There is life after loss, as #BOSSMAMA Mikhailla Fitzgerald tells Mama Disrupt®…
She’s the CEO of her own marketing and talent agencies, a mama to Elle and Cruz, a passionate wife, and – we’ll get to this part soon – the author of 2 children’s books.
But Mikhailla’s story is proof that no matter how much you grab life and run with it, sometimes it turns around and knocks you right down to your knees.
When Mikhailla’s first son Foxx was born in 2017, his beautiful labour ended in a nightmare. Foxx contracted a Group B strep infection and, after a battle in the NICU, he tragically passed away at just 3 days old.
In the years since, Mikhailla and her hubby have had to learn how to do life after loss, while being present for their earthside bambinos, and building a future for their little fam-bam. Here’s her incredible story.
Losing Foxx //
After I lost Foxx, we were offered the support of a couple of different counsellors. I had booked appointments, but each time it came to attending I would go cold and emotional in a way where I felt like nobody would understand me.
Then I turned to writing, and outing myself through a journal online, essentially. I joined Facebook groups of women who had just been through similar situations and that was really my haven to help me process what had just happened.
Pregnancy after loss //
I thought I was doing okay, but when I reflect back now 5 years on I realise just how anxious and lost I was in that pregnancy. All the fear circulated every morning and every night as I convinced myself that constantly poking my baby for its attention was just normal. I showed up to the doctors and hospital at least once a week because I believed something bad was going to go wrong again. Now I knew that I was not exempt from bad things happening in my life, from 2 prior miscarriages to the neonatal death of my newborn full-term son.
“I asked myself daily – ‘what’s next?’ And I became numb to the joy of pregnancy.”
The mum juggle //
I have learnt that no one really copes with the juggle. I might have a business, be a mum, have social obligations, home life obligations. But the person next to me likely has their own juggles as well. In fact, the pre-children me had many juggles too.
My advice is to notice when life is flowing well and to take the time to enjoy that moment. Because the next moment might be full of challenges. Good will come around again.
Talking to kids about life after loss //
We became inspired to talk to Elle about her Brother Foxx when I fell pregnant again. We realised just how much she clued onto the fact that she was going to be a big sister and saw this as a perfect opportunity to start talking about how she had a brother in heaven. She started to remember our conversations and at random would bring him up when she was only 17 months old. This is inspired me to write My Sibling Above and Love From Above. Originally I planned to just write a book for her and our family, but soon I realised how this needed to be for more than just my family.
Mikhailla’s parenting philosophy //
My philosophy is to surrender. I surrender to a lot of the challenges that might come up as a parent, as opposed to trying to challenge everything back. I want my children to always be good people who are kind-hearted and know that everyone has a story.
Her favourite thing about being a mama //
My favourite thing is having two little people who look up to us, and how grounded they keep me. Life is busy and fast, but having little ones has allowed me to live each day with more intention.
If it isn’t a hell yes, it’s a hell no //
I always say live your life with purpose led passions. Pay attention to the gut feelings you might have about decisions. If it isn’t a hell yes, it should be a hell no! Life is always trying to push you to where you are meant to be, but when you resist that path you won’t feel the wholeness you are trying to find. Life is lived in the uncomfortable zones!
When things get rough…
I talk to my husband. He is my saving grace in all the moments where I feel lost and overwhelmed. His nature is so calming, and he has a way in talking through moments to make me find the clarity and purpose amongst it all again.