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

Sacred Birth

Any day now, I journey into the sacred labyrinth of birth, bringing forth new life for old Souls. In birthing I am reborn. I am creation unfurling.  Revealing new rhythms, new music for the infinite field.

~ Jess  ♥ ∞

Shamanic Birth: The Union Of Ecstatic And Sacred Birthing
Shamanic Birth: The Union Of Ecstatic And Sacred Birthing

“The shamanic way of pregnancy and birth is genetically encoded within all women. To access higher states of consciousness during pregnancy, labor, birth, and mothering is our birthrite – and global spiritual heritage. Through the doorway of higher states of consciousness we can bring souls to this Earth with the potential for realizing evolutionary solutions for the problems facing humanity now. Conscious birthing through reclaiming the arts of shamanic midwifery is a pathway to empowered physical and spiritual health for mothers, babies, and families today.”

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 ♥ ∞

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 ♥ ∞

Answering the call of the sea ~ Returning October 10th

KateChopin_The-voice-of-the-sea-speaks-to-the-soul_FenjaSepers_NavigateOnTrust

The voice of the sea is singing to me. She beckons my Soul, and I answer the call. The time has come to surrender, swept in the expansiveness of her wisdom and emerge a new tide to shore ~ I in her and she in me, forevermore. ~ JB

I am officially unplugged for my journey to sea till October 10th.

Visit me, right after I return, at the First Annual Southeast Nashville Festival for Music and Arts, October 11th, 10am – 4pm, inside the Global Mall in Antioch, TN, for a Soul-quenching personal ManifeStation Sound Journey by donation. I can’t wait to open my Heart and Soul in service to my community in this way!

Deep Peace, Infinite Love and Bliss-full Joy to All!

~ 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 ♥ ∞

His Voice Melts Me

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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 ♥ ∞

Sunset Sonic Journey Bliss at The Hermitage

The amazing Yogi and Yoginis, fully blissed after Megan Kipp's Harvest Moon Yoga and Sonic Journey with Jess
The amazing Yogi and Yoginis, fully blissed after Megan Kipp’s Harvest Moon Yoga and Sonic Journey with Jess
sunset Sonic Journey shavasana with Jess
sunset Sonic Journey shavasana with Jess

This Muse is still beaming with the magic of last eve’s outdoor yoga and Sonic Journey at The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson.  When I arrived there were wild turkey guiding us to our grassy space under the sunset sky. While we practiced, there were dragonfliesand birds gracefully dancing overhead, and as we left, Mother Nature gifted me with a beautiful turkey feather, sticking right up out of the ground, as if to say, thank you for sharing your gifts with the world. This journey I dance is truly incredible, and I am infinitely grateful!


~ Jess ♥ ∞

Full Harvest Supermoon 2014 ~ Sing Myself AWAKE ~ Day 40

fullmoonbath9.9.14

by the light of the full harvest supermoon, my intentions are set in melodic vocal vibrations

‪#‎singmyselfAWAKE‬ ~ Day 40

Countless blossoms of beauty and emergence have come to fruition during these 40 days of daily spontaneous vocal offerings.  I am grateful for every Soul who sings themselves and the world awake.  May we all remember the power of heart and soul singing in our every day lives.

~ Jess ♥ ∞

Singing during skin-to-skin contact benefits Mama and Baby

Skin-to-skin bonding ~ photo courtesy toronto.ca
Skin-to-skin bonding ~ photo courtesy toronto.ca

Inspired by my current pregnancy, one of our latest A.muse.in’ Harmony group experiences, “Awaken Your Sacred Voice ~ Pregnancy, Birthing and Beyond” helps expecting parents connect with the power of their own voice for wellness, labor support and soulful parenting. If this sings to you, connect with us today!

As a Soul singing, baby wearing Mama, I can personally attest to the power of this, but the research to back it up is fantastic to see!

Maternal singing during skin-to-skin contact benefits both preterm infants, mothers

~ Jess ♥ ∞

 

 

Sound BlesSing at Art Camp Nashville

So grateful to Amanda Dobra Hope, of Golden Dolphin Healing, for her inspiring presentation at Art Camp Nashville yesterday.  I felt guided to sing into the drum with her and gift her with a sound blessing afterward.  Thank you, Amanda, for the beauty and amazing energy you bring to the world!

~ Jess Bray ♥

Connect with Amanda Dobra Hope of Golden Dolphin Healing

HeartSong Collective ~ Sing, Service and Potluck for Compassion Games International

compassiongames_eventbanner

Join us during this year’s Compassion Games International, for “HeartSong Collective ~ Sing, Service and Potluck” for Hollow House at Rabbit Hole Hollow! Cindy Moonrose and Martin Holsinger do so much for our community. Here’s our chance to give back in their time of need.

Cindy and Martin’s Story…
About 18 months ago, fire told Cindy and Martin it was time for a new house, one more suited to the unique qualities of the site in terms of yearly solar patterns – a house that is both private and can accommodate events and workshops – a house for middle aged Cindy and Martin to grow old in and be able to share their knowledge and skill with others for as many years as possible.

As Cindy turned her attention to the 2nd blaze of the night, the 3rd arrival of fire trucks in as many days, she received the message that this fire, this “housecleaning”, is benevolent and is on the way to the fulfillment of dreams. Having been denied fire insurance years before, Cindy and Martin would learn so much about community, and community members would learn in association with the fund-raisers, work parties and workman camaraderie.

