Arian Om’s Journey Earthside ~ Our Home Birth Story

 

photo by Carissa Gay
photo by Carissa Gay

PLEASE BE ADVISED… This is the whole, raw, complete, beautiful, sacred truth of our birth story.  No details spared! 

It was 1am, Monday, December 22, 2014, on the Black New Moon of Winter Solstice.  I awoke with a cramping sensation.  I might be in labor, I thought, so I took note of the time and fell back to sleep.  About 8 minutes later, I awoke again with the same cramping sensation.  Not wanting to wake my husband, Jon, until I knew for sure, and knowing that he would need his rest to support me, I continued to rest in between rushes, keeping track of their distance apart.

Around 3am, the rushes were about 4-6 minutes apart and getting stronger, and I was having to breathe more deeply through them.  Needing no further convincing, I awoke Jon, letting him know that I was in labor.  I explained that I should eat something to build my strength, so he went to the kitchen to bring me some soup.  While he was away, I suddenly had a craving for one of my son’s organic, whole food bear vitamins, so I called for him to bring two of them, too.

This was my second birth, and I was amazed at the deep, calm wisdom within that I felt guiding me.  I welcomed the experience, knowing that every rush would bring my baby to me.  I trusted my body and felt fully capable of bringing our child into the world.  With my amazing, supportive, deeply loving husband by my side, I could do anything.

After gaining nourishment, I went to the bathroom while Jon prepared our bed.  As I passed by the mirror, I realized I was wearing the shirt my Mom gave me just a few days prior.  On the front was a huge open lotus flower.  How perfect!  I sat on the toilet to pee and saw that my mucus plug was making its way out.  I began singing that just like a lotus flower, I, too, would ooooOpen wiiiiiide.

I walked around a bit, and by 4am, my rushes were a couple minutes apart and around 40 seconds long.  I texted my midwife, Jennifer Vines, to let her know that I was in labor and inform her on the status of my rushes.  She asked if I would like to have doula support or contact her as things progressed.  I chose the latter.  At this point, I was feeling very tired, so I asked Jon to lie down with me to see if I could rest between rushes.  We spooned and he rubbed my back.  I could feel him sharing loving, peaceful energy with me.  So soothing…  Amazingly, as if my body heard my call, my rushes spread back to 6 minutes apart for a little while, so I was able to sleep between them.

Two hours later, at 6am, my rushes got closer and intensified.  I sat up recharged and ready to give birth to our baby.  We called my Mom to get her up to speed, telling her she could contact my Blessing Way circle of Sisters around 7am to light their candles and send good energies…and that she should arrive around 8 to be there when our 5 year old son, Abner, was waking so she could help dress him and take him to her house just down the street.  She expressed that she kept feeling that the baby would come around 11am.  I then had Jon call the midwife to give her an update on my progress.  She said she would begin gathering her things and her team (her daughter, Carissa, and Sandee) and head our way in a bit.

The toilet, being a place of opening and releasing, felt like a good place for me, so I decided to hang out there.  All the while, Jon was right by my side supporting me, rubbing my back, thanking me and telling me how beautiful I was and how wonderful I was doing.  With each rush, I would tone low, primal sounds while visualizing myself opening up like a lotus.  The sounds washed through me, helping me open and relieving my discomfort.  In hindsight, I imagine these sound vibrations also comforted our baby from within.

(Click here to hear my Primal Birth Sounding.)

My bum began to get tired of the toilet seat, so I asked Jon to prepare a bath.  He helped me up from the toilet, and we danced as he assisted me into the tub.  Ahhhhhh, how wonderful the water felt.  I called upon its wisdom, the support of my ancestors who gave birth before me, Source and my highest guides.  The sun was rising, casting the most beautiful golden hue on the woods outside my bathtub’s picture window.  I felt so much love from the sacred cedars and all the nature spirits, expressing my gratitude for them.  I visualized my central channel cleared and charged with pure Source energy.  I could feel it pouring in through my crown and emanating throughout my being.

