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.

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 ♥ ∞

  

 

 

 

A Shift Emerges

Abner'sFirstBeachExperience

Home and re-acclimating from our two week visit to my Sister’s in Florida (mostly unplugged). A shift emerges as I journey my final trimester before birth…focus on family, said the sea, the owls and magnificent wood storks.

I feel I will be less involved online and at local events for a while.  Mama bear medicine is setting in.  It’s the time of year when this Aries goes in to the great inner mystery and emerges in the Spring with new gifts for all.

Love and Bliss-full Journeys to All My Relations.

~ 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 ♥ ∞

His Voice Melts Me

DSC01538

Last night my son requested I sing him to sleep. I asked if he would like me to sing anything in particular. He said, “my special song”, and then proceeded to sing a bit of it for me. It was the first time I’ve heard “his song” come from his own precious voice. Words cannot describe the pure loving bliss of that experience. His singing will forever be imprinted in my memory.

~ Jess ♥ ∞

Sing Myself AWAKE ~ Days 10, 11 & 12

‪#‎singmyselfawake‬ for 40 days with Miranda Rondeau…

Day 10 ~ On our sunset drive to market, I sang a song of self-love…so grateful for my life.

Day 11 ~ While enjoying some early morning sharing @ my Mom’s, I felt my late Grandmother’s (Mamo’s) presence. She has always been an inspiration to me and is now one of my main spirit guides. I sang a song of love and thanks to her and all the ancestors.

Day 12 ~ Sang li’l Abner up this morning with “his” song and an extra spontaneous melody of love. Nothing like his smile!

Sing Myself AWAKE ~ Days 8 & 9

My spontaneous vocal offerings for the 2nd annual “Sing Myself AWAKE” for 40 days with Miranda Rondeau…

Day 8 ~ I sang a song of love and gratitude to a beautiful Grandmother tree while my son was playing at the park. Everywhere we walked, there were feathers. We offered thanks for nature’s gifts and brought a few home for our altars.

Day 9 ~ I sang an infusion of love and joy into the bowl of cereal I made my son. My reward: a smile, a long hug and an I love you…priceless!

It’s not too late!  Join Sing Myself AWAKE on Facebook

~ Jess ♥

Sing Myself AWAKE ~ Days 6 and 7

My spontaneous vocal offerings for Sing Myself AWAKE with Miranda Rondeau…

Day 6 ~ I shared a spontaneous song with my son. Intention: FUN! It was in a flash moment, so no video was captured.

Day 7 ~ After playing with new laptop video methods today (none of which worked out), I got out my trusty camera and created a vocal offering for the joy of manifestation for all beings…inspired by this 40 day journey.

~ Jess ♥

It’s not too late to join and invite your friends to Sing Myself AWAKE!
https://www.facebook.com/events/342425689240540/?fref=ts

 

Sing Myself AWAKE ~ Day 5

My spontaneous vocal offering for the 2nd annual “Sing Myself AWAKE” for 40 days with Miranda Rondeau…

I am a bit low-tech, without a smart phone to easily take video johnny on the spot, and making one with my camera is a bit of a production, but since this began, I have found myself with more and more spontaneous opportunities to share vocal offerings. The more I sing, the more beauty manifests in my life.

Yesterday, for DAY 5, I sang a song of peace (as invited) and gratitude (since I was singing in the space I am soon to begin my offerings). Blessings abound, and I know “Sing Myself Awake for 40 days” has been a huge catalyst. Infinite thanks and returns to you, Miranda!

~ Jess ♥

It’s not too late!  Join Sing Myself AWAKE on Facebook @
https://www.facebook.com/events/342425689240540/

 

Sing Myself AWAKE ~ Days 3 and 4

My spontaneous vocal offerings for the 2nd annual “Sing Myself AWAKE” for 40 days with Miranda Rondeau…

Day 3 ~ was busy and beautiful. A recording didn’t happen, but as I washed and massaged my dancing feet in the final hour of the day, I connected with Source and sang a sweet melody as the water drained away on its journey.

