When 22-year-old Mikhailla Glossat announced her pregnancy last month, telling her 11,000 Instagram followers the news, it was delivered with a cautious sense of optimism.
She was 18 weeks along, she wrote on the platform. Her and her fiancé Teddy were so excited to meet their little girl.
But as the couple did their best to look forward, memories of their last year were pulling them back, ever so slightly.
Mikhailla fell pregnant in January 2016, but lost the couple’s first baby at 12 weeks that March. That May, the couple experienced their second miscarriage in as many months. And then, after carrying the pain of two lost babies, gone before she could tell anyone the news, she fell pregnant again.
It was the “perfect” pregnancy, Mikhailla tells Mamamia. Though she is young, those who knew her call her an “old soul”.
“I did know I wanted to have kids within my 20s,” she says. “My fiance is in his 30s so it was a happy medium to know we both wanted the same thing around the same time. Personally, I think age is just a number, I am probably a 20-year-old that functions like a woman in her 30s.”
At 38 weeks and five days, Mikhailla went into labour and baby Foxx entered their world with a quiet cry.
“I had a perfect pregnancy, perfect labour and even after birth he was like any other newborn happy to just feed and sleep,” she recalls.
Five hours after Foxx first came into the world, he began to cough. Among the mucus he began to cough up, bits of blood came up, too.
“When his breathing started to change is when he was admitted to NICU and the tests confirmed Group B Strep. A deadly bacteria which is also transient had ultimately taken over his system.
“After birth you are so incredibly exhausted and proud of your achievements. I didn’t register for a while the extremity of what was happening. Despite doctors continually reinforcing he was very unwell I think I just thought that they are doctors and they will make everything better.”
Heartbreakingly, things only deteriorated.
“It was very touch and go and as the days passed I started to realise how bad this really was. When he started having an increasing amount of seizures, I knew that leaving hospital with empty hands was a real possibility.
“The conversations we had that day are imprinted in my mind in ways that I can’t even describe to another human that hasn’t been through this type of loss. It was almost like a room filling with a blank noise that blurs time, voices and movement. I remember just focusing on Foxx’s NICU nurse – as tears started to stream down her face I knew it was over.”
Foxx passed away in the same bubble of intense love that enveloped him as he entered the world three days earlier, his two parents by his side. He had caught a Group Strep B infection, a common organism that predominantly lives in the gut and bladder. A week before she went into labour, Mikhailla tested negative to the infection and so no antibiotics were given to her during labour.
“I think I am very lucky that the foundations of my relationship have always been really strong with my partner. He was my biggest support. He knew this pain and kept reminding me that we are not alone and we have each other,” she says.
“It was a strange adjustment though, you come home and there is no excitement in your life. No anticipation. Your stomach is empty but your arms are too. Trying to register that between one another was tough. We are both extremely positive people in our outlook in life and while we kept trying to remind ourselves of all the good we still had we soon learnt that we really needed to acknowledge what had happened to allow us to keep moving forward.”
And so, when Mikhailla announced her pregnancy last month, six months after the couple lost their baby Foxx, it came with a cautious sense of optimism. But overall, she says, she just felt lucky.
“When I found out I was pregnant again I felt just pure luck and pride. [I was] proud that we were blessed for the opportunity to bring a sibling for Foxx earthside.”
The impending arrival is due to enter the world on a very meaningful day.
“At my first scan they gave me a due date of March 26, 2018. This was the day Foxx was born this year, which means this baby was due on his first birthday. It felt like a sign that souls can be reborn. In saying that, I don’t mean replacing him, but allowing apart of him to be presently connected to his siblings life feels like a special blessing.”
Mikhailla is now in training to become a birth doula, and has written a ‘Pregnancy & Mamahood Recipe eBook’. For more on her journey, you can find her here.
Listen: Rebecca Sparrow on love, loss and empty arms.
If this has post raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637.