Friday, April 26, 2024

{ april 28, 2021 remembered }

I’ve been trying to say something for three years.

I’ve danced around the graphic truth with poetry and vagueness, sharing just enough to feel momentary relief. Some of you even recognized your own story in my eloquent evasiveness.

Now it’s been three years and I want to tell you about my son and us brokenhearted that walk around carrying stories so full of teardrops that we try not to leak on anyone.

I didn’t know I had a twin living inside me, a stowaway who stayed with me after his sister slipped away one evening months before. All I knew was that something wasn’t right. Here I own my ignorance, but after I miscarried and my partner left the following day, I couldn’t handle the thought of calling my midwife or seeing a doctor. I laid on the sofa and ate leftover Domino’s. I went on for weeks and weeks wondering how long before I’d feel like me again. Then one morning, I was shivering and burning up, my hands shaking so badly I couldn’t even type out a text asking for help. Finally, I was able to get help, and here I will be brief, because my day was scary and long, but that’s not the story I want to share today. I want to tell you the part that keeps me awake and breaks my heart in the middle of the day, brings me to tears as I walk the trail, the piece that requires ongoing healing.

Once I finally made it to the ER, I waited, teeth still chattering even hours after the initial fever. I sat with my friend, neither of us knowing what was going on or what to expect. I felt certain it was a complication from my miscarriage, as I said, I hadn’t felt right since. But nothing felt right, I was in such a hard place mourning the end of a dream and the end of an abusive relationship. Grieving something that brought so much pain is a strange thing, it left me feeling unsure how to take the next step forward, lacking faith in my ability to see if a person is good or bad. I wanted to shut the door to that hallway of my life story and never think about it again, but here was my own body screaming at me to examine the loss and maybe even face another season of healing.

I explained my intuition to a nurse and doctor, they made arrangements for me to have an ultrasound to see what issues may have lingered from my miscarriage. After hours of waiting, I was wheeled into the ultrasound room and spoke with the tech. He got very quiet and the room filled with a familiar sound, I knew before he even said what he saw, I had heard that sound three previous times before. That was a strong, rhythmic pulse of a heartbeat. It wasn’t a complication from losing my pregnancy, it was a baby boy who had continued to grow inside me even though his twin hadn’t been able to hang on. I don’t remember the tech’s name, I knew it that day, but I’ve lost it now. I’ll never forget how stunned he was, how apologetic he seemed, because he must have realized my baby was too low in my body for a little one who needed a lot more time to form inside me. Nameless tech was kind to me, he said “everything looks good, but a little low…perhaps. We will get you up to labor and delivery, they’ll know just what to do.”

Once I got a bed upstairs in L&D, they were concerned with the infection that was causing my convulsions, they wouldn’t comment on my baby at all. It was their mission to figure out how to stabilize me and then see what happened next. It made sense to me, the whole oxygen mask analogy from flying. But as my fever dropped, these shocking pains began to overtake me, originating in my abdomen and low back. These were as familiar to me as the percussion I heard in the ultrasound room, I was in labor, I was having strong and timely contractions. I couldn’t get comfortable, the nurse said try to relax and I crawled to my hands and knees and growled “mother fucking Christ almighty this hurts.” I cried. I had my friend try to rally the nurses to help me. I hemorrhaged and thought I had wet the bed. This went on far too long, I begged for it to just be over. I asked if my son had any chance of surviving. I didn’t want him to suffer, and I also confess that I didn’t want him to suffer the life ahead of a father who had proven to be the worst kind of person. I was scared of everything that was possible. Afraid I’d die and my girls would be left without their mama, with zero warning or time to prepare. I was terrified that all our lives would be tethered to this man I had worked so hard to start over from after the ruins he left us in. I couldn’t see any beauty as I clawed the hospital sheets and grunted in agony.