Developing skill in navigating what life brings has been a passion of Cindy and Martin for decades. Recovering from the house fire, designing a house and acting as contractor – returning to the present moment and trust repeatedly, believing in their ability to follow the cues for what actions to take next in gathering information, in raising funds, etc. – figuring out how to live without a house in a camping situation, getting through summer’s heat and winter’s cold has been a huge adventure!

WHEN? Saturday, September 13th, 1pm – 6pm

Schedule:
1 – 3:30 Compassionate Service Party…Singing while we work!
3:30 – 5 Introductions and Singing the vision
5 – 6 Picnic supper/potluck*
*Bring eating equipment (plate/bowl, utensils, napkins, cup, etc…) and something to sit on, food for yourself/ food to share.

WHERE?  *
Rabbit Hole Hollow
5155 Drakes Branch Road Nashville, TN 37218
Cindy MoonRose and Martin Holsinger
cindymoonrose@nashville.net
615-876-2635 or cell 615-310-2904

*Due to limited parking, CARPOOL is RECOMMENDED.

Directions:
Be sure your device takes you by the intersection of Kings Lane and Drakes Branch Road.
We are up a gravel road almost at the dead end of Drakes Branch Road.
Look for the row of mailboxes on a stand on your left near the end of the blacktop.
Turn left on gravel road just beyond mailbox stand. Take left fork up a hill. You will see house draped with blue tarp. Be careful to park in a way that doesn’t block other cars.
This is a construction site, so it is muddy and it cools off in the evenings and is cooler than in town.

INTENTION?  Various ceremonies have already been performed in connection with the fire, demolition and envisioning. Now it is time for this structure to appear in the physical plane! You are invited to stir the elements, nourish this form with sound. May we experience another aspect of who we are as we sing for this structure: Hollow House at Rabbit Hole Hollow. Let us sing in ease for materials and labor, the attraction of harmonious skilled helpers, safety, a good time building and creating, and a good winter of hand-making/refurbishing parties in the house making light fixtures, cabinets and more. Let’s envision a center for much growth in consciousness and knowing ourselves as part of Nature.

RSVP on Facebook today!

Visit gofundme to offer a financial contribution to the Recovery & Rebuilding of Hollow House at Rabbit Hole Hollow. Let’s help Cindy and Martin reach their financial goal to make their home and community learning center vision a reality!

 

Stay tuned to A.muse.in’ Harmony on Facebook for the latest info and updates.

 “Today, at 62 years old, is the first time I have understood that I am one with all […]  I am not above or separate from anything.”

Our own music ~

 

 

ourownmusic

Yes, and sometimes it comes out wildly, passionately and loudly.  Singing is such a blissful way to connect within, express, release and create.  It’s a meditation, bathed in your Soul’s vibrations.

~ Jess Bray ♥

Ancient Sound Healing

ancientsoundhealing

Sound healing is not a new concept, but one reborn. In fact, it was recognized, respected and practiced often in ancient times. Thankfully, we are beginning to reconnect with this powerful resource for today’s health and wellness. This is a great article on the ancient roots of sound healing…in brevity.

Ancient Sound Healing

~ Jess ♥

Awaken Your Sacred Voice ~ Pregnancy, Birthing and Beyond

womb_connection

The song of my precious unborn began coming through me more fully yesterday morning as I awoke. As I sang the melody, I felt its significance and silently asked, “Is it you?” My confirmation was the little dance I felt inside my womb.

This Soul song connection happened intuitively during the pregnancy with my first child, and it was some time later when I discovered the tradition of the Himba tribe of Africa (most reported, but is a tradition in some other tribal cultures as well)…each child having their own unique song, discovered and taught to the village by the Mother, so that in times of celebration or dis-ease, the community could sing that Soul’s song, helping them remember their true vibration.

Whether he is not feeling well, or I am helping him ease back into the world from slumber, I have seen the way my son lights up each time I sing “his song”. I feel a great calling to help not only keep this tradition alive but thriving. What a beautiful way to deeply connect with our children, heart and Soul, and what a wonderful way to embrace true connection and support within our communities, throughout our lives.

~~~

EXPECTING PARENTS ~ Whether you wish to conceive or are already along in your pregnancy, I would love to help you connect with your own innate ability to discover and sing your child’s Soul song. It would be my honor to assist you privately or by attending and sharing Soul song ceremony at your Blessing Way.

PREGNANCY AND BIRTHING PROFESSIONALS ~ I now offer a group experience for expectant parents, “Awaken Your Sacred Voice ~ Pregnancy, Birthing and Beyond”. Together, in a safe and sacred space, we honor each other and the journey of parenthood…from discovering your child’s Soul song to the use of singing and sounding to assist in birthing and beyond.

If any of this resonates, connect with me today!

~ Jess ❤

~~~

“You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.”
(many sources ~ origin of quote unknown)

 

 

Research shows music reduces pain, slows heart rates and improves children’s moods

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Can singing ease a child’s pain? b

Absolutely! Last night, my Mom brought my son home at 2am with difficulties breathing (major head congestion). Bless him, he was moaning and could not get a wink of sleep. After some natural remedies, which seemed to ease him a bit, he was still having troubles getting settled in bed. I began to sing “his song” to him, and within seconds, he finally drifted off…and this is just the most recent example of many.

Music transcends, as life itself is an intricately woven tapestry of vibration waves (aka…sound waves). Now 21 weeks pregnant, I can also say that even before our babes are born, they respond to music in utero. Sweet babe can be still as can be, but begin to sing, drum or play music and movement ensues, often to the beat.

I am thankful for the increasing amount of research being done to prove music and singing as a powerful tool for well being.

~ Jess ∞ ♥