The online creator of Pause to Remember is Amy Pelkey. She is a certified yoga teacher and CRNA (nurse anesthetist) at a Level 1 trauma center.
Yoga was first introduced to Amy in 2003, by her friend, while attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. Amy's consistent meditation practice developed after completing the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and led by Barb Ivanko in both 2015 and 2016.
Little did Amy know the impact yoga and meditation would have when her daughter, Anna Grace, was stillborn in September 2016. The mindfulness practices helped her soothe her mind, body, and spirit while grieving.
Like all grieving mothers after pregnancy and infant loss, Amy struggled with sadness, apathy, and anger. The thought of returning to work at the same hospital she delivered her daughter filled her with overwhelming anxiety.
Amy did not feel comfortable participating in support groups for women grieving after pregnancy or infant loss. She felt safest shedding tears on her yoga mat and processing uncomfortable feelings in her meditation practice. This led Amy to complete her 200-hr yoga certification through South Hills Power Yoga in 2017. She went on to earn her restorative yoga certification from Jillian Pransky in 2018 and y4c (yoga for cancer) certification from Tari Prinster in 2019.
Sharing mindfulness practices with female healthcare providers to support their journey through grief while growing a safe, supportive, online community is Amy's primary mission. She hopes meditation, yoga, and community support will be helpful tools allowing women to create space to feel, leading to healing, and discovering a new norm after loss.
Off the mat, Amy is a wife, a homeschooling mother to an eleven year old son, and tries to balance those responsibilities with work, life, family, and friends.
Amy was born and raised in South Portland, Maine and currently resides outside of Pittsburgh, PA. She misses her parents and extended family as well as lobster bakes and the smell of the sweet ocean air.
After graduating from the University of Southern Maine, Amy became a critical care nurse and traveled both internationally and domestically.
Amy is always trying to learn something new whether it is how to simplify life, learn something new, or live a healthier lifestyle. She enjoys traveling, schedules evening activities around sit-down family meals, and cooks Paleo inspired meals with varying degrees of success.
Amy earned two additional yoga certifications. The first, in Restorative Yoga (2018), after studying with Jillian Pransky in NYC followed by Yoga4Cancer with Tari Prinster (2019).
In 2017, Amy's earned her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification through South Hills Power Yoga in Pittsburgh, PA. This provided her a solid foundation in yoga and meditation.
Amy became a CRNA (nurse anesthetist) in 2004 after earning a Master's of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently employed at WVU Medicine.
The Evolution of Pause to Remember
Pause to Remember started as an idea between Shawna Locke and Amy Pelkey in their 200-hour yoga teacher training at South Hills Power Yoga. They both had experienced the devastating effects of pregnancy loss, saying goodbye to their stillborn babies, and the healing effects of meditation and yoga while grieving.
Upon completion of their yoga certification, Pause to Remember was developed in 2017. The workshops were hosted by local yoga studios in the greater Pittsburgh, PA area as an alternative to grief support groups and feeling isolated.
Although participants offered positive feedback after the workshops, the attendance remained lower than they hoped. Shawna and Amy stepped back from the project to reevaluate.
In 2022, after a a couple of stressful years during the pandemic, Amy began focusing on grieving healthcare providers.
All the offerings that followed including the podcast, virtual support group, and Facebook group, are geared towards licensed, female, healthcare providers (RN, MD/DO, NP, PA, CRNA, CNM, PT, OT, ST, LCSW, etc) who had experienced pregnancy or infant loss.