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

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 ♥ ∞

  

 

 

 

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 ♥

A little “Her”story…

promo picture from age 13, signed for my grandparents
promo picture from age 13, signed for my grandparents

The wise Rumi once said, “let the beauty you love be what you do”. I have many loves in this life, but touching others with my voice has been a consistent passion throughout my Soul’s journey.

Having been gifted the lead in several school plays as a child and encouraged by the community to share my voice, at age 9, I began singing to my elders in nursing homes throughout east Texas. What a sacred gift to bring tears and smiles to those so often cast aside by society.

Singing for my elders gave me deep roots to sprout from, and at age thirteen after singing the opry, festival and private event circuit (while continuing my volunteer work), I moved to Nashville for my new Producer to co-write, record and perform in the commercial country music arena. By age 16, I had landed the dream, a record deal offering from a major Music Row label.

As a natural-born empath and visionary, the energies of the commercial music business and the visions of my future did not feel right. Looking forward, I saw a loving, stable family, and this did not feel like the path. I refused the record deal and changed my major to Psychology, becoming an in-home case manager in the private, non-profit mental health field. After a year of dedication to 30 low income families, not yet understanding my personal tools of releasing and non-attachment, I took on the pain and sorrows of others and landed a first class ticket to the emergency room with severe heart palpitations.

I continued my work in the company, this time as a marketing specialist and bridge, serving as a voice for the grassroots workers, risking their lives every day for so little in return, and working up close and personal with the top tier of the organization. My heart became my greatest teacher, and I began a focused inner journey of spirit, health and well-being.

Almost 5 years ago, with the support of my amazing husband and twin flame, I took a giant leap of faith into the unknown, leaving the “work” world when my beautiful son was born. No amount of money would I trade for the freedom of seeing his first steps, hearing his first words and learning his deep truths over the last half decade. Just recently I realized one of the huge gifts he gave me upon his birth—the return of my voice. There is no greater joy than singing “his” song and seeing his spirit light up!

Today, having uncovered age old wisdoms of many lives past, I step out in the world to share what I have come to remember about the healing, creative power of each and every soul’s voice. It really lights my fire to see the joy that rises from shared sounding with other sacred BEings. Once we understand that all things are connected through the infinite vibrational web of life, intricately woven and divinely manifested from Source itself, we realize that when we sing, we become vehicles for creation.

When you attend one of my “Symphony of Creation ~ Awaken Your Sacred Voice” play-shops, you give yourself the gift of reconnecting with the divine wisdom and creative powers within you, while joyously and consciously co-creating with other Souls. At the moment, my play-shops are our only income, so you can rest assured that your love offering supports a local family, dedicating their lives to creating a better world for the generations to come.  The beauty we love, really is what we do.  🙂

April will be the beginning of “HeartSong Collective ~ Sing the Change” public gatherings. Once or twice a month, I will announce a Nashville area location and intention for us to gather in conscious, organic singing and sounding co-creation. Together we will raise the vibrations of Music City and beyond with our sacred, collective voices and instruments.

This is an exciting time on the planet, and I am infinitely grateful to the dear Soul family I am blessed enough to walk, dance, sing and grow with. Here’s to limitless love, boundless bliss, sweet synchronicity, leaps of faith and ever evolving Earth-Soul journeys!

~ Jess Bray ♥

A Story of Gratitude

Jessquote_wingsofgratitude

One evening I gazed at the setting sun, enamored with the beauty of its rays beaming through the forest behind my house. With all encompassing gratitude for the moment, I began to hear the symphony of Creation. For just a moment, clear as a bell, I could hear the song of the forest. At once my excitement and thoughts ceased the sounds. Once again, connecting to the deep feelings of gratitude and all encompassing Love at the experience, for a moment, the symphony returned.

I learned an instrumental key to unlocking the magic of Creation that day…when I am fully in my heart space, emanating nothing but pure genuine ecstatic bliss in gratitude for the beauty of existence in the moment, time-space is slowed and all is revealed.

May the Spirit of gratitude shine through us each moment for all of our days!  Happy Thanksgiving Soul Family!

~ Jess Bray ♥

Nature’s Wisdom ~ Musings of a Hawk Whisperer

photo by Glen Tepke
photo by Glen Tepke

Yesterday, rollin’ down the road with bright and beautiful Morningstar, we begin talking about my connection to the hawks.  She was sharing a story about a day or so prior when she and her Soul Sister, Shanti were on a delicious road-trip adventure and had a flat tire.  Just before an angel of a man appeared and got them back on the road, a red-tailed hawk began spinning in circles above them as if to signal their need.

Morningstar shared how she felt I sent the hawk and was with them in Spirit.  As is begin sharing other stories where I’ve felt this to be true, Morningstar ecstatically announces a red-tail hawk soaring above the car.  I immediately turn in to a drive and we get out of the car…all the while I’m sounding the call the hawks so lovingly imparted to me and singing my hearts beaming expression of Love for her presence.  Knowing this particular hawk, I asked “Where is your partner?”.  They mate for life, you know.  She spins above us with her magnificent sunlit ivory wings, sharing in the profound joy of our communion, then up into the drifts and away she flew.

We dropped Morningstar back off at her car, so she could head off on another yummy adventure.  As we convoy down Nolensville Road, I glance above the car and lo and behold…there was the red-tail hawk AND her partner, spinning above us.  I lower the window further to sound a call of Joy, Love and Gratitude for their enamoring presence, waving my hand like a flapping wing out the car.  As we continued our travels, I lost site of them.

After waving Morningstar off on her journey, Abner and I arrive at the nearby park for a little “big wheel” driving adventure of his own.  Not concerning myself with the opinions of others, I began “calling”.  KEeeeEeaah….KEeeeEeeaah.  We made it all the way round the park, and as I watch Abner playing, I glance up and across the way, there she was…the red-tail hawk.  Other parents and children were nearby, but I sounded a call of thankfulness and after a moment of whirling recognition, once again, she was up in the drifts and out of sight.

At this point in the story, I’d like to take you back about a year or so ago.  I felt led to write a children’s book about a forest romping girl and her friend, a hawk.  I was receiving visitations all the while by my hawk friends, encouraging me in my service as a messenger.  One day while writing I came upon the time to name this hawk friend.  Knowing deeply of my connection with hawks through countless lifetimes, I asked the name be revealed in my dreams that night.  The next morning I woke up with the memory of the name Skylar having been whispered in my ear.  I was led to look this name up online, leading me to the roots of the name, which was Skye, with its origin being the Isle of Skye.  I knew I had lifetimes in Scotland, but the memories were a fog made clear with the revelation of this name…Skye…how beautifully magical!

We head home after leaving the park, and just as we’re approaching the house, there is Skye, whirling closely above our house, as if to say, “Good evening, my Sister…time to follow the sun set.”  I send a few final calls of Loving thanks for the day, for the kindred friendship and wisdom.  I cannot begin to express the all-encompassing feelings of Loving gratitude I feel for my connection with Skye, her partner, and the innumerable hawk friends I encounter everywhere I roam and in lives past.

Next time you notice a hawk in your midst, know that you are in the presence of God’s grace in form.  Listen deeply, for their messages are wise, timely and tailor made, from the highest realms to your heart.  …and I send my Love.  ~ Jess Bray “Spinning Hawk” ♥