Still in the bath, at 8am, my Mom arrived just as our son was waking.  The midwife and her team arrived at 8:30 and finished prepping our bedroom.  Sandee was diligently providing doula support and giving me water to drink between each rush.  My Mom and Abner came to tell us goodbye, and they left for her house.

photo by Carissa Gay
photo by Carissa Gay

Feeling my rushes beginning to become stagnant, my intuition guided me to get out of the bath and back on the loo.  Once there, my midwife, Jennifer knotted up a sarong to create a little tug of war for Jon and I.  I began pulling on it during rushes, and after a couple went by, I suddenly heard and felt a POP, followed by waters rushing out.  I then vomited, but only once.  After that, my rushes reached a whole new level of intensity, like crashing waves on a stormy day, coming strong and fast.  I knew then I was in transition.

Uncomfortable with the hard toilet seat at this phase, Jon assisted me to a seated position on the Gaiam ball that my intuition guided me to borrow from my Mom weeks prior.  My chest was supported with pillows on our bed in front of me.  It was then that I felt the urge to begin pushing, and with each rush I would circle my hips atop the ball, noticing that certain positions would bring forth more waters.  I was a mammal, a powerful tigress, sounding deep and guttural.  My team assured me that I was very close and doing great.  Though I wanted to believe them, a part of me felt they were just saying that to make me feel better, since I pushed 3 hours with my first.  I realized that doubt wasn’t helping, so I shifted back to trusting and knowing it was true, that our baby would soon be born.

In no time it seemed, I began feeling down pressure sitting on the ball, and decided to get up.  My team guided me on all fours, placed the ball in front of me and draped a towel over it for me to grip.  As my legs were tired, I sat back on my feet in a modified squat position and kept pushing with the rushes.  Oooooooooooommmm…Ooooooooooommmmm… more sounding, more opening.

All the sudden I found myself concerned over not having paid my midwife in full, yet.  I knew from reading the birthing stories in Ina May’s midwifery books that once women voiced their toils, the baby came right out.  She sensed my thinking, and asked me about it, just as I was beginning to share that there was something I needed to express.  Once I did, and she very kindly assured me that she was not worried about it, that it was okay, and that right now, I just needed to have this baby, I got back to the task at hand.

Just as the stories told, within 5 minutes, I felt a strong burning sensation.  It was like I was giving birth through my bum hole.  (People don’t talk about this much, but it’s true!)  Jennifer checked me, and she said she felt the baby’s head.  After a couple more pushes, she directed me to raise my bum up off my feet a bit and shared, “We’ve got the head!”  On one hand I was so excited to hear his head was out, but on the other hand I was like, “Then what is the hang up?!”, because with my first, once the head was out, the rest of him just slid on out.  I felt a gentle tug and immediate relief…our baby was born at 11:34am!!!  Since I was facing the other direction, I turned my head and saw our precious BOY!!!  Surprise, it’s a boy!!!  I watched as they cleared his airways and he turned pink.  The song of his cries was music to my ears.

Jon helped me to the bed, and they placed our precious baby in my arms.  Infinite loooove!  We went right to work on getting latched and breastfeeding.  It took him a little while, but he tried diligently and got the hang of it, finally latching and drinking in my sacred, natural nourishment.  The placenta was born and Jon cut the cord once it was done pumping.  Abner and Mom arrived at the house to check on us, only to find that the baby had been born.  They came in and greeted our new family member, Arian Om.  All together, our family of four at last.

photo by Carissa Gay
photo by Carissa Gay
jess29
photo by Carissa Gay

Once he was done nursing, Jennifer and her team took him to clean, weigh and dress him.  I hear Jennifer calmly proclaim, “He weighs 10 lbs., 13 oz.”.  “WHAT!?”, I responded.  She repeated herself, and I couldn’t believe my ears.  He was 22″ long, his head was over 15 inches and his chest was over 16(!!), which was why his body didn’t just sliiiiide right out.  I was so amazed and happy that I had birthed that much baby without a single perineal tear.  Jennifer shared that he was the biggest baby she had ever caught or even attended.  She returned him to my arms quickly, so we weren’t apart for long, and it was sail away to baby bliss for me.