My friend eventually had success in convincing the nurses that I was in labor and needed help. One particularly strong nurse helped me stagger to the bathroom because I couldn’t handle my blood soaked bed anymore and I needed to push, the toilet made sense, dear god I wish I could take back this choice now.

In the bathroom I anguished for a little while, with the strong nurse holding me so I didn’t fall off the toilet when I crumpled and doubled over with each contraction. This was transition, I knew he was coming soon, I pushed, and then temporary physical relief. Looking down was difficult, but there he was. I can’t write this without bawling my eyes out, because this is the single most traumatic piece of the entire day. My tiny boy, as small as my hand and still so perfectly formed, he was right there still connected to me. I wasn’t allowed at that moment to touch him, the strong nurse held me back. Why was it taking so long for someone to come get him? Why were they just letting him hang there suspended from me by his umbilical cord? More crying, more begging “please listen to me, don’t leave us this way.”

It was probably not as long as it felt to me. I’m sure they were doing the best they could. But that would be the image of my suffering, that was the nightmare. Time stopped for me. For months and months I’d lay down to sleep and sob until well after midnight, only to wake up at 3am feeling anxious and unable to fall back asleep. I’d calculate the hours of sleep I could still get if only I were able to shut off my mind. I lay there having conversations in my head that I’d never get to have aloud. I’d cry for my son, wondering if this had all been my fault, if I could have saved him. I was conflicted, sad, and sleepless from this bathroom horror.

Beauty did find us there in that hospital though. When the nurses attended to my boy, cleaned him up, and brought him to me in a tiny crocheted basket, I held a weightless angel. This is the memory I want to hold, the one I’m afraid I’ll forget. In the moment, taking a photo felt morbid, but now I wish I could see his face again, even just once. He was pale, in some places translucent, which gave him a glowing aura. This perfect, tiny boy fit inside my hand, he looked very much like Evy, my youngest daughter. I was so struck by his beauty that I named him Ford, because he could have been a model.

I was speechless, words vanished and I felt so much I thought I’d implode. My friend put her hand on me and said a lovely, heartfelt farewell prayer for Ford. I cried and tried to express my gratitude, I fumbled with language. And then I had to give my son to the staff, I had to make decisions about whether I would buy a burial plot or allow the hospital to bury him. I had to notify his biological father and get rejected when I tried to tell him about Ford, but I knew telling him was the right thing to do, even though he didn’t get involved at all. I count it his biggest loss that he never saw that precious face and those long, piano-player fingers.

One night in the hospital and I was discharged the next day. Bleeding heavily, overweight, and empty armed. I felt like a mama who just had a baby, but I had no baby to make it all feel blurry and blissful. I was gross, abandoned, and lonely. But I was brave and strong as well. I diligently strapped my boobs down so my milk wouldn’t come in, I wore massive pads and net underwear because of the bleeding. I faced each day, packing up the once shared apartment to move into something smaller that I could afford alone, moving just one week after returning from the hospital. For three years I’ve been getting on with my life, and nobody will ever meet the sweetheart that I had to let go to get here.

In loving memory of Ford Norris Raun ~ 4.28.21

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

{ change of scenery } - yogi, photographer, writer, mama. austin, tx

Join me tonight (June 10th) for a live yoga class streaming from the lovely Casa Cartel in Austin, TX. This will be a donation class, you can make payment through Paypal,if you're in browser view on your mobile device you will see the link on the righthand side of the screen. Below you will find the meeting ID and password. I'm so grateful for this opportunity and to share the evening with you, see you on your mat!

Zoom meeting LINK

Password: casacartel


Monday, April 6, 2020

{ stepping out, stepping around } - yogi. mover. writer. mama. austin, tx

A couple of years ago I got certified in a new style of yoga and although I haven't done much in the realm of teaching this style yoga, it has broadened my personal practice and piqued my interest in new methods of movement and strength building. This was especially true when I broke my foot in 2018, it was the only way I could manage to get my heart rate up and get sweaty. Over the last year, I've been exploring new ways to move and how to incorporate this into my regular yoga-heavy lifestyle.

