Monday, July 2, 2012

Layla's Tisht- Prayer of Bathing

Children are the building blocks for every church! 

In the Coptic Orthodox faith, children are considered pure and holy beings who become full church members when baptized. According to our faith, eight days after a childs birth a ritual blessing called Salawat al-tisht (the Bathing Prayer) is preformed. It's a set prayers of Thanksgiving to God for the safe delivery of a baby and occurs on the eighth day irregardless of whether the baby is a boy or girl. The prayer occurs in the home of the parents with a normal baby bath tub and warm water. The prayer follows the standard, Lord's prayer, thanksgiving prayer, psalm 51, raising of incense (as in Matins). The priest 'washes' the baby in the bath and hands the child back to his/her mother/father. Prayer concludes with the Lord's Prayer. The blessing commemorates Jesus' presentation in the Temple when he was 8 days old.  The Tisht is not the baptism or a replacement for the baptism but is considered a confirmation of the childs Christian identity.

We did Layla's Tisht on Mothers Day, Sunday May 13th, 

Father Angelous praying and  blessing the water.

Todd reading the Gospel.

Gido reading scripture. 

Father Angelous washing Layla in the blessed water.

Mommy drying Layla!

Layla after the bathing, just relaxing. 

Jonah getting a closer look. 

Mary getting some Layla time!

 Emad, Mary and Marina admiring Layla!  

 Picture with Abouna and Manal.

The whole Shenouda Clan!

 I LOVE this pic of Abouna and Layla! Notice Layla is smiling!

Stay tuned, Layla will receive the Holy Sacrament of Baptism on July 29th!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Layla Marie Langley

To say that April 25th began like any normal day is a complete understatement! I woke up at 4am with excruciating back pain. I couldn't get comfortable to save my life; I tried wedging pillows in every possible position, sitting, standing and finally at one point I was pacing the upstairs hallway between Stella and Jonah's bedroom. I knew I had a physical therapy appointment at 10am and so I just tried to convince myself that if I could make it until then, my physical therapist, Chrissy, would help alleviate some of the pain.

Needless to say it was 10am, I was at my physical therapy appointment and Chrissy couldn’t help me. In fact, she couldn't touch me without me screaming. She said "Marian, I am afraid that you might be experiencing back labor, have you called your OB?" I am not sure why I didn't think of this at 4am as I had experienced a lot of back labor with Stella. I will assume that the horrific painful experience was repressed from my memory! So I walked to my car and paged my OB, Dr. Wood.

Once I finally reached Dr. Wood, he told me to head to Maternity Triage at the hospital and that he would be down to see me (since his office is in the same building as the hospital). But first I had to head home, meet Todd and grab my hospital bag. Now that I look back on it, I am not sure how I even drove home. Yikes! I seriously shouldn't have been behind the wheel! Maybe it was the adrenaline but somehow I got home safely. I grabbed my hospital bag, my pillow and the camera bag and we were off. While in the car on the way to the hospital we called our family and filled them in on what was going on.

When we finally arrived the hospital around noon, we registered and headed up to the Maternity Triage where I was hooked up to the fetal heart monitor as well as a contraction monitor. I was having some contractions but not in regular intervals; but they were pretty big contractions nonetheless. At this point I was 60% effaced and only dilated 1cm (not in active labor by any measure). However since I was having contractions and quite uncomfortable, Dr. Wood didn’t want to send me home so he ordered IV fluids. If I was even a little bit dehydrated (as I was 2 weeks prior and admitted for a night), then getting me rehydrated could eliminate or even reduce the contractions…………… but NO SUCH LUCK!

Finally at around 3pm, Dr. Wood came down from his office (between seeing patients) and he decided to pull the trigger and to go ahead and do the c-section. Unfortunately, there was a c-section already scheduled at 3:30 so we would have to wait until about 5pm before we could even get into the OR. Thankfully Teta was already off duty by this time and was able to come over from the main hospital to the Barry Womans Health Pavilion (this is where Labor & Delivery is located). She was able to stay with me while Todd ran to the car to grab the camera and more importantly get food for Todd from the doctor’s lounge as he hadn't eaten all day. Funny story: on the way to the hospital Todd said to me “you realize they are probably going to send you home today…” Well apparently little Miss Layla had a different plan...

At 4:30 or so we headed back to pre-op. There they were able to start giving me meds thru my IV and get me preped for my c-section. My sister Sarah had arrived by then and was intregal in helping me make arrangements for Stella and Jonah etc.

Todd got all decked out in his scrubs, I was rolled back to the OR and it was SHOW TIME...

and at 5:23 Layla Marie Langley graced us with her presence! She weighed 6lbs 4oz and was19.5 inches long.

Holding my baby girl for the first time!