Welcome Earthside, Arian Om Bray!

BrayFamily12.25.14_edited MommyKisses

Here’s a little view of our precious gift, Arian Om Bray (pronounced Ah-ree-an) After just 10.5 hours, starting at 1am, Monday the 22nd, by the light of the New Black Moon, and with only 30 minutes of pushing, he emerged to grace the sacred Earth, weighing a whopping 10 lbs., 13 oz., 22 inches long, 15″ head, and over 16″ chest!

AND without a single intervention other than a quick head check and catch at the end…and a great deal of love, support, woo-ing, back rubbing, kissing, encouragement and cosmic vibes from my a-ma-zing husband. My only medicine was love and song…toning deep and primal through each of the many rushes. What an absolute blesSing, every single moment. I am so grateful for my own strength and for the commUNITY of love around me.

Since I opened up like a lotus, without a single tear, I am healing beautifully, and fully enjoying every single glance at our beautiful Arian. Boy is he hungry, too! I am one busy Mama, nursing him on demand, around the clock. What an absolute pleasure!

Thanks so much to my wonderful midwife team, Vines Midwifery Service!

Love Infinite~

Om,
Jess

My children…

nesttree

my precious children, like trees may you grow
gracing the heavenly skies
rooted deeply in our Divine Mother
gently swayed, unshaken by the currents of life
may I sit at your feet
basking in thy wisdom eternal
singing songs of our love
as one, evermore
~ Jess Bray ♥ ∞

Twin Flames ~ Our Love Story

Mom&Dad_loveEternal

Very early on I discovered that dating was not for me.  Instead, I knew in my heart of hearts that there was someone out there I was meant to find.  At age 17, I made the conscious choice to remain single (no dating) and focus my prayers and intention on welcoming that one special guy to my life.  Just one year goes by and…

One chilly February night in 2002, my Mom and I stopped by to pick up our clothes at our amazing, local, eco-friendly drycleaner on 8th Avenue in Berry Hill/Melrose area, which is where we lived at the time.  As we park our car for their curbside service, I look through the window front and see just two people inside — Shirley, a bright and cheery woman who almost always waited on us, and the same very attractive young guy who I had shared glances with (through the windows) for the past couple of years (this night included) but never met.

Shirley walks up to the car with her usual beaming smile and presence to assist us.  A voice within me said, “Ask her about the guy in the window.”  This was a huge step for me, being an old fashioned kind of girl.  I always wanted the guy to come to me, but I figured hey, it couldn’t hurt to ask, right?  “Shirley, who is the guy inside?  I see him here all the time.”  Her kind smile grew larger as she replied, “Oh honey, that’s Jon!  He’s the owner’s son, so that’s why you see him here all the time.  He’s had his heart broken, and I’m trying to find him a good girl.  Can I give him your number?”  The old fashioned girl inside me quickly pondered, “Okay God, she said it, not me.  Technically you’re not the one making the move here.  Shirley is making it for you.  Go ahead!”  I responded, “Sure, but please wait until we drive off.”  As we pulled out onto 8th Avenue, heading home, I saw Jon’s beaming face as Shirley handed him a small piece of paper.

Later that night, as I sit eating dinner, the phone rings.  “It’s for you,” Mom said.  Could it be?  He’s actually calling me the same night he got my number?  I answered, and it WAS Jon.  How delightfully unusual!  I thanked him for calling so soon, to which he responded, “It wouldn’t be fair to make you wait.”  Mmm, I melted.  After a bit of great conversation, he asked if he could take me on a date, and for the first time in a year, I said yes.  He asked what I would like to do.  I had been wanting to see Lord of The Rings in the theater but hadn’t been yet.  He said he had already been, but he would be happy to take me and see it again.

The next evening he arrived at my doorstep, and we met face to face for the very first time.  Dressed to the nines in silk and linen, he pulls a beautiful bouquet of flowers from behind his back…something I had only coveted in movies but never actually experienced until then.  Is this real?  I was swept already.