Join me for my first ever venture into teaching some of the HIIT-inspired ways that I move. Zoom link HERE.
Meeting ID: 297-609-902

This is a donation-based class as I will continue to offer, please don't let cost be a deterrent. You can find my PayPal link on the righ-hand side of the screen (if you're on a mobile device, you will need to switch to browser view). Thank you so much for being generous and for coming to connect, I miss your faces!

The playlist I've created for this class can be found HERE, or crank up your favorite booty-shaking music.

See you on your mat, ready to sweat, laugh, and move around.

keeping on


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

{ we move together } - yogi. writer. mama. austin, tx

And the distance between them was breached by their combined efforts, outstretched souls that resisted separation.

Come together Wednesday, 4pm CST for some yoga and connection, we move bodies, minds, breath, souls.

Meeting ID: 765 950 043
Optional Playlist found HERE, but any of my playlists that end in 1-hr can be used for this 60-minute class.

You can donate using the PayPal link on the righthand side of this blog (those on mobile devices will need to switch to browser view to access the link) or send me a message for more info. Thank you for your help, it's greatly appreciated.

Be well.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

{ r e l i e f } - yogi. mama. writer. survivor. austin, tx

I woke up in the night, or maybe morning, it was dark.
The flames in my chest were emboldened by nausea in my belly.
"Am I choking? I'm fine. Breathe, keeping breathing."
Sleep was for others, it was neglecting me, leaving me in my pain.

{ holed up and full of peace }

It's been years since my last panic attack. Each time this happens I go down the shame spiral, berating myself because I have the tools to deal with stress, it's my lifestyle, my job for goodness sake. Fear, and its effects do not discriminate. Sometimes it takes time and multiple applications of soothing remedies to reach the other side. But do not be hard on yourself if you find relief on a Sunday and you wake up Monday with anxiety-fueled heartburn. You are not alone, you are in the company of wellness coaches, therapists, healers, yogis, business professionals, stay-at-home parents, and more.

The unknown is a very scary thing. Even when our minds are anchored in truth, our bodies can reverberate deep primal patterning based on survival. When we don't know what is happening and what to expect, our mantras can bring peace of mind and it may take a little while for that to seep in through our many layers, to our core and soothe the etched groves of our soul story.

Over the last two weeks, I've experienced waves of emotion and debated whether to act, sit, write, share, teach, sleep, read, play, hide, the list is unending. I knew in my spirit that it is time to be still and ground. To the best of my ability, I have put aside my action-based responses and sat in the uncertainty while I let myself reconnect to my highest wisdom. Creativity and purpose cannot be rushed, they come in the quiet, in the un-forced moments of pure inspiration. So I chose to slow down. I've shared a couple of on-line classes and I will be sharing more, but my goal in this unique time is to flourish in new ways, in ways that bring serenity to my whole being, not simply mind, but body and spirit as well.

I fight the detrimental story within of "who am I to...?" Who I am is who you are too. We are all in this crazy quarantine, watching our income wither. We are parents trying to protect our children. We are children worried about our parents. We are survivors with stories to share that can help others. We are healers holding the world in our hearts. By collectively sharing, we will overcome many great obstacles.

While I continue to curate my online presence, I would like to share a few helpful practices with you that have given me relief and I welcome your comments and conversation.

I will always recommend breath first and foremost. Even if every breath feels ragged and torturous, keep counting your breath in and out.
Simple 4-count breath practice:
Inhale 1. 2. 3. 4.
Pause 4. 3. 2. 1.
Exhale 1. 2. 3. 4.
Pause 4. 3. 2. 1.
repeat until your breath is smooth like liquid velvet through your sinuses and throat.
*Using essential oils in the palms of your hands on the inhalation is highly effective, various oils for your varying emotions.