The benefits of having your mom as a physician at the hospital you are delivering at...she got to be in the OR with us!

 "Hi there, I'm Layla!"

 Dr. Wood- the BEST OB ever!

 Here's Layla after her first bath and assessment.

 Coming into the world is tiring and can make you very hungry! Nom, nom, nom....

Once I was back in post-op, Stella and Jonah were able to come back and see their sister for the first time. Stella loved her and couldn't wait to hold her and Jonah was simply clueless as to what was going on. Gido, Nana, Papi, Mikey and Sophie also were able to come back to post op (they took turns because only 2 were permitted back at a time) and visit and meet Layla for the first time.

Although Layla's arrival wasn't on May 1st as we had initially planned, I couldn't have imagined it any other way! I'm not even sure how to describe my delivery. It was fun and laid back- probably 2 words that are never used to describe childbirth. In post-op, Dr. Wood said that in all of his years as an OB he had never experienced such a delivery. Teta was texting in the OR and showing all of her friends (nurses and delivery staff) pictures of her other 3 grandchildren from her phone and Facebook. She was even comparing Stella and Jonah's baby pics to Layla trying to determine who Layla looked more like. I even tried to convince Dr. Wood to give me a tummy tuck while he already had me on the table but that was a no go. Apparently, I'm not the first or the last to make that request! It was an all-around memorable moment that I will never forget and I feel so blessed.

Welcome to the world Layla Marie Langley!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Easter 2012

Easter weekend began with Good Friday service at our church. Good Friday brings so many emotions to light. It's a time to reflect how much Jesus sacrificed for us and it always in turn makes me realize how much I need to constantly should strengthen my relationship with Him. I felt a lot more emotional during the Good Friday service. It was probably a mixture of being pregnant and extremely hormonal and realizing that this was the first holiday that Pope Shenouda III was not going to be a part of. 

During the Good Friday service our church recreates many of the same events that occurred at that time. The deacons carry a cross in a procession both inside and outside of the church. 

Stella, Jonah and Sophia participated in the procession. 

Procession around the outside of the church.

Easter midnight service is on Easter Eve and church is dismissed at midnight. During the service the lights in the church are dimmed and the Resurrection is recreated. 

This year Todd and Jonah wore argyle vests and they both looked very handsome!

Jonah took Communion with Gido during the liturgy. He is definitely Gido's buddy and loves him! Can you see the resemblance (they are essentially twins)?

As with every feast/holiday, we head to Teta & Gido's house for a HUGE food feast! What can I say, Teta is a pretty phenomenal cook and well we can never get enough grape leaves.

Teta and her babies!

Daddy and his babies!

Gido and his little miracles!

Teta & Gido with their grandchildren.

Todd wanted to join in on the love too!

 Sophia, Teta & Gido!

Stella, Teta & Gido

The next morning the kids woke up to find that the Easter bunny had left them goodies! Since Coptic Easter and American Easter did not coincide this year Stella had a soccer tournament the weekend of Coptic Easter (that's why she has her soccer uniform on in the pics below). Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and Stella only played half of 1 game and remainder of the entire soccer tournament was rained out.

This year just like every year, the kids got so many baskets and loot it was impossible to keep track of who got what! Between grandparents and great grandparents, there are baskets and candy to last the entire year through. This year the Easter Bunny tried to promote hygiene and education. That's right, the Easter Bunny brought fun new tooth brushes, soap, books, games and sidewalk chalk and NO CANDY!

Stella and Jonah find their Easter goody bags from the Bunny!

Jonah found his Easter eggs!

OMG, look at how exciting Easter eggs are!

Later that morning, Jonah hung back with mommy while Stella and Todd headed down to Cincinnati to her soccer tournament (not yet knowing that it would be rained out). Look at these big brown eyes! Can you get enough???...

Happy Easter! We are feeling very blessed knowing that Baby Layla could make her appearance at any time and will be joining our family!

Happy Valentines Day from The Langley's

Who needs roses or chocolate for Valentines Day when you've got these 2 sweeties to come home to! Valentines Day was pretty low key as I had to stay home with 2 sick kids; both Stella and Jonah had strep throat. Stella was so disappointed that she had to miss her Valentines Day party at school but understood that she was contagious. She and Jonah relaxed most of the day in their pj's and watched Disney together. 

Valentines Day is not a huge production at the Langley house. This year each of the kids got a little bit of candy and a sock monkey from us and we spent the day like any other day. For Valentines Day dinner I we had a heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's (the kids got a kick out of it). 

I attempted to make heart shaped brownies and failed miserably......

Of course since I was pregnant during Valentines Day and thus a lot more hormonal,  it was a great time to reflect how much love I have to share with these 2 little love bugs and how much I would love sharing it with 1 more (baby Layla)!

Happy Valentines Day!