On we drove to Hollywood 27 theater at what use to be called 100 Oaks in Berry Hill to sit…for 3+ hours…watching Lord of The Rings…not able to talk.  No, actually it was perfect.  I highly recommend this, in fact.  Not only was the magical LOTR the perfect movie to begin our story, but we got to sit and allow our energies to dance and coalesce before we ever conversed.  Oh my goodness, and once the movie was over, we engaged in the most stimulating conversation I ever had.  Invigorating it was, for the first time, to speak at the depth I could with him.  Once we started, we couldn’t stop.  We stayed up ’til 4 o’clock, just talking…well, and a little kissing, too.

The first time we kissed, he asked first if he could kiss me (during a game of questions).  I said yes, and be still my heart…his lips…our energy…time…stood…still.  Countless lifetimes of connection converged in those moments.  At long last we merged, two as one again.

The next day, our second date, I drove us through the Brentwood countryside.  I told Jon that if I didn’t see myself potentially marrying him, he would not be in the car with me.  Such a bold and brave statement surely would have scared any other away, but he said he felt the same.  By the end of this day, we both expressed our love for one another.

In hindsight, it is clear that we chose to come into this beautiful blue green planet together.  In the same latitudinal region, just one state between, in the same year of 1983, just one month apart, he March 8 and I April 8, were born.  We each moved to South Nashville, Tennessee in 1997, I for music and he with his family’s new business, just around the corner from my home, where we eventually crossed paths, and thanks to our angel, Shirley, we met.

On the sunny day of May 8, 2004, at age 21, we were married at St. Mary’s downtown, the oldest standing church in Nashville.  From our first date (which was also our first meeting), we have never desired to part and have scarcely left one another’s side.  The vortex of spiritual growth we have experienced since our reunion here on Earth has been and continues to be unbridled.

Just under a month before our 5 year anniversary, April 16, 2009, our precious son was born (our birth dates combine to make his… 8+8=16), and now, after 10 years of marriage, we welcome another sacred Soul to our family.  I am more in love with my hubby and flame each and every moment we journey together.  Our combined manifestation potential is infinite (more stories to come about this, including Local Living Farm in our community of Antioch).  In his arms, wherever we are, is my favorite place in the omniverse.  Love like ours, divine masculine and feminine in union within each of us, is surely meant to resonate upon this planet at this time.  I am holistically and infinitely grateful for our eternal love.

~ Jess ♥ ∞

  

 

 

 

Nature’s Wisdom ~ A New Season with Praying Mantis and Bear

Praying_mantis_insect_photo

Yesterday, hubby and I enjoyed a precious, Soul-quenching day, just the two of us. Late afternoon, we stepped out our back door to make music together and discovered a praying mantis floating in our newfie’s water bowl. Being the first out the door, Jon immediately rescued him, placing him tenderly on the wisteria vine in hopes of drying out his drowning body and recovering the use of his limbs.

As I began to sing a gentle song of love and wellness to sacred mantis, he looked away to the leaf just passed his head.  There I discovered a tiny perfectly shaped heart eaten out of the leaf. I felt his returning love and gratitude, and he turned his head to look right at me as I continued to sing and connect with his Spirit.  I knew our encounter was no accident, that there was a message, a meaning.

Hubby and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset, playing and singing together, and as we entered back into our abode, we saw the mantis had fully recovered.  Mantis’ message was divinely timed, as Spirit always is, and was perfect confirmation of my recent embrace of hibernation and reflection for creative Soul renewal.

“Usually the Praying Mantis makes an appearance when we’ve flooded our lives with so much business, activity, or chaos that we can no longer hear the still small voice within us. Taking a step back and some simple meditation would be in order here because the external din we’ve created needs to be quieted so that we can come back to our own truth. The Praying Mantis always comes to us when we need peace, quiet and calm in our lives. […] Even within this calm and serene environment you are capable of quick and decisive action when opportunity presents itself.” (http://spirit-animals.com/praying-mantis)

In the past, it has been difficult for me to allow myself to rest, to let go of the pull to always be productive and creating, working toward some desired goal. This year, I embrace my resting cycle without guilt, and in doing so, I see that the seeds I sewed during my natural times of energetic action, now blossom at my doorstep as I rest…a phenomenon I always believed possible but never truly made space for until now.