Slow Down
Our bodies are strong, but also tender. We've been going at a pace that requires so much for so long. Take this time at home as a healing moment. Slowing down does not mean you're stagnant, it means you're creating space for yourself to move seamlessly, enjoying the un-hurried transitions of your day from one project to the next. Slowing down allows you to be open fully to a fresh light and to new ideas. Settle down and feel more intuitively what your body is asking for, then give yourself permission to fully indulge in what you need.

Be Transparent
There is nothing valuable or healthy to be gained by holding in our fear and anxiety. Share what you're going through with someone that you trust, someone who can hold you in grace. If you don't have someone who you feel can embrace you in the way you need to feel open, admit your fears aloud to yourself, really say them. Let your biggest worries come out of your mouth, listen to them and the vibration of each word as you speak. Feel the clearing of your throat and chest as these trepidations are acknowledged. Their grip will loosen as you give them a name and allow them to be heard and you will find compassion for yourself. As I've said above, you can also share with me, I would love to surround you with light and support.

Administer Self Care
One of my favorite methods of self-care is being luxurious. Taking a longer shower than usual or a bath with Epsom salt. Emerging from this cleansing ritual and anointing my entire body with oil. Putting on the softest pieces of clothing that I own. Spraying myself a couple of times with my favorite perfume or dabbing my pulse points with calming essential oils. Combing through my hair until every tangle is gone and my scalp feels massaged. What makes you feel pampered? Now is the time to be very nourishing to yourself as you've never been able to before.

Joyful Movement
I've struggled for years with eating disorders and self-loathing, taking my hatred out on my own body. When our emotions are turbulent rivers and there are many things we cannot control, there is a massive temptation to push ourselves, to sweat out the rage, etc. Let me be very clear, I highly recommend sweating, I crave it. However, it must be born from a place of self-love and gratitude for all our bodies can do. If you feel yourself slipping into a mindset of "I have to get in a workout," pause, breathe and consider the ways you can move and generate sweat that will also feel joyful and feed your soul. Dance is a great one, yoga, a good run, there are so many options. Start with your goal to feel good, to smile, to appreciate your able muscles, and your healthy heart, and then move like nobody is watching but your divine, highest self.

Seek Purpose
I believe that this global shutdown has presented us with a time to obtain clarity. Starting on a personal level, beginning within. We have an unusual opportunity to halt and listen and get very clear on what our next steps are. What do you want to create in your life? Beyond organizing your home (which is a great active meditation and cultivates a chaos-free setting as you welcome new vision), what ignites your soul fire? The world around us will approach life differently when we emerge from our homes and we get to choose how we will come out of this as individuals. Journal, free-write, pray, open your heart wide to the knowledge of your place in the landscape of humanity. We need your gifts, your passion, your purpose.

Stay in, be well.


Monday, March 23, 2020

{ changes } - yogi. writer. mama. austin, tx

Thank you for your patience while I let my soul get settled. As I continue to navigate my next steps, I will be sharing online classes with you. To get things rolling, I invite you to join me Tuesday at 2pm CST HERE, meeting ID: 733-894-339

Yoga is my lifestyle, but it's also my profession. I ask that you pay for your class what you can. I realize that we are all in very uncertain times and appreciate you making any contribution that you feel comfortable with. You can click on the PayPal link on the righthand side of the screen. If you're on your mobile app, please scroll to the bottom and click "view in browser."

I've created a playlist for this class which can be found HERE. Friends, please feel free to use any of my playlists that you prefer, if they end in "1 hr" then they are going to work with this 60-minute power flow.

See you on your mat.

prasarita padottanasana - wide leg forward bend

Saturday, March 21, 2020

{ content + connection } - yogi. writer. mama. photographer. austin tx

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to be here and to read this post. It's a wild time in the world and I am grateful that we have the means to stay connected, to support one another, and lean into this strange caged situation.

