We at MOMSQUAD wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk with us, as a mom I know how precious time is, especially with an infant at home. 

When you started your IG what did you envision yourself talking about or highlighting in your life, how has that changed since becoming a mother?

When I began my Instagram, I never throughout it would become a platform where I could share my personality, my music, my family, and my passion. I initially started my Instagram just as my Facebook page where I shared highlights of my family and performance life, and then when I became pregnant and also released my music, I found that I could reach so many audiences through my work. Since becoming a mother, my goal is to continue highlighting health/fitness, dance, and music, in addition to women’s health/pregnancy/postpartum encouragement, birth education, and support.  

How has your music evolved/changed from being single-married-pregnant and now mother?

One thing that I have noticed about my music is that it evolves as I evolve and grow. My music has grown as I overcome obstacles, continue to grow in my walk with Christ, and as I learn new things, especially as a mom. I have actually found myself writing music more as a new mom and wife, compared to when I was single. I have so much love and light in my life to write about and it just inspires me daily. I now find myself rocking my son to sleep and suddenly thinking of a new melody or song. It is truly amazing!

During your pregnancy did you have any specific self-care rituals or activities that helped you feel great that you would love to share with other expecting moms?

YES! I went to pelvic floor PT weekly and that was a huge self-care component for me because it gave me a chance to check in with my body and prepare my body for labor and delivery. Another self-care activity that helped me feel great throughout pregnancy was taking warm baths, prenatal yoga, working out, and having hot red raspberry leaf tea every night before bed. 

When you were first planning what your birth story would be - pre COVID, what did you envision it would be? 

Pre-COVID I actually had created a birth plan my heart did not truly desire...I had planned a natural hospital birth with my OBYGN and had never felt 100% fulfilled with that decision. Although COVID has brought so much sadness and distress throughout our country and our lives, I am also quite thankful COVID happened because it opened my eyes and encouraged me to change my birth plan to what my heart wanted and not what society claimed to be “a normal birthing experience.”

How involved was your OBGYN in your choice to not give birth in a hospital?

My OBGYN was quite disappointed in my decision to switch from a hospital birth to birthing at a birthing center. When I told her, she gave me a list of reasons why hospital births were better/safer. I appreciated her concern and care, however, I knew what was right for me and my baby and at that time, there was nothing I wanted more than to deliver my baby naturally in the water. With that said, I continue to have a great relationship with my OB, however, I plan to continue to choose a birthing center/home birth for my future pregnancies. 

Giving birth during a pandemic, it's the most beautiful thing during such a difficult time, what kind of support did you receive/ask for from your husband, family, and friends?

Bringing a new life into this world during such a crazy and sad time has truly been a blessing! I received a tremendous amount of support from my family through their encouragement and prayers the closer I got to delivery. My husband was super supportive throughout pregnancy from the beginning and when COVID hit, he continued to assist with daily activities, lightening my workload, getting groceries during quarantine, etc. I also was so blessed to have so much support from my midwives who were consistent in following up with my well being at the end of my pregnancy.

What was it like to see the BLM movement be at the forefront of the news during your pregnancy? Did it give you hope for a better future or more fear for you and your family?

Lots of emotions to say the least. Two days before my son was born I was so emotional and just overwhelmed with sadness after seeing all of the news surrounding George Floyd’s murder, I decided to make an IGTV about the peace and love that our nation is longing for. I was so upset that day but it was comforting seeing so many people supporting the BLM movement. For the BLM movement to evolve so tremendously made my heart happy. The day after my son was born was #BlackOutTuesday and it made me happy to see that just a day after he was brought into this world that there was some form of unity. The thing that makes it so real for me is that I now have a black son who will one day be a black man and to see the support and ally’s that are speaking up, advocating, and supporting the BLM movement has given me so much hope in our nation. It’s really the next generation we need to train up and educate to make our world a better place and KEEP our world a better place for all! I pray daily that this movement continues to grow and bring more hope and peace. 

Now that you are home with your beautiful son, I imagine you must sing to him all the time, does he have a fav song of yours yet?

Yes, I sing to him daily and we both enjoy it! I think he enjoys my song “Loving Arms” the most and that may be because during those last few weeks in my belly I sang that song daily :) I write most of my music now with him in my arms and I cannot wait to share them!

How has your postnatal care been, were you expecting something different in your recovery/postpartum journey? Have you begun an exercise regime yet and will you when your doctor gives you the go-ahead?

I have had exceptional postnatal care, which I honestly was not expecting. I did not expect to really be cared for afterward the way that I was. I assumed that only my baby was cared for and followed up with, so it was such a pleasure to be checked by my midwives on multiple occasions during the first 6 weeks postpartum. I had no expectations as far as what my postpartum body would be like, and truthfully I was very much shocked to see myself for the very first time in the mirror after delivering my baby. However, I will say that I have been able to embrace my new body with so much love. My midwives cleared me to return to exercise at 6 weeks PP, however, advised that I ease my way back into core work due to my diastasis recti, therefore I have been focusing my workouts/exercise on pelvic floor strength and deep core muscles to close the gap in my abs. I love the workout program I am doing, it has allowed me to slowly progress back into my old workout routine without pushing myself too much too soon. 

How can MOMSQUAD CLOTHING continue to support you and other new moms? What are you looking to learn and gain more knowledge about when it comes to motherhood?

Advocate for mothers and continue to bring awareness to motherhood ups and downs, breastfeeding, BLM, and postpartum. It’s great to have encouragement and support like that, especially when I get on Instagram and see something encouraging! This year as a new mom I am really looking to grow my knowledge on postpartum support for other moms and how I can better support other mothers. 

Where can we find your music?

My music can be found on https://linktr.ee/jemilamedley

My music is on all streaming platforms such as: Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, Youtube, and Google Play. I plan to publish more music in the near future, so stay tuned!

August 13, 2020 — Amy Astrowsky

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