Ophrys Photography
Ophrys Photography

The past two years, the bear has visited my dreams. Last year, they were trying to eat me…a clear sign of the need to learn to honor my resting cycle. This year, from my space of acceptance and allowing, the bear returns — this time, following me around like a puppy dog…a sign of lesson learned and confirmation of my growth.

I am truly enjoying this time of less activity and more rest ~ less productivity and more play ~ less seeking and more finding ~ less projection and more reflection ~ more receiving ~ more blissful connection with those who mean the most.  I’m all aglow with this new season in life, in the moment, relaxed and open for whatever and wherever the great mystery leads me.

~ Jess ♥ ∞

Autumnal Equinox 2014

Autumn Skye Art
Autumn Skye Art

∞  Bliss – Fall Equinox to all my Relations  ∞

Feeling the deep surrender, acceptance of what is, gratitude of what has come and what will be-come, excitement for the unknowing, finding the place of absolute trust and knowing that all is all-ways well and in perfect divine order, letting go of patterns of thinking causing vibrations that do not serve me and my relations, understanding that control is limiting and release makes way for unlimited potential, discovering that my peace and happiness in the now…right now…is the most important task at hand and all else will orchestrate as it is meant to, when it is meant to. I am empty, I am full. I give thanks for this season of life.

One Love,
~ Jess  ♥ ∞

Motherhood ~ A Sacred Partnership

25weeks

25 weeks ~ This journey of sacred partnership between Mother and Child is one of the most beautiful gifts this life in form offers. The growth my Spirit calls for, this one carries. The experience this Soul calls for, I carry. I am never truly alone and feel mutual support all-ways. We sing together in delightful and magnified co-creation enveloped in love eternal.

~ Jess Bray ♥ ∞

Winds of change ~

Sweep over me,  Oh inspiring winds of change.  I have given myself the gift of surrender,  And now delight in each and every breath.  There is nothing missing,  For my heart has been made whole with the magic of love.  I am filled with divine inspiration ,  As a brand new day unfolds.  ~ Agnieszka Joanna~ "Spirit Takes Flight" via Fb
Sweep over me,
Oh inspiring winds of change.
I have given myself the gift of surrender,
And now delight in each and every breath.
There is nothing missing,
For my heart has been made whole with the magic of love.
I am filled with divine inspiration ,
As a brand new day unfolds.
~ Agnieszka Joanna~
“Spirit Takes Flight” via Fb

So many rapid shifts lately…some sad, some happy. I take this as a testament to my learning to trust all-ways. The less I hold on, the more I let go, open to receiving the highest orchestration of my heart’s desires, the faster they culminate. At this moment I am an empty vessel, yet full of wonder for what is becoming.

~ Jess ♥ ∞

The Wisdom of Children ~ I am child, I am Mother

"Aria" by Jess Bray (inspired by Motherhood)
“Aria” by Jess Bray (inspired by Motherhood)

Just as most Earth children want, I desire to be seen and understood for who I truly am, to have the freedom to share deeply and truly, and to unapologetically express the wisdom I have come to share in the world. There is a deeper reason for the children we are blessed enough to bring into the world. They are meant to help us grow. Often our greatest teachers they lead us to the places within that need releasing, taking us to new depths and heights. As a Mom, this has become so clear to me. As Abner’s Mom, and now, the host of my next child, I can say that I have seen more clearly, learned more fully and loved and felt more deeply than I ever knew possible.