I've spent the last few days considering the best way to contribute and to survive. I miss my public classes immensely right now and I'm sure you are also feeling the void of un-rolling your mat alongside your yoga family. My studio is offering online classes and I hope to lead more in the days (weeks) to come.

What I've realized in this forced time off is something that was already bubbling to the surface for me, I'm ready to explore more than public yoga classes. I'm ready to peel some layers of comfort back and share things I've yet to share. I crave connection beyond what I've already experienced. Something within says that it's time to jump.

More than anything, I would love to hear from you. I'd love to know what you're craving, what would feel nourishing to you in this interesting self-contained time we face.

I will be sharing classes online, I'm currently looking at different resources and outlets for offering these. I have taken time with this because I want to move from my heart and I want to provide the best fit for your schedule, desires, devices, and energy. My heart is also being called to interact with you, not just give you a workout (but we will sweat and burn some quarantine calories!).

You can reach out to me via the comments below, IG @ameliasfb, or email me directly from this blog. We are here together, no matter the miles or walls that are between us.

Be well.

texas plays havana

Monday, May 20, 2019

{ mama ocean } - photographer. writer. child. mother. lover. yogi. austin, tx

I walked down the stairs, coffee in hand, I heard her calling me.
"Why have you been gone so long? Why is your spirit so far away?"
Step by step I moved toward her, I let my feet rest in her familiar sands.
I stepped slowly on her rocks and felt their strength.
At her edge, I let myself sink into her bed, water circling my ankles before it was pulled back into her belly.
"Child, we are one, come remember," she said to me.
Deeper I went until I was fully held by her embrace.
This is where I learned, this is where I grew, past the heartbreak and insecurity.
She is my sanctuary, my teacher, my soul.
I watch her vicissitudes and see the spiral patterns, seemingly erratic, but overtly feminine.
She is old and wise, and forever new, fresh, youth and beauty.
Her mystery must be respected and her gifts are widely enjoyed.
I've come to her, come home, within moments her lessons fortify within my bones.
We are, I am, all is well.

even the tough angles

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

{ maternal light } - mama. writer. photographer. yogi. lover. austin, tx

I walked away and closed my eyes. the thought of you is light coming up from my heart into my eyelids. my eyebrows lift and my shoulders drop.
I'd like to keep you in my arms, keep you close, and rock you to sleep.
earth angel always.
to me, you're pure sweetness.
when things hurt you, they hurt me.
the moment your smile slips away, I fear I can't bring it back.
this is a challenge of loving so deeply.
far outweighed by the light of seeing you throw your head back and laugh.
watching you experience life and all its new treasure.
you are beautiful, kind, tender, and hilarious.
stay vibrant.
be true.
spread your wings, love.

real real


stay tuned

stay tuned

garage gang


Friday, November 9, 2018

{golden notebook} - mama. writer. photographer. yogi. seeker. austin, tx

Life isn't always black and white. in my experience, I've witnessed a lot of greys. That place in between, where every question has two or more answers and my gut can't decide between fear of the known pain or unknown future.

When I decided to begin writing my memoir I had no idea how challenging it would be to recall the past and put it into words. As I've endeavored to embark on this writing journey, I halt daily. What is relevant and what needs to be shared? For a very private person who wants to be completely open, this is quite a challenge. Every night when I tell myself to sleep I am filled with the words of my story, but when I sit down to write them in my book, they evade me. I began my memoir in a journal, it is gold and simple. When my girls learned about this book, they would ask to be read stories from the golden notebook. Like me, they long to know their mother at an earlier stage in life. For them, I am trying hard to continue the writing. I struggle.
My voice.
My outline.
My time.

I recently had the privilege to meet my absolute favorite band of all time, The National. I received advice from a band member that has haunted me for weeks. He said, "you must finish this book."

I must finish.

I must keep going if I am ever going to finish.

If you're reading this now, feel free to hassle me, ask me how much I've written. Hold me accountable. Because my girls deserve as much as I can muster.