Day 4 ~ Once again, not captured on video, but I got the most amazing gift today after some SUP (stand up paddle board) fun…to sing and drum over three amazing women. Intentions (set by them) ~ love, meta (kindness, compassion) and courage. We each hugged afterward and after the final offering, I was given a beautiful message of encouragement, we both cried and a group hug commenced. AND I was offered a space to do my practice. What a magnificent day! I am even more on fire with passion for my path of service.

~ Jess ♥

Join Sing Myself AWAKE on Facebook.

Frame Drum Singing Makes My Soul Shine

Singing to center. Invigorated by my own organic sound. HeartSong expression. Overtone harmonics. Giving and receiving unite. Tuning the ONE heart. Sharing soul~full vocal vibes. Organic, conscious, melodic creation, affecting the infinite field. Awakening sacred voices and inner wisdom. That’s what makes my #SoulShine ‬

~ Jess Bray ♥

Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains?

Art by Lisa Hunt
Art by Lisa Hunt @ http://www.lisahuntart.com/
[…]
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
[…]
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned?
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest
Come taste the sunsweet berries of the Earth
Come roll in all the riches all around you
And for once, never wonder what they’re worth
The rainstorm and the river are my brothers
The heron and the otter are my friends
And we are all connected to each other
In a circle, in a hoop that never ends
[…]
For whether we are white or copper skinned
We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains
We need to paint with all the colors of the wind
[…]
~ excerpts from Colors of the Wind
(by lyricist Stephen Schwartz for Disney’s film Pocahontas)

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 ♥

This magic morning ~

Rising Sun by Jess Bray
Rising Sun by Jess Bray

My alarm clock (which I never use, except for time reference) mysteriously went off early this morning.  I glanced out my window at the gentle glow of the rising sun, beckoning me outside.  Following my guidance, I made my way outside to the light, soaking in the day’s first rays with my gazing eyes.  I sang a song of thanks to the sun, for its precious and faithful, life giving beams.

Called to my front yard, I went through the house, grabbed a pillow for my bum and entered the sacred realm of my wild front entry.  As I settled under the sheltering canopy of bamboo, wisteria vine and what I like to call my bodhi bush, thoughtfully carved out on one side like a cavern, I listened and I watched.  Light was the sun and light was the mood.  The tiny dew drop worlds glistening on waking vegetation.  Such soft, sweet energies to behold and rejoice this day.

Centered in my heart, overflowing with love throughout my field and beyond, I began to sing ~ with the redbird I know so well, coming out of the forest to accompany me ~ with the moth, delicately gracing my skin ~ with the tiny mouse, curiously and carefully scurrying from the rock before me ~ with the turtle I discovered under the far side of the bush, who reached his head out farther once I began offering my voice his direction ~ with the two love doves stopping by on foot to say hello, flying off together with their melodious coos ~ with the ravens, on foot and in air, who came closer to greet my offering ~ and with the clever mockingbirds who call my yard home, voicing their concerns over the closeness of the ravens.  I sang a melody of thanks to Earth and to life ~ animal, vegetable, mineral.  Closing my eyes, looking within, I saw soft, gentle, white light showering from my crown, cascading down through my entire being and gracing the planet and all of existence through my deep roots.

As I sit here and place words on the magic of my morning, I hear the sounds of a small songbird, with its mighty voice calling out as if to say … keep singing, keep offering, keep sharing.  We are all bound by love as the one pure heart of existence.

Bliss~full day to you, Soul Family.

~ Jess Bray ♥

Grateful…

tigerlove

Love is in the air, and so are the butterflies! Grateful today for Soul family, shared dream journeys and visions, infinite creative possibilities leading to joyous manifestations and the fresh breath of Spring.  Be BLISSed ya’ll!    ~ Jess Bray ♥

Spring Equinox 2014

Photo by Jess Bray "Spring's First Light"
Photo by Jess Bray “Spring’s First Light”

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” ~ Sitting Bull

Merry Spring Equinox Soul Family! 

~ Jess Bray ♥