~ Jess Bray ♥

And the Great Mother said…

Mother Earth ~ Meredith Miller
Mother Earth ~ Meredith Miller

And the Great Mother said…
Come my child and give me all that you are.
I am not afraid of your strength and darkness, of your fear and pain.
Give me your tears. They will be my rushing rivers and roaring oceans.
Give me your rage. It will erupt into my molten volcanoes and rolling thunder.
Give me your tired spirit. I will lay it to rest in my soft meadows.
Give me your hopes and dreams. I will plant a field of sunflowers and arch rainbows in the sky.
You are not too much for me. My arms and heart welcome your true fullness.
There is room in my world for all of you, all that you are.
I will cradle you in the boughs of my ancient redwoods and the valleys of my gentle rolling hills.
My soft winds will sing you lullabies and soothe your burdened heart.
Release your deep pain. You are not alone and you have never been alone.
-Linda Reuther

Songs flow ~~~

Lucid Sound by Amanda Sage
Lucid Sound by Amanda Sage

Grateful today for the lyrics that flow.
One by one, conscious songs seep from my Soul.
Where will they go? What will they do? I don’t yet know,
cause that’s not just mine, but divine mystery’s magical show.
~ Jess Bray ♥

Inspiration…

We are SO much more than we allow ourselves to believe. One of the greatest deceptions of our time is that we are separate from the Divine, that the answers exist in some external power outside of us. The reality is, we ARE the Divine spark, the world bridgers, the sacred in form. No longer will we hide…RISE & BE-AM! ~Jess Bray ♥

Nature’s Wisdom ~ Eagle and Spider

Photo by Christian Sasse
Photo by Christian Sasse

all things are connected in this web of life. let your wings fly you to the highest of heights. ~Jess ♥

Divine Union ~ Beyond Gender Roles

photo by Lightning Dove
photo by Lightning Dove

not only the divine feminine is rising, but also the divine masculine, and moving beyond duality, the divine union. we’ve arrived at the realization that we’ve lived both and we’ve learned the gifts of contrast each offered us. now is the time to honor and integrate those gifts as we ascend forth in the sacred wholeness of oneness. ~ Jess Bray ♥

Nature’s Wisdom ~ Eagle

photo by Christian Sasse
photo by Christian Sasse

thank you, eagle, for your visitations, wisdom, encouragement, illumination and love. i have risen above my fears and self-doubts to fully accept my role as a bridge between earth and the divine. ~ Jess Bray ♥

Our Beautiful Earth

in celebration we walk this breathtaking organism that we call home. how blessed are we? and to that I reply…infinitely. let in her love for you, as awakened earth walkers, and share with her your overflowing supply of divine Love-Light. Heal, fill, overflow to the Mother. She knows where it need be. Happy healing, loving, beaming and creating, kind friends! ~ Jess Bray ♥

Good Morning Meditation by Jess Bray

photo by Jess Bray
photo by Jess Bray

Feel the earth as she awakens below the roots of your feet. Feel the encompassing love rise within and hold it there, in the house of the heart. Greet the warmth of the morning sun and know your heart beats with it. Reach beyond all knowing, fully alive and connected to the highest source that lives within us. My earth queens and kings, bring through your crown the divine Light waves to meet thy mother, and feel the ecstasy as they dance as one, overflowing into all of your being, filling every particle with Love-Light. In this house of divine bliss, give thanks. Honor the directions, and allow your Love-Light to overflow to all the waking beings of the earth. ~Jess Bray ♥

All BEings are Divine

"Mother Earth" by Karl Bang
“Mother Earth” by Karl Bang

all beings, including human beings are divine manifestations of Creator Source on the physical earth plane materialized in various forms for the purpose of expansion. the earth is mother to us all. we are organisms formed from her womb. as she ascends, so shall we. the mother loves her humans as she does all creatures or our existence would no longer be. our love and unity with her and all her inhabitants is our duty as earth walkers.

if you center within your heart and soul, living each moment from a place of grace, the subtle signs and messages nature offers will be revealed to illuminate your journey. every breeze, every bird, every tree, every person you encounter play part in an elaborate symphony of messages just waiting to be felt and seen…mirroring, just for you, exactly what you need in each moment to heal, expand and grow. with every expansion more Love-Light fills us and feeds us, emanating from us for all to feel.

thank you, Mother Gaia and all her inhabitants for providing this beautiful journey.

with Love,
~Jess Bray ♥