I stole this from Adrienne's blog awhile back. She got this list of 18 month old skills from a child development website.

Does your child....?

Motor Skills
like to pull, push, and dump things: Yes and he likes to open and close things as well. Especially doors right now. Just make sure you are not standing in front of one while he opens it because you are likely to get smacked with it.
pull off hat, socks, and mittens: He is not a fan or socks & shoes, so he takes them off almost as quickly as we put them on.
turn pages in a book: Yes. He will often bring me a book to read, but will sit there and turn the pages.
stack 2 blocks: Yes
carry a stuffed animal or doll: He is not a fan of stuffed animals, but will carry some of his other toys around. We do have a blanket downstairs for him and he will often carry that around although the blanket is bigger than he is.
scribble with crayons: He will color with crayons, but only for a few minutes before he decides to taste the crayon.
walk without help: Yes
run stiffly, with eyes on the ground: He attempts to run, or walk really fast.

Sensory and Thinking Skills
identify an object in a picture book: We are working on this.
laugh at silly actions (as in wearing a bowl as a hat): Yes
look for objects that are out of sight: Yes
put a round lid on a round pot: He attempts to
follow simple 1-step directions: Yes
solve problems by trial and error: Yes

Language and Social Skills
say 8-10 words you can understand: Not yet
look at a person who is talking to him: Most often
ask specifically for his mother or father: If reaching out his hands for one of us counts, than yes, but other than that, no.
use words like "hi," "bye," and "please," with reminders: No
protest when frustrated: Yes
ask for something by pointing or by using one word: Yes by pointing
direct another's attention to an object or action: Yes by pointing or babbling
become anxious when separated from parent(s): YES and right now it is bad especially with me.
seek attention: Yes. He really wants to have 100% of our attention
bring toys to share with parent: Yes
act out a familiar activity in play (as in pretending to take a bath): Yes,
talking on the phone
play alone on the floor with toys: For short periods of time
compete with other children for toys: Yes
recognize himself in the mirror or in pictures: Yes and he loves to look at himself in the mirror
seem selfish at times: Sometimes

Monday, May 5, 2008

The weekend flew by

But we had a nice time. I think Bryson especially had a blast. He loved chasing the seagulls and would giggle when each time he saw them. He walked right into the ocean and thought it was funny when the waves would crash against us while we were holding him in our arms. We tried to get him to play in the sand, but he was not crazy about it. Every time he fell, he held his hands out for us to pick him up. He also enjoyed swimming in the pool at the hotel except he kept trying to get out of our arms and the float. We couldn't make him understand that if we let go, he was sinking. I'm going to start looking around for swimming lessons for him. My brother and sister went with us for the weekend and my mom came down on Saturday. We got back Sunday mid-morning and he took a 3 hour nap! He must have been exhausted. Sunday night, Shane and my mom put together a birthday dinner for me at a local restaurant and it was a nice way to end my birthday with family & friends.

Now I leave you with a few pictures from the weekend:

Friday, May 2, 2008

Outta of here for the weekend

My 30th birthday is Sunday, so later today we are headed to the beach for the weekend. I am looking forward to it. It will be a nice relaxing way to turn the dreadful 30. Honestly, getting older has never really bothered me. Shane on the otherhand panics months before his birthday each year. Ask me again on Sunday how I feel, I might have a different answer. But age is just a number (right Jenn)!?! This year I am actually looking forward to my birthday because now I am a mommy and Bryson is here to spend my birthday with me. I am excited to see how Bryson reacts to the beach. He loves the water and kiddie pools, but is not crazy about sand. It should be interesting.

Bryson's appointment Wednesday seemed to go well. The doctor drew blood (again), had x-rays taken and did a urine analysis. She said she will call with the results within 2 weeks. By the time they gone from the doctors, it was around 12:30p so I just kept Bryson here instead of bringing him to daycare. It took a 3 hour nap that day! Which was perfect because he woke up as I was finished working for the day. Yesterday was his first full day at daycare. He was exhausted and filthy when I picked him up, so I guess that means he had a good day.

Favorite Photo Friday #9

Bryson patiently waiting for the cats to come out of their room